Where to begin?
Three months ago I was probably as clueless as you. Ok, for some of my readers..I was probably MORE clueless. I had no clue where to even start getting a clue. Cloth diapers are no longer pieces of cloth that are pinned onto a baby. I don’t even think you could find diapers like that if you tried.
So I’m going to lead you, dear reader, down the path of no return…
The path of cloth diapering!
The first crash course I received in cloth diapering was from my sister-in-law. She has cloth diapered all three of her children, and so she has quite a stash. She also has several different types, and she showed me each one and pointed out all the pros and cons, at least for her and her lifestyle. This was SO helpful, and I highly recommend talking to someone who cloth diapers before diving into the cloth diapering journey.
The next thing I did was hit up these two websites:
Both of these websites not only sell alllllllllllll the different types of cloth diapers, but they also provide information about each type. I could get lost on both of these websites for days! So helpful!
It took me about two months of research (and putting it off) before I took the plunge and ordered our diapers. Even after talking to my sister in law, researching, waiting for sales, etc, I was still hesitant to spend over 300 bucks on something that my baby will poop on. I also had no clue which type I actually wanted. I was so overwhelmed by all the pros and cons of each, and how the reviews often stated that particular diapers were best for fat/skinny babies, or for certain lifestyles. I had no idea if my baby would be fat or skinny, and I was really afraid I would spend all the money and get it all wrong! I finally took the plunge, and ordered some cloth diapers!
Here is a low-down of some of the terms/types of diapers:
- One-size: This diaper has snaps that will make it bigger/smaller, allowing you to fit this diaper onto newborns all the way through potty training. Otherwise, you need to order cloth diapers based on size, and keep ordering new ones as the babe grows.
- Snaps/Velcro: The option is to get snaps or velcro diapers. I’m sure that snaps require .2 seconds longer in changing the baby, but otherwise I think that they are the way to go. The snaps take less wear and tear from the washing machine and a child is not very likely to figure out how to undo snaps (unlike velcro!). Plus, I think they look cuter!
- Inserts/Covers: This part was sooo confusing to me, because I thought cloth diapers were just the cloth part. No, no, no, no! Silly me. Cloth diapers are so much more now! There are two parts: the inserts (the cloth part!), and the cover. There are many different combinations of these two as you will see below.
(Insert on the right, cover on the left)
And here the main types of diapers that you can buy nowadays:
- All-in-ones: This cloth diaper is pretty much a disposable diaper, except you wash it instead of throwing it out. The cover and the inserts are sewn together, washed together, dried together. They are one (hence, the name).
- Pocket Diapers: These diapers have the cover and the inserts separate. In order to use the diaper, you slide the insert into a pocket that is part of the cover. Inserts and cover get washed separately, then put together before use.
- Fitted Diapers: Honestly, I don’t get these ones and I would love to see one in person. Basically, it is an all-in-one that needs a cover over it. Go figure. I’m not very helpful on selling those ones to you!
- Diaper Covers: There is also the option to get covers and inserts, and simply put the insert right on top of the cover (instead of into a pocket). (This is what I have)
Now, don’t get me started on brands and different types of inserts. I haven’t gotten that far on my cloth diapering journey yet.
Here is what I ordered:
Flip Covers with Inserts. I ordered the diaper covers with the inserts that simply go on top (instead of in a pocket).
As I’ve mentioned before, there are lots of pros and cons with each type of diaper. The first reason I ordered these ones was because they are the cheapest. They may not be the most convenient or the easiest to use, but they are by far the cheapest. I also ordered these because I wanted to cut down on the laundry loads I’m doing. Doing so much extra laundry can bring up water/electric bills, and make cloth diapering NOT cost saving- it’s something to think about! This option cuts down on the laundry because the inserts and the covers are separate. When Tera pees, or has a well-aimed poop onto ONLY the insert, all I have to do is take our the insert, wipe down the cover and put a new insert in! This is not the case with pocket diapers- when the babe pees/poops, both the insert and the cover need to be washed. This way, I may have to wash lots of inserts, but sometimes I can make one cover last all day! This saves not only laundry money, but also cuts down the need to order SO MANY cloth diapers.
I actually find using this type of diaper super easy. It might require one more step than disposable or all-in-ones, but that step takes 3 seconds- folding the insert to put it in on the cover. I do this during the diaper change, and it works out perfectly for me. A lot of people who buy pocket diapers do this step as part of their laundry routine. As soon as the inserts and covers are dry, they spend an extra few minutes stuffing the inserts into the pockets, and then their diapers are ready to go straight onto the bottom! (Like I said…pros and cons to everything!).
The only thing that I am slightly worried about is when Tera becomes mobile. Since the insert is simply placed on top of the cover, I’m worried that it’s going to bunch or move when Tera is sliding and scooting and crawling. I haven’t ever heard of that problem happening, but in my head I can just see it happening. I’ll let you know how it goes. But for this newborn/immobile stage- I have NO complaints about the Flip diaper covers/inserts.
I ordered 15 covers, and 25 inserts. This allows me to go 2-3 days without having to do diaper laundry (so, I wash diapers 2-3 times a week). They have a lot of color options, so I pretty much ordered one of each, and then doubles of some of the colors that I really liked. But I soon found out that the colors don’t really matter. Unless it’s summertime and really hot, nobody sees the diaper cover anyways.
(My beautiful covers! Not pictured: several doubles of some of the colors)
For now, we are still using disposable at night, when we go out and if she has a butt rash. I don’t really know why I don’t use cloth at night for right now. Most people don’t use them because they often don’t hold a whole night’s worth of pee. BUT, at the stage we are at, Tera doesn’t sleep through the night and we change the diaper at least once every night….so I could totally be using my cloth at night. I don’t put them on her when we go out simply because I don’t want to have to carry a soiled/pooped on piece of cloth around when I’m out and about. Although, they do make wet bags for that. I also wouldn’t want to put cloth diapers on her if I knew someone else was going to be changing her. It’s no more gross to me, but again- you have to deal with the cloth after the diaper change, instead of just throwing it in the trash. As far as the butt rash goes- it is recommended to not put cream on with a cloth diaper, because the diaper will absorb it and it won’t wash it, effectively ruining the insert. Usually, however, babies are much less likely to get a rash when they wear cloth.
Phew, so far this is a very long post! So check back soon for Part II: How (and why!) I use, wash and store my cloth diapers!
And more pictures of this adorable one….