When it comes to cloth diapers, everybody’s looking for the next big thing. Retailers are trying to stock limited editions before they sell out. If you haven’t seen this yet, click here to find out if they are Good for the Cloth Diaper Industry? Companies are attempting to come up with the newest, the best, things that have never been done before. New ideas = new customers! New customers are good for business! Bloggers want to get their hands on what’s new and up and coming, to give things away, be the first to publish a review, to get a wider audience.
Then there’s the everyday run of the mill cloth diaperer. These consumers want something cute. The want something cheap. They want something that works, really works, and is going to LAST. Something that is easy to wash and won’t get the stinkies. They want something easy to use that will work for babysitters. Sometimes it’s hard to get all of those things into one nice, neat little package. Really, in one package. Sometimes mixing and matching is what it’s all about. Who wants to take the time, money or energy to custom-fit something just for your cloth diaper stash? Then to replicate it over and over again until your stash is ‘complete’? <— as if that’s even possible! All kidding aside, I think *I* have the solution. Ask anyone what their favorite diapers are, and you’ll get dozens of different responses.
Some people swear by prefolds. In my experience, prefold diapers are great for the newborn stage. They do require a few washings to become fully absorbent and quilted like the picture above. There’s a small learning curve, but they’re super inexpensive and almost impossible to damage. You can really do a lot to them and still have them end up in excellent shape. They often come in sizes with different edge colors, like the Imagine ones shown above.
Flat diapers are great. Just ask anyone who took on the Flats Challenge the last few years. There’s some great stuff on Kim’s site, check it out (but come back!) Some people who did so even sold all their pricy diapers to use flats full time–even though they were hand scrubbing them! If that doesn’t tell you something about how great they are, then consider that they were used for generations before us because they wash, dry, clean and absorb to perfection. They have to be folded, of course, which bothers some people. I’ve had good luck with most of them, including Blueberry which are some of the largest we have–great for a heavy wetter. Perhaps the softest was the Geffen Baby Hemp/Cotton Jersey Flat. I reviewed both of these several years ago when I made the switch from microfiber inserts. I have a somewhat hate/hate relationship with microfiber, which led me to setting most of it on fire a few weeks ago. Feel free to read more about that here: Torching my Microfiber. Hopefully it will make you laugh, and not cry. No useful diapers were harmed in the making of that blog post!
All in ones and All in twos typically only have one choice because they are a self-contained system. Whether they’re sewn in or snap in, you still have to sacrifice some of the integrity of the product to get what you want. You lose choice to gain trimness and ease of use. A cover or pocket system is still the best bet if you’re wanting options. Although you’ve always had the choice of the inserts I’ve mentioned above (and more), most modern pocket diapers or all in twos have only one ‘automatic’ option for their inserts. Unless you have enough patience and are lucky enough to score seconds or choose a used diaper, you’re almost always paying the price of having a specific insert included in the cost, and the shipment. Never heard of a ‘seconds’ diaper? Read more about it: What are seconds? When learning about cloth diapers, you don’t always get all the information that you might want right away. You may never know that hemp inserts exist. Or bamboo. Or that some people go down to their nearest mega-mart and buy 5-packs of flour sack towels when they’re in a bind. It’s one of the first things I recommend when someone says ‘I don’t have much money’, or ‘I need something I can buy locally to get me through.’ The truth is that nearly anything absorbent will work, it’s what gets millions of women in other cultures by with only rags to diaper their babies–and our culture circa the pre-1960’s disposable era.
So. You may be wondering where I’m going with all this. Choice. It’s what I hear echoed over and over again chat groups, give me more CHOICES. If you choose, then you can’t lose, right? Don’t make me forsake my beloved brand because it only uses microfiber. Or have a heavy wetter. Or give us the OPTION of a natural insert to pair with my favorite system. The next big thing? CHOICES. They’re out there, but you have to DIY. Mix and match. Buy a particular brand only to discover you didn’t read closely enough and it has a fabric you don’t want included. Ordering a pocket diaper from a company? How about a choice of a prefold, flat, or microfiber insert instead of just ‘as is’? Or only the cover itself (thank you Applecheeks for that option!) so you can use whatever you want inside. For me (and a lot of other people).. THAT is the next big thing. CHOICE. Will manufacturers of pocket diaper systems and more AI2’s jump on the bandwagon and answer the call that has gone out so many times in online discussions? Only time will tell.
What do you think? What’s the next big thing? What do you want that you haven’t found yet?
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