March 28, 2014

Modern Cloth Diapering- Series 1


So you know how I told you in this post that I was going back to cloth diapering Rhett? I have had quite a few readers and friends ask questions about cloth diapering since I started and so I asked my go-to cloth diaper friend to help me out. So today I am excited to share the first of a new series of posts about cloth diapering written by my friend, mom of four and cloth diaper guru, Lisa.
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Modern Cloth Diapering Series 1

Gone are the days of safety pins and rubber pants. Although old style diapering still has its advantages, modern cloth diapers are easy, cost effective, versatile and super cute. There’s a whole cloth diapering world out there that I’d like to introduce you to!
Before cloth diapering, I had the same thoughts a lot of parents do. They’re gross, time consuming and an overall pain in the rump. On a whim, I borrowed a fitted diaper with a cover from a friend. From that moment on, I was hooked. Even after watching pee trickle down Charlie’s (my 2 year old) leg that first day!
Cloth diapering will be different for everyone. You will have your favorite type of diaper, favorite detergent and wash routine, best diaper cream, etc. I know what works for me may not work for you, but let’s first talk about the basics so you can make an informed decision since there are many different types of cloth diapers.

Prefolds are an essential part of cloth diapering. They’re economical, easy to clean, come in every size from birth to potty training, are easily stuffed in a pocket diaper, and can be used as cleaning rags once your child outgrows them. I’ve even seen them used as grease catchers for bacon. They require a waterproof cover and have longer drying times because the material is thicker. They also require a fastener such as diaper pins, snappies or boingos if using inside a standard cover. They’re very easy to clean and come in many different fabrics such as cotton, bamboo and hemp. (pictured right are Imagine prefolds sold by nickisdiapers.com which have a buy one give one program for those in need)

Flats are what you would consider the old school diapers. They’re large pieces of fabric that you fold around the baby. They have a learning curve but once you get the hang of it they’re very easy to use. They’re also very economical, easy to clean, dry very fast and can be a one size fits all. They also require a waterproof cover and fasteners. They’re extremely easy to clean and dry very quickly in the dryer or on a clothes line.

Fitted Diapers are very similar to a prefold but they are shaped like a diaper so no folding is needed. They also come in many different fabrics such as cotton, bamboo and hemp. They require a waterproof cover and if they do not have snaps, they require a fastener. They’re extremely absorbent and very popular as a night time diaper because the entire diaper is absorbent and has less potential for leaking. They can cost anywhere from $5.00 to $35.00 depending on size, material and manufacturer. Because of their thickness they have the longest drying time. (Pictured is a Kissaluv 2.0 fitted sold on Abbyslane.com)

Pocket Diapers are waterproof covers that have an opening to “stuff” with an insert. Most Pocket diapers come with microfiber inserts because it is relatively cheap and absorbs quickly. You can get as cheap or expensive as you want with a pocket diaper when it comes to the insert. You can use microfiber, cotton, bamboo, hemp, flour sack towels, old t-shirts, wash cloths, etc. They are a favorite of mine because you can easily change the absorbency by using more inserts or different materials inside the diaper. The inside of pocket diapers is usually made from a fleece type material which gives your baby a dry feeling similar to a disposable because it wicks moisture away. But they can be lined with non-synthetic fabric such as bamboo. They’re very easy to clean and dry quickly. They come in one size options or sized diapers. (Pictured  is a Bumgenius One Size pocket diaper next to a newborn microfiber insert and a small babykicks hemp/cotton insert) and the other is my 2 year old daughter Charlie in a one size Bumgenius pocket diaper)

All in one diapers are most similar to a disposable because they require no extra work. You simply put them on, fasten with snaps or Velcro, then take them off. There are many varieties to an all in one diaper. Some have extra openings similar to a pocket diaper to add absorbency, detachable soakers, tuckable soakers, etc. They’re very easy to use but can be very expensive. Some moms (and dads, including my husband) say they’re more difficult to get clean, but I have not experienced this. They also have a longer drying time. (pictured right: top left Original Bumgenius Elemental one size diaper, top right Bumgenius all in one size small with a pocket to add inserts, and bottom is a Blueberry Simplex size large diaper) pictured below is my daughter Annabelle at 13 pounds wearing a Blueberry Bamboo Simplex one size diaper).
Covers are waterproof “shells” that go over diapers and are commonly made from PUL (polyurethane laminate) and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). They come in sized and one size options and can be used multiple times before washing.  Unless pooped on, just wipe out between uses and change the diaper or insert. They’re very easy to clean and air dry in an hour. Pairing covers with prefolds and flats is usually the cheapest form of cloth diapering.
Now in case you’re totally confused or have experienced information overload, my best suggestion is to get a few of each type of diaper and try them before committing. See them in person, feel them, put them on your baby or a baby doll and see what you like best. You can always sell or trade later.
And YES, I said sell or trade! I think over half of my cloth diaper stash consists of used diapers. That will be another series along with trouble shooting, washing, a DIY clothes line, and wool! Stay tuned.

Thank you to my two favorite online stores http://www.abbyslane.com/ where shipping is always free and http://www.nickisdiapers.com/ for their buy 1 give 1 program. Please put my name in the comment box during checkout at abbyslane.com! Lisa Ross Schrag.

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Lisa did a great job explaining the different kinds of cloth diapers. For Rhett I use the pocket diapers and all-in-ones. Blueberry Basix and Bum-Genius 4.0 are my favs, just in case you were wondering! I have 22 diapers which is more than enough for me to do cloth diaper laundry every other day now that he is over a year old. If y'all have any questions, please leave us a comment and either Lisa or I will respond! This was all new to me when I started and Lisa has helped me out a lot.

Fluffy-bottomed Rhett

Stay tuned for the next installment and Happy Friday!

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