Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cloth Diapering 101 - Part One

We’ve been successfully using cloth diapers since Nolan came home from the hospital and the free pack of Swaddler’s ran out. I remember deciding early in my pregnancy that I wanted to use cloth but not be certain where to start. Looking online at cloth diaper retailers I was presented with a smorgasbord of possibilities. Here are some of my tips and tricks!

There are two main categories of diapers: those that require a waterproof cover, and those that have the waterproof cover built in. It really is a matter of preference and one type is not necessarily more difficult to use than the other.

Those Requiring Covers:

This is the simple foldable diaper of yesteryear. It is secured around the baby with either pin or Snappi.
Pros: very inexpensive even when cost of cover is added in, can be used with diaper creams or prescriptions, can be easily washed and bleached if
necessary, can be folded down and used easily on newborns
Cons: not as stylistic, must be folded on, can be intimidating for dads and daycares

Fitted diapers:
These diapers have been shaped like disposable and do not require folding. They are usually made of fashionable cloth and are fastened with either snaps, Velcro, or snappis.
Pros: no folding required, fashionable
Cons: not inexpensive and still require a cover

Those Not Requiring Covers:

All-in-one’s (AIO’s):
This is the diaper most like a disposable. It has a built in waterproof cover and layers of sewn in absorbency. If you want to add more absorbency it is simply laid into the diaper and not secured in any other way.
Pros: easy to put on, doesn’t require separate cover
Cons: more difficult to add extra absorbency (for night or naps), longer drying times which can lead to destruction of waterproof layer, harder to get inner most layers clean

These diapers are, in my opinion, the most versatile and preferred type. They have an outer waterproof layer and an inner wicking layer which is next to the bottom. Those two layers are stitched together and a pocket is left open to stuff absorbent layer between. When purchasing these diapers absorbent inserts are included.
Pros: Easy to add extra absorbent layers which are secured in the diaper, once stuffed the diaper is as simple as a disposable
Cons: require placing the insert into the pocket after laundering

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