Do I Need Special Clothes for Cloth Diapers?

By April Duffy •  Updated: 05/03/24 •  3 min read

Looking for cloth diaper clothing that fits well? In this post, I discuss what to look for, and where to find the tried-and-true clothing that is sure to fit over even the fluffiest of cloth diapers.

Wait, do you need special clothes for cloth diapers? Not really. Cloth diapers will fit under most baby clothing, but not all of it, and you may need to adjust what you buy slightly to make sure everything fits and is as comfortable as it needs to be.

What to Avoid When Shopping for Clothing to Put Over Cloth Diapers

The fact is that cloth diapers are fluffier than disposable diapers. That extra fluff and bulk is the trade-off for the cost savings, health, and environmental benefits, and comfort cloth provides.

That extra fluff can’t be crammed into some of the slim-fitting, non-stretchy pants and onsies you find in some clothing shops.

This is not only a comfort issue, but compression leaks can happen when clothing is too tight over cloth diapers. You can read more about compression leaking here.

What Clothing Fits Well Over Cloth Diapers

Dresses and tights are a great option for cloth diapers, but of course not for all babies. For both genders, look for loose-fitting pants, stretchy fabrics, or even made-for-cloth items

At first, these things might seem hard to find, but once you know where what you’re looking for, cloth-friendly clothing is actually everywhere.

Below, I’ve posted some clothing ideas and recommendations to help you find cute and functional cloth diaper clothing that fits even at the big box stores like Walmart and Target.

Cloth Diaper Friendly Pants

Cloth-Friendly Pants at Target

I first caught onto the cloth diaper friendly brand of pants available at Target through the Thirsties Facebook Group. If you’re not a part of that group, and you’re wondering what the heck Thirsties is, it is a cloth diaper brand that actually manufactures its diapers in the United States.

If you are a member of that group, you can check out that post by just searching within the group. Here’s a shot of the original post with sensitive information blocked for privacy purposes:

After reading the comments, speaking to a number of folks in that group, and then discussing it over at the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook group, it turned out that it isn’t just the “MC Hammer” style of Cat & Jack pants, but all Cat & Jack pants, in both girls and boys.

This is good news because while the specific pants mentioned in the Facebook post are long sold-out, Target regularly stocks updated styles of Cat & Jack pants for us cloth diaper parents.

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Diaper-Friendly Pants at Walmart

When looking for Cloth Diaper friendly clothes at places like Walmart, stay away from leggings and jeans, and take a second look at the cotton sweatpants.

These infant sweatpants are the perfect shape and size to accommodate most daytime cloth diapers, plus they are cheap and plentiful at Walmart.

Look for Lamaze and Garanimals brands of sweatpants for a sure bet as these brands have worked for many cloth diaper parents for a number of years.

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We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

April Duffy

April is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 75,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through this website, her book, her YouTube Channel, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group.