What are the pros and cons of the different kinds of diapers on the market?
I’m going to let Coleen handle this one since she’s the expert – I’ll just put my $.02 in here and there!
Coleen: Some thoughts to consider as you read through the different kinds of diapers – there are many one size diapers available today. While it is nice to have just one set of diapers for your baby, there are a few drawbacks. Sized diapers offer a trimmer fit with less chance of leaks. They also last through multiple children since they are not being washed as often.
Here is a quick overview of the different styles of cloth diapers:
-Prefolds and covers are the most economical choice, but might be little trickier to put on your baby than an all in one. You can either fold the prefold in thirds and lay it in the cover or fasten it with a Snappi. The great thing about prefolds is that if the cover doesn’t get soiled, you can reuse it for several changes.
-Two part diapers systems are very similar to prefolds except they have an insert that lays in the cover instead. Just like prefolds, you can often reuse the cover for several changes. Some types even have inserts that snap in to the cover to help keep them in place. They can be a little more expensive than prefolds, but are easy to use. (Amy: You’ve heard me talk before about MotherEase diapers being the first diapers I ever used…they fit into this category.)
-Fitted diapers and covers are super soft and great at preventing leaks. You can reuse the covers for several changes, but do have to fasten two pieces with every change. (Amy: these are my favorites for newborns!)
-Pocket diapers have an insert that you stuff into a pocket. They go on in one piece just like a disposable and you will need a new diaper for each change. They dry quickly and are easy to use, but it does take a little time to stuff all the pockets. (Amy: These are my favorite travel diaper and I-don’t-feel-like-cloth-diapering-but-I-will-anyway diaper!)
-All in Ones/All in Twos are most like disposables and you will need a new diaper for every change. They are all one piece and don’t need to be stuffed. All in Twos have an insert that snaps to the cover. Some versions do take longer to dry, but they are very convenient.
How do I choose the right diaper for my baby?
Coleen: Start by deciding what type of diapering system you think will work best for you, and then look at all the available brands. It really helps if you are able to see the diapers in person! If you are looking at sized diapers you will need to know how much your baby weighs and their measurements may come in handy to make sure you are buying the right size.
Amy: As I mentioned in the Getting Started post, it helps to know another cloth diapering mama and see what she uses and how she uses it; however, you also have to do what works for your family. If Daddy or Grandma will be changing a lot of diapers, then you might want to invest in All-in-Ones or Pocket diapers as they are easier for those unfamiliar with cloth diapering. Or maybe you are after the cute factor or the most economical route. I use a variety of diapers on my babies – fitteds/covers for the newborn, one-size & prefolds for older babies, pocket diapers for traveling and for Daddy & Grandma. 🙂
How do I prep prefolds?
Prefolds need to be washed in hot water at least three times. The diapers should be dried in between washes to help them shrink and quilt properly.
How do I use a snappi?
Amy: Pinning prefolds is pretty much a thing of the past. No more sticking pins in bars of soap or running them through your hair or running the risk of poking baby. Snappis are an amazing invention that I love dearly! You can see how they work in this video: How to Use a Prefold with a Snappi.
What is the difference between snaps or hook and loop closures?
Amy: A quick clarification before I let Coleen tackle the pros and cons of both of these types of closures…snaps are typically resin or plastic, not metal, hook & loop is what we’ve come to know as Velcro, only a softer, more baby-friendly grade of it.
Coleen: I think that hook and loop is easier to fasten on a wiggly baby and much more adjustable, but it does show wear quicker than snaps. Snap diapers are going to stay looking brand new. Some people also prefer snaps since they make it harder for your baby to get their diaper off by themselves.
What are One-Size diapers?
Coleen: One size diapers are designed to fit your baby from about 8 pounds through potty training. They can be bulky when you baby is brand new, but get trimmer as your baby grows. Different brands adjust different ways. Most use snaps on the front of the diaper to adjust the rise like bumGenius or Rumparooz. Others have adjustable elastic like FuzziBunz or Softbums which allows for a nice, snug fit on newborns.
Amy: Personal interjection here – Again, this is where I started, but I started on an older baby and found when it came to my newborn, they just didn’t fit the way I wanted them to. So, I used fitteds and covers during that newborn stage and transitioned to my one-size diapers when baby was about 4 months old.
Best diaper for overnight?
Coleen: Right now my favorite overnight diaper is a Softbums with an organic bamboo insert and doubler. Sometimes I will stuff microfiber and hemp inserts in to a pocket diaper. I have also wrapped a prefold around a microfiber inserts with a cover or stuffed in a pocket diaper. A hemp or bamboo fitted with a wool cover works great for heavy wetters.
Amy: Boy, am I glad Coleen answered this question as I have yet to find something I like. I will definitely be trying her suggestions! (and in case you are wondering, I currently put my babies in disposables at night! *gasp*)
How many diapers do I need?
Coleen: You are going to need more diapers for a newborn than a toddler, but I would say that 18-24 is a comfortable amount to wash every other day.
Amy: I try to have 24 newborn diapers on hand and I manage with only about 12 toddler sized diapers.
Have more questions? Leave them in the comments section and we’ll do our best to help out!