First of all, sorry for the totally rushed feel of my last post about diapers (after I bought a few Fuzzibunz). I was in the airport and wanted to get the post up before I took off mainly to give anyone a heads up that would be interested in the sale. But let's face it - that post sucked, and I'm sorry for it. But now I'm gonna try and make up for it!!!
In the past 2 weeks I have bought quite a few more diapers ( I just keep finding great deals, I swear!) but before I get into that, a quick run down on the basic types of cloth diapers:
Pre-folds (or flat diapers) - the most economical way to cloth diaper, but the least convenient. You use either a pre-fold (which has seams to aid in folding the diaper) or a flat (which doesn't have seams) diaper which are folded and then fastened to the baby using safety pins or something called a "snappi." There are infinite ways to fold the diaper, you just have to find what words for you and your baby. Then you have to use a waterproof cover over it.
Fitted Diapers - instead of using a pre-fold or a flat there is an absorbent fitted diaper. Since there isn't a water proof outer layer, you have to use a cover with it.
All-in-two or hybrid diaper - with this option you snap an absorbent layer (called a soaker) into the cover. This is more convenient than a pre-fold or a fitted diaper since you snap in the soaker and then only have one step of actually putting the diaper on the baby. These are also very flexible since you can use the shell as the waterproof layer with pre-folds or fitted diapers.
These options are economical since you can use the waterproof cover multiple times before washing it, you just have to change the absorbent part of the diaper. You cannot do that with the next two options.
Pocket diapers - with this option you stuff the soaker into a pocket within the shell. It is convenient since you only have to put one thing on the baby, but the entire diaper has to be washed after each use.
All-in-one diapers - these are exactly what they sound like, everything is there and already assembled for you. This is the most convenient option for cloth diapers, but also the most expensive. They also take longer to dry than other diapers since it is all one piece.
You can also choose between using one-size diapers or sized diapers. One sized diapers usually have snaps to adjust the rise of the diaper and they generally claim they can be used from birth to potty training, whereas obviously sized diapers come in different sizes based off of the weight of your baby. A lot of times one sized diapers don't fit newborns, and if you're using one-sized diapers you should consider investing in a bigger stash since there will be a lot more wear and tear on them then if you chose sized diapers.
Phew, that was a ton of info!
For us, all-in-ones were out since one of the main reasons we've chosen to cloth diaper is to save money. I also never really considered using fitteds; if I'm going to have to put two different parts on the baby I may as well save the extra money and use pre-folds or flats. So that leaves, pre-folds/flats, all-in-twos/hybrids, and pockets.
I considered using solely pocket diapers; they're less expensive than all-in-ones but still super convenient. But, it's still a considerable investment. And then a few weeks ago I attended a diaper party and although I didn't buy anything from them (honestly, the prices kinda sucked) it was great to get to see/touch/hold all the different types of diapers, and I was really interested in the hybrids. They're convenient like pockets (the soaker just snaps in instead of being stuffed in a pocket) but are more economical since you don't need as many covers. Plus, to save extra money you can use the shell over a flat or a pre-fold if you want. And I never even really considered sized diapers; if the cloth diapers don't fit The Sea Monkey when he's first born we'll just use disposables (::gasp:: lol) until they do fit.
So, after more research than was really necessary, I decided that for our situation and priorities, a combination of using pocket diapers (mainly if someone else is watching the baby or if I'm feeling particularly lazy, lol) and hybrid diapers.
A good example of the components of a pocket diaper:
And a good example of a hybrid diaper:
To complicate things even further, I'll probably use flats or pre-folds with the hybrid shell part time since it is so much less expensive. I'm not sure I would ever ask The Sailor to use a flat or a pre-fold, because it takes practice (which I'll get staying home with the baby) and patience. I also wouldn't want to deal with using a flat or a pre-fold when I'm traveling or even running errands.
Now, if I was only using pockets most sites recommend having about 24 diapers. You can get away with having less, but you'll have to wash more often and if you have more they will generally hold up much better (so it's a good idea if you plan on using your stash with more than one baby). And if I was only using hybrids I've read you should have 14 shells and 30 soakers.
The question is - how many diapers do I need???
Well, I'm thinking of filling my stash with 1/3 pocket diapers. So, for a good sized, gender neutral stash (since I do plan on using the same diapers with our future kids) I'm thinking 10 pocket diapers. Which would leave 2/3 hybrids or 10 hybrid shells. How many flats/pre-folds and how many hybrid inserts is still up in the air but in all I'll need at least 20 of them.
Good golly, if you read through all of that, bravo! I realize it is a ton of information, but if you're new to cloth diapering I hope it helped you understand modern cloth diapers a little more! Next time I post about diapering I'll discuss choosing which brand to go with since there are so many freaking options and I'll explain why I've chosen to purchase the diapers I've gotten so far.
Until next time...