Your Ultimate Cloth Diaper Buying Guide
Parents more than anyone else understand that cloth diapers have had quite a ride. They are seen as dirty and old-fashioned ever since they were replaced by the disposable diapers. However, they are slowly gaining popularity and now come in different styles to cater for different requirements of both parents and babies.
The wide selection option can sometimes be overwhelming to parents especially those who are shopping for the right cloth diapers for the first time. The main reason why most parents go for reusable cloth diapers is that they are gentle on the baby’s skin, lighter on the wallet and environmentally friendly. Surprising enough they can be used with subsequent children making them economical. Given that they are affordable, comfortable, reusable and healthier; it’s time that you should give them a try. This guide will explore the different aspects that make cloth diapers ideal as well as the top seven cloth diapers available on the market today.
Are Cloth Diapers Worth It?
Mothers are used to disposable diapers that they find it difficult to use cloth diapers. Settling on the right cloth diaper for your family isn’t an easy decision. There are many reasons why cloth diapers are a perfect fit. First of all, they are economical which means that you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to find a style that suits you. What’s more, once you find a design that is right for you, it can last as long as three months.
The other reason that makes the diapers a valuable asset is that they are great for the environment. The disposable types take years to decompose and are the main cause of pollution once wasted. One cloth diaper is equivalent to forty or fifty disposable diapers and this shows you how environmentally friendly they can be. Most disposable designs cause rashes and allergies if they are overused and most babies don’t have the skin to counter the effects caused by the material. Apart from the health benefits they still come in different shapes, colors, sizes and design and you won’t have to worry about the need to cover them.
The Major Styles Of Cloth Diapers
Unlike in the past where only one piece of cloth was used as a diaper, today’s designs come in different styles. Each of the styles of cloth diapers has its own advantage and disadvantage and here are a few that should be part of your selection options.
All In One Cloth Diaper
The All-In-One cloth diapers are single piece diapers that come in an hourglass shape. They feature two absorbent layers which are sewn together using a waterproof covering making them easier to use. These diapers are great for quick changes and are used by many families as their main component of diapering approach. The good thing about such diapers is that they not only feature a simple design but they are an all-around choice for any situation. The only challenge is that some parents think that it takes too long for the diaper to dry.
Pocket Cloth Diapers
The innovative design of the pocket cloth diaper is one of the key features that make it a catch for most parents. Unlike the fitted or pre-folds, this design comes with a waterproof cover. There is also a stay dry polyester lining between the lining and cover keeping the baby dry for longer. While it might be easy to use and have a waterproof cover, it still has its own set of challenges. First, it might look perfect on your baby but sometimes it tends to be bulky or have a leaky fit.
Pre-Fold Cloth Diaper
If you are in search of a pocket-friendly priced cloth diaper then you should consider settling for the pre-fold style. They can be folded to your desired shape, fastened to the baby then covered at the top. The covers can be technically advanced as quick dry spells and waterproof or simple and “old school” such as the wool pull-ons. What makes the pre-fold a great addition to your collection is that it is inexpensive and easy to dry.
Fitted Cloth Diapers
Just like the all-in-one design the fitted cloth diapers still come in an hourglass shape featuring different absorbent layers which don’t need any folding. Unlike the pre-folds, this style comes with straps that are not only elastic but can be fastened easily. It’s important to understand that the diapers can be sized and you should consider settling for the larger ones as your baby grows. If you don’t find it ideal there are brands that have one-size fitted diapers with snaps on the front. Generally, parents love the fact that it is highly absorbent and easily contain messes. The only downside is that they are expensive and not waterproof like the prefolds.
Hybrid Cloth Diapers
What makes this diaper different from others in the market is the ease of use and convenience it provides for mothers. It’s branded hybrid because you can either use the disposable cloth as an absorbent material. Most users aren’t happy with the fact that it is expensive and prone to leakage.
Flat Cloth Diapers
These diapers are among the oldest styles and can be an affordable and simple way to cloth diapers your kid. It features flat pieces of absorbent material without any shape or folding. While most parents might consider it old fashioned, they are in fact one of the most affordable diapering systems. Most flat cloth designs are composed of a hundred percent Birdseye cotton but there are a few that have a blend of 45% Organic cotton and 55% Hemp.
The flat cloth designs sold in department stores do not match those available from cloth retailers and it’s best if you go for those made out of 100 % natural fiber because they are more absorbent and durable than most lower-quality products. The other reason why it’s still one of the highly sort after products is that it’s easy to clean and the folds can be customized to suit your babies fit preference.
The Hybrid Fitted Diapers
If you loved the convenience that comes with the all in one diaper but your “little angel” is sensitive to moisture then the hybrid fitted styles might be the absorbent, trim, breathable solution you are looking for. In the hybrid fitted diapers, layers of polyester fleece are sandwiched between the inner layer of bamboo velour or cotton and the outer knit cotton fabric. But, you need to understand that there is a difference between the regular fitted and hybrid fitted diapers.
First, the hybrid diapers have a soaker zone which becomes saturated once your kid pees. To make them night worthy additional fabric is added to the soaker zone increasing the susceptibility of urine to diaper residue, drying time as well as bulk. The only downside is that they cannot be worn reliably without using the diaper cover. In the hybrid fitted style, the polyester fleece back up into the diapers insert which gives it time to wick from the middle to the end of the diaper. Thanks to the water repellant properties in the Wind Pro Fleece the diaper is water-resistant compared to other models.
AI2 ( All-In-Two ) Cloth Diaper
These baby diapers provide the perfect compromise between coat, functionality, and convenience. One of the most notable features of this diaper is that it comes with a detachable snap or lay-in insert making the shell reusable. All you’ve got to do is get rid of the wet dirty insert and replace it with a clean one. Unlike the all-in-ones, the all-in-two model is a cost-effective option and come with the ease of use of the all-in-ones.
If you are going to settle for the A12, manufacturers recommend at least 20 to 24 inserts to cloth diapers and 4 to 6 shells. For those who’ve got newborns, you may need to adjust the recommendation to 30+ inserts and 8 shells.
Why You Should Consider Using Cloth Diapers
A Healthier Baby
The biggest concern to most parents is the toxic chemical composition in disposable diapers. Dioxin, for instance, has shown to cause skin diseases, liver damage, birth defects and cancer. This compound is even rated by the EPA as the most toxic cancer-causing chemical. That aside, studies have shown small amounts of (TBT) Tributyl-tin, a toxic pollutant that causes hormonal changes in animals and humans.
Although widely debated cloth diapering is considered to be healthy for babies for different reasons. First, the natural fibers including the synthetic types allow more airflow compared to the plastic-woven disposals. Healthwise, it regulates heat for boys which can affect the scrotal temperatures. It also keeps yeast at bay which might lead to yeast related issues as well as urinary tract infection in women.
The Ease Of Potty
A standard Cloth diaper is structurally engineered to lock away moisture meaning that your child won’t have the sensation of being wet. Cloth diapers make potty training easy as children already have an instinctive knowledge of what being dry and wet is like. What’s more, cloth diapering parents train their children earlier and quicker compared to disposable diapering folks.
The Ease Of Use
The other important reason why you should consider cloth diapers is their ease of use. All you’ve got to do is flush the solid waste then place the diaper in the laundry. In addition, the diapers have snaps which make it easier for you to fasten.
Saves you Money
You can imagine the cost of seven thousand disposable diapers. That’s what you’ll incur before your child can put on training pants. Since they are expensive, cloth diaper makes for the most ideal option. On average, 120 disposal diapers are equivalent to one cloth diaper. With this estimation, you can imagine how much you can save.
Compared to most disposable diapers cloth diapers are more absorbent. You’ll hardly have to change your baby in the middle of the night as it’s the case with some disposable diapers.
Doesn’t Come With Any Toxic Composition
With the cloth diaper, you won’t have to worry about effects of nasty chemicals such as those present in disposable diapers. Most disposable diapers are made up of sodium polyacrylate, a superabsorbent material that lets your kid stay on them for long. Studies have linked the sodium polyacrylate to allergic reactions as well as shock syndrome in kids, plus it is lethal to pets. Other common complications include a decrease in sperm count among boys and increase in child asthma.
Changes Your Mindset
Using cloth diapers can break away the throw-away mentality. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to save cash is by re-using a product. After months of using cloth diapers, you might find yourself using stainless steel instead of plastic for packing snacks, reusing plastic bags at grocery stores and reaching for rags instead of paper towel.
What To Look Out For When Selecting The Right Cloth Diaper
Every baby is made unique and because a diaper turned out fine with your friend’s baby doesn’t mean that it works for everyone. Here are some of the things to consider when selecting the right cloth diaper.
Is It A Perfect Fit
Babies grow fast than we can expect which means that a diaper that was a perfect fit yesterday isn’t anymore. Although sung-fit comes highly recommended in terms of peer and poop, it’s best if your diaper is a good fit. Parents need to understand that pre-folds and flat diapers are best suited for newborns thanks to their unusual body shape.
One size cloth diapers aren’t great for newborns but the good thing is that they come with adjustments which rise thanks to the use of velero or snaps. They can be used for a few months after birth to potty training. Sized cloth diapers come in different sizes and you need to settle on a design that’s right for your child’s age.
The Type Of Material Used
Today’s cloth diaper comes from different materials in many different fabrics with each material featuring its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Cotton is the most preferred material and it’s used in nearly all cloth diapers. You could also opt for those made out of polyester but the problem is that they are not easy to clean and can irritate your babies delicate skin.
The Price Tag
The price of a cloth diaper is something that cannot be overlooked. When shopping for a diaper on a tight budget you might want to settle for the pre-folds as they are not expensive. On an average budget fitted cloth pocket diapers are a great choice, but if you don’t have any issues with the budget the hybrid and all-in-one come in handy.
The Number Of Diapers
The number of diapers you need will also help you choose the right cloth diaper for any situation. Diaper selection should be based on the age of the baby and lifestyle. You might need an average of five diapers a day for a toddler, 8 to 10 for an older baby and up to 13 for a newborn.
Settle For The Right Source Of Diapers
There are numerous brands of cloth diaper available in the market today, which is why you ought to carefully consider the diaper brand that is most reliable. Do a thorough research including reading reviews and make your choice accordingly as you wouldn’t want to settle for a brand that might end up disappointing you.
The other important feature in a cloth diaper is reusability. It’s important to understand that there are over five types of diapers each having their own reusability. Although pre-folds get wet quickly and take longer to dry the good thing is that they can be reused.
The Babies response to The Diaper
Just like no adult likes to walk around with uncomfortable, ill-fitting underwear so should your baby. Your baby’s response to a diaper should be of great concern. Kids have sensitive skin but there are others who are more sensitive. The fit, chemical, and material used on a diaper can bring about allergic reactions and diaper rash. If your baby begins to develop rashes you should look out for other dry and safer brands. Cloth diapers are a great option compared to disposable diapers since the chemicals used in its manufacture are scented and the fragrance can be harmful.
The Top 7 Cloth Diapers
Osocozy Unbleached Prefolds
- Maximum weight: 15 pounds
- Minimum weight: 6 pounds
- Product dimension: 12 by 1 by 16 inches
- Item weight: 1.2 pounds
- Exceptional leak protection with a cover and fastener
- A budget-friendly option
- A super absorbent, soft and durable
- Easy to care for
- Sometimes takes long to dry
- Mastering the folds can seem daunting to some folks
- Shrinks after the first wash.
Lil Joey All In One Cloth Diaper, Orchid
- Maximum weight: 12 pounds
- Minimum weight: 4 pounds
- Target gender: Female
- Product Dimension: 6.8 by 3.2 by 4.8 inches
- Item weight: 4.8 ounces
- Excellent at containing blowouts and leaks
- Slim fitting
- Easy to use
- Takes long to dry
- Babies tend to grow out of it quickly
- Portable: No
- Dish Washer Safe: No
- Care instruction: Machine washable
- Type of material: Polyester, Microfleece, cotton
- Product dimension: 10 by 7 by 2 inches
- Item weight: 8 ounces
- Incredibly absorbent
- No extra prepping
- Soft and durable
- Not ideal for thin-legged babies
- Has a unique fit.
Bambino Mio, All – In – One Cloth Diaper
- Types of material: Fabric
- Target Gender: Unisex
- Product Dimension: 7.2 by 1.4 by 9.6 inches
- Item Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Designed to keep moisture away from the babies’ skin
- Dries Quickly
- Simple to use
- Soft and stylish
- The diaper isn’t great for petite babies
- Velcro may not hold up as long as snaps.
- Blueberry One Size Coveralls
Blueberry One Size Coverall Cloth Diaper
- Type of material: Polyester
- Maximum weight: 40 pounds
- Minimum weight: 10 pounds
- Product dimension: 7.9 by 7.8 by 1.6 inches
- Item weight 4.3 ounces
- Can be used multiple times before washing
- Helps to prevent blowouts
- Enough room for growth
- Extremely durable
- You’ll have to purchase absorbent inserts separately
- The diaper isn’t great for skinny leg babies
Alvababy Swim Diapers Boys and Girls
- Style: Classic blue floating flowers, red stars white circle, swim diaper
- Care Instruction: Wash temperature should be used in less than 86 Fahrenheit. You should wash the diaper covers and insert separately.
- Material Free: Lead Free, Latex Free, Phthalate Free, BPA free
- Type Of Material: 100% polyester
- Package Dimension: 6.7 by 6.6 by 1.4 inches
- Item weight: 4.2 ounces
- Durable material
- Comfortable for baby
- Trim fit
- Not great for large toddlers/babies
- Snaps in the back which makes it difficult to put a wiggly baby
BumGenius 4.0 Pocket Diaper
- Care Instruction: Wash hot (100F)
- Material Type: Polyester
- Maximum weight: 35 pounds
- Minimum weight: 7 pounds
- Product dimension: 6.5 by 6 by 2 inches
- Item weight: 0.96 ounces
- Gentle elastic prevents red marks
- Cute prints and colors
- Extremely durable snaps
- Customizable absorbency
- Stuffing isn’t great for busy parents
- Some parents aren’t a fan of synthetic fabrics
- Parents have found the elastic to lax too easily
Having baby diapers provide the convenience that is highly sort after by most parents. With these diapers you are guaranteed that you won’t have to worry about leakages as it’s well protected. They do not cause any skin irritation or rashes plus they are cheap and can be resold or reused. Diapers such as the one-size-fit come with adjustable snaps which makes it easier for both the mother and her baby. The next time you are out shopping for diapers you need to understand that you’re bound to make huge savings with cloth compared to disposable diapers. Now that you have a deeper understanding on some of the different aspects of selection and choice it shouldn’t be difficult to settle on a style that is perfect for you and your baby.