A friend – thanks Cristen! – loaned me a few Chinese prefold diapers and some bummis whisper wrap diaper covers to try out before I ordered any more for my own collection. Interestingly, Erin and Patrick can wear the same diaper size – Patrick weighs in at about 28lbs and Erin is close behind at around 23lbs – so I’ve been able to use the medium diaper cover on both kiddos… while I haven’t gotten any pics of Patrick wearing this diaper cover, I intend to because it’s so stinkin’ cute! Here are a few shots of Erin sporting the “froggy pond” bummis diaper cover.
While I tried prefolds before when Brooke loaned me several different kinds of cloth diapers, I couldn’t remember which cover she loaned me. So thanks to the ability to try out the bummis covers, I opted to order 12 unbleached Indian prefolds, 2 bummis covers, 2 thirsties covers, 14 hemp doublers (which will hopefully eliminate the need to change Patrick’s diaper ever 2 hours during awake time) and 2 snappis.
In regard to cloth diapering, prefolds are the “old fashioned” or “traditional” way to use cloth on your baby. The prefolds themselves are definitely a little more difficult to put on since they require diaper pins or a snappi, but they do the job just as well as a pocket or all-in-one diaper does. The thirsties or bummis covers mentioned above are necessary to keep the wetness contained.
The perk to using prefolds with covers is that, unless there is a leak, the covers can be used for more than one diaper change without the need to wash. In this instance, replace the prefold and put the same cover back on. My very limited experience has shown that the same cover can be used 3-4 times without the need to wash as long as there have been no leaks.
How does this work? PUL. (a.k.a. Polyurethane Laminate) In the instance of a diaper cover, PUL is inserted between two layers of polyester to create that amazing waterproof barrier. PUL is what makes the outer fabric waterproof. As such, PUL treated fabric is the main outer layer of pretty much any pocket or AIO diaper.
Back to the perk of prefolds - You could (in theory) have 12 prefolds and only need 4 covers – this was the grounding factor in my decision to order 12 prefolds with 4 covers. This is a VERY cost-efficient choice in regard to using cloth diapers. While pocket diapers – like Bum Genius or Fuzzi Bunz – are very easy to use, they are somewhat expensive, running about $18/diaper. The average cost of a prefold is $3.oo or under. Covers run about $13.00 or less.
If you have a heavy wetter, natural fibers are (supposedly) the way to go. I have not yet tried this out, but will once my order arrives. Bamboo or hemp fibers are said to be great for “super soakers” and doublers of these materials can be used in either pocket diapers or as an addition to prefolds. Bamboo fabrics are said to be softer while hemp is said to hold more. The downside to natural fibers is that they can get pricey very quickly. Because of this, I only ordered 14 hemp doublers. The total cost for these was around $50. If these don’t work for Patrick, there is always diaperswappers.com.