Sunday, May 1, 2016

Pros & Cons of the Varieties of Cloth Diapers

When you begin looking into cloth, one of the first things you're likely to discover is that there are a LOT of options available. Pockets, all in ones, all in twos...what do they all mean and which is best? Today, I will share what each type is and the pros and cons of each.

Pocket Diapers

Pockets are perhaps one of the more common types of cloth diapers and for good reason. Pocket diapers feature an opening in the diaper in which you 'stuff' your absorbent material. Inserts can be made from microfiber, hemp, bamboo or a combination, though microfiber is most common.

The Pros
  • They are fairly budget friendly- with so many brand options, they can really fit into any budget. 
  • You can adjust the absorbency to your liking. Because the inserts can be removed, you can switch them out for materials that work better for you, or even double stuff for added absorbency. 
  • They are easy to use. If stuffed before diaper changes, it goes on just like an all in extra work while dealing with a wiggly baby.
The Cons
  • The require a little more work at wash time. In most pockets, soiled inserts must be removed before washing. After they are dry, you must then stuff them. This is not an overly difficult or time consuming task, but does take a little more effort than other options.
  • Personally, I have found pockets are not great for nighttime. This however does vary by child, so many use them all the time with no problems.

All-In-One Diapers

An all-in-one is just as it sounds- the absorbency layers and waterproof outer are all attached. No stuffing requiring!

The Pros
  • They are probably the absolute easiest cloth diapers to use. (Very dad/grandparent friendly). Because everything is already attached, there is nothing to prepare. They are always ready to go. 
  • For that reason, they make for an easier transition for those who might be on the fence about cloth diapering.
  • In my experience, they tend to be quite absorbent, and work well.
The Cons
  • You have less control over the absorbency/materials used.
  • Typically, all in ones do take longer to dry. 
  • They cost more. You're definitely paying for the convenience of less work, but for those on a tighter budget, they may not be the best option. (Though they DO still cost less in the long run than disposables.)
  • Depending on brand, some all in ones do seem to be more bulky, in my opinion.

All In Two Diapers/Covers & Inserts

 All in twos are system in which you can reuse the cover throughout the day and change only the soiled insert. 

The Pros
  • VERY budget friendly. Because you can reuse the covers, you typically will need less covers and more inserts, which are generally cheaper. You can also use cover with prefolds for an even cheaper option.
  • No unstuffing at laundry time. 
  • Covers dry super fast. If you're like me and on occasion procrastinate a bit too much on the laundry, this is a definite plus!
  • They take up less room. This makes them great for the diaper bag as well. Rather than several full diapers, you simply need an extra insert or two, and maybe an extra cover just in case.

The Cons
  • They require a bit more work at diaper changing time. I typically have an insert ready in the cover to start, which makes it a bit easier, but changing it does require a bit more effort at the time... which can be a bit of a hassle with a wiggly baby!!
  • Some have issues with inserts sliding and/or revealed PUL touching baby's skin. Personally, these are not issues we have personally experienced, but they do exist for some.
  • If you have a breastfed baby that poos often, you may find you have to change the cover more often. They'll contain the mess...but the cover tends to end up soiled. For my daughter, we don't have any issues with this- she tends to only have one poo diaper a day- if not less frequently. My son on the other hand had one after each feeding for a LONG time. I'm not sure this type of system would have worked so well for him.

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