Melissa recently asked me how cloth diapering was going and I laughed. I laughed because it is not really going at all but I am trying to do something about it.
In short, I don’t really like the system I went with and am trying to build up a stash of other types of cloth diapers and we are using disposables in the meantime.
At first, I wanted to use up the disposables we got from the hospital. Then I wanted to use up the ones we were given by Cousin Riley. And then… I tried to get the prefolds + PUL covers to work on my baby and it just never seemed to go how I envisioned and we’ve been using disposables this whole time.
Either I could fit all of the prefold into the cover but have it fit Wesley like he was wearing 215 pairs of underwear, OR I could spread out the prefold but not have it and the cover fit over his fat belly. It was a lose-lose situation and I am more than willing to admit it was probably user error, but it still sucked.
The times I did try to keep him in that ensemble, he completely wet through the absolute entire diaper in a little under two hours and once, I failed to realize a half-inch of prefold was poking out of the cover in the back and it wicked all the pee up and out onto his onesie. Ugh. I know you’re supposed to change cloth diapered babies more often, but… two hours didn’t seem that long to me.
That said, I LOVE the prefolds and use them multiple times daily, I just don’t use them for diapering. I use them for burp rags, padding for the dresser we use as a changing table, nursing cleanup and a zillion other things.
Desperate to not feel so stupid about picking a diapering system based entirely on cost and not ease of use or pretty much anything else, I asked my favorite cloth diaper guru Jessica what to do. I was told about a website called DiaperSwappers and oh my goodness! It was perfect!
You can find gently used (and sometimes brand new) diapers for sale and it’s super easy to find what you need and I’ve already received two cute little diapers in the mail and am waiting on a shipment of one more. AND, I can offload the PUL covers I don’t want to someone who does! (The only downside I can see is that with certain brands, purchasing from “unauthorized retailers” (i.e. buying used) means you are not eligible to take them up on their warranty agreement if the velcro wears out or something. However, I am reasonably good at sewing and would feel comfortable replacing velcro/elastic if need be so this is not really an issue for me.)
My plan is to stock up on BumGenius diapers, either AIOs or pockets, and to slowly build up a nice stash so we can quit spending a ton of money on things for Wesley to soil and throw away. Plus, OMG TEH CUTENESS:
I’m trying out BumGenius because they are one of the “larger” names in modern cloth diapering (other large brands are FuzziBunz, Happy Heineys, and perhaps Thirsties as well) and the fit seems to work for my baby. Other people have better luck with other brands; what works for you will depend on what you want to spend as well as your baby’s shape (short and round? tall and thin?) and your ease-of-use preference.
Wesley is pretty round, so I don’t think something like Happy Heineys would work as well for him because the flaps are pretty thick in the front. Skinnier babies might not have this issue. Many people like HH because of the various prints and color choices available; I don’t really mind if my diapers are mostly a few colors. In terms of snaps versus hook-and-loop (Velcro or Aplix) closures, I just liked the velcro. Lots of people pick FuzziBuns because they have snap closures, which might be better for an active toddler. Hook-and-loop is a tiny bit more adjustable, whereas with snaps you are limited to adjusting it where the snaps are placed.
Also, for naptimes, heavy wetters, or overnights, you can generally increase absorbency by using extra inserts in the diapers. There are many, many different insert styles and fabrics to choose from – cotton, hemp, microfiber, you name it! You can experiment with different kinds and find what works for your baby.
So! All that to say, we are using disposables right now but I am in love with the DiaperSwappers website for stash building on the cheap, and I’m kind of sad I didn’t know about it beforehand!