Tag Archive | "Intro to cloth diapers"

Newborn Cloth Diapering: The Basics

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Using cloth diapers on a newborn may something you are looking forward to, or dreading, or both.  There is no easy way to put this- it is hard.  Not hard in the sense that using the diapers on your baby is hard, that is the easy part.  It is hard because there are so many options to choose from yet you don’t everything you need to know about your baby in order to make the best decision!  So frustrating, right?!

newbornclothdiaperbasics

The video embedded into this post will shed some light on many of the options available to you.  Other than the unknowns of how big your baby will be (will they even fit into newborn diapers, and for how long?) other factors in deciding what to buy when come right down to price.

Newborn diapers will fit babies up to about 14-16 pounds but this will depend on your baby’s build as well.  One Size diapers, by comparison, fit beginning at 10+ pounds so if you had planned on starting with one size diapers you probably won’t be able to.

I’ve broken down a few different variables in the newborn diaper choices for you.  I didn’t include a few because they are just too obscure and would be confusing to new parents.  Those are best left to a “201″ style post.

Velcro Diapers on newborns-

Velcro/Hook and Loop/ Aplix/ Touch Tape.  These are all the names for what we all commonly call Velcro.  On newborn diapers, a velcro option is great because it is easiest to use for everyone.  With an entire area to choose from, you can get a perfect fit around the tiny waist by pulling it tightly and then securing.  The downside is that depending on the diaper, the velcro could rub the tummy or the umbilical stump of the baby if it rolls down at all and faces their skin.  Knowing this in advance, you can keep an eye out and make adjustments if you see this happening.

Velcro diapers on newborns pros/cons

Snapping Diapers on newborns-

For older babies and toddler snapping diapers are superior to velcro diapers because they are durable and prevent babies from removing their own diapers.  For newborns, it is more of a toss-up and up to user preference.  Snaps are more durable but the span of time the diapers are in use is shortened to just a few months.  If you’d like these to continue being used for the next child, or for re-sale, snaps could still be a better option for heavy use over many children.  Newborn snapping diapers do have the advantage of often coming with an umbilical stump snap down which give the stump room without rubbing the diaper.  I showed many snapping options like the GroVia newborn, Smart Bottoms, Lil’ Joey, and Kissaluvs.  The downside to snaps is that they are harder to put on for new parents and older caregivers.  On newborn diapers, this is magnified since the diaper is tiny and the baby is tiny!  Plus babies love to froggy leg, making any diaper change more challenging.

Snapping diapers for newborns pros/cons

All-in-Ones for newborns-

All-in-Ones are definitely the easiest way to diaper, newborns or toddlers, because they are simple to put on and simple to wash/dry.  It is a one step process all around.  They can come in velcro or snaps.  The obvious pros of ease of use are also their downfall.  Many of the popular AIO‘s for newborns have sewn down soakers like the Lil’ Joeys, Kissa’s newborn All-in-One,  GroVia Newborn, and bumGenius newborn All-in-One.  Cleaning and drying these is tricker.  Some options like the new Smart Bottoms newborn have a snap in soaker (Snap-in-One) that is semi attached, making cleaning and drying easier.

All-in-One diapers for newborns pros/cons

Fitteds for newborns-

I can’t say enough about fitted diapers for newborns.  The entire diaper is absorbent and often they are made from natural materials like cotton.  This combination is absorbent enough for the heaviest wetter, and for babies who begin sleeping for longer stretches of time, pairing a good fitted with a good cover can mean they baby wakes up with dry sheets (or you wake up with a dry lap!).  My favorite for my son was the Kissaluvs 0 (KL0) shown in the video.  I also showed the Sustainable Babyish newborn fitted.

Fitted diapers for newborns pros/cons

Flats and Prefolds for newborns-

Prefolds and flats are the way to go if you want to save money and find an effective diaper.  Either option can run as low as $1 upwards of $12 a piece, but the heigher end prices reflect flats or prefolds made from higher end materials like velours or bamboo.  In the video we used newborn Bummis (shown under a cover only) and in the stacks of prefolds, geffen baby prefolds (under the Thirsties cover) and the green edge in the product shots.  The flat shown was also a Geffen Baby with the orange edging and it was a pre-flat, not a true flat.  To use prefolds or flats you will need a Snappi or a Boingo to close them, or pins if you dare!

Flats and prefolds for newborns pros/cons

Dual Sized diapers for newborns-

To save money and have your diapers fit from birth and beyond early infancy there is the “dual-sized” diaper option.  These diapers aren’t newborn diapers but they aren’t full one sizes either.  Dual sizes usually begin fitting babies around 6 pounds and last up to 20.  Examples are Applecheeks Size 1 and Thirsties Duo Wraps and All-in-One’s in Size 1.  One of my favorites for my son was the Happy Heiny Mini One Size (not shown in the video.)

dualsizefornewborns

Covers for Newborns-

If you choose a system like fitteds, flats, prefolds (or contours, like a fitted but without snaps or velcro) that needs a cover to be waterproof, there are still several options within this category.  Most covers are made from PUL or TPU which is a waterproof material.  The best type of newborn cover will have “double gussets” around the legs.  This extra wall of protection is helpful in containing those watery newborn poop explosions.  Wipeable covers are a bonus.  If the interior of the cover is shiny you can wipe off any small messes and reuse the cover.  It can be advantageous to anyone trying to get by with a smaller number of covers on a budget.  If you go to dual sized covers, the Thirsties Size 1 is a good one that comes in both snaps or velcro.   They also make an extra small for newborns, which was a favorite of mine.  The Kissaluvs Newborn cover fit Tinaya very well and as a bonus, can work with their two-step inserts as an all-in-two.  Wool and fleece are other cover options.

All in Two diapers for newborns-

I didn’t cover any all-in-two options for newborns because I don’t think they are the best option.  The point of AI2 systems is to save money by reusing the cover and using several snap-in or lay-in inserts, changing when they are dirty.  With newborns, they usually poop often and the poop is runny and goes cover to cover.  Trying to use this as a full-time solution will leave you disappointed because often, the cover won’t be useable.  Even using covers and pad folded flats or trifolded prefolds can be risky!  I’m not saying you can’t have ANY, but to base your newborn diapering method on AI2‘s would be frustrating.  If you go in understanding that you will need more covers (probably 8-10 for a newborn) in order to wash every 1.5-3 days and you are OK with it, then this system would be fine.

Find what works for you!

In the end, many of you will opt to try a little of each.  Few parents rely on a system that is 100% one brand or style of diaper.  What works for many parents, and the method I used, was to have inexpensive prefolds and covers as the bulk, and have cute fitteds and all-in-ones for when I was going out of the home and wanted easier diapers to change.  Like I said in the video, cloth diapering should be fun and not stressful.  If your partner and family are able to support your decision to start from day 1 (even in the hospital if you deliver there) then please do!  If you would rather wait a week until the stump falls, that is good.  If you want to wait a few weeks and start with one size diapers, well, that is your choice too!  This post is purely here for reference and support no matter your choice.  Every family will do things differently, will choose different diapers, will love different diapers, and will all be doing a wonderful thing by cloth diapering their baby at any age and stage.

In the video I also mentioned ways to save on newborn diapers such as diaper rental programs, diaper services, and buying used.  If you want more resources on this topic there is a post already: Cloth Diapering a Newborn Without Breaking the Bank

Between all that photoshopping and filming and video editing I’m not sure I have much else to add to this post!  A special thank you to my beautiful and surprisingly cooperative newborn cloth diaper model, Taniya, who allowed me to change her a record number of times and hardly protested except when she needed a good burp.  The diapers used for this video and post were primarily sent by the brands themselves- GroVia, Kissaluvs, Geffen Baby, Applecheeks, Smart Bottoms, Bummis, and Chelory.  The Sustainable babyish, Lil’ Joeys, and Tini Fit by Tots Bots were provided by Dream Diapers (one of my awesome advertisers).  The Thirsties, Econobum, and bumGenius diapers were purchased by me for this post/video.  I’ve been working up to this video for a while and the demand has been high.  I hope it has lived up to the expectations and the hype!

taniya

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Introduction to Cloth Diapers: Fitteds

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Continuing on with my Introduction to Cloth Diaper Series I am covering Fitted cloth diapers. I have already covered Pockets, All in Ones, Snap in Ones, Tongue Style All in Ones, Contours, Training Pants, All in Two’s, and more.

A Fitted is a very absorbent cloth diaper that closes using either aplix or snaps.  It can be sized, dual size, or one size.  They can be made from any abosrbent material, natural or synthetic.  The common thread with all fitteds is that they require a cover (it is not waterproof) and the entire diaper is absorbent, front to back and end to end.

Because fitted cloth diapers require a cover this does mean that putting on a fitted, then a cover, is a two step process.

Types of Fitteds:

You can combine the features listed below in various ways and expect that a fitted is made with these attributes.

Snaps or Velcro.

Pocket or Channel opening.

Lay in Soaker

Snap in Soaker

Microfleece/ Suedecloth Lining

Natural Lining (Cotton/Bamboo/Hemp)

Sizing-

Sized, One Size, or Dual Size.  One Size options are usually fold over rise or a 2-4 Step snap down rise.

Pros:

VERY Absorbent. The entire diaper absorbs pee, tip to tip.

Diverse. You can find a fitted in any size, shape or form.  Plus in every kind of material, synthetic and natural.

Easy to make. Many WAHM’s make fitteds, and you could probably make your own if you are handy.  Not having to make them waterproof means an easier sewing process and less room for error.

Cute. Because you can find cotton in a trillion prints and patterns, there are that many cute prints to choose from in the Fitted world.  Ironic since many times the cute is covered by a Cover.

Versatile. Using Fitteds wih no cover is a great way to prevent or heal a diaper rash since it allows more airflow.  You can also use Fitteds in conjunction with ECing (Elimination Communication) to understand when your baby has wet their diaper.

Cons:

Bulky. Fitteds definitely tend to enhance the booty more than All in Ones or Pockets.  (Why many only use them at night.)

Time Consuming.  Putting on a Fitted, then a cover takes longer than a one step diaper.  There is no arguing this fact.

Drying time. Many fitteds have more layers closer together.  It can take these longer to dry.  Look for fitteds with lay in or snap in soakers or pocket openings.  If all of the layers are sewn and it is one piece it might take a LONG time to dry.

Stink. Fitteds with Microfiber cores that are sandwiched between other layers of natural/synthetic fibers tend to start getting funky more than other types of diapers.  Since Microfiber holds on to things well, it also holds the stink.  Washing that many layers is hard to do well.

Pricey. Even though there are a lot of inexpensive fitteds out there, many “boutique” WAHM brands run close to 30$ each, or more.  They usually use organic materials, like Organic Bamboo Velour, and have beautiful details.

Fitteds and Covers are not the most “Daddy Friendly” diapers out there. The time consuming nature of them, not to mention the fact that many Daddies don’t know how to tell what is a waterproof diaper and what is not, means you could run into trouble.

There are two major camps for Fitted users: Full time with Wool Soakers and Night Time with Wool or PUL Covers.

 

Our custom Mario Longies

Wool and Fitteds:

Wool Soakers are not only waterproof, they double as clothing.  This takes care of that “two step” process if you are using Fitteds, plus a cover, plus a pair of pants.  With Wool Soakers the Cover is the same as the Pants.

Nights only Fitted Users:

I actually fall into the Night Time Fitteds and Cover group.  I only use Fitteds at night.  Want to know why?

Most Fitteds have a Natural Fiber as the layer against the baby’s skin, as well as the soaker material.  In fact, usually the entire diaper is a natural material.  Cotton, bamboo, hemp, all of these are common materials used in Fitteds.  They can come in various forms, such as velour, looped terry, and fleece.  In every form they are instantly absorbent.  Once urine hits that surface it goes into the material.  As long as there is enough room in the material to hold liquid, and the cover fits well around the legs, back, and stomach, you’ve got yourself a perfect night time combination.

Fitted on left, Pocket on Right

Fitted on left, Pocket and Insert on right

In addition, fitteds are entirely made of absorbent material.  The ENTIRE diaper absorbs, the tabs, the front, the back, and of course the middle wet zone where the bulk of the absorbency lies.

Pockets, on the other hand, generally fail where the Fitted triumphs~

The Stay Dry lining in *most* pocket diapers is a barrier that wicks moisture away from the skin.  It is permeable (liquid can pass through) but the urine doesn’t go into the layer instantly.  Here is where you get leaks.  The urine is released, possibly at a fast rate, and before it gets through the stay dry layer it finds an escape.  Through a tiny gap at the leg?  Gap at the back?  Tummy? {watch the video beginning at 3:00 for a demonstration of what I mean}

Pockets are also only as absorbent as their inserts. Many parents find that double stuffing their pockets will do, some need ultra absorbent Hemp in addition to a Microfiber insert.  The truth is that pockets only have a core of absorbency no matter how many inserts you use, and how absorbent they are.  Then there is always the possibility that overstuffing your pocket has altered the fit and caused a leak.  It is only absorbing urine in the center of the diaper. There- I said it!

I just can’t stress this enough- if you are having cloth diaper leaks with any other diapers- try Fitteds (or Contours- they are very similar).

Where to buy fitteds shown in the video:

Thirsites Duo 17$* ● ES BabyPooters 12$ ● Orange Diaper Co. 32$Bamboozle 20$*

*Links marked with astericks are affiliate links and a portion of any purchases made will support DDL, so thank you!

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Intro to Cloth Diapers: Cloth Training Pants

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Even the Non Cloth Diapering Family can get down with Cloth Training Pants, especially when they realize those Pull Ups they are only using twice a day are still costing a fortune!

This installment in the Introduction to Cloth Diapers Series is going to show you the many types of Reusable Cloth Trainers available, but there are many not in the film too!

Cloth Trainers also can be called “Reusable Trainers,” “Cloth Training Pants,” or just “Trainers.”

Cloth Trainers are an easy to pull up (and down) pant with enough absorbency to hold at least one accident or more.  Can be waterproof or not.  Many have side snaps for e removal in case of solid accidents.

Just like regular cloth diapers, the types of Cloth Trainers on the market are plentiful.  It is an entire subset where more categories exist and branch out.  Let’s break it down.

Pull on Only- These trainers are strictly pull ups with no other closures.  They have a stretchy waistband.  Can be Waterproof or Non Waterproof. Ex. Imse Vimse

Side Snapping Pull on- These trainers pull up and down thanks to a stretchy waistband but they also have the option of unsnapping on the sides.  This is especially helpful if your child has a number 2 accident and makes clean-up easier.  Can be Waterproof or Non Waterproof.  Ex. BumbleDoo

Pocket Style Trainer- {Not seen in the video} These trainers have a pocket (just like Pocket cloth diapers) that can be stuffed with an absorbent insert.  This gives you control over the absorbency levels you need.  Pocket Trainers are especially good for nights when you might need extra protection.  Pocket Trainers can be Waterproof or Non Waterproof.  They are usually Side Snapping Trainers as well.  Ex. Happy Heiny’s Pocket Trainers

Overnight Trainers- {Not seen in the video} Overnight trainers have a lot of absorbency included and are Waterproof to keep the bed sheets (hopefully) dry.  Most trainers by definition are not that absorbent since they are assuming the child is in some stage of potty learning.  They are meant to hold one miss or a trinkle, not an entire full bladder’s pee.  For parents wanting to give toddlers their dignity in the last phase of potty training or older children who cannot yet stay dry at night these are a good option.  Ex.  Super Undies Overnights
Bedwetting Pants- {Not seen in the video} Bedwetting Pants are designed for older toddlers, children who still wet the bed at night, and sometimes older children with Special Needs.  They are VERY absorbent and are meant to contain a large amount of urine.  Another item to pair with these would be a PUL backed mat for extra protection of the sheets (saves changing for every accident).  Ex. Motherease Bedwetting Pants
EC Pants- {Not seen in the video} Elimination Communication is a practice of introducing a baby to the potty at an early age (even from birth).  Typical Training Pants don’t fit infants and small babies so there are some “trainers” that are easy on and off, even those with panels that pull down while the waist stays closed, that are smaller.  These usually have EC in mind in some way so they have easy access but still have some absorbency for any accidents.  They can be Waterproof or Non Waterproof.  Ex. ECA Ware

Other options:

Most parents who are considering a Training Pant are looking for something specific.  These are options available within most of the above TYPES of Trainers.
Stay Dry Lining- A Stay Dry Liner, such as Suedecloth or Microfleece, will wick mosture from the child’s skin and to the absorbent insert, leaving their skin feeling dry.  This is more confortable for the child and a great option for Overnight Trainers.
Non Stay Dry Lining- Any natural material such as Bamboo, Cotton, or Hemp will feel wet after urinating.  Feeling wet is a good thing for potty training since it alerts the child to their accident.  If they are uncomfortable with being wet, or notice, this will aid in potty training.  Ex. Kissaluvs Trainers with Flannel Lining
Full Waterproof- Trainers that are completely waterproof function much like a diaper.  The drawback is that you, the parent, are unaware that your child has had an accident in many cases.  Full Waterproof trainers with a High Absorbency level are great for nights and naps or outings.   Ex. Happy Heiny’s Pocket Trainer

Hidden Waterproof Layer- Many of the trimmer and “most like underwear” Trainers have a hidden layer of PUL sewn between the outside and inside layers.  This means they are a soft material (usually cotton) to the touch on the outside and look/feel like real underwear.  The downside is that they do not hold up to larger misses like during naps and overnight.  They are still great for the mostly potty trained child who trickles a bit and work great for going out and saving a pair of pants.  Ex.  Blueberry Trainers
Non Waterproof- You might be thinking, what is the point of a Non Waterproof Trainer?  Well, if you want to know when a child has an accident right away, or you’d like to understand their patterns before beginning Potty Training, a non waterproof trainer will be easy to tell by sight or touch.  This a great tool for parents practicing “Elimination Communication.” Ex. Little Beetle Learners

And remember, Side Snapping Pockets work great for trainers too, like the Evolution Ion or Knickernappies!

Like cloth diapers, Cloth Trainers should not be washed using detergents with softeners or other harmful materials.  They can be washed with regular clothes if they have only been peed in and if you aren’t doing regular diaper laundry.

Keep following the Intro to Cloth Diaper Series as I continue to add to the library of videos and posts.

Some of the links provided lead to a DDL affiliate.  If you purchase through those links I will receive a small percentage of the sale, so thank you!

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Intro to Cloth Diapers: What is a Contour?

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As part of the ongoing series: Introduction to Cloth Diapers, I am explaining the plethora of options that new and experienced cloth diapering parents are faced with.

Contours are the best kept secret in cloth diapering.

A Contour is a non waterproof cloth diaper that can be made from any absorbent material.  It is shaped to fit around the baby’s legs and has tabs that fit over the belly.  There are no snaps or velcro so a Snappi or Pins must be used to secure it.  Contours can be Sized or One Size.  They can have leg elastic or not.  Contours are an especially appealing option for newborns; easier than Prefolds and cheaper than Fitteds.  A contour can easily be sewn at home.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive compared to fitteds.
  • Easy to get a very custom fit around the waist using a Snappi (or pins).
  • Can be absorbent enough for nights (depending on brand)
  • Fold over rise makes (free size) makes for a perfect fit.
  • Can be made at home with little sewing skill.

Cons:

  • No snaps/velcro looks harder to use and can be for parents new to Snappi’s or Pins.
  • Fold Over Rise adjustments take practice to learn where to set the rise.
  • Some Contours are made with few layers of fabric so a doubler is needed for most babies.
  • Not available in many cloth diaper stores past the newborn sizes.

So far my favorite contour to use has been the Pooters brand.  This Contour is extremely affordable at 6.00, however many parents might find it needs a doubler.

If you are hoping to cloth diaper your baby from birth and don’t want to go the prefold/cover route, Contours are a great compromise.  The adorable Kissaluvs Newborn Contour is inexpensive (although more so than prefolds) but is easier for Dad when used with a snappi.

You can find the One Size Kissaluvs Contour at my affiliate, Kelly’s Closet.  The Pooters One Size Contour can be found on PootersDiapers.com.

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Intro to Cloth Diapers: Flats- Your Grandma’s Cloth Diapers

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For the lstest installment of my Introduction to Cloth Diaper Series I have filmed an overview video of Flats.

Flat cloth diapers are the same diapers our grandmothers, and great-grandmothers used.  They are usually a single layer of birdseye cotton and square in shape, although many flats are not perfectly square.

The beauty of flats is their versatility. There are 3 major folds for flats: Origami (tutorial), Kite (tutorial), and the Pad Fold (tutorial). Depending on the size of your flat you can get up to around 12 layers of cotton in the wet zone.  Flats also fit virtually any size baby since you control their size by folding them.  Each type of fold can be tweaked in various ways to fit your baby how you need it to.  Folding flats does take practice.  I do not claim to be an expert since I only recently began using them myself.  However I have found that each fold has many variations and within them you can try lots of things to get the right fit and absorbency level.  Remember: the diaper doesn’t have to look pretty, it just needs to function and be comfortable for the baby.

The Origami Fold has given me the most absorbency and mimics a Prefold.  There are many more layers in the wet zone.

The Kite Foldis nice and trim but depending on the size of your baby and the size of your flat you may end up with only a few layers in the wet zone.  I found the kite fold to be less bulky in between the legs.

The Pad Fold fold mimics the “trifold” method for Prefolds except instead of folding in thirds you will need to fold in half, then half again, then in thirds.  This is useful for inserts or laying a flat inside of a cover.  This requires almost no skill and no pins or a snappi.

Where to find flats:

Let’s start with your house!  You know those flannel receiving blankets you received at your shower with cute prints and patterns?  Chances are you hardly used them.  Now is the time to pull them out and start folding!  They might be more rectangular than square so you will have to fold them into a square first.

Target or Walmart carry what are called “Flour Sack Towels.”  These are located in the dish towel aisle.  Look for a square bundle containing 4 white towels.  They will be about 3.99.   These are thinner than commercial flats but do work well.

Cloth Diaper Stores:

Green Mountain Diapers sells Cloth-Eez brand flats.  (shown in the video for the Kite Fold)

Diaper Junction sells the Diaper Rite brand flats. (shown in the video for the Pad and Origami Fold)

Kelly’s Closet sells the Swaddlebees printed birdseye flats which are quite fun. (not shown)

There are other “luxe” flats that are made from cotton terry, hemp, bamboo, and so on.  These are pricier than the cotton birdseye flats but are certainly available.

What Covers work with Flats?

Pretty much any cover that works for your fitteds and prefolds will work with your flats!  You don’t have to use the plastic pull on pants your grandmother used.  If you are looking for affordable you can either make your own wool upcycled covers or buy the inexpensive PUL covers like Pro-Wraps or the One Size Econobum (shown in video, green trim).  If you would like a PUL cover that can work with a Pad folded flat the Bummis Super Lite or Flip works great and are also pretty inexpensive (both can be found at Kelly’s Closet).

Why Flats when there are so many Modern and Easy Diapers?

1. Flats are Very inexpensive. A dozen flats will cost you 12.00-30.00 a dozen, depending on size (small/large) or if they are organic.

2. They fit all babies. That huge square can be folded into a diaper small enough for a newborn, or big enough for a 3 year old.  Adjustments will need to be made (for example, for a 3 year old you will have fewer layers so you may need a doubler or a flat pad folded and laid in the middle.  So in theory, a dozen will last you the entire diapering life of your baby!

3. They Wash Easily. Flats can be used and abused.  They don’t need special soaps, they can be bleached when needed, and you won’t have to worry so much about repelling issues since they are made from natural fibers.  They can easily be handwashed in your bath tub, sink, or a bucket washer.  This makes them a great option for families without a washer/dryer, for traveling, and to have around just in case.

4.  They dry SUPER Fast. A flat, because it is one layer, can be hung to dry practically anywhere and it will dry in hours!  If you can hang them in warm weather, in the sunshine, you could have them dry in a couple of hours.  If you are drying indoors or in high humidity expect 5-9 hours.  This is still short enough that you could wash your diapers before bed and have a dry clean set for morning.

Want to learn about the other many types of cloth diapers available?  Check out the entire Introduction to Cloth Diaper Series.

Some links in this post are affiliates and any purchases made from them will result in a small sales percentage for me.

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Intro to Cloth Diapers: What is a Snap-in-One?

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This post is part of my on-going Introduction to Cloth Diapers series.  If you have missed an installment you can view them all: Intro to Cloth Diapers.

I first heard the term “Snap-in-One” when I stumbled upon the itti bitti line of diapers from Australia a year ago.  Now they are available in the US, but at that time this was a diaper no one had ever heard of here.  Still, the designation was fitting to not only their cloth diaper, but others.  I thought it only fair to distinguish between a true sewn in All-in-One and the Snap-in-Ones.

A Snap-in-One is a cloth diaper that functions like an All-in-One for wash and wear, but the absorbent soaker can be anpped into the diaper or removed if desired. It can potentially be customized with different layer combinations.

A Snap-in-One is sounds like an All-in-Two since many of those have snap in soakers, but AI2‘s are only intended to be used once.  SIO layers are usually fabric under the snapping soakers and these would get wet when the soaker was wet.  Snap-in-One’s can be sized or one size depending on the brand.

Pros:

  • Dries faster than most sewn in AIO‘s.
  • Potential for custom layer configurations depending on the manufacturer’s options.
  • You don’t need to remove the soakers to wash.
  • Nothing to stuff or unstuff.

Cons:

  • The diaper doesn’t have one smooth layer next to the baby’s skin.
  • Certain soakers may bunch or wrinkle up.
  • Can only customize with soakers made by the company (if you want them to snap in).

Yes, a Snap-in-One is an All-in-One, but a different variety.  On the Cloth Diaper Finder, my new database, this is a search parameter of its own.  In the future I may be changing this but for now this is the case.

Brands of SIO‘s you may have heard of:

itti bitti D’Lish

Bottombumpers

Bright Stars

Do you have a diaper or topic you would like to see covered in my Introduction to Cloth Diapers series?  Leave a comment!

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Intro to Cloth Diaper Series: What Are Sleeve Cloth Diapers?

Intro to Cloth Diaper Series: What Are Sleeve Cloth Diapers?

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Welcome to my next installment in my Introduction to Cloth Diaper Series. This week I am tackling Sleeve Cloth Diapers. Never heard the term before?

A “Sleeve” cloth diaper is basically a pocket diaper but with an opening at the front and back of the diaper. In the best situation this means the insert should agitate out during the wash cycle.

According to my definition of a pocket diaper in my last installment a “sleeve” diaper is a pocket, however I felt it deserved its own segment (the tongue style will also get a stand alone post)

The most popular sleeve diaper is probably the Smartipants, which I reviewed here. Another example would be the Thirsties Duo Diaper, which I have also reviewed. Both are seen in my video demonstration.

What is wonderful about sleeve cloth diapers is that you get all of the benefits of a pocket (inserts are removed and get cleaner than an AIO, dry times typically fast, inexpensive, customizable absorbency) but without the drawback of having to remove the insert before washing.  Like a pocket, you will still have to stuff it with the insert again before use.

The average pocket diaper is 17.95, a Smartipants will run you 14.95 and a Thirsties Duo Diaper is 18.50. Other sleeve diapers will remain in that range, whereas an AIO can cost closer to 20-25 depending on the brand.

Sleeve diapers make great diaper bag diapers because while out you can skip un-stuffing the pocket before placing it in your wet bag, or worse, after it has been in your wet bag for a few hours and it has “ripened” up a bit.

Sleeve diapers are perfect if you don’t mind the laundry side of cloth diapers (stuffing) but prefer not to touch the dirty inserts.  They are usually trim, are economical, and come in a few brands and varieties to suit most consumers’ tastes.  It’s like an All-in-One and Pocket had a hybrid baby, not to be confused with hybrid diapers-that is another installment!

Smartipants are only sold through their website (they stopped selling in retail outlets a few months ago as best I can tell).  You can find Thirsties Duo Diaper at my affiliate Kelly’s Closet and many other cloth diaper stores!

Any questions on sleeve diapers, or other cloth diaper inquiries, leave a comment.  Also, if you have a topic you want to be covered in the series let me know!

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Intro to Cloth Diaper Series: What is a Pocket Diaper?

Intro to Cloth Diaper Series: What is a Pocket Diaper?

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The next video in my Introduction to Cloth Diaper Series is all about pocket diapers! If you are brand new to cloth diapering the terminology is certainly confusing.

A pocket diaper is any cloth diaper that has a pocket opening. I focused on PUL shells (what is PUL?) with a lining and opening, but they are not limited to just that. There are fleece, wool, and even fitted (non waterproof) varieties as well. Still, the PUL shell with a stay dry lining is the most popular, like bumGenius! 4.0 and Fuzzibunz.

The pocket diaper can have an opening at the back (most common), front, or even in the middle.

Openings can be “hidden,” meaning there is a flap over the opening (ex. bumGenius! 4.0/3.0), completely open at the back (ex. Happy Heiny’s), or the envelope style where they tuck in (ex. Tiny Tush Elite), or they can simply have a slit opening.

Linings include:

Stay Dry- Microfleece or suedecloth. (comprehensive post on stay dry linings here)

Non Stay Dry- Cotton velour, bamboo velour, hemp/cotton, bamboo looped terry, cotton looped terry, bamboo fleece.

Pockets are popular because they are customizable and dry quicker than All-in-Ones but remain convenient.  They are also less expensive than most All-in-Ones.

Most pocket diapers come with microfiber inserts, the same material used commonly for towels to clean cars or mop pads.  It is cheap and absorbent.  You can also find pockets that come with hemp, cotton, bamboo, zorb, and more.

As shown in the video, there are many styles of pockets.  Middle closing with velcro or snaps, side snapping, one size, sized, and even dual size (another video).

The biggest drawback of pockets comes when it is time to wash (unstuffing the diaper to allow the insert to be throughly washed) and restuffing it when the diaper is clean and dry.  A typical load of pockets (15 diapers) will take 5-10 minutes to stuff.  Expect to wash every 1.5-3 days.  I have a continuous motion video of washing and stuffing diapers to give you an idea.

In its most basic form, a pocket is still just a shell with an opening for you to stuff an absorbent insert.  But wow are there a lot of options!

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Intro to Cloth Diapers Series: How to Use One Size Cloth Diapers with Leg Elastic Sizing

Intro to Cloth Diapers Series: How to Use One Size Cloth Diapers with Leg Elastic Sizing

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This post is part of my Intro to Cloth Diapers Series! Each week I will be adding a new video detailing an aspect of cloth diapers that a “newbie” would have questions about.  This week the video is dedicated to Elastic One Size Diapers.

There are 3 major types that you will see:

Pros of Elastic Sizing:

  • More size possibilities than Snap Down Rise sizing
  • Cleaner looking due to lack of unsnapped settings
  • Good for babies with skinny thighs

Cons:

  • More sizing possibilities also mean a higher learning curve and more chances for mistakes/leaks.
  • Harder to adjust size.
  • More potential for leg leaks due to bunching.
  • Can be easy to over tighten and cause red marks.
  • Not ideal if you have 2 children.  More time consuming to switch between sizes if needed.

Any questions?  Leave them in the comments!

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