While prefolds are by far the least expensive diapers, they are certainly not the only option. One step up from prefolds are fitted diapers. These diapers still require a cover, but the diapers themselves usually secure with Velcro or snaps, making them nearly as easy to use as a disposable. It’s just more like putting on disposable twice, first the diaper then the cover. These were one of my favorite options for nighttime changes when my daughter was a newborn and we were changing her two or three
times a night. It was great not to have to think about Snappis or pins in the middle of the night. These are pricier however. Not unlike covers, there are dozens of options available. There are some brands, like Kissaluvs, who make one-size fitted diapers. I have never tried these, so I won’t speak to them, but I just wanted to mention that they do in fact exist. For some families, especially those diapering more than one child at once, using one size fitted diapers with one size covers, may be the most convenient and even budget friendly option. The fitteds we have tried with my daughter have been Kissaluvs, Green Mountain Infant Fitted, Bamboo Fitted and Thirsties Fab Fitted.
Many moms swear by Kissaluvs, especially in the size 0. We, however, did not have a good experience with them. The diaper itself got very rough after just a few washes and my husband really I hated the snaps. I didn’t mind them as much, but I never could get a really good fit with them. As I have said before, I am in general not a fan of snaps, but most one-size covers are usually snaps, since they do sometimes last longer, so I’m learning to work with their advantages and live with their disadvantages. We also found that the Kissaluvs fitted was not as absorbent as other fitted diapers. It did hold in breast fed poo well, but not really any better than the other fitted diapers, in spite of advertising to the contrary. I also found it a little bit annoying to pay an extra dollar to get it in a color as opposed to unbleached/natural.
For just a few cents more I could buy my favorite fitted diaper which is Thirsties Fab Fitted. I was nervous about trying this diaper. It got mixed reviews from a lot of moms. But we ended up loving it. First, it comes in so many colors, and can be matched to the covers. This may sound silly, but I like to coordinate the colors of our diapers and covers whenever possible, mostly in anticipation of when we are diapering multiple children so that we can tell the size of the diapers and covers by the color. This is not a full proof system, since not all diaper products are available in colors. But I have found it to be helpful. These diapers were so trim on my little newborn, must less bulky than a prefold. Easy to use for anyone, especially a sleep deprived husband adjusting to cloth diapers for the first time. The only real downside was the price. Now that my daughter is older and goes longer between diaper changes, they don’t hold as much urine as her prefolds or pocket diapers, but I still love them for the ease of use. I wouldn’t use them at night, but now that she goes all night with the same diaper (though she doesn’t always sleep all night), we wouldn’t use any variety of fitted anyway.
We are also fans of the Bum Genius Bamboo fitted diapers. These seem to have been discontinued so I won’t bore you with too many details on a diaper you can’t buy except on EBay or another used diaper source. These were a little cheaper than the Thirsties, especially if you bought them in packs of 3, 6 or 12, saving more the larger the package. They aren’t colored and the sizes run a little smaller and the diaper itself is cut a little bit narrower, but other than that they work as well as Thirsties.
The final kind of fitted diaper we used was Green Mountain Infant Fitted. At first I didn’t like these. They seemed to leak poo onto the cover every time. While the cover held it in, this was still annoying. Plus, the cotton seemed to stain worse than my other fitted diapers. However, the size range on this diaper is much larger. My daughter wore them long after she outgrew her newborn and extra small size fitted diapers. As she got closer to the middle of the size range the diapers fit much better. I wish they had over lapping Velcro though. However at $8.95 each, they were very reasonably priced. But they don’t come in larger sizes. Honestly, I wish we had bought more. The only downside is that the only website who sells them doesn’t have a free shipping option. They are great to use when the baby is small and you are making so many diaper changes a day with so little sleep. Plus, it gives you time to adjust to the prefolds that, for us, later became the backbone of our day time diapering.
Pocket Diapers and All-In-One Diapers
Two other great products available in cloth diapering are Pocket Diapers and All-In-Ones. Pocket Diapers are exactly what they sound like, a pocket or sleeve that is stuffed with an insert, often micro fiber. The insert absorbs the wetness and pulls it away from the outside layer of the pocket, thus keeping baby dry. In my experience, Pocket Diapers are one of the best nighttime diapering options, though I like to stuff them with at least two inserts. The two I’ve tried have been the Bum Genius One-Size pocket diaper and the Thirsties Duo Diaper. I like the idea of a one size diaper. However, they may not really fit from birth to potty training, depending on our child’s dimensions. They are the best product I’ve found for all-night sleeping without leaks. I have had leaks once or twice, but it as usually due to user error or forgetting to double stuff the diaper. I do recommend using two inserts when trying to avoid changing a child in the middle of the night or having baby wake up drenched through. However, I also use these diapers for when I take my daughter out of the house. But it is less than convenient to pull an insert out of a wet or soiled diaper when changing baby in the back of your car.
This is where the Thirsties Duo Diaper is great. Their inserts don’t need to be removed. Simply stuff the diaper, use it and toss it in the diaper pail. The inserts agitate free when washing. That is a great feature! Especially for grandparents or babysitters who may not know to remove the insert or don’t want to deal with the potential grossness. (Then there is my wonderful father, who used to use prefolds when we were little and never hesitates to change a diaper, but often forgets to remove the inserts from my pocket diapers. I can’t complain, at least he offers to change diapers. These diapers were designed for him). Thirsties Duo Diapers come in two sizes rather than just one, making them more versatile in trying to create a birth to potty training diaper system. My hope is that my daughter will be able to keep wearing these after she outgrows her bumGenius One-Sizes.
A true AIO should be only one piece. Beware of diapers that claim to be All-In-One, but need to be stuffed. These should be accurately call All-In-Twos. (This should not be confused with the optional stuffing pocket available in size small, medium and large of the bumGenius Deluxe All-In-Ones). The two we have tried are bumGenius Deluxe All-In-Ones and SposoEasy. Overall, I preferred the bumGenius AIOs. These are very trim fitting and soft inside.
However, they run smaller in size than the SposoEasy and we did begin to develop some smell issues once my daughter was on solid foods. If having products made of natural fibers is important to you, then SposoEasy is the way to go. The absorbent portion of this diaper is all cotton, so they rarely develop any of the smell issues common in micro fiber diapers. They even have a built in doubler. Both are as easy to use as disposables. These are a great option if you want to cloth diaper a child who is in daycare.