Back by popular demand!
I wrote this blog post two years ago when I first started cloth diapering Tera. Seriously…two years ago, and it’s still one of the most popular posts on my blog (another popular one is one I didn’t want to EVER publish about how we got fleas. Hahaha.). People ask me for the link to this one all the time. So I thought I would repost it with updated information and pictures! And that way we don’t have to go back two years to find it. Although the pictures of Tera are so darn stinking cute that I just have to leave those. My big girl is potty training now and really only uses about one diaper a day (during her nap)!
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! But 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. A lot of people will buy cloth diapers in newborn size and then just get all in ones as the child grows.
Can you spot the differences in the picture above? In the picture above, I have all the snaps open to create the biggest size in all three diapers. Below, I snapped them up to all be different sizes (largest to smallest, left to right). Those are one-size, because they can be smaller or bigger depending on where you snap them.
- Snaps/Velcro: Long gone are the days of pinning cloth diapers on! Now, the option are: 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!).
- 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:
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). As you can see from the picture below, the insert is sewn into the cover and is non-removable.
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. The insert slides into a pocket. When washing, you take the insert out and wash it removed from the cover. You can then dry the insert in a dryer while air drying the cover.
This is very similar to a pair of cloth potty training underwear. It is absorbent enough to hold pee/poop, but should be worn with a plastic cover over it.
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).
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).
My personal opinions on the type of diaper:
- I have only ever gotten one-size diapers. I have used those since Tera was about 3 weeks old, and they are still going strong. I love that I have only had to buy one set of diapers for her entire diapering experience!
- I dislike all-in-ones because they take FOREVER to dry. You can’t put cloth diapers in the dryer, and these ones are so thick that they take 3x as long as the other diapers to dry.
- Pocket diapers are growing on me, but they do take a little bit longer to stuff/prepare
- The original diapers that I bought (the flip covers with inserts placed on top) are still my favorite! I like them because they are so easy to clean/wash, they were one of the cheaper options and they dry really quick (plus I CAN throw the inserts into the dryer, just not the cover part)
- I originally ordered 15 covers and 25 inserts and was probably doing diaper laundry about twice a week. As we went through our diapering journey, I added a couple diapers to my collection here and there and I have enough now to cloth diaper two children full time and do diaper laundry 1-2 times a week (come back tomorrow for another post on laundering cloth diapers!)
- I am not loyal to any particular brand name, although my flip covers/inserts have been my favorite for two years running. I will say, however, that I don’t advise scrimping and getting cheap, off-brand diapers. If you are a regular reader around here, you know that I will ALWAYS choose the money-saving, off-brand item, but cloth diapers is one area that I will not. It’s not worth it! Go for the brand name stuff.
- I have never used cloth diapers at night. I just never took the plunge and we have always used disposable diapers at night. So, I have no experience in that area!
(My beautiful covers! Not pictured: several doubles of some of the colors)
Phew, so far this is a very long post! So check back tomorrow for Part II: How (and why!) I use, wash and store my cloth diapers!
And more pictures of this adorable one….
….and now she looks like this:
((somebody hold me))