Monday, October 7, 2013

All About Covers

Last week we talked about pre-folds, so it seemed natural to talk about covers this week. We will move on to wool and fleece covers soon, but for right now we will discuss the traditional diaper cover.
Diaper covers come in many colors and styles.  The one thing they have in common is they usually have some type of moisture barrier fabric in them to prevent leaks.  They can also be made of wool or fleece, but as I said, that topic will be for another review.

When shopping for a cover here are some options to think about...
  • Snaps vs. Velcro - Snaps stay firmly in place, but don't have quite the adjustability of velcro.  Velcro can be adjusted just about any size around your baby.  Snaps however don't get fuzzy in the laundry and have to be cleaned out.  They generally remain pretty reliable for the life of the cover, whereas sometimes velcro can give out before the cover.   Velcro is fast and easy if you have a squirmy baby to diaper quickly, snaps can be a little more cumbersome and take longer to close.
  • Sized vs. Adjustable - Some covers come in specific sizes; newborn, 3-6 mo etc while some covers are very adjustable, they have a snap down gusset to adjust the rise for growth.  Fit on your baby might be the determining factor here, as every baby is so different, and also as they grow diapers and covers will fit differently.  A style of cover that works for a newborn might not work for an 8 month old just because bodies change shape as they grow.
  • Gusset vs. no gusset - This is an easy comparison.  A gusset is an extra flap of fabric with elastic on the edge that goes around the leg of the cover to help enclose that space.   If you have a petite baby without chunky legs you might find a gusset necessary to avoid leaks and blow outs, sometimes that extra flap just keeps everything in place till diaper change time.  A chunkier baby might not need a gusset to keep everything in place, so the types without work just fine.  
  • Lined vs. not lined - Some covers will come with a fleece lining and some will be simply the PUL or barrier fabric on the inside.  Fleece will wick and absorb extra moisture and pull it away from your baby, however once a fleece cover is soiled, you will have to replace it with a fresh one.  PUL lined covers will not retain moisture, so they can often be wiped off with a wipe or damp cloth and re used for the next diaper change.  Both covers keep moisture in where it belongs.
When shopping for covers as well as any cloth diaper product the best advice I have heard is to buy a few different styles and use them for a while to determine what works best for your baby before investing in one particular style.  As I mentioned above this can change after 6 months or a year, so if you purchase an adjustable cover for your newborn and decide you don't like how it fits, wait a few months and try it again, you may find it becomes your favorite.  All in all covers and pre-folds are a fairly economical way to cloth diaper.  Most covers range in price from $10.00 to $15.00 and you can find a wide selection of them here from the Etsy Cloth Diaper Team Sellers!

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