Another post on guess what?
Though I'm sure I've almost covered everything ;)
Though I'm sure I've almost covered everything ;)
I've been loving my Easy Fit all-in-one, one-size-fits-all diapers by Tots Bots for over a year now, but I have to admit - they're not the perfect diaper. I have a couple other brands (Apple Cheeks and Bum Genius - both 2-part diapering systems, along said brand and Flip inserts) in my arsenal that I also love, and for different reasons.
After talking at great length with another cloth diapering mama friend, I am more sure than ever that there is no perfect cloth diaper. My friend also has a few in her stash and likes each brand for different reasons. In many ways, I think the best option would be to just have various brands/types as we do. It's no more expensive and provides the variety for different seasons and needs (like longer car rides and nights, families with multiples in diapers, etc).
Some of the information I've learned about different brands or types, I wish I'd known when I was shopping around a year ago. Most significantly, info that even the diaper companies don't tell you - though it would only benefit them to do so!
For example, when I was seriously considering Apple Cheeks diapers (a 2 part, 2 size diapering system), I saw on their website that I'd need to buy a heck of a lot more than if I went with Easy Fits (a OS, AIO diapering system). The Apple Cheeks site told me I needed to buy 12 size one covers and 10 size two covers (@ $20/each) plus 36 inserts (@ $10/each). That's $600! And buying 17 Easy Fits (@ $23.50/each) was $400. Almost half the price. So that was really the largest factor for me.
What I've found though, as I've started using some Apple Cheeks that I found secondhand for a great price, is that one cover can go through up to 5 inserts (depending on when baby poops) before needing to be changed, so having about 6 covers per size would have sufficed! I now have only five covers and 12 inserts for Lily (size 2) and they last two full days or even more. Had I have known that, I may have chosen a 2-size, 2-part diapering system after all. Especially since I'll have two in diapers and because they tend to absorb more and last longer than AIO diapers. Oh well, you live and learn!
So for those shopping around for cloth diapers (a few of my friends have recently become pregnant and asked me my thoughts, so I'm mainly thinking of y'all, but for those interested too) here's my review of the pluses and minuses of each of the types (not brands) that I use:
one-size-fits-all (OS) diapers:
PROS - you only buy diapers once and use them all the way through, they're technically less expensive than buying 2 or 3 different sizes (Apple Cheeks are 2 sizes, Bummis are 3 sizes, for example), and you buy less and store less in your home.
CONS - when you have more than one baby in diapers, your stash is split between them. There's also more wear and tear on them since they're used throughout baby's entire diapering life.
multiple size diapers:
PROS - if you have 2 in diapers at the same time (heck, or 3!) then the OS diapers aren't as much of an advantage because you have to split your stash between the babes you're diapering. In this case, having multiple sizes for kids of different sizes/ages in diapers would be helpful. Also the multiple sizes will fit your baby the best, so you'll have less leaks since each size is more tailored and less bulky.
CONS - you need to buy 2-3 different sizes that you won't use the whole time you're diapering (unless you're diapering more than one at a time). You end up needing to store un-used diapers and buy more.
all-in-one (AIO) diapers:
PROS - no extra stuffing, quickest and easiest to put on baby (just like a good 'ol Pampers or Huggies diaper), less to pack in the diaper bag
CONS - takes more wear and tear because the cover always needs to be washed with the inserts (since they're attached, duh.), thus has a shorter shelf life, and also absorbs less.
2-part diapering systems:
PROS - most absorbent diapers, allow you to mix and match diapers with covers, will last the longest, diaper covers needn't be changed at every diaper change - just the diaper/absorbent part, unless it's a very heavy pee or a poop (which I wish I'd known when I was deciding!!).
CONS - have to stuff diapers before every use (takes more time) and un-stuff after every pee and poop (yuck!) I've heard some people say the diaper/liner simply comes out of the cover in the wash, but that's not been my experience with Apple Cheeks or Bum Genius diapers.
So there you have it. Good arguments for all the types out there. I am loving the Apple Cheeks right now but have loved the Easy Fits too. Our plan is to give LG the Easy Fits when he's born, since his pees will undoubtedly be less heavy than Lily's, and switch Lily 100% to the size 2 Apple Cheeks. I've never regretted our decision to cloth diaper, even when obstacles have sprung up - most recently with our Easy Fits lasting no longer than 2 hours (which I've learned is "normal" for 14 month old AIO diapers and heavy wetting kids). They're still the best option for the environment and financially the best road to take, and Lily's bum still looks ADORABLE in 'em.
Hope that review was helpful!