Cloth Diapers: Why I Switched From Natural Prefolds to Synthetic Pockets

by Kate on October 22, 2013

in Natural Mom

HeavyDuty2___68253.1377454150.290.218Cloth Diapering has been working really well for me, but it took a bit of trial and error to get it that way. When I first started, I built my stash with mostly Cotton Prefolds and PLU covers with snap closures. Now, I’m using nothing but Kawaii Heavy Duty HD2 Pockets with Microfiber inserts, microfleece inners, and velcro (aplix) closures, and I love them! Here’s a little explanation of how I ended up using basically the exact opposite of what I had expected.

I love Aplix.

I thought I would prefer snaps since they are longer lasting and don’t require special care to avoid snagging things in the laundry. In the end though, Aplix allow for a much better fit and are just so much faster to get on a fidgety, crying baby (Ethan is not a fan of diaper changes).

Microfiber is not so bad.

I thought for sure I only wanted to use natural fabrics when cloth diapering. I had heard they were easier to clean and healthier for baby’s skin. In reality, I don’t find them any harder to clean than the natural fabrics. In fact, microfiber dries MUCH faster than cotton, which makes them a lot more convenient to use. I can run a low heat cycle for an hour and a half and my pockets and inserts will be totally dry. I then have to continue drying my prefolds (if I washed them with the pockets) for another 45 minutes on medium heat to get them dry.

Microfiber also keeps Ethan much dryer than the prefolds. The prefolds got soaked and Ethan would cry and fuss in them, whereas the microfiber really sucks in any moisture. My only gripe is that they are a little unpleasant to handle when stuffing since they pull moisture away from my hands.

The inconvenience of stuffing pockets is worth the benefits. 

I thought I would hate having to stuff and unstuff pocket diapers, but it’s not a huge deal and totally worth it. Because you take the inserts completely out of the covers, they clean up well and dry very fast.  I also find comfort in knowing that if microfiber does become a problem, I can just switch to a more natural insert (even a prefold).

Plus since you can customize the absorption, I feel like they will grow with my baby better than other types of diapers.

It’s also worth mentioning that while unstuffing seemed gross before, it’s actually very easy to just grab the edge of the insert and shake the cover off into the laundry without ever touching anything soiled. I also find that it’s much easier to spray off the fleece lined cover than a large bunchy prefold.

Natural doesn’t mean better.

Ethan couldn’t stand being so wet in the prefolds. He also ended up getting a bad rash while I was using them that I think was caused by the wetness. I’ll take synthetic fabrics over a rashy, uncomfortable baby any day of the week. The microfleece also stays much softer than the prefolds. My prefolds were really pilly and crunchy and despite trying a lot of different methods to get them soft.

Using covers multiple times? Not for a Newborn!

One reason I wanted to use prefolds and covers was the supposed ability to reuse the covers if your baby hasn’t pooped in it.  Well, that may be fine for older or non-breastfed babies, but newborn babies who are breastfed poop A LOT.  Ethan goes after just about every feeding, sometimes more, so reusing covers was going to be out of the question. This was what cinched my decision to buy pockets–I had considered just buying fleece liners for the prefolds to make them stay-dry, but since I also needed a ton more covers anyway, I figured why not buy a new set.

Natural Laundry Detergent? No thanks, pass the Tide.

Yeah, sorry, but in my low water, HE washer, the natural Charlie’s detergent I was using just really didn’t cut it. I switched to Tide after reading tons of blogs and forums where cloth diaper veterans said they swear by it and I haven’t looked back. I’m using the Original Tide HE and it works great. I just do one cold pre-rinse and a hot wash with Tide and the diapers get super clean. If the Tide does somehow damage the diapers? Luckily my full set of Kawaii’s was only $100, so hey, I’ll just buy a new set.

Cheap Pocket Diapers are good enough for me!

When I realized I couldn’t stick with prefolds and covers, I was a little upset because I had spent a fair amount of money on my stash and basically wouldn’t be able to use any of it (For diapering anyway. Prefolds are endlessly useful outside of diapering too.) Luckily in my research, I had seen some reviews on Kawaii diapers, which are super affordable. Yes, they are made in China. But I was able to get my full set of 24 one size pocket diapers (all I need since I prefer to wash every other day–wouldn’t let dirty diapers sit longer than that anyway) for about $100. If they wear out faster than more expensive diapers, I could buy a whole new set and still spend less than what I would for Bum Genius or Fuzzibunz or any of the other high end diapers. They fit Ethan fantastically at 1 month (he was 10 lbs).

And frankly, I haven’t got any high end diapers to compare them to, but my Kawaii’s seem like they are really great quality!  The TPU outer is really soft–much softer than any of the PLU covers I had been using. The microfleece stays soft after washing and covers the elastic where it touches his skin so he only has fleece against his skin, no TPU. The elastic seems really sturdy yet it’s not too tight–no red marks! And overall, Ethan seems really comfortable in them. My ONLY gripe about them is the laundry tabs where you would secure the aplix to prevent laundry chains and snagging DO NOT WORK AT ALL. I bought the older version of Kawaii Heavy Duty HD2 with round aplix tabs. I’ve heard the newer square tab version fix this problem. But I just attached the aplix tabs to the diaper waist inside out instead, which works great and seems just as easy to me.

So in conclusion, cloth diapering has turned out completely different than I expected. I was really questioning whether I could continue while using prefolds and covers, but now I LOVE it. I can honestly say that I strongly prefer my cloth pockets over disposables (which I was using a lot of when the prefolds were preventing Ethan’s rash from healing). So if you’ve had any issues with cloth diapering, just try a different style!

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*In the spirit of full disclosure, links to products in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you decide to purchase any of the products I recommend. Know that I only recommend products that I have used and love myself.

*I am not a doctor, a nurse, or any kind of health practitioner. I’m just a gal with a pretty keen intuitive sense, great research abilities, and curiosity that is easily peaked. Please understand that my advice is really just another opinion and it’s for you (and your doctor) to decide the best course for your health and well-being.

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