Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cloth Diapers for Beginners

E in her Sunbaby diaper

 When I was in college I babysat for this awesome earthy Mennonite family.  One of the many things that impressed me about that family was their use of cloth diapers; they were fitted, snapped, and super absorbent.  Not at all like the plastic pants and pins of my mama's generation.  Once I got pregnant I knew that I definitely wanted to use cloth diapers.

After much research I settled on one sized pocket diapers.  One size means the baby will fit in the diaper from 8-35 lbs, which means, not having to buy more diapers, which means more saved money.  Girl's gotta save money where she can right?

At our baby shower my parents generously gifted us 20 one size pocket diapers with microfiber inserts made by Sunbaby. They're found on Ebay and are made by a mother in China. Because my mom purchased these for us,  I'm not 100% certain on the price, but I think she paid around $95 + shipping. You can BuyItNow or do auctions and my mom found an auction that no one bid on, which is why she got such a good price. We tried to use them when E got to 8 lbs, but they tended to leak around the legs until she got around 4 or 5 months.  It sucked a little bit, but we still used them occasionally because, to me, it was cheaper to me to change E's outfit than to use disposable diapers.

While I hadn't planned on using diapers & covers, when E's diapers were leaking I knew I needed a cheap fix.  I went out and bought 5 Dappi Diaper covers at a local baby boutique for $5.  Because I didn't have a ton of prefolds on hand I used what I had.   I used 8 Gerber diapers (they're not prefolds, but they're an old school style diaper), 4 flannel Gerber spit up rags that I deemed a diaper,  6 microfiber towels that I just folded in thirds and used as a diaper, and 3 flannel homemade inserts that I got at a consignment sale.

The Dappi covers certainly aren't fancy, but they sell them in small so they were great while E was growing into her pocket diapers. They're a velco closure and are fitted, so you don't need to use a Snappi or pin the diaper. The velco scratched E's tummy once or twice and there were a few leaks around the legs if I didn't place the diaper properly, but all and all I really was thankful to have something that worked while Emerson was small.

Around  6 months E outgrew her Dappi covers, so I bought 4 Thirsties size large snap covers.  I bought them with two stacked 20% off coupons from Amazon, so I got a good deal on them, but they typically retail for $12.75-$13.75. The large lasts 18-40lbs and the snaps are extremely secure.  They are fitted, so no pinning the diapers, and they adjust as E grows, which is fabulous. I have yet to have a leak and feel like these are TOTALLY worth the money.

I also recently bought 6 BabyKicks Hemp Inserts that I use in my pocket diapers at nap time or on a long car trip. I also use them with the Thirsties, but wrap them in a diaper because I'm not sure if it's would fill the Thirstie fully. Hemp is supposed to be more absorbent and so far they seem to be pretty great. I paid $24 for 6 at a local baby sale.

So, all total I have:
5 Small Dappi covers
4 Thirsties covers
8 Gerber diapers
6 Microfiber towels/diapers
4 Gerber spit up rags/diapers
3 Homemade flannel diapers
20 Sunbaby one size diapers 

Bottom Line:  We were EXTREMELY blessed by the gift of our pocket diapers.  They are VERY convenient and quite comparable to a disposable diaper.  My husband definitely prefers these to any other type of diapering.  All that said, if we were financing our CDs &  didn't have a lot of money to put toward our diapers, I would buy a good cover and some old school cloth diapers or even microfiber towels.  Even though you have to purchase sized covers, the diapers inside will work with any size, you just have to differ the way you fold the diaper. 

 If you need help with CD terminology go here.

For more info & statistics on health benefits & environmental impact of cloth diapers check out this site

Stay turned tomorrow for more about storing, washing, and using cloth diapers...

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