Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cloth Diapers-Overview of styles

Using cloth diapers has become quite popular and mainstream!  At first glance, it can seem quite overwhelming!  I hope to give an overview of styles, brands, uses, and care that will ease your search for the perfect diapering solution!  

Prefolds and waterproof covers- Prefold diapers are rectangular cotton, layered and stitched together.  They are very absorbent and affordable.  They can be folded and pinned or 'snappied' onto the baby and covered with a waterproof cover that will snap or velcro on.  Prefolds can also be tri-folded and laid into the cover and then put on the baby in one step.  The waterproof cover can be reused until it gets poop on it, then it needs to be washed.  I love Green Mountain Diapers for prefolds.  They are the highest quality out there and come in many sizes to fit your growing baby.  As for covers, you can choose sized covers for a more trim fit or you can get adjustable 'one-size' covers that grow with baby.  For sized covers, I love Bummis SuperBrite and for OS covers, I love Blueberry Coveralls.  

All-In-Two/Hybrid- A hybrid system uses a shell with a snap-in soaker pad.  The soaker pad is removed when wet and the shell is reused with a new soaker pad snapped in.  You can reuse the shell until it smells soiled or gets poop on it, then it needs to be washed.  This system is easy to use and travel with, but does cost more than the prefold and cover system.  A great brand for Hybrids is GroVia.  They are a One-Size diaper and they fit Paisley when she was only 6 days old.  They probably would have fit from day one, but we waisted until her umbilical stump fell off and healed a bit before using OS diapers.  

Pocket diapers- The feature that sets pocket diapers apart is that they put a 'stay-dry' fabric between the baby and he absorbent part of the diaper.  The diaper is constructed out of a waterproof fabric shell, lined with a wicking material.  There is an open 'pocket' between these two layers where you stuff something absorbent.  Most pocket diapers come with microfiber inserts.  However, I dislike microfiber and replace them with prefolds as my 'stuff-ins'.  I love BumGenius pocket diapers.  They are well made, one-size, and have either velcro or snap closures.  

All-In-One diapers-  This style of diaper is very similar to disposables in that there is no folding, stuffing, or snapping.  You just put the diaper on the baby, attach the velcro or snaps, and go!  They are generally made of organic cotton on the inside, which allows baby to feel wet when she needs a diaper change.  These diapers are trim and absorbent.  Some people complain that they take too long to dry, but I have not found that to be the case.  My favorite brands are GroVia AIO and the BumGenius Elemental.  They are both one-size with snap closures.

Fitteds and wool-  This is a bit more of an 'advanced' diapering system.  It is also the most spendy.  A fitted diaper is an all cotton diaper that has elastic at the legs and waist and snaps or is pinned closed.  It is NOT waterproof and needs a cover.  Generally fitted diapers are designed to be super absorbent and are quite bulky.  They are a popular night time choice when paired with wool.  Wool is a great fabric as a waterproof cover.  As a fabric, it is absorbent, but each fiber is not absorbent.  This allows moisture to evaporate faster than it absorbs.  So, you can put it under PJs and it will keep baby's clothes and sheets dry!  It is also antimicrobial.  It is breathable in summer and insulating in winter.  A few popular brands for fitteds are BuBuBeBe and SustainableBabyish.  Wool is easily found on Etsy or HyenaCart.  WoollyBottoms, Kangadu, Disana, and Sloomb all make good wool.  

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