Me again…back with another community suggestion. I noticed you mentioned you’d like to cloth diaper your baby. I highly recommend DiaperPin and DiaperSwappers. They are two totally helpful, and very friendly communities where you will most definitely feel free to ask any questions and/or do some research of your own.
I fully intended on CDing Madison, however, when we brought her home and DH returned to work, I quickly realized that exclusively breastfeeding, and CDing (laundry issues) an infant while having a partner who works the nightshift, was not entirely do-able. While my heart was in it, and still is, I did have to retreat back to Pampers. Le sigh. I’m just now stepping back into the CDing world and may CD my daughter until she’s ready to potty train. She’s 16 months now so if we can pocket the $20 we spend on a box of Pampers from now until she’s done with them, that’d be fab! Plus, I’m all for living a more “green” life.
Anyway, I spent about two months researching and hanging around the above mentioned message boards as I tried to weed my way through the options and the lingo. You’ll know what I mean if you take a peek in some of the communities. It can be VERY overwhelming at first but if you stick to the basics, you should be fine. I found myself clicking just about every thread and induced some headaches.
I suggest doing a little research, grow to understand the options and then select a “system” that sounds like it might work for your family. A huge aspect of cloth diapering is playing around with options. Each baby is entirely different from the next and what works for your little one may not work for the next, and vice versa. Some babies are “super soakers” while others aren’t. Our daughter is not what I’d consider a super soaker so the extra bulky inserts weren’t really useful for us. Finding a system you’d like to try is a great thing but definitely don’t purchase an entire diaper stash of one kind as you may find that when baby arrives, it needs some tweaking. A lot of experienced CDers suggest ordering a little of everything. Some companies are really considerate and offer trial kits and bundles so that you can experiment around a bit.
From a personal perspective, I ordered a dozen quality prefolds from Little Lions and paired them with Thirsties covers. This is your basic, economical, workhorse system. It’s bulky, and clothes will need to be purchased in bigger sizes to accomodate the diaper butt, but it works! There are various ways to fold a prefold and again, that will take some playing around with when baby is here to find the best option. There are even fancy Snappis that totally wipe out the need for diaper pins, as most mamas are afraid they’ll poke babes tummy. Trying to master CDing a wriggly little baby can pose a challenge! Don’t forget, if others will be diapering your baby, too (as I suspect will be the case), not everyone will be good at pinning or folding, so this is also something to consider.
There are tons of other systems out there, each a bit different from the next. Here are only a few…
Prefolds and covers – as described above
Fitteds – a thicker cloth diaper that still requires a cover, dad’s prefer these because there’s no pinning involved, they either have a velcro or snap closure
All-In-Ones – an all-in-one system that doesn’t require a cover, they often take time to dry because of their internal layers, and I’ve read a lot about stink issues with them
G-Diapers – a diaper system with a “shell” and disposable soakers
Gro Baby – one of the newest “green” systems, all organic cotton shells and soakers that snap in, a one-size-fits-all diaper (I’m going to order some to try on my daughter, she’s 16 months old now and I’m interested in CDing her for the remainder of her diaper days)
Then…there are the fabric choices – cotton, bamboo, hemp, etc. Each fabric has its own cost and absorbtion pros/cons. And this leads to detergent options. You can’t wash cloth diapers in your basic laundry detergent, free and clears are the number one recommended option.
Here are some links to help get you started:
The Pin – the friendliest CDing community I’ve found to date – http://diaperpin.com/forum09/forum_topics.asp?FID=8&PN=3
DiaperSwappers – great for finding answers to already asked questions, this community has touched on just about ever CDing topic ever – http://www.diaperswappers.com/
Kelly’s Closet – a great online CD store with AWESOME customer service, I love the fact that she has customer reviews on each product page, I’m a huge review person – http://www.kellyscloset.com/
Gro Baby – Gro Baby’s were released when Madi was a few months old and they were too new for me to want to try, but I’m going to order a starter kit and see how she does with them, I love the organic cotton shells with the snap in soakers, I’ve heard great things about them and they have a slim fit – http://www.thenaturalbabyco.com/grobaby%E2%84%A2-ic-11_16.html
Little Lions – fab for Indian prefolds, and they have an awesome “seconds” section where you can purchase brand new prefolds at a fraction of the cost, if you’re open to some minor “damage” like some dirt smudges from the cotton, or an angled cut – http://www.little-lions.com/page3.html
Thirsties – my favorite company for diaper covers, they have AWESOME double leg gussets, perfect for poo’splosions (especially breastfed, seedy, newborn poo), they colors they offer are an added bonus and their website is very informative regarding the different “systems” they offer – http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/products.htm
Mother-Ease – if I had looked into CDing before Madi was born, I would have purchased some Sandy’s for her to wear during her first few weeks, I have read great things about them, especially for newborns – http://www.mother-ease.com/
GoodMamas – because I MUST share the love that is Goodmamas, these diapers are stunning, and costly (around $26 a piece), but I’ve read rave things about them and some moms even trade/collect them, especially the limited edition, hard to find prints, while not always practical, having a fun GoodMama on hand is a CDing trend – http://shop.thegoodmama.com/
Rumparooz – Rumparooz released their G2 version, an all-in-one diaper that grows with your baby (4 sizes in one!), again, awesome reviews (especially for the older ones) – http://www.rumparooz.com/catalog.php?category=65
That’s all I can think of for now…if you have any questions, let me know, I’m happy to share.