Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cloth diaper reviews-covers

Diaper covers! I love them.
There are so many choices to choose from!

The most common diaper covers are made of PUL and have an aplix closure. Thirsties and Proraps are examples of these.
Proraps are by far the most economical diaper cover. At about $7.00 a cover you can afford to stock up. These diaper covers work well, have a double gusset, but tend to run a full size smaller. I have never had a leak with these and during the itty bitty new born stage, they fit the best. They come in preemie, newborn, small, medium, large and extra large. They do not have overlapping sides so sizing up doesn't work very well.

Thirsties are amazing! These covers fit well, are durable, and with all the color choices, are very cute! They have the double gusset but they also have cross over tabs! You can easily size up a little sooner than needed and just cross over. Because of this, you can get a lot of use out of each size. They run a lot bigger though, so use caution when sizing up. During EJ's first days the extra small thirsties was a tad to big for him, and would completely cover his umbilical cord stump. Now they have the best fit out of all of our covers. Thirsties is also a great company! I bought a cover that had a spot that had been mis sewn (rare to happen) and they paid for shipping, they fixed it and returned it all in a few days! They really stand behind their products! Thirsties comes in extra small, small, medium and large.

In addition to these covers, there are also covers made out of different materials. Imse Vimse makes an organic wrap and there are also wool covers.

The wool cover I have is an aristocrat wool soaker. The small size fits newborn up to 20 pounds. The thing about wool, is that you have to think of it as an extension to the diaper, NOT as a water proof barrier.
Wool is ultra absorbent and will absorb any excess moisture. If it absorbs too much, you can get compression leakage. The wool cover will not spill out like a PUL cover can, it will instead create a damp spot where the child is laying. For this reason, I prefer wool matched with a fitted. Just to make sure I know there is enough absorbency there to prevent a leak. Some other great qualities are that wool covers are breathable and all natural. The only thing to keep in mind is that they can only be hand washed and they must be lanolized. Washing wool is very different than washing other covers. You only wash every two weeks or so, or when it is visibly soiled. To wash, you fill the sink with luke warm water (take care to make sure it is not too cold or too hot as you can shock the wool and cause shrinkage), add some baby wash and gently swish and pat the cover. Do not rub! Then rinse with the same temp water. After this, I always lanolize. Take a pea size amount of lanolin and melt it in a little water in the microwave. Pour this into the sink with the same temp luke warm water as used to wash. Let the cover soak (inside out) in the mixture. To dry, lay a towl flat on the floor. Lay the wet cover on the towl. Roll the towel up like a burrito with the cover inside. Press to remove the water then lay flat on the counter to finish drying.
Wool does take a bit of extra effort, but the benefits can be worth it!

The last diaper cover I wanted to review is the Blueberry onesize cover all. This cover is a PUL cover and has the aplix or snap closure. The one size aspect is the same as their pocket diapers, with rows of snaps on the front. This diaper cover is great and works wonderfully. The thing to keep in mind, is that this cover runs very large (fits up t0 40 pounds) and is not for newborns. I would say from 15 pounds up.
I do love the one size feature though as it can make the cover buying process a lot easier!

Cloth diaper reviews-prefolds

Flats and prefolds are as basic as it gets when you choose cloth. They are also the cheapest way to go. Flats can cost you about 1.00 a diaper, and prefolds between 1.00-3.00+ depending on size and material. The difference between the two is that prefolds are already folded and sewn in place. You still have to fold prefolds on the baby, but not nearly as much.
Both flats and prefolds require covers. Now I have not personally used flats so the rest of my review will be on prefolds.

There are different types of prefolds out there. The main two are chinese and indian. You can also choose bleached or unbleached.
Chinese prefolds are a bit stronger than indian prefolds. They will last a bit longer. Indians will still last years, but they do show some more wear and tear. Indians, however, are softer than chinese prefolds. I find them to be equally absorbent. I also prefer unbleached prefolds. I like the natural aspect of them. You do have to wash the unbleached prefolds more times prior to use to achieve the ultimate absorbency.
You can also get prefolds that are organic or that are made out of other materials. They have hemp prefolds, and I have been tempted to try them! They come with a steep price tag though!

As far as folding goes, my favorite fold it the angel wing fold. It is easy and works well.
Here is a great picture tutorial.

I have also used the jelly roll, and although you lose some absorbency in the middle, it really does hold in the poo!
Here is that tutorial.

Sizing for prefolds is pretty easy. They offer preemie, infant (newborn to 15 pounds), premium (15-30), and toddler. Usually you will only need infant and premium. My children tend to grow very large and EJ grew out of the infant prefolds very quickly. We were using premiums by two months.

Snappis are wonderful! It is because of this little gadget that we don't have to use pins! Some still choose to use pins but I much prefer the snappi!

All in all, prefolds can be great. I love the fact that they are completely customizable. I fold them to meet whatever my needs are at that time. You can even trifold them and lay in a cover. They are perfect for when I am craving something very simple and natural. The down side for me is the absorbency. They just don't cut it for my heavy wetter. There is no way he could make it through a nap, let alone night time. He can soak a prefold in an hour. I still use them as my back up diapers and often use them in my pockets because of their quick drying times. They definitely have a place in any diaper stash!

When choosing prefolds keep in mind you MUST use a cover! I will go over those soon!

Cloth diaper reviews-fitteds (kiwi pie)

Alright! I LOVE fitted diapers! There is only one that I have and it is the kiwi pie fitted.
This diaper is amazing. When you get it in the mail, it is so deliciously soft you want to snuggle it. Seriously. They also have (imo) the most adorable prints available. They are made out of bamboo, and being a natural mommy, I LOVE bamboo. They are bacterial resistant due to this as well.
As far as absorbency goes, they rock! They come with a doubler of sorts, and it can contain anything. Because it is a fitted, the entire diaper is absorbent and therefore requires a cover. However, this is a bullet proof system. Since the kiwi pie is a diaper in and of itself, breastfeed poo doesn't stand a chance at leaking. Nothing gets past this diaper, and if it did, it would then have to get past the cover. Not going to happen!
I love to put a wool soaker over these!
As far as the one size aspect in concerned,they have snaps to allow for adjusting. These diapers fit my four year old. They have stretch like you would not believe! I do not see any issue whatsoever with these not lasting to potty training!
They are breathable, soft, adorable, and fantastic!
On thing, is that if you use this overnight, I recommend putting a fleece liner in between the baby and the diaper. Only so they don't feel the wetness.
Over all I love this diaper!

cloth diaper reviews-contours

There is only one contour diaper I have and it is the Imse Vimse terry contour.
This diaper is organic, and that was probably why I chose it. I am so glad I did!
This diaper is a thick, absorbent terry diaper. It is one size, however you do not adjust it with snaps. You simply fold it over to fit a smaller baby!
Since this diaper has no aplix, no buttons, nothing extra, I see this out lasting any other diaper. I have been using this diaper for 10 months, and no wear of any kind. It is strong and durable.
For me, I use my snappi with this diaper. I simply fold the tabs over like you would a diaper with aplix, hold it and then snappi it. Just like a prefold! Then I use my cover. Since the whole diaper is absorbent you must use a cover!
This diaper is extremely absorbent and I have used this for overnight use. I add a fleece liner and a doubler though.
For smaller babies (that require you to fold it over) it will be bulky but it fits my four year old well. Very nice sized diaper!

It is easy to wash (always comes out clean) and fast drying.
This diaper also has gussets, so it will contain anything, even breast feed poo!
Imse Vimse is an amazing company and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE these!

Cloth diaper reviews- gro baby

I was so excited to get a Gro baby diaper! It had fab reviews and the new hook and look closure seemed to good to be true! No more fuzzy aplix? No more rough tabs that could rub the babies skin? Yes please!

Similar to the softbums, with the fact that there is a snap in liner, this diaper is also very different. It does not have a fleece interior, instead it has an easy to clean mesh. Also, this diaper is organic! The snap in liner is super thick and plush. It is incredible and very absorbent. It also comes with a doubler. Between these two, I have never had a leak! I love the fact that it is organic and no chemicals are against my baby's bottom!
For sizing, it has the traditional snap settings on the front of the diaper. It fits a newborn and also, it does fit my four year old. Not quite as generous, but this will definitely last through potty training!
The hook and loop is as good as it gets! I do believe they now have snaps available, but there is no need really. It is soft to the touch but has an incredible grip. I LOVE this!!

I usually will not use this diaper over night, simply because the little ones can feel the wetness. This could be remedied by using a liner (maybe fleece?). Also, I would have to put in a couple of doublers, just to make sure!!

Since it has a snap in liner, if the cover is not dirty, you can unsnap the liner and place a new one on! Less wash!

Over all I love this diaper and look forward to trying the snap version!

cloth diaper reviews-all in two (softbums)

All in twos are very similar to the pocket diaper. They have the outer PUL so they do not need a diaper cover. The Softbums are very unique though!
Instead of having a slit to place an insert into, they have a snap in liner that you can adjust. The insert is very long and so you fold it to double over the are where the most absorbency is needed. For us (a boy) that area is in the front. It has a fleece interior and the insert I have is also fleece, although they do make a bamboo one as well. They have also recently started making them in snap, although I have the aplix.
This diaper is very soft and squishy! Also , out of ALL my diapers, this is by far the most trim diaper. It is very narrow through the legs.
There are two great things about this diaper!
Since it has a snap in liner, if only the liner is dirty, you can simply snap in another liner. You can reuse the shell! This saves time, and you have less to wash. Because of this the covers are washed less and therefore, have less wear. For us, I usually will not put the same cover right back on. The fleece interior of the cover will usually be damp, and I let mine dry a bit before reusing it.
This diaper is so easy! The aplix is sturdy with large tabs. It has a crossover tab and is very high quality. It doesn't come undone when washing and stays clean and nice looking.
The best, is how you size this diaper. It has internal "toggles" similar to what would be on a laundry bag. Where you compress them and it allows the string to slide through. They are very tiny but easy to use. You simply pull them out through a small slit, toggle up or down to achieve the PERFECT size. I love this and wish more diapers were like this. There is literally an unlimited amount of adjustment!
As far as absorbency goes, I could never use this diaper for overnight. It is great for day time and can even handle naps, but not night time use for my heavy wetter.
Sometimes I will add in a doubler if I need it to last longer. The only other issue I have, is that it is just a bit too narrow for my chunky boy. This is not a problem usually, but if his pants ride up in between the diaper and groin area, it will cause wicking. This doesn't happen very often though and I do not consider it a significant problem. It is worth it for how trim it is!
Also, something to keep in mind, is that this is the smallest of all my one size diapers. This definitely does not fit my four year old. However, it is hands down, the best newborn diaper I have ever seen. This diaper can size down to fit into the palm of your hand. It is amazing!!! Plus after months of washing, this diaper has shown no wear whatsoever!
Over all I love the ease of use and trimness. Great day time diaper!

cloth diaper reviews-pockets

Okay so pockets are probably the most "known" cloth diaper out there. With names like Bum Genius, Happy Heiny's, and Fuzzi Bunz, it is no wonder!
With pockets, they do not require a cover. They have a PUL outside, with a fleece or microfiber interior. Between the two layers there is a space to slide in an insert. The fantastic thing about this, is that you can add as much or as little as you need. For over night I "double up" and have no worries! Also since I pre load mine right out of the dryer, they are ready to go and at diaper change time, they as easy as a disposable. Even dads love pocket diapers! Most pockets come in set sizes (s,m,l) or one size. Most offer both snaps and aplix. I have the three diapers listed above, and all one size.

The bum genius was the first one I bought and tried. I knew that I wanted a "night time" diaper and had heard such great things from this diaper. So I bought one with the fleece interior and tried it out. First impression? Love at first sight! It was so incredibly easy to size and to put on. It fit wonderfully and that night, it lasted 12 hours!! Not one leak. This diaper is very trim and very absorbent. Even on my tiny newborn, it wasn't too overwhelming. Another feature to consider is that this diaper has a flap in the back that covers where the insert goes in. I love this and this is my favorite thing about this diaper. It does more than contain the insert. It protects the baby's skin! Since the fleece flap is what is against the babies skin, there are no red marks! I love this!Also the aplix is super easy!
Over all this was a fantastic diaper. However, with these, there is considerable wear on the splix tabs with repeat washings. They will curl and stick to everything. You usually end up with "diaper chains" when taking it out of the dryer. Over time the tabs get fuzzy and down right ugly. Now I love this diaper, but I think the tabs need to be redesigned. Also, bum genius, run a bit smaller. Great for a trim fit and for smaller kiddos, but this diaper does not fit my four year old. Out of all of the pockets I have, this is the smallest but trimmest diaper.

Happy Heinys were the second diaper I tried. (I have both snap and aplix)
The first thing I noticed is how much larger they were compared to the bum genius. They still size down well, but they fit my four year old with room to spare. They are very generous with their sizing. The interior is fleece and it also comes with its own inserts. I loved that Happy Heinys came in prints! I have the cow and monkey print! Adorable!
The first night I actually used this, it was perfect! Easy to put on and did not leak! The thing I quickly discovered though, is that I MUCH preferred the aplix over the snaps. Since this diaper is sized generously, the amount of change with each size adjustment is quite large. So if your baby is in an in between size, the diaper does not fit well. There is a lot of wing droop, and I found this very problematic. I normally prefer snaps, but not with this diaper! The aplix, however is great! The tabs are completely different than bum genius, and work a lot better. They are larger and easier to use. They also have an overlap tab that is helpful! The aplix allowed me to "fine tune" the size better and this works for us!
At first the diaper was easy to wash and always came clean. After months of use though, the diapers interior fleece has began to break down. I have six of these diapers, and all of them are doing it. The aplix is still perfect, but the interiors are failing. We will have to see if this continues or not. Over all, I do recommend this diaper, especially for larger kiddos. Even those who are potty training and still need a night time diaper. This will be a great choice!

Alright, last but not least, is the Fuzzi Bunz one size. This was the last of the pockets I bought. I will tell you right off the bat, this is my favorite pocket diaper!
When I received this diaper, I was so thrilled. The exterior is much thicker and nicer than other PUL outers I have seen. The interior is by far the softest fleece! This diaper looks amazing! Also, they only come in snaps, which I love.
The thing about this diaper is the unique way you adjust the size. Instead of snaps, you have access to the elastic itself within the diaper, and you pull it or release it, then secure it with a button. This allows for the most minute size adjustment of both the rise and waist. I love it and it is our best fitting pocket. Also the inserts are amazing to say the least. We now use this diaper as our exclusive night time diaper! I can also tell you that after 10 months of washing, the diaper is still perfect. No wear and tear! I can not tell you enough how much I love this diaper! Do not be intimidated by the different sizing method. Trust me you will LOVE this!

Pockets are great and even more, they are easy! No stash is complete with out a few. These are my go to diapers for trips and traveling!!
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