I just finished reading a very timely blog post over at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer about attempting to exclusively cloth diaper from the newborn days on forward. I didn't start cloth diapering Mia till she was closer to 4 months, so by that point in time, she was big enough to fit into Fuzzibunz pocket diapers in the smalls (I believe she was around 13 lbs). I also started using bumGenius 3.0 one size pocket diapers in the smallest settings for Mia at that time as well, which is what her stash eventually completed transitioned into.
However, with young Gabriel, I wanted to start cloth diapering sooner than I did with Mia. I had a feeling he wouldn't fit into Mia's one size diapers initially as she has stretched out the elastic (which--good news--can be replaced!), so I registered for some newborn diapers on Kelly's Closet and decided I wanted to try lil' Joeys, XS bumGenius AIOs, XS Fuzzibunz, and some GroVia AIOs in the Newborn size. I also received some prefold covers (Thirsties and Bummis), along with some prefold inserts (like Bummis prefolds). Plus, a friend loaned me some Kissaluvs and some prefolds -- not sure what brand they are, but they are pretty absorbent!
My take on the diapers initially:
lil' Joeys. They fit Gabe really well right away and contained most leaks. Since he's just over 12 lbs now, though, they are not fitting as well anymore and may need to be retired :-\ I will be sad to see them go as they are quite absorbent and have special lining inside to contain leaks. I started off with 2 of these and eventually added 2 more, thus 4 total.
I was actually happy to be reunited with the Fuzzibunz. Something about their designs are so simple and user-friendly, but they are not as absorbent for longer stretches, so I would not recommend them overnight if your baby sleeps long periods of time or for super soakers. Also, they are for up to 12 lbs as well, so Gabe will soon be retiring out of those. I only had 3 FB.
bumGenius. I had 4 of these total.
Grovia Newborn AIO diapers. I bought them because they were on sale and the reviews were pretty good, but I have to say they weren't my favorite diapers. I just had too many leaks with them because they weren't tight enough around Gabe's leg to prevent from leaking onto his clothes. It's a bummer because the prints were super cute! I might try to resell these with the hopes they fit onto a different baby a bit better. He's probably worn them 5x or less, for all 3 of them.
I also tried Thirsties covers with Bummis organic cotton liners, but when Gabe was under 10lbs, I just couldn't get them to fit right. I'll admit I was a total NEWB when it came to prefolds and covers--the system that has been around the longest--but after having used pocket and AIO diapers for so long I was messing it up and causing leaks, plus the covers were just too bulky.
|Thirsties Duo Wrap cover|
|Bummis Diaper Cover|
Swaddlebees diapers in size small last summer on a Fluff Friday giveaway on the Cloth Diaper Whisperer blog (see, dreams DO come true), and he is starting to fit into those. I think as long as I figure out the right snap setting, we'll be free of leaks.
I need to really rotate these two because they'll probably only fit Gabe for 4 more lbs, and as quickly as he's growing, that could mean only another month and a half!
To boil it all down, I've been pleased with using most of the brands, except as much as I wanted to like GroVia, they just didn't work for us. My only regrets looking back are not using all the diapers sooner. Since I didn't have a "complete" stash by my standards (somewhere between 16-20), some days I was hesitant to use any of them because I wasn't sure I could wash them all every single day, but I should've just done what I could, because now he's growing out of the bumGenius XS, Fuzzibunz XS, and the lil' Joeys (11 diapers total). So, I've been using a combination of disposables (Huggies Pure & Natural, mostly) and cloth throughout these past several weeks. I didn't really even use cloth on Gabe for probably the first two weeks, and I think that's pretty normal.
|Gabe in a Thirsties cover (upper left) and Bummis cover (bottom)|
And as long as I replace the elastic on the bumGenius OS diapers that I have been using for Mia the past 2.5 years, I'll really be getting my money's worth from those! I already have 20 elastic replacement kits, ready to go, as soon as I figure out just how to use that new sewing machine I got for Christmas!
There are dozens of cloth diaper brands out there now, and as as I've been following Kelly Wels, DiaperShops.com and TheClothDiaperWhisperer.com for the past couple of years now (either on Twitter, Facebook, or through my blog), I constantly see other brands I'd be interested in trying. The best pieces of advice I can give right now for newbies/first-timers are to try a few brands and see what you like. You can always re-sell what you end up not using; people actually do like to buy used cloth diapers because it saves them money! If you have a boutique or cloth diaper retailer locally, check them out as well, because seeing the diapers hands-on makes a big difference.
I'd also recommend, if you do want to cloth diaper exclusively, to get some sized-diapers to help you get going in the beginning, like the lil' Joeys or the XS Fuzzibunz, BumGenius or even Happy Heinys. Those brands all tend to get good reviews. Then, when your baby is a bit bigger, he/she can probably easily fit into the one-size diapers that adjust with snaps or velcro as your baby gets bigger. Or, you could splurge a bit more and get diapers in every single size (small, medium and large) and your baby will probably be in each set of diapers a shorter amount of time, meaning they take less abuse and are in better condition for the next baby!
This blog sums it up well: How do I get started with cloth diapering? by Diapershops.com
It can be quite an investment to get going when it comes to cloth, but it so much more satisfying to cloth diaper a baby and not spend at least $20 a week or more on disposables. You can see the data to compare the costs here. I love that chart!
Phew! That was a lot of information, I know! Hopefully it is as helpful to someone else as it is for me to summarize.
And, if you're so inclined to start shopping, let me put in a shameless plug for MYSELF as I'm an affiliate of Kelly's Closet.
This link below will take you to the site, and for each sale, I get a 5% commission. Hey, whatever floats your boat!
Photo Credit: KellysCloset.com