Still, I was so overwhelmed with the cloth diapering options! How could something so simple as poop-catching be so very, very complicated?! Everywhere I looked there were different companies, different choices, different acronyms and I felt completely lost. As it turns out, there are four types of cloth diapers (and I have tried them all at one point or another): prefolds, pocket diapers, all in ones, and hybrids.
I started out with prefold diapers and rubber covers. This is the oldest method around- when you think of your grandmother hanging diapers that looked like big napkins out on the line to dry, this is the method you're thinking of. I used them for about two weeks, at which point I gave up because they were so bulky my daughter had a hard time moving her legs (who could blame her- the diaper went down to her little knees!), and they were leaking. I have plenty of friends who love prefolds for their simplicity, so maybe I just never caught on.
Next I tried pocket diapers. These worked better for me than the prefolds, but I had one big issue with them that I could never get over: when my daughter pooped I had to reach into the dirty diaper with my hands to pull the liner out of the pocket. Ewwwww... Again, I have many friends who really like these diapers, especially because you can adjust the size of them just by using a built-in snap system, but I sold mine on Craigslist and used the capital to buy a different type of diaper.
Kushies brand, and after taking care of her daughter several times I knew I could do this. I bought a starter kit and we used Kushies almost exclusively for Ava until she potty trained. I purchased the extra liners for them and I added the biodegradable paper liner as well because it made my life easier with "number twos" (you can throw or flush the thin liner and most of the poop comes off with it so it makes laundering easier). There are a couple of drawbacks to the AIO's, however. Since they are all in one, you wash everything, every time. This means a little bit of extra laundry for some (not for me, but I soon had two kids in diapers and I wasn't keeping track). Also, you can't take the liners out to soak them separately, so sometimes the outside of the diaper gets bleached and looses color. Since I don't really care about the fashion statement my kids' diapers make, this also didn't bother me. Last, many families have to buy two sizes as the baby grows because these diapers aren't adjustable. Ava is such a peanut and she potty trained so early however, we only ever used the infant size.
|This is a Kushies diaper assembled and ready to put into the basket for quick use.|
Today, with only one child in diapers again and her being old enough to only use 4-6 diapers per day, we are mostly using the G-diaper hybrid option. I keep Kushies on hand because I still really like them, but when we got a new front-loading washing machine I found it much more difficult to soak my Kushies diapers, and for some reason they seem to really need it. (It's difficult to soak diapers with a front-loader because it's a pain to transfer the soaking diapers into the front of the machine, whereas before I could just dump in the whole pail at the top and set it on the spin cycle to drain the water.)
Here's how it works for me:
|This the set up in my bathroom. Each basket houses a different batch of supplies, and a small pail is kept behind the door for dirty diapers.|
|Basket One holds most of my G-diaper stash. The colored items are the outer covers, the white terrycloth items on the left are the inserts, and the folded white items in the center (that look like paper) are the disposable inserts.|
|Here are the plastic liners for my G-diapers. I keep them in a separate basket because they don't fold neatly so it's easiest to keep them in their own place.|
|This is my Kushies diaper stash, folded and ready to use.|
Washing diapers is easy: you wash them like clothes. Into the washer with a natural detergent (no perfumes or other yucky things because the soap will stick to the fibers and make your diapers less absorbent... which you really don't want) on hot with some white vinegar to disinfect. Done! Line dry the suckers to get them white again (ah, the power of the sun) and you're good to go.