Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ok, you want cloth, what now?

I know that yesterday's blog was so convincing that if you have kids or are going to have kids in diapers you are more than ready to hop on the cloth least that's what I choose to believe.  So, what now?  Well, the good news is that there are many different options when it comes to cloth diapers.  The bad news is there are many different options when it comes to cloth diapers.  That can make it hard to decide.  I am going to be up front honest and tell you that I am by no means an expert and can obviously give the most info about what I have used (and will) but I will try to give a basic overview here and links so you can check it out on your own. 


These are what I would call most similar to your Grandma's cloth diaper.  They consist of a piece of cloth (flats are the thin flat cloth, prefolds have three heavier sections) that are folded around the baby and then pinnedor snappied into place.  This cloth then needs a diaper cover over it to prevent leaks.  The diaper cover is usually made of polyurethane laminate (PUL) and often comes in different prints and styles.  This is the most affordable of the cloth options because flats and prefolds are pretty cheap and while covers a little more expensive, you need about half of the number of prefolds you have (i.e. 30 prefolds, 12 covers).   Many people also find it the least convenient of the options.  This is what we used when Everett (our youngest) was a baby because we only had Fuzzi Bunz in size medium and this was the cheapest way to get him through this short stage in diapering since they grow so quickly this young.  For the record, my husband refused to change his diaper when we used these, and he is a pretty hands on dad, so if you want daddy changing nappies, you might want to keep that in mind.

These are nappies made out of cloth (hemp, cotton-try for organic) that are elasticized at the legs and waist, snapping shut.  This makes them very similar in style and ease to a disposable.  These are mid-price range ($11-$14/each) for cloth diapers and also require a diaper cover.  Popular companies that make fitteds are Kissaluvs (pictured above), Motherease, and Sugarpeas.

A word on diaper covers:
Since all the above styles require diaper covers, if you choose one of those you will need to find the kind of diaper cover you like best.  There are the PUL made with snaps or velcro.  I used snaps since I heard that velcro got stuck to everything.  Or there is wool, which many people consider the ultimate in natural cloth diaper because it is a natural material that by nature is antibacterial, breathable, and moisture-resistant.  However, you have to boil wool covers to clean them, so keep that in mind.  If you choose a diaper cover style, make sure you check out the many work-at-home moms that are currently making these products.

All-In-Ones (AIOs):
AIOs are most like disposables because they are the cover and the cloth ALL IN ONE.  Many people prefer these for the convenience but they can be less absorbent.  These usually range in price from $7-$16 depending on size.   Once again there are many WAHM options for buying these.  Or you can purchase them from one of the more popular companies like, bumGenius

Pocket diapers:
This is the style of cloth that I have the most experience with.  Pocket diapers are a layer of fleece sewn to a layer of PUL with an opening that can be stuffed with inserts (I used prefolds or microfiber cloths) to the level of desired absorbancy.  I started using these because that's what I saw my friends using (I know, I am so cliche) but I ended up loving my experience with them.  These tend to me the most expensive of the diapers ($12-$18 depending on size) but have the convenience of snaps or velcro making them similar to a disposable.  My experience has been with Fuzzi Bunz and has been a very positive one but there are other companies like Happy Heinys, and Swaddlebees.

A few other things to consider:
Other things that you will need include:
-A pail.  I just bought a trash pail with push top lid from Target)
-A Pail liner. You can buy a waterproof camping bag to save money or many WAHMs make these.
-Wet bag  These are for putting your diapers in when you are out so you can bring them home to wash them.  WAHM make great wetbags.
-Diaper friendly laundry detergent.  As always I recommend Charlie's Soap because it is inexpensive, non-toxic and can be used for diapers and all regular clothes.
-Diaper friendly diaper cream.  You don't want to stain your diapers or build up yucky residue.  After trying a number of brands, we have found we like Burts Bees best for diaper cream.  
-A friend.  If you want to ask questions, vent, etc...I am here for you!

Other helpful websites:

Whew!  I hope that helped.  Now I have to go change my baby.


Denyse said...

What a wonderful blog forum. I must say I'm glad my girls are old enough that the cloth vs. disposable debate does not affect us. I'm sure we're responsible for destroying the world in some other way, though. Thanks for raising awareness.
Oh! and thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving such nice comments. You're not only environmentally friendly, you're people friendly too! =)

Willo said...

Thanks for stopping by Denyse. How kind of you! Come back anytime!