I started cloth diapering my first son when he was about 10 months old. I bought some cheap covers and my mom donated all the flats she used on my siblings and me. Mom had received them used so C was the 7th baby to use these flats! There were a few hiccups but I figured out how to make flats work for us and fell in love with cloth diapering.
Then I entered the crazy world of today’s cloth diapers. Styles, brands, colors, fabrics… so many options it can make someone’s head spin! If you’re interested in a simple summary of the different styles, you can find one by clicking here.
Since I’m such a “research junkie,” I made it my mission to learn about cloth diapers and find the best style and brand of cloth diapers. I have reasearched and experimented with fabrics, styles, brands (name brand vs cheapies), closures (snap vs aplix vs pull up), care options, etc. I realize that it’s a matter of opinion, but I believe that I have found the best cloth diapers on the market right now.
My preferred style is fitteds with a cover:
- Extra leak protection: Less chance of leakage if you can’t change baby as soon they need or if you’re in the car and have car seat straps pressing on diapers and such. They are also less prone to poop explosions because there are two layer to go through, instead of one.
- Last longer: You’re not washing the waterproof cover each time. This also allows you to wash your diapers on a hotter setting without having to worry about ruining the waterproof layer because you can simply wash the covers in another load.
- More flexibility: You can have one layer specifically for the absorbency and the cover holds it snugly in place. You can add more absorbency for night time and use a more breathable cover (such as wool) if desired, without having to buy a whole new diaper. (In fact, even moms who prefer other styles during the day turn to fitteds for nighttime use). You even have the option to use just the fitted while at home to catch any accidents while potty training or just to allow baby’s bum a bit more air-time.
My personal favorites, and the ones I recommend to everyone I know, are Thirsties Fab Fitteds with Thirsties Duo Wrap covers. I bought some covers while still folding flats with C and haven’t looked back! I found they fit both of my boys really well, in spite of their completely different body shapes. I have friends that have used them as well and they love them just as much. Friends who have cloth diapered between 4 and 8 children (i.e. they know their stuff).
- Sizes: The two sizes work well from birth to potty training. A lot of moms find that, with one sized diapers, they end up needing to buy either disposables or a newborn size for the first few months and then, depending on their child’s size, bigger diapers for nearing potty training. One-sized diapers fit that middle range. I used size 1 Thirsties on Biscuit and he was less than 7lbs at birth and C just stopped using them at night (with an extra absorbent booster and only one snap done up instead of two) about six months ago, at almost age 5.
- Quality: They will last through several children and, if you no longer need them, they hold their resale value better than some other brands do. They are in the mid-range for price but I have found their quality outlasts many of the other, more expensive, brands. For example, my size one diapers have been through 2 babies (up to about 5 months each) and they still look and feel as good as new. No snap issues or elastic issues or anything. My size 2 diapers look a little more worn because I am pretty hard on my diapers (we had terrible water that discolored them and I machine wash and dry everything) but I still have zero issues with them and they’ll last through another child or two easily. Biscuit has used them for over 2 years now and they are still in excellent condition.
- Service: I have emailed Thirsties with questions and spoke with their customer service department on the phone and they were so helpful and quick with their responses.
- Options: Snaps or aplix? I prefer snaps for my fitteds so I can use them under wool covers with no snagging, plus the snaps are nice a strong so my toddler has difficulty undoing them. I used aplix for the covers because it allows me to adjust to that perfect fit.
- Made in North America: I like knowing that the diapers are made in the USA by (mostly) WAHMs.
Cloth diapers are so simple these days and I have no concerns about having a newborn, full time, in cloth in a few weeks. Even my 5 year old knows how to wash cloth diapers! I won’t even get into how much money these diapers have saved me but you can read my thoughts on how to have a baby on a budget here.
Side note about newborns in cloth:
meconium does NOT permanently stain or wreck the diapers.
A little bit of sunshine gets rid of any stains.
Those flats that I first used had 6 newborns in them and have no staining.
Were you cloth diapered as a child?
Have you ever thought about cloth diapers? Why or why not?
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