Cloth-Bottomed Babes, You Make the Rockin’ World Go ‘Round
When most people hear “cloth diapers,” they think of rubber pants, but today’s generation of cloth diapers are nothing like their ancestors. Cloth diapers are now easier to clean and use than they have ever been before. And, as an added bonus, they are stylish and trim. Still, cloth diapers are more work than their relatives-the disposables- but they do have their benefits: They are better for the environment, they cost much less (at least $1,000 less), and they keep unwanted chemicals and toxins away from babies’ skin. For these reasons, many parents are choosing to cloth diaper, some full-time, while others just do it part-time. If you are thinking of jumping into the world of cloth-diapering, or at least testing the waters, you should first know what type of diaper you are looking for. You need to take into consideration the amount of labor, cost, and bulkiness when choosing a cloth diaper.
All-in-Ones: These are the easiest cloth diapers to use. Everything you need comes in one piece. You put them on your child just like you would a disposable, and best of all, they grow with your child (using several adjustable straps or snaps). These are also some of the trimmest cloth diapers out there and are available in many cute designs. These diapers are so easy to use that many daycares will agree to use them. The only downside is that they are the most expensive cloth diaper.
All-in-Twos: Almost as easy as All-in-Ones, but they are cheaper. These diapers have an outer shell and an insert. To use, you simply snap a liner in on the inside of the shell. Typically, the child does not dirty the shell, only the liner, so, for most diaper changes, you only have to simply unsnap the liner and snap in a new one. Shells only usually need to be changed daily. These diapers are extremely easy to use, trim, and more cost-effective than the All-in-Ones. You can find All-in-Twos at Paris Baby. We use them and love them. We also use Best Bottom All-in-Twos with organic hemp liners. They come in great colors and patterns. Grovia also makes a hybrid diaper. Instead of using only cloth inserts, you have the option of using disposable ones.
Pocket Diapers with Inserts: These look similar to disposable diapers, but they have pockets on the inside to stuff absorbent inserts. These are more cost-effective than All-in-Ones or All-in-Twos, but they are also bulkier. Fitted Diapers with Covers: These diapers usually are fitted using snaps or velcro, and they typically have elastic in the legs as well. Covers are needed for this type of diaper, but they typically do not require pinning. They are more cost effective than any of the above mentioned diapers, but they are also bulkier.
Prefolds and Flats with Covers: These are similar to traditional cloth diapers and require pining. These are the most cost-effective diaper, but they are extremely bulky,especially if you are used to disposables. You may have difficulties finding pants that fit your little one using these types of diapers.
Care for your cloth diapers is dependent on the brand and type of the cloth diaper. For my All-in-Twos, I simply knock of any solids into the toilet (or use a diaper sprayer if it is stuck on), and then throw them into a dry pail. If they are only wet, I just throw them into the pail. At the end of the day, I wash them. I use the pre-soak feature on my washer to soak them in cold water, then I use a regular wash cycle, and I do an extra rinse. They only require a minimum amount of special detergent; I buy Ecos at Walmart because it works and it’s cheap! Then, I simply hang them to dry or put them in the dryer. It is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, and it is not nearly as gross, either.
Still on the fence? Here are some other testimonies from moms who use cloth diapers:
I chose Bumgenius 4.0 with snaps because of the microfiber inserts that pull the moisture away from the skin. We have had no leaks or rashes in 9 months: ) my son also has not figures out how to take his diaper off yet because they snap instead of Velcro. The washing and stuffing of the diaper was a little much in the beginning but now it goes super quick!
Our stash is really varied, mostly because I have diaper addiction, I can’t see a cute diaper without buying at least one. We use a combination of prefolds with one size PUL covers, pockets, and all-in-twos. At home, we use prefolds because he has really chunky thighs and most pockets cut into them, but when we go out I like to take the all-in-twos and pockets because they take up less space in the diaper bag and they make for a quicker change. The biggest part of our stash is prefolds because they are very cost effective (I paid $1 per diaper for ours). Saving so much money on diapers allowed me to spend more money on one-size covers in super cute patterns.
If you are still interested in giving them a try, I would recommend buying a couple and starting out part-time. If you feel like you can manage it, buy more. If not, continue to use the ones you have when you have the time. It isn’t an all-or-nothing thing. Every family is different.