Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Diaper Diaries: Fitted Diapers

I never thought I'd be one of "those people." You know, people who slave in the laundry room, rinsing poop off of pieces of fabric, in order to cloth diaper my kids. Cloth diapers were for hippies anyway, right?

The reasons why I decided to use cloth is a story for another post, but I would like to say that it isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it isn't bad at all, it's just another part of my routine. I'll elaborate more about it at a later time.

In this post I wanted to highlight the diapers that we are currently using for Jacinta, and that we used for Veronica when she was itty-bitty, too (itty-bitty being a relative term of course).
When we made the decision to cloth diaper, we started out with Kissaluvs. They are fitted diapers, which essentially means an absorbent piece of fabric shaped like a diaper that needs a waterproof cover over the top.

See? Looks just like a diaper! Because it IS a diaper!

These particular diapers have a set of snaps to hold them on the baby. The different snap placements allow for the best fit as baby grows. We bought size 0, which fits 5-15 lbs (not like we needed them for the small end of the range, ha). I think with Veronica we managed to use them slightly beyond that, mostly through wishful thinking.

Snaps! I love snaps!

This brand even has a feature that allows the front of the diaper to be snapped down until the baby's cord falls off. Handy if you have a small or average size newborn I'm sure. But with the size of our girls we probably didn't need this nifty feature, as the diaper never reached that high.

Awww, what a cute little diaper!

Because these diapers are made of cotton terry, they need a cover to keep the moisture inside, and off of baby's clothing (and mommy's clothing, for that matter). We chose to go with Thirsties, which are made of Polyurethane Laminate (PUL). It's a breathable, waterproof fabric that is used in many cloth diapers and covers.

The fabric is laminated on the inside, like so.

Thirsties covers have a velcro closure, which makes them super easy to take on and off. Although in general I prefer snaps to velcro. But that's a story for another post.

Note how you can adjust the placement of the velcro - it functions similar to disposable diaper tabs.

Things I like about our fitted diaper system:

1. SUPER easy to wash. Everything goes in the wash together, the diapers get dried in the dryer and the liners I hang dry (to preserve the velcro). Quickest load of laundry in the history of everything. Especially with a breastfed baby. (TMI warning: Did you know that breastfed baby poo is water-soluble?)

2. They don't leak. I've had some leakage problems occasionally (not me, the babies...from their diapers...that's another story for another post), but these are really great at keeping the moisture inside if you do it right. Doing it right means actually changing the diaper sometimes (duh), and making sure that no cotton is peeking out from under the cover. Easy peasy.

3. Everything fits really well. No funky gaps around the legs or waist. They are a little thicker than disposables, but not by much. So baby has some junk-in-the-trunk, but not a grotesque amount.

4. The covers can be re-used until they are ready to be washed. They just need to dry a bit in between uses, so I set the one I just took off aside until next diaper change, then switch back. I have 6 covers, and use 2 per day so they will last me up to 3 days. And probably longer if needed, I've never had a stink issue with them.

Things I don't like:

1. This system does not have a way to keep moisture away from baby's skin. The absorbent cotton is right up against their bum, so when it gets wet so does their skin. This doesn't matter so much with frequent diaper changes (which newborns require anyway), but I could see it being a problem with older babies who don't get changed every 5 minutes (<--- hyperbole).

2. I sometimes forget to bring a second cover in the diaper bag. Which is more a problem with me than with the diapers. It probably doesn't matter much, I just use the same cover with a new diaper...but if the cover gets poo on it or something, then I'm stuck using a dirty cover. If only my Mommy-brain had a perfect memory...

We have 36 diapers and 6 covers, which is more than enough. It allows me to do laundry every other day, and still have plenty leftover. Because sometimes I get delayed/distracted (what a shock) and the laundry has to wait until the third day. And then I am very happy to have so many diapers.

So, overall, I highly recommend both Kissaluvs and Thirsties, at least for the first few months of life. They have treated us well, and are in just as good shape with child #2 as they were with child #1. We moved on to other things for Veronica when she outgrew these...but that is another story for another post.

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