Saturday, March 26, 2011

This is how I see it….

If you are “cheap” , maybe frugal is a better word, like me cloth diapering could be a very viable option for you. If you look, back in my blog or click the cloth diaper tag on the right side of the page or just click the hyperlink. Whatever works. For this post, I’m going to do something I don’t like and Im going to steal information from Wikipedia. 1. Because I am not an expert and 2. It’s easier :)
So here goes the stolen information. In general it’s a detailed description of the different types of cloth diapers.
Prefolds – Prefold diapers are a rectangle of layered cloth, sewn together in the center third to create a thicker layer. They come in several sizes to correspond with a baby’s weight range. Prefolds are fastened with pins or a Snappi, or folded in thirds and laid inside a cover. They require a cover to be waterproof. Prefolds must be washed after each diaper change but the cover can be reused several times if it is not soiled with feces.
Flats – Flat diapers are a single large layer of cloth that must be folded into the correct size to fit a baby. Flats must be pinned or Snappi’d to stay on the baby. Flats require a cover to be waterproof. Flat diapers must be washed after each diaper change but the cover can be reused several times if it is not soiled with feces.
Fitteds – Fitted diapers look similar to a disposable diaper and are made of a few layers of absorbent cloth material. Fitteds are fastened shut in three ways: pins, snaps, or hook and loop tape (velcro). Fitted diapers come in several sizes to fit a baby’s weight range. They require a separate cover to be waterproof. Fitted diapers must be washed after each diaper change but the cover can be reused several times if it is not soiled with feces.
Covers- For the above mentioned options you need covers. Covers are made from waterproof material and hold the prefold, flat or fitted. 
Pocket diapers – Pocket diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer and a moisture-wicking inner layer that are sewn together on three sides to create a stuffable pocket. Pocket diapers look similar to disposable diapers. The pocket is stuffed with absorbent material to customize an absorbency level for each baby. Typically microfiber cloth is used to absorb the moisture away from the babies skin to prevent diaper rash. Pocket diapers dry more quickly than all-in-one diapers because they have less material in them. A pocket diaper must be washed after each diaper change. Pocket diapers often come in one size that can be adjusted with snaps and hook and loop tape (velcro) to fit a baby over a wide variety of weight ranges.
All-in-one diaper – An all in one (AIO) diaper consists of a waterproof outer layer, sewn together with a moisture wicking inner layer and an attached absorbent flap. AIO diapers are the most convenient diapers to use since there is only one item to put on the baby; however, they take longer to dry since they are thicker than other options. AIOs can be sized for a particular weight range or one-sized to adjust to a wider weight range. AIOs must be washed after each diaper change.
All-in-two diaper – An all-in-two- diaper (AI2) is a diaper that can function as an all-in-one diaper or as a diaper cover, thus the name all-in-two. An all-in-two diaper has a snap in, or lay in insert that can be removed and replaced with a clean insert after it has been wet. The cover of an all-in-two only needs to be laundered if the diaper is soiled and the cover needs cleaning. With the insert removed the diaper can be used as a cover over a prefold or fitted cloth diaper.

And now for my opinion.. yep that’s the fun part…
Personally I love the cute design diapers but I think they are crazy expensive. Since I started CDing to save money I don’t have many cutesy diapers but If I find them on a diaper swap or on clearance or as factory seconds for the right price I buy them. In a previous post I mentioned buying Spiky 2 cow print diapers. They were on clearance that’s the only reason he got them. For the most part I think simple is best. Also I prefer prefolds and covers over pocket diapers, all in ones or all in twos. To me it just doesn’t make sense to have to buy 2-3 days worth of diapers that can get expensive. When you have a cover you don’t have to change the cover with every diaper change, really only if it gets pooped on. I go through about 4 covers a day. Not because of poop but because of dampness. I’ve read you can just lay them out to dry and they are good to go but I am kind of weird about that, it’s a personal choice though.
Here are some things that I didn’t know about when I started, there are individual posts for some of these but to save you time I’ll retype.
1.      You really need a free and clear laundry detergent for your diapers. And even if it is all natural and scented with essential oils your baby can get a rash. I learned this today. After a lot of research I found a free and clear detergent called ECOS it was rated highly on a site that ranked detergents for diapers. It was about $9 at walmart and enough for 250+ loads of diapers. Just FYI when you wash diapers you only use a ¼ of the amount of soap you would use with a regular load of clothes but you (at least I do) do 2 washes. One is cold one is hot.
2.      Prepping is important. I use prefolds and with most prefolds you have to “prep” them which is a non descriptive way to say wash and dry them at least 3 times before first use. This insures their absorbency and will save you, your couch, the bed from getting peed on… yep it happened to me … not only did it happen to me it happened twice before I realized what was going on.
3.      Wool Dryer balls are the bomb. My first time washing and drying the prefolds it took FOREVER to dry the prefolds and I couldn’t figure out why because we had just bought a brand new dryer. After some searching I found that because of the weight and whatnot of the prefolds they basically stick to the side of the dryer when its spinning and they don’t get dry. To remedy this you need to use dryer balls. Now you can buy the plastic ones at walmart and at other places online which at first I did and then I found out that wool worked better. So after a few days of using the plastic ones and my drying time being cut down from 2 hours to 40 minutes I bought a few skeins of fisherman’s wool and made my own wool dryer balls and the dry time cut down to around 30 minutes. If you want to make your own dryer balls, I used the instructions found here. And if you make your own and you screw up some they look irregular or you just aren’t happy with them they are baby safe. Just make sure there are no loose threads or small enough to be a choking hazard basically use common sense.
4.      Cloth wipes are pretty nice. I think we used cloth diapers for a few weeks before I had the realization that I could use cloth wipes. It started with the first poopy diaper and I had no idea where to put the disposable wipes while I was trying to get the diaper changed because you can’t just wrap them up in the cloth and throw it away that is not economical. I searched on etsy for cloth wipes and found quite a few people that sell cloth wipes for reasonable prices and you just make your own wipe solution. I use aloe water and a few drops of teatree oil. I also use a disposable wipe case. If you live in a cold environment or you just like wipe warmers I recommend getting one. I don’t have one but I keep the wipes on top of the dryer and since we have 4 kids and my nephew living in our house we are always doing laundry so the wipes are pretty much always warm.
5.      One size diapers rock. I have a few sized diapers. And I don’t like the way they fit. One size diapers have buttons along the front so that you can adjust the rise of the diaper most fit from 10lbs to potty training.
Sticker Shock
Buying cloth carries a bit of a sticker shock for a lot of people (mom’s and dad’s) but there is something that you must keep in mind. First it is basically a one time purchase, until you get addicted (Hi My name is Amber and I’m addicted to Cloth diapers). Here is what you need to keep in mind.
Disposable diapers cost approximately 30 cents apiece. I don’t know about you but I have a kid who pees a lot we go through at least 13 diapers a day. So if you take the average amount of diapers you use a day and multiply that by 30 cents and that amount by 30 you will know about how much you spend on disposables a month. For us that was:
.30x13= $3.90 a day
3.90x30=$117 a month.
My advice is to spend an equal or lesser amount on cloth that you would spend in one month on disposables. That way if you only use cloth one month you really aren’t out any money. Plus cloth keeps its value as long as you take care of it correctly and you should have no problems selling your stash on a swap board and even some sites will buy back your used diapers. After your first month is over and you are going to stick with cloth just make sure you spend less than what you would spend on disposables and you will save money. 
This is a video I found on how to use a prefold in econobums it works in all of the cover brands that I have tried.

PS. I am NOT an expert in Cloth diapers, I don't have all the answers and there is always the option that I am wrong about something mentioned above. If you know differently please let me know because I am all about new knowledge. Thank you :)


  1. love it! your so helpful!

  2. THANK YOU!! I just started CDing and had so many questions and you pretty much answered them. :)

  3. I'm glad I could help! If you have any more questions just let me know and I will do my best to find the answer!