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Cloth diapers I can sew myself?


Mergath
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I have made 100s of cloth diapers - mostly Pocket Diapers which are my favorite. They clean well, easy to make and you can customize the absorbency. I ran a business for a while - not that we used that many personally. Lol.

 

I Cloth diapered 3 kids (still going). Even having made so many diapers, for my youngest child I bought diapers because it was cheaper than my time to make more. I got Alvababy pocket diapers, you can find them on Amazon. I paid a few dollars per diaper (check for lowest price on camelcamelcamel). And I have a few used diapers from friends too. But those are the majority of my stash.

 

I have about 25 diapers. They're one size and I've used them from 2 months until now at 17 months. Before that, I used infant prefolds and newborn covers until baby is big enough to fit into the one-size diapers. For people doing full time cloth diapers from birth, I suggest 3 dozen infant prefolds and 4-5 covers. Otherwise, if you do a mix of disposables, 2 dozen prefolds is fine. I also have a dozen toddler prefolds that we use for nighttime diapers (past newborn stage) with a cover and a microfiber insert too. I have 3 covers for nighttime as as backups when all the diapers are dirty. Bonus about those prefolds from the beginning - you can stuff them in the pocket diapers. :)

 

I sometimes feel sad I didn't make anymore diapers for my youngest, I even have all the supplies still, but maybe the hundreds I made were enough.

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I don't think it was meant as an insult - just that you are likely to get 20 different answers from 20 moms. And like homeschooling, it's very easy to get overwhelmed by all the information, choices and opinions.

 

Ahh. I thought she meant it like, "You should know better than to ask such a silly question." :P I'm having a hormonal day.

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That's the plan! That's good to know. Dh is cringing at the idea of scraping poop out of cloth diapers.

 

Yep, definitely don't need to worry about it while baby is exclusively breastfed. And later you can put flushable liners in if you want (I bought some but almost never used them - a peri bottle was just as easy for spraying diapers clean).

 

And seriously, you can do diapers really inexpensively. I think 6 dz prefolds got us through to potty training. Cute diaper covers can be pricey, but you can also get plain old utilitarian Proraps or something similar for very little money. And places sell seconds and/or have clearances too.

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We bought used but well cared for cloth diapers for our grandson, and then I sewed new inserts which are easy, and we made cloth wipes. DD has a good laundry regimen. The cloth wipes are really nice. I purchased flannel from JoAnn's at one of their $2.79 a yard sales. I think I bought three yards, cut hem into 7" x 7" squares. She has them in a nice container of all natural, baby skin friendly wipe solution. Since she had wanted to use organic wipe if she were to purchase, I am sure this has saved a LOT of money, and as for environment for organic fully biodegradable wipes, apart from the plastic containers, I am not certain if it is better. There is something to consider in the amount of water consumption for washing as well as the amount of laundry detergent that goes into the water supply, even "all natural" can be bad for the environment. So its hard to say how it plays out scientifically.

 

 

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A super-inexpensive option is using old cotton t-shirts inside waterproof covers like this:  http://theecofriendlyfamily.com/2011/04/need-diapers-emergency-or-no-cash-no/

 

Cloth diapering gives you basically an extra 3 loads of laundry per week. The cost varies by location, but you could price it out with a calculator like this: http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/laundry.html  For me, it works out to about $0.40 per load in the summer (line-drying) and $1.50 per load in the winter (electric dryer).  

 

I use little prefolds with waterproof covers for newborns, but after about 2-3 months we prefer one-size pocket diapers (like BumGenius) for convenience.  If you look for sales, they're often available for about $12 per diaper, and the ones with snaps will last until potty training.

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Some of my favorite cloth diapers were a very basic fitted made out of a prefold that closed with a snappy. I had a friend who helped me make them and I really liked them because they were really easy on and off and very absorbent. They are probably one of the easier to sew and affordable since they are made from prefolds. I actually saved them for the end of the stash because I really liked them.

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Yep, definitely don't need to worry about it while baby is exclusively breastfed. And later you can put flushable liners in if you want (I bought some but almost never used them - a peri bottle was just as easy for spraying diapers clean).

 

And seriously, you can do diapers really inexpensively. I think 6 dz prefolds got us through to potty training. Cute diaper covers can be pricey, but you can also get plain old utilitarian Proraps or something similar for very little money. And places sell seconds and/or have clearances too.

Same here. I started out trying some different fancier covers but ended up going to Proraps the more kids I had (and the less I cared about what they looked like) they did the job. I got some of mine used at a store in the city. I only ever used 2 szs of pre-folds and 3 of covers, my kids pt early though. I just threw ebf'd baby diapers in the pail- dry- and straight to the washer, I didn't dump any until they got to eating solids, by the tme they really started getting nasty they were pt'd  :) Of course they don't poop as often when they are older so that helps. I generally didn't care about stains, I mean they are supposed to catch poop. However, I threw them in the sun every now and again and that took care of most of it.

Edited by soror
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I'm not sure if this is supposed to be an insult or not.

 

 

 

Totally not meant as insult.  Totally.   I just meant that there is a good analogy between diaper types and say math curriculum.   Every diaper setup has its fans.  But, a lot depends on you and your kid.  As a newbie to this, it would be easy to get totally confused by contradictory recommendations.    

 

For example, my while-pregnant research uncovered the concept of a baby being a "Super-Soaker."   I thought of my husband and I was pretty sure DD would be one.  But nope, she had no need for the extra inserts I made.   I still use those as mama pads.   

 

On the other hand, DD was a baby who hated being wet so much that she cried BEFORE she did anything in her diaper.   When I figured that out, DD spent most of the time in a prefold attached with a Snappi and no cover.  She'd signal she was going to do something, and I'd whisk her to the potty.   For being in public she had covers.  

 

But, if you don't have a super-soaker or a baby that HATES being wet, then some third method will probably be best.  

 

Those Snappi's are great, by the way.  They are these plastic things that hold the diaper on the same way bandage clips hold a bandage together, with tiny claws on the outside.  They made the prefold diaper easy to put on and take off,  It didn't make me nervous the way pins would have.   Also, the same diaper can be held on with the same tension through the babies growth.  

 

You can also get these disposable liners for the diapers to catch poop.   They look a lot like dryer sheets.   You put the liner in and when there is poop, you throw away the liner.  I never thought that they were worth the bother, but some people like them.   They are theoretically disposable the way tampons are disposable.  

 

Which reminds me, I always thought that cloth diapers were more sanitary than disposables.  With a disposable, there is poop sitting around in your house somewhere until you take it to the trash.  With cloth, you dunk the diaper in the toilet and flush while holding onto an edge.  Poop goes down the toilet just like it does for the adults.   

 

A very helpful addition to cloth diapering is ammonia remover from the fish aisle at a pet store.  It is a super mild chemical that breaks down ammonia into other things.  If you spray it on the pee part of the diaper, any pee that turns into ammonia is then turned into something else.  The diapers never stink and whatever the other stuff is, is easy to wash away.  

 

For poop, we kept a spray bottle of enzyme stuff.   

 

One advantage we found to cloth diapering that I never read mentioned.   I think it made a happier baby.  You know how a baby can just get into crying and even though you are pretty sure you fixed whatever the problem was, the baby is still crying?   When that happened I would take her to the diaper table and change out her completely dry diaper.  usually I'd just set aside to be the next one.  The overt act of DOING something would make her stop crying to do an internal check.   I could see her little brain saying, 'Am I happy now?  Yes.'   Then she'd smile.   I am far too cheap to do that with disposables.  

 

The pediatrician used to show off DD's un-red baby butt to visiting doctors.  He'd say "This is what a babies bottom is supposed to look like".   Disposables seem to make a very humid environment.  

Edited by shawthorne44
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Back in the early 2000s I tried this. After making some all-in-ones (with and without covers) and some covers I decided it was far easier (and cheaper) to make some newborn-sized prefolds from flannel and I got lucky and found some used one-size diapers for larger sizes.

 

At the time Bummi and Prowrap sold seconds at a reduced rate (visual imperfection, not use imperfection). I learned this on a Yahoo Group which traded and sold cloth diapers and covers. I got 3 covers per size and that covered everything. 

 

Hands down, prefolds and a cover are the cheapest. You can spend a lot of money and time otherwise. You can buy or make a few others for nights or time out of the house or the cuteness factor...but prefolds and covers are the most cost effective. 

 

Pro tip: you can buy a yard of microfleece and cut it to fit the business section of the diaper. It keeps wetness away from the babies bottom and it's easy to flip the poop off it into the toilet (no diaper staining). 

 

I also used a spray bottle with warm water and a pack of Walmart washcloths instead of wipes. The same washcloth can be folded in half or thirds and bam! it's a soaker for overnight or naps. 

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Agh, my long reply disappeared.

 

If you want to be really cheap, even cheaper than you can sew them, do this:

  • Cheap diaper covers from Albababy.com or Kawaii Baby.  They cost $3.80-$5 each.  You need probably 6 per child, because you only change the covers when they get poopy.  If you have a heavy pooper you might need more.
  • Old fashioned diapers to fill the shells with.  The best option for the money is probably flour sack towels, which you can get 5 for $5 at Target or Walmart, or a larger package of slightly higher quality for more than $1/towel.  Another option is to use old receiving blankets or old flannel sheets cut into diaper size rectangles. You don't need to mess with fancy folding, pins, or snappis.  You basically just fold these into rectangles that are sized to fit the diaper, and stuff them in the pockets. Most babies use one during the day and two at night.  This is called pad folding if you want to look for videos on YouTube.  Flats are the sorts of diapers that have been used for years. They're easy to wash, they don't collect smells, they dry quickly even if you line dry them.
  • You also need some cheap fleece strips to use as liners.  It could be polar fleece or other cheap fleece from a fabric store or an old blanket or fleece jacket you cut up.  It needs to not be the expensive water resistant kind.  If you have an old fleece jacket with a hole and you want to test it, try laying it out flat and pouring warm water on it.  If the water wicks right in, it will work. For some reason cold water pools on all fleece, so it's important to use warm to test it.  You want the fleece to protect the diaper from poop and to wick the moisture away from the surface and into the absorbent diaper.   It's much easier to get poop off of fleece, and it prevents diaper rash because it doesn't feel wet until it's saturated.  It also protects diapers from being stained by diaper rash cream.
  • You might also want something more absorbent for overnights called a soaker.  A cheap option is those microfiber towels they sell near car wash supplies in Target or Walmart.  It's VERY important to NEVER let this microfiber touch baby's bare bottom as it is extremely drying.  You can wrap it inside another diaper so it can't touch skin directly, or you can sew it inside something else to make a soaker.  You can also buy soakers from diaper suppliers.

 

I'm certain I learned about this on YouTube.  Let me try and find some videos.  In the mean time, if you absolutely want to sew, pocket diapers are sort of a hybrid between a cover with a pad fold and an all in one.  All in ones are expensive, easy for dads and daycare providers, but difficult to get clean because all the layers of fabric are sewn together.  They tend to collect smells over time, and you can't really adjust the absorbancy the way you can with pocket diapers. This is the best tutorial I've found: 

 

 

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Keep in mind that this is a quick way to build a stash.  If you also want cuter covers, diapers, and adorable prints you can always buy a cute diaper or two a month after you have the bare minimum.

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My favourite pattern has been discontinued. I used it recently to make pocket diapers for a family member but I'm out of date as to what is our there at the moment.I think they are are easy to make but I don't think it's always cheaper to make your own. I used an overlocker(serger) a lot for anything with towelling too. A Teflon foot is useful for sewing PUL. The little extras add up. It's worth just sorting out some first size for your newborn and seeing what you like.

 

We also used washable wipes. Just rectangles of fleece then wash with diapers. That saved some serious cash. Wipes are expensive. I think I bought about 4 packs of wipes in total when my kids were babies.

 

Second hand can be worth it to try out styles.

Edited by lailasmum
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I think the biggest thing about diapers is that they have to fit your kiddo. Prefolds/covers eliminate that variable because you fold and snappi them on to get a secure fit. 

 

I don't remember seeing this mentioned, but some covers work with a snappi and prefold, but some covers won't work with a snappi--you place the prefold inside. This is not a big deal in terms of cost, but it makes a difference in fit. If you have overly chubby or skinny babies, it can be slightly trickier to find a cover that works with a prefold but no snappi (but there are way more options now than when I was cloth diapering). Now they have covers that grow with baby, adjust for rise, leg holes, waste size, etc. I would buy a couple of brands of those used and see how you like them, which ones work best for you, etc. You can also see if you prefer a snappi or the kind that you place the prefold into. I liked both kinds and had an assortment.

 

Oh, my skinny babies required tabs that could velcro over the top of each other--snaps wouldn't have been able to be snapped tight enough. One child was very long and muscular, and the other was failure to thrive, so seriously skinny (we now know it's due to a genetic disorder--he did all right for all the worrying). One child had a long rise, and one child had a short rise. 

 

Going with prefolds and covers gives you the option of buying more of each so that you don't have to wash nearly as often (another environmental perk). 

 

I did like sewing (and upcycling) for a couple of things--wipes. Any flannel receiving blankets that I didn't like because they weren't quite the right size became wipes. I picked up some extras at yard sales too. I zig-zagged the edges assembly-line style, and then I pinked the edges. No hemming required. They get tossed into the wash with the diapers. Regular wipes were a pain because I had to find a place to toss poopy wipes--can't flush them, and they don't warrant their own diaper pail by volume. You can wash them and then toss them, but then you have to fish them out for the drying cycle so that you don't have a fire hazard in the dryer.

 

I liked thin wipes, DH liked thick wipes, so we had some of each depending on the flannel type. Some people cut up old t-shirts for wipes as well.

 

I also sewed or made doublers from old towels (wrapped in a layer of flannel from old sheets), and I made fleece liners from old (but soft and nice) fleece from thrift store fleece jackets. Those you don't even have to sew, you just cut them out.

 

I learned to knit when my younger one was a baby, and I made two or three wool soakers. I LOVED them, and I would've made more if I knit fast enough. Wool soakers cover over a multitude of fit problems without being so size specific that you can't use them for very long. As mentioned before, you can make these from old sweaters, knit them, or buy them.

 

Once they came out with fancy diapers that adjusted to grow with baby, we bought some for outings, babysitters/nursery/grandparents, and plain old convenience. We liked BumGenius pocket diapers for that. I am not sure what products they currently offer. Once in a great while, BumGenius would run a seconds sale, and we got most of our fancy diapers from those sales.

 

My SIL used the semi-fancy BumGenius diapers exclusively (some purchased, some given to her, some seconds), and she had to pay for her washing time (shared apartment washers), and she still saved money.

 

We saved TONS of money using a variety, but we did start out getting cloth diaper products from our baby registry so that helped. I bought a few used.

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I forgot about the wipes.   Those are super easy to sew.   Not even required to sew, but I'd felt like it.   What I did was take an old terrycloth towel and a t-shirt of my husbands that need to die.  Sandwiched the towel inside the shirt so that the towel was sandwiched.  Then sewed double rows of stitches to make squarish shapes.   Then I cut between the double-rows.  Diaper table had a stack of those and a little bowl of water.  The wipes you buy have chemicals on them, and I didn't want want that on my babies skin.  

As far as detergent goes, there is a website out there with a list of detergents and they are rated based on how well they work on diapers and which ones have stuff that you don't want on your diapers.  For example perfumes.   Enzymes can cause problems because if they aren't washed out then they go to town on the dirty diaper on your baby.  I'd printed that and took it to Walmart and I found a match.   It had been been only middling rated because perfumes were unknown.   But, my nose could tell me no perfumes.   I think it was Tide Free and Clear, but I could be wrong.   

One thing on the prefolds.  I've heard people say that the prefolds aren't absorbent enough.  I've also heard that they get more absorbent as they are washed.   The ones with smooth finish aren't as good as the raggedy finish ones.  I never had a problem and that might be because I'd started with them from the beginning.  

One other idea for storing your stash.   I took a cheap 1" wide satin ribbon and hung a couple of strips near the diaper table.  Then I bought Cubicle clips and attached them to the ribbon at intervals.  The pretty covers and show-off diapers get hung from the clips.   This way you easily find the one that best matches the outfit.   We still use the ribbons for hats, although sadly DD has decided that she no longer likes hats (cries softly)

Funny story.   I'd made some diapers, including a white one for the baptism.   We'd used it ahead of time.   I'd gone with velcro because I didn't have a gizmo for attaching snaps.  Velcro gets filled with lint, and then doesn't work.  At one point in the baptism ceremony everyone with babies was supposed to hold up the baby.  The diaper just fell right off!    No one but her parents noticed.  She was baptized while commando.   Nothing bad happened (whoo)      
 

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Wipes...I always used those thin little baby washcloths. I preferred them to the various made-for-cloth-diapering wipes I tried. They're super cheap, and held up well.

 

Agreed. I bought a bunch of cloth wipes last kid and never liked them as much as the cheap baby washcloths. The flannel ones I bought stayed too wet, and didn't rub off poop as well as the cheap washcloths. 

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Don't bother sewing if your goal is to save money.  You won't.  If you love to sew and want to make cute stuff, that's another story.

 

We used a mixture of types:

 

I liked flats and prefolds, pinned, under a wool or PUL cover.  (making your own wool covers from recycled thrift store sweaters or knitting will actually save you quite a bit of money)

 

Hubby liked fitted: specifically Motherease Sandy's, with a PUL snap on cover.  These were easy to use, absolutely bomb-proof and fit forever.

 

We also had a few velcro pockets for other caregivers to use (grandparents etc) because they go on exactly like a disposable does.

 

If you have an IKEA near you, check these out.  They are actually very nice gauze flats, masquerading as burp cloths.

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We bought gently used diapers and sold or handed them on once each kid potty trained.  I sold all of our older son's diapers and it was enough to pay for much of the furniture and the curtains in his "big kid" room.  With my younger son, I bought a set of very inexpensive used diapers (about $75 for everything in all sizes) and I think I sold a few but most of them we gave to one of my husband's coworkers when she had a baby.  

 

The only time I ever spent $30 on a diaper was when I bought 2 very trendy diapers in sentimental patterns (carebears and rainbows) for my CD aficionado little brother as a gift when his second child was born.   :lol:  

 

There is a website where you can buy used cloth diapers.  diaperswappers.com  I see them on craigslist and FB marketplace too from time to time.  Just keep your eyes open.  Way cheaper than buying new or sewing.  Fabric isn't cheaper than finished product is these days.   

 

 

Edited by LucyStoner
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Also, for those of you who used cloth diapers, did you find that, when all was said and done, you actually saved any money? Was it worth the time and effort? I hate the idea of all those disposable diapers going into the landfill, but I don't know how that balances out against all the extra loads of laundry from an environmental standpoint.

 

We saved a ton of money and it was usually about 2 loads of laundry a week (we had a lot of diapers and ran full loads).  I haven't done the math in years (my younger son is 8) but you can bet when I did it the geeky accountant in me factored in the cost of running each load of laundry, the detergent and such and even BEFORE any resale proceeds were factored in we were way ahead.  

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I am anther that used Green Mountain prefolds. They are awesome. DH can use them fine. I have had to buy some new PUL covers (and I have knit a big stash of wool covers and pants) but I am about to use my diapers on my 5th baby now. Diapers are as good as new. The last two babies I did cloth until they started solid food and things got gross, first two I did cloth all the way. They cost about $2/piece when I bought them so that is a pretty definite money saver.

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We did best with prefolds (they are just a flat diaper) and a diaper cover. I was not a fan of fitted diapers, or pocket diapers, or any all-in-one diapers at all. We tried them all and went back to plain old prefolds with a diaper cover. At night we used Aristocrats or similar wool covers. The only time we ever had a leak or a blowout was when we decided to travel with disposables since we wouldn't have access to a washing machine. Yuck. 

 

I would buy a couple dozen good infant prefolds, a couple snappis (so you don't have to bother with diaper pins) and some inexpensive covers and be done.  You can even buy them used to save money.

 

I did this, but without the Snappis.  I just used diaper covers with velcro or snaps on the front and that was enough to hold the prefolds in place.  For specifics - I used cotton prefolds from India or China, with Bummis Super Whisper Wraps.  

 

http://www.bummis.com/us/en/super-whisper-wrap.php

 

I put on the prefolds in a bikini twist.   I laid the cover and diaper down, laid the baby down on top of them, did the twist, pulled the diaper over the front, and fastened the cover over it.  

 

http://www.babycottonbottoms.com/cloth_diaper_folding.htm

 

Cloth saved us a lot of money.  And prefolds are simple to wash and dry.  I washed the covers with the diapers, but hung the covers to dry.  

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I used mostly prefolds with covers (and snappis) and, when they got bigger, pocket diapers with prefolds and/or microfiber terrycloth (like are sold in automotive section at Costco) as the stuffing layers.

 

If you really want to sew, buy prefolds and make your own pockets with lightweight fleece and PUL.

 

Pockets go on baby as easy as disposables, except snaps are more reliable than velcro once baby reaches grabbing age.

Edited by Ravin
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I cloth-diapered dd and did a combo of cloth and disposable for ds (he was so tiny for so long that the cloth covers I had didn't protect from leaks; dd was a big newborn). We used the simple prefolds and velcro covers...never got fancy; also used terry cloth wipes. I sold the diapers and covers at a consignment shop and they were so eager to get them they called to see if I had more to sell.

 

We kept the terry wipes and are still using them to clean our school white board. They clean up so easily they look only lightly used after 17 yrs!

 

 

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One other advantage for us was that the cloth diaper didn't push the legs apart like disposables.  Cloth diapers can too, but we used the butterfly fold.   Basically you lay the baby on the diaper, pick up the part hanging between the legs and swap what is in your left/right hands.  Then attach.  

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I saw this again this morning. 

Just to show how much CDing is like HSing (in that if you ask 20 people, you will get 20 different opinions) I will be the dissenter. We hate Snappis. What a waste of time. We trifold the prefold, lay it in the cover, close it, and go. Now, this does mean we need more covers in our stash during the newborn days, as poop does get on them. 

But our favorite NB covers are Prowraps, which are cheap and functional. I'd rather buy a few extra covers and wash a few extra covers (it's not like those extra covers need their own load) than deal with Snappis. 

Also, green mountain prefolds used to be our favorites. But for all the love they get, I've discovered some other brands that we vastly prefer that are cheaper.

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I saw this again this morning. 

 

Just to show how much CDing is like HSing (in that if you ask 20 people, you will get 20 different opinions) I will be the dissenter. We hate Snappis. What a waste of time. We trifold the prefold, lay it in the cover, close it, and go. Now, this does mean we need more covers in our stash during the newborn days, as poop does get on them. 

 

But our favorite NB covers are Prowraps, which are cheap and functional. I'd rather buy a few extra covers and wash a few extra covers (it's not like those extra covers need their own load) than deal with Snappis. 

 

Also, green mountain prefolds used to be our favorites. But for all the love they get, I've discovered some other brands that we vastly prefer that are cheaper.

 

Oooh, I never heard of prowraps before!  What are the brands other than green mountain that you prefer?

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Oooh, I never heard of prowraps before!  What are the brands other than green mountain that you prefer?

 

Proraps are old school...that's what I used on my now almost 18 year old!! They fit skinny babies REALLY well and used to have seconds sales all the time. My next kid was super chunky and they didn't fit her well, Thirsties worked better on her. I also love bummis pull on covers, but only on a fitted diaper or VERY well pinned/snappied one. With the velcro style covers I can be lazy and not use a pin/snappi.

 

Oh, and they used to make a buckle version of the cover, for toddlers that were good at getting diapers off..not sure they still do. 

 

https://www.jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/diapercovers/prorapclassiccovers

Edited by ktgrok
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Oooh, I never heard of prowraps before!  What are the brands other than green mountain that you prefer?

Proraps are great. Cheap, umbilical cord cutout for the NB size, and double gussets. 

 

I love Sweet Pea Diapers more than GMDs. The one size covers are amazing. Dandelion Diapers PFs are also good (I'd say they are a smidge better than GMDs).

 

 

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Prowraps were my favorite covers. In the end with DS, as soon as I could manage it I went to pocket diapers, though--of which Fuzzi Bunz are the best. I managed to have enough pockets to use for DS at child care, or when DH or GF had him, while I'd use the prefolds and covers when I was with him.

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One other advantage for us was that the cloth diaper didn't push the legs apart like disposables. Cloth diapers can too, but we used the butterfly fold. Basically you lay the baby on the diaper, pick up the part hanging between the legs and swap what is in your left/right hands. Then attach.

Actually, having the legs pushed apart by the cloth diaper is one of the advantages. It is the proper position for hip development.

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Keep in mind that this is a quick way to build a stash.  If you also want cuter covers, diapers, and adorable prints you can always buy a cute diaper or two a month after you have the bare minimum.

  

 

I used cloth on all 3 of my babies.  With dd I used all-in-ones (Kooshies) as I wanted easy to use to make sure I didn't give up.  Where we lived then disposables were over $1 each & rubbish was a huge problem.  As we had washers & driers supplied & our electricity paid by dh's company washing was no added expense for us.  

 

When ds#1 was born we moved to Fiji & I had 2 in diapers as dd was almost 2yo at the time.  We had twin concrete laundry tubs & a wash board to begin with for doing laundry & line drying only.  Dh did get me a twin tub washing machine after a month there, which was a huge help, but think semi-automatic vs automatic washing machine.  As my all-in-ones took way too much time to dry in the humid tropical weather I ended up buying a dozen local chinese cotton flat nappies & 2 dozen bigger flannelette nappies to use.  I learned very fast which folds worked best.  I liked the origami fold best & neither child had problems with rashes, leaks, etc. The flat nappies washed & dried much quicker & could be folded to fit each child as needed.  When ds#1 outgrew the smaller nappies we used those for double diapering at night.  If we were going out I would put on a cover, but if we were just around the house I often did not as this helped the area to "breathe" & helped to prevent rashes IMHO.  

 

We were back in NZ when ds#2 was born & had a real washing machine :-) We had a drier, but with the high cost of power here, I line dry most of the laundry.  I ordered some diapers to use for ds#2 that were rectangles made up of 2 layers of cloth (1 terry cloth & 1 flannelette)  These were simply folded into pad to be placed onto wraps & used as you would an all-in-one diaper, but much cheaper & easier to wash & dry.  

 

I used cloth wipes for all 3dc & bought cloth "pull-ups" (Kooshie brand) to use for bedwetting after they were potty trained.  For our family we used cloth for a combination of reasons.  Economically we couldn't afford to buy disposables when we lived in 3rd world nations.  Ecologically neither dh nor I wanted to add to the number of disposable diapers we saw floating in the ocean around our island home.  Health-wise cloth was better for at least 2 of my dc as they broke out in rashes when I used disposables, even the most expensive Huggies brand.  We also had MUCH less leaks & blow-outs with cloth than disposables.  Even overnight cloth was more effective for us than disposables.  I even traveled with cloth diapers, rather than disposables.

 

I never tried to sew my own & wouldn't really suggest it as a way to save $$ unless you are a very good seamstress who enjoys sewing & sews regularly.  

 

JMHO

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