Cloth Diapers 101
Wait. Before you jump to conclusions. You don't need a piece of fabric folding in a complicated way. Nor do you need a safety pin to hold it on you baby's body. Unless you really want to. That's still an option. Cloth diapers have come a long way since our grandparents used them. We made the decision while I was pregnant with Jacob to use them. It was by far the best parenting choice we have made aside from baptism.
There is quite the selection when it comes to figuring out what method is best for your family. Currently on the market, you can purchase:
Prefolds and Covers
I’ll give you a quick breakdown of what each style is, where you can find it, and the cost of purchasing a brand new diaper with the particular style.
All-in-One diapers are very similar to how you use a disposable diaper. They are designed to be worn once and when your baby soils it, you put it in your laundry bin to be washed later. This style is pretty popular with parents who work and have another person watch their child. It requires no prep work before putting it on your baby. I found a newborn all-in-one on a resale page and it's not my favorite, but I don't absolutely hate it. The downside to this style is the diapers take a while to dry after washing. If this style appeals to you, be aware it's not one of the cheaper options. Thirsties is a company that sells this style and one brand new diaper retails for $19.75 a piece.
All-in-Two diapers are neat because they have both pocket and hybrid qualities. The outer layer is waterproof and the inner layer can be customized. You can use any insert you want and as well as however many your child needs. Some kids can get away with one insert while some need multiple. I do not have any diapers in this style, so I can't give my personal thoughts on them. GroVia is a company that sells this style and one brand new diaper retails for $16.95 a piece.
Pockets are by far our favorite style. I purchased all of mine brand new from Amazon because I found a great deal. With this style, the outer layer is water proof while the inner layer is soft like fleece. There is an opening in the back of the fabric where you put your insert. We really like these because they dry very quickly and we can customize them to whatever Jacob needs. After I wash them, it takes me less than 30 minutes to stuff all of my pockets with inserts. I find that stuffing the pockets beforehand instead of stuffing them when I change him is easier for us. It makes diaper changes way faster. Like I mentioned, I bought my pocket diapers brand new and I got them from Amazon. bumGenius is a company that sells this style and one brand new diaper retails for $19.95 a piece.
Prefolds and covers are more of the old school style of cloth diapering. Prefolds are a large piece of thick cotton fabric that can be folded into thirds. It is not waterproof and requires a Snappi to secure it around your child's waist. A cover is a waterproof fabric that just that. It can go over prefolds, flats, single inserts, and fitted diapers. I bought newborns cover preloved and I didn't use them too much because I didn't have anything small enough underneath for Jacob. I have one that's his size currently and I'm not too crazy about it. I think that's just because I need to get a good brand that I like. Green Mountain Diapers is a company that sells this style and covers start at $7.95 a piece. There are more expensive options available if you find that they work better for your child.
Flats are what your grandmother most likely used to diaper her children. This is something that works really well for some families. If you're wanting to be really hands on and go a more affordable route, this one is for you. Flats are a big piece of fabric that you fold and fasten around your child's waist. Flour sack towels are commonly used as flats. You can find them anywhere and everywhere. I got mine from Amazon and I've only tried to use them once. I don't think I did the fold right because it swallowed Jacob's little body. I've seen some mamas wrap flats around inserts to help increase absorbency. You do need a cover with this style of diaper. Buying Snappis are up to you. I've seen some mamas use them while other either tied or wrapped it around this child in a particular way to secure it before using a cover. You could always use pins like your grandmother did. Walmart sells flour sack towels and are $7.88 for a 10 pack.
Fitted diapers are a popular option for nighttime use. They are very absorbant, but do require a cover because they are not waterproof. The fabric is made with cotton and you can find them in numerous sizes. I have one fitted diaper and I haven't used it yet. Jacob wakes up often enough during the night that he isn't completely soaking through a single insert. Mother ease is a company that sells this style and one brand new diaper retails for $12.95 a piece.
Hybrid diapers are interesting. The outer layer is not waterproof, but there is a waterproof layer that can be snapped in. You can use disposable or reusable inserts in the waterproof layer. I have five of these and I personally do not like them at all. The only thing I can say that I like about them is they look neat and trim on Jacob's body. Other than that, he leaks in them so bad no matter what insert I have in. gDiapers is a company that sells this style and one brand new diaper retails for $18.00 a piece.
If you're looking into using cloth diapers, I suggest buying preloved through resale pages first so you can decide if that's the style you like. You don't want to purchase a whole stash of one style and wind up hating how it works with your child. Now that we have been using cloth diapers for some time, we have decided on using pockets for Jacob.
What we absolutely love about cloth diapers is that we can use them with multiple children! They can last us for years and it saves us so much money compared to buying disposables every week.
Until next time,