Today’s topic is inspired by a blog reader that I know through my friend Elaina. Jenny emailed me a few weeks ago with this question:
Hi there! How’s it going up in the PNW? It’s been raining more here than usual, feels like real weather in LA and I love it!
Let’s quickly talk diaper basics. I don’t claim to be a cloth diapering expert, but again, this isn’t my first fluffy butt rodeo and I think we have it down pretty well at this point. There are so many kinds of cloth diapers, and I’m sure tons more have been added since I did all the research before Jack was born. At the core of diapering “systems” you have:
These are the flat rectangle pieces of absorbent cloth that most people think about when they hear “cloth diapers”. They are the ones we wore as kids with safety pins and rubber pants. They haven’t changed that much in the years since I was doing some business in my own diaper, but the securing tabs are much better and you no longer need safety pins. For the covers, you can simply use a water resistant cover that looks basically like a diaper. You put the prefold on the kiddo, secure it with some tabs, and then put a cover over that.
Fitted diapers look like a disposable diaper in that they have the securing tabs incorporated in to the diaper itself. It is an absorbent piece of material, but they are not water proof. You still need to put a cover over them. We used fitted diapers at the newborn stage, and they in turn have been worn by about six other babies in our lives over the years. We have lost one in all that time due to the condition it was returned to us. For covers, we used Thirsties and had good success.
AIO diapers are when the inserts are basically attached to a water resistant cover. You don’t need to remove the inserts for washing, or stuff them after they’ve been cleaned. We have a few Bum Genius AIO from Jack, and they’ve held up well. I feel like the rise on them (how far they come up in the front) isn’t as high as other diapers, but they work fine. They are the thinnest fitting diaper we have, so they’re good when Bennett wants to feel slim and trim. 🙂 They make great diapers for the diaper bag, because you don’t need to remove the insert before putting them in wet bag (more about wet bags below).
These I know the absolute least about. Poor Jenny, those are what she wanted to know about. From what I understand, they have a reusable cover, but either a flushable liner, or a liner you throw away. There are many different systems out there, and I have heard mixed results, but for everyone who loves a product, there is always someone who doesn’t. It may be the best diaper for you!
With cloth, you will find that you can’t use most diaper creams without a barrier between the baby’s skin and the diaper. Creams and lotions can cause wicking and leaking and nobody likes a leaky diaper. You can simply put a small piece of cloth or even toilet paper in the diaper to protect it if you need to use a cream. With both boys, we have never had diaper rash (crosses self), and I attribute that to our cloth usage.