Cloth Diapers: Pt I: The Diapers

Liam waiting for a rare sunny day.

A few people have asked me about my cloth diapering system and I figured I would post it here for easy access.   I’m going to divide it into three parts: Diapers, Cloth Wipes, & Washing.

When I first started to cloth diaper Liam, I used about 6 different types of diapers and covers in order to figure out what I liked.  When you first decide to use cloth it can be mind-boggling, because there are SO many choices and you can really get caught up in the desire to have the newest, cutest diaper, thereby blowing your budget.

•••

Observations I made:

• I wanted a simple, definitive diaper system.  I am anal and I didn’t like having too many options and constantly having to decide which diaper to put Liam in next.  I also didn’t like the temptation of wanting more, more, more.

• I found prefolds the easiest, but I hated how Liam always felt so wet.

• I liked how Bum Genius (an all-in-one diaper) were easy to use and kept Lam dry, but I hating having to wash the entire diaper each time.  I felt they would wear out quickly and they took forever to dry.

•••

Liam eventually outgrew all his diapers around 4 months and I was frustrated that I hadn’t found anything I loved, so I abandoned ship until he was 9 months old.  Thanks to a couple of my friends, I discovered gDiapers and I fell in love.

gDiapers seem to be the ugly stepsister of the cloth diaper community.  I can honestly understand why, too. The flushable/biodegradable inserts are EXPENSIVE and really don’t work that well.  As soon as the baby pees, it bunches up.  I have personally never used the gCloth, but from a seamstresses standpoint, they look thin and kind of useless.  They only have 2 absorbing layers and 2 wicking layers.  You only need one wicking layer, but you should have 4 absorbing layers, at a minimum.

So…

I made my own cloth inserts.  I had a ton of cloth diaper fabric that I had purchased from Verybaby.com the year before.  I made my inserts “flapper style” with 4-5 layers of hemp terry and cotton fleece and 1 layer of Alova suedecloth (available at Joanns).  I simply serged around the edges. They are very absorbant, dry quickly because they flap open, and the suedecloth keeps Liam’s bum dry ( on a gross side note, the poop peels off into the toilet, instead of sticking).

5″ x 12.5″ Cloth insert with 4 layers of cotton/hemp and top layer of suedecloth

Insert flapped open to show absorbing layers.

gPant with cloth insert

Suedecloth is the same fabric BumGenius uses as its wicking layer.  You can also use microfleece or microchamois and if you prefer all natural fabrics you can try cotton or bamboo velour, though I was not happy with the results.

If you are sewing machine challenged, you can purchase various types of inserts called g-flappers from The Nappyshop.  I’ve been told that they work really well, though they are a bit of an investment.  She also has diaper fabric for sale and lots of info on using your gDiapers.

I change Liam about every 2 hours, so I use about 6 inserts and day.  Liners are changed out when he poops and at the end of each day and covers are changed out when they get dirty, which is about every 2 or 3 days.  I do one load of laundry every three days. I am in no way “hard-core”, so I do not use cloth at night.  I use one disposable overnight diaper each night, because I am not ready to mess with Liam’s delicate sleep, plus my husband usually gets Liam ready for bed and I don’t know that he is up for the challenge (ha!).

here is a list of my bare-bones diaper stash:

6 small gPants (8-14lbs)*

17 small plastic liners

24 small cloth inserts

4 medium gPants (13-28lbs)

4 large gPants (26-36lbs)

15 med/large plastic liners

24 med/large cloth inserts

10 microfiber towels**

*You can also start with tiny gPants, which are for newborns (6-10lbs), but I am choosing to wait until the new baby is 8lbs and the cord has fallen off.  Liam was 8lbs 12oz at birth, so I may not have long to wait.

**I use the microfiber towels underneath a cloth insert for extra absorbing power when we are going to be out and about for awhile. You can buy a pack at Target/Costco with the car wash supplies.  Fold it into thirds and it’s the same size as the cloth insert. No sewing needed!

Liam’s diaper drawer

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