I finally have money to dive into the cloth diapers for my one year old. I am tired of wasting money on disposables and have wanted to do the cloth thing for a while now (just couldn't afford it). It seems really overwhelming with all the brands and options. It's my understanding that prefolds and covers are the way to go. But that in itself has TONS of options...chinese or indian prefolds? what are the differences? Can I use any covers with the prefolds? Which covers have worked the best for you mamas? Any tips would be great :)
New to cloth diapering and need some help!
In my opinion you can use ANY prefolds you stumble across. I use Gerber(which don't hold as much for as long), and some chinese prefolds my aunt-in-law gave me for Christmas, along with flats that I padfolded and sewed and I just fold down the extra in the front. My all-time favorite method is a prefold tucked into a prefold belt, without a cover. Then again, a cover really is advisable to catch the blow-outs! But your son's a year old, so his poos are probably solid now, aren't they? You shouldn't *technically* need a cover then. Your comfort level/your choice. :)
Anyway, a prefold and belt are awesome because with the prefold you can tell immediately that they're wet, and changing is so quick! You can do it on an active, moving baby no problem. Nor do you have to worry about pins or ungodly expensive Snappis! With this method, I find any covers used fit much more snugly, because there's no airspace created by simply laying the prefold in the wrap. This is even more awesome for nighttime, because I don't have to worry about the prefold getting pushed down further than it needs to be during his pre-nursed wiggles.
I agree that most prefolds are sufficient. Some are just nicer than others. I however washed my gerber prefolds for 6 months and they *never* quilted up. I finally threw them away. They were not even good to use for rags. :(
Also, if you can, buy used. That means you don't have to worry about prepping them! I got a steal on Craigslist. 30 indian prefolds and 3 XS thirsties covers for $8. I practically robbed that woman!
Indian prefolds and Thirsties Duo Wrap snap covers have been awesome for us.
I got clearance prefolds from Little Lions (http://www.little-lions.com/page50.html). Green Mountain Diapers (http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/diapers.htm) also has seconds/clearance prefolds available regularly. For a size reference, we've been using the Infant size (12x16 pre-shrinking) from birth (6.5 lbs) until now (19.5 lbs!). We don't pin or snappi; instead, we tri-fold the prefolds and lay them in the covers. For a one-year old, you may want to start with the next size up (premium, I believe).
Here are the covers we use:
At almost 20 lbs, we are on the smallest snap setting of the size 2 covers. These will absolutely last us until potty training. I definitely recommend snaps; the velcro is marginally more convenient for changing, but it's a pita to take care of.
We use prefolds and covers... really quite easy once you get the hang of it. Indian vs. Chinese doesn't seem to matter -- we have some of both. The main thing is to make sure you get a good quality of whichever one you get. As has been pointed out, the Gerber (like you get at Babies R Us) are not really usable as cloth diapers. I got some as a gift and use them as burp rags.
As far as covers, I love the Thirsties Duo with snaps. I like that you only need two sizes ever. We also got some Bummies, which are nice too, but they run through 4 sizes on the way up to potty training so a bit more expensive overall.
I'd check craigslist in your area if you're not in a rush to get cloth diapers; you might be able to get a deal.
I have no issues with the Gerber ones.. no, they never quilted up, but I only ever use them at home during the day when I'm practicing EC because they can't take anymore than one full pee before soaking through. They're just nice as back-up when I don't wanna waste the ones that absorb more. :)
That's so funny because I love mine! (with snaps) Goes to show what works for one person doesn't work for another.
I have 2 RAR pockets that are velcro and I really don't like them AT ALL. My son is 4 months and he un does the diaper by accident sometimes. The cover I have is snaps I like it a lot. I like the elastic in the front though. It was weird at first for sure.