Before putting The Goose in cloth diapers I did a lot of research. Here’s a quick summary of what I learned about the different types of cloth diapers:
Prefold Cloth Diapers: Prefolds are squares of absorptive material that fold around the baby’s bum. There are lots of folds, depending on the gender and size of the baby. You use prefolds with a cover. They are one of the least expensive options, they are easy to clean, and they are very easy to use, despite what you may hear.
Fitted Cloth Diapers: These are like little diapers with snaps. They are the absorptive layer, like a prefold, and need to be used with a cover. You need to purchase ones that will fit your baby, although some brands come in sizes and others come as grow-with-the-baby system. These are more expensive than prefold cloth diapers and can sometimes be more difficult to clean (not much though, cloth diapers are all pretty easy to clean). They are felt by some to be easier to use.
All-in-One Cloth Diapers: All in one cloth diapers are like fitted cloth diapers, except you do not need a separate cover. These are the most expensive and some brands are one size fit all, while others require you to purchase different sizes as your baby grows. Those who use them, feel like these are the easiest – it’s the same as a disposable during the diapering part, but it just goes in the washing pail instead of the garbage.
Covers: Prefolds and fitted cloth diapers both need covers, which is the water proof barrier layer. There are plenty of these on the market – you can get ones with velcro or with snaps or ones that just pull on. They have gussets around the legs or do not. They come in every colour imaginable.
I wanted to use Motherease All-in-ones when I started my research. I liked that they were extremely soft, that they had snaps instead of velcro (more difficult for the baby to undo) and that they were pure white. I also felt that they were the best price. However, even though they were the cheaper of the best all-in-one cloth diapers, it was still too expensive for us to buy 3-4 days worth.
So we went with the simplest system – chinese prefolds with covers. I chose organic unbleached prefolds (2 dozen) and 6 SuperBrite covers. Plus, because there was a sale I was able to pick up all of the Motherease All-in-ones that were in stock at $5 a diaper. I got 6 of them. Now that we’ve been using cloth for a couple of months, I can say that I love the prefolds with covers and don’t really like the all-in-ones. Here’s why . . .
I thought I would find prefolds difficult. I don’t, my husband doesn’t, and neither does anyone else who changes her. That said, The Goose is old enough that the simplest newspaper fold works so it’s extra easy.Instead, we find it difficult to get the snap up all-in-ones to fit right – it seems that she’s between sizes on the snaps so it’s either too tight or too lose. With the velcro on the prefold covers it’s a lot easier.
Prefolds are so easy to clean. If there is a really messy diaper, the prefold is easy to clean. They are really soft to the touch, but not fleecy like the all-in-one. Cleaning wet poop off fleece is not a pretty task, but it just falls off the prefold.
Prefolds are so easy to store. As easy to fold as a wash cloth, a stack of prefolds looks nice in the linen closet. I have to keep my all in ones in a little bag or basket, which isn’t a big deal with 6, but with 24-30 it might be.
So, although I do still like my all in ones, I’m glad that they do not make up the bulk of our cloth diapering system and I doubt that I would purchase them in other sizes for any other kids that may come.