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Now that I'm expecting my first and looking at my diapering options, I'm a little overwhelmed. I've changed many, many a clothed bum, but each family had already found their preferred diapering system, and I wasn't the one spending the money. We are on a very tight budget so we are looking for the diapers that are the most durable, versatile, absorbant, and affordable. Most of the diapers I've changed have been the rectangular tri-folds with a wrap. I like that system just fine. But it seems like I'd have to buy more sizes that way than if I went with pocket diapers that "grow". The things I'm not sure I like about pocket diapers are the synthetic material, and that there isn't a wrap I can use several times before washing. And I'd like to learn more about pre-folds. What is the benefit of them over the tri-folds? It seems like a lot of women on here have found the solution lies in having a stash of several kinds of diapers. Does anyone have suggestions on what I should start with? (We are going to do a diaper service for the first month. Thank you mom! So I don't think we'll need super small ones.)

I love knitting so I'm interested in knitting covers, but I would like more info. I have a hard time believing that if I just knit wool, that it would be waterproof. Surely it needs lanolin or something, right?

What about washing? I've never had moms mention it being difficult, but from reading forums on here it seems like a very delicate process. And what is this stripping business? One of the mom's I work with now, who has a young infant, exclusively nursed, just puts all her dirty diapers, poopy ones too, in the baby laundry hamper and washes it all together. No stains, no stink. She makes it seem sooo easy. What's the deal?

I know there are some very well researched and experienced moms out there. Help?

I'd be especially keen to know about local (Seattle) diapers made by WAHM.
 

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i've always heard "prefolds" used to describe a rectangular diaper with 4 layers on each side and 8 layers in the middle. i've occasionally heard the term "trifold" to refer to the same thing and on rare occasion it describes a flat diaper that was folded a certain way. can you clarify?

as for the prefolds and wraps - price depends on what you get. from what i understand Econobum wraps are One-Size and should fit near-newborns to toddler size, and the whole set is somewhere in the $50 range for a dozen prefolds and 3 wraps. you adjust the way you fold them to accommodate the different size babies. i haven't tried them personally.

i'm using a combination of prefolds with wraps (Thirsties Duo wrap size 1 lasted til 15.5 lbs, she's in Bummis Medium now) or pocket diapers (AMP Duo Pockets). the latter comes in a one-size version for $20 canadian (not including inserts), and if you wanted to, you could lay the insert (or a prefold) inside and pretend it's a wrap. you can use it a few times in a row that way, unless it gets poopy. they also come in a package with 4 pockets, 10 inserts, and some other stuff in a package, which is what i have, but i do laundry every day. i'm getting more soon so i can do laundry every 2 days instead. in any case, i REALLY love them. they certainly cost more than the basic prefolds and wraps but i think they're well worth it. i'm using a combination of the hemp inserts, prefolds, and cotton inserts in them right now. the hemp is very absorbent, it's the best at night!
 

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for wool covers, you should come ojoin ravelry.com ! We have a group for soakers and longies and you can learn about wool and knitting patterns. But basically 100% wool (not superwash or otherwise treated) should work once it is pretreated with lanolin!
 

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For economy and easy use, I like prefolds (the diapers described in the second post on this thread) with Prorap covers. The covers are plastic, and much cheaper than wool. I like having natural fibers next to my baby rather than the synthetics of pocket diapers (although I have used those when they came to me as hand-me-downs). The cotton also is more absorbent than the synthetic liners of pockets like Bum Genius. You can get by with only a couple sizes of prefold diapers too because you can layer them together as your lo grows. You can just use two diapers in a cover when one doesn't seem like enough. And when they wear out, the thick center is often okay, so you can trim off the ragged edges and use that for a doubler to increase absorbency for bigger babies or nighttime diapers.

You do have to buy different sizes of covers, but they aren't super expensive and you don't have to buy every size -- I often skipped a size on the way up. You can also find used ones cheaper, especially the newborn and infant sizes they grow out of so quickly. Once your baby is 9-12 months, he or she may be in the same covers for a year or more...their growth slows down quite a bit.

I highly recommend going with some kind of cover designed to be used without pins or Snappis because they suck. It is hard to get the pins in a wiggly baby without poking someone and when my babies started crawling the Snappis were uncomfortable for them; my dd used to cry and try to pull her diaper off. She was fine when I ditched the Snappis.

As for washing, I didn't have a problem until I got a front loader. Now I have it worked out, but it took a little experimentation.

With my first, I line dried covers every time and diapers most of the time, but now (my second is almost 2) I just wash them in the washer and dry them in the drier most of the time. They definitely wear out more quickly when you use the drier, but I haven't had any trouble with leaking or anything. You don't have to worry about stripping most of the time; it is just something to try if your diapers get stinky (come out of the wash stinky or stink immediately when your baby pees) or if your lo is having a lot of rash or yeast problems.
 

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Personally I loved fitteds and now am using a mix of those and pockets, but since you are fine with prefolds those are definitely very affordable. I got the fitteds used on our local craigslist which really helps to lessen the financial blow (especially when you consider I could likely sell them for close to the same amount since these particular ones hold their value very well). But what sounds like it would make sense for you is to use prefolds and wrap covers, and get some inexpensive pockets for outings and when the kiddo gets bigger and you need quicker changes. Sunbaby and Kawaii are two kinds of cheap pockets that are popular and seem to have a pretty good reputation (I recommend googling whatever diapers you plan to buy to see how others are liking them to make sure you're not getting something of poor quality or performance).
 

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I am using pockets and AIO - its the only way that DH will change diapers.

Something to consider is if your local cloth diaper store has a loan program for trial. Two here offer it and you can try a couple of each diaper before you decide to make your purchase. CD'ing is very much a personal thing. Every baby fits differently. Good luck! Everyone has growing pains with it; but you will find your feet quickly.
 

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we use mostly pockets. They're simple, easy to change, easy to stuff & easy to convince a 2 year old to put on.
 

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Hi,

We do prefolds and covers... I was really worried about cost when I put together my "package", which I wanted to use for newborn to 1 year old. We got about 24 infant size (from Nicki's) and 24 regular (again from Nicki's... works up to 30 lbs). Our baby was a small newborn, so I was glad we got the infant size, although at 3 weeks we're starting to use the regular sized ones when we run out of the infant size, and while they're a little bulky they work fine. For covers I got Thirsties Duos size 1 (nice because they're inexpensive and you only need 2 sizes ever, and they have a wipeable inner lining so if your LO gets the inside a little dirty you can just wipe it down; they are sized differently from the original Thirsties) and Bummies Newborns and Smalls (I heard good things about them, and liked the designs, but they come in like 4 sizes so you have to buy more over time and I'm washing them all the time because the liner isn't wipeable), to see what worked best. Despite many stories of this cover or that diaper blowing out or leaking or whatever, both work really well... in retrospect I would just get the Thirsties given the cost issue. If you're getting a service for the first month, you can probably skip the newborn sized Bummies and infant size prefolds. I found Snappies helpful when he was very small, but now at 3 weeks we're just folding it in thirds and putting on a cover most of the time during the day... at night I just feel more secure with everything snappied in place. So, overall you could get like 24 regular size prefolds (or 36 to allow you to spread out laundry a little more or have more backup), and 4 diaper covers of one sort or another. Assuming you're not buying any newborn sizes, you'd spend ~$50 on 4 thirsties covers (which would last until 18 lbs then you'd need to go up to the next size) and $42 on 24 regular 4-6-4 diapers (or 48$ on 24 "premium" meaning 4-8-4) which will last up to 30 lbs. (Prices and terminology from Nicki's diapers, but you'll get similar rates from Green Mountain, and can probably get deals if you look around for used stuff... or maybe some of your friends have some old ones you can buy/borrow?).

As far as flats, I thought about doing it, but then watched a bunch of videos of people doing it and just couldn't see myself doing it on a squirming/crying baby at 3 in the morning, not for the rather minimal savings.

As far as washing, I have to admit I was really intimidated by the frequent discussions of really complicated washing routines you see on line. Then I started talking to people I knew who CD, and I got a similar impression as you. Based on my little informal survey, I think what you're reading on line is people posting because they're having problems, not that they're problems everyone is having. If your baby EBFs, the stools after meconium will be very water soluble and come right out in the wash (don't get me started on getting meconium out of cloth diapers... next time we're using liners for the first few days!). Just make sure you're using some diaper friendly detergent (and look online for a list... some of the things you think would be good actually have a residue).

Best of luck with your LO, and hugs to your mom for getting you the diaper service for your first month!

Anka
 

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If haven't yet chosen your diapers yet, the company I work for has 4 consultants in Washington state so many one is close to you. We specialize in Diaper Parties and Personal Consults, which are a free service to you. This way you can see and touch the diapers you are interested in and get personalized information on the benefits of each system. The link is http://www.diaperparties.com/find-a-cloth-diaper-parties-rep.htm and you are under no obligation to buy anything. Check it out and see if it is something you might want to look into.
 

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We mostly use prefolds and wool longies/shorties. At night we use hemp prefolds and wool covers. I got my prefolds from a diaper service that went out of business so they were super cheap. I know in seattle there are often cheap diapers on craigslist so if you don't mind used you might check there. Also if you are crafty you can always try to sew your own diaper that would be the thrifty way to go.
 
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