Thursday, April 22, 2010

In Honor of Earth Day

Let's discuss cloth diapers.

Today's post is brought to you by the Moby. All writing was done with Jack sleeping snuggly on my chest : )

When I was pregnant some girlfriends and I discussed cloth diapering. They were also expecting and had plans to cloth diaper their babies. I however, was a bit hesitant. The idea of cloth diapering intrigued me. I love the benefits - saving money, better for the environment, better for baby - but the whole washing diapers thing? Ick.

With Jack's impending arrival I decided that we would go with disposables because I figured it would be enough on our plate to adjust to a new member of the household and all that entails. I didn't want to throw yet another thing into the mix.

Well, now that Jack is 7 weeks old I feel that we are really starting to get a handle on things and have more of a routine down. I started looking into cloth diapering. After discussing with Mark and really pushing the economical benefits (because hey, he's the Nature Grinch. He's not into saving the Earth) we decided we would lay out a little bit of money to try it out and see how we like it.

It's amazing how far cloth diapering has come. Generations ago people cloth diapered because that's all that was available or because that's all they could afford. Nowadays cloth diapering is coming back into vogue. And let me tell you, it is possible to save money by cloth diapering, but it is also very easy to spend way more diapering your babe with this method. Costs can range from a few dollars if you are using a prefold and cover method to $30+ per diaper if you want higher end organic options!

And there are a TON of options out there.

Of course there are traditional cloth diapers - A flat piece of cloth which must be folded to layer and then wrapped around baby's bottom. A water resistant cover must be used over top to prevent leakage.

Prefolds - Essentially a traditional cloth diaper which is already layered up into a nice square so that it's all ready to be wrapped around your baby's bottom. Also must be worn with a cover.

Fitteds - An absorbent cloth diaper that goes on similar to a disposable, which must also be used with a cover.

Pocket and Sleeve dipes - Similar in style to disposables (some brands utilize snaps, others have velcro tabs for closure) but with a removable absorbant layer that is stuffed in the diaper itself and then removed for ease of washing and drying.

They even have All-in-One diapers - As the name indicates, these are one piece just like a disposable diaper, but can be washed and reused.

There are benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Even more importantly these diapers now come in "one size" meaning that they will grow with your baby via a snap system. In my opinion, the "one size" is the best way to save money because you only need to purchase one set of diapers vs. sized diapers that will only fit your little one for a certain length of time and then must be switched out.

See where the research comes in? There are SO many options out there it's hard to know what you want!

After hours of research we decided that our first foray into cloth diapering would be the Flip system manufactured by Cotton Babies.

This is what they call a hybrid diaper because it's a two part system - liner and cover - that can use reusable cloth liners, or disposable liners which can be utilized while you're on the go. What appealed to me is they are cheaper than some of the other options out there, but are a step up from the simple prefold and cover option (which is most like traditional cloth diapering that we think of from generations past).

And so we have entered into the world of cloth diapering. I must say I'm extremely excited. I can see how people become obsessed. Ever since we decided to try out cloth diapering I've been researching and researching trying to figure out if we will continue with this system or try a different style/brand. I've been reading reviews and comparing prices and really just lusting after all the different options.

The only thing I'm still wary of is the extra laundry. I hope I can keep up with it. Also pee is one thing, but I'm not so sure how I'll feel about scraping newborn poo off of a diaper that I then have to wash. I feel that if we try it and like it then great! If we don't like it then at least we tried and I got it out of my system.

I'll keep you updated!


  1. Do you also need to change the cover with every diaper change?

    Or are you just changing the insert? If you are just changing the insert, how often are you changing/washing the cover?


  2. If you are using a system that needs a cover you only have to change the liner. Obviously the cover needs washed sometimes because it's containing pee and poo, but not every time.

    We've only been using the cloth diapers for a day and a half now so I'm not sure how often the covers will actually need to be washed! I'm guessing we'll probably be able to use 1 cover per day unless some poo gets on it or something. The instructions that came with the cover say that if something does get on the cover it can just be wiped clean, so there's that too.

    Now, if you use an All-in-One or a Pocket diaper then the whole diaper has to be switched out every time.

    Hope this answers your question!


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