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Cloth Diapers, Again! More!

Sep07

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Advice Smackdown ArchivesHi, Amy!

I am having a baby in January, which is exciting and terrifying. I must admit that I have an aversion to All Things Baby (as in, I started hyperventilating when my husband and I walked down the crib aisle at Target to simply look at what was available). So some of the baby registry questions have me a bit overwhelmed. Mainly, I am concerned at this point about cloth diapers. Since I know you love talking about cloth diapers, I was hoping you’d give some more advice. We know we want to use cloth diapers, but I am a school librarian and I am going to go back to work after a few months. A lot of daycares require the all-in-one diapers, so I have been leaning towards the bumGenius organic all-in-one one-size with the snaps. I notice you didn’t go with the all-in-ones. Am I going to regret this decision? Should I wait until he’s here to make a real decision? I love the idea that I can get the all-in-ones AND the one-size. It sounds so simple. But maybe it’s too simple? Help!

-Kari

P.S. I am planning on using disposables (hopefully something like 7th Generation) until he is big enough for the one-size. In case that affects what you advise me to do.

Oh! Cloth diapers. It’s been awhile since we talked about them, no? A couple months maybe?

First, we actually DO use the all-in-ones. Not sure why you’re worried we use otherwise and would recommend something different (other than the fact that the cloth diaper-speak can just plan be confusing and overwhelming, with the SAME DIAPER getting called a dozen different category names across different websites.). When I was purchasing my diapers, FuzziBunz had not yet come out with their one-size style, so the only difference there is we went with a sized diaper — but it’s still a “pocket” or “all-in-one” type of system. We got all mediums, which are supposed to fit 15 pounds and up, though Ezra weighed a bit more than that when I felt they actually TRULY fit him. But no matter, at almost-two-years-old and somewhere in the mid-20s pound-wise, the FuzziBunz fit him GREAT and we’re still nowhere near needing the biggest snap setting. They also look just as good as the day we bought them. If (IF IF IF BIG IF) we were to have another baby, I would 100% reuse our existing stash of FuzziBunz (though I’d splurge on fresh inserts), and would be mighty tempted to pick up a few of those one-sized versions so I could perhaps use them pre-15-pounds. I LOVE THEM.

We also own the bumGenius style you mentioned — the all-in-one, one-size, pocket-style diaper. The cadillac of cloth diapers. Though again, the all-snap version was not available at the time, so we have the kind that use snaps to adjust the “rise” and velcro that adjusts the waist. Here, I’d have a tougher call with the “what I’d buy again” question. Velcro is INFINITELY more adjustable than snaps. You will never get such a perfectly customizable fit around the waist with snaps. To this day, if one of our diapers DOES leak, it’s likely to be a snap-up diaper. Usually because someone (usually a sitter or grandparent) snapped it up too loose, either because they’re unsure of how tight the diapers can comfortably go OR because trying to change a toddler is sometimes more like wrestling with a greased pig in a pile of mud. (The velcro also gets points in that department — faster, easier diaper changes.) I LOVE THEM.

BUT. The velcro does not hold up nearly as well as the snaps. If we were to use our bumGenius diapers again — or if I felt Ezra was still months off from potty training (he’s SO CLOSE it’s driving me nuts, just DO IT ALREADY, CHILD) — I’d need to get all of them converted to snaps. Not a huge deal. There are several shops on Etsy that will do this for a couple bucks a diaper. Pocket change, in light of the initial investment we made in the diapers, and compared to the money we’ve saved on disposables. But then again, BOO, I’m left with all-snap diapers and worry I’d miss the velcro, as imperfect as it is.

So, anyway. I continue to heartily recommend the diapers we use, even with these six-of-one, half-a-dozen-of-the-other type caveats I have with each design. The all-in-ones ARE one of the most expensive cloth diaper options out there, but like you said, they are often a must if you plan to use daycare, and they are so well-made you really can buy once wisely early on and use them for as long as your child wear diapers and then pack them away like any other hand-me-down for possible sibling use.

But, in other cloth-diaper-advice-I-know-I’ve-given-before, there is NO REASON to fully commit to ONE BRAND or ONE STYLE right away, particularly if you plan to use disposables through the newborn phase. Get a couple of the bumGenius with snaps and a couple with velcro. Try a FuzziBunz or Rumparooz or some other overly-adorably named diaper that comes in a color you like. Once you test drive a few of them, fill up your stash with your favorite. (Most good cloth diaper sites offer gift certificates, in case you’d like the diapers to be part of the shower-gift registry/recommendation info.)

__________________________________________________________________
If there is a question you would like answered by Amalah on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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58 Responses to “Cloth Diapers, Again! More!”

  1. catherine Sep 07 at 10:02 am Reply Reply

    Totally agree with Amy that it’s best not to go with just one brand. It’s a pain for those of us who like to plan ahead, but you really won’t know what you like until you try them. MANY sites do trial programs so you can do just that. Two other things — there actually is a difference between “pockets” and “all in ones.” With all in ones, the absorbant soaker is sewn into the diaper. With pockets (Fuzzi Bunz are pockets), the absorbent soaker (or “insert”) comes out and washes separately. My guess is that your day care requires a true all in one (one piece — no separating diaper from insert). Also, the general rule with one size diapers is that they don’t fit newborns. For most babies they start to fit around 10 lbs. Good luck!

  2. Brooke Sep 07 at 10:15 am Reply Reply

    Both of my kids used cloth diapers at daycare. We found that velcro was much, much easier for the teachers to do. We had some Fuzzibunz, and the teachers would consistently only do one set of snaps instead of both sets. I shudder to think what would have happened with a one-size diaper. There are so many more ways they could mess up which snaps to do. We mostly used the bumGenius all-in-one sized diapers. They worked well for the caregivers, but they just don’t hold up well.

    Near the end we switched to the Thirsties Duos. They are technically two size diapers. They worked well since they absorb a lot and daycare would change him on a schedule, so sometimes there was A LOT of pee. The sizing part was snaps, so we told the teachers to not touch the snaps, but just fasten the velcro. It worked pretty well.

    Basically we found that snap closures were just too easy to mess up for the daycare, so we stayed with velcro, even though it doesn’t hold up as well and has to be cleaned.

  3. Courtney Sep 07 at 10:26 am Reply Reply

    Actually, I’m wondering if the poster was asking about all-in-ones versus pockets? They are kind of different, although I would think for daycare it wouldn’t make a difference as long as you sent the pockets pre-stuffed. All-in-ones like the poster mentioned are literally everything all together – cover and inserts all sewn together in one piece that gets washed as one. Pocket diapers are very similar, except that the cover has a pocket that you stuff the inserts into. I’m guessing your daycare doesn’t want to be bothered with stuffing (or unstuffing once they’re dirty). But for day-to-day use, these both essentially work the same as a regular disposable. Daycare throws them into a bag and you deal with the mess later.

    I prefer the pocket diapers for three reasons: 1) I like having a layer of microfleece (or whatever fabric) between the baby’s skin and the insert; I think it keeps them dryer. 2) I like being able to stuff more inserts in as need (my son has THREE inserts at night but never leaks!). 3) The all-in-ones take a really long time to dry.

    But like Amalah said, you can try all different kinds and see what works! We have five different brands/systems; they each have their own uses. If money weren’t an issue, I would probably buy all BG one-size 4.0s pocket diapers with snaps and some extra inserts. As it is, we use Smartipants at daycare and a mix of GroBaby, BG Flips, BG organic AIO, and BG 3.0 at home.

  4. Amalah Sep 07 at 11:30 am Reply Reply

    Gah. Okay! I got schooled — the site I get my diapers from puts the pocket diapers in the all-in-one category too so I didn’t really think there was a big distinction between the pocket systems and the ones that sew or snap the insert in. But of course there is, technically speaking.

    (We have one GroBaby diaper with the snap-in insert and I hate it. Hate hate hate it. It’s strictly our last laundry-day diaper.)

    So with THAT in mind, I agree with Courtney on the benefits of the pocket — that microfleece layer between baby’s skin and soaking-wet insert is nice to have, it’s handy for stuffing extra inserts if you have a heavy wetter, and the drying time is SIGNIFICANTLY shorter if you can separate the cover from all the absorbent stuff.

    I also know our former daycare viewed pocket diapers as all-in-ones, because a mother in Noah’s room used the bumGenius pockets. You just had to send them in pre-stuffed, and then shake out the inserts yourself into your pail at home.

    But seriously, try both! A bunch! All of ‘em. This is definitely a decision for MAKE LATER pile.

  5. Stefanie Sep 07 at 11:37 am Reply Reply

    Waiting until he’s here before you get a full stash might be a good idea.  I spent a long time convincing my husband that cloth was the best and we bought a full stash–only to have them give my daughter a HORRIBLE rash.  So red and burn-y that she cried when a wipe touched her bum.  I tried blaming the rash on everything but the diapers, but finally had to stop using them.  She just has very sensitive skin and the polyester in the diapers bothers her.  The Flips with the organic cotton insert didn’t wick away enough moisture so those also bothered her.  Aside form the diaper rash, the BG 4.0 did work very well, but the FB were by far my favorite because of the adjustable legs.  My LO is a skinny thing.  If anyone has ideas on what to do with the diapers or what I might have been doing wrong, I would love to hear it (and so would my husband)!

  6. DC3 Sep 07 at 11:58 am Reply Reply

    you could also do the free trial thing from Jillian’s Drawers… that’s what we’re gonna do when our boy is born in another 8 weeks… http://jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/tryclothfor10/tryclothfor10

  7. Bethany Sep 07 at 12:22 pm Reply Reply

    I also dislike All in Ones (as opposed to pockets) because not only do they take for.ev.er to dry, I find they hold onto stink WAY more than the microfiber inserts that go in pockets. I think they just don’t get washed as thoroughly because they’re sewn into the diaper, even if you turn them inside out to wash/dry. (Which, incidentally, does speed up the drying process a lot.)

  8. Bethany Sep 07 at 12:25 pm Reply Reply

    Stefanie – Did you buy the diapers new/used? Did they give her a rash from the beginning or just after you’d been using them for awhile? What kind of detergent were you using? Did you try using some kind of liner with the Flips (like fleece) to wick away moisture from her skin?

    If you just can’t get them to work for you, I recommend diaperswappers.com – resell them. If they’re in good condition, you should be able to get a fair amount of your money back.

  9. Hannah Sep 07 at 12:32 pm Reply Reply

    We waited until my daughter was born to buy a couple of different kinds of cloth diapers to see which ones we’d like best. (I’m with Amy – I HATE the GroBaby one, even though it looked like such a good idea). They don’t fit your newborn anyway, so just be an environment wrecker for the first month or so while you’re getting up to speed on your new baby, and then try some out.

    On another note, I notice that I have to snug the velcro pretty tight around the waist on my BG all-in-one to prevent leaks, and I’m worried that it’s going to make it too hard for my kid to sit up. Anyone have any experience with this?

  10. Jen Sep 07 at 12:37 pm Reply Reply

    Bum Genius also improved its velcro with the launch of the 4.0s. I don’t have any, but supposedly it is much more durable than the 3.0 velcro. I agree with everyone that this is a make later decision, as you can’t know what is going to work with your baby, so you want to buy and try slowly. We like BGs, and also Thirsties Duos and Apple Cheeks, which are both pocket diapers that you don’t have to unstuff — the washer does it for you. For the commenter with a diaper rash problem, you might try placing a liner between your baby and the diaper. Some options are fleece or silk. You can either DIY with fabric that you buy, or order them premade.

  11. elizabeth Sep 07 at 12:38 pm Reply Reply

    I just went back and re-read about washing and noticed that you can’t use diaper rash cream? why not? I have (woops)! However, we use thirsties covers with gpant disposable biodegradeable inserts, don’t know if this makes a difference.

  12. Kari Sep 07 at 12:51 pm Reply Reply

    Thanks, Amy! You and your commenters are all very helpful. This does clarify a lot of the questions I had about velcro versus snaps and what might be better for daycare. Courtney is right – I was thinking of all-in-one as being different than pocket, but it’s INCREDIBLY helpful to know that the daycare might not see much of a difference as long as it’s easy to use. I have some feelers out to the daycares we are looking at so that I will know what my options there might be. I will do as you guys advise and try out a few rather than making the decision. It was just another listy thing that I was dying to cross off. The lists, they call to me.

  13. andrea Sep 07 at 1:00 pm Reply Reply

    What do you do when they figure out how to undo the velcro and think it’s a fun game?? So far the snaps work best but I think it’s only a what of time. Any helpful tips?

  14. the grumbles Sep 07 at 1:06 pm Reply Reply

    i second what many of the other commenters have already said- you don’t need to go crazy all on one brand at first. test out a few and see what you like.

    i like the bum genius pocket dudes but found out that i actually prefer thirsties covers because if no pee/poo gets on the cover you can use it again. less washing is a good thing. also, bum genius are WAY out of my budget! so i only have two.

    there’s a wide variety of options and you’re only limited by what your daycare provider is willing to deal with. i know mine let’s me send wool shorties and even prefolds with snappis. SCORE!

  15. JCF Sep 07 at 1:13 pm Reply Reply

    I will go ahead and be another one who will recommend waiting until you can actually try the diapers on the baby before buying a whole stash, especially with expensive pockets or all-in-ones. I’d buy one organic AIO, one BG pocket with velcro, one BG pocket with snaps (they’ve very recently released the option), one FuzziBunz, etc. before buying 24-26 of any one thing.

    I know lots of people who love the BG AIO (organic) because they’re ready to go right out of the dryer with no stuffing or folding, which I imagine has got to be crucial for a busy working mom. My complaint with them is that they take FOREVER to dry.

  16. Clare Sep 07 at 1:15 pm Reply Reply

    Don’t use cloth diapers, but I do sew (a little).  If you can have the velcro closure on diaper covers converted to a snap closure, would it be possible to just replace the velcro with more velcro?  I’m not sure how your covers are made, but perhaps you can still have some velcro diaper covers?

  17. Amy J Sep 07 at 1:28 pm Reply Reply

    I am also doing the cloth diaper trial from Jillian’s Drawers. They will send them up to three months before your due date so you can get them washed and ready to go. You then write down what day you started using them. At that point you get to try them all for 21 days. Return the ones you did not like, or all of them. They subtract $10 off, and refund the rest of what you returned. http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/tryclothfor10/newborntryclothdiapersfor10 (No I do not work for, or even know them, just liked the idea!)

  18. Kelly J Sep 07 at 1:39 pm Reply Reply

    Yes, the BG Organic AIOs are not the same as pocket diapers at all! When we were close to being ready to move out of teeny-tiny diapers, I ordered one each of several different diapers to try out – a one-size FB, a one-size Happy Heiny, a one-size BG 3.0, a one-size BG Organic AIO, and a Gro-Baby. I honestly can’t adequately describe how much I despised the BG Organic AIO. They take forever to dry, as others have stated, they stain easily, the moisture is left against baby’s skin, and it’s harder to increase absorbancy as needed. Also didn’t enjoy the GB for similar reasons. For us, the one-size FB ended up being the winner for daytime, and the one-size HH is our night-time diaper (double-stuffed).

  19. spicegirl Sep 07 at 2:43 pm Reply Reply

    We have had some trouble recently with smell as well as rashes when worn over night. I tried everything else – seems like the solution is ‘Rock’n Green’ Detergent, which gets out mineral build-up. Seriously, this is a must have for anyone with hard water!
    Stephanie – we had the same problem. It sounds like a suedecloth allergy. I just made my own liners out of old fleece pajamas which also make it easier to shake out the poo and mostly got rid of the horrible rashes.

  20. ellbee Sep 07 at 2:47 pm Reply Reply

    No recommendations from me on brands just yet, as I’m still finishing baking my first-born (two more weeks, two more weeks, OMG am I uncomfortable!!!) but wanted to add a note on registering for gift certificates for cloth diapers.
    If your family is at all like mine is, you will probably have to convince them OVER AND OVER AND OVER that yes, you really want the cloth diapers on your registry. And if you’re like me, you might still end up with 10 boxes of disposables and 3 (three!) of the cloth diapers ON YOUR REGISTRY. Not that I’m bitter, but my husband and I were really kind of hoping that we could defray the cost of the initial investment by registering for several styles of cloth diapers, and alas! No dice.
    So, make sure everyone understands that you’re serious if you’re going to go that route. :)

  21. Alexa Sep 07 at 3:29 pm Reply Reply

    My now 21 month! daughter has been in daycare since 6 weeks and the daycare was great about using CDs. We used the Bumgenious one size pockets, and although they’re not technically an all-in-one in the eyes of the daycare they were the same thing because I do all of the stuffing at home.

    I agree totally with Amy on trying out different CDs and seeing which ones fit your baby best. CDs are like a good pair of jeans, sometimes it takes a little work to find ones that fit well. And when you’re talking poop containers you want it to be a good fit.

    I also now use true AIOs almost exclusively because I came to HATE stuffing pockets. I spend a lot of time doing laundry and that extra 10 minutes it took to restuff the diapers eventually drove me a little crazy.

    Best of luck with everything and congrats on your babe!

  22. Rebecca Sep 07 at 3:31 pm Reply Reply

    I love my BG pockets but my issue has been the elastic around the leg more than the velcro. We have four or five diapers that have lost all of their elasticity in the last three month and are unusable. I have to buy a few new diapers based upon our need, and will stick to velcro. With daycare workers and family constantly changing her I like that I can set the snaps and all they need to worry about is putting it on my 15 mo. old much like a standard disposable. Also – my daycare had no issue with using pockets as long as all stuffing was done at home and it required no additional work than another child’s diaper change.

  23. Emily Sep 07 at 6:53 pm Reply Reply

    okay, so does anyone know a good diaper pail to use? and do you need the cloth diaperpail bag that costs about the same as a diaper? I guess maybe it’s leak proof or something? Otherwise, man, some pillowcases look about the same size and way cheaper!

  24. Emily Sep 07 at 7:03 pm Reply Reply

    oh.. and can you get one type of inserts and use them in multiple brands? I don’t understand the inserts. The bumgenius say they come with an insert, so why would I buy a 6-pack? and if I do buy a 6 pack, can I stuff them in the fuzzibuns or do I also need fuzzibuns inserts?

  25. colleen Sep 07 at 7:18 pm Reply Reply

    i just ordered some diapers on diapers.com and they gave me a referral code for 15% off. i also received free shipping and no tax with my 15% off, so i felt like it was a good deal! feel free to use the code: CXLL0092 (diapers.com).

  26. Erin Sep 07 at 8:11 pm Reply Reply

    I used a small trashcan with a lid for a diaper pail, big enough to hold two days worth of diapers. I just a new one at Target for $10. A small can makes sure I wash often. Also, you could definitely use a pillow case if you don’t mind washing the inside of your pail with each diaper load. It’s not a big deal, usually I’ll just sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom, squirt some vinegar, and rinse with some water. I wipe dry or just let it dry on it’s own.

    And yes, you can mix and match inserts. If they fit, you can stick them in there. I have Thirsties Duo, BumGenius 4.0, Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size Mediums, and a few others and all my inserts are pretty much interchangeable. I don’t have any inserts that I love more than others, although there are also doublers that are smaller that I find handy as well. You might need to buy extra so you can double/triple up for nighttime. Some diapers come with two inserts that you can double (one regular and one newborn, the BumGenius come this way, as do the Thirsties Duo) and some come with just one insert (like Fuzzi Bunz). I bought a couple extra packs because I like double inserts when I go out and triple overnight.

  27. Emily Sep 07 at 8:39 pm Reply Reply

    oh thank you, Erin – that’s all very good information!

  28. Bonnie Sep 07 at 9:43 pm Reply Reply

    I feel like I’m stuck in the stone age because we plan to do prefolds with a cover. I just can’t bring myself to spend SO MUCH MONEY on those all in ones. It does help to hear that they’re apparently really durable and hold up well over a long time, so I might be willing to invest in a few. Does anyone else still do prefolds? With/ without the cover? Or am I just so behind the times?

  29. Erin Sep 07 at 10:15 pm Reply Reply

    I’m totally lame and keep checking the comments on this post. Haha. Oh yes, people do prefolds and flats with covers and LOVE THE CRAP out of them. (No pun intended.) They are a great way to be able to afford good quality and enough quantity, they just take a bit of getting used to. Most people I know do prefolds if they start with wee little babies, so that they have plenty of time to get used to the folding, etc. before the babies turn into crawlers and runners. And most people I know (including myself) do covers (you can even do wool…ooooo), even though so people go coverless for newborns when they’re sleeping because you can lay them on the waterproof pad and they get aired out a bit more. The draw of the pockets over the prefolds is ease of use and also that layer that keeps the wet away from the baby. But I used fitteds (kind of like a prefold, you need a cover, but they velcro on so they’re easier to use) on my son until he was about 18 months old and he never seemed uncomfortable. If I were going to diaper a newborn, I’d have no problem with prefolds and covers because you change so often, even at night. And then when the baby starting sleeping longer stretches I’d switch to a “nighttime” or pocket diaper to help their skin stay dryer. Just my two cents. :)

  30. Erin Sep 07 at 10:22 pm Reply Reply

    Oh my typos. Sorry people, I’m tired. I totally know it’s supposed to be drier.

  31. Bonnie Sep 07 at 10:41 pm Reply Reply

    No! You’re not lame, you’re my hero! I didn’t think anyone would respond and that was a REALLY HELPFUL response. I was worried but I feel much better about what we decided on having read your comment. Thank you!

  32. Erin Sep 07 at 11:04 pm Reply Reply

    I’m so glad it helped! No worries- starting with prefolds if you’re curious is NEVER a bad move, because even if you end up getting other kinds of diapers, you can use those prefolds in a million other ways (I used mine as burp clothes and eventually bibs, they sell awesome bib clips…kind of like something you’d see at the dentist’s office that you can use to transform anything into a bib) and they just get softer and softer the more you use them. You can even fold them up and stick them in pockets if you decide to go that route at some point. The newborn prefolds are especially helpful because they’re so teeny. And with that, I will actually turn my computer off now. Happy cloth diapering :)

  33. Susan Sep 07 at 11:31 pm Reply Reply

    Elizabeth – using petrolatum based diaper cream (Desitin, Butt Paste) on cloth diapers leads to a build up of gunk on the diaper that regular detergent can’t wash off and it will affect absorbancy. Of course, it’s not an issue with the gdiapers disposables since you just throw those away. My 21 month old just outgrew his large gDiaper covers, so we are also using the disposable inserts and homemade cloth inserts with Thirsties and Bumkins covers – and yes, the Velcro is much easier than the snaps to secure to a squirrelly toddler.

    Kari – may I recommend Nature Baby Care disposable diapers over 7th generation? They are made from 60% biodegradable materials, which is not perfect, but it’s a lot better than Pampers or even 7th Gen. Of course, my dad pointed out that they are made in Israel and I can’t find them in any shops near me so I have to order them from diapers.com or Amazon, so there’s a bigger carbon footprint there, but we are big fans (my in-laws keep Ryan 2x week and refuse to use cloth diapers, so I had to find a happy medium).

  34. elizabeth Sep 08 at 8:46 am Reply Reply

    Thanks Susan! What do you wash your thirsties covers in? The Planet detergent seems to leave a funny smelling funk in the pocket thirsties i have for night time

  35. Stefanie Sep 08 at 10:02 am Reply Reply

    Thanks for the help!  I’m using Charlie’s Soap now (which didn’t help the diaper rash but did help her eczema in an amazing way).  I’ll try making some liners to see if that helps, and if not, use the site to resell them.  I bought them new, so it would be great to get some of my money back if I can’t use them!

  36. Kate F. Sep 08 at 10:23 am Reply Reply

    Oy, the guilt I feel when I read anything about cloth diapers. I was dead set on it, signed up for diaper service thinking we’d do prefolds w/ covers (spent $150 on covers and snappies) for the first few months before getting the more expensive diapers. Was a little concerned about our 4th floor walk-up/coin-op laundry in basement situation. Baby is now 2.5 weeks old and I’m so ashamed to say I gave up, returned what I could, and swallowed the lost $$ on the first month of service. The first diapers she delivered were so huge on him that we literally couldn’t put him in clothes over the diaper and cover. She delivered the smallest ones and it just…Oh god. Nightmare. He fights so hard when his diaper is changed that getting two layers on instead of one was nearly impossible. We were both ending up in tears nearly every change. I threw in the towel but I’m feeling awfully guilty about it.

    BUT! I wanted to comment to let anyone in the Boston (or Spokane, WA, randomly) area know about the place we bought our covers, Diaperlab. It’s in Somerville and they are amazing and awesome and will help you wade through everything in person, and they have lots of trial programs as well as a registry. http://www.diaperlab.com/index.php
    Hopefully either later with this baby or with a future baby we will make cloth work and I’ll be back there in a heartbeat. They were very kind when we returned the covers we hadn’t used.

    Does anyone have experience w/ Tushies? They’re the only gel-free diapers but they seem to get mixed reviews. I have some Nature Babycares in the wings for as soon as he fits into them, but for now we’re still stuck w/ the scented scary Pampers like we used in hospital.

  37. Ann Sep 08 at 10:36 am Reply Reply

    This post and the comments are full of great advice, as usual. I used prefolds and thirsties covers until my son was about 5-6 months, then switched to pockets- fuzzibunz one size are my favorite and daycare is fine with them. I sometimes stuff the pockets with infant prefolds, as a previous poster mentioned. I have had great luck with Gold Bond baby powder (applied very carefully) for redness- clears it right up and is cloth diaper safe.
    I use Charlie’s Soap and sometimes Purex Free and Clear. We have hard water so I do periodically strip the diapers by doing an extra wash with some blue Dawn dishwashing soap before the regular wash cycle.

  38. Brooke Sep 08 at 12:17 pm Reply Reply

    We had a diaper service with my first and HATED it. The snappis didn’t work with their prefolds which were weirdly stiff and the diapers were treated which gave my daughter a rash.

    We use prefolds and covers at home and much prefer them, but daycare needed the easiest possible diapers.

  39. tasterspoon Sep 08 at 1:54 pm Reply Reply

    Bonnie – I haven’t had my baby yet (two months out) but I was going to do prefolds (I even bought a bunch of FLATS) with covers because 1) I am totally cheap, 2) I wanted to start from Day 1 and understand that the one-size ones won’t fit her at first anyway, and 3) my husband is skeptical of the whole cloth scene and if he bails on me I figure I can repurpose the prefolds and flats for other household duties. I’m actually intimidated by Snappis. I got 2 and have been practicing on a stuffed animal but they seem like a precarious hold. That said, I’m hoping this will work out and after a few weeks will likely spring for just a few from the BG 4.0/velcro/all-in-one world for the convenience of daycare people and grandparents and (ahem) reluctant fathers.

  40. Rachel Sep 08 at 3:15 pm Reply Reply

    Just wanted to pipe in with one other Velcro vs snap comment – we have some of each and our 19 month old can take off the velcro ones himself. Not so good for when we want to let him play in just a diaper.

    I agree it’s best to get some of each, then pick. That’s how we ended up totally totally in love with fuzzi buns one-size pockets. Expensive up front but totally worth it.

  41. stacy in europe Sep 08 at 3:38 pm Reply Reply

    I haven’t read through all the comments yet — but to the OP, I would recommend getting some pre-folds and covers, or fitted diapers and covers for when the baby is 0-3 months old (before daycare starts). We started with cloth diapers the day we came home from the hospital, and found the pre-folds to be the absolute best, as sometimes our little one needed SEVERAL changes a day, and the pre-folds are SO CHEAP that I had 3 dozen of them!! (Only 4 covers though, and I just rinsed the pee ones in the sink and hung-dry between wash days). Buy a few Snappis as well. We used Nikki’s Diapers.

    Otherwise I definitely go with the BumGenius One Size, and the FuzziBunz. But fair warning: I just spent an afternoon replacing all the shitty velcro with snaps on my BumGenius. After 18 months of continual use, they were really worse for wear. :(

  42. stacy in europe Sep 08 at 3:52 pm Reply Reply

    I read an amazing tip from a parent (probably Amy, ha) whose kid had learned to undo his own diaper — buy some small panties or brief underwear and put them over the diaper. Unless you’ve got a genius, this will discourage him/her from fiddling with the velcro tabs!!

    This “undies over dipaer” technique also works when your BG velcro is utter shit and won’t stay closed under loose clothing….. (see: replaced velcro with snaps comment above!)

  43. crabbyappleseed Sep 08 at 7:28 pm Reply Reply

    Not stuck in the stone age, Bonnie. not at all! I hatehatehate pockets and AIOs. My daughter soaks through them in under two hours most days. We only use them first thing in the morning, before she’s started drinking anything, and if I put her down for a nap in a pocket, I just assume she’ll wake up soaked (and she always does). Prefolds and covers hold her much longer, they’re SO much easier to wash, and so much cheaper. If she were going to daycare, I would buy a whole bunch of pockets and, I guess, ask them to change her every two hours at a minimum? I dunno. My MIL watches her and insists on using disposables. *shrug* win some, lose some.

  44. Kathleen Sep 09 at 12:21 am Reply Reply

    Kari-
    My daycare is fine with my pocket diapers. I give them diapers prestuffed with one of those zippered wetbags for the used ones. If they’re feeling nice they scrape off the poop. If not, I scrape the poop and pull the pockets sometime after kiddo goes to bed. No problem. But do ask, because I know that some in our area require that you double bag the diapers, which means either a) going through lots of plastic bags or b) investing in more wet bags up front. However, we paid off our diaper investment something like 9 months ago (19 mo boy), so that’d still be worth it.

    Emily - I use an nylon laundry bags (hold most of the liquid, pail stays clean – literally old, left over from my husband’s college days) and a cheap target trash can for my diaper pail. 

    Just a note to the DIY sort (and Stephanie)- my MIL made a bunch of flannel inserts for us, which didn’t work because they didn’t have enough microfiber to hold anything. Then we used them (with other inserts) as soakers in gpants, and kiddo got some nasty rashes because the flannel my MIL used didn’t wick enough. Our doctors had no clue about any of this – talking to the people at the diaper stores was waaaay more helpful, so you might want to try that and get lots of info before making your own.

  45. lindswing Sep 09 at 12:21 am Reply Reply

    Guys!  You can buy BG refresher kits for A BUCK FIFTY.  You get new velcro and elastic pieces.  If your velcro wears out before it’s been a year (another good reason to wait to buy them until you’re actually going to use them), SEND THEM BACK AND GET NEW DIAPERS.  I just had 15 of my BumGenius 3.0s replaced for FREE because the velcro wore out.  And I do mean replaced: soft, sparkly, brand new diapers.  For the two diapers that I couldn’t find the receipts for I bought new velcro (and it’s their New velcro) for THREE DOLLARS total.  Guys.  One hundred and fifty cents per diaper to replace the velcro and elastic is way cheaper than new diapers.  And it comes with really detailed instructions and a template for sewing.  Sorry for all the CAPS LIKE WHOA; I get a little emotional about cloth diapers.

    Another thought, I’ve liked different diapers differently as my little guy ages.  He’s almost a year old now (wait, what?), and as his thigh rolls have come and gone, he’s fit better in different diapers.  I was worried that the tight fit would keep him from being able to sit up, but there’s no way it delayed it by more than maybe a week or so.  He definitely likes to pull the velcro off now, so snaps are becoming more and more popular in our house.  He hated wearing the BG organics when he was tiny because the cotton felt wet against his skin, but now he doesn’t mind.  

    I’ll also second the recommendation for Nature Baby Care diapers (we got them through Costco) over the other natural ones.  They were seriously fabulous.  Now we’re cheap and just buy the Target ones, though, when we need disposables for travel or whatever.  Rockin’ Green detergent has made diapering unstinky for us.  I appreciate that about it.  And about BG being the “Cadillac” of diapers: we still paid off the initial investment in FOUR months of full-time cloth diapering.  Four months.  Out of, what?  At least 30 months?  26 months of basically free diapering?  Yes, please.  

  46. Susan Sep 09 at 10:46 am Reply Reply

    A couple of folks have mentioned it in passing, but if you’re going to CD, you need to read up on diaper stripping – no it’s not the newest Vegas show, but a method to clean the diapers when they start to hold onto the stink. If you google it, you’ll get a bazillion websites; your local/online diaper resource will also have their own tried and true method – you’ll just need to figure out what works for your baby, your washing machine and your water hardness/softness.

    I am a fan of Dropps detergent for all of our laundry, and never underestimate the power of hanging diapers in the sun to get stains and stink out.

    I followed a pattern found online for my homemade inserts – I bought a stack of the microfiber cloths from the Walmart automotive care section ($5 for 8), folded each into thirds, and then sewed them between two pieces of regular old flannel found in the clearance bin at Joann. They work great for us, YRMV.

  47. Katie Sep 09 at 1:13 pm Reply Reply

    Hi Amy! I was the dork on here with the cloth wipes questions about 4 and a half months ago. Baby came the same week you answered my question, and I can now say about cloth: (1) love, love, love the fuzzibunz one size. I used these from about three weeks out, and the adjustable leg elastic and waist elastic meant that I’ve never had a leak when he was wearing a fuzzibunz. And, I like the adjustment so much better–adjust the elastic, tuck it away, and forget about it. The diapers also come with a set of replacement elastic for if the first set starts to go (no sewing required–you just rethread it into the casings). (2) That being said, if I’m changing in the middle of the night, or my husband is changing, we reach for a bumgenius. The velcro is definitely easier. Not a fan of the front rise snap adjustment though–until I just gave up around the 3 month mark and started using them highwaisted, they would leak up the back. Recently, though, now that we’ve passed the 15 pound mark, I’ve noticed that the leaking has stopped. (3) Bottom line, if I had to buy again, I’d probably go for 60-70% fuzzibunz one size, and the rest bumgenius, just for the “easy factor.” (4) Finally, what has kept me sane with cloth diapers–you’re still allowed to use some disposables. You will still save money and help the environment! We’re in daycare 1.5 days a week, and I just sent disposables. I also use them for longer errand running (I usually pack one cloth diaper in a wet bag for errands–I use it for one change, put the dirty diaper in the bag, and then use my back up disposables after that). We used solely disposables for the first three weeks. And it was fine. We’ve probably gone through one package of newborn diapers, a package of 1s, and we’re still working on the single Costco case of size 2s we’ve bought. And that’s counting daycare, and the week of vacation where we used all disposables. Still a significant savings. Maybe it was just my pregnant brain, but I know that before my baby was born, I was somehow convinced that I had to figure out how to use cloth in every situation. Now I know…you just don’t have to. The cloth diaper police won’t come take your stash :)
    [Oh...I guess one last aside--I use Nellie's laundry powder, but I don't love it. I'm going to try Rockin Green once I've gone through the Nellie's].

  48. kristin @ going country Sep 09 at 2:41 pm Reply Reply

    Bonnie: I think in the Stone Age, babies just sat around nekkid. Which would be much easier, in a way.

    Anyway, we use prefolds. Mostly because my MiL bought the Econobums starter set thing (12 prefolds with three covers) for us randomly, my mom had bought us some Gerber prefolds and flat diapers from Target supposedly for burp clothes, and it seemed stupid to get anything MORE. The flat ones–the gauze kind that are a very thin square–were the best when my son was first born, because we could fold them into whatever size and thickness we needed. Then the prefolds started to fit, but I still use the flat ones to make emergency diapers on laundry days. The great advantage to prefolds is that they dry fast when hung outside (as I do with all of our laundry), and bleach so much better in the sun than the fitted diapers with all the little creases around the legs. But we did get a few bumGenius diapers at our baby shower that I now use at night, for the 12-hour stretch. Keeps the moisture from sitting right next to his skin all night.

    Don’t fear the Snappi. It’s better than those wretched pins.

  49. Heather Sep 09 at 6:40 pm Reply Reply

    My son went to daycare starting at 9 months. We sent Fuzzibunz (pre-stuffed). We kept a small trashcan at the daycare. Everyday when I dropped my son of, I’d put a bag made of coated nylon (bought at REI, cheaper than any diaper website sold them) in the trashcan, the daycare staff put his dirty diapers in the bag, and I’d take them home at the end of the day. They didn’t unstuff the pockets but it was no big deal to pull out the stuffers at home.

  50. Chris Sep 09 at 9:01 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t have time to read through all of the comments and see if anyone else addressed this or not, but my mom bought me TWO ORGANIC BUMGENIUS AIOs for my shower and I have to say THEY SUCK or actually, they don’t suck enough. My son leaks in them every time he wears them and I have been trying to see if this improves as he grows – but it hasn’t. They still leak even now that he has hefty 6 month old chub thighs. I am a Thirsties mom, but I do have a few AIOs/pockets with the microfleece. I have no idea why BG decided to design their organic diapers so differently. The double folded lining just doesn’t cut it and they also take FOREVER to dry. In summary, love cloth – just NOT the BG organic line. Total disappointment. Don’t waste your $$ on these!

  51. Sally Sep 10 at 12:33 pm Reply Reply

    I totally agree that it is worth it to do a webstore’s trial, which allows you to decide which diapers you like best. We just happened to buy a whole bunch of BG Flip diapers and 7 or 8 BG 3.0s. Most daycares won’t use Flip diapers and I like the BG 3.0s, but I like my Fuzzi Bunz one size diapers better because of the snaps. What Amy has mentioned about snaps vs. velcro is very true. It’s a trade off fit vs.longevity. I would also be kind to yourself and use disposable diapers during the change-a-hundred-diapers-a-day season (say first six weeks). Most one size diapers fit some time after that.

  52. the grumbles Sep 10 at 3:32 pm Reply Reply

    no bonnie! you’re not alone! i’m way to cheap to buy a ton over AIO and pockets so we use flat folds as inserts and we use prefolds with snappis. i sew my own covers. honestly, they work the same as my bum genius and cost cents on the dollar.

  53. Alias Mother Sep 10 at 4:59 pm Reply Reply

    Bonnie, I use prefolds, too. I am a compulsive diaper sampler and own BG, Happy Heinies, Bummis AIO, and some other thing. You know what I always use? Prefolds and a cover. It just works better for my kids. Everything else leaks and seems to hold on to stink. I have switched my covers from Bummis Super Whisper Wraps to the Flip which I love. It’s one-size and dries faster. I like to keep the BG in my diaper bag because they are less fiddly when out-and-about, otherwise…

    Yeah. Prefolds and cover.

  54. Steph Sep 14 at 2:59 pm Reply Reply

    I had the BG that Amy has and I feel more strongly than she does about the lack of durability. Mine barely lasted a year–the velcro, that is (and I used the laundry tabs EVERY SINGLE TIME until like 4 months in when they would just come out of the washer in a long string of jumbled diapers), and the elastic started getting really stretched too. They do make those kits where you can replace the elastic and velcro but I didn’t feel like I should have to pay to replace that stuff every year. So we sold that stash (with caveats and replacement kit instructions!) and we have settled on Softbums as our new favorite. These are AWE-SUM. They have both velcro and snap, and they are not a pocket diaper (which, I find I prefer…not a hard chore to stuff the diapers but just one more thing to do). They are a snap in, but they have one snap at the top and the the insert folds where you need it to. The best thing is that they have these toggles for the leg elastics that can truly get the best and snuggest fit around the legs for no leaks. So for nighttime we loosen the legs b/c we use a doubler, but usually I don’t have to re-size unless he has just hit a growth spurt or something. You should try one or two of these–of the 4 brands we’ve tried, these were our favorite b/c of the best fit issues. And they’ve lasted SO WELL (so far).

    Good luck! (And, I’m probably too late to the game to have my comment get read or make a difference, but just thought I’d put it out there!)

  55. Whozat Sep 15 at 1:51 am Reply Reply

    The new bumGenius 4.0 diapers come in either snaps or Velcro. Personally, we had our 3.0s converted from velcro to snap and I agree 100% with Amy’s assessment. Harder to get on a squirming toddler, less adjustable, but once on they stay on, unlike the velcro which was coming open spontaneously AND she could pull off! (Also, bG has a true all-in-one that’s not a pocket diaper; the inserts are permanently sewn in.)

  56. Michelle B. Sep 16 at 3:43 pm Reply Reply

    Honestly I have read so much about cloth diapers and reading all of these comments makes my head spin and I just want to throw my hands up in the air and do disposables. I do not understand why people have no problems buying disposables and they fit like every kid, but then all of a sudden you use something you can re-use and no one can get the fit right?! Then to get the fit right you have to make all these adjustments to the diapers. I remember babysitting a little girl who used cloth diapers, she had pre-folds, with pins and a plastic cover. That was it, I was like 14 and I could figure that out, how has this gotten so complicated where a smart person such as myself just feels overwhelmed?

  57. Meggan Sep 17 at 3:22 pm Reply Reply

    Pre-baby, I bought a zillion prefolds and a bunch of covers (newborn, small, one medium) and I was so stoked that I was being economical and cost-effective. And then my baby came and I could not (COULD NOT) get the prefolds to fit on him properly. Either the prefolds didn’t fit “around” him or if I tried to just lay the prefold in the cover and put it on, it was so fat he couldn’t move and had to lay flat on his back. I could barely sit him up because the diaper was so huge and it went all the way to his knees. Total fail.

    So… I gave in and bought a bunch of BumGenius AIOs and I LOVE THEM. Yes, they take ages to dry but they are so freaking easy and they fit him and that is what counts for me. And daycare loves them, which is another plus.

    To anyone daunted by the cost of trying out a bunch of different diapers (or even just the cost of the diapers once you figure out what works for you), let me heartily recommend diaperswappers.com – I got ALL of my diapers (24 of them) from there and several of them were brand-new. I am in love with that website.

  58. Olivia Sep 20 at 4:05 pm Reply Reply

    “I hatehatehate pockets and AIOs. My daughter soaks through them in under two hours most days.”

    Yeah, I find that to be typical for my daughter too, but I just check her diaper every couple of hours during the day. This is also why we use a disposable at night. I tried double stuffing the diaper once, but it was ridiculously bulky.

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