First let me define each type of diaper, and at the end of each description I will have a short You Tube video showing you how to use each diaper. If you are like me, you will want to see the diaper in action since these are not sold in stores it is hard to get a good idea of what you are trying to buy just by looking at a picture and a description. So I hope this helps you with your choice.
All-In-OneI will start with the most popular first timer diaper, the All-In-One. The All-In-One is a diaper that comes as one piece. So it has a water proof cover and all of the absorbent material sewn into it. Many people like this diaper because it is the closest thing to a disposable diaper. I got lucky and some one was giving away a huge amount of these for free on free cycle, along with some other types I will talk about later. The brand of all in ones was Kushies . A company out of Canada manufactures these. Walmart sells them on line only. There are three sizes in the Kushies, Newborn Infant, and Toddler. Infant fit Nolan when he would have been wearing a size two disposable diaper so it wouldn't fit right away. Depending on how often you want to wash them every day to every 3 days, plan on needing 7 diapers a day. Now I liked these pretty well and for an all in one the price is right. They don't hold the most pee of all the choices, but they held in all the new born poo’s with very few leaks. So I give them an “A” for ease of use and an “A”for price and “B” for effectiveness. There are other all in ones out there that I haven't tried. I think what I didn't not like about them was that they take longer to dry than others do.
Next the Pocket diaper. This one is also a very popular choice but seems to be the most expensive of all of them. I have tried 3 brands of pockets, Bumgenius, Fuzzi Bunz, and Mommy's Touch. If you decide to choose a pocket choose one that has an adjustable rise like the bumgenius, meaning that the diaper can go from newborn to toddler with just one diaper. Fuzzi Bunz and Mommy's Touch now makes a one size but I have not tried this new version. There are 2 companies that I have found that offer pockets at a much more reasonable price. Go Green, they sell their regular sizable diapers for $9.99 a piece, theirs are made in China and sold in the USA. Go Green also has a made in the USA line called Mud Butt, made by a very talented work at home mom. A pocket diaper is a diaper with a water proof cover, with a liner sewn in on it with an opening in the back to “stuff” it with an absorbent material like a prefold. Some times the diaper closes with Velcro like a disposable or with snaps which in the long run seem to last longer and hold up to frequent washings. I give these an “A-“ for ease of use “B-“ for price and “A+” for effectiveness.
I will tackle the prefolds next. A prefold is what your grandmother would think of as a true cloth diaper and believe it or not my #1 choice! Typically a good prefold is made out of a thick 100% cotton. I choose to buy mine from Green Mountain Diapers.com. They have an amazing prefold. It very absorbent, thick, soft, and cheep. Now you will have to buy the size you need for your babies size, sort of, but I will explain. When you think of what grandma diapered your mother in you think a piece of cloth with safety pins! But luckily for babies today some one came up with a better solution, a snappi. A snappi is a fastener that replaces the safety pins. It is shaped like the letter Y and holds the prefold on. Then in order to keep the wetness and mess in you but a water proof cover on, which I will “cover” next. So when I said you don't necessarily have to have the size for the size of your baby, you don't. Some people, like me, fold the prefold into thirds making it super thick and lay it right into the cover and then Velcro the cover on. (My #1 favorite method, also the cheapest!)
Prices for prefolds:
Green Mountain diapers:
Newborn: $1.75 each, $21 a dozen
Small: $2.00, $24 a dozen
Medium: $2.25, $27 a dozen
Large: $2.67, $32 a dozen
Toddler $3.00, $36 a dozen
Infant (newborn-15 lbs): $1.50 each
Regular (15-30 lbs): $1.75 each
Premium (15-30 lbs thicker): $2.00
Preemie (4-8 lbs): $1.00 each
Infant (11-15 lbs): $1.50 each
Regular (15-30 lbs): $1.75
Premium (15-30 lbs thicker): $2.00
- Now the cheepest packaged system I have run across is the Econobum, by Cotton Babies also the makes of BumGenius. They run $50 for 3 covers and 12 prefolds.
- Bummis sells a more complete cloth diapering kit from $136-169, (they offer either size small 8-15 lbs or medium 15-30 lbs kit) depending on size of baby, includes 18-24 prefolds, 4-6 covers, 1-3 biosoft liners, 5 stay dry liners, and a wet bag. So you really are getting just about everything you will need to use prefolds with this kit. I would suggest ordering 4-5 more covers. But this is a pretty complete set, just missing the detergent and the trash can to put the wet bag in.
If the prefold with the snappi just looks like too much some people go with a fitted. Which is a diaper that looks like disposable that is not water proof. Then you just put a cover over the top. I have a hand full of fitteds that I got from the lady that gave me the all in ones. I like the fitteds but it is tough to get on some time if your baby is wiggly. But will hold it all in for sure. Kissaluvs fitteds are the nicest around. They are very soft and super absorbent. They come in 3 sizes, new born, size 1 and size 2. But there are lots of others around. A fitted like Kissaluvs makes these diapers very expensive. I think prefolds is a much better way to go and seem to absorb the most.
Now the essential covers! Ok as you can see I love the prefolds but with a good prefold you need a cover that is just as quality. I have tried 2 that I really like the design for and are all about the same price, so go with the color and pattern that you like best because they are all effective. Another perk is that you can re use and re use the cover until it is soiled so you don't have to buy many. If it hasn't been soiled in two days and just peed in I go ahead and wash it. First there is the Bummis brand. They have two main versions. The Whisper wrap and the Super Bright. The Whisper wrap seems to be thicker and there is no exposed PUL. PUL, otherwise known as polyurethane laminated fabric. A fabric that is laminated so that it becomes water proof, the main secret in most cloth diapers. In the Super Bright the laminated section is exposed, this is not a bad thing but just different from the Whisper wrap. The next brand is Thirsties. Thirsties has two different kinds as well. First the Version 2 (V2) is almost identical to the Bummis Super Bright but I feel that the Bummis is thicker. The other Thirsties cover is unique to every cover out there! This is an adjustable cover with just 2 sizes. This is called the Thirsties Duo Wrap. Again I was disappointed with the thickness of the PUL but it still seems to be holding up well after many washes. If it were me the prefold with a cover is what I choose because it is the cheapest and they hold in every thing.
The last diaper I will cover is the hybrid. These are all relitivly new diapers. There are 3 brands out there that I know of in the Hybrid category the G Diaper, the GroBaby, now rebranded as GroVia, and the Flip, the same company that makes the BumGenius. The Hybrid is unique. It has a liner that you can either throw away for it to bio degrade or flush down the toilet! And If you choose not to use the flushable liner you can use a prefold in the diaper, or in the case of the GroVia they have a snap in insert. So basically when you are home use the prefolds/liner included, and when out and about or on vacation use the flushable liners. But the only dilemma I ran into here was that the liners are pricy over time, but if use occasionally and not full time than can be a good purchase. Also the flushable liners do not hold nearly the same amount of pee as a prefold will so you will have to change more frequently. Because of the price of the liners, I gave it a “C” for price because if you use the flushable full time you might as well use a disposable diaper because they are close to the same price. But as far as effectiveness I give them an “A” and ease of use a “B”.
Price Break down for Hybrids
- The GroVia one size kits will run $24 per diaper with one soaker insert included, extra soaker pads for a 2 pack are $16.95, and the disposable inserst are $7.99 for a 20 pack.
- Each G diaper in 3 different sizes is $16.99 that includes 1 snap in liner. Washable liners are $30 for 6. Disposable liners cost $14.95 for 32-40 liners
- Each one sized Flip cover costs $13.95. Each flip stay dry liner is $4.95 (for more than 12 the price goes down to $3.95) Their organic liner is $7.95 the price also goes down when purchasing more than 12 to $6.95. I really like their disposable liners, they are really soft and cheep. They are hard to find right now but usually cost $4.95 for 18. G Diaper video
Now you have a choice to make, will it be A, B, C with option 1 or 2, or D. I know it is a lot to look at and research but I spent 6 months or more on my research and testing of the 4 main types of diapers so hopefully this simplifies the choices.
Now if you are having a hard time choosing I found a wonderful resource Diaper Swappers. com This is a message board where you can buy used diapers from other people using a pay pal account, or you can swap a diaper for diaper. Also there are message boards for just about every diapering topic you can think of. I have had nothing but good experiences with the site, and it has helped me try out lots of diapers for cheep.
My next post will be on preparation of new diapers, care and cleaning of your new diapers.