Diaper covers are used over cloth diapers to prevent liquid from seeping through the diaper and onto your baby's clothes. If you use cloth diapers, you must use diaper covers.
Diaper covers are available in a variety of styles and fabrics. Diaper wraps use a velcro closure that wraps around your baby's waist holding the diaper in place. Some diaper covers use a side snap to fasten the diaper cover over the diaper. The most popular diaper cover is the simple pull on cover that fits over the cloth diaper.
Diaper covers are made of poly-coated nylon, industrial poly-knit, polar fleece, industrial vinyl, nylon, polyester, cotton, or wool.
If you machine wash your diaper covers, wash them with your baby clothes using a gentle cycle, not with your cloth diapers. The conditions required to clean your cloth diapers can weaken your diaper covers, requiring you to replace them earlier than necessary. Never use bleach, borax, other whitening products, detergents with chlorine bleach, liquid concentrates, or stain removers on your diaper covers. Harsh cleaning products can ruin the elastic in the waist and legs and damage the water-proofing of your diaper covers.
When changing your baby, if the diaper cover is not soiled, you can rinse the diaper cover in warm water to remove any urine residue, then pat dry or hang to dry and re-use. Depending on the fabric, your diaper covers may not have to be washed as often as cloth diapers. Diapers covers made of vinyl or nylon can be air-dried between changes unless soiled; those made of cotton, polyester, polar fleece, or with mesh inside often require washing after each use.
Wool diaper covers can last for almost two weeks before needing a wash. The natural oils present in wool fibers draw moisture away from your baby's skin, helping moisture to evaporate and neutralize odors. Wool diaper covers can air-dry between uses and only need washing when soiled.
You should have at least 5-6 diaper covers in each size. This will let you clean and air out diaper covers while still keeping your baby covered. Your diaper covers will last longer the less you have to wash them, so keeping a few extra on rotation is always a good idea.