Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Diaper cover advice

I know there are a number of you out there who have already been through the cloth diapering process so I thought I'd enlist your expert advice in one of many areas I'm a little uncertain about. The diaper cover. Or soaker. Or whatever you call them. I feel like cloth diapering comes with an endless list of nuanced terminology that I haven't caught up with yet.

So. Our plan is to have some pocket diapers, some fitted diapers and a lot of prefolds. Mostly because I'm not sure what we'll like and what baby will like. And prefolds are sooo much less expensive than buying an entire set of the more modern options. Though, side note, even buying the more expensive cloth diapers seems WAY less expensive than buying disposables. You just have to fork over a lot to get you started. Kay and one more note on the pro-cloth diapering front. I heard this statistic that in the first year of your baby's life you will fill your entire house with disposable diapers. Um, if that's not enough to convince you to at least TRY the reusable option, I can't image what is. Think about how many landfills are full of JUST diapers. Scary. Anyway.

With prefolds there's still the question of the cover. And I really don't like the plastic raincoaty ones. Plus word is that wool is naturally antibacterial and better all around. That's just the word, mind you. I don't know from experience or anything.

So which covers do you all use (if you use them) ?

Here's a selection of the top contenders in my mind:

LANAcare wool diaper cover
Isme Vimse wool wrap
Happy Heinys wool snap cover
Little Beetle wool snap cover
Disana organic merino wool soaker
Babyology wool soaker (in stripes!!! I need stripes)

Pretty much all of these are available on Green Mountain Diapers actually.

LANAcare seems to be a heavy favorite around the internet, though they are more expensive. But how many do you really need? Only a few right? And I'm thinking we'll get a mixture for this first round so we can see what we like the best?

Any wisdom on the subject would be much appreciated. Also, in the summer isn't wool too hot? Just curious.


Anonymous said...

Imse Vimse are my favorite by far though I have to admit I haven't tried their wool covers. I love their other ones though - probably plastic-y material but they make it so soft and nice. My absolute favorite are handmade longies and soakers and shorts though. I learned to knit so I could make them. But I also buy from other moms.

jora said...

Ugh. You just hit a major guilty nerve with me. I have been the cloth route, the flushable route, the seventh generation disposable route and the big box disposable route. Shamefully, I am using pampers swaddlers right now. I am interested to see what advice you get here b/c I never found a system that I loved. I wish there were a service in S.D. b/c that's what I would do. Can you do that? L.A. has to have one.

jora said...

Oh, and one more gross-out re: disposable diapers (like you needed one!). Every single disposable that's ever been used is sitting in a landfill somewhere, because it takes like a million trillion years for it to biodegrade. Sickening. I need to change my system STAT.

kirsten said...

I don't know from experience either, but my cousin raves about fuzzibunz


Gina said...

those covers are soo cuute. i recently saw an episode of dirty jobs where they went to the wearhouse of a company that washes cloth diapers and then delivers them back to you.... pretty yucky business!! hehe

ABC Dragoo said...

To answer your question about wool... if it is a nice merino wool, it's likely very similar to cotton.

Congratulations on the soon-to-be baby!

Also, I stumbled onto this company on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37503758 They have got the cutest baby bonnets... perfect for a California baby girl (that is if you have a girl!)

ABC Dragoo said...

P.S. popping baby in wool from the get-go is a very good thing. This means baby won't have the allergy issue of feeling "itchy" like so many children do.

abbey said...

i have a four-month-old (my first) and we've been using prefolds with thirsties covers. they are the plastic-y kind you mentioned but not like vinyl from the old days. they are actually pretty soft and work really well.

i always thought the wool covers, particularly the bottom two pictures you posted, were really just EXTRA protection on top of a regular prefold + waterproof cover combination. i can't imagine a prefold and a wool cover being enough to hold it all in, especially overnight. but i am new to this too.

we also use a happy heinys with cotton inserts now that she sleeps through the night. i like to use something with fleece at night to keep the urine from touching her skin for too long.

Amanda Blair said...

I don't know personally but will turn you to www.ababymaybe.com because the author goes into EXTENSIVE detail on her cloth diaper's. She's tried a bunch of different brands and kinda and reviews them all. It might help you out! You'll have to scroll down through the site to find the cloth diaper posts!

Tara Vorhes said...

While I don't have a baby of my own, my family is very big into cloth diapers so I have seen second hand their experiences. They use a cover that has a soft laminate/plastic type that is covered with a soft cloth. The waterproof quality will be very helpful in keeping the clothing from having to be changed constantly and will prevent links. Bummis or Thirsties are pretty cute.

lynlock said...

I haven't had kids yet, but I've filed away some blog posts that seem like they'll be helpful in the near future, and this one also raves about FuzziBuns: http://pacingthepanicroom.blogspot.com/2009/08/earning-cloth.html

Desi McKinnon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Desi McKinnon said...

This is advice my friend,Colleen, gave me. She's a scientific mind and researches everything.

G-diapers: I did not do a lot of research before Finn was born on cloth diapers. I got "Gs" b/c they sounded great. They're cute and easy BUT... the inserts are expensive. They cost $15 for a pack of 40--more than disposables. AND..we couldn't flush them in our old plumbing system. They are biodegradable, but we still had to send them to the landfill. They also might LEAK (depending on what kind of wetter you get)--so I was washing a lot and still sending stuff to the trash.

*I now use the G Diaper covers for CLOTH inserts and this works well. People make cloth inserts specifically for the G's, but I mainly just use a prefold trifolded as the insert. The disposable inserts are nice to have around to use on occasion (now I never use them)

Cloth Diapers
note: You only need to buy them as you need them. You don't need to buy all of your diapers upfront.

* I recommend cloth diapers. They're ecologically the best choice and economically the best. I resisted it b/c I pictured tubs of soaking poo diapers around my house, but that's not the case at all. I just throw the cloth dipes in a cute bag designed for the purpose. Then every 2 days I dump the contents (and then the bag) into the wash. Easy--especially when the baby is just breastfed b/c the poo is all liquid. When solids are started you have to dump the poo in the toilet--disposable liners work best for this--the liner just falls in the toilet. Or..I'd like to get a toilet sprayer for the toddler years--this hooks up to the toilet and cleans off the cloth. (otherwise you have to deal with scraping wet poos and rinsing them in the toilet or somewhere else. this part sucks and is why you need a liner or a sprayer once true solids are started--not just purees)

* How you do it takes some trial and error b/c a lot of it is based on your budget and personal preference.

Here is a link that gives you the basics:
http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/newtocloth (just use the drop down menu to have various questions answered).

* **I use prefolds with covers--they're inexpensive and easy/effective--usually I just trifold it and place it in the cover rather than use a Snappi (these are used now instead of pins). I use Fuzzi Bunz at night. These are a type of "pocket diaper" --you don't need covers on them and you stuff inserts in to make them more absorbant.

* If I had the money to use whatever I wanted---I would try all of the cute diapers out there! They have one-size diapers that fit babies from about 10 pounds up to toddlerhood....my favorites are: www.thegoodmama.com--- But there are so many fabulous types and prints --especially made by moms out there--on etsy, etc.

* AIOs (all in ones) are super easy-- no cover needed. I would get a lot of these if I had the money.

* For a newborn--prefolds would probably be best unless you had a lot of money to spend --then Kissaluvs are supposed to be great. However I found out there are newborn rental packages for Kissaluvs that are way cheaper than doing disposables (25/month)

* You can also buy/sell/trade dipes on www.diaperswappers.com. This forum has a ton of info! and so many cute/stylish diapers. Buying excellent condition used diapers is a good way to go.

Disposables-- Seventh Generation--work the best. not biodegradable, just chlorine-free. I use these as my back up and when traveling (in addition to the Gs). Target has them the cheapest/
Nature Babycare diapers are biodegradable and cheaper than 7th gen. but of course they don't work as well. (you can get these at Target. they worked great for us for the beginning months)

redfrizzz said...

I've only heard wonderful praise for these guys:

ST said...

I can also RAVE about FuzziBunz! I get mine here: http://www.teenygreenykc.com/

kerstin said...

check out a friend of mine's blog: http://thechatterboxcafe.blogspot.com/2009/11/cloth-diapering-product-review.html

good luck!

h said...

I have tried one wool cover and I just couldn't keep my little one dry with it for the life of me. I know that a lot of people love them and they should work, but it must take some know-how that I have yet to grasp ;-). I know Amanda Soule uses them (of course, her self-knit version). I tried almost all of the different systems out there, but ended up really loving the bamboo soakers with Thirsties covers (and at night I added a hemp liner and one of the microfleece liners that came with my huge stash of BumGenius all-in-ones, which I really like, but of the all-in-ones I have to say the Fuzzibunz are waaaaay softer and it was always so satisfying to put one on my baby as it just fit so well and wasn't as bulky as the soaker/cover system (which is by far superior for night). I know for newborns the Kissaluvs are supposed to be great (need to be used with a cover as well).

A great resource is diaperpin.com for reviews of all diapers out there and even the best places to buy them. Many of the websites offer a trial period with a mix of different diapers that you can then return if you are not happy with, believe it or not!

I loved the feeling of cloth diapering. Sure, it is more work in the laundry dept., but it was so satisfying wrapping my baby in such cozy goodness minus all of the awful chemicals in the disposables (along with a host of other perks, I might add!)

I am more than happy to help with any other questions, specifics, etc. Good luck and I wish you well for this last stretch of pregnancy!

kristina said...

Wow, you guys! So many helpful links. The pocket diapers I referred to are FuzziBunz. I've had a number of moms recommend them, but it's always excellent to hear how many people really love them!

And the fitted diapers I have in mind are kissaluvs. They're supposed to be great for newborns and new parents getting the hang of cloth diapering.

Sounds like I might want to consider investing in a few non-wool wraps too. And doublers/night inserts or whatever those things are.

Jora - but at least you TRIED. There is a diaper service in san diego... sd diaper service. But maybe you should try a slew of fuzzibunz too! It sounds like they are fantastic and soft and easy to use.

Thanks for the great tips everyone!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this post. I've got diapering in my future and haven't spent the time to research this for myself yet. So much good info from everyone.

Mildred said...

Hi I've been using flat diapers that i fold myself for 2yrs with my son and is the most versatile and inexpensive option. For extra absorbency i use a prefold in the middle. When my son was a newborn we used the little beetle and a prefold which fit perfectly and we only needed that one since he peed so little compared to now. My favorite after that were the imse vimse and the kiwi pie and i tried various kinds. I have 4 on hand now which seems to be good number in case some get dirty.

100layercake said...

Wow, I sure am happy you are doing all this baby product research so that you can enlighten me when I get pregnant!


The Design Boards said...

It's funny about the mention of the dirty jobs episode where they went to a cloth diaper facility...when I was young my babysitter actually ran a cloth diaper cleaning service out of her basement! I would go with her to all her house pick ups. She had a basement full of washers and dryers specifically for cleaning the diapers, they even had a separate hot water heater that was set at a higher and more sterile temperature to clean the diapers. This whole process left such an impression on me that ever since then I said that when I have kids I will use cloth diapers! All this information is super helpful, I am bookmarking for that "some day"

carolina postcard said...

You are totally inspiring me to do this. I've been thinking about it, but wasn't sure what to buy and what was the best. So thanks - I'm excited to see the responses & let us know how it goes.

"T-Bone" Lee said...

If you're planning on doing cloth diapers you HAVE HAVE HAVE to check out www.amalah.com.

It's a mommy blogger (she's adorable) and search through her site and click on the advice smackdown link on the left and sort by cloth diapers...She talks endlessly about the various options, what's worked, what hasn't worked and the cost etc etc.....It's definitely worth trolling around there for answers...

Unknown said...

I don't know you, but I do know that you are preggy. So therefore I share this with you. Because if I was preggy, I would buy it/make it in a heart beat.


Joanna Goddard said...

oh my goodness, these are SO cute!!!

sk said...

I don't have kids yet, but my brother and sister in law absolutely loved their fuzzibunz and they also used and liked the bum genius brand.

They bought a special diaper washing machine (about 4 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide, it hooks up to a faucet in your house, or a spigot if you use it outside... i don't really know much about this, but i thought i'd put it out there!)

I'm lucky they are saving all of theirs for when I need them, but it's kind of too bad that I won't get to do all this fun research! Good luck!

Mary said...

Have you thought of using greenies? I'm pregnant and I think they are my main choice. Disposables are awful!

rbenson said...

When just starting to get into cloth diapers you should get a few different styles and brands. Then you can see what style you like and what brand fits your baby the best. In my experience I found that the prefolds tend to leak. For us I found the thirsties Duo wraps to work quite well. They are a two size diaper on the same premise as the one size diaper. The one size diapers were to bulky on a new born and to snug on a toddler. Every brand fits each kid differently so try a few before you purchase a lot of them. You want to have 12 to 18 diapers. It depends on how often your child goes and how often you want to wash. For me I found 18 to be a good number. Also I had hemp inserts for nighttime. We purchased them at http://www.monkeybunz.com

rbenson said...

When just starting to get into cloth diapers you should get a few different styles and brands. Then you can see what style you like and what brand fits your baby the best. In my experience I found that the prefolds tend to leak. For us I found the thirsties Duo wraps to work quite well. They are a two size diaper on the same premise as the one size diaper. The one size diapers were to bulky on a new born and to snug on a toddler. Every brand fits each kid differently so try a few before you purchase a lot of them. You want to have 12 to 18 diapers. It depends on how often your child goes and how often you want to wash. For me I found 18 to be a good number. Also I had hemp inserts for nighttime. We purchased them at http://www.monkeybunz.com