Types of Cloth Diapers
So you are looking to purchase some cloth diapers but you don't know where to start? And if you haven't noticed, there are a lot of choices out there. One sure thing is there is a diaper system to fit any lifestyle or budget. The following might help you decide which types of diapers are best for you!
Prefold or Flat Diapers
Prefold or Flat Diapers generally required some sort of folding to fit around your baby. Prefolds typically are either folded in thirds and simply placed right inside a diaper cover or with some sort of fastener such as a Snappi, Boingo or diaper pins.Prefold diapers are available in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of your growing baby. Flat Diapers are a large square sheet of various kinds of fabric.They are what our Grandparents are most familiar with when talking about cloth diapering.Flat Diapers are one size and can be customized for any situation and folded in a variety of ways.They are also very versatile and can be used as a light blanket, a nursing cover or a burp cloth.They are also preferable for parents who like to line dry their diapers as they are quick drying.Diaper covers come with two closure options:Hook and loop or Snap.These diapers do require a diaper cover, and some moms enjoy using pins or a Snappi fastener for a snugger more customized fit. This group of diapers is generally the least expensive and does not have elastic or closures. When changing your baby, you will separate the diaper from the cover and place in a wet bag to hold until washing.You may use the diaper cover again for multiple changes unless it becomes soiled. An example of a prefold diaper might be a Bummis prefold with a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap or an Econobum Diaper with an Econobum Diaper Cover.An example of a Flat Diaper would be Swaddlebees Flat Diapers or Tiny Tush Organic Flat Diapers.
Fitted or Contour Diapers
Fitted diapers will have elastic at the legs and waist to provide a more snug fit. They usually close with snaps or hook and loop and tend to prevent leaks and blow-outs more effectively than a classic prefold because of the more customized fit.These diapers will also require a diaper cover. The nice thing about Fitted Diapers is they can be used in combination with a set of prefolds. Some parents like to use fitted diapers at night with a doubler to prevent leaks at night with a wool diaper cover like BabeeGreens Wool Diaper Cover.Fitted and contour diapers are more expensive than prefolds and less expensive than all-in-ones or pocket diapers. Contour diapers are simply a fitted without the elastic or with some elastic. They are shaped to fit around your baby without folding and are typically a little cheaper than a fitted (usually closing with hook and loop or snaps for a fitted and with a Snappi or pins for a Contour). The main difference between a Fitted and a Contour will be the closure method. An example of a Fitted Diaper would be Kissaluvs Fitted Cotton Fleece Diaper and many parents like to pair this with a Thirsties Duo Diaper Cover.An example of a Contour Diaper would be BabeeGreens Newborn Contours and many parents like to pair these with a perfect size diaper cover such as Bummis Super Brite or Thirsties Diaper Cover.
Pocket Diaper or All-in-one Diapers
These diapers are a onetime use diaper meaning it will need to be laundered after each diaper change. Pocket diapers have three distinct parts: the fleece or suede cloth liner that wicks the moisture away to keep baby feeling dry, the diaper soaker or insert and the water-proof shell to contain leaks. With most pocket diapers, the insert or soaker will need to be removed from the pocket for washing. These diapers can be customized for heavy wetters and for overnight use by simply stuffing a doubler or extra insert into the pocket. All-in-one diapers or AIO Diapers are all one piece and will be laundered as such. Some parents like this option because there is no stuffing and assembling the diaper after washing. These diapers close with hook and loop or snaps (depending on brand) and is similar in design and function to a disposable diaper except that you wash and reuse. This is a popular diaper for outings and babysitters and generally the most expensive of the cloth diapers. However, one nice feature about the all-in-one is that many are made to adjust from small to medium to large babies. This means you will only need to buy one size that will grow with your baby. An exampleof a pocket diaper would be bumGenius 4.0, a Thirsties Duo Diaper or a FuzziBunz Elite among others.An example of an All-in-one Diaper would be the GroVia All in One or the bumGenius Freetime.
So which ones do I choose?
Choosing can be the toughest part when purchasing cloth diapers. Washing/drying time, ease of changing and cost can all be contributing factors to what you ultimately will choose. If budget is an issue, prefolds with a diaper cover like Bummis or Thirsties is an awesome choice. They are adjustable, cheap and when using a Snappi, can be really easy to use. Plus you can use them as burp cloths, saving even more money. Fitted diapers can be nice as well with a diaper cover. They are pretty easy to use (no pins needed!) and can manage baby blowouts very well. As your baby gets a bit older and you become more comfortable with cloth diapering, you may wish to try a few all-in-one diapers or pocket diapers. They are easy to change and by this time you will need less diapers overall. Use a couple of inserts for overnight to help with leaking. Plus, flushable liners can be a huge help with solid waste once your baby starts eating solids.
The bottom line is that it comes down to personal preference and how the diapers fit on your baby. There is not one perfect diaper for everyone. What we found works best is to actually be able to see and feel the diapers so you can experiment with the functionality. We enjoyed having someone walk us through the pros and cons of each type of diaper and ultimately tried quite a few. Many parents have a variety of diapers in their diaper stash. Talk to other parents as well. Ask what they use and why they like it.All in all, you can't go wrong when you choose any cloth diaper for your baby.There will probably be some you like more than others, but most will work equally well most of the time.Some parents prefer to buy all of one brand and some parents like to pick from many different brands.
We would be happy to personally show you the benefits of each diaper we sell. Also, if there is a diaper or product that you would like to try and you don't see it in our store, please let us know and we will make every effort to make it available to you. Contact us for more information!(can you link the “contact us for more information” to our contact page?)