25 June 2008

Cloth Diapers - Part 4

Warning: This post is intended for those seriously interested in or curious about cloth diapers only - anyone else may be subject to diapertalk overload, or what Mommies might call a blow-out...

The Lingo
I was terribly confused when I began researching diapers. Here are some definitions to help out anyone else confused out there:

Prefold Diaper - A rectangle of fabric with an extra thick panel along the middle. Wraps around baby, or may be folded in half or thirds, then placed in a wrap. DSQ (Diaper Service Quality) are the highest quality/most absorbent/thickest "ply".

All-in-One (AIO) Diaper - All one piece like a disposable. Outer fabric is waterproof, inner is absorbent. No assembling required! Just velcro it on.

Fitted Diaper - A soft fabric shaped with elastic at the legs and a waist that fastens with snaps or Velcro. Requires a cover.

Pocket Diaper - A moisture-wicking stay-dry lining inside a waterproof outer layer with an opening in the back for an absorbent pad, called an insert. The outer layer must be washed after each use along with the insert.

Flatfold Diaper - Traditional, large piece of fabric that you have to shape into a diaper and fasten to hold shape. What many of us probably grew up in. Requires a cover.

Cover- A waterproof/resistant fabric that wraps around an absorbent diaper (such as a prefold, fitted or flat diaper) and is fastened with velcro, snaps, or is a pull-up. These can be used multiple times between washings.

Snappi - A little T-shaped device that stretches to hold a prefold or flat diaper together by using little plastic grippy claws in place of diaper pins.

Thanks to
LittleForNow for help with definitions...

Our Faves
A Cloth-eez prefold (~$2.50 each) with a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap ($11) and a Snappi ($2.50 and reusable - we own 2) to make the prefold stay in place is our favorite diapering option. Very simple, very cheap. We use this combo all the time. Only 4-6 wraps are needed because they are reusable until soiled with poo (they are super breathable). Approx 3 dozen prefolds works for us.

Kushies' All-in-One diapers
(~$8 each) is our second favorite. Very simple, they just cost more.
We didn't start using these (we received 5 as a gift) until a few months ago because the small size was a bit big on Abraham.

The Runner-up
BumGenius pocket diapers - these seem to be really high quality and are supposed to be adjustable to basically last until potty training. We received 3 as gifts. The downside - cost up front ($18/diaper) and you have to stuff the insert in each cover...not as convenient as Kushies.

Others We've Tried

Kissaluv fitted diaper - we received 6 as gifts. To me these are cute but I have found them to be basically a fancy prefold. They still need a wrap. They are soft, come in fun colors and have adjustable snaps, but they are a bit pricey ($11.50/diaper vs $2.50/prefold).

Gerber flatfold cloth diapers
- received one package as a gift. These don't seem absorbent enough unless I use two. They are so thin I wonder how long they will last with numerous washings? Also require pins or a snappi and a wrap of some sort.

Accessories - The Faves
Now some women think shoes and earrings when they talk accessories, but I'm an odd duck. I talk about diaper pail liners and other fun stuff:).

Our Blue Penguin liner has worked well. It's has a drawstring around the opening. I like that better than our Wahmies liner, which has elastic around the opening (the diapers tend to get stuck when dumping them - eww:)). I definitely recommend having two liners.

We use a small Bummis wet bag for out and about storage of used diapers. I like it. I also have no experience with other bags for comparison.

The Snappi has been a definite fave of mine. I like how it holds a prefold around Abraham nice and snug. When I've tried just folding a prefold in thirds and laying it in the wrap it seems to bunch up. And it's fast with no pins involved.

Wipes. We have used baby washcloths (we received a lot as gifts) and they've worked great! We wash them right along with the diapers. I squirt a tiny bit of Diaper Potion in a rubbermaid container and pour some freshly boiled water in with it. That lasts a few days, is very gentle, contains no harsh chemicals, and has worked well for us. Just dunk a rag in when needed or store some rags right in the water. The bottle is concentrated and will probably last me at least a year.

Detergent. This is really important. Using a bad detergent can cause rash problems and make diapers less absorbent. We use Purex Free & Clear and have never had a problem. I like this brand because it is inexpensive, can be bought locally, is fragrance free and a little goes a long way (we use 1-2Tb of the concentrated type). This is an excellent website that Kelly & April recommended, which compares detergents. At the bottom of that chart is helpful info on the problems of certain detergents.

A trash can. I think ours is a 13Gallon. It works. Nothing fancy. We use the dry pail method.

Random thoughts

1. Thanks for reading anybody who made it all the way through this. Ha!:) I hope this will help someone out there! I'd love to share more of our story if anyone wants to dialog (I'll spare the rest of you the endless details:)).
2. We now know of or have heard of a few more couples using cloth - yoohoo! There are also a couple families in our church considering it for their next kids and another sister-in-law of ours who is excited about using them on their little one (due in Sept!).
3. Really cool advice...if your baby is strictly breastfed, just throw poopy diapers in the pail. I read that the poo rinses out like yogurt while in the wash (it just goes into the septic tank like the toilet anyways) and sure enough, it's true! I didn't have to worry about rinsing poo until Abraham started on solids and never had problems with stains. Yes, another sweet benefit of breastfeeding!
4. When we were asking our "cloth diaper heroes" our gazillion questions, one reply they gave was that we would find a system that worked for us and in a few months be the ones answering questions...I couldn't have imagined that to be true while pregnant. It's amazing what 7mo of practice does:). I still have many questions though and am still learning! And I've yet to come across two people who do cloth diapers the same way!

Things I'm curious about...

There is such a thing as a little sprayer that attaches somehow to the toilet to spray off poo. I'd love to hear if it's worth it and if anyone knows what is a good brand to go with?

Anyone out there tried other brands of cloth diapers not mentioned above?


  1. Just found your blog by doing a search on cloth diapers. I have been doing cloth with my infant for a couple of months now and have been using prefolds from greenmountaindiapers.com with the Bummis super whisper wraps for the most part. I also have 4 fuzzi bunz pocket diapers that I love, but you are right about having to put the insert in the pocket and it being not as convenient. If you set up the diapers beforehand so they are ready to go when you need them, it works fine though. I also have some fleece liners that I have not used ONCE! Total waste of money to anyone who is considering going cloth.

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading all of your preferences and learning from your experiences.

  2. Susie9:38 pm

    I had a diaper sprayer with my kiddos. I found that I did not like it because it sprayed so hard that I got poppy back splash everywhere. I only ever dumped what dumped off and washed the rest in the washer so i found it to be unnecessary. HTH!

  3. Angela, this is awesome! Back when I was pregnant I'd considered doing cloth diapers for a short time, but got so overwhelmed by the options and didn't know anyone who did cloth diapers that I could ask questions to, and I'd read everywhere that when you factor in the cost for washing/drying diapers it's not really worth it. Also, a highly recommended book to me said that it came down to a difference of $100 a year cheaper to do cloth diapers versus disposables. What I've learned since reading that is that they didn't include the fact that cloth diaper supplies last for more than one year and more than one child, unlike disposables. So I think that info was inaccurate, according to what I'm learning now.

    Anyway, it's so encouraging to read your story and experiences that I'm again reconsidering. Cora is (hopefully) not too far away from being potty trained but I've heard that cloth diapers help in that venture, too.

    I'll let you know what we decide. I have a number of prefolds already so I may just get some wraps and snappies to give it a try for a while...

    An idea for poop: (Ha!) I dabbled in something called "elimination communication" back when Cora was about 7-8 months old and something I've taken away from that experience is to start putting your baby on the toilet or somewhere appropriate for poop to go if you know it's coming. I could write a whole lot more about that, but basically if you can get Abraham over the toilet when it's time to poop then you don't have to change or clean a poopy diaper!

    Another thing I've learned along the lines of cloth vs. disposeable diapers is that swim diapers don't have to be waterproof. They just neet to be tight enough around legs and waste to hold in solid waste so it doesn't enter the pool. So you don't need to buy disposable swim diapers (a pack of 10-12 costs about $6) because you may already have a snug fitted diaper; or you can buy a washable, reusable swim diaper ($6 from Target)! This has been a great discovery for us since we're swimming alot lately.

  4. Sorry for writing a whole new blog in your comment section!

  5. Meghan - Thanks for the liner advice. I just bought a hemp one but have yet to use it. I'm glad I didn't buy a lot!

    Susie - Good to know:), I wondered about that whole backsplash thing...

    Kristin - Thanks for the detailed comments! I loved them! We haven't tried taking Abraham swimming anywhere yet. Thanks for the tips!! I'm very curious about your elimination conversation:) experiences. We might just give it a try - sounds a little scary and fun! I think you're right about the cost comparison for cloth vs disposable. If you only have one child the savings aren't going to be as huge. Although depending on how many diapers your little one goes through (for us - a lot) and if you line dry, the savings really start to increase (not to mention factoring out fuel costs to the store these days - yikes!). Kelly and April C. just did a neat post about it at

  6. Detergent is really important. We didn't check our detergent here in Spain for brighteners, and as a result, our BumGenius actually started repelling water instead of absorbing it. Oops!

  7. Thank you for the information! My Mom and I just bought the Green Mountain Diapers' Newborn Full Setup Kit for my cousin's baby shower. Income will be a challenge for her and her very young husband, so we are hoping that cloth diapers will help easy the money crunch. Plus her Grandmother will be there to coach her through using the diapers. :) Love, Melissa

  8. Hey Melissa!

    I hope she likes that kit! Sounds pretty snazzy!:) I'm glad this was helpful to you guys. There are so many options now for people/internet info I didn't know if these posts would still be helpful. Glad they were!


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