How to Diaper with Cotton

After having talked with customers for nearly 50 years about diapering, we've come to realize that there is no right or wrong way to diaper. Different techniques work for different babies. There are three main folding styles, with the Essential Fold as the recommended base point. It's been said that learning to diaper is like tying your shoes, it takes a couple of tries to master the task but once learned, it's a piece of cake.

The Essential Fold

This is the main fold that every diapering parent should master.
It's a great place to start and can be adapted to fit your individual style.

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Begin by folding the diaper down in the back and sliding it under your baby. For boys, switch the fold to the front when they are about 2 weeks old.
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Fold it down enough so the diaper will be at your babies waist in the back (their belly button is the marking point for how high it should be in the back) and below their belly button in the front. Slide the diaper under the baby.
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Fold each side panel in, straight across to completely overlap the middle panel. This forms a triangle known as the “poop-trap” which helps keep the stool in the diaper.
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Bring the diaper up between their legs. The top of the diaper on the front should be below his belly button.
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With the back of your hand, push down his leg and bring the side up to the middle, making a snug seal. If the cotton doesn’t meet, fan open the top section. Take your Snappi Clip and secure the far side of the diaper. Stretch the strap towards the middle and hook it at the middle point. Stretch the Snappi clip and secure the close side.
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Now, wrap the cover around the diaper. Making sure all the cotton is tucked inside the cover both at the legs and at the waist. Since you’ve secured the diaper with the Snappi clip, the cover doesn’t need to be put on tightly.

The Tri Fold

Once your child's #2 is solid, the tri fold can be a practical option.

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For a boy, fold the diaper in thirds lengthwise and for a girl fold it in fourths width wise.
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Place the diaper in the
diaper cover.
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Slide under your baby and velcro closed, making sure all the diaper is tucked in the cover at the waist and legs.

The Twist Fold

Some parents find the twist to be helpful if they are concerned about bulk.
Bulk is material between the legs and actually helps support hip development.

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Begin by folding the diaper down in the back and sliding it under your baby. Fold it down enough so the diaper will be at your babies waist in the back and below their belly button in the front.
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Take the diaper that is by your babies legs and twist it while you are bringing it up between their legs.
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Secure the diaper with the Snappi Clip, by beginning at the far side moving to the middle and ending with the side closest to you.
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Finish by putting a cover over the diaper. Confirm all the cotton is tucked in at the legs and waist and that the cover is well below your babies belly button.

Important Bits

Your baby should be perpendicular to you with your dominant hand doing the diapering.
The diaper should be waist high in the back and below the belly button in the front.
Form the “poop trap” by completely overlapping the sides.
Secure the diaper snugly with the Snappi Clip.
Make sure all the cotton is tucked in the diaper cover at the legs and waist.

Go further with our Diaper Service 101 workshop. Learn more »