If you are considering cloth for the first time, the choices feel overwhelming. It is quite an investment upfront, but the payoff is well worth it.
- 1) Flats are the most work because you will need to figure out a fold that works best for your baby. This also means you will need to fold them once they come off the line or out of the dryer so you don't have to pin down a squirmy baby while you attempt to fold one handed! These are by far the most economical because 6-10 covers and 2-3 dozen flats will set you from birth to potty training.The great part about flats is that it contains blowouts really well and gives the ability to reuse the cover. :)
- 2) Preflats and/or prefolds are second in difficulty. Now with these, you can choose to snappi (alternative to pinning) on baby or lay in the cover. The down side with this system is that sometimes the poop is not contained in the preflat/prefold, and you will have to toss your cover in the wash after only one use.
- 3) Pockets are next because you have to stuff the inserts back into the pocket every time you wash diapers. These do offer a less expensive alternative to AIOs. Once the pockets are stuffed, you can just stick them in the diaper bag or basket to pull out and place on baby. The additional convenience with pockets is the dry time. These will take less time to dry because the inserts are not attached to the diaper in any way. Another benefit with these is the ability to use several different items as inserts: flour sack towels, receiving blankets, preflats, flats, inserts, old tshirts work great in a pinch!
- 4) The AIO/2 offers best of pockets and AIOs. These are a unique system that have size capabilities that go down to about 10 lbs and all the way up to 40! There is one insert sewn into the back of the diaper while the other can be added later as baby's needs require it. While initially the cost seems very high, you can weigh that against the fact that you will be using these until baby is potty trained.
- 5) The AIO offers convenience and ease. This is the best alternative to go with if cost is not a factor, and you want something as close to disposables as possible. There are no inserts to keep up with, and you just toss the whole thing in the wash. The insert is attached at the front making it much easier to remove solid stools.
- 6) Fitteds can be used either at night or as a full time diapering system. I find these to be very good for heavy wetters when mama does not wish to use flats or preflats for nighttime diapering. They can be used with a PUL cover or wool cover. I recommend using wool for overnight due to its amazing capabilities to absorb up to 40% of its weight in moisture and antibacterial qualities. You will need two to three in each size to switch out between uses.
We also have a Cloth Diaper Trial Package available here.
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