I’ve talked about how I came to the decision to cloth diaper, but I’ve not really talked about what modern cloth diapering really means. For starters, it means no rubber pants or diaper pins. There is much, much more to these wonderfully reusable pee and poop catchers, let’s take a look:
There are many great resources out there to become cloth diaper-literate, so I won’t go into great detail here. I’ll provide links to some handy-dandy resources at the bottom of this post. My aim is to give cloth diaper ‘virgins’ a snapshot of what cloth diapering looks like these days. There are so many cloth diaper options out there, and more hybrids are being created all of the time, but 3 of the 4 basic options are pictured above.
The flat diaper is the oldest of the bunch, and least expensive option, as it is a large piece of cloth that you fold into a diaper shape and wear with a cover over top. Flat diapers cost a little more than a dollar each and are a one-size-fits-all option (there are many different ways to fold flats and YouTube has some great tutorials). The next option is the prefold, which is our favorite and the cloth diaper we use the most. Prefolds are the evolution of the flat, with the material already layered and sewn together for convenience. We use the trifold, which is the simplest fold, fasten with a little gadget called a Snappi, and finish with a diaper cover. Prefolds will cost anywhere from $3-10 each, depending on the material and size you choose; sizes range from preemie to toddler. We prefer unbleached natural fibers, as seen above, but have some of both. The last two options are the pocket diaper and the all-in-one diaper (not pictured); these are the closest to disposable diapers and the more expensive options. Pocket diapers have absorbent inserts that you either stuff inside of the pocket in the diaper shell or snap on top of the shell (conceptually like a maxi pad). Pockets typically cost $15-20 each and you will likely want to buy additional inserts for use (around $3 each). The all-in-one or AIO diaper is exactly as the name suggests, with absorbent padding built in; this is your closest option to a disposable diaper. AIOs take longer to dry and cost $20-25 each.
Here is a great link to all of today’s cloth diapering terminology, from Diapershops.com. Another wonderful resource is Kelly’s Closet . For those of you super interested in the world of cloth, Kelly Wels, owner of Kelly’s Closet and Diapershops.com, has written a veritable tome on modern cloth diapering, entitled Changing Diapers. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. My next cloth diaper post will deal with all of the cloth diaper accoutrements, as that aspect can get a bit overwhelming as well.
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