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Reusable Cloth Diapers: Usage, Benefits, and Washing

Judes Überhosen Kale und Beetrot wiederverwendbare Windeln

Photo by @ammenmaerchen 


Reusable diapers are more than just a trend. They are a statement for mindfulness, sustainability, and conscious parenting. In a time where more and more people are concerned about the environment and their fellow humans, many parents are consciously choosing cloth diapers as a natural alternative.

What are reusable diapers? Reusable diapers are eco-friendly alternatives to disposable diapers, made from washable materials that can be used multiple times. They are available in various designs and materials, and can be customized depending on the model. By being reusable, they contribute to reducing waste and conserving the environment.

Cloth diapers, also known as reusable cloth diapers, are made from natural or synthetic fibres and can easily be washed and used again after being worn. Unlike conventional disposable diapers, which are thrown away after one use, cloth diapers can be used repeatedly over a long period of time.

Benefits of Washable Diapers

  1. Sustainability: Cloth diapers significantly reduce waste because they can be reused. This not only conserves resources but also reduces the amount of diaper waste that ends up in landfills each day.
  2. Cost-Efficiency: Although the initial costs of reusable diapers may be higher than those of disposables, they lead to significant savings in the long run. Instead of continuously buying new packs, parents invest once and use the diapers for months or even years.
  3. Health and Comfort: Many parents report that reusable diapers cause fewer irritations and diaper rashes. The natural materials allow for better breathability and feel softer on the baby’s skin.
  4. Early Dryness: Cloth diapers provide immediate wetness feedback to the child when wet, which promotes natural development. Unlike disposable diapers, which always feel dry to the child.

How to Wash Reusable Diapers

Washing reusable diapers is straightforward. After removing any solid waste, the diapers can either be stored in a diaper bag or washed directly. A normal wash cycle at 40 - 60 °C with a mild, fragrance-free detergent is usually sufficient. To ensure the diapers' longevity, they should be air-dried. With the right care, reusable diapers can go through many washes without losing quality.

In this article, we will share everything you need to know about cloth diapers. From the different types, handling, to the washing process. We will also introduce you to Judes – the simplest cloth diaper system compared to others.

What Types of Reusable Diapers Are There?

Reusable Diapers have significantly gained in popularity over the past few years. With this growing popularity, various models and systems have been developed to suit different needs and preferences. Here is an overview of the most common types of reusable diapers:

  1. Judes's Diaper System: The goal of Judes is to make things particularly simple. Judes diapers are as easy to use as disposable diapers, if not easier. The cloth diaper consists of only two parts – an inner diaper and a cover – and is designed to fit perfectly to your child's body shape. Thanks to this perfect fit, you need only two sizes to cover the entire diapering period. In Judes's Classic Set, all materials you need for successful diapering with cloth diapers are included.
  2. All-In-One Diapers: As the name suggests, All-In-One diapers (AIO) are diapers where all parts are attached together. They have a waterproof outer layer and integrated absorbent layers. All-in-One diapers are for pragmatic parents. They allow for a quick diaper change but are outclassed by other systems in terms of leak protection, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. 
  3. Pocket Diapers: Pocket diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer and an inner "pocket" into which absorbent inserts are placed. These reusable diapers dry quickly and are much more flexible than AIO's since the absorbency level can be customized. However, they require longer preparation times and offer poor cost efficiency, as the cover needs to be washed after every use.
  4. Prefold Diapers: Prefold diapers are rectangular pieces of fabric that are thicker in the middle. They are usually used in combination with a cover. Different folding techniques can adjust the fit and absorbency individually. However, this folding requires some practice and takes up valuable time. In addition, waterproof covers are needed.
  5. Fitted Diapers: Fitted diapers are similar to All-In-One diapers but do not have integrated absorbent layers, and therefore separate inserts are used. They are practical for older babies and toddlers as they can put them on and off themselves. However, placing the insert requires some practice, and its optimal position is not guaranteed, often leading to leaks.
Judes covers lined up in various colors reusable diapers

How to Use Traditional Reusable Diapers?

Judes are designed for simplicity and aim to save you time and effort in your daily life with a child. They can be put on in the same way as disposable diapers. Many parents even report that Judes are even easier to use. We will get to the exact steps shortly.

Using traditional reusable diapers, on the other hand, can be a bit more challenging. However, with a little practice and the right know-how, it is certainly manageable.

Preparation: Before being used for the first time, reusable diapers should be washed. This improves their absorbency and ensures that any manufacturing residues are removed.

Putting Them On:

  • Absorbent Inserts: For diaper systems that require separate inserts, the insert should first be placed into the diaper or inserted into the pocket.
  • Adjusting: Most reusable diaper systems have snaps or Velcro to adjust the size and secure the diaper. Make sure the diaper fits well to prevent leaks.
  • Checking: The edges of the diaper should tightly enclose the legs and back to prevent leaking. The diaper is optimally positioned when you can easily slide two fingers between the stomach and the fabric.


  • For a wet diaper change, remove the diaper and place it in a designated diaper bag. If the cover stays dry, it can be aired out and reused depending on the system.
  • For solid waste, dispose of the material in the toilet before storing the diaper in the bag.

Over time, you will develop your own routine and find out which systems and techniques work best for you and your baby. Reusable diapers may require a bit more manual work than disposables, but the benefits they offer, in terms of both environment and the health and comfort of your baby, make them an excellent choice.

With Judes, on the other hand, you won't need any practice or adjustment time, as they are designed for you to intuitively put them on and change them correctly.

How to Use Judes Cloth Diapers 

Judes have the advantage of being exceptionally easy to use. Our goal is to support parents in their everyday life and make it easy for them to choose a healthy and sustainable path. Judes cloth diapers consist of two parts: An absorbent inner diaper and a waterproof cover.

Putting Them On:

  • Place the inner diaper around your child like a disposable diaper and fasten the Velcro
  • The diaper should be snug around the hips and perfect if there's about two fingers' space to your baby's belly
  • Now place the cover around your child and close it


  • Open the diaper and pull it out from under your child, like a disposable diaper
  • If the cover had no or just light contact with urine, you can air it out and reuse it
  • Remove solid waste, if present, and put the inner diaper in a diaper bag

Judes are meant to make parenting easier for you. By using the Poo-Papers, which you place as the top layer in the diaper, you can easily catch and dispose of solid waste. For heavy wetters, long sleepers, or long car rides, it is recommended to add a booster insert into the diaper. This increases the absorbency and prevents the diaper from leaking, even in extreme situations.


What are the Benefits of Reusable Diapers?

Reusable diapers offer a plethora of benefits that appeal to many parents. Here’s an overview:

  1. Health Benefits for the Baby:
  • Fewer Chemicals: Cloth diapers contain no fragrances, phthalates, or other chemicals often found in disposable diapers.
  • Fewer Diaper Rashes: Many parents report fewer diaper rashes with cloth diapers, as the natural materials allow for better breathability.
  • Wetness Feedback: Direct wetness feedback can accelerate a child's development towards becoming diaper-free.
  1. Environmental Benefits:
  • Reduced Waste: A family using reusable diapers avoids sending thousands of disposable diapers to landfills.
  • Less Resource Consumption: Manufacturing of disposable diapers uses more water and other resources compared to cloth diapers.
  1. Ecological Advantages Over Disposable Diapers:
  • Energy Consumption: Disposable diapers have a higher total energy consumption in their lifecycle through production, transport, and disposal.
  • Biodegradability: While cloth diapers can be reused, disposable diapers take many years to decompose in landfills.
  1. Cost Efficiency:

In the long run, reusable diapers are even cheaper than disposable diapers, especially when used for more than one child.

  1. Versatility:

With different sizes, materials, and designs, parents can select the perfect diapering system for their child.

How to Wash Reusable Diapers?

Washing reusable diapers is a crucial step to ensure they remain hygienically clean and retain their full absorbency. Proper care can also extend the lifespan of your cloth diapers. Here, Judes makes it especially easy for you. The diaper bag is opened and placed into the washing machine so that you do not have direct contact with the used diapers. During the washing process, they tumble out of the bag on their own and get thoroughly cleaned. Here is a simple guide to washing your Judes:

  1. Preparation
  • Store the used diapers in a well-ventilated diaper bag; you can keep them there for up to 4 days.
  1. Main Wash Cycle:
  • Use a mild detergent without optical brighteners, fragrances, or bleach. Our Judes Family Care Detergent is perfectly suited for cloth diapers.
  • Simply wash the diapers at 60°C.
  1. Drying:
  • Dry your Judes in the air or in the dryer, whichever you prefer. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading. However, a little sun can help bleach stains and disinfect diapers.

How Often Should Reusable Diapers Be Washed?

It is recommended to wash reusable diapers every 3–4 days.

Additional Tips:

  • Avoid fabric softeners, as they can reduce the absorbency of the diapers.
  • Occasional use of enzyme cleaners or bleach can help remove stubborn stains and disinfect diapers but should be used sparingly.
  • Do not overload the washing machine to ensure that the diapers are cleaned thoroughly.

With a regular and thorough cleaning routine, your reusable diapers will stay fresh, clean, and ready to use for many years.

How Much Do Reusable Diapers Cost?

When it comes to the cost of reusable diapers, it's important to consider both short-term and long-term expenses. Investing in cloth diapers may seem more expensive initially compared to purchasing disposable diapers, but over time, this investment can indeed pay off.

  1. Initial Investment:
  • The costs for a high-quality reusable diaper vary depending on the brand, material, and type of diaper. Some premium cloth diapers can cost between €15 and €30 per piece. However, basic models or simple prefolds can be available for as little as €5 to €10.
  1. Number of Diapers Needed:
  • For continuous use, considering washing cycles, you will need on average between 20 and 30 reusable diapers. This leads to initial costs between €100 and €900, depending on the chosen diaper type and brand.
  1. Additional Accessories:
  • Other purchases might include diaper bags, diaper covers, or liners, which can increase the initial investment.
  1. Long-term Savings:
  • Over time, the costs for reusable diapers are significantly lower than those for disposable diapers. A baby needs on average 5000 to 7000 disposable diapers from birth until being potty-trained, leading to costs between €1000 and €2500.
  • With reusable diapers, the ongoing costs are primarily for washing, yet even with these costs included, cloth diapers are often the more economical option. Especially when considering that reusable diapers can be passed on to additional children.
  1. Reuse and Resale:
  • Reusable diapers in good condition can be used for subsequent siblings or sold, further reducing the overall costs.

In Summary, although reusable diapers require a larger initial investment, they can lead to significant savings in the long run. In a direct comparison of the costs of cloth and disposable diapers, reusable diapers clearly come out ahead. Beyond the monetary benefits, the environmental advantages and comfort for the baby are additional reasons to consider this investment.

Judes unpacking cloth diapers diaper covers reusable diapers

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What to Consider When Buying Reusable Diapers

Selecting the right reusable diaper can initially seem overwhelming, especially given the variety of options available. Here are some key aspects and criteria you should consider in your selection:

  1. Type of Diaper:
  • As discussed, there are various types of reusable diapers. Choose the one that best fits your lifestyle and your baby's needs.
  1. Material:
  • Depending on the feel you prefer and how sensitive your baby's skin is, you should choose between different materials like cotton, bamboo, microfiber, or hemp.

Sustainable, Breathable Materials

  • Ensure that the materials are eco-friendly and offer comfort to your baby. Breathable materials, like cotton, can prevent skin irritations and diaper dermatitis.
  1. Size:
  • Many brands offer "One-Size" diapers that can adjust to your growing baby. Others have specific sizes, based on the baby's weight and age. With Judes, you get through the entire diapering period with two sizes. While Size 1 is perfectly aligned with the needs of newborns, Size 2 accompanies your baby until potty training.

Which size is needed?

  • Choosing the right size is crucial to avoid leaks and discomfort. Check the manufacturer's recommendations and remember that every baby is different.
  1. Closure Options:
  • Some diapers have velcro fasteners, while others use snaps. Judes can be perfectly adjusted to the child's body shape with an infinitely adjustable velcro fastener.
  1. Design and Aesthetics:
  • Reusable diapers are available in many beautiful designs and colors.
  • While design doesn't affect functionality, it can make diaper changing a little more fun.
  1. Reviews and Recommendations:
  • The opinions and experiences of other parents can be very valuable. Research online, ask in social networks, or in local groups for reviews on specific brands or models.

By carefully considering these aspects and by trying out different models, you’re sure to find the perfect reusable diaper for your baby. For parents looking for an easy and environmentally friendly solution, Judes are just the right choice.

How to Integrate Reusable Diapers into Daily Life

With a few simple steps and some planning, reusable diapers can be effortlessly integrated into your daily routine.

  1. Organization is Key:
  • Set up a diapering station at home that makes all the essentials accessible: clean diapers, wetbags, inserts, changing pads, and wipes or sustainable washcloths. This greatly simplifies diaper changing.
  1. Plan Ahead:
  • When you're on the go, always pack 1–2 extra reusable diapers. A small wetbag is handy for storing used diapers until you get home.
  1. Integrate Washing into Your Routine:
  • Many parents find it helpful to schedule fixed washing days during the week. A good rule is to wash every 3 days to ensure you always have enough clean diapers on hand and the used ones don't sit too long.
  1. Stay Flexible:
  • It's okay to occasionally revert to disposable diapers, for example, when traveling or if your baby is sick. The point is to be as consistent as possible and minimize the use of disposables.
  1. Shared Responsibility:
  • Include all caregivers, whether partner, grandparents, or babysitters, in the process. A brief demonstration and explanation on how to use and store the reusable diapers ensures a smooth experience for everyone. Also, in kindergartens, cloth diapers are long accepted.
  1. Embrace the Benefits:
  • Regularly remind yourself of the benefits of reusable diapers – not just the cost savings but also the positive impacts on the environment and your baby's health. This can be a great motivation to keep going.
  1. Be Patient and Give Yourself Time to Adjust:
  • As with any new habit, it may take a while to fully adjust to handling reusable diapers. This is completely normal. Every step towards a more sustainable diapering practice is a step in the right direction.

Integrating reusable diapers into your daily life is not just a choice for the environment and your baby's wellbeing but also a step towards a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle. With a little planning and commitment, this transition can be a rewarding endeavor.

Judes Mama with children on a mountain reusable diapers

Photo by @cafema.illustration

Judes Advantages for Parents, Child, and Environment

As modern parents, we look for solutions that are not only practical but also environmentally friendly. At Judes, we have developed a diaper that offers all the benefits of a traditional cloth diaper without the usual drawbacks. Our diapers are designed to make diapering as easy and stress-free as possible. Let's take a look at how Judes compares to traditional cloth diapers and why they are the best choice for families.

  • Ease of Use: Judes diapers are specifically designed to be as user-friendly as possible. Compared to other cloth diaper systems that often require several steps to put on, our diapers offer an intuitive design, making diapering as straightforward as using a disposable diaper.
  • Quick Washing: While conventional cloth diapers often need special washing and care instructions, Judes diapers are known for their easy-care properties. They can be quickly washed and dried and are immediately ready for use.
  • Better Leak Protection: Thanks to modern materials, Judes diapers provide a reliable seal that protects against leaks. Other cloth diapers, on the other hand, can sometimes struggle to effectively isolate moisture, especially at night.
  • Thinner yet Effective: Our diapers are not only thinner and more comfortable for your baby but also extremely absorbent. This contrasts with many conventional cloth diapers, which can often be bulky and offer less comfort.
  • Sustainability: Judes focuses on sustainability without compromise. Unlike conventional cloth diapers, which are often made from materials that are less eco-friendly, we use only the best, sustainable materials that are good for both your baby and the environment.
  • Assistance with Stool Handling: Instead of complicated processes for disposing of stool, as can be the case with other cloth diaper systems, we offer an easy solution with our Poo Paper, which allows for hygienic and quick disposal.
  • Cost Efficiency: Judes are an investment in the future of your child and your finances. Unlike disposable diapers, which need to be constantly rebought, Judes can be used over a long period and even for multiple children. This can save you up to €3,000 per child.
  • Early Potty Training: Judes promote your child's awareness of wetness, as they offer direct wetness feedback. This stimulates the natural learning process. Children diapered with cloth diapers are therefore on average potty-trained a year earlier.
  • Skin Health: We place great emphasis on the skin health of babies. Judes are made from skin-friendly materials, which are gentle on the delicate baby skin. So you avoid chemical additives found in disposable diapers and reduce the risk of skin irritations and diaper rash.

These points illustrate how Judes diapers are specially designed to simplify the lives of modern families while protecting the environment. And all without the hassle of folding inserts, long drying times, or leaks.


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