Organic Cloth Diapering & Wool Covers for Toddlers

We had high hopes of liberating our oldest son from diapers at an early age, and while we never intended to push potty learning on him, we did try to encourage him to become aware of his elimination from the time he was tiny.  We were thrilled when he began enthusiastically using the potty before he turned two-  even more thrilled since we had baby #2 on the way!  The arrival of his baby brother wasn’t quite as easy as we had anticipated, however, and try as we might, our strong-willed toddler began resisting the potty and asking for diapers again. 

Now, at nearly 3 years of age, he is back in diapers full-time.  Not wanting to fight or push him to do something he clearly wasn’t ready for, we have begrudgingly given him back his diapers, which seems to be a safe place for him, and we’ve decided to let him show us when he is ready for the potty again.

toddler dipes2

And so we find ourselves diapering two children, one of whom has grown quite large.  Many of our “one-size” diapers no longer fit him, despite the manufacturers’ best efforts to create something that would fit all babies from birth through potty training.  Since potty training takes place at a different age for each child, one never knows how long diapers will be needed.   In our case, we needed to find diapers and covers that fit a child well over 35 lbs.

Wanting very much to continue our love affair with wool & diapers made from natural fibers, we naturally wanted to use organic cloth diapers with wool covers for our toddler as well as our baby.

So what are the best cloth options for a large toddler?   We tried a wide variety of cloth diapers on our toddler, and here we share a few of our favorites- we have chosen these because they fit him well and they perform well.   All of the diapers shown in these photos are pictured on our 3-year-old.

Organic Cloth Diapers for a Toddler

Disana Tie Nappy

This timeless nappy was brilliantly designed, and so far, it is the only diaper we have found that is an authentic “one-size” diaper- from birth through toddlerhood.  You can fold this diaper down and tie it snugly enough to fit a newborn, and unfolded and tied with still more room to stretch, this diaper will easily fit a much older child as well.

toddler tie nappy

When to use it:  Day or night.  For nights when you need lots of absorbency, fold an extra double or even a prefold inside, and your toddler should be set for the night.  This diaper works best with a wool soaker since the rise is higher, but it can be worn with a wrap cover as well, as long as the rise on the cover is high.

Engel Organic Cotton Fitted Diaper, Size 98/104 (2-3T)

It can be somewhat challenging to find a fitted diaper that actually fits a larger child, even in sized options.  Engel’s fitted diaper in the largest size is quite generously sized, and its softness and absorbency makes us love it even more.  With nearly a 10 inch rise and an aplix closure that allows for more freedom to adjust the waist on a larger child, this diaper fits most toddlers comfortably.

toddler engel

When to use it:  The Engel fitted diaper is by no means the most trim of fitted diapers, but its high quality and thick, absorbent organic cotton make it a favorite in our home.   In spite of its bulk, we use it day and night.  The rise is high, so like the tie nappy, it fits best with a wool soaker, but it can be worn with a high-rise wrap cover as well.

Tiny Tush Trim 4.0 One-Size Fitted Diaper 

The Tiny Tush One-Size fitted diaper is one of our favorite fitted diapers because it really fits babies from a very young age through toddlerhood.   A tiny newborn can wear the snap-in doubler as a contour diaper on its own, and most infants can begin to wear the fitted diaper on its smallest setting when they are one to two months old.  Likewise, this diaper still fits many toddlers at or over 35 lbs.  Our toddler can still comfortably wear his Tiny Tush one-size diaper, snapped on its largest setting, and the diaper leaves no red marks on his skin.

toddler tt

When to use it:   This fitted diaper is great for day or night.  It comes in organic cotton or an organic cotton/hemp blend, so you can choose hemp when you’re looking for even more absorbency.  This fitted diaper has a moderate to low rise, to it’s an excellent choice for both wraps and pull-on covers.

OsoCozy Organic Cotton Fitted Diaper, Toddler Size

The OsoCozy fitted diaper is a basic, no frills diaper made from organic, birdseye weave cotton.  The toddler size fits our 3-year-old perfectly and leaves no red marks; the fit is gentle around the legs and there is no hidden elastic at the waist, so he can move comfortably.  This diaper is packed with absorbency as well- the thick layer in the center makes this one a true workhorse.  A great choice for a toddler, it’s trim fit make is excellent for daytime.

toddler osocozy

When to use it:   Anytime!  This is a great daytime diaper because it’s fairly trim, and it could also be used at night with an extra doubler.   The rise is moderate to low, so like the Tiny Tush, you can use it with either a wrap or a pull-on cover.

Kissaluvs Organic Cotton/Hemp One-Sized Fitted Diaper

This is another excellent choice for a toddler.  It’s a bit thicker and therefore more bulky than some of our other fitted diapers, but the hemp/cotton blend make it super absorbent and gives it a fluffy, fleecy soft texture.  A snap-in liner is also included when extra absorbency is needed.  This diaper fits a toddler fairly well when snapped at its largest setting, but it is slightly more snug around the thighs than the Tiny Tush or OsoCozy, so it may not fit as well on a chunky-legged toddler.

toddler kissaluvs

When to use it:  Anytime- especially great for night time.  There’s a little bit of bulk, but it’s certainly trim enough for daytime, and the rise is not too high, so wraps or pull-on covers both work well.  The hemp fleece gives this diaper a “stay-dry” effect.

Disana Organic Cotton Fitted Diaper, Size 86/92 (12-24 mo)

This diaper pleasantly surprised us by fitting our toddler at 35+ lbs, even though its size indicates a 12-24 month age range.  This is a generously sized fitted diaper, and the fit is comfortable on our toddler and leaves no red marks.   The diaper is made from Disana’s super-soft organic brushed cotton flannel, which seems to get even softer with each wash, so it feels lovely next to baby or toddler skin.

toddler disana

When to use it:  The shape is rather unusual- there seems to be a bit of extra fabric in the back of the diaper, making it pooch out a little in the back (and also accommodating those extra large toddler poops!).  This is only noticeable when the diaper is worn without a cover- once you put a cover on, its soft material easily fits into any cover, the diaper is trim and works well with either wraps or pull-on covers.

Organic Cotton Muslin Flat

Last but not least, the organic cotton flat.  This is an excellent, affordable choice in diapering that fits newborns and toddlers with ease.  Our organic cotton muslin flats have a permanent spot in our cloth diaper stash, and the same flat is worn by our 8-month-old one day and our 3-year-old the next.  Organic cotton flats are available in lightweight muslin from Engel and Disana, or from a thicker birdseye weave from OsoCozy.   There are unlimited possibilities of methods for folding a flat, and we have tried many, but the fold we always fall back on for our babies is the “Jo” fold.   This fold seems to be the most versatile when it comes to fitting both small and large babies and is shown on our 3-year-old below:

toddler flat

Wool Covers for a Toddler

Disana Wool Soaker, Size 110/116 (4-5T)

The Disana cover in size 110/116 (4-5T) is very generously sized, so if you have a toddler who needs a diaper cover, this is one of the best options.  Since wool soakers have no closures, you can really stretch them and make them fit your child for even longer than the age range indicated.  These are excellent for older children who still wet the bed at night as well, fitting most children well into the ages of 4 or 5, and sometimes older.  Pull-on covers are comfortable for children of any age, and they slide easily on and off like a pair of shorts.

When to use it:  While most parents will choose a wool soaker as a night time solution for toddlers or older children who are still not night trained, a toddler can wear a soaker during daytime as well.

Engel Organic Wool Soaker, Size 98/104 (2-3T)

Engel makes a lovely wool soaker from soft knitted organic merino wool, and its largest size, 98/104 (2-3T), is so generously sized that it’s nearly identical in size to Disana’s size 110/116 (4-5T).  This size fits our toddler just right and still allows  for plenty of room for growth.  Wool soaker are fabulous for toddlers who are still in diapers full-time or for kids who aren’t quite night time potty trained and need some protection for nights.

engel xl

Disana Boiled Wool Cover , Size 98/104 (2-3T)

Disana’s boiled wool wrap runs very large, so size 2-3T should fit most children up to at least 3 or 4 years of age.   With a rise measuring a whopping 11 inches and a waistline that stretches to around 23 inches, this cover was clearly designed with the un-potty-trained 3 or 4 year old in mind.  This is another nice option for a child who needs a little more night time protection in case of accidents.

toddler disana boiled wool

When to use it:   We prefer this for night time or naps.   The rise is high, and the cover is unusually shaped, so during daytime it can be obtrusive for a baby who is just learning to sit or walk.  For a toddler who is very competent at walking and running, obtrusion of mobility isn’t an issue with this cover.  However, this is not a trim cover, so some parents prefer this for nights.

Wool Longies

Wool longies are a great investment for an older baby or child, and you can get even more use out of them if you are cloth diapering.  Use the wool pants as a cloth diaper cover while your toddler is still in diapers, and once potty trained, you can of course continue using them just as pants during the winter months.  Disana wool pants are a favorite for this purpose, and they come in large sizes.

Flushable Liners

Flushable liners deserve to be mentioned when discussing cloth diapering a toddler.  These liners make messy diapers a little easier to clean.  OsoCozy and Disana both make nice disposable liner option.

Which cloth diapers have you found that still fit during toddlerhood?

16 responses to “Organic Cloth Diapering & Wool Covers for Toddlers

  1. This post is so helpful because we have a 3 year boy that is kind of dragging his feet with potty training. His 18 month old sister is now showing interest and making more progress than he is!

    • I’m so glad this was helpful for you, Anne! I wouldn’t be surprised in the least bit if our youngest son learns how to use the potty before his big brother does…

  2. We really like tie nappies for our toddler. 🙂

  3. GMD XL workhorses are a go to for larger children.

  4. You should try the mothers ease sandys toddler fitted. Very very nice FItted that will fit 40lbs+ soft and absorbent great under a wool soaker. Also good for if your son decides to jump on the potty train again, you can easily pull them up and down like a trainer!

  5. I was hoping this would be an entry all about training pants-style diapers, since we’re talking about toddlers here. I check back at stores like these every once in a while, hoping there will be better and/or more affordable products out there, for those of us who prefer cotton/organic cotton.

    Just to offer my $.02, I found that reading Jill Lekovic’s Diaper-Free Before 3 really helped me understand that there’s a middle way–pressuring a child too early can backfire, but it’s also important to give toddlers some independence. The solution? Thick cotton underwear or trainers that they can pull up and down, and a wool (or vinyl, if you don’t want to spend the money) cover if needed. And stock up on elastic-waist pants & shorts, too 🙂

    Hope to see more trainer choices in the future. I have some Little Beetle learners, some Hanna Andersson and Under the Nile training pants, and a couple pairs of Bummis. Only the LBs have snaps on the side.

    • Thanks for your feedback! Truthfully, we have yet to try training pants with him yet. When he learned how to use the potty a year ago, we stopped using diapers cold turkey and let him go commando most of the time initially. A month or two later, he was wearing underwear all of the time & using the potty regularly, so we had skipped the training pants all together. Ever since he began resisting the potty, he has always specifically requested diapers, so I hadn’t really considered the training pant option, but I think I will look into this. We do carry the organic cotton training pants from Under the Nile in our store, so perhaps those paired with a wool pull-on cover might be the way to go. We will be bringing in a few more organic cotton training pants with snaps on the side & wool trainers with organic cotton inserts in the next few months, so be sure to check back with us. I’ll be sure to write another future article on organic training pants. 🙂

      I should mention that most of the diapers in this article are pretty easy to remove quickly from a toddler- most days, at home during the summer, he doesn’t even wear a wool cover and instead wears only a fitted diaper or tie nappy. The tie nappy is the only diaper here that can be a little slower to take off of your toddler, especially when it is very wet and the ties are soaked.

  6. Vanessa Feinman

    Thanks for all this info. I have a very large 1 year old, far from toilet training who will probably be in diapers for at least another year. At that point I expect him to be the size of at 3-4 yo. What I’d really like to know are what are some of the brands – styles – of non wool covers that I can use with the diapers you’ve mentioned here. I have used the wool covers with the disana tie ons but it is so hot and humid here that the wool covers do not air and dry adequately in the summer.

    • Hi Vanessa, I’m glad this was useful for you. Since our boys wear mostly wool, I don’t have too many suggestions on PUL covers that fit large babies and children.. We do have a Kissaluvs one-size PUL cover that still fits our 3-year-old, and he can wear that over all of the diapers mentioned here except for Engel fitted (the rise is too high). I don’t have any other large PUL covers to compare it to, however, so I’m not sure how large of a child other brands will fit.

  7. Hi. I am so glad I found this post. My 3 yr old is only daytime potty trained. Currently, at night, we have her in a Bumgenius pocket diaper with a kissaluv wool diaper cover, but the bumgenius diaper is quickly running out of room. I get confused when people call it a wool soaker, can I put her in the wool cover alone? I was thinking of buying some wool soakers/covers similar in style to the kissaluv ones that I have since we have an infant now who is using the covers at night too. I have some hemp doublers, and was wondering if those could just slip right inside the wool soaker and work.

    • Hi Kate, thanks for your comment! I can see what you mean by the term “soaker” being a bit confusing, but wool soakers DO need an absorbent cloth diaper underneath to prevent leaks. Wool by itself is incredibly absorbent, but if it is used without a diaper underneath, it will absorb all of the moisture and then soak right through. Using a pocket diaper with a wool soaker over it as you described is a very good nighttime solution, and wool soakers can also be used over cloth diapers that do not already have polyester covers. A fitted diaper with a thick wool soaker at night works very well. Hemp doublers are excellent for night time- they are very absorbent, but they are not sufficient on their own. I would suggest adding one of your hemp doublers to a pocket or fitted diaper and then using the wool soaker over that. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  8. Thank you so much for this article Bethany. I have a 35 lb 22 month old girl and I see no sign of her slowing down growth! Since most “one-size” diapers/fitteds say they will fit to 35 lbs, we are getting in the upper range of what will fit her. Good to know there are some other fitted options out there. I have the disana cover and LOVE it. We got the 4T-5T size for her and I actually think it’s too big. I am going to get the smaller size and save the larger one for next year. She is showing signs of potty training and goes on the potty a lot, but with the arrival of a little brother here just after she turns two, I foresee setbacks just like I did with her older sister (now almost 4). Thanks for all these great articles about wool, for newborns, toddlers, full time. I just read through all of them and am getting inspired to use wool full time too.

  9. What a great indepth article. There are just so many types and styles nowadays as wearing cloth diapers is becoming ever so much more popular. You just have to pick the right one for you and your child.

  10. Very help full post. My son is 23M old, very large Toddler and started potty training 3 month ago. He is doing great during the day but nights have to be covered. I used cloth during day time since he was 5 month old and added night CD routine a couple month ago. My kinda leak proof solution (sometimes it holds all and then i have leaks from time to time..) is first a MyChoice trainer with bamboo/cotton prefold as soaker and if he wets it during night i take a GroVia AI2 with small bamboo prefold wrapped around their booster on top of AI2 soaker. First option works for size perfect but leaks sometimes, second works as well is just super bulky, stiff and the snap closure starts to press on hip bones…
    Now i found those great choices! I will try the Engel with their wool cover. Thank you for posting all those options!!!

  11. Brilliant nappies and covers. I love them all

  12. Very help full post.

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