Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cloth Diapering 101: Fitted Diapers

Interested in cloth diapering but don't know where to start?

Overwhelmed by the different TYPES of cloth diapers?
(Let alone all the different brands!?)

This is a good, safe place to start. I'm here to give you the facts about the different kinds of cloth diapers without overwhelming you.

(This is the second post in the series. The first post was on Flats and Prefolds.)

Photo Source: shop.thegoodmama.com via Baby on Pinterest

What is a fitted cloth diaper?

A fitted diaper is shaped a lot like a disposable, in that it has an hourglass shape. Fitted cloth diapers require no special folding like flats and prefolds do, because they wrap around your baby just like a disposable diaper: the back wings attach in front, under the baby's belly. Generally, fitteds require no pinning because most fitteds have snap or aplix/hook and loop (like Velcro, but different brands) closures.

There are many, many brands and types of fitteds, but generally they come in sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, and "One-Size" (meaning that the rise is adjustable so that you can adjust the size from S-XL).

                                                                                                                                                                                             Source: etsy.com via Christine on Pinterest

It is important to note that fitted diapers are not waterproof. They are made of absorbent material only. That means fitted diapers require a waterproof cover over the diaper. 

Many mamas wonder why fitteds are so popular when they will just be covered up by a waterproof cover. (After all, prefolds and flats would be cheaper!) There are some good reasons for using fitteds, and many of these ideas I gathered while reading on the addicting wonderful cloth diaper forum DiaperSwappers.

Here are some reasons why mamas choose fitteds:
  • First and foremost, fitteds are CUTE! There is no special fabric required, so fitteds can be made out of any cute cotton print you find at the fabric store. Pre-made fitteds come in a huge variety of fabrics, prints, colors, and designs.
  • Stemming from the previous point, fitteds are also easy diapers to make. They do not require expensive material or lots of expertise in special stitching to prevent leaks.
  • Fitteds are more breathable than other diapers. Many mamas choose to use fitteds at home or  in the summer without a waterproof cover.  
  • Fitteds can be cheaper than other types of diapers because covers can be used multiple times between washings. As long as the baby is changed often enough, the cover may not even get wet or dirty. Just have a few covers to alternate throughout the day and 3 cloth diaper covers can last through 12 diaper changes!
  • Fitted diapers are very absorbent because the whole diaper is made out of material that can soak up wetness. For this reason, many mamas trust fitteds as their go-to nighttime cloth diaper. In addition, the elastic in the leg openings may help hold in messes better than flats or prefolds.
  • Finally, fitted diapers are a good choice for little ones with aversions or allergies to synthetic fibers. Fitted diapers can contain all natural fibers and can be worn with a wool cover, ensuring that the baby is not in contact with PUL or microfiber, some of the most common man-made materials in cloth diapers.

While there are many advantages to fitted diapers, there are some disadvantages as well.
  • The disadvantages to fitted diapers include that fitted diapers can actually be very expensive, depending on which brands are in vogue and work best for your baby.  
  • Even after buying the fitted diaper you will also need covers, which leads us to our next disadvantage, which is that using a fitted diaper requires multiple steps:securing the fitted diaper and then securing the cover over it.
  •  Some mamas find this to be the deal breaker: your baby will have a big bubble butt while wearing a fitted diaper, which may make it difficult to find clothes.
 So there you have it! If you have any additional questions about fitted diapers, or you have additional advantages or disadvantages to fitteds that you'd like to share, please leave a comment.

Happy Fitted Diapering!

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