Tuesday, August 31, 2010

cloth diapers 101

recently as cloth diapering gains popularity, Ive had tons of mommy friends new and old who want to get in on the fun. the problem is "where do you start"??? it seems easy until you google cloth diapering and you realize all the choices. It can be overwhelming! I was fortunate enough to have a friend who started while i was pg. I got to watch her try em all out, learned all the lingo and by the time my belly popped I knew exactly what to buy and where! but all dont have Carrie the guinea pig as their bff and everyone has to start somewhere. I decided to blog a bit about them and today I'm gonna feature the infamous prefold!

Do not run ladies and gents! stop in your tracks, this is not your grandmother's cloth diaper. for some , the prefold is not for you. Many people want their cloth diapers to be exactly like a disposable, only washable. That is not the prefold, however here are a few reasons you  might want to take a closer look at the prefold:

1. this is by far the CHEAPEST! you can get a high quality dozen prefolds for around 20 bucks. you only need about 18dipes though some choose to have more. 18 gets you to washing every other day.

2. they are the SIMPLEST! not in the action since, they do require a cover, but they are cotton, nothing more, simple, easy to clean, natural, cotton!

3. STREET CRED! some might not care about this, but let me tell you, vintage ladies love to see you using what they used, and once you master the prefold, anything found on the floor of your van can become a diaper in a snap! if need be :)

Choosing your prefold:

they come in 4 sizes. maybe more? but here are the three I own.

premie/newborn (green) : these are so small i don't think anyone should ever buy them. seriously, they are for 5lbers or less id say. i only use these for layering or butt wiping, trust me, u don't need these!

infant: PERFECT, these are the best size to start with, they will get you up to about 15lbs , give or take a lb. these are the most common and come in a few varieties. Bleached (really white) Unbleached (cream colored), egyptian or chinese, but really it doesn't matter. Ive had both, they all worked great, just buy what you find the best price on.

premium (tye dyed): usually these are white, i paid a bit extra to have some dyed which is fun but white ones are great. These are great for when you outgrow the infants or if you are starting out with a kiddo bigger than 15lbs.

toddler (not pictured): these are huge, my 2yo can still wear premiums, the toddlers have been compared to a bath mat. unless you plan to cloth diaper a really big kid, go with premiums. 

Prefolds are really a layered piece of cotton, a little thicker in the middle. Unlike the flat dipes of old there is no real folding. you might fold it down in front while your baby is a nb or fold it a bit more narrow for a skinny but truly there is nothin to it, you can do it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebhyTQvmGp0 

to hold a prefold in place, (if you clicked the video you are already in the know) pins are a thing of the past! this draws flocks of vintage ladies with pin scarred fingers to the church nursery changing table. Nowadays we use snappis! its is a Y shaped stretchy band and on each tip it sports a plastic version of an ace bandage hook. digs into the dipe and holds it in place, but will not prick your finger and more importantly your baby. they do not make good bed companions so keep em near the dipes where they belong, i have been bitten by a rogue snappi or two in the middle of the night!

to finish it off, a prefold requires a cover. these come in a ton of varieties and colors. you will be shocked. Many are PUL , a plastic waterproof cover, but trust me, it is a soft baby friendly version of plastic. these come with snaps or velcro. I like snaps for babies who like to remove their own diapers, I like velcro for crosseyed mommies at 2am. these cost about ten bucks each. some of my fave brands:

however, the prefold fits multiple sizes, the covers will need to change with your baby's size. fortunately, you do not need as many covers as dipes. you can use a cover 3 or 4 times before you switch it. more if you let it air out between changes. id recommend owning 4 or 5 covers.

I love these covers because they grow with baby from newborn to toddler http://nickisdiapers.com/catalog.php?category=610

PUL covers are the most common and prob the easiest, but there are more options. fleece covers are super cute (yes fleece is waterwicking so this keeps baby and all your stuff dry)

wool are another great option! you can get wool shorts or pants, or simply a wool diaper cover. you have to lanolize them which is really just a soak in the sink with a lanolin product, but they are your cover, and your pants. i love these because in my mind, wool was how they had to have done it back in the day. before plastic (PUL) and all the fancy stuff, there was cotton and wool.

my friend and fave spot to score super cute woolies: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KnitterKnots

I love diapering in simple prefolds made from natural cotton. they are so versatile. You can add a soaker for overnight or a heavy wetter, or simply double up (thats what i use those teeny ones for now). You can dye them however and have fun. We never have rashes and they are easy to clean! give em a try,you wont regret it!

another great spot for dipes and covers of all types : http://www.nappies-and-more.com/

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