I really want to cloth diaper our first baby (due 11/14) and I've been researching endlessly to figure out what system to choose as a novice! I'm starting to get overwhelmed with the options. I had no idea there is so much out there. I've read suggestions that first-timers build a beginning stash of a variety of diapers, so I'm thinking I should do that.
My husband and I definitely want to go with a snap version for AIO's or covers. I'm really interested in OS AIO's but see some cons to using them based on observation alone. I was looking at BumGenius 4.0 and Fuzzibunz but they look kind of bulky to me and are pretty expensive. I've found people in my area who are selling their used ones cheaper on CraigsList, so that could be an option, although I think my husband prefers we use new diapers. The more I researched, the more interested I've become in Rumparooz and Thirsties with either prefolds, inserts, or fitteds (undecided). The Rumparooz are my favorite so far from what I've looked at. Their leg gussets look like the best leak-protectors and I love the styles. Rumparooz are so expensive, though... For fitteds, I'm interested in the Kissaluvs. I also learned about these AI2's, the Flip system and Softbums. They both look great. I've also seen some Econobum OS diaper covers on CottonBabies.com that look much more economical than others, but does anyone have an opinion on whether or not cheaper is worth it?
If I'm going to spend any money at all, I at least want to make sure I'm getting some good use. I'll invest more money in my diapers if it means better leak protection, better fit, etc. How is a first-time mama to choose?! I have little experience even diapering a baby, so I feel really in the dark with all of this. I don't think I'd mind using a snappi, so I'm open right now to using prefolds or non-closured fitteds. I like the idea that covers can be reused more often without washing than AIO's. I think the main feature that is still a toss-up for me is whether or not to get one-size diapers! Does anyone have experience with any of the diaper systems I listed above in OS, and which were the trimmest looking and feeling on your baby? I've read so many bad reviews about bulky OS diapers, I'm hesitant... but I do love how OS will get me from infant to toddler stage! Even though I am *willing* to spend more money on some diapers, I still am trying as hard as possible to keep costs low since I'm unable to work right now and funds are low.
How many diapers should I start out with having on hand for a newborn? I want to be fully prepared! There are quite a few skeptical people around me who think cloth diapering is going to be so much work and I don't want to add fuel to their fire with me struggling at all with first-time CDing... I'm excited to cloth diaper and I feel it'll be healthiest for my baby, not to mention better for the environment and less costly! I want it to be a good experience. (Well, as much as diapering in general can be, haha.)
Any advice on the above mentioned items MUCH appreciated!
I agree that building a stash of a variety to diapers is really the best way to start off b/c you simply don't know what is going to work best for baby and for each person that will be diapering baby. Plus some diapers work better during the newborn stage vs. the toddler stage and some work better at night vs. day. So a variety is key.
Newborns need a diaper that will contain explosive and liquidy poops. Toddlers need extra absorbency for their larger volume of pee. Night time diapers need to hold more pee as well and its handy to have easy to change diapers at night. A lot of parents, therefore, use inexpensive prefolds/covers during the day and switch to premium diapers with aplix at night. It's definitely more difficult to change a snap diaper in the dark! Prefolds are also great for the nb period b/c they will fit from the beginning and are less expensive so you don't break the bank buying more of them. Newborns generally go through 12-15 diapers per day (depending on how often you change, if you're doing EC, and how absorbent the diaper is). A toddler will go through less, maybe 4-8 diapers a day. So as you go up in size you will be buying less diapers. Hesitant cloth diapers like maybe your dh, the nanny, the babysitter, grandparents, etc. will prefer easy diapers with aplix as well. But as baby gets older the aplix will wear and baby will figure out how to take his/her diaper off. That's when snaps come in handy.
Sized diapers are slimmer and fit better under clothes, but it can be more difficult to get the proper fit when baby is between sizes. OS diapers are more bulky, but honestly there are very few brands of OS diapers that are simply too bulky. Keep in mind, it's rarely the bulkiness that causes a poor fit, it's just the cut of the diaper. Poor fit happens with all kinds of diapers and that's where experimentation comes in. OS diapers say they fit about 8-35 pounds, but much depends on the thigh size rather than the weight. Often OS dipes will not fit right away- not b/c they are bulky, but b/c they simply cannot close down small enough for some nb's. In terms of bulkiness I would say that Romparooz are bulkier than bumGenius.
I would also say in general the most popular brands got that way b/c they are good. That doesn't mean that you couldn't find a gem of an off brand or WAHMware that works great for you, but I would personally recommend starting off with some proven diapers.
Just to clarify: bumGenius 4.0's (and their older versions) are OS pocket diapers not AIO's. BG's also makes a true, sized AIO. The extra small size does not have a pocket and is therefore prone to diaper funk issues. The larger sizes now have a pocket for better washing, rinsing, and quicker drying plus you can customize the absorbency of the diaper by stuffing the pocket with additional inserts. But b/c the absorbent layer is sewn directly into the diaper it is considered an AIO, different from their OS pocket diapers where the insert is separate from the outer cover. The XS AIO's are really great for newborns- especially at night, but you'll only use them a short while, so I would suggest getting these used if you're interested in them. BG's Flip system is very popular b/c of the price and the hybrid aspect, but it's nothing more than a OS cover (which is decent, but not the best out there) with three possible inserts: organic prefold, microfiber, or disposable. You could purchase cheaper prefolds and better covers separately. Econobums are just an inexpensive diapering option, but honestly I would go with Diaper Service Quality Chinese Prefolds and quality covers than this route- everything will last longer.
Bummis make some of the best, affordable covers out there. The Super Brites are cut a bit smaller and have gussets, but they are also thinner. The Super Whisper Wraps are durable and quality. The Super Snaps are good for when you want snaps.
If you're into the disposable option (which it doesn't sound like you are) the Grovia AI2 system seems to be better liked and they have a disposable biosoaker. I am generally not a fan of gDiapers.
Thirsties covers and their duodiapers are all very good. The duodiaper has the added benefit of a duo-insert made of quick absorbing microfiber and super absorbent hemp. It's also a two size diaper so it fits longer than a sized diaper and has two openings so the insert will come out in the agitation cycle on its own- no need for you to remove it prior to washing. Thirsties also make Fab Fitteds you could look into.
Kissaluvs are great and I really like their size 0 for the newborn period. Again, buy them used as you'll only use them a short period of time. There are many other brands of fitteds that are great as well. I'm not a huge fan of bamboo b/c you need a lot more bulk to get the same absorbency and IME bamboo tends to fall apart the quickest of all the fibers.
Other OS pocket brands to look into: SmartiPants, Baby Kangas, Happy Heiny's, and Knickernappies.
Other sized pockets to look into: Fuzzi Bunz, Happy Heiny's.
Let me know if you have more questions!
Mama to Avalon 1/07 , Austin 1/10 in between and Avery 12/11
I completely understand the feeling of being overwhelmed! We started cloth diapering our daughter just a few days after she was born this June; we used disposables until the meconium passed and as we got our heads wrapped around everything else that was completely new with a baby in the house.
We ultimately went with buying prefolds and Thirsties covers. We have gotten some AIO's and pockets from people as gifts but haven't really used them since both my husband and I like the prefolds. My daughter is 2 1/2 months now and we will have to buy some new prefolds soon as she is growing out of her first set (I bought the "Better Fit OsoCosy"). We have 2 dozen prefolds which for the first few weeks we did laundry daily - she didn't go through them all in a day but we wanted to have a diaper buffer so we never ran out of clean ones while the dirty ones were being washed! After a couple of weeks we were able to start doing laundry every other day as her digestion got better and we were better at folding them. We love the Thirsties covers!!! We've never had a blow out, although her poop is very runny (she's exclusively breastfeeding) and there have a been a few times where the diaper doesn't catch everything but the cover hasn't leaked. We have Thirsties with the snaps which my husband doesn't like (although he may change his mind once baby is mobile), we also have some with velcro which are our favorite as they make changing her really quick - particularly at night.
Hi there, previous posters have already given you lots of good advice. Just wanted to add that you could do a cloth diaper trial program if feel really unsure about which diapers you'll like best. The downside is that most programs don't give you enough diapers to cloth-diaper fulltime, so you might need to either buy some disposables, or buy some cheaper diapers that you feel pretty sure about like prefolds and covers to stretch your stash. I did the Jillian's Drawers one and learned a lot- and it was so nice not to have to worry about selling the diapers I didn't want while adjusting to motherhood and caring for a newborn. This thread from the diaperswappers site lists a bunch of them: http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=886295&highlight=trial
Personally, I ended up liking prefolds and covers for everyday use, pockets for outings, and fitteds for nighttime. I know many feel that velcro is easier, but I definitely prefer snaps...velcro doesn't hold up over time nearly as well, and DD could take velcro diapers & covers off by age 7-8 months.
Mom to DD born March 2010, and someone new March 2012
sent from my phone using tapatalk, please excuse typos.
Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
I woud start off with a trial from a retailer who will send you a bunch of different styles (prefolds, pockers, AI2s, AIOs) and then you return what you don't want at the end.... and if you want to start from newborn, some will do a rental of newborn diapers, so you can use fitteds and covers for newborns without a huge investment then decide if a one-size stash is for you. Personally I like a mix of one-size and some 'perfect size' diapers.
A lot of fit depends on the baby's shape, for example, chunky babies fit better in Fuzzi Bunz than skinny babes... so I wouldn't spend 500-1000 on a full stash before the baby gets here!
Such great advice, thank you all so much!
I'm super excited, I started my cloth diapering stash! I took all of your ideas into consideration and developed a better idea of what my husband and I were willing to spend initially and what kinds of diapers would be most practical for us. Then I finally was able to attend a free cloth diapering class at our local natural maternity/birthing center yesterday. It was GREAT! I can't even say enough how fun it was to finally touch all of the various kinds of diapers in person and play around with them. I couldn't wait to use a Snappi, LOL! Since I attended the class, I got a discount off of anything I purchased in their store. I also got the August buy 5/get 1 free special for bumGenius 4.0 OS on top of the discount. I'm not kidding you, when it was all said and done, I got each bumGenius diaper for only $10.80! Holy cow was I excited! So here is everything I bought to start out with:
- 6 bumGenius 4.0 One-Size diapers (3 hook and loop & 3 snap closure -- wanted to try both out) Love pocket dipes!
- 12 DSQ Prefolds - infant size
- 2 Snappis
- 3 Thirsties Duo Wraps - size 1
- 6 Thirsties Diaper Covers - size small
- 6-pak of Thirsties Fab Wipes (I'm even excited to try cloth wipes now too!)
Since I got such an amazing deal on buying all of this brand new, I have some more money to spend on completing my beginning stash. So I'm thinking that I'll get some more prefolds since I want to use mostly prefolds for sure during the early baby stage. Any suggestions on websites that have the best DSQ prefold prices? Also, should I get regular/premium size or more infant size?
I am also interested in trying some Thirsties Duo Diapers w/ pockets. I might invest in some of those once the baby is here and I've tried some things out. Those were the CD class instructor's favorites.
If I find some cheap used fitteds, I'd like to try Kissaluvs or Happy Heinys. I can definitely see how much easier they could be at night or in a rush compared to using prefolds. I'm sure we'll get quick at putting on prefolds once we've practiced a lot, but they're probably a lot harder with a squirmy baby! I'm glad to report that my husband tried out a prefold and Snappi on a stuffed animal at home and he didn't think it was hard work at all. Yay! LOL. Is it weird that I'm a little obsessed with Snappis and prefolds now? They're fun! (DH says I'll outgrow that really fast..... haha) For covers, I will have to get more sizes anyway so I'll probably try some Bummis out next. I liked how those looked.
Oh, speaking of prefolds, last question for anyone...... Since I need to wash them several times to prep them, is it okay to use regular detergent for those first few washes, or do I need to go out and get special cloth diaper detergent already?
By the way, the snaps on a lot of diapers aren't as easy to close as they look in pictures! Now I know what people are talking about when they say Aplix is easier. Haha. My husband really likes the snaps, though, so I'm glad I got a mixture for us both to try out!
Check out www.diaperswappers.com for used prefolds. Otherwise, they should be around the same price everywhere for DSQ CPF's. A lot of people like GreenMountain prefolds better b/c they have slightly different dimensions. I would suggest getting more infant size for now and you can always sell them for premiums when baby is older if you still want to use prefolds that is. Infant size will last up to about 16 pounds. That could be 3 months old or that could be one year old. You just never know!
As for washing, YES you need to get proper detergent now. While you can definitely beat up on prefolds more than on pocket diapers, there is no reason (IMO) to risk detergent buildup. Plus diaper safe detergents are generally better for the environment. Might as well start now!
Mama to Avalon 1/07 , Austin 1/10 in between and Avery 12/11