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Adventures in Cloth Thus Far

March 24, 2009
tags: baby, cloth diapers, eco-friendly
by Hannah

My little one is six weeks old now, and has been in cloth diapers for five. (He was only 5lb11oz and too small at first for our cloth diapers but he’s growing fast!)
We started out with the 21 day trial from, and a dozen unbleached Indian prefolds from Little Lions. Prefolds are the least expensive cloth diapering option. They can be folded various ways- we like the “angel fold” with a snappi (which takes the place of pins and makes the whole process much easier and safer). Then they need a cover. I like Thirsties PUL covers- PUL is basically a waterproof fabric and these covers easily velcro closed. I am just venturing into the world of wool diaper covers though, and I can tell they are going to be my favorite and the staple of my cloth diapering stash. I also have a fleece cover on it’s way to me in the mail, and they are apparently very nice as well. I plan to do another post about wool and fleece cover later when I’ve gained more experience using them. Anyway, all of the above mentioned covers can be used over a prefold, or a fitted diaper. (My new favorite diaper combo is a fitted with a wool cover.) Fitted diapers easily close with either aplix (velcro) or snaps, and are adjustable- sometimes fitting all the way from about 8 pounds to potty training. More expensive than prefolds, but somewhat easier and more absorbant. diaper inserts and doublers can be used inside fitteds to increase absorbancy as well. I don’t have too many fitteds yet, but my favorites so far are Cricketts, and Kissaluv size 0 when he was a tiny newborn.
For those who may not want a two-step diaper change (diaper, then cover), there are some other options. We have tried a few different pocket diapers, which are a PUL outer with a pocket to stuff with absorbant inserts. The ones we’ve tried haven’t fit my son particularly well yet, and we have had leaks, but I’m sure when he’s a bit bigger they will work a lot better. Both BumGenius and Blueberry make nice one-size pocket diapers.
The ultimate is cloth diapering ease of use, best for overwhelmed new dads and anyone unsure about changing cloth, are All-in-one diapers (AIO’s). The only AIO we’ve tried is made by Thirsties, and we loved them for a few weeks, so much that I bought a few more, and then they started leaking. He wets too much now for them to last very long. I keep them in the diaper bag, and still use them but I have to make sure I change him within about an hour and a half to avoid leaks. I’ve heard great reviews of many other brands of AIO diapers, but since I now love our fitted and wool I probably won’t buy many (if any) more AIO’s for our baby.
So there is the rundown on the various types of cloth we have tried. Most people I talk to ask about the washing process, so I will outline that because it is really a lot easier than many people think. In our bathroom we have a regular kitchen sized trash can with a foot pedal lid, with a diaper pail liner inside (made of PUL material). Dirty diapers are simply tossed into this (the poop of exclusively breastfed babies is so liquidy that no rinsing is required. Later we will install a diaper sprayer on our toilet.) About every other day I dump all the diapers from the pail into the washing machine and run them through a clod rinse cycle with no detergent. Then I do a long hot wash cycle with a tablespoon of Crunchy Clean cloth diaper detergent and some vinegar. If it was a particularly soiled load I might do another cold rinse after this, but usually they are then ready for the dryer, and that’s it- clean diapers!
Cloth has so many, many benefits over disposables: it is better for the environment, much less expensive, causes much fewer cases of diaper rash, avoids the chemical gels and other unnatural materials that are so bad for our babies’ skin and overall health, and, believe it or not, is a lot of fun. (This may be impossible to understand unless you start using cloth, but many of the diapers are really adorable and you kind of get sucked in!)

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