Friday, July 31, 2015

Cloth Diapering Systems Explained

Why are there SO MANY kinds of cloth diapers?!?

So you are thinking about using cloth and started surfing the net - soon you were lost and confused - there are literally hundreds of manufacurers (mostly small home-based businesses, but also a few big companies) all making different kinds of cloth diapers - what gives? What it really boils down to is a matter of personal preference. Not all diapering systems work well on all kiddos or for all families. Different sizes and shapes of child work better with one style or another. Some parents cannot handle pins while others like the flexibility they offer. Some people want a "bullet-proof" system that never leaks while others are more concerned with an easy-to-care-for system that washes and dries quickly with little fuss. So how to even know what you are looking at?

There are many different types of cloth diapers on the market, and most are a far cry from the old-fashioned pins & plastic pants (though those are still available and super cheap!). I offer several different options and what system you use will depend on what you like best. You will probably have noted that there are many "mommy wars" about which system is best, but here is a brief rundown and then some specifics about my diapers:

Here are some basics with pros/cons and common name brands and example photos.

Pocket Diapers: (bum genius, fuzzibunz)

~ Easy to put on
~ can use snaps or velcro
~ can easily be made as a one size
~ tend to last longer than other diaper systems because they are lightweight and generally made of all man-made materials.

~ Removing the "stuffer" after an icky poop! Yuck! Nearly impossible to do without getting dirty (except with my front-stuffing pocket diapers!)
~ restuffing after washing

All-In-Ones: (Kushies)

~ Easy to use
~ most like disposables
      ~ no pieces to lose
      ~ no dissasembly/reassembly required
~ can be bulky, especially as a one-size
~ can take a LONG time to dry because of sewn in layers
~ do not come as clean because of sewn in layers
~ may not last as long because of their weight and the fact that the fabric may not dry all the way through the diaper, leading to mildewing and fabric weakness
~ absorbency is not customized

All-In-Twos: (Gro-Via, SoftBums)

~ Easy to use                          
~ go on like disposables
~ absorbency can often be customized to reduce bulk or hold more as needed
~ because the soaker part comes out it gets cleaner and dries faster than All-In-Ones

~ requires 2 or more pieces to keep track of
~ soakers are sometimes NOT interchangeable with other diaper systems as they may snap in
~ re-assembling after washing

Two-Part Systems (cover and diaper): (prefolds, gerber, bummis)

~ Most versatile system for sizing, absorbency, and multi-purpose use (such as swim diapers)
~ can use prefolds, snappis, pins, velcro, snaps, fitted diapers, contour diapers, or just POC (plain old cloth)
~ covers can often be reused without washing, just changing diaper portion to reduce number of covers needed
~ because these are generally simpler systems they often hold up longer working for multiple children without worn out parts/fabrics/elastics
~ covers can pull-up or wrap on, and be a variety of materials from PUL to wool to fleece, nylon, rubberized plastic, etc.
~ frequently the least expensive system to invest in and maintain

~ two-part system requires keeping track of more parts
~ some people HATE pins or even snappis
~ does require two steps when diapering on squirmy babies (diaper then cover)

What About MamaBear BabyWear's Systems?

I primarily offer Two-Part Systems, All-In-Twos, and Pocket Diapers. Why? Firstly is the value to you. These systems offer the most durability, interchangeability, adaptability, and sizeability.  I want you to be able to purchase ONE system and use it for your WHOLE cloth diaper adventure. I want to make you diapers that will last from birth to potty training for one or MORE children! This saves you $$.
For many of the reasons listed above I do not like true all-in-one systems. They wear out more quickly, hold odors and grow mildew, and are bulkier. You can get all the same benefits and more from an All-In-Two system, particularly with my fold-out quick-dry soakers.

You will find fitted diapers, hybrid prefolds, inserts, and PUL, wool, and fleece Covers in my store along with options for turning covers into All-In-Two systems and Potty Training systems in my Etsy store.

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