Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tell me about diaper trials!

When you're considering cloth diapering, you'll often hear people caution you not to invest too heavily in any one specific brand or type of diaper (read the "building your stash" posts for more information).  One way to test out a bunch of different types of is to try a diaper trial. In a diaper trial, you pay a certain amount of money and receive a number of different diapers. Once the trial is over, you can return all of the diapers and get most of your money back (most place only put you out $10-20) - or you can purchase all or some of the diapers!

For a list of some of the trials available, click here and scroll to the very bottom! Each trial contains different items, so it's important to compare and contrast to find the one that's best for you!

There are a few things to remember about trials:

One downside to a trial is that there aren't enough diapers in the trial to cloth diaper full-time, so you can fill in the gaps with prefolds/covers (super cheap!) or (gasp) even disposables.

Keep in mind that just because you don't like the pocket (or fitted, or AIO, etc.) that is included in the diaper trial doesn't mean you won't like ALL pockets (or fitteds, or AIOs, etc.).  When evaluating the diapers, try to determine if it's something about the system itself you don't like (i.e. you hate stuffing pockets, or you hate the two-step system of fitteds and covers) or if it's something about the diaper itself you don't like (i.e. the fit, the closure, not absorbent enough, etc.).  If it's something just about the diaper itself that isn't working for you, a different brand in that type could still work, so consider not dismissing them entirely. 

Also, a trial only lasts a few weeks, and it can take time to get comfortable with cloth diapering. It can also take time to experiment and find what works for you and your child (i.e. diaper/insert combinations, fit, wash routines, etc.).  If you haven't figured it out by the end of the trial, it could simply be that you need more time to play around, or that the specific diapers in the trial aren't a good match for you - not that all cloth diapers won't ever work for your baby.

Finally, diaper trials have great stuff in them! But they don't have everything.  Most don't have wool covers or hemp inserts, for example - two things that many people have great success with. They all have a very limited number of brands, and as we've mentioned over and over, different brands work differently for different babies.

All that said, though, trials are a great way to give it a shot and see what you think for almost no risk! They are highly recommended by nearly everyone!

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