Deciphering Cloth Diapers: Help!
January 20, 2011
© Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com
25w3d - It seems fitting that the number of hours spent trying to choose how to cover our child's bum may be directly proportional to the amount of time we will spend actually engaged in the changing of those diapers. Because of all the fact-finding missions I've embarked on during this pregnancy, none have kept me up clicking into the depths of teeny commerce sites and emphatic blogs and endless online forums like learning about cloth diapering has.
And still, I need help.
Yours, please, if you have any experience with cloth and kids and can help a couple who're mystified by the actual mechanics of making this route work.
To preface: We don't have access to a diaper service; we do have a washer/ dryer/ space for a clothesline; our home potties can't handle flushable diaper inserts; we do plan on leaving home with this kid regularly. We don't poo-poo disposables, but we are eager to give cloth a fair shake.
And now, I beg of you:
1) Did you initially invest in one system (all prefolds with covers, for example, or all AIOs) and stick with it?
Some moms I've spoken with say that it's laughable to think you can guess which styles will fit your yet-to-be-baby's legs and bum. Others have said that since their friends and family were in gift-buying mode, they registered for the brands and styles they liked most and hoped for the best—sometimes that worked out, and sometimes they were on DiaperSwappers in the middle of Month Two, trading out leaky models for ones that fit. How much did you plan, and how diverse was your stash?
2) Be honest: Do any cloth types work well for scrawny newborns?
Word is that between the gluey meconium poo and those itsy initial thighs (and, OK, new-parent delirium), sticking with newborn disposables for the first weeks can make potentially dark days seem a little brighter. But I've also heard happy rumblings about the Tiny gPants by gDiapers, and moms who've just gone with cover-less prefolds in the early days … what worked for you?
3) How well do hybrid diaper systems work out, really? And do you supplement with others?
I love the concept that one system—Flip or gDiapers or GroVia—can be all-cloth (with either cotton on micro fiber liners) or semi-disposable (using biodegradable liners). In theory, that means that the sort of insert we would use could be tailored to the day's activities or, let's be honest, our enthusiasm for yet another load of laundry this week. But I've heard mixed feelings about how well hybrids work overnight (both in their wash 'em and toss 'em modes), leading some parents to opt for either AIOs like (FuzziBunz or bumGenius) or fully-disposables for sleeping. How have you found hybrids?
BONUS QUESTION: If you're composting your bio liners, can you please tell me what set-up seems to work for your family? One can + wet bag for covers, a separate can for compost? Do you line the compost one with biodegradable bags?
4) Describe your wash bag/pail(s).
Do the pricey step-to-open cans really contain the stinky better than open-topped garbage pails or hanging wet bags do? Do you use one container for covers and one for inserts? I'm especially interested in how big your diaper bin(s) are3 gallon? 10? (Please, please, tell me no bigger.)
Wise, kind parents: my progeny, the Mister, and I thank you in advance.