Monday, December 26, 2011

Cloth Diaper Choices

I have been using cloth diapers for the last 3 1/2 years. I also used them 10 years ago, for the first year of V's life. So, altogether I have 4 1/2 years of experience.

Over the last decade, cloth diapering has exploded in popularity. When V was in cloth diapers, I didn't know another soul who used them. Now, even though I moved halfway across the country away from the granola capital of Austin, TX, I still run into other users of cloth diapers. Hurrah!

I'm not sure whether cloth is becoming more popular because there are more options, or if there are more options because they are becoming more popular - but I'm glad either way! Back in the old days, when the grandparents used cloth, they only had rubber pants to cover the diapers. Most people probably used flats, which is basically a big square of absorbent birdeye weave cloth. 10 years ago, I used Chinese prefolds with diaper pins and covers. I tried pull-ons, which were the cheapest, but they didn't adjust around my baby's skinny legs. I also tried ajustable velcro and snap covers. They gave me a much better fit, simply by their adjustability. I also tried wool soakers, especially for overnight.

When I decided to go back to cloth, when S was a few months old, I jumped right in with prefolds and bought some Bummis velcro covers without even thinking. I also was intruduced to the Snappi (a plactic device for holding the diaper snug without pins) and totally loved it. By the time he was potty trained, I was already diapering little A. I decided to branch out and try some other options. I tried Thirsties velcro covers, which worked comparably with Bummis, and I got some Flip adjustable covers. They are a bit cheaper than some other adjustable size covers, but I am not able to get a tight enough fit around my baby's skinny legs, so they are not my favorite. I do like that they fit my 4 month old and can also fit my 2-year-old in a pinch!

I am notoriously frugal, so I have mostly stuck to prefolds and covers rather than sized diapers, pocket, diapers, all-in-ones, etc. I do use disposables a lot at night because my babies have sensitive skin, are heavy wetters, and disposables fit better under pajamas then cloth diapers.

I recently purchased some BumGenius onesize pocket diapers and am ready to put them to the test. So far, I can tell you they do fit both M, at 4 months and A at 25 months (though admittedly, A is petite). They fit snug around the waist and legs and haven't leaked yet. They do need a little more particular care than prefolds. They need to be washed every 2-3 days in a special detergent (one free of phospates and other chemicals). Detergents such as Rockin' Green are sold where cloth diapers are sold. This is my first foray into other types of cloth diapers and I look forward to trying out several types on my little guinea pigs :)


Amanda said...

I wish I would have taken advantage of all your knowledge and experience while you lived here! I have been using pocket diapers and green mountain workhorse fitteds and have been happy with them. I also use disposable at night because I found that using cloth at night was waking El up. Switching to disposable meant a better night's sleep for everyone!
I am curious to know what you think of the different types. Keep us posted!

Editt said...

I'm with Amanda. Now that i have a washer and dryer maybe I'll convert but I needs someone's wisdom to guide me through.

Holly said...

Cloth diapering is the best :o)

Reianna Cambridge said...

I switched over too! I love it! I have made all my own prefolds and use bummis and thirsties for covers. I have not branched out yet but maybe on the next baby. I have a question for you...My diapers smell like ammonia and I wondered if you have had that problem. I have thought about using vinegar in the wash but I wonder if it would harm the covers? what do you know about vinegar and the diaper covers?