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New to Cloth Diapers?

New to Cloth Diapers?

Let me start off by saying that, thanks to all the creative moms out there, cloth diaper choices are so extensive now, that ANYONE will find a style that they love!   Cloth Diapers today are vastly different from what our moms and grandmothers were used to!  There is no more dunking in the toilet, plastic or rubber pants, hand rinsing your diapers, boiling your diapers or getting stuck with pins those are things of the past that most parents today (including myself) would not be willing to put up with.

There are a few general Cloth Diaper Systems available:

The Pocket Diaper System:
Imagine a diaper cover that consists of a layer of waterproof fabric and a layer of fleece sewn together with an opening "pocket" at the top.  Now slide an absorbent diaper/insert into the pocket and you have a great fitting diaper, that has an absorbent core for the urine, an outer waterproof layer and and inner fleece layer that wicks all the moisture to the insert and keeps your baby nice and dry!  It just doesn't get much better than that!!! Examples: bumGenuis! and Fuzzi Bunz.

The All-In-One Diaper/One Piece System:
All-In-One Diapers have the absorbent layers and the waterproof cover sewn together.  The diaper closes with hook-&-loop closures (Velcro) or with snaps.
These diapers are perfect for parents who want the ease of disposables, without the cost or the harmful chemicals that those contain.  All-In-Ones are also ideal for working parents (day care)!  Many families that use Prefolds and Covers will get a few of these to use when going out, for baby sitters (or for the husband!).  All-In-One Diapers DO NOT require a cover. Examples:  GroVia AIO and bumGenius! Elemental

The All-in-Two Diaper/Two Piece Diaper System:
The All-in-Two Diaper System, just as the name implies, consists of two separate pieces - a waterproof diaper cover on the outside and the soft, absorbent cotton diaper, absorbent microfiber topped with stay dry fleece, or hemp fibers on the inside.  This system offers various cover and diaper combinations. The inner cloth part can be a Fitted Diaper, Prefold Diaper, Contour Diaper, or snap-in or lay-in inserts.  Covers can be waterproof laminated polyester covers, fleece covers or wool covers which all make for an effective waterproof layer.  Below we give you an overview of the different covers and the cloth diapers that go with these.  
Examples of All in Twos: Best Bottoms, GroVia, and Flip.

Outer Waterproof Cover
Diaper Covers provide the waterproof barrier for Prefolds, Fitted Diapers, Contour Diapers, Flat Diapers, and Inserts.  The majority of Diaper Covers are Wrap Style Covers that close with Hook-&-Loop panels or Snaps.  There is no need for pins when using Wrap Style Covers you simply pull the Wrap/Cover around the diaper and fasten the Velcro Panels or Snaps.  A few covers are side snap covers or pull-up covers.  When using these covers you will need to fasten a Prefold or Fitted Diaper, but thanks to our easy-to-use Snappi Fasteners there is no need for pins here either.  Examples are Bummis Covers, Thirsties Covers, Prorap Covers and Wool Covers.

(Inner) Cloth Diaper
The inner cloth diaper provides the absorbent core inside the cover.  Indian Prefolds are used by most diaper services and make for an inexpensive, soft and very absorbent diaper.  A Prefold has a rectangular shape with 2 long panels on either side that get folded onto a thicker middle panel. The diaper is then placed on a cover and folded around the baby.  I like to fasten the Prefolds with a Snappi Fastener.

The Fitted Diapers are super easy to use!   They looks a little like a disposable diaper that closes with Velcro or Snaps, but unlike All-In-Ones, Fitted Diapers do not have a waterproof cover attached to them and thus need a cover. Examples: Bamboozle

The Contour Diaper has an hourglass shape which can easily be folded around the baby before the cover is put on.  You can choose to fasten those with the Snappis too, but it is not neccessary. Example: Kissaluvs Hybrid One Size Contour Diaper.

Inserts can also be placed into any Wrap Style Cover, (especially for small newborns) instead of a cloth diaper.  In my experience this has worked really well.  **Please don't use microfiber directly against baby's skin, as it can be too drying and lead to redness/irritation!**

Additional information to consider when choosing your Cloth Diaper System:

Can you function when sleep deprived?
How do you deal with change?
Do you need a routine and find it hard to have it interrupted?
Do you find the thought of being responsible for a Newborn extremely overwhelming?

If the above factors have a big impact on your life, I suggest that you consider using all or at-least half All-In-One (AIO) Diapers or All-In-Two (AI2) Diapers so that you keep things as simple as possible for yourself.  I think the key to successful cloth diapering and, of course more importantly, to an enjoyable start of Parenthood is to respect your personality and make things as simple for yourself as possible.  Many parents find using Prefolds during the first three months a breeze, but there are just as many parents who are desperately trying to adjust to all the new changes, feeling extremely overwhelmed and exhausted and for those parents.

I hope that all this information will be helpful to you when deciding on which route to go with your baby.  Please remember: Do what feels right to you, even if friends and relatives have a different opinion.  This is your baby ... enjoy every second that you have with your sweetheart and put anything that you can off until a later time.