I wrote an article recently about how to begin cloth diapering. I had lots of questions about what style cloth diapers are best. In my last post, I mentioned that we buy our diapers from Alva Baby, but I didn't talk about what style diaper we use. This post is going to cover, pocket vs. all-in-one diapers and velcro vs. snaps. I still use all Alva Baby diapers for our cloth diapering stash, and have never had an issue with them.
1. Pocket Diapers
Alva Baby diapers- as well as most modern diaper brands- have two different styles when it comes to the insert. The insert is the piece that absorbs all of the liquid and can be made with microfiber, hemp, bamboo, charcoal, etc. A pocket diaper has a slit at the top of the diaper that allows you to slide your insert into the diaper. You can choose the number of inserts you will use based on the amount of pee you are expecting.
Pros: The pocket diapers are easier to wash and dry. You aren't suppose to put the diaper cover (pretty colorful part) in the dryer regularly, however you can use the dryer for your inserts. The covers are waterproof and thus dry very quickly in the sun, however the inserts take around 8 hours to air dry. Being able to dry them separately is huge. If you are only ordering a few diapers and don't have all day to let them dry, pockets would be your best option.
Cons: You have to manually stuff your diapers after washing. Not a huge deal, but it does take some time.
3. All-In-Ones Aka Built Ins
An All-In-One diaper- also sometimes referred to as a Build In or an AIO- has the insert sewn into the lining of the diaper. You wash the entire diaper as 1 piece. I can't speak for other brands, but Alva Diapers also have an opening that allows you to slide in an additional insert if you want to beef up the protection.
Pros: Super easy to use and you don't have to worry about stuffing them.
Cons: Because the diaper cover really shouldn't be put in the dryer, you have to let the entire diaper air dry. The inserts don't get direct sunlight or air while drying so they can take a long time to dry. Mine need about 10 ours out in the sun to dry.
If you are buying a large number of diapers and can't let half air dry while you use the others, I would suggest All-In-Ones
2. Snaps Vs. Velcro
Gone are the days when cloth diapering moms had to use safety pins to secure their diapers in place. With modern diapers like Alva Baby diapers you have the choice between velcro or snaps.
The main difference between the two is easy of use and longevity. Obviously the velcro diapers are much easier to put on a wiggly baby. The snapping takes about 20 seconds-which isn't a huge deal- but 20 seconds vs. 3 seconds can be huge when your baby hates diaper changes.
However, it is stated that the snap diapers hold up better over long periods of time than the velcro diapers. Velcro can lose it's effectiveness over year of pulling on it, and can collect lint and strings making it less adhesive. I have never had an issue with snaps or velcro losing their effectiveness, however, keep in mind that the snaps may last you longer.
I also wanted to note, that some diaper covers can be made with different fabrics. We have some that are PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) and other are mink (soft and plush). This is just a style preference and doesn't effect drying time or longevity.
So if you are trying to decide which type of cloth diaper is best for you, consider drying time, easy of use, and longevity. If you have any additional questions about which diapers would fit with your lifestyle, ask down in the comments!
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.