When I stopped worrying about what everyone else liked, thought about what I liked, figured out what I know and what I need to know, it all became so much easier. Really that's a life lesson in general.
First step was answering my own question: details of my diaper of choice. Well last time I picked Kushies basic fitted diaper. I liked it cuz it worked as well as the others, it was cheaper, it dried faster, and I was able to get it to fit a newborn cuz it was less bulky. So I looked up its details. I have to say I was surprised that it was 2 layers cotton flannel and 2 absorbant layers in the core. If it was a prefold it would be 2/4/2. Wish all diapers were labelled like prefolds. Anyway that made me wonder about the layers of other diapers. Most are much thicker (6-8 layers), one had 11 layers! Ok so if I was happy with a 2/4/2, then I should make a 2/4/2. Why waste money or material?
So what do I know about fabric for diapers? Well I like cotton flannel. It works well, is natural and isn't prone to build up or ammonia. It washes well, doesn't pile, dries well. I do not like fleece or microfiber inside a diaper or as a liner. It is prone to build up and ammonia (which causes smell and diaper rash). It is water repellent which to me only makes sense on the outside of a diaper. Also fleece piles and can be very warm in the summer. Now I was aware there are other fabric options so I checked them out on-line and talking to people. I really like the idea of hemp and bamboo as well as zorb (cotton/bamboo viscose blend).
Now I've always liked fitted diapers due to their ease of use. But there are things I like about a prefold too. In fact I'd choose a prefold over a fitted if they did up with Velcro like the ones my mom made for mine and my sisters dolls. The snappi's for prefolds do make them easy to do up but I'd lose them and constantly need to buy more. So would Daddy Moss. We both have a bad habit of misplacing things in the oddest of places (plus side is we clean often to find misplaced stuff lol). Prefolds dry faster then a fitted of the same thickness. Why? Because the gathered legs bunches the fabric increasing drying time. Also if you line dry or sun/grass bleach a diaper they sometimes feel a little stiff till you iron them which is tricky on a fitted (a 10 min fluff dry in the dryer works though if you have home laundry). Also fitted diapers dont get as good a coverage when you sun/grass bleach. (I'll discuss all that in another post). Well I decided I'd make a prefold then. It actually took about 3 days to realize that I could just make a prefold with Velcro like my old doll diapers lol.
Now if your thinking "Man, she had this so sorted out" let me assure you that I took days going over this. I had several moments where the allure of consumerism took me off track. I felt stressed at times. And several moments where I forgot to trust my own knowledge and experience or just call up my mom. I've edited that out so as not to drag you all through that :) But I do want to assure you that these feelings are normal and I went through them too.
Now as I mentioned in the last post I had read and viewed home experiments showing how much liquid today's modern cloth diapers can hold. And as you know I find it ridiculous. So I researched how much the average baby's urine output is. It's 1/2 oz per pee with about 10 oz over the course of a full day. So yeah a few layers of an absorbent material and a diaper cover (attached like an AIO or seperate) is enough, as it has been for all the generations before us....so long as you change it.
So after looking at all that I know and looking for specific info I finally made a confident decision about what would make me happy with a diaper. 2/4/2 prefold of cotton flannel/ bamboo Terry & zorb/ cotton flannel. Also my ideal would do up with Velcro. It would be sized in infant and later toddler (when I need them). It will have seperate wraps and cotton flannel liners. It will cost me $70 to make a set of 29 diapers and 3 night wraps (more on this later). I've heard I'm getting PUL wraps and cotton flannel liners at my shower so no worries there. Also that's not a huge expense anyhow. I feel these will be affordable to make, wash and dry. Effective, sensible and easy to use. And neither scrimp nor waste.
Oh one last note. I do prefer the idea of hemp over bamboo although they have the same advantages hemp had a few more checks in my mind....until I went to get it. My local fabric store doesn't carry either material and to order I would have to pay more for shipping and have shipped from further away to get hemp Terry. I can get bamboo Terry and zorb from 5 hours away. This was an ecological as well as a financial choice.
This process if choosing what your ideal is can be used even.if your new to diapering. It just will take more imagination and more research. Instead of pouring over pages of diapers first, pour over information about fabric, laundry etc. Think about your laundry realities. Check out blogs where mom's talk about laundry, diaper rash etc. Think about whats important to you financially and ecologically. Then looking at the basic styles and options picture yourself using them. Read what others found to be advantages and disadvantages. If they say a diaper doesn't work cuz it leaks move on. Write down what you do and dont want. Now go find (or make) that diaper. Then enjoy your fluff :)