Monday, April 16, 2012

Cloth 101 - Getting to know modern CD's

Used with permission.
People decide to use cloth diapers for many different reasons. Some want to reduce/reuse/recycle, or keep chemicals away from their baby. Others choose cloth to save money where they can, or even because they fall in love with the cute color and pattern options that cloth provides.

Even though cloth seems to be a growing trend these days, it's been around much longer than disposables. This might be one of the reasons people shy away from it. They've heard about having to use pins, and plastic pants. Nah, these people prefer to use "real diapers" - whatever that means. They don't want crappy diapers sitting in their toilet. You can thank my mother for the last one - apparently when she was growing up, her little brother was cloth diapered, and every time she had to use the bathroom, she had to get one of her parents to remove the diaper from the toilet. Gross!

Well, fret no more. Cloth doesn't have to be like that today. There are many different options, and with these, you can find the best system for your lifestyle.


If you are in it for the eco-friendly aspect, you might be drawn to organic products, or natural fibers like fitteds with a wool cover.
However, you don't have to go for those options to reduce the waste that disposables would create. Depending on how eco-friendly you want to be, you can even use disposable hybrid options such as Grovia or Flip.


The best way to save money is use prefolds and covers. Because of this, most people use prefolds on newborns as a cheap effective way to keep them in cloth before they would otherwise fit into one-size diapers.
Another economical option is AI2 (all-in-twos) like Best Bottoms, Grovia or Flip, which are basically a cover and a matching insert. The least economical option would be AIO (all-in-ones), or WAHM (work at home mom) fitteds. However, even using a stash entirely of AIO's will still save you money in the long run. Even WAHM diapers can save you money in the long run - as long as you don't buy more than you need.


Cloth diapers are definitely a cute alternative to disposables. Many people consider them to be a fashion accessory, or clothing item of their own. Most big name cloth brands come in a variety of colors - and some even come in patterns. If you decide to use WAHM diapers, they can come in any array of colors and patterns.
The style factor is part of what can lead to over-buying. However, even those that buy more than they need can recoup their costs by reselling them later. This is one of the amazing things about cloth diapers - the diapers do not lose much value with use.

Already interested in cloth?

If you already want to use cloth, but aren't quite sure where to start, let me help.

All-in-one's, all-in-two's and pockets are the easiest systems to use for those familiar with disposables, with AIO's and pockets in the lead as they are the most similar.

AIO's are literally one piece, which means that you wash, put on baby, take off, and repeat. However, they usually take the longest to dry, and do not have adjustable absorbancy without the use of a doubler or extra insert. However, adding something to an AIO takes away the benefit of using it. really.

AI2's can be used just like an AIO, except that you can reuse the waterproof shell until it's dirty, and simply replace the insert.

Pockets are used just like AIO's, but you have to stuff an insert into the pocket before using (or after washing). Most pockets come with microfiber, which can hold stink, and cannot be placed directly against baby's skin. However, there are other options for inserts, such as bamboo and hemp. These have adjustable absorbancy, and are much quicker at drying because the insert is not sewn in. These are probably the most popular type. Also, you can find some very cheap pockets online, such as Kawaii and Sunbaby.

These three options are your best bet to get daycare or your babysitter on board with using cloth. There is no extra work for the person changing the diaper!

I always recommend getting a variety of diaper types, even if you are completely sold on one specific kind. What if it doesn't work for your baby? What if it doesn't fit all situations? We started with prefolds, fitteds, AIO's, AI2's and pockets. I swore I was going to love AI2's and pockets. They have their place, like I love AI2's for travel, but my favorites are actually AIO's and fitteds. And even though I didn't originally have any interest in getting into wool, I do now. It works wonders - despite the fact that it doesn't make logical sense how wool can waterproof a diaper (just look up lanolizing if you want to take that route).

I wouldn't give up my variety for just one type of diaper either. Which diapers are fitting my little one best changes all the time, because babies grow quickly.

To read more about cloth diapers, check out the links below (or join in if you're a CDer and blogger!) - they are part of the Real Diaper week blog hop, which is leading up to the Great Cloth Diaper Change this Saturday.

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