Intro to Cloth Diapers: What is a Contour?

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As part of the ongoing series: Introduction to Cloth Diapers, I am explaining the plethora of options that new and experienced cloth diapering parents are faced with.

Contours are the best kept secret in cloth diapering.

A Contour is a non waterproof cloth diaper that can be made from any absorbent material.  It is shaped to fit around the baby’s legs and has tabs that fit over the belly.  There are no snaps or velcro so a Snappi or Pins must be used to secure it.  Contours can be Sized or One Size.  They can have leg elastic or not.  Contours are an especially appealing option for newborns; easier than Prefolds and cheaper than Fitteds.  A contour can easily be sewn at home.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive compared to fitteds.
  • Easy to get a very custom fit around the waist using a Snappi (or pins).
  • Can be absorbent enough for nights (depending on brand)
  • Fold over rise makes (free size) makes for a perfect fit.
  • Can be made at home with little sewing skill.

Cons:

  • No snaps/velcro looks harder to use and can be for parents new to Snappi’s or Pins.
  • Fold Over Rise adjustments take practice to learn where to set the rise.
  • Some Contours are made with few layers of fabric so a doubler is needed for most babies.
  • Not available in many cloth diaper stores past the newborn sizes.

So far my favorite contour to use has been the Pooters brand.  This Contour is extremely affordable at 6.00, however many parents might find it needs a doubler.

If you are hoping to cloth diaper your baby from birth and don’t want to go the prefold/cover route, Contours are a great compromise.  The adorable Kissaluvs Newborn Contour is inexpensive (although more so than prefolds) but is easier for Dad when used with a snappi.

You can find the One Size Kissaluvs Contour at my affiliate, Kelly’s Closet.  The Pooters One Size Contour can be found on PootersDiapers.com.

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Kim Rosas began Dirty Diaper Laundry in 2009 out of a desire to help more parents understand modern cloth diapers. She lives in Florida with her husband of 5 years and her two boys. Even though none of her boys wear diapers anymore she is still just as committed to promoting them. In her spare time Kim enjoys video editing, photography, and coffee.
  • Kelsie Harris

    Thanks for the video. I only recently heard about contours at all, but I had no idea what they were or what the difference is between a fitted and a contour. These look so easy to use and affordable.

  • JoJo

    Thank you for this. I do have one question (maybe a dumb one, sorry, I’m a newbie). Seeing as these aren’t waterproof, are you supposed to use a cover with this type?

    • kimrosas

      Yes you will need a cover.

      Please excuse typos and brevity. Sent from my iPhone


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