So you're pregnant and you want to cloth diaper. You're a smart mama, you know why you want to do it. It's good for your baby ((disposables = yucky stuff next to your babies bum)), it's more economical ((checkout this cloth diaper calculator)), and it's better for the environment ((check these stats out)). Like I said, you're smart, but then you start researching how to actually do it.... And whoa mama, it's all like
"I got my OS AIO BGs for my LO"
And you're like ???????? What?
Search no more my friend. I've entered in to this weird and wonderful cloth diapering world and I would love to help you come along too!
First things first, let's clear up some of these crazy terms. You'll find these commonly on cloth diapering web forums.
((CD))- Cloth Diaper
((PUL))- Polyurethane Laminate. This is a type of fabric which is waterproof and commonly used to make diapers. It has a cloth like feel on the outside but a more plastic like feel inside.
((Pocket Diaper))- typically a type of diaper with a PUL (waterproof) outside, and an inner later of 'stay dry' material (against baby's bum) the outer and inner layer create a 'pocket that you 'stuff' an insert into.
((Insert))- an insert is what you will use inside of a pocket diaper. They are commonly microfibre but you can also buy microfibre/bamboo blends, bamboo inserts and hemp inserts. The insert is what absorbs the pee! Very important :)
((AIO))- All in One. Just as it says this diaper is all one piece. Unlike a pocket diaper which is considered two pieces (the 'shell' and the insert) an AIO has the insert attached to the shell outer. No stuffing required.
((AI2))- All in two. Sometimes referred to as 'hybrids'. This is basically an AIO except that the insert is not attached, and is laid on top of the diaper instead of stuffed inside a pocket.
((Flats))- This is you're old school type of diaper. Flats are basically a piece of fabric, usually cotton which you can fold in a variety of ways. They can be pinned, or you can use a 'snappi' to secure around baby.
((Prefold))- Usually folded In three, with the middle being the most absorbent, you must use a cover for this type of diaper. (People swear by these for the newborn stage)
((Hybrid))- Hybrids are a cross between a disposable and reusable diaper. They have a washable outside and a disposible inner.
((Fitted))- This type of diaper is not waterproof and will require a cover, or wool 'soaker' Many of these diapers have regular cotton outers (usually with some pretty cute prints) and cotton velour (CV) or organize bamboo velour (OBV) inners. And can also be made with fleece. Many moms use these around the house without a cover and change when they are damp. They are surprisingly absorbent.
((Cover))- sometimes referred to as a diaper 'wrap' this is a waterproof cover that you need to put over a prefold or fitted.
((OS))- One Size (a common type of diaper with snaps down the front to adjust the size, these diapers typically fit from 10lbs to potty trained). Pocket diapers are commonly one size, but there are some AIOs, AI2s, and Fitteds which are also one size.
Rather than list all of the brands out there and try to review them all I will refer you to this great video with a review on 23 different diapers, covering pockets, prefolds, AIOs, hybrids, and fitteds.
I will share though, the brands which I have personally tried and give you my own review of them.
((BG)) the Bum Genius brand has mostly, One size, pocket diapers. But they also sell some AIOs. Bum Genius was the first brand I bought, they are a pricier diaper, but in my opinion are worth it. They are my 'go to' diaper. Mine are Velcro (also called hook & loop, or aplix), and they have been great for grandparents and daddies who find snaps hard. I also have an AIO Bum Genius 'freetime' diaper which I like. The only downfall to these diapers has been that they didn't fit my skinny little girl as soon as I would have liked and they are on the 'bulkier' side.
Glowbugs are made here in Canada and have a lot of great features. The insert snaps in and out, so it stays in place. They have a gusset all the way around, which keeps in those newborn poops! They are a pocket one size and when Hazel was really little these were the only diaper that fit her well. The major downfall of Glowbugs is that you have to buy them in a pack of 6 or 12, so it's hard to get one or two just to try out.
I've heard Goodmamas referred to as the "hardcore CD mamas diaper of choice"... Guys, I'm not that hardcore... I promise. Goodmama are a fitted diaper which started out as a 'boutique' brand by one lady working from her home. Now it's HUGE I'm talking this lady has got to be a rich rich women, cause these little diapers are PRICY!! Can you imagine spending upwards of $30 on a used diaper.... Just pure crazy. But friends, I've done it. The thing I love about GMs is of course the cute prints ((that's what Hazel is wearing in the pic above)) I mean, dang, those are some cute diapers. I was "into" it for a while ((probably because I was nursing a baby for hours on end with nothing better to do)) Since then I have sold off a lot of my gms because really... Since they are a fitted diaper and you have to put a cover over them when you go out... It's not all that convenient. But Hazel does still rock a few faves around the house. If you are thinking about buying GMs, just be careful you don't spend all of your money. ((Ps. They are very soft and absorbent too))
Alvas come in lots of different styles. They are a brand from China, but are known to have good labour practices so that's great. You can find pockets, AIO and AI2s at Alva. Guys, these diapers cost $4. It's kinda crazy how cheap they are. You'll find some reviews online saying that Alvas have leaked for them but I have the "J series" and I have never had a leak. I have absolutely no problem with these diapers whatsoever and the plus side is that the prints are cute too. What I like about Alvas is that I'm not really expecting them to last forever. I mean $4 is not a huge investment, so if these babies get put in the dryer, get a bit of bum cream on them or have some stains, I'm not too worried. I've used Alvas for a year with no trouble. If you are looking to try some cloth without investing too much, this is your diaper.
I have tried a few other smaller brands and WHAM ((work at home mom)) diapers. If you are interested in a certain kind that I haven't listed here leave me a comment and it's quite likely that I've tried it or know someone who has.
That's it for today. I hope you have found this helpful!! Come one back tomorrow for tips on washing and care and what you need to know before you buy! I will also be posting up some frequently asked questions and answers from my local cloth diaper group!
PART TWO IS NOW UP!! Thanks for visiting and check out part 2 HERE