Monday, March 7, 2011

Why use fleece covers?

Fleece offers a waterproof, but BREATHABLE, barrier between the cloth diaper and the outer clothing. While it is not a natural fiber, it is highly reusable (I've had some that are going on 2+ years old) and is very effective. (For some pros/cons between fleece and natural wool covers click here).

A fleece cover/soaker is used over a fitted, prefold, or flat diaper (or any non-waterproof cloth diaper). It can also be used as extra protection over a pocket, AIO, or disposable diaper. When being used over a waterproof diaper, it can only provide an extra layer before it hits the clothing - it cannot force the liquid back into the diaper to re-absorb. Make sure all edges of the diaper underneath are completely covered to get any extra protection in these cases.
  • Fleece does not absorb anything. Without a diaper underneath, it will leak. Depending on the effectiveness of your diaper, you could get leaks out the legs of a fleece cover (for example, a poorly secured prefold diaper).
  • Fleece can be washed with regular laundry or diaper laundry, with no special care (100% polyester won't shrink). 
  • Fleece does pill with wear.
  • Fleece offers a breathable barrier - this being said, you may feel "dampness" or humidity on your baby's clothing if you're getting used to fleece covers. It is not a puddle or a wet spot, but you feel the heat/moisture exchange a bit. To me, this is a good thing because you know your baby's skin can breathe!
  • The more often you change the diaper, the more effective fleece will be for wetness protection. For night time, a soaker with a double layer of fleece in the wetzone is helpful and often gets babies through the night (again, depending on the diaper absorbency). There is also thicker fleece (200 or 300 weight) which provides more reliable protection (though a bit bulkier and more expensive). 
  • Some people find fleece is bulky under daytime clothing, compared to a PUL cover. However, for others, they are already sizing up in clothing to make room for a fluffy diaper :) In my case, it helped to keep the pants on my skinny 2 year old! 
  • There is no elastic in the legs/waist which is a benefit if your little one gets irritated by it
  • Soakers can be worn on their own during the summer months with baby legs for a cute outfit! You can also get fleece shorties or longies that double as a cover and clothing at the same time.
  • Fleece soakers on their own are not a suitable "training pant", since there is no absorbency. However, once children are at a stage where they stop their flow upon realizing they need to go, soakers can provide that extra layer of protection before it hits the clothing. (If they are still having full accidents, a soaker over training pants is not your best solution). 
  • There is a fabric called "eco fleece" that is made from 89% recycled pop bottles - great solution for an even more eco-friendly product (and it's the thicker, 200 weight)!  
~ Jen (owner of Winkydinks)

Do you have other questions about fleece as a cover? Leave a comment.
<<---------Find fleece soakers, longies, and shorties for sale by Etsy Cloth Diaper Team members by using the search filters on the upper left side of the blog!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It’s so hard to say goodbye…

I once cried over a shrunken pair of longies. My DH said he liked it that I treasure the little things. I, on the other hand, was having the sneaking suspicion that I had become a little bit obsessed. That’s another blog though, about sweet little boys changing little brother’s diapers so mommy can sleep.

First loves. The excitement, the passion, the newness, the challenges, the possibilities. Yes, I felt all these things when I clamped my hand on the first wool sweater I would ever turn into a pair of longies for my DS. My first-love relationship with sewing cloth diapers was just losing its rosy glow (I had only tried 10 patterns or so), and I was ready for a new challenge. The store-bought PUL covers were working fine, but so blah. I was putting off the whole wool thing because I didn’t own a single wool sweater to sacrifice to the cause, and wool seemed to be non-existent down south. I wondered if I would have to travel upcountry to find thrift store sweaters. And then one day it happened.

For the incredible bargain price of $2.00 I found the absolutely most perfect sweater to make longies for my DS. As I stood trembling with excitement at the checkout a fellow shopper commented on the lovely pattern. I said, “Yes it is, it’s too bad it wouldn’t actually fit me.” The she asked me if I was going to felt it. I grinned (not too broadly, in case she frowned upon that sort of thing) and said, “Yes.” I did not tell her what I was going to make out of it.

I could hardly stand that I couldn’t take it home and right away make something out of it. I hurried to throw it in the wash and see what would happen. It was all so magical! When my new love was clean and dry I laid it out on my sewing table…now what? I turned it this way and that, I flipped it over, I measured it, but I could not bring myself to cut it. What if I ruined it, wasted that whole $2 (I’m very frugal by nature), not to mention the perfect sweater print that it was? Then my creative juices finally kicked in and I took the plunge.

I cut my precious wool sweater. Now there was no turning back! It was all such a blur. Before I knew it, I had the cutest thing I’d ever seen to put on a baby. My mother, who always supports me in every creative endeavor, looked on curiously and maybe a little bit skeptically. Then, with more hope and excitement than I could bear, I put them on my DS. My mother was instantly won over. Who wouldn’t be? They were indeed the cutest thing a baby could wear. Somehow, not by my skill or knowledge, they came out exactly as I had hoped, better. Now the only problem was that everything in his wardrobe needed to match those longies!

They were wonderful. People who didn’t know they were a cloth diaper cover commented on the cutest pants they’d ever seen, and could I make them for adults?

Ah…first loves.

I’ve made many more pairs since then, some that I loved, some that were unwittingly sacrificed to the shrinking monster, some that merely served their functional purpose, but that first pair holds an immovable place in my heart. Sweet DS is growing by leaps and bounds and is still wearing that first pair, but they are difficult to tug on and off, and the southern spring is drawing near. What will I do with them? Surely they will not be cast of like so many unwanted treasures! Should I frame them and hang them on the wall? I do not know. For today I will enjoy watching DS wear them as he learns to stand and toddle, and scooch his way across the wood floors, sliding on the knees of my First-Love Longies.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Winner of Just 2 Cute Accessorie's Giveaway!

The winner of this week's Fluff-a-Rump giveaway is number 8!

Ann said...
Love the peace soaker!

Congratulations! You win a semi-custom "I Love Mommy" soaker from Just 2 Cute Accessories! You will be contacted shortly, or feel free to contact Just 2 Cute Accessories through Etsy. Thenk you to everyone who entered. Check back next month for another giveaway and featured member from our team!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Types of modern cloth diapers

-thoroughly written by Christine-cloth diaper maker of FancyCloth Baby

 A cloth diaper is an absorbent piece of cloth that usually needs a waterproof cover. The modern cloth diaper comes in a variety of systems to fit your lifestyle, more reliable and super CUTE to boot.

Pre-folds & Flats are rectangular pieces of fabric sewn together in several layers. The prefold has an usually has an absorbent middle with extra layers already sewn in construction. However, the flats are one layer that must be folded to create the additional amount of absorbency. These diapers require a waterproof cover made of PUL, fleece, or wool to keep babies clothes dry. Pins and snappis are how they are secured. Tri-folded and layed into cover with out pins works just as well.

  • Most economical system
  • Useful for other things such as burp clothes, changing pad, inserts for pocket diapers if folded in thirds.
  • Can use a waterproof cover more than once, just get a new pre fold
  • Long lasting
  • Highly absorbent
Folding prefolds; The simplest way to use prefolds are folding it in thirds and laying it in a diaper cover. There are other varieties of folds that require a closure like pin or snappi.

  • May not be convenient running errands or on the go
  • DO not fit snugly around legs or waist without security of a cover
  • Time consuming with folding

Fitted diapers are diapers that are constructed with many absorbent layers sewn together fitting shape of a baby and using elastic around elastic. They can be closed with snaps, hook and loop or be pin able. They are not waterproof and require a waterproof cover made of PUL, fleece, or wool.

  • Contain in messes with elastic around legs and waist
  • Every square inch is absorbent; so it's highly absorbent 

  • Requires cover
  • May take longer to dry than a prefold
  • Can leave red marks from elastic
  • If has serged may irritate babies skin.

Waterproof covers

The covers are usually a separate piece that goes over absorbent cloth made of a variety of fabrics.

Polyurethane Laminate (AKA PUL) The most common fabric used. This cover is usually wipe able and can be reused throughout the day. You will only need about 4-4 covers per dozen fitteds or prefolds. This usually partially breathable preventing diaper rash.

  • Fleece, are a great alternative to laminated covers but are just water resistant, as long as you have enough absorbency you probably won't have problem with leaking. Also a breathable fabric.

  • Wool covers are made of natural fibers that absorb and repel moisture away from baby. This is a breathable cover to keep baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer and prevent diaper rash.

Pocket diapers The construction consists of a waterproof outer cover, sewn to a stay dry lining fabric. This lining fabric has an opening (or pocket) in back or front. You use this pocket to stuff an absorbent soaker pad or trifolded prefold into the diaper. Closures are already sewn to diaper wither snaps, or hook and loop.

  • Can adjust absorbency with as much or little; as you need.
  • Usually lined with a stay dry fabric to keep babies bottom dry, great for long car rides or wet sensitive babies.
  • Dries fast because soaker is separate.

  • -Can get messy because you have to unstuff absorbent inner for rinsing and washing out of pocket
  • -Time consuming system. You have to stuff with each diaper change or remember to pre stuff.
  • -2 separate piece system
  • -Needs new diaper with each diaper change


All in One or All in 2 (AIO/AI2)
Elasticized in leg and waist for great fit. Everything is sewn into the construction of an all in one. The outer water proof, the absorbent inner fabric with soaker built in. It is usually referred to as an AI2 if the soaker is detachable or sewn to one side to become fast drying! Closures are also made into the construction of this diaper using snaps or hook and loop.

  • Convenient on the go
  • Great for care givers like baby sitters, grandparents, day care
  • One Piece
  • AI2 diaper is FAST drying
  • AIO Not fast drying, likely will take more than one cycle to dry
  • Must use a new diaper with every change unlike separate covers
  • Most expensive type but convenient and easy.

One size vs. Sized diapers
One size diapers commonly have rows of snap in front of diaper to adjust rise of diaper. Sometimes they have adjustable elastic too in waist and leg
  • Means less diapers to buy/economical (pro)
  • Will not fit a baby under 10lbs (con)
  • Can leave snap marks on baby because the rise is usually made with rows of snaps (con)
  • You can use for more than one child by adjusting size to desired rise and waist (pro)

Sized diapers come in variety of sizes
  • Ensures perfect fit for any size
  • Won't leave snap marks from adjusting snaps
  • Can fit smaller babies and bigger kids that go over or under weight limit of OS
Snaps best for baby not being able to undo but takes time to close.
-Hook and Loop (aka aplix or velcro) creates a great fit, great closure for fast changes and on the go. Unless you launder with it closed or use laundry tabs, it can collect lint.
-Pins used for diapers with no closure, fitteds or prefolds. They have safety so baby won't be able to open it, be careful of YOUR fingers and baby though!

-Snappi is fastener that is stretchy, it has three sides, and on each side are claws or clips..They grab the fabric and secure it in place. No risk of poking you or baby!

Happy cloth diapering
This post can also be seen on my cloth diapering website which has all the information you need on cloth diapering, info on my products and cloth diaper sewing!
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