Monday, April 27, 2015

Cloth Diapering Is Easier Than Ever

Cloth Diapering Is Easier Than Ever

When most people think of cloth diapers, they think of the classic prefolded pieces of cloth and vinyl pants. But in today's world, cloth diapers are much easier and far more advanced. Cloth diapering can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars when you factor in multiple children. Aside from the cost, cloth diapers offer other benefits. Children who are cloth diapered often experience less diaper rash and potty train earlier. And since cloth diapers don't contain large amounts of chemicals and can be used multiple times for multiple children, they are environmentally friendly. But many people have images of folding cloth, pinning diapers, and scraping off poop in the toilet. Not anymore! Cloth is incredibly simple these days- no pins, no dunking, and no plastic pants required!

                
There are several types of cloth diapers on the market today. The easiest kind, the All-In-One, combines the diaper and cover in one. These can have snaps or Velcro, be sized or one-size-fits-all with adjustable snaps. There are many cute patterns and different materials. These work most like the disposable diaper, simply put on, take off, then toss in diaper pail.
One Size with Adjustable Snaps
Sized, All-in-one, velcro

One-size, all-in-one, velcro
Another type is a pocket diaper, or All-In-Two. These have an absorbent insert that goes into the waterproof cover. Some inserts slide in a pocket, while others snap in. These are most like the All-In-Ones, with the added step of stuffing an insert. These are just as simple to change, especially if you pre-stuff the inserts and have them ready to go.
Various Inserts
Pocket Diapers with Inserts Inside, One Size, Snaps

A slightly more complicated, though admittedly cuter option, is the fitted diaper. These do require a cover, though most users don't always use one-especially at home. These have the largest variety of patterns, sizes, styles and materials. Some use pins or Snappis (a plastic, safer alternative to pins) while others have Velcro or snaps. These fit most like a disposable diaper, as they are sized by weight. These may be adorable, but due to sizes, you will also have to more as the child grows. Though this will still be a considerably cheaper option than buying disposables.

Fitted diapers, snaps, one size
fitted diapers, sized (s,m,l,xl), snaps
My personal favorite style is the Hybrid Diaper. These have waterproof covers or shells with inserts, much like a pocket diaper. However, the Hybrid Diaper has the option of cloth or disposable inserts. Many people choose this option for outings and day trips. Hybrids offer the most convenience with disposable inserts that can be flushed or thrown away when out of the house. This eliminates the need to carry around a bag of wet diapers.

g-diaper system, shown with prefolds used as inserts
g-diapers, velcro, sized
specialty all-in-twos (re: more expensive, but SO CUTE!), snaps, one size
And, of course, there is the classic option of prefolded or flat cloth diapers and waterproof covers. These are certainly the most affordable option, but often require practice to find a fold and fit that works for your child. These can take more time to change, but offer quicker laundering time.

prefold diapers, one size snap covers
All these choices may have your head spinning, but we're not done yet! Washing your cloth diapers is as easy as washing clothes. Simply shake any solid matter into the toilet and toss in the diaper pail until laundry day. When you're ready to wash, load in the washing machine with a diaper-safe detergent. There is no need to buy expensive detergents, any one that is free of perfume and dyes will do. Cold rinse first, so stains don't set in. A hot wash will thoroughly clean and sanitize the diapers, then dry according to the manufacturer's instructions for the particular brand of diapers. Many can be tossed in the dryer, while few should be line-dried.

cloth wipes for easy cleanup
a beautiful rainbow of diapers
a mixed stash, with various sizes, types, patterns and styles
various diapers laid out after washing
mixed stash for variety and function
Cloth diapering has many benefits, and I encourage every parent to research and at least consider them. There are many places that offer trial packages, where you can try out cloth diapers for 30 days and see if you like them. If you don't, simply send them back! It's that easy. See? Cloth diapering is easier than you thought!