November 21, 2011


Posted by special guest Jen~

A great big thanks to WOM-MOM follower and new mom Jen.  She has decided to go the cloth diaper route (GOOD FOR HER!  I TOTALLY HATE LAUNDRY, SO I AM SUPER IMPRESSED!  NOT ONLY THAT...BUT IT IS HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUPER THRIFTY!)  And she was willing to test drive several options and reported back the results...Here's part one of her two-part series:

Jen in the middle--rockin the 80's style!  She is an awesome mom!
Part 1: Finding the right diaper for us

Cloth diapering is surely an adventure. There is a lot to learn and a lot of lingo out there to describe all the different types. But I love to research stuff, I’m a biologist, and a recycler and a conservation minded person, so this experiment was right up my alley. This is my unique experience and I hope it helps you WOM-MOMs out there.

Cloth diapers were a natural consideration when I found out I was pregnant. I hate the thought of all those diapers going to the landfill and taking decades to break down. And when I actually found out the price of disposable diapers, well then I knew cloth was the way to go for our family. In the first 6 weeks after my son "Smiles" was born we had already spent $100 on disposables!!! (Granted I probably wasn’t being as thrifty as I could have been)

Firstly, throw all your mother’s and grandmother’s ideas about cloth diapers out the window. Today’s cloth diapers are state of the art. No pins and awkward folding needed. Most of the diapers you can get now don’t even need a waterproof cover to contain messes.

Smiles in his BumGenius cloth diaper with hook and loop closure

All-in-one, all-in-two, pre-fold, pocket, one size, cover…These are all descriptions of the different types of cloth diapers. Well, there are a few web sites out there that define these terms so I won’t go into it. But I will tell you that the most popular are the all-in-one, pocket diapers and each brand has their own take on this style. Two important terms that I will use are “one size” and “sized”. The “one size” diapers are designed to grow with your baby, so you only need to buy them once. “Sized” diapers are small, medium, and large, so you have to buy a new supply as your baby gets bigger. This option is obviously less economical but some say they fit better than the one size diapers.

On my baby registry I chose several different diaper brands because I wanted to see which one I would like best before I invested in a full supply. (I later discovered that someone on Amazon sells a sampler pack that is great if you want to try a few different types). Here is what I started with: 1 Thirsties (sized), 1 Charlie Banana (one size), 2 BumGenius snap closure, 3 Bumkins (sized diapers), 2 Bumkins one size.

What I learned about the brands (Star * rating 1-5):
Thirsties * needed a cover, this diaper is just fleece with no waterproof outside. Very soft and absorbent, but when Smiles wet, it soaked right though. So when you put this diaper on the baby it is basically like putting the diaper on twice, first the diaper then the cover. But what I did like about this diaper is that you didn’t have to stuff it with a liner. Another down point do these is that they are sized so as your baby grows you will need to buy a new supply of the next size.

Charlie Banana *** deserves an honorable mention. Although it has snaps that I don’t prefer, it has adjustable elastic in the legs which many moms like. Ill fitting leg holes are a big complaint with cloth diapers and Charlie Banana has fixed that problem. Waterproof outside, stuffable liner, one size. However, the one size system for this brand is a little confusing. The diaper is pretty small and the snaps are just designed to grow with the baby’s waist and not length. We’ll see how long Smiles can wear this diaper.

BumGenius (snap closure***, hook and loop*****) brand has cornered the market for cloth diapers. They seem to have put the best of everything in one diaper. They are a pocket diaper and come with an infant liner for when the diaper is at its smallest size and additional liners that fit the diaper when you increase the size. The outside is extremely waterproof and you can insert an additional liner when you need extra absorbency like at bedtime. The one size system is straight forward and you only need to buy your supply once. I started out with the snap closure but got a larger supply of the hook and loop closure (it is just easier).

BumGenius with separate stuffable liner
Bumkins sized ** were given to me by a friend who used them on her baby and really liked them. I thought I would love these too. They had an absorbent liner that was attached to the diaper (no stuffing necessary). This is a great style because I thought my husband would have a hard time with the stuffable ones. The outside seemed to have great waterproofing and they were hook and loop closure. Once I started using them and washing them they started to leak. Not just at the vulnerable spots but actually seeping through the outside of the diaper. Plus, as Smiles grows, I would need to buy a supply of the next size up. I also discovered that these diapers are spendy and hard to find.

Bumkins one size **** are pretty cool, the stuffable liner is attached to the diaper and they come in fun prints. I got these in an attempt to compromise between the removable liner and the attached liner. These are a great option but you still need to take the time to stuff them after washing. As I continue to use them I find they have a bit of the same problem with leaking as the Bumkins sized diapers do. The wetness seeps through the fabric. I emailed the company and they told me to put them in the dryer on high. That solved the problem for now, so I am still giving these diapers a good rating. These diapers can also be a little harder to find. I went to a couple of different websites before I found one that had them in stock.

Bumkin diaper with attached liner
Here is what I learned overall:
1) Hook and loop fasteners are the best. Don’t bother with the snaps, they are just too hard to snap on a squirmy baby.

2) Although not needing to stuff the liner in the diaper seems like it would be great, and less labor intensive, the fact is these diapers take longer to dry and you can’t really get a “one size” diaper in this style (that I have found anyway).

3) Get a diaper that is easy to find and has good customer support (BumGenius, Bumkins both do). Don’t bother getting frustrated trying to find a specific type that is no where to be found.

4) Don’t bother with a diaper that needs a cover in order for it to be waterproof. The BumGenius ones have great waterproofing and it is just too cumbersome to have to put two diapers on your baby.

Stay tuned for Part II where I discuss laundering and care of the diapers.

1 comment:

Melisa said...

Aw, what a great shot of Smiles in his diaper. What a punkin!