All About Cloth Diapers
Submitted by Kaimon
As a follow-up to my disposables vs. cloth SPILL
, here's one all about cloth diapers!
There are many types of cloth diapers. It can be overwhelming if you are approaching the idea. So I wll try to simplify it.
Flats: They are what they sound like: big pieces of flat fabric, about the size of a receiving blanket. They require folding and folding and pinning or snappi-ing (a claw like closure that can be used instead of pins). They are the most complicated to put on, but also the cheapest to buy. Not waterproof. They require a cover.
Prefolds: Prefolds are rectangular cloths that are sized to be about what a flat is when folded. They have extra layers of absorbancy down the middle. They can be wrapped onto the baby and pinned or snappied or they can be folded in three an layed in a cover. These require a cover. Also another cheap option.
Fitteds: These come with snaps or vecro and go on much like a disposable. They require a cover as they are not waterproof. I have used them without a cover around the house when my daughter has a rash. It lets the bum breathe better (air flow) and it makes sure I know as soon as she is wet so I can change her.
Covers: There are many styles. Pull on, velcro or snap. PUL, Fleece or wool. Wool and Fleece allow more air flow and so are better for the bum. They can absorb tons before they leak. Although fleece can have compression leaks (i.e. in a car seat). Wool requires extra care. I have a couple fleece covers and my others are all velcro closure PUL covers.
Pockets: These diapers are kind of a cover with a layer of fabric sewn on top. There's a slit or hole in one end and you can stuff an insert inside for absorbancy. Once stuffed it's one step to put on. Just like a disposable Velcro or snap shut. I usually stuff them all as soon as I am done the laundry. That way they are ready to go. Advantage of the removable insert—drying time is faster and you can adjust to fit your child's needs. If you have a super soaker you can add two inserts or use something like hemp or bamboo that is more absorbant.
All-in-Ones: These are the ultimate easiest system to put on. Everything is sewn in. Waterproof outer so no cover required. You put it on just like a disposable. Take it off and throw it in the pail. These tend to be more expensive.
Cotton or Organic Cotton: Cotton is the cheaper option.
Hemp: More absorbant and trimmer than cotton. Naturally anti-bacterial.
Bamboo: So supersoft. More absorbant and trimmer than cotton. Naturally anti-bacterial.
Microfiber: Used for inserts in pocket diapers and inside AIO diapers. Absorbant but cannot be placed against the baby's skin directly. It is very drying—it will suck the moisture out of the skin and irritate.
Suedecloth: Used in pockets and AIOs. This would be the inner layer that would touch the baby's skin. It is a synthetic fabric and it wicks moisture away from the baby's skin (into the insert).
Fleece: Same functions as suedecloth.
Doublers are smaller than inserts usually. They are added for extra absorbancy.
Exclusively breastfed poop doesn't need to be rinsed off—the diapers can go directly in the pail and into the wash as is. It doesn't stain and comes out easily. Once baby gets older and starts eating solids you can use liners. They are flushable. You put one in the diaper and then just pop it out and dump it in the toilet when it's soiled. Not necessary though. Some people just shake off the poop into the toilet. Others have a diaper sprayer. Like a mini showeread attached to the toilet that sprays the poop off and into the toilet.
Pail liners: Waterproof bags you can use inside the pail. Instead of lugging the pail to the maching you take the bag turnit inside out dumping the diapers in the wash and throw the liner in with them to wash.
Wet bags: Waterproof bags to put wet/soiled diapers in when you are away from home. They amazingly contain smell well, too.
The best part of cloth diapering? The adorable prints and colors! The diapers are just too darn cute! Now you know all about cloth diapers ...