Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Decisions, decisions!

When parents come into the store to learn about cloth diapers, we always point out that choosing the system you want to use is the hardest part of using cloth diapers. It amazes me how much thought goes into this particular decision, when I purchased our first set of cloth diapers nine years ago (shit, I'm getting old), I had two choices: prefolds or fitted diapers (one brand, lol). Some new parents are postively paralyzed with fear when it comes to the decision of what to put on junior's bottom.

We have one of the best selections of cloth diapers in Canada, occasionally, parents-to-be come into the store expecting to see one kind of cloth diaper, the old-fashioned flat diapers of yore. Sure, that would make the decision easier, but where's the fun in that? It's not like choosing cloth diapers will be the only decision you ever make, when you go to the grocery store, you have lots of decisions to make -- what kind of toilet paper? 2-ply? 3-ply? Charmin or Cottonelle? Don't even get me started on the shampoo aisle. Point is, every day, you buy things that entail making a choice, picking one thing over another.

So, how do you make a decision?
  • talk to your friends who use cloth diapers. You can benefit from their experience. What brands do they like? Why?
  • check out the awesome product review section on The Diaper Pin. You will spend hours there!
  • come to a cloth diapering workshop. We offer workshops on the second Saturday of every month in Ottawa and Waterloo. It's a great way to get all the information at once, a benefit of the workshop environment is that other people might ask questions you wouldn't otherwise think of, and you might even make some new friends. OK, so maybe that last point is a stretch, but still, it's possible. I have seen customers exchange phone numbers in the store before!
  • sign up for our loan program. You can rent a good selection of cloth diapers for 10 days for the same amount of money you would spend on disposable diapers for one week. It's popular, there will be a wait (don't say we didn't warn you!). Get a feel for what cloth diapering involves (hello, it's just a load of laundry!), and see what your preference is.
  • buy a few diapers to try out. All of the cloth diapers we sell are good brands, and let's face it, they all do the same thing (they hold pee and poop, it's hardly rocket science!). If a diaper doesn't work out, it's not a big deal, you can always sell what you don't want to keep.

What your decision comes down to is what you feel comfortable using, what fits your baby well, and what keeps your baby comfortable. Still nervous? Need specific advice?

  • you want cheap? Go for prefolds.
  • you want easy? Go for pocket diapers or all-in-one diapers.
  • you want your diapers to last through more than one kid? Go for sized diapers.

You see? It's not that hard. Realistically, most people rely on a stash that incorporates more than one style of diaper. I used mostly prefolds with our newborns, fitted diapers with wool at night, and I send pocket diapers to daycare. You can rest-assured that in the grand scheme of things, the type of cloth diapers you use are going to have a negligible impact on how junior turns out. However, recent studies indicate use of cloth diapers is positiviely correlated with a higher IQ, 97% of Mensa members were cloth diapered as babies. Yeah, I totally made that last part up, I should probably quit while I'm ahead.


  1. Well, since I am old too, in July of 1999 when I picked our "system" there was Absolutely Diapers on Bank. They had MotherEase one-size or Sandy's and you could pick bleached or unbleached. So, I bought three or four dozen (can't totally remember due to being old) bleached one-size. And some covers. Because I liked the idea of 'white' diapers and couldn't afford to buy different sizes and buy enough so we didn't have to wash frequently. We didn't start using them until our daughter was about 6 weeks because they were a little big. (Now I don't care about big butts and just throw them on, big or not.)

    When William came in 2002 I bought prefolds for those first tiny butt weeks and used the SWW covers. Because you told me to. And sold me the prefolds.

    Norah used disposable. Ahem.

    Rachel is using MotherEase thin old thin one-size with prefolds jammed in folded in thirds or Jamtots or AMP bamboo inserts and we have now added some wool covers and the Thirsties one-size wraps. I wouldn't buy any more ME covers now that we have tried the Thirsties. Fab. I am trying wool because Rachel needs more aeration. We have about 10 hand-me-down velcro flannel diapers that fit like crap but catch pee and poo just fine. And I have two AMP one-size (because they were so soft) and one Fuzzi-Bunz (because you said they fit fat legs better) and about 6 Blueberry one-size (because you put them on sale and then BAM I loved them). I bought some pockets because I wanted a more trim going-out, easy to change diaper. (Also because my MotherEase was dying and I thought I needed to replace them, but really I just need to HELP them with inserts.) Blueberry is the one I bought a bunch more of because they fit my chunky monkey and I love the insert which has three layers and stays in place.

    I started cloth because I just couldn't put disposable on my kid's butt when I hated disposable menstrual pads as much as I did. I bought the MotherEase because that was my option. I added in other things - ummm - because you told me to! HA

  2. We tried a few different options, and that's what I always recommend to new parents starting out with cloth. I also advise them to be open to changing what their favourites are as their babe becomes older, bigger, slimmer or a heavier wetter!

    For example, when we started out, we wanted to do prefolds for the first few months, with a few Kissluvs tossed in for good measure and then move gradually to pockets and one-size diapers. When it was time to move to mediums, we loved the Kissaluvs, so we upgraded to size 1, and didn't find them nearly as good and bought a small stash of pockets.

    My husband is a stay-at-home-dad and decided that he really dislikes pockets and all-in-ones. To this day, he is using infant prefolds with a Sugar Peas fleece cover or a Happy Hempy fitted with a wool cover for naps and bedtime on our 18 month old. Our stash of pockets and one-size diapers sits largely unused except on weekends when I'm home!

  3. Another thing to consider: boys and girls may not have the same needs...I cloth diapered my daughter through her whole diaper "career" with Indisposables, Kushies AIO's and covers and some old hand-me-down fitteds with ripped-off labels so I don't even know what kind they were...but those diapers were no match for my super-soaker son! Had to re-stash all over again, and with much more choice available, I tried about a dozen brands...Loved Bum Genius, leaked through Fuzzibunz, still adore Thirsties pockets, liked Monkey Doodlez pockets but the AIO's never dry and got stinky really fast...tried AMP's and Baby Kanga's but neither floated my boat, used prefolds on occasion and found them decent though hard to get on my wiggly baby...discovered Jango Diapers which fit him beautifully with Kushies and Bummis covers. Liked the convenience of Mommy's Touch but the fit was so-so. MotherEase were ok but too bulky once he started to walk. JamTots fitteds didn't work for us, but I do LOVE the Blueberries. Got a couple wool soakers too. So I do recommend trying several and seeing what works for you! :p