Cloth diapering is a funny adventure. It’s really not all that different from becoming a parent. You start out hoping for the best and dreading the worst. There’s always quite a bit of hesitation and fear right before you take the leap. You worry about all the bad things that could go wrong, but then once you finally jump in, you quickly realize all the benefits and don’t know what you were so worried about before!
Every cloth diaper system has its pros and cons. As Lana shared with us a couple weeks ago in her post, Hybrids are awesome for their flexibility. Prefolds are the least expensive. All-in-ones are the easiest to put on. Fitteds are the most absorbant. We chose Pockets because they were easy to understand; they look and operate just like a disposable diaper. They are also easy to clean. The absorbent insert, which you stuff into a sleeve inside of the waterproof diaper cover, can be removed entirely and washed and dried separately. This makes cleaning them easier, because you can treat the covers more delicately, preserving the elastic and waterproof fabric, and be more aggressive to the inserts, washing and drying them on high heat or using stronger cleaning products. Our favorite pocket diapers are BumGenius Pockets with snaps.
We love pocket diapers. They aren’t intimidating for Grandma or daycare to figure out. There are no special folds to learn or gadgets to attach. They are just a soft, comfy, adorable alternative to disposable diapers. But it didn’t take long to realize that we needed a different system for night time, as our side-sleeping baby always had problems with leaks during the night. This is where we turned to fitteds. Similar to hybrids, fitteds are used with a diaper cover. The difference is that hybrid inserts are generally long rectangular-shaped absorbent pads that lay inside the cover, and fitteds are the shape of an entire diaper, and are entirely absorbent. This solves the side-sleeping problem, since even the sides and waist of the diaper are absorbent. Our favorite fitted (the only one we’ve tried) is the Imagine Bamboo Fitted with snaps, which we use inside a Thirsties Duo size two cover with snaps.
So that’s our system: pockets for daytime and fitteds with covers for night. Other accessories we use to make things easier are a diaper sprayer and a hanging wet bag. The diaper sprayer is similar to a sprayer attached to your kitchen sink, only it’s attached to your toilet tank and allows you to spray off the yuck without having to do the old “dunk and swish” method.
The wet bag is a waterproof bag with handles that holds the dirty diapers until it’s time to go in the wash. We chose a wet bag over a pail because we liked that you can throw the whole wet bag in the wash along with the diapers. It also saves floor space in our small bathroom. When we go out and about, we just put dirty diapers in a plastic ziplock bag in the diaper bag. Easy and cheap!
In cloth diapering, just like in parenting, every family has to choose what works best for them, and no two families will do it exactly the same way. Now you’ve heard about hybrids, pockets, and fitteds. We’d love to hear from some prefold/flats or all-in-one fans! Any mamas out there want to share their own cloth diapering system, tips, or advice?