I love using cloth diapers for my daughter. While pregnant I did a lot of research–a lot–and read many reviews. I’ve since chosen a system that has been working great for us. Cloth Diapering has so many different options it can be overwhelming. Natural fibers and affordability were my priorities going in. I also wanted to avoid having to buy lots of sizes and super bulky diapers. And the less often I needed to do laundry the better.
As of now I have: 36 unbleached Cotton Babies infant indian prefolds; an Aristocrats wool soaker; a pair of Aristocrats wool longies; 3 Flip covers; 2 Econobum covers with 2 Econobum unbleached prefolds; 6 Cotton Babies fleece liners; 2 Snappis. This system cost a little over $200, and I do laundry every 4th or 5th day. The Flip and Econobum covers are one-size, the Aristocrats soakers have two sizes, and the prefolds have two main sizes (as well as preemie).
Our day of diapering begins with a prefold, folded in the twist style, secured with a Snappi, under Fae’s wool longies. We turn on the heat, I make coffee and eat breakfast, Fae nurses. We then switch to another twisted prefold under her wool soaker, and I hang the longies inside-out to dry. We play. Next, we’re back to a prefold with the wool longies. We turn off the heat–the sun has made the air warm now, and Fae nurses into a nap while I’m on the glider. I use the laptop. When she’s awake I often let her go coverless in a prefold, while she lies and plays in a sunbeam. Next I use a Flip cover, or Econobum if the Flips are all dirty, with a trifolded prefold inside–I fan out the back a little for a nicer shape. I do as much housework as I can while entertaining and holding or wearing Fae. Then I use another Flip cover with a prefold, clean the other with a wipe and hang it to dry. I alternate Flip covers until the evening, then I switch back to the soaker followed by the longies before bed. Over the night we either use an Econobum prefold with an infant prefold as a doubler, and a fleece liner, all Snappied together inside of the wool soaker, or a Seventh Generation free and clear disposable.
Here are some thoughts and facts on the diapers that I have . . .
- Unbleached Infant Indian Cotton Prefolds
— Soft, affordable ($1.50 each), true to size. An easy way to go a longer period between laundry days (we have coin-op laundry in the basement, so it’s a bit of a hassle for us).
— Fit perfectly in Flip and Econobum one-size covers on the middle rise setting, and will work trifolded the opposite way on the smaller setting (without having to fold down a section, making it bulky).
— Work great under a wool soaker, secured with a Snappi or diaper pins.
— I chose these instead of microfiber inserts because I prefer to use natural materials. They absorb great, and I love how I can shape them myself as I fold them (fanning out the back). My daughter hasn’t had any rashes, but I make the time to change her often.
— Fae is about 14lbs now and will be switching over to the Premium size at 15lbs (when using the prefold with a Snappi) like the size chart says, but the Infant size will still fit as an insert for the covers beyond that–until we move up to the highest rise setting, which is many months away. I’m planning on adding my own color stitching to the Premium size with a quick zig-zag stitch, so they will be easier to sort.
- Aristocrats Wool Soaker and Longies
— Naturally antibacterial, doesn’t retain odors, very breathable–warm in the winter and cool in the summer–untreated and completely natural, doesn’t leak.
— Wool is actually quite easy to care for: air-dry between uses, hand wash every two weeks or so (or when soiled), and lanolize once every month or two.
— I love these soakers. I’ll definitely be buying some more in size Large.
- Flip and Econobum Covers
— One-size with three rise adjustments, not bulky, made of PUL.
— I definitely prefer the Flip covers over the Econobum covers because the Flip covers have a double row of snaps and have flaps on the inside to hold the prefold in place. They’re also a touch thicker, making the snaps feel sturdier. Everything else seems to be the same about them. I do like having the Econobums though–they’ve worked well for me and they’ll always be nice to have as extras. If I were to buy more PUL covers I’d spend the extra money and go with the Flips.
- Cotton Babies Fleece Liners
— Fit great inside of a cover, seem to keep Fae feeling dry, stay in place, very soft.
— If it weren’t so important to me to use natural fibers–especially up close to Fae’s skin–I would use these with every diaper change. Instead, I change her often to keep her dry, and I use a liner occasionally when we’re out (or if she’s napping with a PUL cover because the wool soakers have just been washed).
. . . .
My next step in cloth diapering is to switch to all wool covers. I love using wool, and it works great with our lifestyle. It’s actually easier for me to hand wash covers, and I love how it’s untreated and natural. I’m planning on buying some wool wraps to add to my soakers because I really like using the prefolds as inserts–which you can’t do with a soaker. I’m also going to try hemp doublers for nighttime–in order to eliminate the need for disposables, and I’ll hopefully be trying some fitteds as well. I’ll write more info about how our experience continues to go in posts to come.