Friday, August 14, 2015

Cloth 101

I’m so excited about this post!  We decided to give cloth diapering a try before Avery was born and I have learned so much in the year we have been using them.  I asked Morgan to do an overview post on cloth diapering (something I wished I read before little miss was born).  Funny back story: my hubby Michael was friends with Morgan on Facebook (she is married to a cousin-ish of Michael’s) and he showed me a picture she posted one day of her diapers.  Look, Morgan has a stash too … I immediately friended her and sent her a kind of creepy message and we got to know each other via Facebook.  She is the sweetest person ever!  She knows way more about cloth than I do and recently started a business as a consultant for Squigglybugs!  Anyway, I’ll let her take over …

Hi everyone! I’m Morgan Schwall - a cloth diapering, babywearing, crunchy momma and a military spouse. My husband Ryan and I began cloth diapering our daughter when she was a few months old. We quickly realized how expensive disposable diapers were. As a young family on a limited budget, we turned to cloth. Now not only do we save money - we also produce less waste and have minimal diaper blow outs.

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Photograph by Jenny Laura Photography

Are you interested in cloth diapering? Look no further! Here is a compiled list of different styles of cloth diapers on the market, brands to choose from, wash routine information & more!

All-In-One

The AIO system is most similar to disposables, being it’s a one diaper = one change system. All in one’s can vary in style and fit, however, they all have built in soakers and a water-resistant outer shell. Soakers can be made from cotton, organic cotton, hemp/cotton, or microfiber that’s topped with a stay dry layer.

Pros: Daddy & day care friendly, easy to use, requires no stuffing of inserts, convenient.

Cons: Most expensive option on the market, child may outgrow the absorbency, some AIO don’t have the stay-dry feeling.

Brand Options: Smart Bottoms, BumGenius Elemental or Freetime, GroVia AIO, Blueberry Simplex.

Pocket

Pocket diapers are also a one diaper = one change system. Each shell and insert can be used one time before needing to be placed in the wash pail. A pocket diaper consists of an outer water-resistant shell, that has a suede layer of fabric on the inside. To make the diaper adsorbent, you would “stuff” an insert of choice into the pocket opening. Inserts can be microfiber, hemp, cotton or organic cotton.

Pros: Easy to use, can choose insert option, provides stay dry feeling, daddy & day care friendly.

Cons: Requires stuffing, can be an expensive option & you’ll have to remove soaked/soiled inserts from pocket prior to washing.

Brand Options: BumGenius 4.0, AppleCheeks, Rumparooz G2, Kawaii, Milovia.

Cover + Prefold/Flat

A cover is a water resistant shell that can be used repeatedly until soiled. You simply use a prefold or flat in conjunction with the cover. During a diaper change, you replace the soaked prefold/flat with a new one. Most are made from cotton, but some brands offer organic cotton or hemp/cotton blends. Prefolds/flats can be tri-folded and set inside the cover OR you can use a snappi or pin to secure the material around your baby, followed by the cover. There are many different fold styles, some include the jelly roll fold and the kite fold.

Pros: Prefolds/flats are the cheapest option on the market, great for travel or hand washing, versatile, known to hold in EBF poo well.

Cons: Not always convenient, most day cares aren’t open to using this cloth diaper system, will take time to learn fold styles that work for you & baby.

Brand Options: Covers - Flip, Tots Bots Stretchy Wrap, Rumparooz Cover.
Prefolds/Flats - Sweet Pea, Osocozy, GroVia prefolds, Smart Bottoms Smart Folds, Imagine prefolds/flats, Planet Wise prefolds (check them all out here).

Hybrids

Hybrid systems include a water-resistant cover/shell + an interchangeable soaker. Many brands of hybrid systems offer snap-in soaker options. This keeps the soakers in place. You’d simply replace the soaker each diaper change, until cover is soiled. Hybrid systems can also be used with disposable inserts, which some prefer for traveling.  

Pros: Reusable outer shell, many soaker options available, great for travel.
Cons: More expensive than cover + prefold/flats, not always convenient, day cares may not be open to using this option.

Brand Options: GroVia Hybrid System, Best Bottom System, Buttons System.

Wash Routine

Having a great wash routine is key when using cloth diapers. You want to make sure your cloth is being thoroughly cleaned before each use. Any detergent on the market, including mainstream detergents, that do not contain fabric softeners is okay to use with diapers. If you live in an area with hard water, it’s suggested you add a water softener like Calgon to each wash cycle to prevent mineral buildup. Mineral buildup can cause your diapers to repel liquids.

1. Rinse cycle or quick wash on cold with ½ scoop of detergent + softener (if needed)

2. Full hot wash cycle with a full scoop of detergent + softener (if needed)

3. Rinse again **ONLY needed if diapers are slimy or detergent bubbles are visible** If no rinse is needed, proceed to step

4. Tumble dry on low heat or hang to dry.

If you find your diapers stained, simply place in the sun while wet. The sun is a natural stain remover. Only keep the diapers in the sun until dry.

Thank you so much Morgan!

I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you want to learn more about cloth check Morgan out on Facebook.  She is very knowledgeable!

Check out her store here!

Make sure to use Morgan Schwall as your consultant if you shop from Squigglybugs!

Just a note: This post was written by Morgan (with the intro and conclusion by me) and is not a sponsored post.  The links contained in this post go to Morgan’s site which she makes a commission from.  I have not been compensated for this post, just getting some cloth info out there. 

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