I am going to give you guys a quick introduction to cloth diapering with a post to follow on our experience so far with cloth diapering our newborn. I have learned a lot about what I like and don't like in these last few weeks, and hopefully I can simplify this cloth diapering world for all of you who are thinking about venturing into it. While this list will be a quick intro, it is by no means complete. If you'd like to know more, check out the additional resources I listed at the bottom.
There are many types of cloth diapers, but we will start with the most basic and move to the most complex. This won't always be true, but as a general rule of thumb, the diapers are presented as least to most expensive
Prefolds can also be folded into thirds and laid inside of a waterproof cover for quick diapering (See below).
The above three types of diapers require waterproof covers on them. Waterproof covers can be made from many different materials (some people swear by wool covers, especially for nighttime).
Here is an example of what a waterproof cover looks like (This is a Thirsties brand)
Ok so now I'm going to move into the diapers which do not require covers or separate fasteners. They can either have snap or velco (aplix/hook-and-loop) closures
|Hemp insert (Left) and microfiber insert (Right)|
Each type of diaper has its pros and cons, whether it is expense (flats being the cheapest, AIOs and AI2s generally being the most expensive), ease (flats and prefolds taking more time, with AIOs being the quickest), or drying time (flats taking a matter of an hour or two to dry and AIOs taking considerably longer). Not every type of diaper will work for each person or baby. I have been somewhat surprised at the diapers I have ended up liking the most, and the ones I have quickly resold because they didn't work for Victoria.
One other aspect of cloth diapers which is important to note is the sizing options. Diapers are either sized (as in small, medium, etc), or are one-size, which means they can usually fit a weight range. Sized diapers are not very common, as they require a greater investment. You would have to buy a diaper stash in every size.
One-size diapers are very common. They have snaps that allow you to make the diaper smaller or larger. Most will begin fitting babies around 8-9 pounds and will go up until 35-40 pounds (Depending on the diaper).
This is a one-size pocket diaper in the smallest setting. This fit my daughter from 9 pounds. The snaps on top are for closing the diaper and allow for smaller or larger waists.
This is the same diaper unsnapped to the largest setting. This would fit a larger toddler.
-Change-diapers.com is a sit by a cloth diapering mama. She has lots of informative posts and lots of diaper reviews where she talks about different brands.
-Kelly's closet is an online cloth diaper store (a great one because it is easy to get free diapers with your orders), and they have an entire section of their site called "Cloth 101".
-Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert: A Simple, Comprehensive Guide to Using Cloth Diapers is a kindle book which has lots of information on diaper types with photos. It addresses cloth diaper issues, washing routines, etc. I read it as my first intro to cloth diapering, and I enjoyed it. But it is written from a woman's point of view so I suggest using it as one of many uses.
-Facebook group called "Cloth diaper support group" has lots of great information and points of view from group members