Cloth diapers are a natural alternative to disposable.

How to Do Old-Fashioned Cloth Diapering

by Shellie Braeuner

Every mom, at some point, has reached over to the diaper stack and found nothing. Nada. No more disposable diapers. Before running to the grocery with a little naked bottom, remember: you can use cloth diapers, assuming you have some tucked away in a neglected corner of your changing table. The first time you try, it can seem a little daunting. You have a large rectangle of fabric that somehow you have to fit comfortably around your toddler's tushy. Here's how to do that diaper origami.

Lay the diaper on a flat surface so that the small side of the rectangle lies closest to you.

Fold the end of the diaper up, so that the diaper is folded in half and the folded side lies closest to you. This should give you a smaller rectangle, with the wider side now facing you.

Fold the left third of the diaper in toward the middle so that the edge overlaps the center of the diaper. Repeat with the right side of the diaper so that you have a long strip with six layers of cloth.

Fold the corners closest to you toward the center of the diaper diagonally. This will create a point that looks similar to a paper airplane.

Lay your little one face up on the strip of cloth so that half of the strip lies below his body.

Fold the lower half of the strip up toward his belly button.

Reach under his back. Pull first the right and then the left edge of the diaper from below his back.

Fold the edges over the point lying over his tummy and pin in place.

Cover the diaper with a pair of plastic pants.

Items you will need

  • Cloth diapers
  • Diaper pins
  • Plastic pants


  • For a quick change, fold diapers through step four and keep several stacked neatly near the changing table.
  • Always place your hand between your toddler's tummy and the diaper while pinning. This ensures that you will stick your hand with the pin before you injure your child.
  • Don't have any cloth diapers handy? Any soft and absorbent fabric will do in a pinch, including burp cloths and receiving blankets. Just fold the blanket in half before folding it into a diaper.


  • Because cloth diapers don't wick moisture away from tender skin, change that bottom more often.

About the Author

Based in Nashville, Shellie Braeuner has been writing articles since 1986 on topics including child rearing, entertainment, politics and home improvement. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and "Borderlines" as well as a book from Simon & Schuster. Braeuner holds a Master of Education in developmental counseling from Vanderbilt University.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images