It's already Thursday of Cloth Diaper Week! Be sure to check out the other posts in cloth diaper week. Today we're going to cover some of the basics of cloth diapering. Because many others have done this, I'm going to skip over some details. Please check out Sherry and John's post about cloth diapering Clara, All of Rachel's incredible advice at Intentionally Simple, Heather's review of cloth diapers, and Diana's cloth diapering experiences to learn more from others. If you're interested in my experiences, check out these posts also.
A is for All-in-One. All in one diapers are just what they sound like - they are diapers that have everything all together. There aren't different parts, the diaper is just one piece. Several different diaper companies make all-in-ones (AIOs) including BumGenius, GroVia, and Thirsties. These diapers are great because they are easy and so similar to disposables. Other types of cloth diapers include pockets (covers and inserts, like we use), and prefolds (think: the kind of diapers your mom and grandma used).
B is for boys. I knew before we had Wesley that I wanted to try cloth diapering. I did a lot of research but knew that once our baby arrived, we'd need to see if it worked for us. Every baby is different and different brands work for different babies. This is especially true, as I've discovered, for boys. Sometimes it seems like Wesley has the magical power of getting his clothes wet while his diaper stays completely dry. We go through phases where one diaper works better than the others, but the next week everything is different. I imagine this is true with disposable diapering, but it's worth saying. Give different brands a try because you never know what will work for your baby. Another point - cloth diapering gives us the option to adjust the absorbancy to where we need it - in the front!
C is for care. Caring for cloth diapers is important. We soak our diapers in warm water (we've heard lots of things about soaking hot or cold, but ultimately went with warm because we read that it's the best for waste and that works for us!) before washing hot in a natural detergent. We've used baby detergent, homemade detergent, and have ultimately settled on Charlie's Soap Laundry. We also dry our diapers on a drying rack in the sun. If it's raining and we're hurting for diapers, we have been known to dry them in the dryer, but we try not to do that often. Drying in the sun not only helps bleach the inserts clean, but also keeps the diapers newer longer. We want to be sure our diapers survive Wesley and potential future Johnston babies!
1 is for One-size. We opted to skip the newborn cloth diapers and go directly to the one-size diapers. There are excellent sized diapers, but we're cheap people and decided we wanted to purchase one set of diapers rather than 3-4. One size diapers are intended to fit babies at about 10 pounds (some say 8 pounds, but we didn't experience diapers fitting Wesley at 8 pounds) until potty training or 35 pounds. The snaps or hook & loop closures give a great fit on the one-size diapers.
2 is for the number of inserts we use for overnight. We've found that the two inserts that came with our Fuzzi Bunz are perfect for overnight. Being able to adjust the absorbancy for overnight is fantastic to ensure that we wake up to a happy baby and not a wet bed. Although we do have leaks, being able to have two inserts for overnight is perfect for us.
3 is for the number of covers we go through on an average day. Without a huge poop, Wesley tends to go through about 3 covers (either Flip or GroVia) per day. We put Wesley in a completely new diaper first thing in the morning, obviously. By noon or so, that cover is wet and we change him into a new cover. By the late afternoon it's time for another cover. We will change the cover also if he's been outside for an extended period of time or if we've had to leave him in the diaper for more than a couple of hours. If we change the pads regularly, the covers usually don't need to be changed more than 3 times during the day. Of course, pending a huge poop - the covers never survive a big poop!
What kind of cloth diapers do you like? Are you overwhelmed with the different kinds of diapers? Leave your questions here so I can answer your questions on day 5 of cloth diaper week!