Tuesday, August 7, 2012

{the skinny on cloth diapering}

There are tons of options to choose from when it comes to covering your baby's tush.  This post explains what goes on my baby's tush.  In general we use cloth and sometimes we use disposables when we're out and about, at church, or are feeling lazy and don't want to be responsible for doing laundry.  We also always use disposable at night.  I know we don't have to and that there are night time options when it comes to cloth, but as of now, we haven't bothered trying

We stick to Pampers Baby Dry (12 hour protection) at night and the disposables we use during the day range from Target brand, to Luvs, to Pampers Swaddlers.  The Swaddlers are fancy because they have a faint yellow line on them that turn blue when your baby pees.  They are SUPER helpful for new dads (and moms) who are apprehensive about changing diapers due to lack of experience. 

the skinny on cloth

Once you decide on cloth, you have to learn the lingo and decide on which type of cloth you like best (or can afford).  AIOs, pockets, hybrids, prefolds & covers!?  I brought pictures to help explain.

AIOs (All In Ones)

I only have one of these.  They're called AIOs because there isn't any part that is detached.  It's all connected so once it's clean you just stuff the long part into the pocket and you're ready for round two.  They have laundry tabs, which means the Velcro flaps fold in on themselves so the scratchy part doesn't snag other things in the washing machine.  I bought this one at Mother Nurture
I think they would be excellent for travel and for care-takers who don't have CDing (CD=cloth diaper(ing)) skills. They are rather expensive, so it would be rough building your collection to have enough for a couple of days worth.  However, they are a ONE-SIZE diaper, which means they only sell one size, but it is adjustable with snaps in the front and Velcro waist, so once you have one set, it will stay with your baby until she is potty trained.

Pocket Diapers    

Similar in ease to the AIO, the pocket diaper differs by making you keep track of the absorbent part (stuffer) that goes in the pocket of the diaper.  Bumgenius is a very popular brand, but there are SEVERAL different brands that all make pocket diapers.  I have two pockets, one Bumgenius and one KaWaii Baby.  So once you wash your diapers, you have to sort the parts and stuff the diapers.  These are also a ONE-SIZE diaper that come in Velcro or snap closure.

Prefolds & Covers

Prefolds are the fancy name for "old school" diapers like the kind your parents may have used on you!  Gerber sells prefold at Walmart/Target, but watch out for the packages that are only labeled cloth diapers (sometimes "flat") and don't include the word prefold, they are just cloth that are not "pre-folded" in the middle to create a big absorbent part.  You can also buy prefolds in organic cotton or other choices and places like Mother Nurture.  Just like in the story If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, if you give a baby a prefold, he's going to need a Snappi.  You can continue the "old-school" style and use diaper pins, but if you can afford it, go for the Snappi.  They're super simple, nothing to poke baby (or you!) and a two-pack of these has served me plenty well.  If you're using only prefolds, you may find more is helpful.  If you give a baby a prefold and a Snappi, he's going to need a cover.  There are a HUGE range of diaper covers out there.  The job of the cover is to keep the wetness contained.  If you use cotton prefolds, they get soaked very fast and then your lap would also quickly be soaked.  The "old-school" choice was rubber pants, now there are diaper covers.  I have 10 cotton prefolds, 2 Snappis, and 3 Econobum covers and if I need to, I can go about a day and a half using only these (and a disposable at night).  If you give a baby a diaper cover, snappi, and prefold, he's going to need bigger pants.  Prefolds are VERY bulky.  Econobum covers are ONE-SIZE, but that is not true for all covers.


This term is used to describe diapers that are half cloth and half disposable.  The outter shell or cover is fabric and the inside has a part that is flush-able.  The kind of hybrid I use is gdiapers.  This is the main diaper I use, HOWEVER, I use a cloth insert instead of a disposable one.

I chose gpants because, in short, I liked 3 things about them:
3.  It seemed like less washing to me.

The down-falls in my opinion are that they are not ONE-SIZE diapers and they have more assembly.  There are tinys, smalls, mediums, larges, and even extra larges (not pictured).  You end up buying about them same amount of diapers though, and it's spread out instead of all at once, so I like that.  There are 3 separate parts to each diaper which means more parts to keep track of.     There are only 5 smalls in the picture, I've lent out one.

I actually like the separate parts because if the diaper is just wet, you only need to change the stuffer/absorbent piece.  If the diaper is soiled, you'll often need to only change the stuffer and the liner.  Then, on occasion you'll need to change the cover too (my husband refers to these as the gym-shorts!).  When making my main diaper choice I didn't like the idea of washing the entire diaper every time my baby wet it (which is what you'll do for the AIOs and pockets).

If you buy the baby bundle it comes with 12 tiny gpants and 6 small gpants.  I didn't end up using the tiny gpants very much because my son was 8lbs, 5ozs at birth so after we ran out of disposables we had been given as gifts, we moved pretty much straight to the small size.  The large size goes up to 36 lbs, so I'm hoping extra large will not be in my future and I'm praying my son will be using the big-boy potty at that point.  To be honest, if we're not trained at 36 lbs, I will probably use disposables rather than investing in a whole set of XLs.

The following is pictures of all the parts to the gdiaper.

 Small g-flapper/stuffer and Medium/Large g-flapper/stuffer (the absorbent part).

This is a biodegradable/flushable stuffer.  I rarely use them, they're more expensive than regular disposables, but they came with the bundle, so I've played with them a little bit.
This is a Small liner and Medium/Large liner that snap into the cover.  This is PLU material that keeps the wetness inside the diaper and off the cover and your lap!
This is an open flapper.  Its benefit is being able to dry quicker than having 5 layers all together to dry.  Also, I have a few "g-scraps" that can be used to give extra absorbency in the front for boy or middle for girls.

This is the cover with the snapped in liner and the g-flapper half way in.
This is the gdiaper stuffed and ready to go.  It also has laundry taps.
A gdiaper stuffed and closed up.  The 'g' goes in the back!

 A few last notes to this VERY LONG post.
  • Gdiapers Velcro in the back, which I hear is helpful when tiny fingers start trying to take their own diaper off. 
  • I've also heard that for pockets and AIOs, whose closures are in the front, snaps are best since they're harder for tiny fingers to unsnap.
  • Diaper covers don't have to be just for prefolds, you can also lay g-flappers/other absorbent materials in them, just be sure the layer that touches baby's tush is skin-friendly.
There is one more type of cloth diaper--the fitted diaper.  I haven't explored them, but you can read a bit about them here.

To learn more about what I think you'll need to start you're gdiaper collection, check out this post.

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