Cloth Diapering Made Easy: A Review
by jennifer fisher
Looking after multiple children in diapers can be a challenge for anyone, and for most people cloth diapering is the furthest from their minds. With the fear of what cloth diapers used to be, the addition of extra laundry, and the initial startup costs, most people turn to their disposable counter parts because, well, let’s just face it, it’s the easy thing to do.
Cloth diapering is rising in popularity and becoming a favorite for many families, but why? Are disposable diapers really making that big of a difference in our carbon footprint? I needed to know more so I reached out to Heather McNamara, Executive Director of the Real Diaper Association. When asked about the effects of disposable diapers compared with cloth diapers she stated the following: “Nannies are smart to prepare themselves to cloth diaper. Parents are increasingly conscious about chemicals in their baby's environment and want a green household while saving some ‘green’!”
Do you need data to support these claims? Okay! Let’s get into some statistics.
- Approximately 90% of Americans use single-use plastic diapers, generating 7.6 billion pounds of garbage yearly. This is enough waste to fill Yankee Stadium 15 times over.
- More than 100,000 disposable diapers enter landfills each minute in the United States alone, where they will sit for about 500 years before they decompose.
- Cloth diapers reduce the number of diapers a baby uses from more than 7,000 to a couple dozen, which are reused hundreds of times then passed on for use by another baby, for a family savings of $2,000 to $2,500 per child.
(Data from Real Diaper Association.)
“Caregivers can get support with cloth diapering through any of our local resources, including our volunteer-led Real Diaper Circles across the United States (http://realdiapers.org/directory). Also, they can list themselves in our cloth diaper–friendly daycare directory at http://daycare.realdiaperindustry.org, which families frequently turn to when searching for caregivers that are willing and able to use reusable cloth diapers,” says McNamara.
To take some of the legwork away from all you hardworking nannies, I decided to do a review of five different cloth diapers, giving you the ability to save time and money when it comes to providing for your charges (or your own children, for that matter!). To make it simple, I decided to limit my review to one-size pocket-style diapers.
What is that, you may ask. Well, a one-size diaper is exactly that. With either a snap or an elastic system to determine the size, this style of diaper can be used throughout the child’s life in diapers, or allow a caregiver to use it on multiple children without worrying about a separate stash of diapers for each (big money saver). A pocket diaper has an outer waterproof shell and a soft inner lining, with a “pocket” opening either in the front or in the back of the diaper, allowing an absorbent insert to be placed. Once soiled, both the diaper and the insert get washed in the laundry. These aren’t the white cloths with pins and rubber pants that our grandparents used to use!
The following five diapers are part of my review. Absorbency, price, look, and quality were reviewed.
Narrow waist with an open pocket in the back. Many colors to choose from.
Awesome prints and colors available. Soft. Well made. Pocket in back of diaper.
Plain, but lots of pastel and bright colors to choose from. Pocket in back of diaper.
Bulky and not as fancy as other diaper brands. Pocket in back of diaper.
Very cute, very soft. Trim. Pocket in front of diaper.
Adjustable elastic in both the back of the diaper and in the legs. Available in both snaps and Velcro.
Truly one-size-fits-all, with four adjustable snaps to size the diaper from 6 lbs all the way past 30 lbs. Available in both snaps and Velcro.
Perfect for children from about 10 lbs and up. Can adjust waist with either snaps or Velcro. Has three snaps in the rise to adjust size.
This diaper is sized with snaps only. The tabs cross over at the top to give it a true fit at the waist. Three snaps in the rise to adjust the size.
Adjustable elastic in the legs, snaps at the waist that cross over to provide a snug fit.
Although this was not my favorite diaper, it is a very good diaper. I personally did not like the open pocket style in the back of the diaper. Not recommended for use for multiple children.
This is by far my favorite pocket diaper. The quality is worth the price. Super soft. Super absorbent. Super cute. The double gusset design is perfect for preventing leaks. Great for multiple children.
This diaper makes up the majority of our stash. The price won’t break the bank to build up a nice supply and is a really great diaper. Perfect for families of two or more children.
If you are looking for a good diaper at a low cost, this is it. These are not my go-to diaper during the day, but are great at night. Not good for small babies in my opinion because of bulk, but once the child is bigger they are perfect.
This is a phenomenal diaper for families of one child in diapers. The elastic sizing system can be a pain when using on multiple children, but the fit is slim. I tend to use these more on my 4-month-old son.
* Prices were taken from www.kellyscloset.com ** Price was taken from www.charliebanana.com
Out of all five of these diapers, my favorite was the Rumparooz G2 diaper. This diaper was super soft and fit well on both my two-year-old and four-month-old sons. Nothing gets out of this thing! With a high price tag you might be weary, but it’s worth the investment. My least favorite was the Fuzzibunz Elite. Although the diaper is very absorbent, I truly do not like that there is no cover over the pocket opening in the back of the diaper. I also feel the elastic sizing is not a good option for use on multiple children.
Overall, cloth diapering can be an easy transition and not much more difficult from using the disposable counterparts. Seriously, I was amazed! With so many different styles of cloth diapers to choose from, you can definitely find something to meet your needs. Educating yourself on cloth diapers is a great way to make a wow factor when interviewing with a family. It’s also a good way to lighten the load on the wallet when shopping for your NannyFamily and your own. We started out with our cloth diapers as a way to ease spending in the long run for our two boys, but if you are not careful this can turn into a huge addiction because of all of the cute designs out there to choose from. I have found that I love seeing my diaper stash once they are all stuffed and ready to go! Your hardest decision after finding the perfect diaper that works for your family or NannyFamily will be choosing which color to match with their outfits. My suggestion, stay off Etsy! Those work-at-home mommy shops can be dangerous!