Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waste Not Wednesday: Prefolds and Flats and Pockets, Oh My!

Today I want to talk about cloth diapers and their awesomeness. They are, to borrow the phrase from Andy Dwyer of Parks and Recreation,
"awesome sauce!"

But if you're new to the concept of cloth diapering, you probably have a lot of questions. Thankfully, the internet has a LOT of good answers. This means I don't have to reinvent the wheel but can answer your questions via spiffy links! Also, an important note: if you want to enter into a contest for some FREE stuff, read the whole post!

To get started, here are the reasons I choose cloth diapers over disposables:
  • it's better for the environment
  • it's better for the baby (less diaper rashes and you know exactly what you're putting on the baby's bottom. No, really, have you ever read the ingredients listed in disposables?!)
  • it's better to control leakage (I have had less problems with cloth than disposables)
  • it's better on the wallet (even a diaper service costs less money than buying disposables!)
Now, I acknowledge that many may shirk from the idea of cloth diapers. I suppose there's an "ick" factor at first thought, and there are some who don't have access to their own laundry machine. In response to the ick factor: it's basically the same as disposables. I have to touch a disposable to put it in the trash -- likewise, I have to drop the cloth diaper into the diaper pail. I don't actually touch the cloth diaper -- only the diaper cover. And hey, if you're really worried about germs or whatever, that's what this was made for:

Alright, moving on.

So let's say you don't have a machine to work with. I would recommend Googling diaper services in your area. There are two in my area: Baby's Choice Diaper Service and Philly Diaper Service. I've used Baby's Choice for the first couple months of Gwen's existence since I didn't want to bother with laundry while adjusting, and I highly recommend their services. The owner, Jim, is very personable, prompt, and a pleasure to do business with. His service is also cheaper than the Philly one, although they may service slightly different areas. If you've used Philly Diaper Service, I'd love to hear of your experience!

Now let's say you've decided to consider washing your own diapers. Where do you start?

There certainly are many options for cloth-diapering your baby, and what's best for you and baby is whatever works. I've heard about the all-in-ones, but they seem a little pricey to me. In our house, we stick to three simple kinds:


Prefolds are great if you're sort of crunched on time and don't want to fold a lot of diapers. On the other hand, they can be a little bulky and hard to pull tight enough (which means more spillage on the diaper covers). Most diaper services use prefolds.


Flats are a personal favorite here in the intentional community house. We like them because you can double (or triple!) up for more soaking power, they tend to be less bulky than prefolds, they're cheaper (see Amazon or Babies R Us - the Gerber ones work fine!), and they're easier to maneuver for good coverage.

Here are what flats and prefolds look like folded:


Then we come to pocket diapers. Pocket diapers are a stroke of genius, in my opinion. They are great fantastic magical for overnight protection. I am always amazed when I pull out the insert and it's soaking wet, while the part touch the baby is completely dry. I would imagine these help our babies sleep longer through the night too! And anyone who uses diapers will tell you that bumGenius is the best brand -- definitely worth the investment.

And as for diaper covers, there are so many to choose from, but our favorite here are the Thirsties diaper covers.

As for cleaning how-to's and other questions (and I mean ANY other questions you may have), I will refer you to the wonderful blog, All About Cloth Diapers. Just use the search bar to research and get your questions answered. And for the Haute Cloth Diaper Giveaway from Sorta Crunchy, click here!


  1. We did cloth for a while here. With a 2+ day stash, the laundry wasn't that big of a deal. And the money we saved!!! Great article Rachel. (And BEAUTIFUL picture!)

  2. ah. cloth diapers. I loved them. Tis a shame the diaper service I had went out so fast and that I didn't have a washing machine/dryer. I think these are the best option.

  3. That's so surprising you don't have more options in North Jersey! Sadness! I love cloth diapers so much! (But you're almost done with diapers COMPLETELY, my dear!!!)

  4. Apparently I had the last diaper service available in North Jersey!!! Now they're gone.
    Micah was doing SO well with training for a few weeks and now he's "scared" of the toilet.


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