Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cloth Diapering

Even though we are doing EC with April, she is in no way ready to be totally diaper free. It's true that for the first 10 days we did disposables but the wicked diaper rash she would get motivated us to take that step and go totally cloth. Cloth diapering does mean a lot more laundry but it is so much better for the environment and your baby's skin in the long run. A definite benefit to cloth diapering is that you notice when they need to be changed a lot sooner so your baby isn't sitting in a wet diaper for very long.
I've heard people say that if you use cloth you have more leaks but I've actually found it to be the other way around. We still put April in disposables when we are going to be out all day (I just don't want to be carrying around a bag of pooped cloth diapers) and they constantly leak. We've tried several different types of cloth diapers to find the right fit for her.

Prefolds are great. My mom made us some flannel ones using the pattern in the Handmade Home and I bought some unbleached ones from this great online store. Some people shy away from prefolds because they don't want to use pins but I recommend using a Snappi, then you don't have to worry about it.

Another style we tried was the one-size diaper. We tried the Motherease but found them way too bulky for the tiny infants. I've put them in storage and will try them again in a couple of months.

We have also tried the pocket diapers. We have the Baby Kanga and the Jamtots diapers. I think I like the Jamtots the best but they don't make the type I like anymore so I only have the one size. The Baby Kangas are not bad but are still a little on the bulky side for tiny infants. The way pocket diapers work is that you have a shell that has an opening either at the front or back where you slip a soaker or doubler into (or a folded up prefold which is what we usually do).
Back before I was even pregnant I won a couple of fitted diapers from an online store. I didn't mind because I knew I'd use them someday. In general they worked well. There wasn't much leaking from the legs or the back but I found the were either too tight in the leg or too loose across the belly. The other thing about fitted diapers is that they take a really long time to dry.
The last type we have and by far our favorite, are a cross between a fitted diaper and pocket diaper. We bought a whole bunch of  Kushies flannel diapers. They are not as fitted in the leg as a true fitted diaper but we like that better because April doesn't get red marks from the elastic. And unlike a true pocket diaper they already have a liner in them but there is a slot to put an additional liner in to these ones. They have a velcro close which makes for easy removal when we need to take her to the potty. And the flannel is really absorbent so I don't think we have ever had a leak with these guys. They are definitely the winners.

The thing about most diapers is that you will want to use a cover or you will be changing their outfits everytime you change their diaper. We used a couple fleece covers and wool covers but April doesn't really like when we are constantly pulling the covers up and down over her legs so we don't really use those anymore. Instead we bought a couple Kushies plastic covers and again our favorite, the Kawaii Baby covers. The Kawaii Baby covers have never leaked and are soft so they don't pinch or rub April's legs. I also like that they come with snaps instead of velco so they don't stick to everything else in the wash.
Now you might be looking at everything we have for diapering and think we spent a fortune. But if we used disposables we would have spent so much more. We also bought a lot of our diapers used. Some people think that's gross but I thoroughly check for stains and wash them well in really hot water before using them. I found the Motherease and the Kushies in online classifieds and got the pocket diapers at a consignment store.  In the long run, even with the increased amount of laundry, you will save a ton of money by going with cloth (and even more by doing EC but that's a separate post).
If you are interested in trying cloth diapers my suggestion would be to buy one of each type and find what works best for you and your baby. Each baby fits diapers differently and you will have your own preferences as well. Don't be discouraged if one type seems to be failing you, there is a better one out there.


  1. Yeah for cloth diapering! We started using cloth when our son was about 4 months old. I really like FuzziBunz and we use Thirsties at night with an extra liner (it comes with snapped together microfleece and hemp liners) and can't complain. We did use two Bum Genius diaper as well but didn't prefer them. IF we decide to have another child someday, I am most definitely going to start cloth diapering from the get-go with just prefolds and wool covers.

  2. I found cloth diapering right from the beginning tough. I did it for a day when she was just 3 days old but went back to disposables until she was 10 days old. I just couldn't cope with the extra laundry and she really hated the covers. But if it's not your first child it might be easier.
    Prefolds are great. I really love the quality of the ones we have and the snappi just makes it so simple.