Friday, March 15, 2013

Cloth Diapers - Six Months In - Brand Reviews

It's been six months since I started using cloth diapers with Daisy. I also use cloth wipes, which are baby washcloths that I spray wipe solution on before use.

I received all our cloth diapers as gifts or hand-me-downs, so I have a variety of brands, mostly all used. The little research I did showed Fuzzy Bunz and Bum Genius as the most popular, but they're actually not my favorite.

Daisy sporting her cloth dipe while playing at the bookshelf I painted for her. 

My top 5 favorite cloth diaper brands based on my collection. 

Follow the links to their external websites for more information about each brand.

1. Gro-via. I have one one-size Gro-via diaper shell.
  • Easy to clean and dry 
  • Never leaks
  • Fits Daisy really well as she grows
  • Inserts can be switched out without changing the liner/shell/cover. 
  • You can use non-Gro-via inserts 
    • I prefer non terrycloth inserts if you're not using pocket diapers. Terry cloth holds little poopies in the fibers even after a good wash. 
    • My favorite are hemp inserts. I have several from Thirsties.
  • Gro-via also makes disposable inserts! My friend gave some to me, and they are amazing!

2. Bum Genius - All-in-One. I have four, one-size, all-in-one Bum Genius diapers.

  • Fit Daisy really well as she grows
  • Easy to use: no pocket packing or insert changing
  • Rarely leaks
  • Downside: Takes longer than all other diapers to dry after washing

3. SmartiPants - I have one one-size Smartipants diaper.

  • Fits Daisy really well as she grows. 
  • Rarely leaks
  • Easy to slip the soaker insert into the pocket

4. Kissaluv - I have one all-in-one Kissa diaper. (I altered it to make it a pocket diaper)

  • I ripped out the stitches that held in the insert, so I could take out the insert for washing. I didn't dry very well as an all-in-one diaper.  
  • Fits Daisy really well as she grows
  • Rarely leaks
  • The lining is fleece and has become pilly
  • Not super easy to stuff with the insert after washing

5. Bum Genius - Pocket. I have two one-size, pocket Bum Genius diapers.

  • Most popular kind of cloth diaper from my online research and what my friends use. 
  • Fits Daisy really well as she grows
  • Rarely leaks
  • Lining is not fleece or regular cotton. Not sure what it is, but it doesn't pill and hasn't become water resistent
  • Not super easy to stuff with the insert after washing

Other diapers I own that didn't make the list: 

Random Home Sewn - I have two random home made pocket diapers, which I like pretty well, but there's no way I could recommend them to you, because they have no tags indicating who made them.

  • Soak well
  • Sometimes leak
  • Not as sturdy as the other diapers, but they work well anyways. 
  • The lining is soft cotton, not fleece, which is more durable and doesn't pill. 
  • Not easy to stuff

Fuzzy Buns. I have five fuzzy buns pocket diapers. Four are small size, and one is medium. These are my least favorite. Granted, I started with used diapers, so I don't know what they were like brand new.

  • Leak every time
  • Lining became water resistent quickly. I tried stripping them yesterday, so I'm not sure yet if that helped.  
  • Don't fit around Daisy's legs properly, even with all the different snap size settings. 
  • Not easy to stuff with inserts

In Fuzzy Buns' defense, Daisy is probably too big to be wearing the small size, and they might be too used to be any good anymore. I don't know. The medium size works okay (it also seems to be newer), but she's still more likely to require a change of clothes when wearing it.

Starting from Scratch

If I were starting from scratch on a diaper collection, here's what I'd do: 
  • Buy used. New diapers are so expensive, and because cloth diapers are becoming more popular, there are many people selling their entire collections on craigslist, ebay, etc. Though my diapers are worn and well-used, I don't wish I had new ones, because I don't expect to re-sell them. I expect to use them to the end of their lives with my own kids. If your goal through cloth diapers is to save money, then don't start by dropping hundreds on a brand new collection. 
  • Buy a variety. If I had gone with my online research and only bought the most popular brands, I would be frustrated with cloth diapers. I'm still curious about brands I haven't tried like G-baby. 
  • Only buy a few at first. Buy 5 diapers of different varieties and see which ones you like the best after a couple weeks. Then you can know which direction to go. 
I'm not getting any compensation (ha, I wish!) from any diaper companies. I'm just sharing my experience. Hope that's helpful as you're on the hunt for cloth diapers!
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