Cloth Diaper Chronicles II: Our Prefold Adventure Unfolds

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I thought I would hate the prefolds as I mentioned earlier. However, after tri-folding prefolds in a Thirsties wrap (part of my 21 day trial), I realized how easy they were. After researching extensively and feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the options we decided to go with GMD (Green Mountain Diaper) prefolds with covers. Prefolds are usually the cheapest way to cloth diaper. More importantly, I love how clean you can get cotton prefolds and how quickly they dry. The AIOs and pocket diapers took a while to dry, and I could never get the hang of washing them so that they did not smell. GMD prefolds are sized, which is great because sizing ensures a better fit. You may have to buy more, but buying more means that they will wear out less quickly, so it all evens out in the end.

We bought 6 covers and 2 dozen size medium prefolds and 2 single medium wide baby prefolds (just so I could try them). Most people say to start with 3 dozen prefolds, but washing every other day so far, our 26 prefolds have been fine so far (although a few more wouldn’t hurt).

As far as covers go, I wanted to test the waters. So bought two Flip covers, two Blueberry Capri covers, and two Thirstie Pro Wrap Duo covers. At some point, I will review them. I picked blues and light greens, hoping that they would be gender neutral. I couldn’t resist getting the monkey Blueberry Capri cover. For the Thirsties and Capri covers, I got size 2 since Monkey Baby is around 14 pounds now. These should fit until potty training. The Flip covers should fit from 8 lbs. up. Because I hated sorting disposable wipes from diapers, I bought 24 cloth wipes and 2 small spray bottles.

Here are the things I love about our  cloth diapering system so far:

1. No more trash! It was getting pretty gross throwing out so many bags of disposable diapers each week. I still use an occasional disposable at night.

2. The beauty of the white prefolds when they come out of the wash. They are clean and usually stain-free.

3. The simplicity. While more complicated than disposables, it really isn’t all that bad. Monkey Baby usually enjoys his diaper changes as we sing and talk during them. The diapers are easier than I expected to wash, store, pack, and change,

4. Less leaks and blowouts (always a plus). Though you should definitely change cloth diapers more frequently than disposables, there are some times when Monkey Baby has been sleeping and has kept the diaper on for “too long”. So far, no leaks. What happens in the cover stays in the cover. I had tons of leaks in disposables and was getting kind of frustrated. I’ll keep you posted on how this goes with our cloth diapers.

5. The smell. For some reason poopy disposables smell WAY worse. If you are interested, consider reading this post on the Thirsties blog about some of the ingredients in disposable diapers. Gross!

In the spirit of honesty, here are our struggles for those of you who are just considering cloth diapers.

Struggles:

*Our covers kept getting poop on them! Covers can be reused after being rinsed or wiped down when the diaper is just wet (I usually give a cover a break between uses unless we are out, though). However, dirty ones have to be washed. At first, every cover kept getting runny newborn poop on it. Finally, I went to Youtube for some pinning lessons. This changed my life! Using a Snappie to pin the diaper on your baby is really easy and protects those covers. Eventually we should be able to just trifold the diaper in the cover, but so far, I really like the pinning anyway!

*Learning laundry. I enjoy laundry, especially cloth diaper laundry because there is no folding. However, it may take some time to get the right system in place. Washing the prefolds has never been a problem. They always come out super clean thanks to Charlie’s Soap. But learning how to wash the covers so they did not smell took some time. I think it was because we started out using Dreft, a detergent known to leave a residue on covers. Once we got rid of that, the covers have been much better.

*Diaper change. A diaper change takes a bit longer. I mentioned this earlier. However, it isn’t much of a problem for us, and Monkey Baby has learned to be patient. If you want a faster cloth diaper change, you might want to consider AIOs.

*Fluffy butt syndrome. There will be outfits that may not fit a cloth-diapered baby. However, if you go up in pants and onesie sizes (just one size), they usually fit fine and look fine. Your baby’s butt will look fluffier. You will probably think it’s cute. You might not. It’s something to consider, and if you have particular outfits that might be a problem, keep a trimmer fitting cloth diaper or a disposable diaper on hand for those.

In the future I will review our three different cover brands and keep you posted on how it is going for us. I also have some getting started tips coming up.

Read Cloth Diaper Chronicles I.

If you are interested in AIOs, I love Young House Love’s post on their AIOs. They even follow up two years later.

I’ll leave you with a picture of a contented Monkey Baby in a cloth diaper. He usually stops smiling when we get the camera out, which leaves us with this adorable face.

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