Hello day three in the four-part series on cloth diapering by Maggie over at Enlarging Marge. If you are just starting, you can catch up by reading day one and day two as well.

Cloth diaper update “ 7 months in

As I explained yesterday, Will and I entered the cloth diaper rodeo armed with a number of different systems to see what worked best for our family. The result? No shocker here¦ the All-In-Ones.

Why didn’t the others work?

First, pre-folds…

The traditional cloth diaper, even with the fancy new Snappi closure, was just too high-maintenance for Will and I to navigate with a squirming, kicking, chicken-legged baby. We could never quite get the fit right and really, her seven pound body was just a titch too tiny for the fabric.

And yes “ we tried them again when she got some meat on her bones – but we still found them too much trouble (especially compared to the All-In-Ones). No regrets though. The pre-folds were inexpensive and we use them daily for spit ups and wipes. A good investment.

Second, the fitteds…

These beat the pre-folds in fit and ease of use, hands-down. They were easy to get on our squirmer and fit trimly on our newborn (especially the Kissaluvs). The problem? They didn’t wick. We found out early on that newborns pee a lot. A lot, a lot. And, Miss Maizey had very sensitive skin. These natural fabrics absorbed her urine, but didn’t wick it away from her delicate nether-regions. If we didn’t change her every 30 minutes, she developed something akin to a burn. A urine burn. Not good.

So the winner was – the all-in-ones (specifically and importantly those of the micro-fiber variety)…

For the first 3 months, we loved the bumGenius all-in-one newborn diapers.

They fit her wonderfully and were super easy to use. (Insert Will’s cheers.) We still had to change her often to prevent leaks, but her rash/burn improved immensely. Of course, we had to add to our supply (not inexpensive), but it was well worth it. We ended up with twelve of these, which fit her until she was about 14 weeks old.

In addition to the bumGenius newborn diapers, we’d purchased two Blueberry Basix diapers in a size small. These were also awesome and now, are the only kind of cloth diapers we use. We love them, love them, love them!

Blueberry Basix are (adorable) all-in-one diapers that combine the convenience of an all-in-one while providing the absorbency adjustability of a pocket diaper. They are made with a waterproof outer layer of PUL, 3 sewn in layers of high quality microfiber terry, and a layer of microfleece to keep baby’s skin dry.

The diaper has pocket openings on both ends that allows you to increase the diaper’s absorbency by adding extra inserts. This also enables any extra stuffed-in doubler or insert to agitate itself out in the wash. Half of the soaker pad is attached, while the other half also comes out through one of the pocket openings during the washing cycle. The result is a diaper that is thoroughly cleaned inside out and dries fast-either in the dryer or on the line.

They have snaps, so no worrying about the Velcro using it’s stick-ability. In addition, they are sized, which means a trimmer fit. (The downside “ we’ve needed to upgrade as our chicken-legged baby is now sporting some sumo-worthy thighs. Admittedly, the cost-saving benefits of cloth are now nil for the Spurgeon household.)

The takeaway?

All babies, and families, are different. I urge potential cloth diaperers to try a few different systems before investing heaps of money. There is a thriving market out there for pre-owned cloth diapers. Check craigslist or eBay. Often, the diapers are barely used. (We sold our nearly-new fitteds and covers on craigslist.) We would have been in dire straits, and would probably have abandoned cloth diapering, had we just purchased fitteds or pre-folds.

In the next post I’ll fill you in on our experience with the not-so-rosy side of cloth diapering – the things die-hards didn’t tell me before I joined the cloth diapering world. Challenges we faced (like that urine burn mentioned above), how we overcame them and why I am still a cloth-diapering mama¦ most of the time¦ (wink)

Side note from Maria:

We use prefolds with thirstie covers and bummis. Somehow we’ve gotten away without having to use snappis. Both the types of covers we own have velcro. When my oldest turned one, we realized quickly that she was able to undo her velcro diaper cover (she was moving to a different size anyway) so we switched to the snap closure pocket diaper (Happy Heiney and Fuzzi Bunz). Not to be too graphic, but when I stopped nursing at a year, her poop changed. It was much easier to use a pocket diaper because the poop rolled right off the fabric and into the toilet when changing her. We installed a diaper sprayer attachment to our toilet, but never really used it. Breastfed babies have a more watery stool so from birth to a year, the prefolds would soak up the stool and were easy to wash. We potty trained a few months after her 2nd birthday and are now reusing our cloth diaper stash for our second baby girl.