Cloth diapering: Let's dive in
Cloth diapering. The suggestion usually makes people say, "Oh no I can't do that! It's too hard/expensive/smelly." I said the exact same thing. Then I lost my job, and my husband's hours were reduced to almost nothing, so I used $50 and bought some cloth diapers off of ebay and dove in head first. What I discovered was that it really isn't that hard. It's nearly as easy using disposable diapers, and we saved a boat load of money while doing it too! An added bonus is that cloth diapers are absolutely adorable. You can order personalized cloth diapers, homemade cloth diaper, bulk made cloth diapers, plain, frilly, boyish, the list goes on and on. You're probably thinking, "HOW DO I CHOOSE WHAT KIND OF CLOTH DIAPER I NEED?" Well let me try to help you out.
What kind do I buy? I think this is where people get intimidated, but I will break it down for you. Thanks to The Natural Baby Co. for the great information and visuals of the different types of cloth diapers.
Prefolds: This is what our parents and grandparents used. They're basically like a big, thick handkerchief that you fold up and fashion a diaper out of, and pin or snap on to stay shut. Then you add a wool cover or water proof cover so no one gets a surprise in their laps when holding baby. Not the most convenient, but they are usually the cheapest way to go.
Fitted Diapers: They are just what they sound like, they are diapers made of layers of absorbant cloth that fit snuggly just like a disposable diaper. They usually are not waterproof, so you will need some protection from wool covers or waterproof covers. These come sized like baby clothes as well as in one size fits all version. Definitely easier than prefolds, a little more pricey, still very easy to use.
Pocket Diapers: It's a cloth diaper with a built in pocket that you put an insert in to help with absorbsion. This is what I used. I even got crafty and made my own inserts with hemp material. A lot of pocket diapers come with fleece inserts. It's kind of an experiment to find out how many inserts you need and what kind you prefer. If I mention cloth diapering to my husband all he remembers is, "One hemp and one fleece insert no more no less." Poor guy, I may have been a little OCD about my diapering ways. These come in both fitted to baby's size and one size fits all versions. They fasten with nifty little snaps or velcro, and they are usually waterproof! No need for wool or plastic covers when using these. They're incredibly easy especially when you ''pre-stuff'' all the diapers you'll need for the day. As you can see above demonstrated by my baby boy, they can be a little bulky from the stuffing, but it didn't bother me.
All-In-One Diapers: Who doesn't love a good all-in-one, no fuss product? They look just like disposable diapers, you use them just like disposable diapers. No inserts or covers to deal with. They're made of multiple layers of super absorbant material with a waterproof outter layer. This is by far one of the easiest options. You throw some in the diaper bag and go.
Hybrid Cloth Diapers/All-In-Two: This type of diaper is kind of a mix of the previous diapers we talked about. The hybrid diaper looks just like a disposable diaper. when you are ready to use this type of diaper you also use an additional layer on the diaper which can either be reusable or disposable to increase absorbancy. The ease of use is comparable to the All-In-One diapers with one extra step of adding that additional layer. Our giveaway features a hybrid cloth diaper set from Bummis.
If you have your shopping cart full and you're ready to dive in and start cloth diapering, great! If you still need some time to test things out, you can always purchase one of each type and experiment with the ease of use and comfort. A lot of stores like Zoolikins have cloth diapering classes, so you have someone showing you the basics and directing you to your needs.
Don't forget to stop by our Facebook page to enter our great cloth diaper set giveaway!