So you have made the decision to cloth diaper. That is great but what basic supplies do you need?
Have you decided on the style of diaper you will be using?
Let’s go over the different styles:
- All-In-One cloth diapers or as many stores like to call them (AIO)- these diapers have one absorbent layer then a waterproof cover but they are all one piece. They go on and off just like a disposable diaper. There major disadvantage is that they take a really, really, really long time to dry. And since you have to put the in the dryer then they tend to wear out quickly.
- Pocket cloth diapers-a waterproof outer shell that has a inner “Pocket” running from the front to the back. That holds an absorbent insert that looks like a supersized maxi pad. This is stuffed into the pocket so the whole diaper works similar to a disposable without the harmful chemicals. But once wet the pocket diapers will need to be “unstuffed” before washing, which will require you touching the inserts to separate them from the shell. A major disadvantage is that “stuffing” the pockets are a hassle and leaking is a BIG problem with pockets.
- All-in-Two cloth diapers (AO2)-these are very similar to the AIO except they have snaps on there waterproof covers so another absorbent insert can be used without having to “stuff” into pockets. This insert will stay in place even in the wash. Their major disadvantage is that they don’t dry very well, are somewhat complicated and difficult to add extra soakers into.
- Fitted cloth diapers-these are very easy to put on and seem very comfortably because they are soft and stretchy. They are also very absorbent which makes them a good choice for nighttime. Since the covers can be reused they also have a prolonged life. The covers dry quickly on the clothes line. The major disadvantage to these is since they are in two pieces you are going to get your hands messy touching the wet/poopy diaper. And they take longer since they are in two pieces but they work great for nighttime!
- Prefold cloth diapers-are the old fashioned “cloth diaper” that you can buy in many stores these days. We use them as burp cloths. With these you will need a waterproof outer shell of some sort. Many people will pin the diaper with diaper pins but they have now come out with new fasteners called Snappi and Boingo. These are both neat fasteners that are replacing the diaper pins to prevent accidental poking. You will also need a waterproof cover for these.
- Flat cloth diapers-now these are the diaper I remember my mother using. I also used these these as dish towels. If you could think of a prefolded cloth diaper before the machine folded and folded it. That is what a flat diaper is. Just one thin sheet that you will need to fold yourself. Oh and you will also need a waterproof cover for flat diapers. They are secured with your choice of the above fasteners.
- Flip cloth diaper covers-these have inserts that just lay/tuck in the shell. These are nice because there isn’t any “stuffing” involved. As the name suggests you just “flip” out the insert, dry and insert a fresh absorbent pad. Since these air dry so quickly and you really don’t need to use the dryer this prolongs their life. A disadvantage to “flip” diapers is that there nothing holding the two pieces together so it’s important to make sure that all the absorbent parts are tucked in.
So no matter what style of diaper you decide to use there are things to consider. Advantages and disadvantages, such as drying situations. For example as I pointed out, many diapers will last longer if they are air dried as apposed to machine dried.
Something you need to take into consideration is what is important to you and your family. What do You want, not what others think is best. How important are natural fibers to your family? What do you want your baby’s skin to be touching? These are questions only you can answer.
If you have any questions or need a hand, feel free to leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the Best,