Monday, July 23, 2007

Pampers or Huggies?

Okay, so maybe the world of disposable diapers is not that simple, but it is much more so than the world of cloth diapers.

Sure, there's a few less popular brands, and many store brands, and personally, I've found myself delighted with Costco's Kirkland brand. If you buy a package you don't like from, say, Walmart, you only have to live with the mistake for a week or so, and then you go buy a different brand.

Cloth on the other hand? There are (maybe literally, who can tell?) thousands of different kinds of cloth diapers and accessories.

It's really overwhelming. Now, the cheap way to go is with prefolds and simply plastic covers or wool covers made from old sweaters (or hand knit ones, if you happen to knit--which I don't, sadly). Prefolds are what you think of when you think of cloth diapers. There are also tons of different kinds of covers to use... ones that Velcro in a manner similar to disposable diapers...probably more comfortable and way more cute than plastic pants.

But then, there are All In Ones, and Pocket diapers... and these look like mana from heaven to me. As easy to use (washing, of course, is a different matter) as disposables, because they are one piece...and even cute! Like these and these and these. Even you who think cloth diapering is crazy (I hear you, I do.) can't deny how cute these are!

And, then, there's a world in between...diapers that are not rectangle, but rather contoured, and then fitted diapers that are contoured and self-securing (with Velcro or snaps) with elastic around the top and legs to prevent leaks. There are liners and doublers and soakers and inserts, and a hundred brands of every type of item I just can one make a good choice? The cost of a bad choice is much higher than having to finish off a package of less-than-ideal disposables. When you drop 20 bucks plus shipping on one diaper...and it doesn't fit your kid or it leaks or it's just too difficult to use... then what? Not to mention... when you go with a 20 bucks a piece diaper... are you really saving over disposables? Maybe in the long run, since the diapers are very re-usable--even on to second and third children, but in the short run, that's the cost of a large package of disposables... sigh.

And then there's endless discussion on laundering techniques...I can hardly even bear to go there.

However, on the positive side of all of this, I did find out that Viva paper towels work very well as liners to prevent staining... yay! I was going to buy old sheets and cut those up and just throw them away anyway... this seems not much worse as far as waste is concerned. I guess we'll see...philosophically, I suppose this may not be very waste-not-want-not of me...but not having to worry so much about stains? That just might be worth it.