Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The way we cloth....



So, you wanna cloth? And you want to cloth as simply and cheaply as possible? You've come to the right blog, my friend! This is a very basic, very good way to start cloth diapering, especially if you're on a budget. I think the total cost for the basic supplies was less than $125 for months of diapering. And that's a generous amount. Plus, I'll never have to buy diapers for our next baby. This is my photo lesson in PREFOLDED DIAPERS as we do it in our home. There are many, MANY variations that one can come up with but I am posting what has worked the best so far... OK, here we go! Oh, quick warning, my pictures are FAR from being the best. Hopefully you at least get the idea!!

Supplies needed (just for diapering, I will discuss laundering later.)
PREFOLDS:
Here is a prefold

Prefolds are soft, cheap and relatively simple. They range in price from $1 to MAYBE $2.50 a piece. The are so called because although you have to fold them 'onto your baby', you do not have to fold prior to use like old fashioned flat diapers (which is basically a receiving blanket looking peice of cotton fabric used in the 'olden days.' I use these sometimes, too). Right now, I'm using unbleached Indian Cotton from Green Mountain Diapers (link below). We have 12 of these in our rotation plus 10 'fitted diapers' (I'll explain these below). When Jericho was a newborn I had 24. Please don't use Gerber prefolds, though they work better than anything for burp rags, they are nowhere near absorbant enough for pee and poop.

DIAPER FASTENERS:
You can safety pins, snappis or the tri-fold method explained below.


This is a snappi. WAY easier than diaper pins and super cute. I have 2 of these. I LOVE my snappis! It works kind of like the metal holder thing with teeth works on an ace bandage. Brilliant.


DIAPER COVERS
Keeps all the moisture where it's supposed to be. Gone are the days of those white, poofy plastic pants. There are many (MANY!) covers to choose from. Some people use wool, which is my next venture. Some people use cotton. Some people use hemp or fleece. Some people are brave enough to not use a cover. From what I've researched, wool is probably the best but it's more expensive up front. Right now, we use Thirsties and Bummis Super Whisper Wraps because they are cheap and super cute. The Thirsties are my favorite because they have an extra inner gusset. I keep 4 of these per size in my rotation.

The inside of these covers is made of Polyurathane Laminate which can easily be wiped clean but isn't the most breathable. I also love the fact that you don't have to pull these up over the baby's legs. The essentialy "wrap" around them and fasten with velcro. Like a disposable diaper. Some cloth diaper people don't even fasten the prefold. The simply fold it into thirds, lay flat in the cover and velcro.
Notice the shiny surface. Also, the velcro tabs conveniently close in and hook for storing and washing.
Thirsties:



(See? An inner gusset!)

Bummis Super Whisper Wrap:




Now, for the how-to:

Lay the baby on the prefold. I try to line up the back of the prefold with Jericho's belly button(ish):


Fold over the right as shown:

Fold over the right as shown:

Put up through the middle of the baby's legs:

Sort of 'splay out' the fold so it goes across baby's tummy and hold like shown:


Grabbing one corner from behind/underneath the baby at a time, pull TIGHTLY in toward his belly button and downward so that the corners form an angle like below. Remember: pull TIGHT!!


Secure with snappi. While holding the diaper as I am above, I use my other hand to attach the snappi on the baby's right side, pull TIGHT to attach it to his left side and then down. The snappi should for a "Y" shape, not a "T" shape.


As an alternative method, if I have enough length in the diaper I fold down once splaying over the baby's tummy. It's hard to explain but it's sort of like folding a sock. I think it looks cuter and it's fun to do but now that Jericho is filling out it's been hard to do.


Pull the back corners in like above and snappi:


Last step: Put diaper cover on. I didn't get great pics of how to do this and I'm hoping it's pretty self-explanatory. Put the cover under baby, pull the tabs and fasten just like a disposable diaper:

Thirsties cover:


Bummis cover:

And VIOLA! A cloth diapered baby!

FITTED DIAPERS:

During my last prefold purchase, I notice a sale on what are called "fitted diapers". These are just like they sound. No fold necessary. They already "fit" and use velcro to fasten. So, we bought 10 of these, too. They're awesome. Exactly like a disposable only... Cloth! I think I paid $7.50 these on sale. They are "Cloth-Eez" fitteds from Green Mountain Diapers.



Lay the baby on the diaper. Again, I line up the back of the diaper with his belly-button:



Pull the velcro from one side and secure to the front. Repeat on the other side.









Here is a not-so-great picture of what a fitted diaper looks like once fastened. They are actually really cute. Next you put the diaper cover on and you're good to go!
As I said before, this is only ONE way to cloth. It is certainly one of the cheapest ways and easy, although not the EASIEST way to cloth. Later on I will discuss All in One and Pocket Diapers which are kind of like having a prefold, fastener and cover all in one diaper super easy and slightly expensive diaper. Happy diapering!!
My favorite Cloth Diapering websites:
www.diaperswappers.com <--- I LOVE the forum on Diaper Swappers
www.greenmountaindiapers.com <--- LOTS of pics of pretty much every diaper out there, from newborn to toddler. Makes my tutorial look awful :-)

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