Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Your Baby's Bum

For many people, the only thought given to what will cover their baby's bottom is what coupon they have in hand, or what's on sale. Since diapers are not cheap, we tend to get the cheapest available, until we realize what brands don't fit our babies well, or which ones tend to leak. When my son was born, we went straight for Huggies. We had a bunch of coupons, and they were cute- most had Winnie the Pooh on front. But as a new mom, I guess I thought leaks were normal. We had to change bed sheets every night at some point, since the pee would seep out the leg hole without ever getting a chance to be absorbed. We went through SO MANY sheets!

When my daughter was a couple of months old and my son was 21 months, I learned about cloth diapers from someone on-line. For some reason it never occurred to me to use cloth diapers! I started researching them, and couldn't believe what I had discovered! WOW. I had to try some of these! My first order was Motherease Sandies, which I loved. But then I tried Fuzzi Bunz and quickly converted to Fuzzi Bunz full time. The options available include prefolds, contours, fitteds, pocket diapers, all-in-ones, and all-in-twos, and covers were made in wool, vinyl, PUL, and anything else waterproof!

If your head is not spinning yet, where do you start? First of all, there are sites that have great sample packages that you can try a variety of diapers. Chances are, most or all of them will work for you, though you may find one brand or style in particular to work better for your baby's body type. We had total success with Fuzzi Bunz. There are other
pocket diapers out there like Happy Heiny's, and Mommy's Touch one size and others that you can review at the "pocket diapers" link above. Many people like one size diapers, but for some they are too complicated and some would rather buy new sizes as their baby grows.

Some of my favorite cloth diaper retailers have specialty items or programs available that are worth checking out.
Katie's Kisses carries organic cloth diapers from Under the Nile. We also provide an organic cotton diaper in a "one size" option as well as bumGenius one-size pocket diapers at Eve's Best. Simple Wonders carries Happy Hempys pocket diaper. Tiny Heiny has beautiful tie dye pre-folds. All of these diapers need covers if you are venturing far from home, so you might want to check out Strawberries and Sunshine where you can have custom made covers in MANY different designs! Cubby's Kids Baby Store has a wonderful Fuzzi Bunz layaway program that you might want to check out as well! If you are looking for a great deal on a diapering package, check out All Natural Mommies and the many options available there.

If you are totally confused about all the options, here is some cloth diapering information that will give you insight to the various cloth diapering options and which might be right for you. Not only are there different styles available, there are different fabric options. What many don't understand, even those who sew their own cloth diapers, is that some fabric names can have double meanings, because they describe the weave and not necessarily what the fabric is made from. For instance, when you hear "terry" you think of a cotton towel. But there is also micro-fiber terry, which are completely manmade fibers. Micro-fiber is very absorbent, and that is why it has become so popular with cloth diaper users. When you see "sherpa" as an option, you need to know that sherpa can be made from 100% polyester, and it can also be 100% cotton. Usually the polyester sherpa is used for covers or wipes, and the cotton sherpa is used for the actual diaper, diaper inserts, and wipes. "Fleece" is similar: it is available in both poly or cotton. You can usually tell what the fabric is when you evaluate the use of it, but if you are ever confused, simply ask the diaper retailer to spell it out.

You are probably wondering how many cloth diapers you need to purchase. That is an individual decision. New babies "go" more often, older babies "go" in bigger quantities, but fewer times each day. The less you buy, the more often you wash, so pick a number that is comfortable for your lifestyle. Many people feel that cotton diapers must be changed more frequently than stay-dry (fleece) diapers, but I feel that they both need to be changed when they are wet or soiled, no matter how frequently that is.

Your natural baby will appreciate the time you take to do the research necessary to pick the best diaper for your family. Just because they can't speak the words, don't believe they don't have an opinion! And there will be unexpected surprises for you that you might not notice at first. I will never forget when my daughter was about 6 months old, and she had a TALL stack of crib sheets that we never used. It was then that I wondered why I had purchased so many and realized it was because with my son, we changed sheets every night due to diaper leaks from disposables. But once we switched to cloth, my daughter's sheets stayed dry!

I know I haven't answered all of your cloth diapering questions, but I hope this is a great start. There are so many resources out there on-line, I'm sure you will find all the answers!

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