Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is it worth it?

When I was looking for newborn cloth diaper choices, I had to ask myself what kind of cloth diaper I wanted to start with.  As I asked for advice, most people kept telling me to just use prefolds and covers because it was the cheapest way to go.  What about the easiest?  Isn't having sleepless nights and a brand new baby hard enough?  I kept hearing from people that they were worried about the cost of using AIO or Pocket newborn sized diapers.  So, is it really worth it?

Little Man at 4 weeks.

I would have to say yes.  The added cost of AIO and Pocket newborn sized diapers is worth long as you get what you need.  The reason it is worth it is because they are so easy to use.  Those middle of the night diaper changes can be done practically in your sleep.  You don't have to worry about folding, tucking, pinning or remembering the cover.  You can get help from others without too much fuss.  Your husband, mother, nurses, or whoever else is around to help won't mind the simple put on and snap (or velcro) shut the step, just like a disposable.  There is no intimidation like with prefolds and covers.

Little Man at 6 weeks.
The diapers that I loved the most from day one were the Gro-Via.  They fit perfectly, didn't leak and had a snap down feature in the front that protected the umbilical cord for the first week.  I just wish that they would have lasted longer!  My second favorites were the Bumcessories and Wizard Uno.  They worked from day one.  They were also the easiest to clean.  The diapers that lasted the longest for us were the Bumcessories, Little Smartis, Wizard Uno and FuzziBunz Perfect Size Small.

The diapers are only used for a short time.  Some go for 8 weeks, others can last 12 weeks.  Some you can't use until 2-4 weeks, some you can start right away.  But, because of this...the diapers are not usually worn out after they are done being used.  So, the reason why I think that AIO and Pocket newborn diapers are worth it is because you can pass them on!  You can sell your diapers for a reasonable price and I'd expect that if they were well cared for, you could get 65-80% of what you paid for them.  Or, if you had a friend or two that are expecting a few months before or after you, you could buy a stash together and split the cost!  You can also find some really great rental programs for newborn cloth diapers.  Some of them have just one type of diaper, others have multiple different brands and styles to use so that you can find the right diaper for you.  The rental programs are great because you use the diapers as long as you need them, then you send them back.  It's a fraction of the cost of having a full stash and you don't have to deal with the leftover diapers when you're done using them.

Now, I'm not saying that prefolds and covers are not a good choice.  You could always have half a stash of prefolds and half of AIOs.  You could also choose to just use prefolds and covers too.  Prefolds and covers are easier to wash for the most part and they are more economical.  They can also be intimidating to use because of the extra steps.  I have to admit that I haven't given prefolds and covers a good try, but I am hoping to get the opportunity to soon.

The other side of the coin is to go with one size diapers.  That is what we did with Little Man.  This is the most economical choice of all.  The biggest downsize is that they are so bulky on a little one.  You have to use a size larger clothing to accommodate all the extra fluff.  Plus, many of them are not easy to use on a baby before 6 weeks.  That is where newborn sized diapers come into bridge the gap.

I'd love to hear about what choice you make!



  1. I really wish you had given prefolds and covers a try before comparing them to other diapering systems, because to be honest, with ANY cloth diaper you need to do a final check around the legs and back before you're really done, and it doesn't take very long to become proficient with a Snappi and a Velcro cover! We HAD to use prefolds and covers with my baby because until about 4 months old, his legs were too skinny for all the newborn pockets/AI2s/AIOs that we tried! And it honestly wasn't any harder to get through those middle of the night diaper changes than it was with disposibles. I know it SEEMS intimidating, but since newborns can't move much, the extra steps involved take perhaps a few seconds more, and anybody really can learn to do it (if they're willing to try). So, are other diapering systems worth it? Sure, maybe for some people. But you'll find a LOT of people who complain that their babies didn't fit into the diapers (which means POOP EVERYWHERE! Down the leg of the sleeper and out into the swaddle sack, which then leaks onto Mom's shirt, and the nursing pillow cover! ACK!) and NOBODY can say that about prefolds and covers ;) 

  2. I'm glad that prefolds worked so well for you.  I know that they work well for a lot of cloth diapering parents.  

    My personal experience with them was with our son when he was a few months old and not a newborn anymore.  I personally didn't like dealing with the mess of wiping out a cover and having a dirty wet diaper to try to get into the wet bag.  It was quite a mess.  I also found that the prefolds bunched on him and were bulky compared to our pockets.  I have seen prefolds and covers leak too.  I did use fitteds and covers with Peanut when she was just born and I came across the same problem of dealing with a wet sticky diaper mess to get into the wet bag and having to wipe out the cover before using it again.  These were all steps that I didn't have to do with AIOs and pockets.  Plus the cover didn't close around her legs that well and leaked too.  That is why I suggested that people give each type of diaper a try, but not to just write off AIOs and pockets because of their price.  Some diaper systems work well for some but not for others.Thank you for sharing.


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