There are such a wide variety of cloth diapers available and there are so many cloth diaper companies to shop with, that you may easily be overwhelmed when it comes to shopping for cloth diapers. The tips below should help ease your shopping anxieties.
Know What You're Buying
Before purchasing any cloth diapers, familiarize yourself with the types of cloth diapers available. They include:
All diapers will need to be secured with pins or pinless diaper covers, except All-in-Ones, which come with a pinless cover attached.
- All-in-Ones: These diapers have cotton fabric inside the diaper and a waterproof cover sewn on the outside. They are great to use while traveling and as easy to use as disposables.
- Chinese: These prefolded diapers have a twill weave and are very durable, soft, and long lasting.
- Contour: These diapers have an hour-glass shape and allow for easy placement inside of diaper covers.
- Diaper Service Diapers: These are heavy-duty prefolds. They are used by diaper services and parents alike.
- Flat: These old-fashioned diapers are not prefolded. You have to fold these square and rectangular diapers yourself, prior to placing them on your baby. Some parents prefer these diapers because they're quick drying.
- Fitted: These fancy diapers fasten at baby's waist and have elastic around the legs.
- Prefolded: These diapers come "prefolded" with more absorbent material down the center panel. They usually have four layers of fabric on the outer edges and six or eight layers down the center panel.Hence 4x6x4 or 4x8x4. The latter is almost always thick and durable.
Diaper covers come in a variety of styles and sizes, as well. For maximum breathability purchase cotton covers or wool soakers. Keep in mind, though, that these covers may wick urine. Many parents are comfortable using nylon taffeta (synthetic) diaper covers on their babies. These covers do a great job of keeping babies dry.
Know Your Budget
Cloth diapers and covers can cost as little as $2 each and as much as $12 each or more. That's a huge price range, which is why you need to figure out your budget before purchasing your diaper supplies. Typically, fancier diapers are costlier and the same goes for covers. Convenience comes with a higher price tag, which is why All-in-Ones cost so much more than prefolds. Cotton and wool diaper covers are also pricier than synthetic ones, but parents who do not like synthetic materials near their baby's skin feel it's worth it to pay more for a breathable cover. Diapers with prints are also more expensive than those that are plain white. Keep in mind that cheaper is not always better. Case in point: Department store diapers are around $10 a dozen, but they are lousy, for the most part. Vinyl diaper covers are around $2 each, but they crack and cause that dumpy diaper look and just do not work well. Your best bet is to order several diaper catalogs from mail order cloth diaper companies and then order a few samples of the diapers and covers you are interested in testing out. Then, if you decide that a particular product doesn't suit you, you don't have to regret having bought a whole dozen or a whole pack.
Know Who You're Shopping With
When deciding who to shop with, keep in mind that many work-at-home mothers sew cloth diapers and when you shop with them, even if they charge a bit more than competitors, you're helping them out a great deal and in return they usually give excellent customer service. Some of the cloth diaper resources listed here at StorkNet.com include links to web sites that include customer comments about many of the different cloth diaper businesses and many of the products they sell. This is a great place to get recommendations about reputable diaper companies and good diaper products. Visit cloth diaper message and discussion boards, as well. Always review company return policies prior to purchasing products. And remember, let business owners know whether or not you enjoyed doing business with them and let your cloth diapering friends know as well. This way, good companies will get repeat business and not-so-good companies can try to improve.
© Copyright 2001 Stacy Jones Tolentino/ Homefront Publishing
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