Not Another Cloth Diaper Post…

So, I realize that out of the like 5 people that read this blog when they have nothing better to do, maybe one of you has actually expressed interest in cloth diapering (Hi! Erin). The rest of you are probably all, “Seriously? Another post about this? I know your blog is lame but I didn’t realize all you have to talk about is what you put on your baby’s butt..”


I know. But for some inexplicable reason, this is actually fun for me. 

So I just thought I’d follow up my “Cloth Diaper 101” post with a few pictures (and some long-winded explanations) of my newest addition to the family in her favorite dipes.


I mean, when I was delving into the complicated world of cloth diapering, I quickly found that pictures were the biggest help. There’s just too many options out there these days, and it’s hard to picture how they all work, ya know?


So, if you’re totally over my cloth-diapering life right now, I understand. But, for those of you who think you might find yourself entertaining the idea of cloth diapering somewhere down the road, stick this post in the back of your mind or at the back of your bookmarks for a reference.

Oh, and maybe I should put in a disclaimer: I am totally not plugging any of the brands of cloth diapers or stores I might mention in this post. Although these diaper companies should be paying me to rave about their products, they unfortunately do not know that I exist. I have however found that, of the many products and cloth diapering methods I’ve tried, there are some that work better for me than others. So this is me passing along the wisdom of my cloth diaper addiction… 

Okay, so…first up are some pictures of the baby girl in my diaper of choice: a flat diaper. I use these flats. And these. All Green Mountain brand diapers are amazing in terms of quality and absorbency. Osocozy brand diapers are a little smaller (which makes for a good fit for my baby at her current size) and also a little rougher to the touch compared to GMDs, but just as absorbent.


Flat diapers can be folded down to the length of your diaper cover (so that they look like a diaper insert) and simply tucked into a pocket diaper, or placed on top of a diaper cover like this:


This one’s got a strip of fleece fabric on top to “catch” the poo messes, making them easier to clean up.

Or, you can fold them into the shape of a disposable diaper and secure them around your baby like this:  



 

Dawwwww.


That y-shaped thing holding the diaper on is called a Snappi. They’re the quicker, more convenient alternative to diaper pins. They have little teeth that grab the fabric and hold the diaper wings together. You can get them in regular size or toddler size. I use toddler sized snappis because I don’t like them to be tight on my baby, and the toddler sized ones help with that.

Also that was all I had, since their previous owner was her toddler brother. 


Also, let’s face it, she’s huge. Look at those thunder thighs.


I used what’s called The Neat Fold on the diapers in the pictures above. For the size and shape of my baby, that’s what works best for us at this time. But there are gazillions of ways to fold flat diapers, and it only takes about 30 seconds on You Tube to learn how to do it. It’s no big deal!


I could sing the praises of flat diapers all day, but I’ll save you the pain. Instead, let me list for you the things that make them so fantastic: 

  • They’re the least expensive cloth diaper, but last longer than most modern options.
  • They’re the easiest to get clean — fancy diapers made of synthetic fibers like microfiber tend to hold onto bacteria and stinkies, making them complicated to get clean. Flats are made of one layer of cotton — they clean up with one wash cycle and regular laundry detergent, and dry in no time. You won’t need to follow any of those fancy washing instructions with flats.
  • They’re one-size-fits-all. Buy them once and cloth diaper all your kids from birth to potty training. Just change how you fold them depending on your baby’s size.
  • They’re the trimmest option. Cloth diapers are bulkier than disposables — something you just have to get used to. But flat diapers rival the trimness of disposable diapers.

See:


Trim, right?


Same flat diaper plus diaper cover under a onesie. See how trim it is?

Next is a Flip brand one-size diaper cover over the same flat diaper above:



You have to pair flat diapers with a diaper cover, which provides wetness protection. 

If you’re going to cloth diaper an infant full-time with just flats and covers, you would need 10-24 flats, but only 4-6 covers. (I can get away with just 12 flats and 4 covers because I wash mine every day or every other day.  So, that’s about $80 to cloth diaper one baby full time for 1-4 years, as opposed to $1000+ to use disposables full-time. …You can see why I’m obsessed with this.)

Anyway, back to covers: In my experience, Flip covers are the best fit on babies 10lbs and up, and the most leak-proof PUL cover. I’ve had plenty of leaks with disposable diapers and other cloth diaper covers, but I’ve never had a leak with a Flip cover! Bonus: They’re one size fits all, so you only have to buy one set and they’ll fit your baby from birth to potty training! How’s that for saving money? 

Ok, so, let’s say I’ve totally convinced you and you’re thinking of trying flats, but you don’t want to invest a bunch of money in them just in case you end up hating them. I have a solution for you! Grab a flannel receiving blanket out of the closet, and practice with that! Flannel receiving blankets work just as well as “real” flats (some would say even better). Plus, they’re ridiculously cute. See:


 
(Are you starting to see why cloth diapering is way more exciting than using disposables? You save an obnoxious amount of money and your baby looks adorable. It’s mom heaven.)

Some people even use receiving blanket flats exclusively. They’re softer, cuter, and work just as well.  The only drawback (for some) is that you can’t use a snappi with flannel. It just doesn’t grab the fabric. So you have to use diaper pins. Which is no biggie once you figure out how to get the dang things open. 


(Diaper pin bonus tip: Rub the pointy end of the pin on your scalp or forehead before poking it into the diaper. The oils from your hair help to lubricate the pin. Gross, but totally works and saves a ton of frustration.)

And get this: if you play your cards right, receiving blankets are even cheaper than regular flats! :drool: You can find flannel receiving blankets in packs of 5 for $5 or under in stores like Ross and Marshall’s! Walmart and Target also have “flour sack towels” in their kitchen towel section for $5, and they make great flats too!

Or, you can even make your own flat diapers out of old blankets or leftover flannel and cotton material. Jersey cotton makes a wonderfully soft, stretchy diaper. 

That’s the beauty of flat diapers. Once you know what you’re doing, you’ll start imagining everything in your house is a flat diaper.

Yes, you will start looking for things in your house that your baby can pee on. 


I heard a heartbreaking story once of a mom who couldn’t afford to buy disposable diapers. So she would try to wash out the disposable diapers her baby had used and blow dry them! How unsanitary! It absolutely breaks my heart. If she had known the old-fashioned way of diapering, she could have just folded up an old tee shirt or blanket and tied it around her baby. People who have plenty of money for the finer things in life do that just to look “green” and trendy! But that sort of thing is not common knowledge these days. How sad that our society has us so conditioned to buying expensive, mass-produced things like disposable diapers that you have to throw out — which is supposedly more convenient — that we aren’t even aware that lots of fabrics can function as a diaper — and work even better. Ok I’m done lecturing.  


Well, I think I’ve pretty much covered everything. So now that I’ve beaten you over the head with more information about flat diapers than you probably ever cared to know, I’ll let you get back to your life. I promise the next post will not have anything to do with poo. 🙂