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Old 07-18-2007, 02:25 PM   #1
2sunshines
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Default Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

Getting Started with Cloth Diapering

You can start cloth diapering from the time your baby is born, or when they are older. It's never too late to start!

Types of Diapers

Flat: This is the kind of diaper your grandmother probably used. It's a large thin square of gauze-like cloth that is folded several times and then put on the baby. These diapers are not waterproof on their own and require a cover.

PROS: They dry much faster than other types because they are so much thinner. Also very inexpensive.

CONS: They have to be folded for each use. For an older baby, they may need to be doubled.



Prefold diapers This is the most simple and economical modern diaper. It's made of highly absorbent cotton in a special weave. It will have several layers on the outer panels and a thicker layers middle layer down the center of the diaper. These diapers are not waterproof on their own and require a cover.

Prefolds come in different sizes and thicknesses, and what they are is indicated by the color of thread on the edges.

There are Chinese Prefolds (CPF), Diaper Service Quality (DSQ) Prefolds, Indian Prefolds, and others.

Prefolds come in traditional bleached (white) as well as unbleached.

PROS: Very economical. Very good absorption compared to most other diapers. Will last a long time.

CONS: Require some folding. If you want a good fit must use pins or Snappi. Can be a bit bulky on a smaller baby.



Fitted diapers

This type of diaper requires no folding or pinning. There are many, many brands and types of fitteds, but generally they are made to fit a specific size range and go on the baby much like a disposable, with either velcro or snap fasteners. They require a waterproof cover over the diaper. Most fitteds come in sizes according to the age/weight of the baby, however some fitteds are "one-size" and are designed to fit a much larger size range. For example 10-35 pounds.

PROS: Convenient. Little or no leaking. Most use snaps. Good for wiggly babies.

CONS: More expensive. Require getting a new set in each size as baby grows (exception are OneSize diapers).



All-In-One Diapers These diapers, also known as AIO's are fitted diapers with the cover also sewn into the design. These are the most convenient to put on and take off. Many cloth diapering moms have gotten their daycare providers to agree to cloth diaper by providing AIO's and a pail that they take home at the end of each day. They are also good for church nurseries, babysitters, and grandmas who've done their fair share of pinning.

PROS: Very convenient. The only kind most daycare providers will use.

CONS: Must get a new set in each size as baby grows. Slow drying time.


Pocket Diapers The pocket diaper consists of a waterproof outer cover, and an inner lining of fleece or suedecloth. The space between the two layers can be stuffed with either a folded prefold, or other layers of various materials. This diaper will go on and off like an AIO. And with the added benefit of fleece, the baby stays drier. Many parents use pocket diapers at night on heavy wetters, so the baby won't wake up all night long demanding a diaper change. Most pocket diapers users prefer them to be trim, so they will stuff them with hemp or microfiber. Other parents will stuff them with infant prefolds or get creative. Anything goes with pocket diapers!

PROS: Can add or take away padding for different situations (night vs. day). Baby stays dry so less chance of rash. Easy clean-up of BM diapers. Good for sitters and travel.

CONS: Expensive. Require getting a new set in each size as baby grows (exception are OneSize diapers).
Can only use each one once before washing (unlike if you use fitteds and covers, you can reuse the covers).


Materials

Diapers are made from many materials. Most diapers are made of cotton. However hemp is gaining popularity as a more absorbent option. A hemp diaper can absorb more without the bulk, however hemp does not absorb as fast for those babies who flood their diapers quickly. A good combination is a hemp/cotton blend. Bamboo is also a recent addition to cloth diapers.

[color=blueNumber of diapers to buy[/color]

Generally you will need more for a newborn than for an older child. For a newborn, ideal is 36 diapers. For an older child you should have about 24. This will enable you to wash about every 2-3 days.


Covers

Covers come in all shape, sizes, and materials. Covers can be used over and over again until they actually look or smell dirty. When the cover comes off, if it is simply damp, just hang it somewhere to dry and put a new cover on. When the baby needs another change put the now-dry cover back on.

You will need at least 6 covers in each size. If you use fitted diapers or snappis, you will have less messes in the covers and can reduce that number to 4 covers in newborn and small, and 3 covers in medium and large. Like diapers, the best covers are bought on the internet. Here is a quick rundown of some types of covers. They get more expensive as the list goes down.

Pull on covers Picture old fashioned plastic pants. These are good for a potty training todder over training pants, but otherwise are not very practical. You must remove baby's shoes and pants to get them off. They don't last a very long time, and they are very hot. One company makes PUL covers that are less hot but shaped like plastic pants.

Velcro covers: The have velcro tabs similar to a disposable diaper. Velcro allows for a custom fit of the cover.

Snap covers: Most are constructed similar to velcro covers with PUL, but secure with plastic snaps instead.

Materials:

PUL: Polyurethane Laminate, otherwise known as PUL. It's a very lightweight and cool alternative to old fashioned vinyl pants.

Fleece: fleece is waterproof and breathable, and can be cooler than PUL material.

Wool Has the same benefit of fleece (breathable) but is a natural material instead of synthetic. They are made with either wool fabric or knitted like a sweater. Wool has natural antibacterial properties that allow for multiple uses without getting a urine odor. Wool will draw the moisture out of the diaper and allow it to dry slowly as baby sleeps, preventing leaks and diaper overload. Wool does not need to be washed as often as other covers because of the antibacterial properties. Wool must be handwashed, and it must be lanolized (you can buy a special wash) every so often to keep its waterproofing feature.

Front vs. Side Closing
Babies come in all shapes and sizes, and so do covers. Some close with two tabs much like disposables do. Others will fasten on the sides. The side closing covers work to get a custom fit of the waist and thighs.

Other diaper accessories:

Doublers are small pads that can be inserted into any diaper to increase the amount of urine it can hold.

Stuffers or inserts are what is put into the inner layers of pocket diapers.

Soakers usually refer to the inner padding in a fitted diaper. Some diapers have internal soakers (meaning the absorbent inner layer is part of the main diaper), and some have external soakers, which can be removed for washing, and then reattached for use. Diapers with internal soakers will take longer to dry than ones with external soakers.


Pins and Snappis

Many prefold users just lay the diaper inside the cover. However many others find that there is less leakage of poop if the diaper is fastened in some way. Pins are one way to do this. The Snappi is another useful tool that will help to secure the diaper very quickly and easily.

Cloth wipes

Why stop with cloth diapers? Consider using cloth wipes as well! You simply throw them into the diaper pail and wash them along with the diapers. Many people will make a natural, gentle wipes solution. Others will just use plain water.

Wet bags and pail liners

There are a number of products available to contain the diapers. Instead of lining the pail with a garbage bag, create less waste by using a wetbag, a bag made of PUL that can be washed along with the diapers. It's great for travel, too. For the diaper bag you can purchase a smaller wetbag that will hold 2-3 diapers.

- written by USAmma of www.mothering.com, used with permission
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Last edited by 2sunshines; 09-21-2009 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:26 PM   #2
2sunshines
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

Pictoral Tutorial of Different Types of Diapers:

Here are some examples in photographs of the different types of diapers. This is not meant as an endorsement of any particular brand of diaper, just examples to demonstrate the difference between them.

Prefold diapers:



Prefold diaper fastened with a snappi



Prefold diaper fastened with snappi and covered with a bummis super whisper wrap (bsww)




Prefold diaper fastened with pins



Fitted diapers:

Kissaluv fitted diaper



Dream-eze fitted diapers




Motherease one-size fitted diaper





Motherease one-size fitted diaper with snap-in soaker




Fitteds with Covers:

Motherease Sandy's with an Imse Vimse nighttime cover



Motherease one-size fitted diaper in a motherease airflow cover



PUL Covers:

Wigglewormsbottom cover, hidden PUL (PUL placed between other non-waterproof material)



Bummis Super Whisper Wraps (BSWW)




Wool Covers:

Loveybums wool cover



Crocheted wool soaker



Recycled wool shorties



Knitted shorties



Crocheted shorties/capris



Recycled wool longies



Knitted wool longies





All-in-one Diapers:

Little Lambs AIO




Bumkins AIO



Baby Blossoms Design AIO



Pocket diapers:

BumGenius one-size pocket diaper version 1.0



Haute Pocket One size




Drybees Pocket



My Precious Baby by April Pocket



Examples of pocket inserts:


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Old 05-28-2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

a lot more pockets have started to offer a velour inner as well
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

Just wanted to say that my favorite when my boys were in cloth diapers (from 1 m to 2.5 y) I loved prefolds with the snappi and then a PUL fitted cover. I also loved the fitted with the snapps. I had pins and they were ok but with Dh helping me with diaper changes it was deffinetly the easer route to do the snappis or the diapers with the snaps. DH was not a big fan of pockets but I loved them especially at night. The pockets also took so long to dry but wonderful for nighttime or swim diapers especially if you have a swim cover too.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

for some reason the pics aren't showing up for me
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

sorry, I just fixed the pictures. They should show up now.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

I just wanted to say that this was a very helpful post for me when I was first learning about cloth diapering. Thanks so much for taking the time to do it. I went with mostly prefolds fastened with snappis and use wool and PUL covers and have been really happy so far. I do have a few fitteds as well and I do like the convinience of those. Honestly, though, doing the prefolds and snappis doesn't take but a few seconds more now that I have the hang of it. And the new, organic prefolds were cheaper than a lot of the secondhand all-in-ones that I came across.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

I was told that prefolds took more work and would almost always leak into the shell, but it definitely seems like the most economic option between the types available... I think that in the long-run, a few extra seconds to make a good fold would be worth it if it meant we could save some money.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by MirafloresLove View Post
I was told that prefolds took more work and would almost always leak into the shell, but it definitely seems like the most economic option between the types available... I think that in the long-run, a few extra seconds to make a good fold would be worth it if it meant we could save some money.
We're doing prefolds with child #3. The smallest prefolds have lasted this long. The velcro shells and the bigger prefolds did not. Big prefolds are torn to shreds after having each boy in them for 3+ years. The velcro stopped working in most of the shells. I switched to snapping shells, which I love

I definitely am glad I chose the prefold/shell route.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by bananacake View Post
We're doing prefolds with child #3. The smallest prefolds have lasted this long. The velcro shells and the bigger prefolds did not. Big prefolds are torn to shreds after having each boy in them for 3+ years. The velcro stopped working in most of the shells. I switched to snapping shells, which I love

I definitely am glad I chose the prefold/shell route.
3+ years says a lot for the endurance of these, wow. That is great! I am so thankful to have received an entire set (plus some!) of prefolds last weekend from a good friend at church who decided not to use them (went the g-diaper route instead). The only thing I need now are the covers, which your post truly helped a lot with deciding which kind to get Thank you so much!
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: Getting Started With Cloth Diapering - A Tutorial in Words and Pictures

I have snapping whisper wraps (did I say that already?). Some say they've had their snapping covers tear, but mine are totally fine. I had one snap sort of chip, but the diaper still worked.
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