Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Choosing Prefolds and Flats, Part I:Why

First of all I wanted to give a little explanation, again, about why we use the types of diaper we do. There are so many pocket and all-in-one or all-in-two diapers out there. It seems to a lot of people that the only reason you would use prefolds or flats and covers is because of finances, but I can honestly say that regardless of cost we are not interested in these types of diapers.

For one, I don't find them to be more convenient. A pocket has to be stuffed, just like a cover, and most all-in-ones do not have enough absorbency for an older baby without adding a booster. As far as buying convenience is concerned it makes a lot more sense to me to add another dozen prefolds than one pocket or all-in-one diaper. Either way you are spending $15-24. Why pay for one more change between laundry when you could get 12 for the same price?

The other reason I don't like these options is that they are much more difficult to care for. A cover with PUL inside almost wipes clean, and the cotton prefold washes just like a tshirt, the easiest thing you have to care for. Pockets or all-in-ones on the other hand have synthetic fibers that develop strange smells over time, or a dozen layers of some absorbent fabric pressed up against a waterproof barrier. How does this every get clean? Also, many diapers claim that their insert agitates out in the wash, but I have tried very few that actually did. This means that, unlike with a cover and diaper, any insert that has to be stuffed when it is clean, has to be unstuffed when it is dirty. Yuck.

Finally, many of these diapers are just too bulky. Most are "one size" diapers, which is really such a joke. Who wants to put a diaper on an 8 lb newborn that would fit a 40 lb toddler? So many also have extra fleece stay dry layers and so forth. a pad folded flat in a well fitting cover is as trim as a disposable (and it doesn't grow to ten times it's size when wet), and unlike a pocket or all-in-one this combination will last three changes for $12-20 instead of one.

Covers with prefolds, flats, or fitteds just seem like the most common sense type of diaper to me. With the variety of covers out there, and your options of folding you can meet the needs of any body type and absorbency level a baby could have. They are much more economical and much easier to care for, and simplicity means trimness. We use these diapers because we love them, and they are best for our kids, not because we are broke.

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