This post is a follow-up on a Amy's series on the topic over at Raising Arrows.
I'm afraid my posting is going to be a little erratic for the next few weeks as I "enjoy" morning sickness. Unfortunately, the frequency of the computer screen seems to aggravate it.
Amy's post/guest post on the basics of cloth diapering is an excellent overview of the different kinds of cloth diaper and their various benefits and disadvantages. However, I think she left out one important option: the flat fold combined with a cover.
Flat folds are the traditional diapers our grandmothers used--just a piece of flannel, folded in quarters, and then folded and pinned in place. That's what I use. Shocking, I know that someone in the US today would use something so primitive :P
In general, I have not had problems with leaking, and they are incredibly easy both to wash and dry. As for where I put them when they are waiting to be washed, the absence of layers means I do not need a pail. I just put them in a tote bag hanging near the washing machine.
As for price, one can buy flat folds--as I did when I was pregnant with The Bat. The flat folds available from Bird's Eye are no better than cheese cloth, and shrink to the point that they are useless on anyone larger than a newborn. They also leak dreadfully. The ones I used on The Bat were purchased online and manufactured in China. I don't remember the brand or the website anymore, but they do still exist, and are less expensive than prefolds. I think I spent about $25 for two dozen diapers. The fabric reminded me of tea towels.
When The Eel was on the way, I needed more diapers. I had used, and worn out, several of the old ones as cleaning rags in Israel. Rather than buying more, I purchased a full sized flannel sheet for $3 at the thrift store. From it I cut rectangles a little larger than the original diapers and hemmed them. In order to minimize the combined thickness of the hems, I actually folded them in half and sewed the resulting rectangle closed. These are the best diapers I've ever used--including disposables.
I do use pins, although I'd love to try Snappis some day. Babies can be very wiggly when they want to be, making it tricky to avoid sticking them with the pins. Nonetheless, I am the only one I've ever stuck with a diaper pin.
Naturally, flat folds get damp on the outside when baby gets wet. In order to contain the dampness (don't want it getting their clothes wet before you get around to changing the diaper!), I use a washable wool cover. I knit my own, and they're terribly easy to make, but any short pants designed to go over a diaper will do, especially thick or water proof ones.
I love that flat folds are easy to clean and quick to line dry (even quicker in the machine). I love that they are self contained. On hot days, I can put baby in a diaper and nothing else--the cover is optional. I love that they grow with my baby and are adjustable to my baby's exact size (I make long, skinny babies). Flat folds are one-size-fits-all in a way that nothing with shaping can be. Best of all, I love how economical they are.
Flat fold diapers work for me.
This post has been linked up with Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.