20 June 2009
Cloth Diapering: Guest Post #2
Photo by Nap Knits.
Welcome to the second of three fluffy guest posts! The following story comes from Shelly Taft over at Adventures of a Breastfeeding Mother.
About four years ago, my husband and I started to look at ways that we could save money. At the time my oldest was 8 months old, and one of the first things we did to save money was switch to cloth diapers.
While I knew that switching to cloth diapers would save us lots of money, I had no idea how cute and fun they would be! Since putting our first cloth diaper on my daughter, we haven’t looked back.
One thing I remember about starting up was how overwhelming it was. Today’s cloth diapers are not the kind your mother used. There are now so many different choices, both in type and in brand of diapers, that it can get confusing. So, here are some tips for those who are starting out:
There are four main types of diapers, and those are: prefolds, fitteds, all-in-ones (AIO’s) and pockets. The prices and convenience of each type varies, and when you are starting out you want to figure out if your main goal is saving money or if you prefer convenience.
If your main goal is saving money, then you should focus on buying prefolds and fitteds. Prefolds are the cheapest, costing around $20-$30 a dozen, depending on the type and size you buy. Prefolds are flat pieces of absorbent material, thickest in the middle for absorbing messes. They are less convenient than other types of diapers because you have to fold them and fasten them with either a pin or a snappi, and they require a waterproof cover. However, because they are so durable and inexpensive, they tend to make up a large portion of my stash.
Fitteds are more expensive than prefolds, but more convenient because they go on just like a disposable and are fastened with either snaps or Velcro. Like prefolds, they too need a waterproof cover, and at an average cost of $9 per diaper, they are more expensive than prefolds but less than AIO’s or pockets. Fitteds are great for when you are out and about outside the home, or when your baby is being watched by someone who isn’t familiar with how to fold a prefold.
If your main goal is convenience, then you might want to look into investing in AIO’s and pockets. AIO’s are the most convenient type of diaper, as the cover and absorbent material are sewn together, so you just throw the diaper on and your’re don e; no waterproof cover needed. They are very convenient for daycare providers, nannies, etc. The downside to AIO’s is that they take a long time to dry and they are more expensive, about $20 per diaper.
Finally, pockets are just like AIO’s except they have an opening in the back, which allows you to remove the absorbant material. The great thing about pockets is that, once assembled, they are as easy to put on as AIO’s. Plus, they dry faster because you remove the insides before washing, and they are less expensive than AIO’s. The average cost of a pocket diaper, with insert, is $15.
If your baby is a newborn, then I would recommend starting out with prefolds with covers and maybe a fitted or two; babies grow much too fast to make the investment into AIO’s and pockets worthwhile. When my second daughter was born, we started out with 2 dozen prefolds, about 8=2 0-10 covers, and a couple of pockets for nighttime and outings.
I hope this helps anyone who is starting their journey into cloth diapering. Trust me, between the money you save, the chemicals in disposables you avoid, and the reduction in garbage, it is completely worth it!
Thanks so much for the post, Shelly! To my readers, please check back again tomorrow for guest post number three! Merci!
Check out the rest of the series here:
Cloth Diapering: Guest Post #1
Cloth Diapering: Guest Post #3