I have stumbled onto a subculture, a culture of women who get really excited about cloth diapering. I’m thankful to these women because I’m interested in cloth diapering, and they provide blog posts, videos, advice, and the warning that cloth diapering can turn into an addiction (where you buy more and more cute diapers and different kinds of diapers) rather than a money saver. Don’t think that will happen to me, but who knows. I never thought I’d find this little niche of mothers who are passionate — yes, passionate — about cloth diapering.
I’m primarily interested in cloth diapering for three reasons: 1) It will be more cost-effective in the long-run, 2) I have a problem with throwing away countless non-biodegradable diapers, and 3) I love doing laundry.
My Henry isn’t here yet, so I haven’t actually tried out cloth diapering, but I think I’ll like it (did I mention I love doing laundry?) Several of my friends have gone with one diaper system – namely Grovia. I decided not to go that route, exploring all the different kinds of cloth diapering options.
And boy was I overwhelmed. Cloth diapering is an INDUSTRY, with several different kinds, brands, necessary accessories, and a heftier price tag than I was first anticipating. Since I’m just waiting around for Henry to get here, I decided to do a day of massive research into cloth diapers, creating a starter pack for myself of different brands and types, seeing for myself which kind I would like best.
Here’s what I ended up ordering (my fun little bundles of diapers won’t arrive until next week):
- 3 bumGenius 4.0 One-Size diapers. These are pocket diapers, which means it looks very much like a disposable diaper (though I decided to go with the sturdier seeming snaps than velcro), except it has a pocket where you place the absorbent material. I chose to get a few of these because I read that these make good overnight diapers: you can add to the stuffing inside, giving your baby more to soak up the pee. I also like the one-size option because the set of snaps allows for flexibility in size – the diaper will literally grow with your child. The only drawback for these is the heftier price tag at about $18 a pop. These are my splurge diapers.
- 2 Flip One-Size diapers. These are made by the same company as bumGenius, but they are a hybrid diaper. What this means is that you can use their reusable inserts or you can use disposable inserts, similar to gDiapers. The Flip diaper is basically a waterproof cover where you just lay absorbent material inside. It has small pockets on the front and back end, to ensure that the insert stays put. These can run you around $17 each — not much cheaper than the bumGenius, but the bonus for these is that if the cover doesn’t get dirtied in poo, you can reuse it right then, just putting in a new insert.
- 12 Indian Prefolds (infant size). This is just basically a really soft piece of cloth that you can stick into any diaper cover, including the Flips and others. It’s called a prefold because it has a thicker middle section and appears to be divided into three parts. But the prefold term is misleading because you do have to do some folding to fit this inside a diaper cover or pocket diaper, but I like folding. This is the cheapest option for absorbent material (think $1.50 each rather than the almost $4 or more a piece for other absorbent inserts made for particular diapers). Prefolds are not waterproof, so they require a diaper cover.
- 2 Thirsty’s Duo Diaper Covers. These are just covers made of material that will wipe off and clean easily. You stick the prefolds inside. Easy. The thing about Thirsty’s is that it is not a one-size diaper. They have a smaller diaper (size 1) for smaller babies through about 9 months, and then another for bigger babies and toddlers (size 2). These will run you about $13 a piece.
- 1 Econobum diaper and 3 prefolds. I got these basically just to try out a cheaper option of diaper cover, and to see how these prefolds compare to the more expensive (but still relatively cheap) Indian prefolds. I got this whole set for $12.
So, that is the stash I’m starting with. I hope I like all of these and can use them for different times of day and different occasions. If I don’t like them, I found a site where I can swap or sell them.
The world of cloth diapering was overwhelming and confusing at first, but now I think I’ve got a good handle on it. I’ll let you know how it all really works once I actually start changing diapers.