Everything You Need To Know About Cloth Diapering a Newborn

As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan and advocate of cloth diapering, and am immensely looking forward to doing it all over again with the little man. We didn’t start with them until Marley was around 6 months old, so I missed the itty bitty stage completely. But I have since become quite well versed in  most things cloth diapers. During my work with Snugglebugz and through this little blog, I am proud to say that I have helped a number of people make the decision to forgo disposables and go the cloth diaper route. Yes, that’s a humble brag, but I am really happy to help people make sense of the cloth diaper world, make a difference in our environment and the materials they use on their precious babies.

One of the things I knew when I got pregnant this time around, without a shadow of a doubt, was that I wanted to cloth diaper right from the hospital stay. Because we started late last time, most of my (huge) clot diaper stash is either pink or larger sizes, so this presented a bit of a project for me: Because we are expecting a boy this time around, I am currently selling off my more girly diapers. Thanks to the discovery of some local buy/sell/swap cloth diaper groups. Yes, I am super sad about some of it, especially my adorable Goodmama’s. Heart wrenching, I tell you. The other project being that I still have quite a few one-size pocket diapers (mostly BumGenius 4.0 snaps, which I adore), and AppleCheeks size 2’s (which I love even more, and am considering switching all of my diapers to them!) in neutral colors. Great, right? The only issue I have, is that I personally find that the one-size diapers don’t fit baby the best until they are around 10lbs, and even then, they tend to be on the bulky side.

So I had some thing to consider, options to weigh, budgets to look over. How would we chose to cloth diaper this little man, in the best way that fit our family, schedule and lifestyle? It was like starting all over again, just on a smaller scale. I figured that since I was embarking on this adventure myself, I would share the info and process with anyone else who is potentially doing the same thing. So here we go!

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When making the decision to cloth diaper a newborn there are quite a few options out there, and when you go to trusty Google, you might become a tad overwhelmed. The cloth diaper community is huge, super helpful and so varied, that it’s easy to drown in piles of info and recommendations. In the end making the decision on how to diaper your newborn comes down to a two key factors:

  • Cost: How much are you willing/able to commit to building a diaper ‘stash’? There are some more affordable options (prefolds and covers), and some easier but more expensive options (All-in-one’s). Figuring out a solid budget is the first thing you need to do before you start looking. Trust me, it’s easy to spend a ton of money, if you want. I have become a big fan of buying diapers second-hand, as gross as that may sound to some people. If diapers have been taken care of properly, they hold their value quite well but you can still get quite the deal buying this way. Check your local Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook groups and ask lots of questions before purchasing.
  • Time: Are you wanting to cloth diaper all day, every day? Are you wanting to only cloth diaper at home, or part time? Figuring out what your realistic commitment to this is key to figuring out exactly how many diapers you should have. Many people choose to go the disposable route for a few weeks, then switch to cloth once they are settled into a routine and feel like they can handle it better. There are some brands of disposable diapers that are quite environmentally conscious out there: Seventh Generation and Naty Diapers to name two.

Once you figure out these key things, you are ready to figure out what kind of diapers to buy, and how many of them you will need!

My recommendations for newborn cloth diaper styles and building your stash: (for a more comprehensive look at diaper types, check out my Cloth Diapers For Dummies post, here.)

  • Research Brands: While there is a huge array of brands to chose from, a simple google search of the brand name and style will usually weild a handful (if not more) reviews. Make sure to check them out and go with ones that sound like they will work for your family/budget. Some of my personal favorites are: AppleCheeks, BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Thirsties, Goodmama and Kwaii (a super affordable brand).
  • Start buying early and pace yourself: If you space out purchases, it’s much easier on your wallet and gives you time to buy rationally. I had friends who decided early on in the pregnancy that they wanted to cloth diaper, they did all their research and knew exactly what they wanted to buy. They then put out a budget and bought a diaper a week, spacing out the expense and making it more manageable. This way, you may also come across a sale or great deal on second hand ones. Don’t feel like you have to buy everything at once.
  • How many diapers will you need? Well, how often are you planning on washing them? I recommend doing your diaper laundry every other day, cutting back on any smell and to keep your diapers in tip-top shape. The average newborn will be changed every 2 hours or so, meaning you will need 12 diapers per day, or 24 diapers (or inserts/prefolds etc) for a two day rotation. If you require covers, I would suggest 5-6 covers. I do recommend having a few extra on hand, because you never know and it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
  • Style of diapers: Here is where you are going to run into the varied opinions, and where you really have to let your lifestyle/budget do the talking. When we first made the switch to cloth diapers, I did a breakdown of the types of diapers, you can find it here for reference.
  • Prefolds and waterproof covers – The most budget friendly way to cloth diaper, period. That being said, in my opinion they are not the most convenient or easy to use and can be a bit bulky. I would have a VERY hard time convincing my husband to do it this way, as it takes some practice and knowledge. I have heard great things about EconoBum, from the makers of BumGenius, and they have more info here. I also hear raves about the Bummis system, more info on them here
  • Fitted diapers and waterproof covers: This is probably the second cheapest way to cloth diaper, and how we started out with Marley. The nice part with this option, is that you can potentially reuse a cover for an entire day, provided it doesn’t get dirty. Less laundry and less to buy. I was and still am a huge huge fan of the Thirsties Duo Wrap (the best diaper cover on the market, in my opinion) and the Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted
  • All-in-one diapers: Hands down the easiest, most convenient form of cloth diapering out there, but also the most costly. These diapers are the most like disposables, as in they don’t have pockets or anything to fuss with, you put them on and remove them like a regular diaper. This is the route I am planning on going for the very newborn stage, using the BumGenius Newborn (formerly the sized all-in-one, now only available brand new in the newborn size XS). I am only going this route for ease and because I have found some great deals on second hand ones.
  • All-in-two/Hybrid diapers: Another easy and affordable option, with these you can use the diaper as a pocket or lay the insert on top and reuse the cover as long as it is clean. These are very versatile, and often offer a great fit for even the smallest newborns. I am a huge huge fan of AppleCheeks and am planning on using these once the baby grows out of the all-in-ones we have.
  • One-size pocket diapers: This would be my least favorite option for the newborn stage. Why? Personal preference. I find that even on the smallest setting, these don’t fit a baby properly until they are around 10lbs or more, and once they do, they can be a bit bulky. I love them for a bit later on, and have quite a few BumGenius 4.0 and Fuzzibunz and a few of the very affordable Kawaii pocket diapers. I have some friends who swear and have loved their one-size pockets from very early on, and it’s great on your wallet because you are not buying multiple diapers in various sizes.

So there you have it, my best advice on cloth diapering a newborn, and what you need to get you on your way of planning. I am embarrassingly excited to be building a newborn/small stash up and I’ll make sure to keep you updated on how that is going. AppleCheeks generously sent me a size 1 starter kit, which I gleefully unpacked and squeed over the cuteness of and am so excited to use once the baby comes. What does Jason think about my geeking out over diapers of all things? He laughs and shakes his head and thanks everything that it’s not a purse/shoe addiction I have, becuase that would be much more expensive. But I mean, seriously, just LOOK at the complete cuteness of these:

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So now I have to ask: Do you cloth diaper? Have you tried it? Are you thinking of trying it out? Leave me your thoughts or questions in the comments section, I would love to hear them.

Mexico Vacation Time!

We are outta here, as of 6am on Tuesday morning. Wahoo! I have been packing and organizing like a fool, and then I realize that maybe I should figure out what *I* am going to wear all week…? *looks down at huge belly* yup. Haven’t thought that one through too well. So I tried to look through my maternity clothes from my pregnancy with Marley, I mean I was pregnant all summer, and wouldn’t you know it: NOTHING. Like, what did I wear the entire time? So I took a deep breath and pulled out some of my regular skirts and shorts, hoping that maybe I could get away with those with a Bella Band. You know what? Not nearly as depressing as I thought! I comfortably fit into a few pairs of shorts, and some of my maxi skirts are perfect. Thank you very much, hello ego boost. I made a trip to Old Navy and picked up a few basic maternity tank tops and am ready to go.

Oh, and I bought a bikini that will hold in these out of control boobs. Yes. A bikini.

Why not, right? I do have a couple tankini’s from last time I was pregnant, that are perfect, but I have no issue flaunting my bare belly in a bikini. Trust me, there are regular looking men and women that will be on the beach with me that are much worse for the wear. Plus, I’m sure the babe will enjoy the warmth of the sun.

Now, will I post pictures of myself in said bikini? That’s another story, let’s see how those photos turn out.

Marley is super duper excited, although I’m not sure that she entirely gets it. Jason is one of those people that doesn’t really get excited until we are sitting in the airport, waiting to take off. I, on the other hand, am crazy excited for some warmth and sunshine. For someone who was born and raised in Canada, I hate hate hate the cold, so this is like a piece of heaven for me. Heat does not bother me in the least, bring it on.

On a really exciting side note, the day I come back is January 15th, and I have been asked to be a expert panelist for the #myGreenBaby Twitter party! I am so honored and excited to share my knowledge. If you are on Twitter, or are interested at all in cloth diapers, I urge you to sign up and join the fun. There are some really exciting prizes, other great experts and amazing brands taking part in this event. To RSVP for the party, please go here: http://www.theecochic.com/2013/01/01/invited-green-baby-shower-mygreenbaby/ and to get updates and reminders on Facebook, please go here: https://www.facebook.com/events/147492752066990/ I hope to see some familiar faces, and am looking forward to having some fun!

Oh, and heres a photo of Marley passed out while waiting for her finger and toe nail polish to dry. I mean…

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Myrtle Beach Vacation Pictures!

Hey everyone! I’M HOME!

I had a fantastic vacation with the family, we had amazing weather and it was so much fun. That is, aside from Marley getting 2 molars and waking up at 2am every night. Let’s just say that Jay and I had way too many walks on the beach at 2 am than I would like to say. We did survive though and as the weeks went by she seemed to get better. Wahoo!

We had a 17 hour drive down, and the plan was to do it all in one shot, with no stops except to pee and get gas. Mission accomplished! We left at 7pm because it is Marley’s bedtime and she slept the whole way down except for a couple hours in the morning! I couldnt be happier, I was so nervous about how Marley would handle being confined in her car seat for that long. I can’t praise the Britax Marathon enough! No flopping forward while sleeping and she was so comfy the whole time. I will do a bit more of a write up about the trip later, but I am dead tired and have a million loads of laundry to do. For now, here is a picture overload for you all!

Keeping entertained in the car

Playing in the pool with Popa

Bathing Beauty

She LOVED playing with buckets full of water.

Nothing better than line drying CD’s on the beach

My favorite shot of the trip. Marley and Daddy

Family shot. Nice tanlines eh?

Marley got a doll stroller for her Birthday. She is in love.

As soon as I unbuckle her from the carseat she twists herself out and stands up like this.


I cant explain how much she loves the beach and the ocean.

Birthday cake

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Step Into My Office

My swanky, pretty NEW office! Isn’t my blog SOOOOO pretty?!?
Becca at Jumping Jax Designs has done a great job and is a dream to work with and her prices are great. If you are looking for a new look, I highly recommend her. I love the design so much, and it suits Marley and I perfectly.
There are still a few things that need to be tweaked here and there, so hang in with us as we perfect my new surroundings.
In other news: I have not heard back from the winner from the H2O Plus review and giveaway, so I went to Random.org and drew another name. Congratulations to JSC123! I have sent you a email and a tweet, please respond within 48 hours.

Anywho. I am at the cottage, and it’s amazing. Cozy, fun and very relaxing. Marley has had 2 teeth break through and surprisingly it was pretty uneventful. She has been a little more clingy and whiny, but nothing too crazy. All very exciting stuff. We are going for a long boat ride to check out the multi-million “cottages” and homes on the lake, aka wishful thinking. Must be nice.

Andplusalso? It rained like a mo-fo yesterday afternoon and I had my Flip diapers and Thirsties Fab Fitteds out on the line to dry. No clean, dry diapers in the cottage. Ya. I’m THAT idiot. “Look at me! I can cloth diaper for a whole 10 days without a proper washer and dryer.” I.AM.A.DUMBASS.
The washing part is totally fine, and so would the drying part, except I didn’t think about rain. We aren’t exactly around the corner from a store that has diapers of any kind either. So what do I do? I turn the oven on and dry my diapers in there. Very carefully.
VERY CAREFULLY.
Ok, I *may* have singed one a little. It just looks a little toasted, that’s all. It still does the job.
Again: I am a dumbass.

Things I Have Learned While Cloth Diapering

What Works For Someone Else Might Not Work For You.
Every kind of diaper fits differently, every company’s diaper fits differently, every baby is shaped differently and has different skin. Do you see where I am going with this? Just because one brand/style works out for Jane, does not mean it will work for you. Jane’s baby might have chunkier thighs than your baby, Jane may like the snap closures, Jane may prefer the AIO’s. You? You might have a long skinny baby, prefer the ease of Velcro and love the versatility of pocket diapers.

Try A Few Brands and Types Before Stocking Up.
Like I stated above, you never know what might work out best for you, so going out and buying a $500 intro kit before test driving a few is not the best idea. You could waste a bunch of money, time and energy. Test a bunch, then build a stash.

Just Because You Love Something Does Not Mean It Will Work Out.

I love BumGenius. LOVE. They fit Marley perfectly, they don’t leak for us, they are absorbent and they keep her bum dry. The only problem: She seems to be having a reaction to the suede cloth they use to line their pocket and AIO diapers. If you don’t know what that means, it means that Marley gets a wicked diaper rash whenever she wears them. I have tried anything and everything to fix the issue: I stripped those suckers a few times, I switched detergents, I line dried, I changed the wash routine, I changed her diet. No go. I want to cry, I wanted this to work out, but it’s not. Not the end of the world since we have other brands we love that work well for us, but I have to sell off my BumGenuius diapers.

You Get What You Pay For.
It seems too good to be true, you are searching Ebay and come across a company that sells their cute pocket diapers for $5! You whip your paypal account up faster than you can blink and order 10 of them. You wait 4-6 weeks to get your amazing steal of a diaper that you can not believe you found. The glorious day it arrives you rip the package open to discover it’s cheap plastic, flimsy, you could exfoliate your face with it, the Velcro comes undone within a week and it stinks after 2 uses. You email the supplier confident you will receive friendly and understanding customer service only to realize that they hardly speak English, do not accept returns and do not offer exchanges. My personal experience: you pay $5 for a diaper, you get $5 quality on all levels. Of course there are some exceptions to the rules, but make sure you do some research before making a purchase.

Keep an Open Mind, Try Different Things.
I’ve tried brands and styles I never thought I would look twice at. Once the BumGenius’ started causing issues we expanded our horizons a bit and tried out some fitteds and covers. This always seemed silly to me because it was double the work (double snaps/velcro etc.), and more laundry. We got a hold of some Thirsties Fab Fitteds and Thirsties Duo Covers and gave them a whirl. I love them so much. The Fab Fitteds are bullet proof for us, no leaks at all and fit like a dream. We also get extra bonus points because we could use the Flip covers (which I love as well) over them. I still love the Flip system for travel and normal wear, but the Fab Fitteds are great for over night and longer trips. I never thought I would go this route, but we tried it out and realized it worked best for us.

Take Care Of Your Diapers.
I have come to look at the washing and drying of cloth diapers like this: You are not going to buy a $100 bra from La Perla and toss it into the laundry with you regular clothes are you? NO. You are going to lovingly hand wash it with special soap, hang it to dry and maybe even store it in a special place. Make sense? If you are going to invest this money and time into cloth diapering why not prolong their life and care for them in the best way possible? They have very specific washing instructions and laundry detergents made for them for a reason: they need it, plain and simple. Yes it may be a pain in the butt in the beginning but believe me, after a few runs it’s like second nature. Another thing: invest in a decent wet bag and a pail liner. It will keep your diaper bag dry and stink free and keep your diapers from getting gross.

Cute/Pretty Is Not Better.

Sure, it may look adorable on your baby’s little bum, it may be minky soft, it may be funny or cute but there is a line that needs to be drawn. Companies sometimes charge more for patterned and specialty fabrics when in reality it doesn’t make the product perform better. If it’s not functional or does not work properly it will end up being a waste of money. This one is not always easy (have you SEEN some of the adorable covers out there?!) but unless it’s a tried, tested and true brand you love or you have money out the wazoo, steer clear.

Please. Someone save me.

The following have happened to us in the last week:

– Marley somehow picked up a bacterial infection. It started around her mouth with little pimples and proceeded to spread to her tongue and exploded on her right hand. A scary looking red, swollen, blistered, infection filled grossness. After a few trips to the emergency room and our family Dr she was finally put on antibiotics and closely monitored. Fun times but she is on the mend.

– Said antibiotics wreaked havoc on Marley’s system and she proceeded to have explosive poops multiple times a day. Have I mentioned that we are cloth diapering? Ya, those liners can only contain so much poop before you have to get your hands dirty. More fun times. (On a side note: The combination of a Flip Diaper cover and Thirsties Fab Fitted diaper is bulletproof. Not a single leak.)

– 2 more teeth are poking through. Fever, sleepless nights and a very clingy baby. None of the usual remedies helped. That brings our tooth total to 7. The fun times keep coming.

– I have been working 2 nights a week and am quickly realizing how hard it is to juggle baby, husband and work. How do people do it with a full time job?

– Money and budgeting. No one likes that and I am fairly certain that money is the root of all evil and 99.9% of all arguments in a marriage.

– I’ve gained 5lbs. In 2 weeks. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I am 5’0, 5lbs looks like 10+ lbs on me. My clothes are uncomfortably snug and I have the worst self esteem right now. Hence, I am count calories and back on the 30 Day Shred. 30 days in June, coincidence? I think not.

You know what did make my week though? I finally received my shipment of Thirsties Fab Fitteds that I got on www.babyhalfoff.com for 50% off! These diapers are amazing! They are SO absorbent and very comfortable. Marley went 14 hours in one last night and not a single leak! (Yes, Marley slept 14 hours last night. I am Blessed, I know.) These require a waterproof cover and I have been using the Thirsties Wrap and the Flip covers with no issues. Great stuff!

P.S. I’m working on something really exciting for my faithful readers. Check back soon for more details. =0)

Cottage Time!

We decided to take advantage of the long weekend and packed up the car and headed to the family cottage. Miss Marley had an uncharacteristic screaming and whining fit so Mommy had to hang out in the back seat for the first hour of the drive. We played peek-a-boo and I even gave her my cell phone to play with because we all know there is nothing worse than an unhappy baby on a long car ride.

Diva

Once she finally fell asleep it was smooth sailing and we made it to the cottage in record time!

We had amazing weather, both Sunday and Monday were very hot and sunny. To help keep cool I pulled out a inflatable kiddie pool, filled it 1/4 of the way with water and beach toys and plopped Marley in. Success, she couldn’t have been happier. Best of all: Mommy got to hang out in the sun!

My sister, a few friends and I went to the local concert hall and checked out Xavier Rudd and Justin Nozuka. It was one of the best concerts I have been to in a while, very chill, cool atmosphere and extremely talented artists.
I’m also going to mention the fact that Marley did.not.sleep.all.weekend.
Ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but in all honesty, Marley is a fantastic sleeper and has been since she was 4 weeks old. I’m talking 12-13 hours a night.
Not this weekend. She would have a decent stretch from 7-11 then it was awake every hour, stirring, restless. Shoot me now. She was not herself, more clingy, whiny, needy and sleepless. I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that she was in a different environment and off her schedule. Oh yah, and she got 2 MORE TEETH. Ya. That brings the tooth total to 7.
She is back to normal and sleeping like a champ again, so all is ok on that front.
I know I have been slacking, I haven’t posted 8 month stats or pictures, it’s been crazy busy. I promise to get it done this week!

Cottage Dog Oscar

I’m also going to throw this out there: if you cloth diaper do you notice it’s like an obsession? I swear I spend all of my time looking on ebay, craigslist, kijiji, diaper swapper etc for deals and new info. It’s not like I already have more than enough for right now, but there are SO many cute and affordable options out there if you are willing to look for them. Am I alone in this?

The CD journey thus far…

I AM SO HAPPY WITH THE SWITCH! I seriously want to shout it from the rooftops, shake everyone while yelling “TRY CLOTH DIAPERING, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!”
Ok, so maybe a tad dramatic but it really has changed my outlook on day to day life. In an odd way I feel like it has made me more aware of my surroundings, what I am putting in my body, what I am putting in and on Marleys body etc, it’s a good thing. This doesn’t mean that I am going to change into a crazy crunchy granola psycho, but for now I will consider myself consciously crunchy m’kay?

Now onto my thoughts on the products we have used.

For daytime use I have been using the FLIP One-Size Diaper System and I am thrilled with them so far! They consist of a waterproof cover that you place an absorbent liner into. The cover is one-size and adjusted by snaps, which is a major bonus because a lot of people find the snaps are easier and they wear better in the long run. I LOVE the covers! They are cute, fit well, do not leak (::knock on wood::)clean easily and are priced really well. Another bonus is that you can use these covers over any other fitted diaper, so I will give them a try once my shipment comes in.
Another love of this system is their Stay Dry Liner. Seriously, these things suck all the liquid right up and stay dry to the touch! All of the liquid is sucked to the bottom while the part that is against Marleys bum stays dry. Not only that, but they hold a surprising amount of pee, I’m talking a good 4 hours worth, if not more. Great product!
The only downside I have found with this system so far is their disposable inserts. They are not wide enough to lay fully in the cover, leaving the sides exposed for liquid to escape to. The cover still keeps it in, but not very comfy for poor Marley. I fixed the issue by layering 2 inserts to make them wide enough to cover and that worked well. Not something I would do on a normal basis though because then I am using two times the product. Not cool. Thank goodness I received the package of disposables as a free trial when I purchased the day pack of FLIPS because I would be annoyed at the waste of money.
All in all, I totally love these for day time use and would recommend them in a heartbeat.

My first purchases! 1 FLIP day pack (includes 2 covers and 6 liners), 1 package of FLIP disposable liners, 2 extra FLIP stay dry liners, 1 package of Bio-Liners (to make poop disposal easier, I highly recommend these!)

Ouside the package:

Marley in her FLIPs

For night time we have been using the BumGenius 3.0 Pocket Diaper and I have been SO happy with these as well. Marley generally sleeps 12+ hours at night ::ducks from flying tomatoes:: and she has not had a leak once in these. Pretty amazing right? I used the regular insert layered with the newborn (smaller insert) that is included with the diaper. I place the newborn insert closer to the front of the diaper since she is a tummy sleeper and most of the pee tends to collect there. The great thing about the pocket diapers is that if I wanted to I could add another regular sized insert (like the flip stay dry) for even more absorbency! Even though the diaper ends up being quite bulky Marley doesn’t seem to mind and it’s only for sleep so who cares what it looks like? Awesome.
I’ve used these during the day with just a regular insert and they have been great for then as well. The nice thing about the BumGenius products is that they are lined with a suede cloth which wicks moisture away from the bum, leaving them feeling very dry. So while these diapers are more expensive than most, I really think they are worth the extra money.

Hanging out in her BumGenius CDs



I am waiting on some other products I am excited to try out as well. I have some Thirsties Fab Fitteds, BumGenius All In Ones and MothersEase Sandies that I am going to test out. Who would have thought that I would be so excited and enthusiastic about diapers? It’s been a really fun adventure and I feel like I have learned so much and opened myself up to a whole new world and that makes me happy and excited.

* I was in no way compensated or given items for this review. All of the views/thoughts expressed are my own and based on personal experiences*

Cloth Diapers For Dummies: A Breakdown

When we decided to start seriously looking into cloth diapering I was completely overwhelmed with all of the info, types, brands, accessories etc. In this case, Google was NOT my friend. It was mind boggling, frustrating and very overwhelming, trying to weed through all the info and opinions. For days, I went to bed dreaming of different types of diapers and it was constantly a scramble in the back of my mind. Frustrated, I contacted a friend of mine who had been cloth diapering her daughter who is a bit older than Marley and asked her to point me in the right direction to decipher everything I was reading. Hallelujah!  I did some further investigation on my own, talked to a few other people, and I now feel like I have a way better understanding on the differences of all the types, what I will need and how to decide on what will work for us. In a effort to help you avoid the stress I went through, I am going to break it all down for you here, so you can go into it with a clearer head.

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Types of Diapers

Prefolds: Probably the cheapest way to cloth diaper. Prefolds are made of a soft, absorbent material, varying from cotton, to bamboo. They are usually one size and can be adjusted to fit your baby. They are usually held together with a snappi, for the brave out there, a safety pin, or a snug fitting cover. Yes, these are exactly how your mother or grandmother might have done it.

I really like: Bummis and EconoBum are both quite popular, and I have heard great things about them.

How many do you need? Approximately 24-30 prefolds are needed if you do laundry every 2 days.

Fitteds: These diapers are basically a disposable diaper but made out of a soft, absorbent fabric. They typically close with snaps or Velcro and have elastic at the legs and back, which means they are great at containing messes. Sizing can vary by brand, some are one-size and some are sized accordingly. Since they are not water proof they require the use of a cover, but by using a fitted diaper instead of prefolds or contours, your covers will get dirty less often which means they will last longer.

I really like: Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted, Motherease Sandys and Kissaluvs.

How many do you need? approximately 24-30 fitteds are needed if you do the laundry every 2 days.

Covers: These are made up of varying materials, including: wool, fleece, or PUL (polyurethane laminate). They typically have Velcro or snap closures, and leg gussets to prevent leaks. Covers can be one-sized or sized accordingly, depending on brand. If you are going to use prefolds or fitteds, a waterproof cover is needed. Once the prefold/fitted is soiled it just needs to be changed out, but the cover can be reused until it becomes soiled as well.

I really like: Thirsties Duo Wrap

How many do you need? Approximately 4-8 covers, depending on your system.

Pocket Diapers: These diapers are probably the most popular and universal. They have a waterproof outer layer and a pocket inside that a absorbent insert is then stuffed into. They typically have a fleece or microfiber liner, to keep the baby’s bottom dry. These are nice because you can control the level of thickness and absorbency of the diaper depending on the situation. For example you can add a second insert for night time use or a long trip. Once wet or soiled they need to be changed completely and a new one must be used. Pocket diapers are typically one-sized, meaning they will fit from 8-35lbs, but there are sized systems out there as well.

I really like: BumGenius 4.0, Fuzzibunz, Kawaii

How many do you need? approximately 24-30 of these.

All-In-Ones: These are as easy to use as disposables. The absorbent insert is sewn into the cover which meaning you don’t need to “stuff” the diaper with an insert unless you would like to add another liner to boost absorbency for nighttime. Once they are soiled they need to be changed with a whole new diaper and placed into the laundry. These are the most convenient, but are usually the most expensive. All-in-one diapers can be sized accordingly, or one-size, depending on brand.

I really like: BumGenius Newborn, BumGenius Freetime, Kissaluvs Marvel

How  many do you need? Approximately 24-30 of these.

All-In-Two/Hybrid: These combine the ease of an all-in-one diaper with the cost-saving aspects of prefolds and covers. They consist of a cover and a insert, which is made of varying materials and thicknesses. Some companies have even come out with a disposable and biodegradable insert, to make travel easier. Like prefolds and fitteds, instead of changing the entire diaper for each time, only the insert is replaced and the cover is reused. Sizing on these are one-sized or sized accordingly, depending on brand.

I really like: AppleCheeks, Grovia, FlipDiapers

How many do you need? 8-10 covers and 24-30 inserts

Swim Diapers: These are typically made of a mesh material, allowing water to comfortably move through the diaper while keeping any solids inside. Much more earth friendly than disposable swim diapers (you don’t actually think they keep the pee in the diaper, right?), and easier on the wallet. These are usually sized accordingly, to ensure a proper fit and minimal leakage.

I really like: AppleCheeks, Motherease

How many do you need? 1-3 depending on your needs

(image via google)

How Sizing Typically Works

One Size (OS): These usually have have snaps in the front so you can adjust the rise as your baby grows. These will typically save more money in the long run because you do not have to buy a variety of sizes. On the down side, in my oppinion, they do not always fit newborns nicely until they are around 10lbs plus, and can be on the bulky side. They typically fit 8-35lbs and over, depending on the build of your baby.

Example of the evolution of a One-Size Diaper:

(image via google)

Sized diapers: The typical breakdown on sizing. Make sure to check the manufacturers size charts to be sure. Be careful when going by pounds, also take into consideration the build of your baby, some may fit into them longer or shorter than specified.

  • XS (Extra-Small) – fits from 6-12 pounds. It is intended for a newborn and fits low, below the navel, to keep the umbilical area dry. These diapers are designed to fit during that itty-bitty newborn stage.
  • S (Small) – fits from 8-16 pounds. This diaper is slightly larger with a higher rise than the XS. These are usually intended for after your baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off.
  • M (Medium) – fits from 15 – 22 pounds.
  • L (Large) – fits from 22 – 30 plus pounds.

Washing and care

Laundry detergent: Here is a great resource for making sure you are using the proper detergent. I can not stress enough, the importance of using proper detergents and washing methods. Proper care and technique will keep your diapers fresh, clean and in peak performance.

I really like: Rock n Green (especially for hard water) and Claudias Choices.

Washing instructions: Here is the recommended washing technique from BumGenius, and the one I use:

  1. If you have velcro tabs, fasten hook tabs to laundry tabs on slot cover.
  2. Pre-wash cold, no detergent.
  3. Wash hot (100F/40C) with a cloth diaper safe deterget.
  4. Extra rinse.
  5. Line dry everything if you can. Tumble dry on medium if need be.

Tips on washing and care:

  • If soiled, remove poop from diaper (if breastfeeding and they are not eating solids, this step isn’t needed.).
  • Use a dry pail, that has a wet bag liner.
  • Wash every other day, every three days at the most.
  • Wash no more than 12 – 18 diapers at a time.
  • Use your washer’s highest water level.

(image via urbanpioneerwoman)

Accessories

Diaper sprayer: For the removal of poopy messes at home, there are multiple companies that make diaper sprayers. They attach easily to your toilet and can be discrete. The diaper sprayer is a high-pressure spray that rinses clean even the messiest diapers. The mess goes where it is supposed to go – and your hands stay clean. Once they are sprayed down you can toss it into your diaper pail.

I really like: BumGenius Diaper Sprayer

Wet bags: These are laundry bags, that have a waterproof lining to prevent leaks. You should line your wet pail with one of these, and wash them with your diapers. They come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small travel sizes, to large laundry size. You should also some handy for your diaper bag, while out and about.

I really like: Planet Wise

Wet Pails: The popular diaper pails of today will not work for cloth diapers. For easy, and sanitary storage of soiled diapers, a wet pail or wet bag is recommended. Wet pails vary from cloth diaper specific ones, to regular step garbage pails, depending on preference. These must be lined with a large wet bag, to keep the mess to a minimum.

I really like: The Ubbi diaper pail is awesome.

Disposable Liners: These are thick, paper-towel-type materials usually. They are meant to be laid on top of your diaper, between your babies bum and the diaper, catching any poop. What does this mean? When you have a soiled diaper, you just toss this liner into the toilet/garbage, and keep your hands clean.

I really like: AppleCheeks Disposable Liners

Great Resources

Some of my favorite places to answer tough questions, get deals or browse:

Check out reviews on different brands and types of diapers: Diaperpin

Whew. I think I have covered most of the basics and I hope I have given some clarity to you. I felt a million times better about making a decision once I figured all of this out. If there is anything you would like me to add, or you have further questions, as always, leave them in the comments section!