Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Beginnings of my Stash

Since deciding to cloth diaper baby #2, I've become absolutely obsessed with ALL things related to cloth diapering. Seriously obsessed - just ask the hubster, he's worried about me, I'm certain of it!

I admit it was VERY overwhelming at first but I'm a research junkie so the constant online searching didn't bother me one little bit.
I've learned about all of the different varieties of cloth diapers out there - from prefolds to fitteds to pockets to AIO's and AI2's.

I've learned about the available fabrics - cotton, hemp, bamboo, flannel, terry - and the wetness barrier options - PUL, ZORB, wool, fleece.

I've learned about the best choices for newborns vs. infants vs. toddlers.

I've learned about liners and doublers and the bio-degradeable options.

I've learned about snaps and velcro and laundry tabs and wet & dry bags and washing instructions and laundry detergent.

I've learned that there are free patterns to make your own diapers and covers if you have the sewing skills.

I've learned about "mommy items" for breastfeeding and postpartum care.

I've learned it all and then searched for reviews on every imagineable brand-name on http://www.diaperpin.com/

I've learned that there are a ton of cloth diaper shops online, most of which host sales of overstocks and seconds and discontinued colours - great to grab up brand name items for super cheap if you don't mind searching.

And then I've learned that ETSY has a TON of Work-at-home-Moms who make most of this stuff for a much more reasonable cost than the brand-names...and there are fabulous reviews for them as well.

Best of all, I've learned all this will save me a TON of money in the long run since disposables cost $2000-$3000 and about 500 years in the landfill. Cloth diaper costs vary anywhere from about $250-$1000 and 2-3 extra loads of laundry per week.

Without further a-do, may I present to you my first online cloth diaper "samples". The hubster even agreed (after listening to my voice of reason -- that's probably the voice he refers to as "beaker") to letting me purchase sale items online so I can figure out what I like best.

Sarah's dolls and bears, my diaper models, have been loving all the attention.

Option #1: Prefolds with Cover

Pros: Cheapest option, easiest to launder and dry, cover can be used over several times unless it becomes soiled.
Cons: Requires pinning or Snappi making it more tedious than other options, Not dad-friendly

This one is a Chinese unbleached prefold in Infant size ($2.50 regular price) and a Stacinator fleece cover in size small ($10.00 on clearance)

And here is Sarah's stuffed dog with folded and Snappi'd prefold all ready for the cover. And honestly, it doesn't really take all that long once you get the hang of it. However, taking the time to fold and Snappi a squirmy toddler might be very tricky indeed.

P.S. The SNAPPI is the little white plastic gadget you see along the front of the prefold - for someone, like me, who's afraid of poking their baby with a sharp pin.
Option #2: Pocket

Pros: Can be stuffed to achieve any level of absorbency you desire, "normal" drying times as stuffer and cover remain separate in the wash, many come in one-size options from about 12 - 35 lbs making it a reasonable price option, velcro option can be dad-friendly
Cons: Don't fit newborns very well in the one-size options, stuffing can be a pain in the butt (particularly for daddies), both the stuffing AND cover need to be changed.

The red diaper on the left is a "BABY KANGA" ($15 on clearance - no liner included). I love that the pocket opening is a zipper in the front, meaning there's no touching the inside of the diaper to pull out a soiled liner. It is made in Canada - added bonus! The Baby Kanga shown is also in the one-sized variety (all those snaps have a purpose - they make the diaper smaller or bigger to fit your baby!)

The doggy print diaper on the right is made by Etsy mom "Lil Impressions". I love the fabric choices and the price ($13 including shipping and terry cloth liner). Note the pocket opening is inside in the back of the diaper. A very nicely constructed diaper and easy for Dad with a velcro closure.

Baby Kanga pulled out to its biggest size option.

Option #3: AIO's (All-in-Ones)
Pros: Goes on exactly like a disposable, no extra stuffing or covers needed, VERY dad friendly, nice fit for a newborn.
Cons: Takes longer to dry because of the layers all-in-one, more expensive since it is a SIZED diaper, meaning your would need to purchase sizes for each stage your baby is in.
Doggy is wearing an AMP Made in Canada diaper in a beautiful chocolate brown colour, sized Newborn. $20. Super easy. I love this one the most!
Option #4: FLIP (that's the brand name as opposed to the style, as I'm not really certain which style this one falls into -a hybrid perhaps?)
Pro: Cover and insert are separate making wash times reasonable, cover can be reused with a new liner until it becomes soiled, a one-sized meaning it fits babies approximately sized 10 - 35 lbs meaning less diapers to buy.
Con: Still on the pricey side at $20 per system (diaper cover and insert together), not a big colour range (yes, that's a con for me)
This flip is my least favourite that I've received so far. Personally, I find the way the liner goes in a little awkward. I'm not sure it would actually stay in place with no snaps or velcro.

To end off, I have to say, I obviously cannot make a really informed decision or give a precise review on ANY of these styles of diapers as I've no baby yet to try them out on. My opinion is based merely on discussions with the hubster after trials on ease of snaps/velcro, construction, fit on stuffed doggy (lol!), etc.

I'm still waiting on a few more samples to come in the mail - including a fitted and a trainer from another Etsy mom, two more cover types (a berry plush and a bumkins), and two more fitteds (an AMP and a Happy Heiny's).

I would love to hear your recommendations and advice! Stay tuned for Cloth Diaper post #2.


Anonymous said...

I also like option #3. You are sooo brave to go with cloth diapers. Don't know if I would of been able venture that. Koo-doos (not sure on the spelling...lol) to you!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I used option #2 with my girls. Mind you, that was 18 yr ago; and they've probably come out with improved models. But I loved the economy of reusing a cover.

HOWEVER, cloth diapers don't do well at night! So, if you don't mind washing a lot of bedding, you're okay. I used disposable for some nighttime and for long car trips.

Good luck! And remember .... rinsing and washing out poopy cloth diapers is something you can forever blackmail your children with (as in your ultimate sacrifice for them)!