Most of us are familiar with flatfold and prefolded diapers. We have used them for burp rags, or dustcloths. When we think “cloth diaper” it is the image that immediately springs to mind. A rectangle of white cloth, cleverly folded to create a garment. The flatfold and prefold is humble, but is the single most versatile scrap of cloth in all of babydom!
In fact when I first considered cloth diapering, a rather vintage and romantic image of myself craftily doing origami with a soft and fluffy white square, was what came to my mind. My mom did it, so why not me? I’d be helping the environment plus, I’d be all retro and cool… I promptly ordered up a dozen cloth diapers from Cotton Babies, half in regular cotton and half in unbleached cotton.
When they arrived they were stiff, and unfluffy. Industrial even. Hmmm. I was instructed to wash them. Which I did, about a dozen times, in hot water with an organic soap. Finally they were sort of soft and fluffy. I practiced folding and pinning them on my daughter’s baby doll. But I found it tedious, which was a real red flag for me personally because the dolls did not even squirm like a real baby. Sure enough, I have not had any real luck or enjoyment using prefolds. Still, I’m glad I had ordered the prefolds because those 12 diapers are the best burp rags ever. Worth the $ to try them as diapers. If you find that the flatfolds work for you, you will save vast amounts of money. They are extremely economical – between $1-$3 apiece. You can find tie dyed and custom embroidered prefolds on craft and cloth diapering sites, so stay tuned for our list of links at the end of the week.
Next I moved on to fitted diapers, where I had much more success! One thing to keep in mind with all cloth diapers is that you will need to change them more frequently than disposibles. Without a chemical gel to absorb liquid, you need to stay on top of things. This has not been a problem for us. The payoff is that changing every hr or two is probably far healthier for your child anyway. We have not had any diaper rash since we began cloth diapering.
One other nice thing about using flat/prefold/fitted diapers with a cover is the potential for less laundry. If your cover is not soiled when you change the diaper, you can reuse it with a fresh diaper. There are hundreds of brands of fitted diapers out there, including many made by work at home moms. With my son I tried about a dozen different ones. In the end, there were three types that I loved, and would recommend.
The newborn velour diaper from Blueberry – In the first weeks of cloth diapering, the Blueberry fitted velour newborn diapers were the only ones to fit properly.They have a snap down to prevent the diaper from rubbing on the umbilical cord stump and are made from a deliciously soft and thirsty cotton velour. They close with snaps that allow for size variation. At 15 lbs we are just sizing out of these.

The cotton fitted sherpa diaper from Kissaluvs – These are made from a cotton Sherpa fleece and have a soft but irregular;y textured surface. This allows for great absorbancy and the Kissaluvs performed well. They are adorable to look at with a colored exterior and natural cotton inside.Like the Blueberry diapers, these close with snaps. After repeated washing they are not as soft as the blueberry diapers but they are still in good shape and have held up remarkably.

Bamboo diaper from Bumkins – Of all the fitted diapers we have tried, these were to become our favorite. In fact they are what won my husband over to the concept. They are super duper absorbant, and we found this meant fewer leaks when we were out and about and not as on the ball about changing. They are also an excellent choice for overnight wear due to the almost miraculous absorbancy. They are also silky smooth and not at all bulky. Bamboo is also notable for its anti microbial properties. It took a couple of months for my son to grow into these, and I expect him to wear them from approximately 2months till a year old before we have to size up. The Bumkins have velcro tabs with fold downs for laundering (so you don’t end up with a long tangled snake of velcroed diapers. The velcro makes them extremely adjustable to fit a wide variety of sizes.
Stay tuned till tomorrow when we take the confusion out of Pocket Diapers and look more carefully at the assorted types of inserts on the market, and how they are used.

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