More About Cloth Diapering

As promised, here is another post about my cloth disappearing experience. I’ve had several friends ask me about CD over the past few months and I thinks it’s great that the CD word is being spread! It’s such a great way to save money and the environment.

So a few months ago I published my first post about my cloth diapering experience. Not a whole lot has changed but I’ve discovered some new diapers, tricks, and tips along the way since my last post.
First, I discovered the world of prefolds and since my last post, that’s been a learning experience that I’ll discuss in a bit.

Okay, so if you read my last post on CD, you’ll see that I did a bit of a review on the diapers we had tried. We tried (and recently sold) FuzziBunz, gDiapers, Blueberry AIO (all in one), and recently I finally tried the Rearz fitted I bought awhile back. When I first bought the Rearz, I had no idea what fitted meant versus pocket, AIO, AI2 (all in 2), OS (one size), perfect fit, prefold, etc., etc., etc. The world of cloth can be, oh, so confusing and overwhelming. So, in an effort to make it a bit easier for anyone considering cloth, here is a bit of an overview of what it all means.

**Please note, I will provide the link to the official product website (when one is available) one time during the post, refer back to the link to find out more information about a specific brand.**

PUL – stands for polyurethane laminate. It’s a waterproof fabric that is used in many styles of cloth diapers.

Pocket Diaper – a diaper with a PUL outer layer and a soft inside layer. There is a pocket between the soft layer and the PUL layer that allows for an insert to be placed inside the diaper. bumGenius, FuzziBunz, Kawaii, Blueberry, Rumparooz, and many, many, more make pocket style diapers. We have the bumGenius OS 4.0 for M and we LOVE them! However, I’ve been feeling the need to try some new brands. We were not a fan of FuzziBunz, but that was just because of the fit on M. I’ve had friends who swear by them so don’t let one person’s opinion sway you from trying something.

AIO – stands for All-In-One. An AIO has the insert sewn into the diaper so there is no stuffing (or removing) of insert required. This is as close to a disposable diaper as you can get. Take off, throw in bin, wash, dry, put on baby. That simple. bumGenius recently came out with an AIO (Freetime), we have one, and we love it! I may end up buying more…if I can somehow justify purchasing more diapers! I’m not going to list all the brands that have AIO, if you go to some of the websites on my Stash O’ Links tab you can take a look at some of the different brands out there.

AI2 – stands for All-In-2. I just recently figured this one out. I hadn’t paid much attention to the world of AI2 and did some research a few weeks back. Basically it’s similar to a pocket diaper but the insert lays on top of the cover, instead of inside the cover. The concept allowing for just the insert to be changed and not the cover as well. gDiaper could possibly fit into this category, but they really are quite different than most CD out there. I have not tried any official AI2, I don’t really have an interest in trying them either, not sure why, but I think I’m going to stick with pocket, prefold, or AIO.

Prefold – speaking of prefolds…Prefolds are basically your old school cloth diaper but no more do you have rubber pants to go over the prefold diaper. Now, there’s a cover that is made from PUL that has either a snap or aplix (velcro-like) enclosure. I don’t use pins to secure the prefold, the spectacular invention of the Snappi is my choice of enclosure. It’s not that you can’t use a safety pin, I just feel a Snappi is safer and easier. We use Econobum prefolds. I tried another brand that I bought from an Amish store but I bought them too small and ended up selling them and replacing them with Econobum. I’m really happy with them so I don’t see me trying any other prefold brands at this time. I love using prefolds on weekends when my husband is working. I actually find them really nice. I was told they were the bulkiest of CD but I haven’t found that to be true. They actually result in less laundry because you don’t have to wash the cover every time. Simply wipe out unless it’s soiled with poo. So, only the prefold goes into the wash. There are several different ways to fold a prefold so if this is something you’re interested in, do some research to see what works best for you and your baby.

Fitted – again this is one that took me awhile to figure out. It wasn’t until I started looking into the prefold world that I realized what a fitted was. Fitteds are basically an AIO in that they don’t require an insert, but do not have a PUL layer so they do require a PUL cover. They come in snap or aplix enclosure and are usually sized (so as baby grows you have to size up). I have 3 fitteds (1 that is still too big for M) and 2 that I can use right now. They are Rearz fitteds. I’ll use my fitteds but I’m not attached to them. I may end up selling them, we’ll see.

OS – stands for one size. OS diapers usually have snaps going up the front that allow for the diaper to grow as baby grows. The OS diapers we have, have 3 rises, M is currently on the middle rise of snaps. Some may only have 2 rises, but from what I’ve seen, it’s been 3 for the most part.

Perfect Fit – this means that the diaper is sized. So as baby grows you have to size up. You’d have to check with the specific brand you are looking into to find out which size you’ll need depending on weight. However, it’s just a guesstimate so you’ll have to see what fits best for your baby. Our FuzziBunz were perfect fit as are gDiapers and the Swaddlebee AIO we had. I personally prefer an OS diaper so I don’t have to worry about stashing diapers that are too small or too big until they are needed (or needed again for a future baby). I do have my small gDiapers stashed away though because I really liked them for up to about 11-12lbs on M and will use them again for another baby at some point.

Cover – the cover is the part of the diaper you see once the diaper is on. It can be a pocket cover or plain PUL cover (remember this is used for fitteds and prefolds). They come in all sorts of designs, colors, and patterns. The cover is what makes CD so addicting!! In my opinion anyway! I see a cute pattern or design and I just must have it!! 🙂

Insert – most pocket diapers you buy will have at least 1 insert that comes with it (bumGenius gives you a newborn insert and a OS insert that grows with baby). There are a ton of inserts out there and just because the diapers you buy come with a specific insert, this does not mean you will like that insert all the time. For example, nighttime, frequently a double stuffed diaper or a more absorbent insert is required to help baby sleep through the night. We use a bumGenius OS insert (on 2nd rise snap) and a Zorb insert for nighttime and get a good 10 hours of sleep out of M before he needs his diaper changed. The brand of zorb I bought has a specific overnight insert that I don’t have (bought from a Mennonite store) and I keep meaning to buy some to see if we can get him closer to the 12 hours that he sleeps at night. I have since bought 2 nighttime zorbs, they work great. Either zorb option, is a good option, M is in his nighttime diaper for close to 14 hours and we have no leakage issues and sleeps all night with no diaper changes needed. I have found that we get less stink issues though if the zorb is paired with a prefold or gdiaper insert rather than the bumGenius microfiber insert. Cloth diapering has a lot of trial and error.

Laundry:
Please refer back to my previous CD post (link above) as I’m going to briefly touch upon how we wash M’s diapers. This is what works for us, now, this process could change at any time if I find something that works better or is more efficient. Each of my fellow CD friends wash their dipes differently so it’s really what works best for you and your washer.

Step 1: Rinse poop diapers with diaper sprayer so poop goes down the drain, store in bucket in bathroom with a lid; store pee diapers in wet bag that lines a kitchen trash can in the nursery. (Or dump solids in toilet and toss the rest in the diaper pail…no rinsing needed unless it’s a looser poop).
Step 2: Dump pee diapers and rinsed poop diapers into washer.
Step 3: Run cold rinse and spin cycle on washer with 1 tbsp of Rockin Green Funk Rock (or a couple times a month a 1/4 cup of non-chlorine bleach by Seventh Generation if I don’t have any Funk Rock).
Step 4: Run quick hot water wash, heavy soil setting, small amount of Rockin Green CD detergent, and extra rinse at the end.
Step 5: Run heavy duty hot wash, heavy soil, 2 tbsp of Rockin Green CD detergent, and extra rinse at the end.
Step 6: Throw diapers into dryer.
Step 7: Stuff/fold diapers, put away at changing table. Done!

Step 1 and Step 7 are really the only steps that take extra time out of your day, but it becomes part of the routine and after awhile you don’t even think about it.

Wipes:
I recently started using cloth wipes. Couple reasons why. First, it’s more environmental and it’s a money saver (okay, that’s 2 in one), second, my dog finds poopy wipes a delicacy and was eating them, I’d find poopy wipes all over the place (EW!).

I ended up just making my own cloth wipes (see DIY All By Myself for more info on how I made my cloth wipes). I’ve found that using a spray bottle with wipe solution has worked best for me. I made his solution out of some baby wash and organic shea butter oil with some water. Put water in before the soap so you don’t get lots of foam, then gently rock the bottle back and forth to mix the ingredients. I don’t know how much I used of each, I really just eye-balled it. If you do an internet search though, you can get tons of other wipe solution recipes. This just seemed easy and gets the job done. I spray the solution on the wipe, wipe the bum, put in pail, easy peasy lemon squeezy. All you really need is some water though, all the other stuff isn’t necessary, it’s whatever works best for you and whatever you prefer.

So, that’s CD in a nutshell…a large nutshell  I hope that if you’re considering cloth this did not overwhelm but was informative and helped you feel less overwhelmed! My recommendation for deciding whether or not to do cloth is to make the decision, buy a stash and ease yourself into it, check out Jillian’s Drawers or Nicki’s Diapers for their diaper trials. I wish I had known about these trial options when I started with M, maybe for another for newborn dipes…we’ll see. Ease yourself into CDing (or at least get through the meconium poop stage) by starting with just weekends or just during the day, then as your disposable supply decreases and you feel more comfortable with cloth, decide that when you’re out of disposables, that’s it, you’re not buying anymore. That’s what we did and we’ve never turned back! I believe we have 1 disposable and I’m pretty sure it would be way too small on M. Not even sure why we still have it, just in case I suppose.

Any questions, please leave comments! Fellow CDers out there, any other information or advice you would offer?

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