Cloth Diapers

Mrs. Butler noted that it seemed I am experimenting with a number of different diapers these days and wondered what I thought of them, and in the spirit of Tricia and Serina‘s recent posts, I am happy to comply. She also labeled me as seasoned, which made me laugh since I am just about to reach a year of cloth diapering. Maybe next year, when I have managed two in cloth for a while, I’ll be truly seasoned!

I really like using a little bit of everything, to be honest. Different situations call for different diapers.

Fitted Diapers are my favorite style, overall. They are easy to get on squirmy toddlers, VERY trim, contain messes well enough to rarely dirty a cover and can be worn coverless when lounging around the house. There are a million different brands and styles of fitteds, but two things are very important to me: fabric and drying time. Cotton fitteds of most varieties (organic cotton, flannel, etc.) are just not as absorbent or as sturdy as hemp or sherpa. I can’t line dry, and so I avoid all fitteds with only sewn-in soakers because I like everything to dry in one dryer cycle. My favorite sherpa fitteds by far are Loveybums Quick Dry, expertly constructed by a work at home mom. My favorite hemp fitteds overall are Sugar Peas 2-size system, because they aren’t bulky like a one-size fitted but only require buying two different sizes from birth to potty training. My favorite hemp fitteds for super-absorbancy are Crickett’s, a local WAHM. Her diapers are absolutely the best when what you want is absorbancy (for a long day of errand running or a super-soaking babe.) I know some people don’t like fitteds because the elastic can wear out, but I am crafty enough to replace elastic and I have bought a number of used fitteds and don’t have any close to needing repair, so I am pretty confident in their ability to last long enough to be worthwhile.

Prefolds of the unbleached, Chinese, 4x8x4 variety are also in steady use, mostly because they are so cheap. We always fasten them with a snappi, which does make them trimmer and better at containing messes, but not as proficiently as fitteds on the whole. Using prefolds does make me feel classic, though!

Pockets are our solution to nighttime diapering. I use and enjoy both Wonderoos and FuzziBunz. ‘Roos are great because they are one-size-fits-most. Fuzzi Bunz are little more adjustable, but sized, so that’s a big drawback. I used to love to use pockets for outings, but once I started using fitteds, I really only use pockets at night, which is good because they are the most expensive diapering option and I have enough for two children if I only use them at night! I use microfiber towels from Sams/Wal-mart and prefolds to stuff them, as well as a few Hemp Babies inserts.

Covers are definitely something I am just now figuring out. When I first started, I tried Aristocrats, which turned me off of wool for a long time. I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of wool soakers or longies. Pull-on covers of any variety just aren’t my preference! So, I stuck to PUL covers for a long time. I like Bummis Super Whisper Wraps pretty well, but my favorite is the MotherEase AirFlow. You have to use fitteds, pin or snappi to use them, but they are so breathable and fit great. I’ve ventured out and tried a few non-PUL cover options in the last few months and I’ve been surprised to learn that I really enjoy both fleece and wool covers! I recommend the Sugar Peas fleece side-snapping covers (1 layer) and Loveybums wool jersey covers. I was surprised at how trim, easy and functional they both are and hope to acquire more.

I am excited about diapering a newborn in a few months. I am going to try the uber-popular Kissaluvs size 0 fitteds (with an umbilical cord snap) and already have a few newborn covers, too. We’ll probably use ‘sposies until the meconium passes, though!

22 responses to “Cloth Diapers

  1. Isn’t it fun to imagine your little newborn in cloth diapers? There’s nothing better than the realization of that dream. (Except for maybe giving birth to her. That might be better. =)

    We used and loved Kissaluvs size 0 on both of our daughters as newborns. But as a fair warning, the Kissaluvs are the fitteds that stored most poorly; that is, the elastic on these was totally and completely shot after being stored for 1-2 years. It just crumbled. Part of that time, the Kissaluvs were stored in a wooden drawer; the rest of the time, they were stored in the ubiquitous plastic bin.

    I contacted the company several times, asking for advice on how to properly store these diapers. I also asked if it was common for their diapers to last through only one child. They never replied.

    I think most fitteds are fine if in continual use. With your children spaced as they are, my guess is that your fitteds will do great! (That’s also the reason that used fitteds do so well; they were often just worn by a baby that outgrew them.) In our case, we just used the Kissaluvs size 0s with the elastic shot; with all the craziness of newborns and toddlers and moving and such, I didn’t have time to pick out the crumbly elastic. =)

    Whew! Marathon reply!

  2. Hmmm… I need to figure out the storage thing because I’d like to pass down these diapers to at least another babe or two and I think we’re aiming for a bit more spacing next time… I will have to ask around. That’s annoying that Kissaluvs didn’t answer. I know people that have contacted them to get snaps replaced and they were nice about that. :o/

  3. You know, I think we like the Indian prefolds better — I think they’re Indian…the ones with the green stitching. They’re trimmer.

  4. Hmmm — I’ve only seen Indian prefolds with white stitching. I’ve never bought any myself. Green is the standard color for infant sized Chinese prefolds though…

  5. Ah, you’re right. They are the Chinese infants. We like them better than the Indian. Indian are softer…but bulkier and they got a lot smaller in the wash.

  6. Whoa. That sound so complicated. I had no idea there were so many choices. My mom cloth-diapered us, but I always thought cloth was cloth. Yikes!

  7. It used to be just prefolds and plastic pants, but now… it’s as complicated as you want it to be! All this started about 10 years ago or so, I think… I like all the options, but at first it was really overwhelming.

  8. Y’all have got me seriously considering starting off with cloth when Baby #2 is born. What would you suggest as an initial investment?

  9. Kristen writes primers on such things, as I recall. :)

  10. I mean, how many diapers would you buy to start with?

  11. Serina or other experienced cloth mamas might disagree, but to be honest, Emily, I might consider starting with Samson or waiting until #2 is past the true newborn stage.

    Getting into the cloth routine isn’t difficult really, but it does take a little bit to get used to washing (figuring out how hard your water is, etc.) and putting dipes on quickly (and teaching Thomas these things!) and in the midst of having a new little one (and all that entails) and chasing Samson, it might be overwhelming to have one more thing on your plate. A couple of months with Samson and you’d probably be good to go with a newborn and know better what you personally like to use and are comfortable with.

    Plus, newborns need more changes and hence more diapers. So, trying it out with Samson would probably require a smaller investment. One nice thing about cloth is that you can resell anything and everything that doesn’t work for you and recoup a lot of the cost (up to 80-90%!).

    I can definitely give you some ideas of what to get for either or both if you are interested.

  12. As far as husbands go, mine is great about the whole thing, but a few months into my CDing, I bought some Rumpsters All-In-one (trifold sewn in hemp with fleece topper) diapers and they are a great relief to him when he is just too stressed to do the unpinned prefold PUL cover routine or for when we are out. We love this particular AIO (although would give anything for them to have snaps instead of VELCRO) and have bought several on ebay (just too expensive new). I have often thought I would not like fitted diapers, but now am tempted to try a couple. I was thinking they would be great for breastmilk blowouts. Am also wondering if Wool nighttime covers will help my little guys (26 and 12 months) not get a terrible yeast infection at night like we’ve had in the past. Would love to stay with cloth at night but have had to go with disposables. Phew…long post.

  13. Oh yeah, we have a couple good AIOs too — Bum-ware. They are nice, but I just stick them in the diaper bag for quick changes in odd places and only end up using them every couple weeks!

    What were you using at night when your boys were getting yeast infections?

  14. I was using Fuzzi Bunz and Wonderoos. I think perhaps the inserts I had (cotton babies) along with the suedecloth/fleece/PUL outer wasn’t breathable enough for them. They simple woke up every morning with problem skin and eventually we had to take them to the doctor. I really like the pockets for daytime, but have found that even after stripping them, we have infections. If we use lots of Burt’s Bees (at $7 a tube) it works, but that gets expensive.

  15. I think Crickett’s would work great at night with a fleece liner and a good wool cover or soaker. Most wool covers are rated for either daytime or night, I use the daytime ones because they are trimmer. Most nighttime fitteds are far more expensive than Cricketts ($25+/diaper!) but unless your boys are SUPER soakers, I think they’d be fine. She is in the middle of a redesign so she is selling off larges for $9/dipe, which is a steal. I am testing out the new diapers and I have been really impressed!

  16. For Emily, I’d say start with your current child, as Kristen says. It’s less overwhelming with an older child than a newborn. But it all depends on your commitment level–I was totally committed to using cloth, no matter what, so there was no danger of me giving up. So I dug right in.

    One suggestion is to buy a full set of newborn diapers (enough so you don’t have to wash every day) and make yourself use them for a certain period of time. Have disposables on hand for meconium and visitors changing diapers for you, if you wish. If you hate them, sell them off, and you’re no worse off than if you’d just used disposables. (With sposies, you never get any money back–it’s just money down the toilet, so to speak.)

    I think the squishy, blowout, runny early poos are the worst. Once you either get past that stage or figure out how to deal with it, it’s all downhill!

  17. i use prefolds and plastic pants. i like the prefolds but the plastic pants are atrocious. stacie makes some awesome pocket dipes she calls “dipes.” i actually prefer hers to the FBs — they’re slimmer and just as absorbent. i want some good covers to go with my prefolds so that i can ditch the plastic. poor jude looks like he’s wearing a stylized tutu. :|

    thanks for all of the great resources and for your expert opinion. :)

  18. Greenemama,

    Use Bummis Whisper wraps or ProWraps. ProWaps are less expensive. I can’t decide which I like better, actually.

  19. Can you all give me an idea of the cost savings compared with disposables? I’m only *thinking* about cloth diapering and am wondering if it’s smart just to buy a small amount of the smallest size before I go whole hog. (And my husband will only be sold if it’s saving the enviroment AND money.)


  20. Well, ‘sposies and throw away wipes cost about $50 a month for the first few months, then $40/month until potty training.

    You COULD cloth diaper a child from birth to potty training for less than $200 washing every 2-3 days with new prefolds, PUL covers and pockets at night. And you could reuse them for more children or sell them and recoup somewhere between 50% and 80% of what you paid new.

    If you buy more expensive diapers, you’ll spend more. You COULD spend a lot (well over $1000) on a large and gorgeous diaper stash but the more pricey things also resell very well. Between buying, swapping and reselling, I will have spent far less than $500 for a stash I really like for at least two children. That’s a pretty significant savings, and I will still have the diapers to use again or sell when I am done.

  21. Just got a wool cover from this WAHM off eBay.
    Trim, pretty, I really, really like it.

  22. Kristen – I was trying to find your post in which you discuss the washing of cloth diapers. I have a friend who is having some trouble with hers and she’s soliciting help, but nobody has responded. In all your spare time, would you mind paying her a visit or else telling me where that old post is?

    Her link is:


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