Sunday, 9 February 2014

AND THEY ALL WORKED PART 1. The styles and their pros and cons

So by baby number four my diaper stash had a mix of kushies in all styles. I got a few more each baby it seemed. Also by child #4 I was running into people ordering various brands off the interneto (year was 2002-2004). I received some of these as gifts (new and hand me downs). So it's at this point in the journey that I'll review the basic styles of the cloth diapering world. Pros and cons. I will discuss fabrics in another post. FLAT DIAPERS: I have never used a flat diaper so not much I can say on pros and cons here except you'll have to learn some of the numerous folds. I imagine once you have its nothing. And they are the least expensive. Flats are a large cloth folded just so to create shape and wet zones. They are used with a cover and can have inserts placed in them. 

PREFOLD DIAPERS IMostly I've used these at my mom and dad's house in one of those "oh man I forgot the diapers" moments. And also as a child on my dolls lol. I only had a few till baby #6 but I love them, so that's what I'm using now. They are easy, minor folding (always used angel fold), and you use cover and insert. They can do up with pins, snaps, holders or Velcro. They are also inexpensive. They are made of natural materials (generally), have less layers (extra layers created by folding) . The result is the wash and dry easily and ammonia isn't likely to be an issue unless you don't wash often enough. CHOICE PRO: With diapers requiring wraps (or covers) you can opt to go cover free at times. CHOICE PRO: With inserts you can control thickness and placement of wet zones. Prefolds are a series of fabrics sewn in a rectangle and might be quilted (often throughout, sometimes just in the core, or not at all. The rectangle is divided into 3 (vertically) with sewn lines. They are described as x/y/x. X is the number representing the number of layers on the side sections of the diaper. Y is the number representing the number of layers in the center (or core) of the diaper. The core is the wetzone. They range usually range from 2/4/2 to 6/8/6. My moms were 3/3/3. CLEAN PRO: wash amf dry easily and ammonia is a rare issue. LEAK CON: The legs tend to be open leg. A leg leak will happen in a moment of bad luck when your little baby boy happens to have it pointed sideways. If he's side sleeping when this occurs its a leak for sure. Your diaper cover can help protect against this. LEAK PRO: The leg tends to be open (as I said) this avoids the leaks that sometimes occur at the site of an elastic leg due to pants or tights compressing on this spot. LABELING PRO: For some reason prefolds are labelled better for understanding exactly what fabric(s) are in the diaper. FITTED DIAPER: Fitted diapers tend to have a contour shape. There is elastic around the legs to snuggly fit the leg. Often there is elastic in the back also. They are made from various fabrics. A fitted diaper also requires a cover. And yes prefolds and flats have these two parts too. The wraps are sold seperatly. Added layers can be added into the wet zone with inserts. Some brands have a place to snap these in. Some don't like this option as it means snaps against babies skin. Fitted diapers are done up with snaps or Velcro. A classic fitted is made with natural materials. these wash more easily. Laundry with a fitted is basic as it is with prefolds and flats. A very thick fitted will take more to wash however as will one with modern fabrics. LEAK PRO: Elastic helps keep in a poorly placed urine stream or explosive poop. LEAK CON: Elastic legs create a minor weak spot. The site of the elastic tends to be more wet then the rest of the leg area. The crotch of pants, tights or leggings will fit there snuggly and may get a little wet. It doesn't happen often and the cover can help. It's usually minor and it can happen with a sposie too. EASY PRO: If you know how to change a sposies you know how to change a fitted diaper. LABELING CON: I'm not sure why but fitted diapers aren't always as well labeled. Some dont list number of layers and some are not specific about the water proof core. Those that contain a water repellent layer are not always specific as to what it is either. OPTION PRO: To cover or not to cover. Most of the time you will want to use the diaper wrap over the diaper. But for those days when baby is in just diaper shirt and diaper or dress and diaper (with no tights), you can skip the cover. You'll know when its time to change. Its a choice I like. In the summers my girls exclusively wore dresses so I could drop the wraps during the day. HYBRID FITTED'S : These are fitted diapers with water repellent fleece hidden under a decorative outside layer (cotton knit usually). Pro's amf cons are the same as fitted's with one big boost in the option Pro. The hidden fleece is there specifically to give you a cover free option. It will allow you to be cover free with the exception of a long car ride (compression leak) or overnight. So coverless the majority of the time. (EDIT) I have now used hybrids as a hybrid shell and I love them. *Water repellent fleece is synthetic AIO's - ALL IN ONES AIO's are a fitted diaper with a waterproof or water repellent outer layer (sometimes its hidden inside) instead of having a wrap over the diaper. These also have inserts and since they are a fitted diaper they have the elastic and all the pros and cons mentioned above. They are fastened with snaps or Velcro. Most AIO's made today use modern (synthetic) fabrics. these give a stay dry feeling. *please read fabric post to understand pros and cons of fabrics. LAUNDRY CON: waterproof and water repellent materials do not launder the same as otherr diaper materials. Either you dont wash and dry on hot (to be discussed in laundry post), or the waterproof/water repellent layer will wear out. EASY PRO: One piece (other then inserts) just like a sposie. OPTION CON: you can't choose to go wrap free. CLEAN CON: synthetic fabrics do not wash as easily and are more likely to have ammonia issues. CLEAN CON: They feel dry even though baby has wet the diaper which may lead to less frequent diaper changes. DRY PRO: they feel dry against babies skin when wet. DRY CON: feeling dry takes away the benefit of wet cloth which leads to faster toilet training. LEAK CON: with the waterproof or water repellent layer attached the wrap does not fit firmly over the edge of the diaper. This gives an explosive poop an escape route out the leg or back. Also if the leg gets wet there is wet absorbant material touching crotch of babies clothes and might lead to a small wet spot. POCKET DIAPERS: Pocket diapers are similar to fitted diapers or fitted AIO's. They are pretty new. I think invented around 2000. What makes them different is that they are made of the outer layer (water repellent or water proof) and the inside layer which goes against the skin. There is a pocket in the core section in which to place your insert. You fill the core. They have the same pros and cons of the basic or AIO fitted diapers, however being able to seperate the core (your inserts) makes less layers to wash through. They are always made with synthetic fabrics unless you request a WHAM make them with natural fabric (except the PUL of course) PLACEMENT PRO: the insert stays perfectly in place in the pocket and some like the seamless feel.of the diaper's inner layer against baby's skin instead of a seam from added insert(s). DIFFICULTY CON: pulling the inserts out if the pocket when changing a wet or poopy diaper. To be honest I have never used the insert inside the pocket of a pocket diaper. The reason is because when I was placing the insert inside the pocket I thought about trying to get out a wet insert from a wet pocket in a wet or poopy diaper and decided "ah...no". CLEAN UP CON: With the insert in the pocket poop lands directly in the diaper. You can use a disposable liner though to counteract this. LAUNDRY PRO: seperating the core (your inserts) is better for washing, however this pro is needed since the fabrics used don't wash as well as natural fabrics. * yes there are other styles but they tend to be similar enough you can compare them to one of these. Plus some of the newer ones I can't review cuz I've never had a chance to really check them out. INSERTS, DOUBLERS, LINERS AND SOAKERS: these are basically all the same thing. They are fabric layers sewn in a rectangle (often with rounded ends). The lay or snap or are stuffed into any diaper for additionnal absorbancy. This allows you to adjust absorbancy in your diapers (such as extras at night). You can also fold them to double up in the front for boys or middle for girls. Some are made with water repellent fabrics which have their own ups and downs to be discussed in a fabric post. It is improntant to know what type of fabric your inserts. Some fabrics are not good against babies skin and therefore should be only chosen for pocket diapers. Some people trifold prefold diapers as inserts. EASY PRO: inserts tend to catch the poop and make cleaning poop into the toilet easier. (doesn't apply when used in a pocket diaper). DIAPER WRAPS: diaper wraps may also be called covers. In sthe case of sool and fleece rhey are sometimes called soakers (confusing since inserts can be called soakers too). They are made of a waterproof layer such as PUL, plastic or taffeta, or they are made of.a water repellent layer such as wool or fleece. The benefits of fabric choice will be discussed in a fabric post. Wraps have either cuffs or elastic at the legs and waist. You can often use the same wrap all day or all night (so 2 in a 24hr period) . Sometimes life happens and its time to wash that wrap sooner. * best designed leak proof wrap in my opinion are the ones with the double gusset on the legs. LEAK PRO: the elastic on the leg and waist should fit over the edge of the cloth diaper and create a secondary barrier from leaks. *if you place the elastic on top of the diaper you will lose this benefit. LAUNDRY PRO: Water proof layer can be washed seperately from diaper to make it last longer. LAUNDRY CON: Except for fleece they need to be washed seperatly. Are you stressed about the various options? Dont be. Read the next post (part 2) "The big top secret about the very best cloth diaper ever" ;)