1 Outer, 3 ways! The Story of How a Single Cloth Diaper Cover can Solve all your Diapering Needs

1 Outer, 3 ways! The Story of How a Single Cloth Diaper Cover can Solve all your Diapering Needs

There’s nothing we love more than a multi-purpose product!. The more jobs one item can do, the better it is for our planet, your wallet, and your family! If you haven’t met our Outers yet (these are what we’ve called our adorable reusable diaper covers) they are the ultimate multitaskers. From keeping poop contained INSIDE the diapers to making things oh-so-cute when you take your baby to the pool… our soft and breathable yet hardworking Outers can be used not one, not two, but THREE ways! And each one will make your life a little easier. (and your baby’s bum a little cuter 😉)


Way #1: Outer as a Cloth Diaper Cover

The first and perhaps the most obvious way to use your Esemby Outers is as a reusable diaper cover over our Inners (this is what we call our organic cotton fitted diapers).

For those that might not be familiar – Esembly cloth diapers are made up of two parts: an Inner (organic cotton fitted diaper) and an Outer (waterproof diaper cover). The Inner provides the absorbency and the Outer keeps moisture and messes contained. They work together to make a blowout-proof cloth diaper!

No using Esembly Inners? No problem! Our Outers can be used over other brands of fitted diaper, prefolds, flats, contours, etc. 

Diaper Cover Design Note: Instead of bulky double gussets, we worked with our tech designer to create our Outer leg openings with a unique cup shape and special elastic to ensure that all messes stay contained inside while keeping the cloth diaper trim and comfortable.

Pro Tip for using your Outers as Cloth Diaper Covers:

​Outers can be used multiple times before needing to be laundered. So when you change your baby's diaper, remove the Outer and set it aside to dry (no need to rinse it!), putting on a fresh Outer over a clean Inner. Then, with the next diaper change, switch back to the first Outer (or a different one if the first isn't dry enough yet), and so on and so forth. However, if any poop gets on the Outer, it will need to go straight into your Pail Pouch till laundry day. 

You can read all about how to launder your cloth diapers The Esemby Way here on our blog!


Way #2: Cloth Diaper Outer to cover up a Disposable Diaper

As most of us know, disposable diapers are notorious for blowouts (aka poop explosions, diaper leaks, etc). Baby poop is liquidy and forceful and determined to find its way out. Disposables are designed to be worn for just a few hours then thrown away. So it makes sense that their elastics and materials can only do so much. Talk to any new parent friend who uses disposables and you will likely hear their horror story of poop shooting up the babies back into their hair, or out the legs and all over the carseat straps, or all over the crib during a long nap. Yuck! We’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. Disposables will be disposables BUT you can give yourself extra protection by covering them up with an Outer diaper cover! This way when the inevitable poopy mess sneaks its way out of the sposie, it will get caught by the Outer

Using our Outer for this purpose is easy. Simply secure the disposable diaper on your baby as you normally would, then fasten the Outer over the top! And be sure to check that all pieces of the diaper are tucked into and covered up by the Outer.

Travel Tip!

Have a long day of car travel coming up, or maybe taking your little one on their first plane ride? Even if you’re using disposable diapers, our Outers can be your secret weapon to ensuring you NEVER have to deal with a messy blowout on-the-go. (because blowouts are already just the worst… but a blowout while you’re on a plane?! 😩🤢) 

This hack is for beyond just traveling. We’ve heard our Outers have saved the day at family photo shoots, baptisms, and holiday gatherings… so even though this is our “travel hack”... it’s really more of an “anytime-you-REALLY-don’t-have-time-for-a-blowout” hack 😉

Way #3 Cloth Diaper Outer as a Reusable Swim Diaper

We have a little secret for you. We designed our Outer diaper covers to double as swim diapers! To use them for swimming, simply remove the cotton Inner part of the diaper and use the Outer on its own. (Swim diapers should never be absorbent. They are only there to catch poop.) Speaking of containing poop, when fastening the Outer on your baby, make sure you have a nice snug fit at the legs and waste so messes stay safely inside. 

You can use Outer Swim Diapers under a baby swim suit if you’d like, but really – with our huge selection of adorable colors and prints, who needs a bathing suit! Pair your Outer with a matching swim shirt/rash guard and your baby is ready for the pool or splash pad!

Pro Tips for using your Cloth Diaper Outers as a Reusable Swim Diaper (from veteran swim diapering parents!)

  1. When your baby outgrows their Size 1 Esembly cloth diapers, hang onto a few Size 1 Outer diaper covers and use those as reusable swim diapers. The Size 1 Outers will give your toddler a nice snug swimmi fit.
  2. If you're planning to spend a full day at the beach, pool or lake, bring multiple reusable swim diapers with you this way if one gets soiled you have back up. 
  3. Esembly Overnighters make great swim diaper companions. While you're hanging with your baby poolside, instead of using an Inner under your Outer slip an Overnighter inside your Outer/Swim Diaper instead. Then right before you get in the water with your baby, slip your hand in the back and slide the Overnighter out. Some families find this easier than having to unsnap the Outer/Swim Diaper to remove an Inner. Just keep in mind that an Overnighter is not as absorbent as an Inner and if your baby does wet or soil the diaper you may end up with a leak, so proceed with caution if you're not in a location/situation where dealing with that kind of mess is acceptable.


  1. This likely goes without saying but NEVER EVER leave your baby unattended in or near the water. Even if they are in a safety-approved floatation device. An adult should always have eyes and a hand on a child in the water.
  2. Swim diapers (this applies to all styles of disposable and reusable swim diapers) are designed to catch thicker poop. For newborns with liquidy poo and older babies that may be experiencing diarrhea the swim diapers will be less effective. Proceed with caution (especially in a public setting).
  3. Swim diapers should fit nice and snug around the waist and legs to maximize poop containment.
  4. Check your baby's swim diaper often (at least every 15-30 min) to ensure it's not soiled. 

One Cloth Diaper Cover – Many Uses

So whether you are cloth diapering, using disposables, or taking your baby to the beach- make room for Esembly Outers in your diaper bag! 

If you’ve been successfully using Outers as a reusable swim diapers or Outers as diaper covers over disposables and think you might be ready to try cloth diapers, let us help you make a smooth transition! (And remember, it’s not all or nothing! You can read more about part-time cloth diapering tips and tricks here on our blog)


Want to learn more?

Our co-founders host a free, virtual, Cloth Diapering 101 class every month to help cloth-curious parents get all the tools and information they need! You’ll learn:

  • How to use the Esembly diapers and accessories 
  • How to easily and effectively launder your Esembly diapers
  • The impact that your choice has on the planet, your wallet, and your day-to-day. 

You'll leave with the confidence to Live Less Disposably and a 20% discount code to use on your first order. 🥳 We hope to see you there!

Sign Up for Our Next Cloth 101 Class

Have Questions? Sign up for our next Cloth 101 Class!