I have been cloth diapering for over 12 years now. I’ve cloth diapered newborns six times! (The first two switched to cloth after their newborn stage.) So, I have quite a bit of experience and have tried a great many methods and products for newborns. … Continue reading Newborn Cloth Diapering
So, if you’re at all like me, you see these super cheap cloth diapers on Amazon and you wonder, “Are they any good?” Plus, they make some awesome prints! I was gifted a few different brands, so I’ll give you the scoop on the ones that I tried.
First, I think a lot of the brands are the exact same. It appears that they are just rebranded by each company. So, don’t fret over Art of Life diapers or Alva diapers- they are the same. Buy whichever you think are cutest. I tried three brands. Art of Life, Alva Baby (with two different labels), and EcoAble. You’ll also see these, these, and these, which all look exactly the same. Now, the AoL and Alva diapers were the exact same since they were both pocket diapers. The EcoAble were a little different since they are All In One style. We’ll revisit those EcoAble diapers in a different post and focus on the cheapie pockets today.
The Art of Life and Alva diapers are identical. The tags are different, but the actual diaper is the exact same. Same dimensions. Same materials. Same efficacy. The Art of Life tagged diapers actually came from a company named “Lil Bit”, or at least that is what the inserts said. I’m telling you, they are all the same. I actually couldn’t find the AOL tagged diapers to link, but I swear they are out there.
How do they compare to a standard cloth diaper? I’m comparing them to a BumGenius pocket diaper because that seems very run of the mill basic to me. You can see from the pictures that the cheapies are much larger. They also don’t have any interior PUL foldover. The inside fabric is similar, but the cheapies are much rougher feeling. The outer fabric on the cheapies is much thicker. It is a TPU rather than a PUL. So it isn’t as thin. It isn’t breathable at all. And it doesn’t feel as soft.
But do they work? Well, yes and no. I tried both the microfiber inserts and the fancy charcoal inserts. I saw zero difference between those two. They both seemed to work the same. The inserts are actually so similar to my BumGenius inserts, that I now can’t tell which is which on my microfiber inserts.
The problem I have with them is that they are using the exact same size insert as the BumGenius pocket diaper. You can see that they are much bigger than the BumGenius pocket diaper. This means that the insert doesn’t cover all the way across. The inserts get bunched and move around a bit more because they don’t fit the space. I have had many leak issues, specifically through the stitch lines around the legs. Same inserts in the BumGenius diapers and they don’t leak.
So, I switched it up a bit. I tried out my Green Mountain Diaper prefolds instead of the microfiber or charcoal inserts. Because I could pad fold them wider, they worked like a charm. Zero leak issues using prefolds instead of the inserts they came with.
So, yes they work, but you need to modify the system a little bit. These also snap a bit different from the BumGenius. Instead of two parallel snaps, they use two snaps side by side on the top row and then a hip snap on the bottom row. I don’t see a difference with the snaps in how they function. They are just a bit different. But other diaper companies use this triangle snap system, so that isn’t weird or new. Just different from the diaper I’m using to compare.
So, is it worth it? It depends on your situation. If I had gotten these when I first started cloth diapering, I would have deemed the experiment a failure because of leaks. You really do have to work a bit harder to get these not to leak. And that means buying prefolds, so they aren’t as cheap as they seem. However, if you’ve got prefolds and are wanting some “easy” diapers for the sitter or grandma or whatever, these are excellent diapers for that use. They don’t make good overnight diapers. These aren’t so bad that I am looking to off load mine. But I am glad I have more than just these in my stash. They do make some really cute prints. These are my out and about daytime diapers and I now stuff them with Green Mountain Diapers prefolds. On the lowest setting, the small prefold fits well. On the largest setting, you’d need a large prefold.
These started fitting Daisy when she got around 10 lbs. They were a little big on her then, but they did work. I’d say 12 lbs. and up is probably the more reasonable size.
** This post does contain affiliate links. Using affiliate links does not cost you more, but it does help me out. I do receive a small commission when you purchase using my links. **
I’ve been cloth diapering a long time. So I have seen how diapers evolve. New brands starts. Old brands fade out. Old brands come out with new stuff. The Flip certainly isn’t new, but it took me a while to try it. I’m just going to be up front. The All In Two* concept was a total fail with me. I tried it when those first came out and they just were not my thing. So the Flip always seemed to be a combination of an all in two concept with a prefold and cover concept.
* All In Twos are diapers that have an outer cover but the insert is meant to be changed as needed, reusing the cover. This is usually done by having an insert that snaps or Velcros into place. It differs from the pocket because the Insert sits directly against the baby’s skin and there is no “stuffing” involved.
I was never very interested in the Flip, despite really liking BumGenius diapers and really liking prefolds and covers. But then some Flip diapers found there way into my hands and I figured it was time for me to try them.
Naturally, I’m comparing the Flip to my favorite diaper cover, The Rumparooz cover. That seemed logical to me. Now, I probably should have grabbed a brighter color to take photos of, because this particular color (this is the color Sweet) clearly doesn’t photograph well. I am reviewing both the aplix version and the snap version, but only took pictures of the snap because I hate aplix, though I did try it.
So, the Flip is essentially a diaper cover with a large front flap and back flap for you to place an insert into. You just tuck the insert under the front and back flaps. There are a variety of inserts. I tried the stay-dry insert and the organic daytime insert. I did not try the disposable insert. (I’m just not into half cloth and half disposable diapers. Those aren’t a need for me.)
I did not like either insert. They both leaked, even with a very small baby. Neither were absorbent enough, even after extensive prep. And I gave these things a several month trial. This is not a review based on one use. I tried them with my Green Mountain Diaper prefolds, and those worked a lot better.
The Flip covers are really wide. You can see them here with a BumGenius pocket diaper (the blue patterned diaper) and the BumGenius Freetime (in the color Kiss). The Flip is wider than both. I think they use the same pattern, but the Flip isn’t getting sewn the same way, so you’re gaining a half inch in the width of the diaper. I have very fat, short babies, but the Flip was far too wide in the crotch.
This shows the width of the Flip on the bottom with a Rumparooz One Size diaper cover on top. It is much wider. So, on a small baby, that meant I had to tuck the legs in a bit or the diaper would be from her knees to her belly button.
One thing I dislike about BumGenius diapers across the board is the lack of the double gusset. It was especially problematic on a diaper cover to not have that second gusset to hold in #2.
Also, the Flip only has elastic in the back. (Well, that applies to all BumGenius diapers.) So, there were definitely leaks from having a little too much room in the waist.
They also didn’t work like you think they would. For a small, EBF baby, every time she pooped, it got on the cover. I find this true every single time I pad fold a prefold. It just isn’t my preferred method, I like the prefold wrapped around them so I have double protection from leaks.
Now, in a Flip, you can ignore the front and back flaps and just use it like a regular cover, which is what I ended up doing most of the time. However, the flaps can’t be wiped off like a regular cover, so I found that I only liked using it once or twice before I felt like it was dirty. With other diaper covers, I can usually get 3-4 uses out of them before they just feel dirty. (You wipe them out with a wet wipe after use and let it dry while you use another one.) So, instead of going through 2 diaper covers in a day, I was going through 5 (at least).
Also, I still hate Velcro. I gave the aplix (Velcro is the brand name. Aplix is the generic name. Like saying “facial tissue” or “Kleenex”.) a try. And while they weren’t evil in the wash and kept stuck to their tabs as they should, I still hate the way they wear. Even though BumGenius rounds the edges of their aplix, they are still really stiff and uncomfortable against the baby’s skin. And they will still get snagged on their clothes or yours if they have half a chance. And the aplix starts looking worn out really fast. Snaps look new for a long time. Aplix look ragged very quickly.
Now, the price is where Flip users are usually really happy. Right now, they are running $12.95 to $14.95 a cover. I’m not even going to discuss the inserts, because I think the Green Mountain Diaper prefolds are much better regardless (and they are cheaper). But the covers are a little less expensive that my favorite cover. (Rumparooz are $14-$16 a cover depending on print.) However, I require twice as many Flip covers because they get dirty so much easier and quicker! I can totally get by with 6 covers and 24 prefolds with the Rumparooz covers. However, with the Flips, I would need 10 covers and 24 inserts to be washing at the same frequency. (Every other day.)
So, not a fan of the BumGenius Flip covers. They aren’t terrible. They work for the most part. Are they the first diaper I reach for? No. Are they what I would recommend? No. Are they the cheapest option? No.
* I used small Green Mountain Prefold diapers with the Flip snapped down small. When it is unfolded all the way, a medium Green Mountain prefold is what I found to fit.
** This post contains affiliate links. I do earn a small amount of money when your use my affiliate links to purchase items using these links. **
There are so many kinds of cloth diapers out there, it can be difficult to choose which system will work best for your family. You research and research and finally decide, Yes! I will cloth diaper my children. Then, you are faced with which diapers to buy! It can be overwhelming trying to figure out the pros and cons of each system, especially since you’ll be pulling from individual diaper reviews and diaper sites. I often get asked why I chose what I chose, why I like my diapers, and would I choose again the same way if I had to do it all over again. Well, here is an overview of different styles of cloth diapers and what I think is nice about them and what I think is awful about them.
Prefolds (or flats) & Covers
+ They are the cheapest system available.
+ They provide a level of excitement, providing the daily challenge of achieving that perfect fold.
+ Dry quickly.
– They are the most intimidating system, especially to husbands and child care providers.
– Pins or snappis are usually required. (I have a personal aversion to pins and snappis.)
– Can be difficult to get the absorbency just right.
– Often bulky.
– Can be difficult to get on a squirmy baby or toddler.
– Sizes are usually needed. (There are a few kinds that offer one size covers. Econobum is the main one that comes to mind.)
Fitteds and Covers
+ Cute and often trim.
+ Great for containing messes. (Really great fro holding in newborn poo!)
+ Very absorbent and usually require little “fiddling” to get absorbency right.
+ Easier to use.
+ Can easily use all natural fibers only.
+ Can make yourself or buy from a work at home mom.
+/- Can be the most expensive system or a very affordable system depending on your personal choices.
– The most addictive cloth diapering system. (Yes, cloth diapers can be addictive.)
– More difficult to adjust absorbency if the absorbency isn’t right for your little one from the start.
– Take more time to dry.
– Usually need various sizes. (There are a few brands that offer a One Size fitted diaper and you can find One Size covers.)
+ Easy to use.
+ Most common type of One Size diapers.
+ Dry quickly.
+ Easy to adjust absorbency.
+ Only require one diaper “layer.” No extra cover is needed.
– Require “assembly” of diapers after each wash.
– Usually made of man made fibers.
– Can be expensive, depending on the diaper you choose.
+ Easy to use. Easy for you. Easy for husbands. Easy for child care providers.
+ No assembly required. Ready straight from the wash.
+ Only one diaper “layer” is needed. No extra cover necessary.
– Can take quite a while to dry.
– More difficult to adjust absorbency if you need to.
– Can be quite expensive.
+ Fairly easy to use.
+ Dry faster than all-in-ones.
+ Theoretically, you can reuse the outer cover, meaning you’ll have less diaper laundry and less cost.
– Not a good system for babies with loose poo. (The poo contaminates the cover, eliminating the chance of reusing it.)
– Require “assembly” before use.
What to do with all this information?
Well, I looked at everything and narrowed down the most important for me. I knew I would be drying my diapers in my dryer, so I’d want something that dried quickly. I knew I needed something that would work immediately without a lot of trial and error. The Pastor was barely on board with cloth diapering, so I needed it to work and be easy for him. I wanted a one size solution, since I have multiple children in diapers at one time, I didn’t want to have to separate and keep several different sizes out all the time. I just needed one stash for all the children I was diapering (except newborns). I did not want to use snappis or pins.
So, with all that information, I chose to buy one size pocket diapers. They worked without any playing around with them. They were easy to use. The only real downside for my family is that I have to assemble them when they come out of the dryer and that takes time.
I have since used every other system, except prefolds. I can say, I can find things I like and don’t like about them all. If I had to do it over again, I would have bought less variety and tried to stick with one brand. (Having a bazillion brands makes it difficult when you are assembling your diapers. It also makes it difficult on care providers to switch from one brand to another, when they aren’t really comfortable with my diapers to begin with.) I love fitteds and covers for the newborn stage! I really dislike all-in-twos.
So, what should I choose?
That is up to you. You shouldn’t feel like you have to choose just one system. I knew that in the beginning, it would make it easier for The Pastor if I only had one system. But many families use on system at home and one system while out. Or one system during the day and another at night. Choosing an easier system at first will make your transition into cloth easier. (Some people find prefolds very frustrating and quit cloth diapering because of these frustrations.) It is up to you!
A note about one size diapers: I often find that I would have probably liked sized diapers, too. There are several brands of one size diapers that require internal adjustment of either the diaper or the insert, that defeat my “one stash” goal. Also, diapers don’t last forever, so with one size diapers now on their third bum, I find they get very worn out. It might have been just the same to buy the various sizes and end up with more diapers, lasting longer. As it is, I must replace my diapers when they’ve had enough. I once thought one size diapers would save me money, and if I had one child, they would. But since I’ve now cloth diapered 3, I find that I would have spent the same, either way.
Happy Diapering!!! (You can check out my reviews of each of my diapers in the “Off The Bum” category.)
A very frequent question I get is how do I wash my cloth diapers. First, you should start with the most simple washing routine for your diapers (always avoiding the no-no items of bleach and fabric softners). If you start complicated, your wash routine will always be complicated. If you start simple, you may find that simple is more than enough for you. In which case, you’ve made your life infinitely easier. Second, the real trick to washing cloth diapers is using just enough detergent to get your diapers clean, and then using enough water to thoroughly rinse the detergent out. Seems simple, right? Well, the 1/4th a capful rule makes many people wary of using too much detergent and they end up with ammonia build up. Don’t be scared. If you use too much detergent, you can always rinse it out. You won’t ruin your diapers by using a little more detergent. Lastly, take into account your load size. A very small load of diapers (10 or so) will need very little detergent. If you are cloth diapering 3 and your load is 30 diapers, you’ll clearly need more detergent. Also, if you have a load size setting on your machine, always over estimate your load size, rather than underestimate it. You need water to clean your diapers!
One of my first questions when I was beginning to cloth diaper was, “What on earth is a diaper pail?” I couldn’t think if people were using Diaper Genies or what. You can use a Diaper Champ or something similar, but the easiest is using a kitchen trash can with a lid. You can see mine have liners. I made them from some extra home decor fabric I had lying around. I made two, so while one is in the wash, the other is in the pail. But it isn’t even waterproof?! I realize that. You can make a waterproof liner, but I don’t see the need. When I remove my liner and throw it in with my diapers, I spray my pail with Lysol. I let it sit and dry, then put a new liner in. In over a year of doing this, I have no problems with it.
The inside of my diaper pail has the following instructions:
Dump any solids! (That means, put poop in the toilet.)
Remove insert (if any). (Clearly, some of my diapers do not require this step. However, anyone not in the know about how to put my diapers in the pail is also not in the know about the Smartipants and TweedleBugs being exempt from this requirement. And clearly fitteds, all in ones, and covers don’t have inserts.)
If velcro, secure velcro to laundry tabs.
My laundry routine:
1. Once all soiled diapers, wipes, and the diaper pail liner are in the machine- I run one cold rinse. (This rinses out any poop that wasn’t dumpable – think breastfed baby- and keeps most poop stains from setting in.)
2. Add 1/2 capful of detergent (I know, you’ve heard to use a forth of what you’d normally use. I did that, it did not get my diapers clean enough. So, now I use half a capful to 3/4 a capful!) and turn washer on for a hot wash with warm rinse.
3. Turn washer back on (without adding more detergent) for another hot wash and warm rinse. (My machine does have an “extra rinse cycle” button that you can push, however, I found that a wash and two rinses just wasn’t enough. So, now I essentially have a wash and 3 rinses.)
4. Put all diapers, wipes, inserts, and pail liner into the dryer and dry one cycle on low. Take out all covers (this includes the outer portion of pocket diapers) and dry on high heat. (There is something wrong with my dryer. It takes the full two cycles to dry all my stuff. It doesn’t take me that many at my mom’s since her dryer is not incapable of actually drying. At her house, I remove all the covers, then leave my inserts in for a 15 minute high heat blast in the dryer for germ killing reasons, not drying reasons.)
That concludes my wash routine!
You can use the special diaper detergents, but to start off that way goes against my “keep it simple” rule. So, I decided simple would be buying only one kind of laundry detergent for my entire household. I have used original Tide, regular All, All Small & Mighty, Arm & Hammer with Oxi Clean, and some super cheap kind at my Mom’s house. My favorite is Arm & Hammer with Oxi Clean. It is cheap and works well. (And it smells really nice!) Trying to decide on a detergent? Avoid “free & clear” varieties. Avoid anything with added fabric softner, water softner, or bleach. I also think the liquid kind rinses easier from cloth diapers.
What about stripping?
I every other week to every week wash once using plain blue Dawn instead of my detergent. It seems to keep build up problems at bay to routinely Dawn your diapers, though it is far from necessary. Need a deep clean but don’t want to use Dawn? Use more of your detergent (and you can add a scoop or two of Oxi Clean) and add a couple more rinse cycles to the end of your wash. It is amazing what a really good rinse will do.
What about using baking soda or vinegar?
Once again, to start with, keep it simple. Baking soda added to the initial rinse can help with detergent build up. Vinegar added to you end rinse cycles can sometimes help with ammonia build up. Sometimes vinegar will make your problem worse. Baking soda can make ammonia problems worse. So, jump these hurdles if they come, don’t start out using either.
How do I know if I have ammonia build up or detergent build up?
We often automatically assume it is the dreaded detergent when we have issues. Detergent build up will show up by your diapers not absorbing as much as they should. You’ll begin having unexplained leaks that are not caused by improper size or infrequent changes. Your baby could get a rash on their bum, but it usually doesn’t make your diapers smell. If your baby has a rash and your diapers have a smell (sometimes out of the dryer, sometimes when peed on) but are not leaking, ammonia is probably the culprit.
What do I do for detergent build up?
More rinsing! A Dawn strip can help you get your diapers back on track. If you are using “free & clear” detergent, find something else to use. “Free & Clear” detergents are a common culprit in detergent build up. Don’t cut down on the amount of detergent you use, you’ll only give yourself an ammonia problem that way. Add more rinsing to your routine! (And you may want to switch detergents. The more basic the detergent, the better.)
What do I do for ammonia build up?
A Dawn strip may help you quickly get your situation under control. Increase the amount of detergent you are using, because you are clearly not using enough detergent to get your diapers clean (thus the build up). You may need to increase you rinsing to make sure you rinse the increased amount of detergent out.
If you can, once a week add an extra rinse cycle or two to your normal load. I call this a “mini-strip” and usually do mine with Oxi-Clean or Dawn instead of my usual detergent.
What do I do if I’m still not sure if my problem is detergent or ammonia?
Easy. Do the most simple thing. Increase your detergent and add an extra rinse or two. To keep it from recurring, you can increase both your detergent and rinsing permanently. A strip or “mini-strip” would help both!
How many rinse cycles must I do?
Typically, one extra rinse is enough. ( rinse + wash + rinse + rinse) If you find that isn’t enough, you can increase your rinsing in one of two ways. You can add on rinses to the end *rinse + wash + rinse + rinse + rinse) or you can increase your load size on your washer, so each rinse uses more water, thus rinsing a little better. (small load to medium load) In my experience, water is the key to clean diapers!
Isn’t machine drying rough on your diapers?
Yes. I never dry my PUL on anything but low heat. I am not very easy on my diapers (should give you a little more confidence in my reviews). You can line dry your diapers, I just find very little time for such things.
How often do you wash diapers?
I wash mine daily. Some people wash every other day. Some only wash twice (or once!) a week. I have too many diapers to wash anything other than daily. My diaper pail is completely full by the end of the day! Also, Aidan pees acid. If his diapers sit longer than 36 hours, they must be washed twice to get all the ammonia out.
Doesn’t washing diapers take a lot of time?
Well, I’m not washing them by hand! You quickly settle into a nice washing routine. If I start my diapers when the kids are getting baths, I can have them in the dryer before bedtime. (I take them out when I get up in the morning, unless I just can’t sleep & do it after the kids are in bed.)
Still have questions? Feel free to ask!
I am frequently asked many, many questions about cloth diapering. I know I had the same questions before I chose to make the switch to cloth. I figured I would make a list and answer the common cloth diapering questions I get. (This will not cover certain laundry specific questions, that is another post entirely!)
Oh my, yes! I save a lot of money! Here is the actual breakdown:
Disposables: $10.99/pack (We used Seventh Generation Diapers before we switched to cloth because of my kid’s sensitivities to the chemicals in disposable diapers.) We used about 2 packs every week. So, that is $1,142. 96 per year (before tax) on diapers alone. (or $95.25 per month.) Add the $16 a month for a box of wipes and that is $1334.96 a year. (or $111.25 a month.) Add the $5 a month for the diaper genie refill. So, your grand total for disposables comes to $1394.96 a year. ($116.25 a month)
Cloth Diapers: The average price of a cloth diaper is $18, so I will use that number as my estimate. (Some diapers are more, some are less. I have quiet the mix.) So, based on that figure, I’d have 24 diapers for the same 2 kids in disposables we talked about above. That would be $432 in diapers. (My own personal diaper stash actually cost me less than $300.) And lets say you buy wipes (I made mine from flannel scraps for FREE), that would be $21 for 30. So, now our total is up to $453. Now, let’s also say you decided to buy wipe solution. That would add $21. (I buy mine for $3.50 a container and if I used a lot of it, I’d use one container every 2 months. As it is, I actually use one container about every 3 or 4 months.) Now our total is up to $474. Add two diaper pail liners at $33 for 2 and our total is now $507. (I made mine for FREE from some leftover home decor fabric I had lying around.
So, not attempting to be economical in both situations, you would save $886.96 by switching to cloth in one year. (And note that beyond that year, you continue to save more money! Your only continuing expense with cloth in this scenario is wipes solution.
What do you do when they poop?
Well, first I run in circles screaming before throwing all their clothes in the fireplace and burning them! Okay, so not really. But what do you do when your kid poops? Let’s see… you change their diaper? Wow? Really?! Me, too!
First off, let me clear the air. You are NOT SUPPOSED to roll your child’s poop up in their diaper and toss it in the trash. Human excrement is not a substance that should go to a landfill. You are SUPPOSED to dump their poop into the toilet and flush it, then throw away the soiled diaper. That said, I don’t know of anyone that uses disposable diapers that does not throw away poop! But in case you ever wondered, you are not supposed to do that!
There is a huge misconception out there that you must rinse or swirl dirty cloth diapers in the toilet or place them in some vat of magic poop erasing solution to clean them. You don’t. There are some people out there that still choose to rinse diapers or use a “wet pail” system for whatever reason, but that is not the norm. (It is usually only for people that use prefolds or flats, though some people like rinsing.) Most cloth diapering families simply dump the poop in the toilet (as everyone SHOULD- just teasing you) and then place the dirty diaper in their diaper pail. With exclusively breastfed babies, you don’t even have to dump the poop! WHAT?! Yes, the poop in water soluble and in easily rinsed off in the washer. A cold water rinse in the washing machine prior to your wash cycle.
An added note on poop, flushing all poop down the toilet teaches your kid a very important life lesson. Poop always ends up in the toilet. It makes it easier to associate poop with toilets when they ALWAYS see poop going into the toilet. (And as young as 12 months, they can begin flushing their own poop down. Allowing you to introduce them to the potty in a non-threatening and non-expecting kind of way.) The toilet is never a “new” thing since it has always been part of the diapering process.
What do you do when you go out?
We all go commando. No, really? What do YOU do when YOU go out? You change your babies diaper. If there is no trash to illegally toss that poop in, then what do you do? You put your diaper in a bag and toss it when you can (or when you get home). That is not far from what I do. If there is a toilet, I dump the poop before putting the diaper in a bag to take it home. No toilet? I put the diaper, poop and all, into a bag and dump the poop when I get home. Yes, that can be gross. But I think about that $886.96 while I’m doing it. (I once wiped butts for a living, so clearly poop & money go hand in hand for me.) I don’t find it difficult to cloth diaper ALL the time. Some families do choose to cloth diaper at home and use disposables when out.
What do you do on vacation?
Wash diapers. Seriously. When we visit family, it is easy. You just wash in their washing machines for a few days. When we went to the beach last year, we stayed in a condo that had a washing machine and dryer. Easy. If we are staying in a hotel, I will see if I can go the entire time without washing (if it is only one or two nights it is no problem at all). If I don’t make it, I then try to find a laundromat. (Disposable diapers can always be purchased if all else fails.) I have not found it to be a big deal at all. The main concern when we are heading out of town is to make sure all my diapers are washed and ready to go the moment we need to leave.
How do you sanitize them?
First, I think you think too highly of your chemical filled disposables. (Yeah, I know, a little harsh.) But seriously, you are wondering now what is lurking in my cloth diapers, so let’s imagine what chemicals are lurking in yours. (Think about the bleaches, fragrances, creepy gel filling stuff, etc.) Now, let’s talk about mine. My diapers are washed in HOT water. That plus the detergent takes care of most everything. I then dry my diapers on low heat, but after removing the PUL parts, I dry the inserts (the absorbent parts of my diapers) on high heat. That kills any bacteria that could be lurking about. Some people use a BacOut solution to get rid of harmful stuff. I think hot water and high heat are enough. (When you kids begin to potty train, what do you do if they wet the bed, their clothes, etc? You wash and dry it. If it is enough for your towels, it is enough for your diapers.)
Isn’t it gross?
Well, having kids is a fairly messy ordeal in and of itself. Changing diapers is never a CLEAN event. Kids poop. And they vomit and snot and spit all over, too, but that is beside the point. But washing diapers is no more gross than having to take out the diaper genie trash. It is also no different having a diaper pail full of cloth diapers next to your changing table than it is to have a disposable diaper pail there. You reuse your undies. Your toddlers reuse their undies. You don’t have to personally grab poop with your bare hands. You aren’t tossing dirty diapers around your house like mini time bombs. I’m not sure what is so “gross” about the concept. It is kind of funny to me that most men ask this. As if men are THAT clean? I mean, really. Your underwear are 10 years old and you’ve got rock hard pit stains on your under shirt and you think washing and using a diaper again is gross. Okay, dude.
Isn’t cloth diapering difficult?
Can you use your washing machine? Oh, you can? Well, then you won’t find cloth diapering difficult at all.
What about wasting water? Isn’t that as bad as filling up a landfill with poop?
Well, cloth diapering adds one extra load of wash a day to every other day (or every third day for some). You are going to add one toilet flush a day per child you cloth diaper. (For children eating solids and having solid poops.) That isn’t really THAT much. (Especially since that toilet flush shouldn’t really be EXTRA.) Believe me, teenagers do more water wasting than cloth diapering. (Unless it is a teenage boy in that “no bathing” stage they hit before they realize girls like clean boys.) To be honest, our water bill has not changed due to cloth diapering. If you live in an extremely dry place on SEVERE water restrictions, you probably would prefer to use disposables. But let’s all be clear and realize we are seriously talking about one medium load of laundry a day. You have to decide what makes sense for you and your community.
Don’t you have to change their diapers more often?
So, I know YOU wouldn’t ask this, but SOMEONE has. No, with cloth you cannot let a child sit in their urine all day without changing them. Yes, that creepy gel stuff in disposables does allow you to hold off for 8 hours until the gel part starts leaking down their legs. So, if you are accustomed to using 2 or 3 diapers a DAY for you child because you would hate to WASTE a diaper, then cloth diapering will seriously increase your diaper changes. You may even have to check on their diaper every 2 or 3 hours! Gasp! However, if you usually don’t like to let your child sit in urine, and change their diaper 6 to 8 times a day, cloth diapering will not increase the diaper changes you do.
On that note, cloth diapering can be very reassuring to a breastfeeding mom (especially if it is her first bay). With disposables, sometimes you wonder if it is really wet or not (especially on little babies) because that creepy gel stuff absorbs so much! If it is not OVERLY full, you wonder and worry. With cloth, you can clearly see if they are wet. You can feel the insert (or diaper) and easily see that, yes, they are wet. No wonder. No Worry.
Don’t cloth diapers leak a lot?
Well, if I left them for hours upon hours , then yes, they eventually leak. However, I have had far fewer poop leaks with cloth than with disposables. (Want to talk about gross? Newborn poo in their hair! That is gross!) Cloth diapers hold poop in much better than disposable diapers do. Like disposables, when babies get mobile, sometimes they shimmy their diaper into a weird position and will leak. It is true, cloth diapers do not hold as much liquid as the creepy gel in disposables. However, most parents do not use the full maximum absorbency that a disposable diaper has. (Except for those that throw dirty Huggies in the Wal-Mart parking lot. THOSE parents use that absorbency to the MAX!)
Won’t cloth diapers turn your child into a Democrat?
Not that I am aware. I’ll get back to you in 15 years when my oldest registers to vote.
I purchased 12 Wild Child For Babies All in One diapers before Emery was born. I paid $100 for the dozen, so the price was great! The Pastor was not sure about the fitted diapers, so I bought some All-in-Ones for him, since he said he would prefer that.
These diapers were very large for newborn diapers. In fact, they are closer to a size medium Prowrap cover than a newborn. (They could be a small, but I never had a small cover, so I couldn’t say.) I kept trying them on Emery because I wanted them to work. They have no umbilical snap down or scoop. They are large. Around 8 lbs, they began fitting Emery, but I had such trouble with leaking. I ended up using them as a fitted because I never could get them to not leak. They fit from a rolly 8 lbs. to 15 lbs.or more! Maybe a thinner, but large baby would have had better luck. I’m not sure. I put one on 25 lb. Aidan one day & they fit him though they were a bit low rise. And they did not leak on Aidan. I was super quick to change him, but I can say they did not leak. I may pull them back out and see how they work on Emery now. I tried them again when he was around 16 lbs., but they didn’t fit well. They were tight on his thighs and still leaked.
Side by side comparison of a Newboren Wild Child For Babies All-in-one and a Newborn Graham Bear Wear Fitted. Wild Child is on the smallest setting and the Graham Bear wear is on the “medium” setting.
Wild Child for Babies newborn all-in-one diapers have cotton velour interior. Mine had the cute cotton knit fabric on the outside. These diapers are not very trim. They take FOREVER to dry. In fact, The Pastor used to complain about how long it took our bumGenius organic all-in-one to dry, but once we started using these, he was wishing they dried as fast as the bumGenius all-in-one! Seriously, these took me 4 dryer cycles to dry. If you hang them, they’ll be hanging for over 24 hours before they are dry! These do not have a scoop or snap down, so you have to wait until the baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off before you can use these.
Do I recommend these diapers? I can’t. They did not work for me. If that changes, I’ll let you know. And here is where I insert a disclaimer. Not every diaper works for every baby. Some people adore the diapers I hate. Some people hate the diapers I adore. Wild Child for Babies may work perfectly for some. They just didn’t work for me.
Emery is our first baby to cloth diaper from birth. I knew my one size diaper stash would not fit him at birth. (Though have since tried WAHMies one size diapers and they would have easily fit him from birth.) We decided to go with fitteds and covers. I really like fitteds. They are a great option for newborns. Why? Well, newborns have that runny, explosive poo and the fitteds keep that inside the diaper where it belongs! If ever the poo escapes the fitted, it still remains securely inside the cover. We never had a single poo leak with Emery in fitted diapers. (Disposable diapers always allowed explosive poo leaks with the older two!)
At first, I ordered 6 Graham Bear Wear diapers. They are so trim and so cute! These are extremely well made diapers! She uses Zorb and they are so trim because of that. These also have a snap down in the front to protect the umbilical stump. Graham Bear Wear diapers have cotton velour interior (often hand dyed to match the outer fabric you choose). The outer is the cotton of your choice. She has so many lovely fabric choices! I have no two Graham Bear Wear diapers that are alike! Talk about fun! And each diaper comes with a matching liner!
After Emery was born, I ordered 6 more because they were such great diapers! The Pastor even liked these diapers, though he was initially very hesitant about fitteds and covers.
You do need a cover, since fitted diapers are not waterproof. Graham Bear Wear diapers easily fit my 6 lb. 13 oz. boy and would have easily fit my firstborn (5 lbs. 2 oz. at birth). These easily fit under a Prowrap newborn diaper cover. These fit Emery until he was about 11 lbs. and ready for our one size diaper stash!
Photot of a Graham Bear Wear Newborn fitted diaper beside a bumGenius one size oraganic all-in-one to show you the size. The Graham Bear Wear diaper is set on its “medium” setting. The bumGenius diaper is as small as it gets.
Would I recommend Graham Bear Wear fitted newborn diapers? Absolutely! And I do! These are my favorite newborn fitted diaper! They are still in excellent condition after one newborn. I bought them for $50 for 6. Talk about a great deal! The only downfall is that you may not get as much money back if you plan to sell them once your newborn is out of them. Graham Bear Wear is a relatively new shop, so the word is not quite out there about what wonderful diapers they are. I am keeping mine! Hopefully I will get to use them again!
Nancie was easy to work with. She made and shipped my diapers quickly! She even threw in a couple velour wipes with one of my orders! (And those are lovely if you are in the market for cloth wipes and don’t make your own!) She had so many cute and fun fabrics to choose from and hand dyed the velour to match many of my diapers.
**UPDATE: While I still adore my Graham Bear Wear diapers, it appears that they are no longer around. Which means that NONE of my newborn diaper making folks are in business anymore. If you come across them on diaperswappers, know they are awesome diapers. But it looks like for the time being, you can’t get GBWs.**
***UPDATE: She’s back! You can get them on Etsy again! Yay!***
When deciding how to cloth diaper a newborn, I settled on fitted with covers. I knew none of my one size diapers would fit my little bitty babies. (Though since then have tried out WAHMies one size cloth diapers, and they would have fit my little bitty boy.) I had heard such lovely things about Nanipoos, so I thought I would order some and give them a try. I ordered 6 custom newborn size Nanipoos. There was a slight delay with getting them, since the sweet lady that makes them lost her husband the day after I ordered. But she was lovely to work with and kept in contact, even during such a difficult time. I appreciated that and waited on my diapers. They arrived the week Emery was born, so I had them in time!
These diapers do require a cover since they are not waterproof. Nanipoos have snaps and an umbilical scoop in the front to protect baby’s little bebo. (If you haven’t read the Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton to your little ones, you should. It is cute.) They easily fit my 6 lb. 13 oz. newborn. I imagine they would have even fit my first and she was 5 lbs. 2 oz. at birth! These work really well with Newborn Prowrap covers. Nanipoos are a bit more fluffy that my Graham Bear Wear diapers, but they work well! These easily fit until Emery was about 11 lbs. and big enough for most one size diapers.
The interior is a nice cotton velour (think Swaddlebees) and the outside is the fabric of your choice. If you choose knit fabrics, your diapers will have a bit more stretch and fit a little longer. If you choose a woven cotton, your diaper will have a bit less stretch, but will fit until about 10 lbs. still. They take a little longer to dry than a pocket diaper or a Graham Bear Wear Fitted diaper because they are a little more bulky. (Usually 2 and a half cycles in the dryer.)
Would I recommend Nanipoos? Absolutely! They are very affordable ($8.50 a diaper) and very well made! These held up well and will hold up to use on more than one child. You can also resell these on DiaperSwappers.com and usually get $5 (sometimes $6) a diaper back! I chose to keep mine since we are hopefully not done having children yet. (We’ll see what the Lord has in store for us.)
My Newborn diaper stash.
You’re confused, right? What on earth is The Pastor’s wife doing with an All-in-Two diaper? She’s a One Size Pocket girl! Well, yes, I am a One Size Pocket girl, but these Gro Baby One Size All-In-Two diapers were generously donated to The Parsonage (Thank you, Melissa!). So, I have tried them out (meaning I’ve used them over 100 times each) and are letting you know what I think.
So, here is how these diapers work. The outer shell has a mesh (think basketball shorts) interior and two snaps. The inserts snap onto the outer shell and you can set a doubler on top of that. I was given 2 shells, 4 inserts, and 2 doublers. The theory is that when your little one wets the insert, you simply remove it and insert another, reusing the outer shell. That absolutely works out for older babies and toddlers. It does not work so well for little ones. When they are little (the babies, that is) they poop every time they eat. This means that they soil the shell and you can’t just pop in a new insert. Eventually, they get to where they only poop 5 times a day, which still doesn’t work out well for an all-in-two system. Then somewhere around 3 or 4 months old, they begin pooping only once a day (or once every three days). Then this system works pretty well.
So, here you see the aplix tab. Gro Baby has very gentle aplix tabs and the entire upper part of the diaper is the “loop” portion of the aplix. It is very gentle. It does not gather fuzz or lint and is not too very grabby in the wash. The laundry tabs don’t always stay closed, but they usually end up hooked to themselves and not snagging my other diapers, so I won’t complain too much about that. The aplix is easily opened by a toddler, though. It does not take much effort to open it. It actually feels more like a disposable diaper tab. I have many, many problems with the weakness of these tabs.
These diapers are pretty small. They are very short, but kind of wide. They are similar in fit to a Rocky Mountain One Size or Tweedle Bugs One size, but a bit smaller. These fit Emery (17 lbs. and round) well. They seem the barely fit Aidan (26 lbs. and average to thin). They don’t fit Imogene at all. Realistically, I’d say the range on these is 6 lbs. to 30 lbs. Kind of crummy, since an all-in-two works best for older babies and toddlers. The weak aplix makes it impossible to keep on a child if using them on the larger setting. The tabs just let go when they are under any strain at all!
They are absorbent and work as a night diaper with the doubler, provided your child is a back sleeper. They leak with side sleepers and larger tummy sleepers. I do have the “old” version (I think new ones are coming soon), so I’m not sure if they will make the shells bigger with the new version. I love that the snaps aren’t white. It just looks cool. It makes them look nicer.
Do I recommend Gro Baby One Size Diapers? Hmmm. Yes, I had to think about it! On one hand, they look nice and work well for 4 months through 2 years. On the other hand, they don’t fit an older toddler and cannot be used as intended before 3 and a half to 4 months old. (Though they do “work” in the sense that they fit and don’t leak. You cannot reuse the shell when a little baby explodes poo all over it. So, you’d have to buy enough to change the shell every time. So, it doesn’t “work” for using one shell for every 2-3 inserts.) They are easy to get on and off, so an ECer may like them a lot for that. So, I guess I sort of recommend them. Just so long as you are aware of their limitations and the deviations from the all-in-two plan. Don’t cry to me when you buy 8 shells & 24 inserts for a newborn, only to find the shells only get you through half a day. And don’t cry when you love them, but your 3 year old is still not wanting to potty train but just does not fit in your beloved Gro Baby diapers anymore. They are pretty neat diapers, but could use a lot of work! (Manufacturer of Gro Baby, if you’re reading this, make them bigger! Make the inserts a bit longer! Make the aplix stronger, or better yet, switch to snaps entirely!)
After using them for about 150 washes, the elastic is getting much less springy. The back elastic on all my Gro Baby diapers is completely shot and the leg elastics are all making their way toward that end. So, less than 6 months of good elastic use. This could be due to squeezing my average size two and a half year old in them (which should be fine). I think I could have gotten another month or two out of the elastic if only the baby was using them. Which, the baby is the only one using them now, since the 29 lb. 2 year old no longer fits in them.