It seems that this question has a rotating answer. It’s almost seasonal.
Winter: fitteds and wool. Spring: pockets. Summer: all-in-ones. Fall: prefolds and wool. Those are just an example but it may be more true than I thought.
Right now it’s most important for me to have simplicity. That can mean many types for me but making it simple enough for my husband and 7yo daughter is vital.
Since Michael works at home and Haley is homeschooled that means helpers available all the time…why wouldn’t I take advantage of that!?
After much trial and error over the years here are my top 4 simplest cloth diapers:
1) Bum Genius Organics All In One w/ snaps. My favorite. These are super trim and very absorbent. The snaps are manageable and well worth the fuss compared to the velcro version. I get a perfect fit with the BG organic and the rise measurements actually allow this to be the only one-size diaper I have found to work for Sterling. This is my #1 cloth diaper over the Anne Marie Padorie because of the organic inner material and quick dry soaker (which means the soaker is not sewn inside the inner material but at the ends allowing the air to pass through and under during drying time.)
2) Anne Marie Padorie All In One. Wide, strong velcro tabs coupled with a trim fit make this a great diaper. The absorbency is excellent for daytime use. I have left Sterling in an AMP aio for a very long time and only after several hours (eh, the kid takes long naps and I have 4 kids…I sometimes need a trigger to remind me to change him :D ) do I feel wetness coming through. If I could find a good bulk discount with these I’d have many. I have written a review on the Anne Marie Padorie all in one if you’d like more detailed information.
3) Weehuggers All In One. My husband says this is his favorite so it makes the list. Check out the Weehuggers Review I wrote. The *only* complaint I have is the wetness at the legs that occurs after Sterling pees a couple of times. I’ve paid close attention and if I change Sterling after one pee or poop all is good. But, if I leave him in it for more than 2 hours something will be wet.
4) Thirsties All In One. Inexpensive. Trim. Simple. Are they perfect? No. Are they a suitable diaper bag or car stash diaper? Yes. AMP aios are better but Thirsties have nice gussets. I used Thirsties AIOs with Paisley a lot and really enjoyed them.
It wasn’t until last week that I remembered them and ordered some for Sterling off of Diaperswappers. They would be perfect had I ordered the right size! Talk about mommy brain. I thought Sterling had outgrown the smalls so I ordered 2 medium covers from Cloth Diaper Superstore and 8 AIOs off Diaperswappers.
When I got them I realized that it was the x-small cover that he had outgrown. *sigh* At least I have cloth diapers that will fit him a long time :)
Simplicity in any form has many benefits. Besides making it easier for others to help with diaper changes it keeps the overall stress of cloth diapering down. All In Ones are easier for my children to fold. I don’t have to explain to them a hundred times that this part goes with this diaper and snaps in here, then add the “soft” doubler to the “soft” diaper.
Recently in a comment, a reader asked my opinion about traveling out of the country with cloth diapers. Immediately and without hesitation I recommended that she buy 2 dozen prefolds and a handful of Thirsties covers. Cloth Diaper Superstore has a package that I suggested called Beginner Prefold Package. When traveling and unsure of laundry arrangements, prefolds and covers give you that simple option of handwashing and hang drying if necessary.
Each time things get too chaotic I want to throw in the towel. Life with four children and homeschooling is busy enough. No one needs another speed bump in life.
Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ.
Your site is great and perfect timing since I am considering cloth diapers. I recieved your submission to post on my site through Blog Carnival where I did a post on my consideration!
Diana W says
Thank you for all your great advise. I had a question about rashes. I have just started experimenting with cloth diapers and used a hemp liner. After about 2 1/2 hours I changed my 7 month old and his lower belly was red like it was starting to break out. Do you use any diaper rash cream with cloth diapers? Another question I have is what about larger sizes? My baby is 23 lbs and some of the diapers are too small for him. I have tried the kissaluvs contoured, the bumgenious AIO and One size. I think so far I like the bumgenious AIO but need some advise about fitteds and prefolds. Thanks for you help!
Autumn Beck says
Hi, Diana. I would encourage you to look around the site a bit. Try searching “diaper rash” and read through the fitteds/prefolds category. Once you get an idea of a specific question let me know!
I prefer Goodmamas and wool. It's breathable and absorbent, the diapers are cute and as a bonus, the older and more sherpa-like they get, the more absorbent they are. They work great on my 16 month-old son and in another two months, I'll have a new baby to try them on. One of my deciding factors was the one-size feature, I didn't want to risk grabbing the wrong size diaper in the middle of the night. Realistically, I'm not expecting the new baby to go right into GMs, even though my babies tend to weigh in right around 9 pounds at birth (this is my fourth as well), so I will be starting with Cloth-eeze prefolds and wool, and a few Thirsties Duo covers for convenience.
My husband does change diapers, reluctantly. He vastly prefers GMs because he feels they release the poop better. He reaches for them over Blueberry and Dream-eze AIOs. Since I'm on a budget, I generally look for good deals on used through other sites.
I had a 9 1/2 & a 10 lber! THEN I had a 6 lber. YIKES NOTHING FIT save the bummis wraps! (thank god Karen at Green Mountain talked me into THOSE) ok so she wore gerber prefolds til she was big enough but WOW never saw a preemie coming! (the simple gerbers, not the stupid ones that don't work)
Sorry I forgot to mention, I have wahm made wool covers! Mostly my fitteds are Motherease or kissaluvs (all at auction) My ai2's are jam tots (they dry great & the minky feels awesome line dried plus they are good for the car) and I have a BUNCH of pockets. Most of my one sizes are blueberry or mommy's touch. I also collect OLDER starbunz (before the crossing pocket thing) and I have a thing for minky, inside the diaper, lol! again line drying. MY boys like the pass through pocket (yep it's empty) but stuffing it drives me batty, just like the starbunz. 1 is too difficult to put in, the other comes out WAAY to easily while stuffing, lol!
hmmm…well, my simple diapers are Bum-Ware extremes, but I think that my daughter has a sensitivity to them…but it's o.k. if I put a liner in them….I'm dying to try the bum-genius organic aios or the organic version of the BWXs….my hubby prefers velcro to snaps…
Autumn, can you explain your rationale for the different preferences per season? I can understand the fitteds with wool for winter, but I can't figure out the other seasons? Is there a reason for pockets one season and prefolds another? And AIOs yet another? If there is a good reason, I may just follow your lead. :-)
Autumn Beck says
I was just being random! Feel free to interchange systems with seasons lol
Sometimes when it gets too hectic I DO just go back to prefolds. After 2 babies I realized my hubby wasn’t gonna change a diaper unless he had no other choice. (me in the shower or at the store not counting if you get the drift) So when he objected to cloth full time for baby #3, his wishes I didn’t take into consideration. I DID get aio’s for him and he came “close” one 1 occasion but in all honesty he’d never done much ourside of daycare of the hospital nursery. weird? but he’s the colic KING so he’s forgiven, lol!
Mostly I’ve found fitteds at home with wool & 1 size pockets for traveling (snap of course) after the newborn stage to be pretty much what I do! I have a few ai2’s but only of a certain brand. I’ve found wool longies are good for learning to crawl & that, since I have a girl, buying “showy” pockets to take out either that are show stoppers on their own or compliment what she’s wearing to be a great ice breaker when saying “yes I do this” while using something chic & sensible changes views more then lecturing ever could! At home simplicity is king! and of COURSE everything must line dry & STILL feel good, a tall order but a must when utilities are sky high!
Oh & a ? When a favorite diaper is “improved” do you sometimes feel the “improvement” is what drives you to tears or retire that brand from your stash? or am I the only one?
Autumn Beck says
you aren't the only one! i can think of one diaper that stands out that I LOVED pre-“improvement”, then abandoned when I tried the new version (little luxe organics fitteds). i know many who dislike the new fuzzibunz and fight to find the older version.
my husband has changed less than 20 diapers ever ;)
I love my Fuzzi Bunz!! These are great for daddy, babysitter and grandparents. They're just easy and they fit well!! My son has been in the larges since March of 2008 and all is well. I will tell you though, I really like using my hemp Joeybunz inserts on TOP of my microfiber. My mf is just pretty worn out and so it doesn't soak as fast, but with the hemp on top, it absorbs really well, and the mf is there as a backup for absorbency and the fleece in my FB still feels really nice and dry, unless he's been in the diaper for too long (3+ hours.) Hey!! It happens!! I also love my Blueberry OS diapers!! Especially the minky.
For evening time, and naps during the weekend, I just like a good ol' cotton prefold with a Snappi fastener and a cover. I LURVE my Blueberry minky wrap. The velcro is fabulous!! And it covers!! This way, i have my pockets for when my boy goes to his sitter's house. Anyways, that's my simplicity!!
Right now, my favorites are actually some AIOs that a WAHM friend of mine made for me. She used PUL for the outside of course, with a hemp core. The absorb EVERYTHING and are very trim. Though, they did leak some when my baby was a newborn. Thirsties AIOs and duo covers are another favorite of mine :)