If there is one thing in which I've become more fluent than I ever imagined or wanted, it is diapering. Yes, the gerund, because it goes way beyond mere diapers. The world of cloth diapers is strange, wonderful, creative, and offbeat. All with a veneer of green do-goodery. Just the way I like it.
First, a note about the myriad diaper styles out there (and you thought cloth diapering was all about big napkins and safety pins). We've used three basic styles. We started out with fitted diapers, because d.w. found a boatload of Mother-ease at a garage sale for like 40 bucks:
They are made of either cotton or hemp (hemp holds more, so it gets a big thumbs-up from me) and require a diaper cover. Most diaper covers are waterproof PUL, but I prefer wool. Yes, wool. Surprisingly, it doesn't wick urine. Even more surprisingly, it doesn't smell. Well, that's not entirely true. You know it's time to for a change when the baby smells like a wet sheep. Pretty good system. By far, my favorite is the Wallypop cover, which is very trim, well made, and (for us) local:
Most of the diapers we've used (and pretty much all the ones we've really liked) have been pocket diapers, which add a bit of convenience because you don't have to wrestle a separate cover onto a wiggly baby. A second saved is a second earned. You just slide an absorbent insert in between the outer and inner layers of fabric, and you're ready to go. Inserts are most commonly made from microfiber, but again I'm partial to hemp because it is crazy absorbent and a lot less bulky. We use these ones.
And let me tell you, the variety of pocket diapers is astonishing.
Animal prints? Hell yeah.
Here, and I never thought I would ever say this, are the diapers I really like. These aren't even all the ones I've used...just the ones I like best. Yeah. And please forgive some of the ridiculous names. I don't get it either.
Green Acre Designs. These are the current faves at chez zygote. They come in awesome colors, they're well made, and most importantly they only have two snaps on each side. That's 33% fewer snaps, for a 33% reduction in stress at diaper change time. Chins just got a fleece one, and it's pretty awesome. You know, for a urine receptacle.
Preston's Pants. I love these, but maybe it's because the one we have has frogs embroidered on the bum. Oh, and it's minky. Who wouldn't want minky underpants? Seriously, this kid is living large. And she does a lot of custom made and embroidered ones, which infinitely expands the possibilities. But no, they aren't actually THAT waterproof:
Baby Kangas. These are among my favorites for one reason: unlike every single other diaper I have seen (and I've seen more than I would ever like to admit), the "pocket" is in the front, and it has a zipper on it. Why is that a big deal, you ask? One word: blowout. That's right, no more shit-smeared hands when you go to remove the insert after an...episode. Brilliant. Why has no one else figured this out again? Chins' favorite when he sits down in the evening with a little Henry James:
Wallypop. Mentioned before for her awesome covers, mentioned again for her pocket diapers. Really trim, which is important with a beefily-thighed boy like ours.
Happy Hempys. We use these at night, because they are a pocket fitted diaper, meaning they use an insert and have a cover. No more puddles in the bed when I wake up in the morning. Hooray!
And lest you think diapering is just about the diapers, I haven't even gotten to all the diapering accoutrement: wipes, wipe solutions, sprayers, etc. But I'll leave all that for a future post. I think we have enough to digest (no pun intended) here already.