Thursday, August 13, 2009

Adventures in Cloth Diapering Part III

Prefolds, pins and rubber pants – A thing of the past?

Google the words cloth diaper and you will see results like “one-size diaper”, “all-in-one diaper”, and “pocket diaper”. In can be quite overwhelming to try to navigate the booming world of cloth diapers – at least it was for me. Now that I have given birth and used a cloth diaper or two, I feel like I know the ropes enough to share with you what I have learned about cloth diapering in the twenty first century. The following is a short tutorial on the different types of cloth diapers and their pros and cons.

Prefolds, Snappis and Covers

The most traditional method of diapering uses a prefold diaper, which is a rectangular absorbent cloth, pins (or a Snappi) and a cover to prevent leaking. Prefolds usually come in three sizes; preemie, infant, and premium. Not only is this the most traditional method, but it is also the least expensive. One prefold diaper can cost around $1 - $1.50 (and are very handy for activities other than diapering) so you can see why many parents choose this method. When using a prefold, you will need to fasten it with pins or a fun invention called a Snappi. A Snappi fastens the prefold in place just as pins would have done, but instead uses the same kind of technology you would find on an Ace Bandage fastener. A Snappi will cost around $2-3. Now you’re not done yet, because the prefold itself is not waterproof so you need a cover. Covers come in all sorts of colors and varieties but you can pick one up for around $7-10. Put the prefold, Snappi, and cover together and you have a diapered baby!

Fitted Diapers and Covers

Does using a prefold make you wary? You’re not alone. Very similar to the prefolds but easier to use are what we call a fitted diaper. These may or may not need a pin/Snappi in order to fasten to baby. The advantage of this kind of diaper is that they will give a more contoured fit and they tend to be a whole lot cuter than prefolds (but just like prefolds, they make a big bulky baby butt!). These diapers cost around $10 - $17 a piece depending on the brand. Just as the prefold isn’t waterproof, neither are fitted diapers. You will need a cover for these diapers as well.

All – In – One Diapers

Just as the name suggests, all-in-one diapers have all the parts to a cloth diaper (absorbent material and fasteners, surrounded by waterproof material) all in one piece. These diapers are very easy to use as they are no different than using a disposable diaper (other than the fact that you wash and dry them!) it’s no wonder parents reach to these diapers first. Popular brands of all-in-one diapers include BumGenius and Thirsties. Since these diapers are in once piece and don’t come apart for washing, these diapers will take the longest to dry. You could dry them thoroughly on two dryer cycles or you could use the free sunshine and hang them outdoors. All-in-one diapers can cost anywhere from $15-30.

Pocket Diapers

Pocket diapers are not that different than all-in-one diapers. The big difference between the two is that the absorbent insert is removable through a pocket located in the back of the diaper by the baby’s butt. These diapers have a tiny bit more work involved, but the removable insert solves the drying dilemma. These diapers dry just as fast as a prefold or a fitted diaper! Another benefit of pocket diapers is that you can increase the absorbency of the diaper to fit your needs. It is very easy to add an additional insert, or soaker, for heavy wetters or overnights. Popular brands of Pocket Diapers are PocketChange, FuzziBunz or Happy Heiny’s and can cost anywhere from $15-30.

One-Size Diapers

The diapers we have discussed so far have one thing in common – they are sized. A one-size diaper is just what you think – a diaper that grows with your child. Instead of having to buy diapers in every size from infancy to toddlerhood, these diapers are extremely economical because you only need one set. Also, these diapers are pocket style so you can increase and decrease the absorbency. Popular brands of one-size diapers are BumGenius, Whamies, FuzziBunz, and Happy Heinys and can cost anywhere from $15-30.

As you can see, choosing to cloth diaper will give you more options than ever. It can be economical, earth friendly and easy! I hope this tutorial has been informative for you. Next time I’ll discuss cloth wipes!

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget that there are also the hybrid option now - gDiapers. These diapers have a cloth outer layer and inside snaps the waterproof layer that can be cleaned & reused & dries within 10 minutes of washing. The outermost layer & waterproof layer can be used over and over again. For absorbancy there are now two options - biodegradable disposable inserts or cloth inserts. You can also adjust aborbancy accordingly. You can also use prefolds as the absorbant layer if you want. They come in 3 sizes and some super cute gPants. I haven't used them yet, but will be in the next few months.