Friday, August 19, 2011

Cloth Diapers?!?


These aren't your mamas cloth diapers. 

Cloth diapers these days are fancy and there are as many styles and brands as there are handbags and shoes.  Depending on your motivation to cloth diaper I would suggest some different styles.  
Take my three who's from before.  

The Ritzy Hippie
Your only concerned about the environment and money isn't an issue.  
I'd go with an AIO (All In One) - super easy, just put it on, take it off, wash, and repeat.  
Pro:  AIO's are the easiest cloth diapering system on the market
 (imagine a washable disposable diaper). 
Con: AIO's are the most expensive systems available 
Depending upon how frequently you do laundry you'll need about 10 diapers a day.
FYI - never go more than 3 days between washes - just trust me on that! 
They take a while to dry because all of the absorbency is sewn inside the diaper. 

The Anti-Chemical Commando
You only want the most natural things touching your little ones rear end.
I'd go with organic.
Pro:  Pretty much every brand has an organic option so you'll have have your pick on styles.  
Organic inserts tend to be more absorbent than their non-organic counter parts.
Con:  They are more expensive.

The Penny Pinching Parent
You need to save money or would rather spend the money 
on your little ones college fund rather than their poop catchers.
I'd go with a pre-fold and cover.
Pro: CHEAP, Cheap, cheap.  The cover can be re-worn over and over again (until it gets stinky or your baby's poop gets on it) and only the absorbent part needs to be replaced. 
 Because you can reuse the cover and not replace it for each diaper change you will save even more money on your total diapering cost. 
You would only have to buy one cover for every three pre-fold and the big cost is in the covers.  
Con:  Way more work to put on you'll need to purchase pins or snappi's to hold the diaper on under the cover.

Well, what if you're like me and you're a 
Penny Pinching Hippie Commando
You need to save money but want a convenient system that your husband will do 
and the grandmas/babysitters can figure out.
I'd go with a OS (One Size) / AI2 (All In 2).

OS's are sizeable diapers so you will only have to buy one or two diaper cover sizes to get your little one from birth to potty trained.
Pro:  This is one of the BIGGEST money savers. More and more styles and brands are offering an OS option.  With only one set of covers it's even less product you'll be consuming - and you know less consumption means less waste.
Con:  Make sure the brand you pick has true sizes.  A few OS diapers I've tried definitely would not have fit my newborn or wouldn't fit an average size two to three year old.  Also, many OS diapers have a snap rise to make it OS but as your little one gets older and their hands become a little more curious they can easily unsnap the rise making the diaper too big and leaky.

AI2's are a two part system with a waterproof shell and an absorbent insert that either snaps or tucks into place.  The inserts are contoured so you will have minimal folding/stuffing at each diaper change.
Pro:  You can use almost anything absorbent inside the diapers but the AI2 system will come with inserts (and doublers which are great used alone for newborns, or as your little one gets older for extra absorbency or nighttime).  They dry fast because the absorbent insert separates from the waterproof shell.  You can reuse the covers until they get dirty which will also extend the life of the diaper due to less frequent trips through the washer.  They are less expensive than an AIO system.  The general rule of thumb for cover to insert ratio is 1:3.
Con:  They are a bit more cumbersome to put on than an AIO system (but they are WAY easier than pre-folds).  Having a 2 part system becomes a bit of a juggling act when your little one starts solids and the poop needs to be flushed rather than just washed away during the wash cycle.   

Like I said in the beginning there are a ton of cloth diapering styles and brands.  So I would take the time to look around and find out what system will work best for you and your family.  A site that was invaluable to me during my cloth diaper search was Dirty Diaper Laundry they have really great info and video reviews.

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