I've been wanting to document our experience with cloth diapering, but was putting it off because I didn't feel like I had our groove figured out yet. Turns out, I'm still trying to figure that out, but I want to get this down so I have a reference in the future (and to help any other moms and dads out that might be hoping to start down the cloth diaper path).
Here's the deal with cloth diapers: It doesn't have to be all or nothing. AND, it might take awhile to find what works best for you. When they are newborn, it's hard to find something that fits them well , won't leak, works for your lifestyle, and is easy enough for both parents to figure out. I also think that as he grows and wets larger quantities, I'm going to need to learn a bit more about absorbency.
We started cloth around week 7, and here's what I've learned so far:
There are lots of styles and brands.
All in one or AIO: this is a diaper that is just like it sounds. It has the inserts sewn in and is a one time use diaper, then it needs to be washed. I didn't think I would want this, but the more I use them, the more I like them.
All in ones we've tried:
- Grovia: they are ok.. I do not like how they snap and he has had some daytime leaks-they might still be a bit big?
- Bumgenius: I want to like this one, but it leaks everytime we wear it. I'm wondering if it needs to be washed a few more times to reach maximum absorbency?
- Thirsties: a size 1 AIO and a one size fits all AIO. I just ordered 5 more of these, they have yet to leak! If there are more children in our family, I may consider investing in some more thirsties AIOs (and the smaller size to wear earlier on.)
- Padded Patootie: I only have one of these, but I like them. Even though they are expensive, I invested in 3 more because they are easy to use, and absorbent.
Things to think about with all in ones: *absorbency, *how they fasten: snaps of velcro, *how many snaps they have: 1 row or 2, *cost (they are more expensive) *dry time is longer
Hybrid/AI2 (All in 2): I thought this was going to be the diaper for us when I first started out. We have the Grovia hybrid with organic cotton soaker with the velcro closure. I LOVE the velcro closure, these seem to be most like disposables when putting on, super easy. But if he poops, it usually gets on the cover, so the whole thing has to be washed. They are mostly used as all in ones in our house, but this may change as he poops less throughout the day and we can reuse the covers. I ordered 2 more covers, as we haven't had any leaks with these yet. My only concern is they are one more step for babysitters to have to learn as the inserts need to be snapped out of them and the covers can be reused if they aren't soiled.
I just got a hybrid sample from Mother-ease, I haven't tried these yet, but if anything I heard these are amazing night time diapers.
Prefolds with covers: These are my favorite for night. I got the Osocozy bamboo prefolds, use the snappis to close them, and use a FLIP cover every night. We have never had leaks with these. As he grows older I did buy a Grovia O.N.E. to use for nighttime, but it's still a bit big. We have tried some other covers that were given to us, and they work ok, but have had leaks with them. The FLIPs seem to work the best for us. This is the cheapest option for cloth diapering, but the biggest learning curve for putting on (Daddy is still learning!)
Pocket diapers: I haven't tried these yet, mostly because I'm too lazy to stuff the insert into them, but my friend Jamie sent me a ton of these and she said she just laid the insert in them. I may try that, but I'm I really thinking AIOs are the easiest option for our family.
Moral of the story, there is no perfect diaper, and there is no simple formula for figuring out what will work best for your family. Each of the styles will fit each kid differently, and at different stages. It's about figuring out what works best for your family and your little one.
I'm also using reusable wipes, which I love. I make a simple wipe solution, put it in a spray bottle, and squirt onto a Grovia reusable wipe. The wipes just get washed with the diapers. Super easy, soft on his tush, and good for the environment!
Other cloth diaper supplies I have and use:
A large wet bag
2 small wet bags
A diaper pail with 2 washable/reusable inserts
I really love cloth diapering so far. I feel good about knowing what kind of material is against his skin all day and night. Initially, getting a stash of cloth diapers is an investment, but I know I am saving a ton of money on diapers and wipes, especially if we have more children.
I would love to hear about other's experiences with cloth diapers.. share in the comments if you have anything to add!
Also, a quick shout out to all my cloth diapering friends who have taken time to answer my endless questions and have suggested all of these products! Thanks a bunch!