Question on Choice of Diapers

Updated on March 25, 2009
S.A. asks from Hedgesville, WV
19 answers

hello there . I'm planning to use non-disposable diapers my second time around. Wanted to get advice and experience from moms who use the following systems:
Pre-folded cloth diapers and covers.
"one-size" pocket diapers that adjusts with baby.
If you use them full time, how many do you have to keep ahead of the laundry pile? Are they convenient to use? Any problems? Suggestions?
My baby "shower" for #2 will likely be a Diaper Party where we ask everyone to contribute to the cause of purchasing the diapers upfront. I hope to save much $$ and waste this way. I just need to select which system to use, and I've narrowed it down to the choices above.
Thanks!!

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A.M.

answers from Richmond on

We use the Bumgenius 3.0 pocket diapers and gdiapers. The gdiapers have a flushable insert vs the cloth washable one. The downfall is that you still have to buy the flushable inserts, but at least they flush. The outside is cloth and they velcro in the back making it harder for the kiddos to reach. Their website is gdiapers.com. Whole Foods Market sells them and the bumgenius 3.0.

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C.D.

answers from Norfolk on

I used cloth with both of mine. Chinese cotten prefolds are the thickest and most absorbent. I still have some left for car washing and what not and the oldest is 11. For a cover I used a cot'n wrap which had two layers of cotten with polyurithane(sp) in between. They have velcro enclosures which over time and use start to wear out. My daughter still plays with the small ones for her stuffed animals. I found that the diapers generated two extra loads a week for laundry. You can also use a select-a-size papertowel laid in the diaper as a liner. I would have 3 to 5 dozen on hand. For travel I would always keep some large ziplocks on hand for used diapers. Good luck and any more questions please ask.

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C.M.

answers from Billings on

I used a couple of different systems. I started with the prefolds (Bummis) and the separate diaper cover. This held everything in and wasn't leak prone, but the more wiggly my daughter got, the harder it was to use b/c of the two separate pieces. Plus they were super bulky. Then I tried pocket diapers which I really liked. I had the Bumgenius. They worked great for a while but then started to stink...I think b/c they are a synthetic fabric. If I was doing it again, I would go with a breathable pocket diapers and wool covers...check out Etsy.com for these systems. I had a friend who loved hers...I didn't invest b/c I had already put my money into the other two. Now I'm just hoping to potty train my daughter! The one thing I would recommend to go with whatever system you use are the Bummis Bio Liners. They catch the solids and then you just peel it off and flush it. Makes clean up after poopy diapers much easier! Hope that helps!

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T.B.

answers from Charlottesville on

I used disposable diapers with my child, but I've heard that the pre-folded cloth diapers and covers are the easiest to use. As for how many to keep ahead of the laundry pile, that depends on how often you plan on doing laundry! It's always better to have as many clean ones as possible. Since this is your second child, I don't have to warn you that you will go through quite a few every day.

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K.W.

answers from Burlington on

S., my wife asked me to respond to your question and I hope you don't mind hearing from a cloth diapering Dad. My wife is committed to breast feeding our son and I'm committed to cloth diapering. We decided to use the Bum Genius 3.0 pocket diaper system. They come with 2 liners. We have never used the smaller liner alone and we use it now along with the larger liner at night. We have loved them from the first day, even though we could not use them right away. Our son was too small (a long 7 lb. baby) at first so we used disposables for about 3 weeks. This may not be a problem for you as they may fit your baby just fine. We purchased a package of 24 diapers.
At first I was laundering every other day but it has tapered off to every 3 days now (he is 6 months old now). He is on solids now and the diapers have never leaked. As for the diapers beginning to smell as one of the respondents mentioned. Bum Genius diapers can be treated with bleach(preferably non-chlorine such as 7th generation) to get rid of the odor. I use Biokleen to wash them. I would highly resommend line drying whenever possible. The liners can be machine dried if needed but the outside covers dry very fast if put on a folding drying rack. We have a wetbag for when we go out and for travelling. Travel only poses a problem if you do not have access to or do not want to do laundry when away. We have also switched to using cloth wipes instead of disposables after we made our way through all of the diposables we received. We use a hemp/organic cotton blend(IMSE wipes from Amazon) and heavier flannel wipes(quiltersnappies.com.) They will save you a lot of money and I think they work better. We premoisten them with a solution(bootycubes.com) and keep them in a plastic container. That being said, I think that you should go and look at different diapers if you can.
Some great online resources are bebopbabyshop.com(breaks down what you need to get started) and cottonbabies.com(has an online forum.) A mom helped me when we got started. She uses prefolds and covers for both of her children. We chose the AIOs from Bum Genius simply because they resemble disposables and are easy for family/babysitters to use. I only included the websites because I consider them to be great resources. There are a myriad of other choices out there. Any system you use will have its own benefits and will be better for the environment than any disposable. Best wishes!

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M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

We have been using BumGenius one-size pockets for a year now and absolutely love them. We've tried Fuzzi Bunz, Happy Heiny's and kissaluvs, but BG's have hands down worked the best. I honestly can't report any problems. Even my most skeptical friends can't get over how easy they are. We use them at night as well, just doubling the inserts for extra absorption.

I think we bought about 20 and we do a wash every second day. There is a great website/forum: diaperswappers.com where all of your questions will be answered. There is also a for sale/trade forum where you can find great deals on barely used or new diapers (mamas who changed their minds). Good luck and feel free to message me should you have any questions!
PS We also use cloth wipes, which just get thrown in the wash with the dipes. They work great too!

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S.E.

answers from Lynchburg on

I used prefolds for 2 kids - the hourglass shape ones with waterproof covers with velcro tabs. They worked fine. It was long enough ago that I don't remember how many we had - maybe about 2 dozen? might depend on how old the child is and how frequently they pee/poop etc. I liked washing them every couple of days just so that oder was never an issue. We also used plain washcloths (baby ones given at a shower, and regular bulk ones from Kmart for the "big events") with warm water instead of wipes, and threw those in the pail with the diapers. How many you needs depends on the frequency of landry. Glad to hear that people are still considering doing this. Many folks think it is more work, but I found it less work to stay at home and do a load of laundry than to pack up the kids and drive to the store for more diapers when we ran out!
Keep an eye out for rice paper liners that you can put between diaper and bottom when expecting a big poop, then you can just dump in the toilet and not need to rinse.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.-
Great idea, wish I had thought of that shower idea for #2. We also went with cloth for baby #2 and after the first week I found it to be just as convenient, although a bit messier than disposable (obviously). Our daughter is a year and we are still using the one size diapers we purchased then. We purchased from Momease, it's a Canadian co. They have one size diapers and snap covers in different sizes. I haven't used an all in one, but they seem super convenient. Now that our daughter doesn't want to stay put for the diaper changes I wished I had some of the all in ones. We put wet diapers in a dry pail and soaked messy diapers in a wet pail. With about 20-24 diapers, you probably will only need to wash diapers every other day. We only had 15 when our daughter was little, so we ended up having to do a load each day. Good luck!

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K.T.

answers from Dover on

We use Chinese pre folds and covers (Bummis, Bummis Super Wisper WRaps and Thirsties). I had started with Bum Genius AIO (All in Ones) but I have found that AIOs can take a really long time in the dryer if you dry vs hang your dypers to dry. While prefolds are bulkier, many times I can get away with not changing the cover everytime and at home just use Snappies with the pre fold and no cover. Remember, you will need to size up on your prefolds and covers eventually if you do not use ones that grow with baby.
I wash diapers every other day and have 2 dozen prefolds.
Most will tell you to only get a few diapers and try them out first. Because if you don't end up liking them you will be stuck with a big inventory! Maybe you can find an online sotre that has all the ones you are considering, and have your firends and family buy you gift certificates there. That way you can try a few and then go back and buy what you liked.
If your baby is small, many people use disposable for the first month or so and then transition into cloth - just to get yourself settled in and not have to buy very small cloth diapers you will only use for a short time.
Good luck,
K.

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

We only have a half dozen b/c we needed disposables for daycare. We like our BumGenius 3.0 all-in-ones. They do make the butt a little big for some clothes, though. We like them overall. We just do a load of diapers nightly and set them up for the next day. The diapers we have have two inserts for different needs and snaps to adjust for baby's size.

You might ask for diaper.com gift cards where you can pick out the diapers you want and people can give you varying amounts and not feel like they have to buy the starter pack, etc.

HTH.

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M.K.

answers from Washington DC on

We only have prefolds and covers and have had no problems. I use indian prefolds from little-lions.com along with prorap and thirsties covers. I had two dozen infant prefolds, two dozen regular prefolds, and one dozen premium prefolds. The infants fit for a few months with the small covers. I had a couple newborn or x-small covers but my baby fit in the small right away if I folded down the front so it didn't cover her umbilical cord stump. She was almost 9 pounds so a fairly large baby though. She is almost one now and uses medium and large covers and the regular and premium prefolds.

I would reccomend getting at least 2 dozen infant or regular prefolds. Regular will fit right away if you don't mind a very bulky diaper, you just have to fold them down a bit. Even if you find that you like a pocket diaper or fitted better, you can use the prefolds for burb clothes, rags, or stuffing for the pocket diapers so they will definitely be used and they are very affordable. I have both pins and snappi. If you have pins it helps the diapers to fit longer because you don't need as much material on the sides. You probably need about 5 or 6 covers in the small size and 4 or 5 in size medium and large.

You can also get one or two pocket diapers and fitted diapers to see if you like them before you buy a lot. Almost everyone who tries them likes prefolds for at least the first few months before babies are really wiggly. They are also the easiest to wash. I just do a cold rinse, hot wash with detergent (look to see what are best for no build up but I just use regular now and have no problems with the cotton prefolds) and a little bleach, then a cold rinse. I dry the diapers on hot and line dry the covers. Prefolds have the least problems with build up, stink, and wicking issues because they are not synthetic and are not super thick.

I have never had blowouts in the prefolds and covers but did in disposables (I used them with my first). Even if it gets outside the prefold, the cover holds in the mess. I also don't find them to be much more bulky than disposables.

A great website with diaper reviews and also forums where you can ask questions about diapers (and tons of other stuff) is http://www.diaperpin.com You can look around the diaper forum without signing up as well as look at the diaper reviews without signing up. If you want to leave comments you have to but it is free and the ladies are really nice. Some of them use cloth all the time and others part time with some sposies and no one gives anyone a hard time. I had all my questions answered there when I started with cloth.

Good luck!

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N.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, S. - You might want to contact [email protected]____.com is a doula, and the local cloth diapering expert! She conducts cloth diapering workshops, and I'm sure she would be glad to help you out. Good luck! N.

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I use pre-folds and pro-wrap covers. I have about 2 dozen on-hand so i wash diapers every other day or sometimes every day. It is an easy extra load to toss in. I also have a few bumgenius one-size and they are cute and great...just more expensive. I use them if I have a sitter or put them in the diaper bag on Sundays when she goes to the nursery at church. It has been a great way to save money and it is convenient. I purchase stuff at cottonbabies.com. They sell snappies to fasten pre-folds and they are great. When they are tiny and not moving much you can put them in a prefold with a cover and just let the cover hold the diaper. When they are mobile the diaper can slip some inside the cover. I did not want to use pins and risk poking myself or baby so the snappies are perfect. They are little stretchy plastic "t's" with teeth that grab and hold the diaper. Very simple to use. I find both convenient just the prefolds less expensive. check out cottonbabies they have a lot of good diaper info. along with good prices.

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M.B.

answers from Norfolk on

With my second, I tried a few different kinds of prefolds, the Bum Genius one-size pocket diapers and the Bum Genius all-in-ones. We had lots of blowouts with the prefolds and never really got the hang of them, and the one-size pocket diaper always just seemed too big and bulky on my daughter (she's little and hovers between the 5th and 10th percentile). But, we've loved the Bum Genius all-in-ones. They're not bulky, she seems comfortable in them, and they're really easy to use. With that said, I do know several people who use prefolds and the one-size pocket diapers and love them. I think different diapers just fit differently depending on the size/shape of your baby.

We do a mix of cloth and disposables, using primarily disposables when we got out and when we're traveling, and I've found that having about 12 all-in-ones works well for us. We rinse soiled diapers as we change them and launder the diapers together with the kids' other clothes so we usually do laundry every other day.

Good luck!

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D.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hooray for cloth diapers! I think they are so much fun - they make the drab (and sometimes disgusting) experience of a diaper change a lot brighter! So many colors and patterns!

With a newborn, I suggest sticking to prefolds, snappis and prowrap covers. We also used bummis covers, imse vimse covers and diaperaps covers with success. They are easy to change at that age, and baby will go through a lot of diapers! (as I am sure you remember!) So, any other system for a newborn would require a lot of diapers and could get expensive! I have heard that people use kissaluvs for newborns and love them, too. There are a few websites where you can rent the kissaluvs (or so I've been told!)

After that, it depends on your baby's size and your preference. We found that we didn't like all-in-ones because they took too long to dry. We use pocket diapers, and have since my son was about 3 mths old (he is going to be one year this weekend). We have been very happy with nearly everything we've tried - Fuzzibunz, pocket change diapers, happy heinies pockets, Huggabuns pockets, haute pocket diapers, swaddlebees pocket diapers and bumgenius pockets. They each have a little something different to offer, like swaddlebees are slimmer, but they all have worked for my son. We also use some prefolds, with the same types of covers listed above, and they are still very convinient to use.

Regarding the one size pocket diapers, they each have a particular "cap" on how big they go (but their ads don't say this!). For instance, our haute pocket dipes are one size, but at 22+ pds my son has been at the largest setting for months now - they still fit him well for now. (he does have a tall butt, however). The same goes for the BumGenius one size pockets. So, there is not much more room for him to grow into. the Happy heinies one size pocket diaper is on the larger end, but the downside is that it is too bulkly for a newborn or young baby at the smaller settings. This is just something to keep in mind!

We use cloth diapers "near" full time, on weekends, nights and Tues and Thurs. (my son is in day care on MWF, so no cloth). We did "full" full time with cloth for the first 3.5 months (with the exception of his first week with the meconium, we used sposies then). Laundry is not a problem, we wash every other day during the week, and on each day on the weekend - usually as a medium load. We use a regular cheapo-kitchen garbage can (13 gal) with the cheapo-laundry bags (aka college laundry bags) as a liner. We rotate between 2 laundry bags, and I painted teh kitchen garbage can just for fun. No stink problems here, the can lid suffices to hold those down. I find cloth to be very convenient to use!

The bottom line with cloth diapers is that there are so many options out there, don't commit yourself to one system, especially before your child is born when you don't know what will work best for him/her. I would occassionally look at different on-line stores for sales on cloth diapers - that kept the costs down, and gave me a chance to try different brands. I second that Bayla is a great resource, I haven't met her personally but she posts frequently on the listserv DCCDers (DC Cloth Diaperers) which is also a GREAT resource of moms/dads who cloth diaper and it is a forum where folks can sell used dipes locally (for the most part for us in the Bmore area!). I would also be glad to show you my stash if you are interested! We certainly have a variety!

(on a side note, I am in the process of selling some of my son's small fuzzibunz pocket and one small BumGenius AIO dipes (among other ones) - if you are interested, feel free to contact me or check the ad I put on the baltimore craigslist.)

Take care, and have fun with the cloth diapers! :)

- D. and Kiran (12mths)

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L.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I used prefolds with wools covers & a diaper service with my 2. People in the local group Natural Approach Parenting (takeaNAP.org)seem to really prefer the pockets. There a ton of info in our past messages. We're also having a "yard sale" in april & you could get lots of advice & used diapers & covers.

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A.J.

answers from Washington DC on

I used disposables with my first and started cloth with my second around 18 months (she's 2.5 years now). I bought all Bum Genius 'one size' all-in-ones and have loved using them! I bought 18 diapers and they came with the inserts/doublers. I got that many because she has been an extremely heavy wetter from birth - soaking through two disposables at naptime! So I had to use doublers and change her often. Now that she is older and starting to potty train, we naturally don't use as many in a day. When she was younger we washed every-other night, per mfr. instructions. Now we are washing every 3rd night since she is not using as many and we are on the tail end of diaper-wearing.

I got most of my information from www.cottonbabies.com. They sell all types of diapers and have a great FAQ section that covered a lot of things I never knew to ask. They also have a starter pack of diapers that is a variety of the products they sell so you can try them out before you committ to a big purchase. When I bought my diapers, I calculated the start-up cost of the microfiber vs. the cotton prefold system. With microfiber (bum genius and others) you HAVE to wash them every 2 days so you need less diapers but they are more expensive per diaper. With cotton prefolds, they are cheaper per change yet you potentially have to buy so many more that the start up cost for us was about equal. You can wait as along as a week before you have to wash cotton.

I chose the BG because they were more 'user friendly' - for my husband, babysitters, etc. They look and work the same as a disposable, except of course the 'dispose' part :)

Different kinds work for different people, but I have really loved my BGs and would definitely recommend them. I would also recommed getting a package of flannel baby wipes. It makes changes easier and they are so soft!

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J.W.

answers from Washington DC on

I exclusively cloth my son and will for my soon-to-be baby...including daycare! We use pockets for the ease it provides both daycare and my husband--and me: I like having it all as one piece! We have primarily BumGenius 3.0 one-size, but have other brands of pockets dipes: Blueberry, Rump-a-Rooz, Kiddie Winkles Designs...BumGenius is certainly very economical, as the 'boutique' diapers can get really pricey...but it's fun to supplement your stash with some custom embroidery and cute patterns! :-)

If you are a member of LiveJournal, their clothdiapering community is GREAT! Quick replies to all your CD questions.

Also, this is a great site: http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/
It will give you lots of info on washing, solving problems (stink issues, stains, rashes, etc), and so on...

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K.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Good for you for cloth diapering! We also use the bumGenius, although we used gDiapers when he was a newborn b/c the BG were too big. You can also put a small prefold in the gDiaper instead of buying the inserts. There's a DC area cloth diapering Yahoo group-- DCCDers. It's a great resource. Enjoy!

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