Diaper bags are an essential item for parents or for anyone who has to take care of a baby or toddler. Diaper Bags now come in different styles and options and this is a good thing because parents can choose which bag best fits their needs. A diaper bag provides storage for all or most of the essentials parents need to take care of a baby when they are out of the house. And of these essentials, the most important is, of course, the diaper. It’s no surprise that the eponymous diaper bag is built and designed to hold first and foremost diapers. Now there are the disposable diapers but there are also cloth diapers which are reusable and as some parents swear by also more convenient. Cloth diapers are more economical and also more environmentally friendly. Below are some types of cloth diapers currently available in the market.
Flat Cloth Diapers
Flat cloth diapers have been around the longest. They date back to decades and even centuries ago. They are large rectangular or square fabric, made with bleached or unbleached cotton, hemp or bamboo materials. They once required safety pins to hold them together but now they can be fastened with diaper fasteners. They require a waterproof cover like wool, fleece or polyurethane laminate on top, but they’re a very economical approach to cloth diapering. Cloth diapers are diaper perfection. It’s the only one-size pocket diaper that folds small enough to fit a newborn and will accommodate older, slender and chunky babies without compromising comfort or practicality. It has the convenience of a disposable diaper with a waterproof outer shell and the breathability of cloth from fleece leg gussets. The gussets allow airflow to help combat diaper rash and regulate temperature. Flat cloth diapers come in different styles, some of them are-
Prefolds: Prefolds cloth diapers come as rectangular pieces of fabric of which the options include cotton, flannel, hemp, and bamboo with 6-8 layers of fabric in the middle. You’ll need a waterproof cover and maybe safety pins. Generally, they come in three sizes: preemie (4-10 lbs), infant (newborn to 15 lbs), and premium/toddler (15-30 lbs). They’re also very economical.
Contours: Contours are similar to pre-folds, except that they’re hourglass-shaped for a closer fit to baby’s bum. Fabric options may include cotton fleece, cotton terry, bamboo or flannelette. They can be used with or without a safety pin inside a waterproof cover.
Fitted: The fitted cloth diapers are shaped like disposable, fitted diapers and have elastic at the legs and back, and they close with snaps or hook and loop such as Velcro or Aplix. Fitted cloth diapers tend to contain messes better than any of the options above, which helps to keep diaper covers cleaner for longer. Fabric options may include cotton, hemp, cotton fleece, cotton terry, and bamboo. Generally, they dry faster than all-in-ones, saving energy and time, but they still need a waterproof cover. Many parents prefer this option.
Pocket or Sleeve Diapers
Another kind of diaper is the pocket or sleeve diapers which are hourglass-shaped with elastic in the legs and waist. Pocket diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer and a stay-dry inner layer usually made with fleece or suede cloth. An absorbent insert gets stuffed in the middle, which soaks up the pee, leaving the fleece layer dry next to baby’s skin. It fastens with hook and loop or snap closures, and no additional cover is needed.
Pocket diapers are the only cloth diapers designed with two gentle internal gussets that channel each leg. Meaning that even a runny mess will be contained. They come with four size settings, offering a good fit from 6.5 to more than 35 pounds, and they are available with snaps or Aplix. The outer shell is made from a biodegradable TPU waterproof material instead of PUL, and the inner shell is 100 percent hypoallergenic with no-pill micro chamois. It comes with the 6R soaker set, including a full-size micro terry insert with snap down setting and a contoured newborn micro terry setting, which combine to allow for six size/absorbency combos. They are available in a range of vibrant colors and incredibly cute prints.
All in one diaper are often referred to as AIOs. They are quite similar in shape and function to pocket diapers, except they don’t need to be stuffed with the absorbent insert or soaker as it is generally either sewn into the waterproof cover or attaches with snaps. No additional cover is needed. Available as one-size AIOs which typically fit from about 10-35 pounds or sized AIOs, which generally fit better, but for a shorter period of time). They are about as easy to use as disposable diapers, although with the exception of pocket diapers, they’re more expensive than many other options. All in ones are a one-size diaper and are about as easy to use as disposables, which makes them a great choice for reluctant family members or caregivers, and kids in daycare. The interior is made from organic cotton with six layers of absorbency, and the exterior is waterproof. It includes three rows of snaps on the front rise and two full rows of snaps across the waist, which, when combined with the “stretch-to-fit” tabs, ensures a great fit. They are available in a range of pastel and bright colors.
Tips on Getting Started
If you’re interested in trying out cloth diapers you can start attending classes that teach you how to use them properly. That way you can experiment with cloth diapers before your baby arrives. You should also plan on how often you want to do your laundry. As a guide, if you plan to do laundry every two days, you’ll likely need about 20-24 diapers for a newborn to 4 months old, 16-20 diapers for a baby 4-10 months old and 12-16 diapers for a child older than 10 months but you should also play it by the ear when your baby arrives and choose the frequency that works best for you.