It’s been awhile since I posted anything about cloth diapers. I am proud to say that our little boy Ira, who is now 19 months old, is still using cloth diapers exclusively both day and night.
I must say that successful cloth diapering is a hit-or-miss, trial and error process. But, if I could give any word of encouragement to a cloth diapering skeptic, it could be done!
We started with a prefolds + covers system when Ira was a newborn. We’re still using prefolds up to now as these make up the majority of our cloth diaper stash. But along the way we discovered all-in-one diapers (AIOs), and that was our turning point to forgetting about disposable diapers forever.
We swear by Bumgenius Freetime all-in-one diaper. We have at least a dozen of these, and we rely on these AIO diapers when going out or on trips. These diapers are fairly trim and fit well inside onesies or pants. They are easy to wash and quick to dry. The best part is, they hardly ever leak. Ira would normally have a Freetime on for 5 or 6 hours before I could change his diapers, especially when we’re out, yet his clothes stay dry. So if we’ll be out for a day, I only need 1 extra diaper in my bag, and we’re good till we get home.
We have tried other AIO brands, Grovia and Thirsties to name a few, but the Freetime has outperformed them all. They are a bit pricey, especially those limited edition prints that are so adorable, but the Freetimes are THE diapers that had us cloth diapering exclusively, so I would say they’re worth every penny.
Aside from AIOs, I also recommend using fitted diapers. We have a dozen bamboo velour fitted diapers that we use at night, paired with a combination of bamboo cotton and hemp inserts. We use the default bamboo cotton inserts that came with the fitted diapers, and then boost with Thirsties or Geffen Baby hemp+cotton blended inserts.
If I had discovered fitted diapers earlier in our cloth diapering journey, I wouldn’t have purchased large-sized prefolds or too many expensive cloth diaper covers. Prefolds and covers are still your best bets in the newborn stage, mind you. But as your baby grows, sleeps through the night, and becomes a heavier wetter, especially during the cold seasons, you will need more absorbent cloth diapers in your stash. Fitted diapers are great because the entire diaper is made of absorbent material. We use them coverless with bamboo cotton inserts or cotton prefolds during daytime, but we use a waterproof cover over it at night. Since using fitteds at night, we very rarely experienced any leaks, except when baby oversleeps and wakes up much later than usual. Otherwise, for a toddler’s usual 10 to 12 hours of sleep, fitted diapers are our bulletproof overnight diapering solution.
Currently, our cloth diaper stash can last us a week before we need to do the laundry. We used to wash diapers every 5 days but I found that keeping cloth diapers for longer than 3 days without washing caused greater wear and tear due to the ammonia buildup. Our prefolds are now really worn out, although still very absorbent, and the elastics on some of our diaper covers have stretched out. This actually came as a surprise since I initially thought that prefolds are among the most durable types of cloth diapers out there. So now, we wash diapers every 3 days and never longer than that. If I really can’t squeeze in the laundry on the third day, I would at least do a single rinse with baking soda just to get the pee out of the diapers.
Our recommended cloth diaper stash for a 19-month old, 11 kilogram, medium wetter, when using a fitteds+covers+AIO system:
- 12 unbleached cotton prefolds (Osocozy, GMD)
- 12 bamboo velour fitted diapers (unbranded)
- 24 bamboo cotton inserts (unbranded)
- 6 hemp-cotton blend inserts (Thirsties, Geffen Baby)
- 12 diaper covers (Bummis, Bumkins, Flip, Thirsties)
- 12 all-in-one diapers (Bumgenius Freetime)
We do have other diapers in excess of those on this list, as a result of the trial and error process I mentioned earlier. But these are the diapers that we use regularly, and which I am certain will allow any baby to be exclusively cloth diapered on a 3-day laundry interval.