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The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Cloth Diapers, Part Two

By Amalah

Cloth Diaper 101 (Part 2)


I wrote you in a panic about hair color during pregnancy, and you talked me off of the ledge. I’m blonde again, in part thanks to you, and it’s just as wonderful as I imagined it could be.

Now I’ve relocated my panic allowance to other things such as WHICH CLOTH DIAPERS TO REGISTER FOR!?!? I know. I thought I was committed to go all bumGenius all the time, but then I noticed you also have half a collection of FuzziBunz and I started reading about them and now I’m confused. He might not get into the right college if we get the wrong cloth diapers!

You’re probably sick of writing about diapers, because, hello, they capture and contain human waste; how much can you say? You’ve used both for awhile now, though; which do you prefer? You can’t just give up on us aspiring cloth diaperers now in our time of need. WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER?

Great, thanks.

“Probably sick of writing about diapers?” ME? MEEEEE?

Dude, I have been writing this exact entry in my head for WEEKS now, secretly hoping someone, somewhere, would ask this exact question.


So..okay. Like everything in the world, there are pros and cons to both FuzziBunz (henceforth referred to as FB) and bumGenius (BG). My initial batch of diapers were FB, because they were the brand I was most familiar with, and because they snap — I didn’t think I would like the velcro on BG diapers. Then I filled out our inventory with BG because I wasn’t 100% blown away by the FB.


Fuzzi Bunz: PROS

Snaps.I DO prefer the snaps to the velcro. More on that later.
Size. FB fit Noah (who is right at the top of the weight range, but still very skinny) WAY better. BG, despite also claiming to fit up to 35 pounds, are too small. So if you’ve got a hefty big kid who won’t potty train anytime soon, you MIGHT not be able to use the same BG diapers the whole time.
Ease of stuffing/unstuffing. Inserts go in and out easier than with the BG, which have tighter leg elastic and an extra ruffle-thing along the back waistband to prevent poop blowouts.
Total blowout containment. Despite not having that extra ruffle, FB have proven (for us) to be absolutely awesome at keeping poop in the diaper, no matter how explosive. (WAAAAY better than disposables, oh my GOD. Seriously, if your kid has a chronic poop up-the-back and out-the-leg-holes issue, cloth is the answer, as much as that might pain you to hear.)
More color choices. Why doesn’t BG come in red?? Babies look so cute in red! I love red!

Fuzzi Bunz: CONS

Bulky. I love the look of a padded bootylicious cloth-diapered baby butt as much as anybody, but sometimes I look at Ez in FB and laugh at him, because he looks a little ridiculous. Also because I am mean and enjoy laughing at my children.
Garish colors. While FB offers more choices, some of those choices aren’t super great-looking, particularly in the boy colors. I particularly dislike the BRIGHT BRIGHT yellow and the orange, which reminds me of hunting vests or prison jumpsuits.
Yeah, they leak. And this is kinda a big one. 100% of the time, if I notice Ezra’s outfit is wet, he is wearing a FB. No matter what snap setting I choose, FB seem prone to leaking urine out the leg holes. This could simply be a fit issue — medium FB are supposed to fit 15 pounds and up, and while Ez is chubby, he’s still under 18 pounds, and not the most thunder-thighed of babies. He might need to grow into them. Like I mentioned, they fit Noah great, and provided I double-stuff them for him, they do a good job in case he has an accident. (Which he rarely has anymore — in fact he rarely goes to bed in a diaper anymore, huzzah!) A “good” job, however. Not a “100% foolproof perfect job.”
And now, let’s move on to…

bumGenius: CONS

Velcro. My original suspicious was right: I do not like the velcro. It’s just one more THING to deal with during changes — making sure you fasten it to the laundry tabs, keeping it out of the poop or from getting snagged on the insert or clothing. Our babysitter NEVER REMEMBERS the laundry tabs, causing me to have to deal with it while dumping diapers in the wash, which is the LAST TIME you ever want to be “dealing” with the diapers in any extended sort of way. It’s not holding up super well either, as I’ve noticed wear-and-tear and pilling, and some of the tabs just aren’t laying flat anymore. Ezra is also prone to a little rash/irritation on his belly if the velcro band rubs against his skin. I wish there was a tad more fabric along the front, above the velcro band, to keep this from happening.
The front-snap size adjustment. When my BG diapers arrived in the mail, I dutifully washed them and adjusted every diaper to the medium snap setting for Ez, folding the front down and snapping across, adjusting the inserts with THOSE snaps, and assembled them, slightly concerned that the folded-down insert looked a little weird and uncomfortable. Then I slid a diaper under my baby’s butt, gently pulled the front up and over towards his belly button and…POP! The weight of his body on the back of the diaper caused the front snaps to come undone. If you’re careful, this doesn’t always happen, but it happened enough for us that I no longer use the front snaps. Ezra just wears them high-waisted-pants style.
And speaking of size, AGAIN. BG are small. This makes for a nice, trim diaper and a perfect fit for Ez, but I am concerned that he will outgrow them long before he should, according to the size guidelines. BUT…you can use them for a newborn (we didn’t, but I assume they work okay) instead of purchasing new diapers at 15 pounds. So…depends on which end of the size spectrum you care most about. For someone pregnant and registering for diapers to use from Day One, this probably shouldn’t be a concern. (Wet cloth does indeed bother kids more than wet disposables, so we’ll how long it takes for Ez to train.)

bumGenius: PROS

Virtually entirely leakproof. Poop, pee, stray Cheerios, these diapers hold EVERYTHING. They are full of absorbency and WIN.
Cuter! The color choices are a little more limited, but better looking, on the whole. More modern/trendier shades. And despite the velcro, once you get these diapers on, the fit and look is much better, much more reminiscent of a trim little disposable.
Two inserts. BG arrive with a full-size regular insert and a smaller “newborn-sized” insert. Since we were past the newborn stage, I use these inserts as our nighttime/naptime/car trip doublers. And they are perfect. FB only come with one regular insert — you need to purchase additional doublers/soakers. (Which aren’t expensive, but the diapers ARE, so I like that BG gives you that little extra value.)

So…in the end, I have to give the advantage to the bumGenius, mostly because of the leak thing. If I open our diaper drawer and notice that I’m down to just the Fuzzi Bunz, I know it’s time to do laundry. I have CONFIDENCE in the bumGenius — so Ezra wears them ANYTIME we’re leaving the house, while I’m apt to put a FB on him only at home, when I know he won’t need to wear it too long. This might improve as he gets bigger, but for now there seems to be something fundamentally better about the leg openings on the BG.

Now that I’ve declared a winner, however, let me complicate things again! Have you seen the Gro Baby (now called GroVia) system? Another all-in-one diaper that isn’t a pocket, but you just snap inserts in? So you technically don’t need so many actual diapers, because you can use the same outer shell pretty much all say, just replacing the wet/soiled inserts? These hit the market almost IMMEDIATELY after I filled out our collection with bumGenius and I am DYING to try them. DYING. ITCHING. TOTALLY NERDING OUT OVER NEW FANCY DIAPERS. But of course, I can’t justify buying them. Has anybody tried them? Thoughts? Suggestions for how to convince my husband* that I need to “review” them for “work” and that I’m not “insane” about this diapering business?

*Husband gives bumGenius two thumbs up as well, though he agrees with me about the snaps vs. velcro. He also wishes we’d switched to cloth earlier, especially when we lived in a condo where our washer was all of TWO FEET away from the diaper pail, and disposing the contents of the Diaper Genie required carrying dirty disposables down THREE FLIGHTS OF STAIRS. God. Close-mindedness! We have it!


Previous Article: Cloth Diapering 101 (aka the Lazy Mom’s Guide to Cloth Diapering, Part 1)


About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


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 Ama...

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

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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  • Sun

    June 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Delurking — cloth diapers are full of awesome! Our 8mo daughter agrees on the pros and cons of BG and FB explained here. I was wondering if you’ve trying placing the insert on top of the BG cover during the day. If the insert is just a little wet, and the cover is dry, you can reuse the cover. We usually use the BG cover all day. At night we put one insert in the pocket and one on top. We’ve also used the G Diaper flushable inserts inside a BG cover when we’re out and about. The G Diaper insert bunches a little, but it has the convenience of being flushable, maybe worth a try, especially if someone gives you a starter pack. Yay cloth diapers! Woot! Signing off in nerd-itude (should we have a special handshake or something?!)

  • Mouse

    June 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    6+ years ago, we went with cloth diapers for our son. I had considered all-in-ones, but read a lot about them not drying evenly and they were so expensive per piece. On a friend’s advice, we went with prefolds and covers. It was not nearly as bad as I had expected.
    Of course, AIOs have improved since those days, but we have the full complement of our old system in storage, so I’ll be sticking with that. Can’t really beat “already paid for.”

  • Elizabeth

    June 5, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    I second the motion – we just lay a prefold in the bumGenius cover, no stuffing. This usually gets us through 1-2 covers a day, which lets me stretch laundry to every 3-4 days, and kept the cost really low.

  • Katie

    June 5, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Can I ask a couple of really stupid follow up questions? I’m attempting to convince my husband (and myself) to go cloth for my first (his third) baby.
    (1) Diaper rash cream, etc. From what I’ve read, I will go straight to bad mommy jail if I use it with cloth. Does cloth really cut down on the rash? Can you use it with a liner? Ditto for detergent…is there anything sold at Target that will not similarly send me to badmommydom for using it? Have you (gasp) had to strip your diapers yet? Do you use bleach ever?
    (2) This is really, really, really stupid. But where do you change the diaper and keep the pail? Does the pail smell in the nursery? Do you have to set the diaper to the side, finish changing, deal with “solids” and then put the diaper in the pail? Or should I set up a changing station in the bathroom? What kind of pail do you use?
    (3) and finally…If I’m going to justify the kajillion dollar outlay, I’m going to have to convince the hubs that they will last, possibly through a second child. Aside from pilling, do the BG seem like they’re going to last?
    and yes. I am choosing to obsess over this and stroller choice, instead of actual responsible/scary things, like will I get PPD, or how in the world will we pay for it.

  • Sarah

    June 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    We use BumGenius, FuzziBunz and Happy Heinys. Overall we are happiest with the Happy Heinys. They come in a velcro or a snap variety, fit really well and contain messes wonderfully. We’re currently trying to sell off our FuzziBunz because they totally did not work for my super skinny 10 month old. FuzziBunz came out with a new one size that you can adjust the elastic in the leg and waist instead of having snaps up the front. We have been much happier with this diaper than the older FuzziBunz. The BumGenius have been a big disappointment in the “holding up” department. We’ve had to send one back because the elastic came off on one end after one use, and I’ve read lots of reviews that this is a very common occurrence. The velcro isn’t pilling as badly as some of our others, but the tabs are getting all curvy and strange. We’ve also ordered a few bamboo diapers from Cloth Couture that have been fabulous. They fit a bit more snugly, but the bamboo is a fantastic material, and they are an “all in two” where the insert snaps in.
    Katie- About durability. What I have heard and read is that if you go with the one-size variety they are very unlikely to last you through multiple children. I’ve been told to think of them like underwear- if you wore the same pair three times a week for three years, would you expect them to last another three? With the sized pockets/all in ones they are more likely to last through multiple kids, but that ends up being pricey. If you want to go cheap and have durability through multiple kids I hear pre-folds are the way to go.
    Diaper rash cream bad, but we’ve used liners when necessary. Our daughter has much fewer rashes in cloth.
    We use a wet bag inside of our diaper pail. The stench is contained until the bag comes out, then it stinks to high hell. If you wash every other day, the stink doesn’t build up as much.

  • amalah

    June 5, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    First, I cannot BELIEVE it never occurred to me to just lay the insert inside the diaper. DUH. OF COURSE the BG’s are tight enough to keep in place w/out the pocket. (Wouldn’t say the same about the FB though.) Thank you, Internet peeps. I owe you a drink at BlogHer.
    And second, Katie, those aren’t dumb questions at all. Lemme address them real quick — some of them I was going to include in this column but it was getting kind of long, and going into a tangent about cloth diaper accessories seemed like a topic onto itself.
    But since you asked:
    1. I am not BSing you, I do not have to use cream with cloth. Which is AWESOME, because I hate diaper rash cream! Also, diaper rash! The ONE time I had to use cream was because Ez got a virus and as these things often do, it super irritated his bottom. I simply put him in a disposable (one leftover from a package we bought in JANUARY, we do keep them on hand for emergencies/laundry laziness) with a good coating of Desitin. Rinsed it off the next morning and put him back in cloth. If your baby DOES get a rash in cloth, I will bet you dollars to donuts that it’s your detergent. Switch to something else and it’ll clear up ASAP.
    Speaking of detergent. Yeah. This is kind of pain, since the cloth sites scare you to death over the detergents and the “five-star” brands aren’t sold at Target. I keep meaning to order one of their super-duper recommended ones, like Charlie’s Soap or something, but haven’t yet. I currently use a (GASP) three-star one. Sun & Earth, or something, but I have also used just our regular Free & Clear stuff, even though (DOUBLE GASP!!!!11!) it has brighteners all sorts of terrible, cloth-diaper-eating whatevers. And you know what?
    Nothing. Bad. Has. Happened. (Yet?) My diapers don’t repel, they smell just fine, absolutely minimal staining. I’m not saying be reckless with your investment, but don’t panic if you absolutely can’t find the “best” detergent or forget to order it and need to use your All Free & Clear for a load or two. I think the overall washing instructions are more important: cold soak, hot wash, second rinse, tumble dry promptly.
    I had to strip my diapers once. After a trip to my inlaws, where my MIL took it upon herself to wash the diapers. Over and over. Using God knows what detergent and an HE washer on God knows what settings. Because she swore they smelled (they didn’t). So she’d wash them again. (I was not there, I was visiting with my dad most of the day.) I came home and stripped them because they REEKED of detergent and felt kind of weird. We all survived, and I think I may take disposables up there next time.
    2. We have a plain metal pail with a metal lid that we got at Ikea. I have a bumGenius liner and a Planet Wise one. I like the bumGenius one slightly better because it’s easier to wash (you need to turn the PW one inside-out if you don’t want it trapping water inside during washing, and I DON’T LIKE TOUCHING THE INSIDE OF IT EEWWW). They are both good about odors though. bumGenius also makes a little odor spray you can use before tossing stuff in the pail and it works great — I only use it on the more offensive diapers.
    The pail and the changing table are in Ezra’s room. For solids I usually just set the diaper off the side, finish changing him, then take it to the bathroom to shake out before tossing in the pail — either holding Ez or putting him in his crib or on the floor with toys. It’s a two-second detour. I have also changed him on the bathmat when I know I’m dealing with poop. I bought those rice-paper liners but don’t love them. They do their job, for sure, but seem SO uncomfortable for little boys, the way they tend to stick to their little parts. Ez is a pretty predictable pooper, so I usually only use the liner when I know he’s “due.”
    3. And oh yes, the BG are holding up very well. A few of our inserts are getting a bit stained (from poop), but 1) they’re not expensive to replace, and you can use cheap prefolds instead, and 2) WHO CARES. They’re clean, they don’t smell, Jason and I are the only ones who stuff the diapers and see that the insert isn’t pristine white anymore. I have total confidence that we will not need to buy any more diapers. Unless I get bored of the colors, like a giant brat.

  • Kathleen

    June 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    YAY, Diapers (thanks Amalah!). A few opinions three months in:
    Durabilty- We went with mostly BumGenius because a friend of ours has used them through two kids (with an infant and a toddler wearing them simultaneously). She just had twins and bought a few more pairs to cover the sheer diaper volume that they can produce, but is still using the original pairs.
    Brand- We have BumGeniuses and a few Happy Heinys (because I couldn’t resist the cow and cheetah prints). With a skinny-legged infant, the BumGeniuses truly are the hold everything winners. I do like rotating to the Happy Heineys because the fleece over the leg elastic seems easier on his legs (leaves less of a dent). However, the Happy Heiney velcro needs to be lined up PERFECTLY or it comes open in the dryer, creating diaper chains.
    Reuse- We haven’t tried putting the liners on top (will try!), but the store suggested that if it was just pee, you can set the cover out to dry and restuff it with a couple of the infant liners. So we get triple bang for the buck with some of ours.
    I admit, I use All. Although we also have minor diaper rash (and have used cream WITH the cloth, sinners), so I may try another brand, given this post!

  • Joceline

    June 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    On the velcro and wear and tear issues with BumGenius: I’ve been using the same 14 BG 3.0 One Size diapers for about 1.5 years with my son, and on my daughter as well since she was born 4 months ago. The velcro recently got to the point where it wouldn’t keep the diaper on, and I was devastated, thinking my investment was down the drain. I found a woman on Etsy who removed the velcro and replaced it with snaps. I love them again. They work so much better, and you can barely see the stitching holes from the old velcro, which doesn’t affect the use of the diapers at all. I really want to order a few more so I can go a little longer without washing, but I’m waiting and hoping BG comes out with a snap version of the pocket diapers. I highly recommend converting your BG to snaps if the velcro is shot. Other than that, the diapers are in fantastic shape.
    Detergent: I got away with 7th Generation Free and Clear for about 6 months before the stink problems arose. Yuck. Now we use Country Save, which has been much better. However, we have extremely hard water, which I’ve heard makes a difference.
    One-sized-ness of BG: My daughter didn’t fit into the BumGenius until she was a couple of weeks old (and about 8-9 pounds), which I’ve heard from others is common. She just needed to gain a big of weight in those skinny newborn legs before they were a good fit. I used prefolds and covers exclusively until then.
    Also, I’ve never used liners for poop, but we have one of those sprayers that attaches to the toilet, and it is amazing! It means you don’t have to touch yucky diapers to clean them up, and it is super easy to use. I’d highly recommend buying one once the baby is eating solids.
    Diaper cream: you can use a few “natural” kinds without a problem. We’ve used California Baby and Weleda, but hardly ever have to use one. Also, I generally let my kids roll diaper free for an hour or so if I notice some redness, which works better than cream.

  • Natalie

    June 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    We’re doing the diaper service thing & buying our own covers (I’m 36wks now!) – Does anyone have any comments about Imse Vimse or Motherease covers?

  • Catherine S

    June 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Hate to disagree with most of you on here including Amy, but I am a Fuzzi Bunz fan hands down. Son gets rashy on his butt and irritated on his tummy from the BG. Actually thinking of selling our stash of the BG. If we use cloth over night, it is always FB double stuffed.
    Other brands that we use and like are Nicker Nappies and Mommy’s Touch, both are pretty good, but not great.
    What I can say is that the old fashion prefolds do a much better job of containing wetness. Have all but thrown away the inserts. And snaps to me are the way to go. Haven’t liked any brand with the velcro at all. Too much skin destruction potential with the rubbing.

  • aly

    June 6, 2009 at 9:03 am

    random question– but what about daycares? are they receptive to the use of cloth diapers or do they demand disposables? i would love to use cloth, but since daycare is going to be a necessity in our future, i didnt want to get my hopes up if they werent “allowed”…

  • Amy J

    June 6, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Ack! This did not resolve my all consuming need to know what kind to pick. It seems I may have to go the Amalah route and get both 🙂

  • Stacy

    June 6, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Natalie — Imse Vimse and Motherease are our favorite covers! All win there.
    Motherease also makes an All-In-One that we like to use when out and about. Very soft and cushy. We sometimes lay an insert in and use it as a night diaper.
    We used chinese pre-folds and covers for the first 6 weeks, and have been using mostly BumGenius with a few others thrown in, including one (red!) FuzziBunz since then. I actually really like the pre-folds and am sad she is too big for them now! I will use them as doublers, but I just really enjoyed the pre-fold+cover system.
    I do love me some BumGenius, but the FB works pretty okay too. I’d say my daughter is a medium-chunky. We haven’t had any leaks so far. I hope the BG One Size actually get us through potty training, because I don’t like the idea of buying new sizes.
    Amy — if your inserts are stained, just lay them in the sunshine for a couple hours and they will be white again.

  • Emily

    June 6, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    everything I’m reading makes me want to 1) use prefolds for newborns and 2) use all-in-ones with snaps. I’m tempted to go with prefolds all the time, but they look so bulky. And I want to buy cloth baby diapers NOW!! So cute!!! but I guess you should wait until they see how heavy your baby is going to be when you’re 30+ weeks along? They can predict that right?

  • Ellen

    June 6, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I got 2 Grobaby shells and 6 liners, and they aren’t my favorite diaper – I usually use them only when everything else is in the laundry or dirty. The velcro is really strong, and it sticks to the liner of the diaper when you are trying to put them on. They don’t have a layer of fleece to keep baby’s bottom dry, so the wetness is up against the baby’s skin. When you change a wet diaper, you have to grab hold of the wet insert strong enough to unsnap it – and it takes a good effort. So it’s more gross pee touching than just pulling out a liner. When I unsnap it, it always feel like I’m flinging urine everywhere. I’ve read lots of good reviews of the Grobaby though, so I might be the only one who feels this way.. not a big fan.
    I never get the Velcro tight enough on my BGs and my little guy is always peeing out the top. I’ve used them since he was about 9 lbs with minimal problems. I always air dry the covers and just tumble dry the liners.
    All-in-ones take FOREVER to dry. I was having some leaking issues and figured out that they were still damp from the last time I’d washed them.

  • kathleen

    June 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Daycares- I just bring in the diapers and a “wet bag” ( and they shove the diapers in there, sort of folded so that the ick is contained. I do have to deal with the velcro before I throw them in my diaper pail, but that’s not a big deal. Some daycares in the Denver metro require double-bagging, so if you use wet bags it’s A LOT of bags (but that’s what our super-sewing MIL is for 🙂 ). But every daycare we looked at here was used to cloth. And the all-in-ones are pretty user friendly (per the advertisement “even dad can do it” 😉 )

  • Joanne

    June 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Joceline, you are a genius! We’ve been using a mix of FB and BG and like many we prefer the BG except for the elastic. May need to have my mom (an avid seamstress) to put some snaps on for us.
    I second the awesomeness of the diaper sprayer. Makes poop a snap, I just hose off the diaper and toss it straight in the washer.

  • Hillary

    June 8, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Aly- Our daughter was in daycare for about a month and they only used disposables. The answer I was given was that it was a state regulation (we live in MD). I’m not sure if that is true, but regardless, the daycare just didn’t accept cloth. I would imagine that home daycares might be more willing to cloth diaper than a larger facility. You definitely might want to ask the question before investing in cloth, although you could still cloth diaper just at night and on week-ends if you had to.
    A separate question for anyone: I love the idea of laying the insert on top of the diaper, but I read somewhere that the microfiber inserts (for ex/ the BG inserts) aren’t supposed to be used like a liner, because it can irritate baby’s skin. Are you using different non-microfiber inserts or wrapping the BG insert in a pre-fold?

  • Laurie

    June 8, 2009 at 10:56 am

    I have to give a shout out to Crickett diapers. They are fitted diaper with snaps (yay!) and they sell Bummis super snap covers. I used these for a year and they were fabulous. I never had a blow out and only one bout of diaper rash. After my baby turned one I went back to work and he went into day care and they would not use the cloth diapers. Sigh…

  • Rebecca

    June 8, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I’m trying out a couple of Gro Baby diapers and, like Ellen, I think that the lack of fleece lining to wick wetness away is a drawback. (I also second the comment about the super sticky velcro.) I’ve also found that they leak unless fastened juuuust so. That said, they are nice and trim (and cute) and I like them as a daytime diaper just fine. I stick with the BGs for night, though (and economical prefolds and covers mostly during the day).
    I use Allen’s Naturally detergent for my diapers and at the rate I’m going, a single quart bottle will last me a year.

  • Katie

    June 8, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I too have been checking out the cloth diaper options, mostly online. seems like a GREAT reference with an extensive FAQ section lots of additional information. (No, I don’t own the place…just live in AZ and found it in my area.) If you have more questions or want to see more opinions on the options, check it out.

  • Karen

    June 8, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Yeah cloth diapers! Who knew?
    I wouldn’t register for a particular brand of diaper–ask for a gift certificate! Wildflower Diapers (I don’t own it, but I’ve ordered from them many times, plus they are Mom owned!!) has gift certificates and also starter/sampler packs. Sampler packs are a great way to see what will actually fit YOUR baby.
    We hardly ever have rashes–our go to rash fix is naked time, just air out that tush. We use Burt’s Bees diaper cream and a liner (to keep the rash cream from staining the CD). As far as poo catching liners, we like the bummis brand.

  • Karen

    June 8, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    one more thing…I love Baby Beehinds covers and all-in-ones. The PUL is not really PUL, it’s very thick/cushy/stretchy, so very nice. Not as widely available as other brands but worth looking for.

  • Candace

    June 8, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Um, hi, I have never even considered cloth diapers? I thought you had to use safety pins and they would prick your baby, and ew, cloth holds poop. Then I have to wash stuff that had like, A TON of poop in it at one point. But I see here, there are liners?
    First time mom here, and I have a post-graduate degree, but seriously the thought not to use a huggie or pamper NEVER crossed my mind. Perhaps we could have just a simple article on why these are apparently back in fashion? Is this just a fad? I just assumed they weren’t used anymore! (I mean I wore them, but that was eons ago)
    I am 20 weeks with my first, and still trying to just pick out a crib, but I am very interested now in this cloth diaper concept.
    Oh wise Amalah, can you give us a 5 easy steps article or simple primer on cloth v. disposable? Thanks!!!
    Editor: Candace, check out our Cloth Diapers 101 by Amy listed right below this article. Hopefully this will help.

  • Olivia

    June 8, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    We were given a huge lot of FB diapers from a friend ($0 investment = awesome). Started using them when our daughter was a month old and 10 lbs. She had a couple of blowouts until we figured out the snap setting and has had only two leaks when she took a super long nap and there was only one insert in the diaper. We still use a disposable at night for that reason.
    My husband has no problem changing her in the cloth and I don’t mind the laundry. I’ve been using All Free & Clear and haven’t seen any problems with that.

  • Katie

    June 8, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for the advice, Amy (and everyone else)! It helps a lot. I love the idea about replacing BG velcro with snaps.

  • charlotte

    June 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    So … the yuck factor! Someone tell me about the yuck factor, please. We tried gDiapers and weren’t too happy with them; the plastic insert made Little Miss Kickboxer’s behind sweat and hello! diaper rash (blowout containment was less than satisfactory, too). We tried just the paper without the plastic insert, and things got really wet. So we placated our hippie selves with using Seventh Generation disposables (hey, at least no dioxin!).

  • Nicole

    June 8, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    This, like Amy’s other posts on CDing, has gotten me thinking. I did find BG diapers online with SNAPS in the organic cotton. But $25 for a single diaper has me cringing.
    This is a great recommendation but I’m still on the fence.

  • Amy

    June 8, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    We adore the FB bright orange. So happy and orange! And, excuse me, “boy colors”? Even if you buy into the idea of “boy” and “girl” colors, since when did the treaty cede orange to boys?

  • Timi

    June 9, 2009 at 5:34 am

    For my 2 cents, I’m sure this will be long.
    We use prefolds and covers at home, love love them, work best and they’re the cheapest. And then we bought a huge batch of BG for daycare. At daycare they leak all the time, she has numerous poop blowouts and pee leaks. The poop explosions I think is due to them not fastening the diapers tight enough (I have to add that the velcro on ours looks pretty awful after 9 months of straight use, we fix this by cutting a strip of the hook side of velcro that you can buy at a fabric store and just stick it across the poorly holding velcro and it holds it together, no sewing necessary. I am not thrilled that my investment is not lasting though). The pee leaks are because they don’t change her enough!! Cloth is definetely not disposable when it comes to pee, it doesn’t have the space age gel stuff in it which allows a disposable to hold a rediculous amount of pee. This doesn’t bother me at all, but it makes the caregivers claim that the diapers don’t work. They do work, you just have to change a kid more than twice a day. Anyway.
    I would say that if you’re not doing daycare, AIOs/BGs are not worth the investment. Especially for those of you who are just laying the insert on top of the cover. Prefolds work the same way and are rediculously cheaper. You only need like 5 covers for older kids, so when the velcro wears out you only have to shell out 10$ for a new cover. Anyway, food for thought.
    I’m glad to hear that we are not the only ones who’s BGs are not lasting. Also, my daughter is 19 months old and the diapers fit but I don’t know for how much longer.
    Also diaper rash. Our daughter gets it a lot, she has sensitive skin, and when you’re sitting in poop, you’re sitting in poop. It doesn’t matter what kind of diaper is holding that poop against your skin (we don’t have issues with rash from pee diapers though). We use desitin clear on a daily basis and it seems fine with the diapers. For really nasty rashes we use real desitin and put a dry cloth wipe between her tush and the diaper. It works fine. I don’t care if the wipes have desitin stains, they don’t need to be particularly absorbent.

  • Olivia

    June 9, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Candace: cloth diapers are definitely not a trend. Sure they are cute, but they are also very, very easy to use, good for baby’s butt and the environment. They also save money in the long run.

  • amalah

    June 9, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Amy – By “boy colors” I mean the colors you receive if you go to a cloth diapering site and order a sampler package in “boy colors.” The “girl colors” could very well include the orange as well. That’s all I meant by that.

  • jen

    June 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Fuzzi bunz leaked out the leg ALL the time! I couldn’t believe it! I sold them back and bought bum genius and LOVE them! I also love fitteds with covers. They have double protection, but not good for night time.

  • Sonja

    June 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I love everything about my BumGenius pocket diapers except for the velcro. The good news is that BumGenius now makes them with snap closures! Yay!

  • Alias Mother

    June 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I’m totally late here, but a thought for those who can’t decide: buy a few of each. See what you like best and then buy more.
    I’ve got a total sampler pack going at my house, where I mostly use prefolds and covers (two different kinds of covers), but have one BumGenius, one all-in-one, and one fuzzy Buns. Just cause I wanted to try them and they were on sale. Even if you aren’t in love with one kind, it may still have its uses. I hate the all-in-one, but I keep it in the diaper bag as an emergency back-up.
    This is like any other product. Try a few kinds and see what works.

  • Caitlin

    June 13, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    To Natalie- We use prefolds and covers exclusively (except for daycare) and love Thirsties brand covers. I think they are superior because they have an extra inner leg gusset that contains all poop. Seriously, Thirsties are the best, never had a blowout or even a leak, and come in cute colors
    Daycare- we use an in home provider so have a bunch of fitteds that are just for her. We were using kissaluvs fitteds but they are not the best for tall/skinny leg babies. I think Thirsties fab fitteds are the best for tall babies because they have a long rise. Kissaluvs are great for babies with chunky thighs, which I know from a friend who has a chunkster boy. Also the Thirsties Fab fitteds are nice for daycare because they are so easy to put on, snaps can be a pain for people who don’t CD regularly. I would never consider asking someone to use prefolds, since learning how to put them on (we use a snappi) is an endeavor.
    You really don’t have to worry about the ick until the baby starts solids, and then the toilet sprayer is really magic.
    I hope more people decide to CD. It is sooo economical if you use prefolds and covers. I know the outlay to start up with BG or FB or motherease is big, but 4 covers+ 3 dozen prefolds + 2 snappis is less than $100 and will last until the baby is 18lbs (then you have to buy the next size up prefolds and covers). You can spend $100 on disposables in a month.

  • Betty

    June 13, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Any advice on what kind of washing machine to choose if you plan to put it to work on diapers? We are looking at having to replace an ancient hand-me-down machine (in the future) and are going with diaper service to begin with.

  • Stacy

    June 15, 2009 at 11:21 am

    @Caitlin – when you say your prefolds and covers will last up to 19lbs… er, what sizes are you using?? I’ve already had my 3 month old baby grow out of one set of covers (newborn/small) and bought medium covers, but her standard infant size pre-folds are now too small – I can barely Snappi them. (we use them as doublers/spit up cloths/ changing table mats). So please, do share how you are managing one set of pre-folds and covers up to 19lb!!

  • Chantale

    June 18, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I have been cloth diapering over 3 years now and tried everything (seriously). I have even started making my own.
    I love the BG 3.0 since I found the one size fits all diapers don’t really fit all. My toddler and 6 month old are narrow. At 15 lbs, my baby is in the size medium. My toddler is 34 lbs and in the size large. These are so much like a disposable that no one can tell the difference under clothing.
    For cuteness factor, nothing can beat goodmamas diapers. They need a cover, but are SO very cute. At home, you don’t need to cover, and you’ll be amazed by the millions of adorable prints that are out there.

  • Zan

    June 18, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    When I came across this article my heart actually skipped a beat… YIPPEEEE…some other people to geek out with!
    I’m using 3 bum genius nappies (sorry I’m a Brit) and a whole load of different brands I was given, and I’m beginning to get the hang of it. So here’s what I’ve learned:
    Imse Vimse – definitely my fave brand of wrap. Better by far than motherease, as it fits beautifully round the legs.
    Inserts on top of Bum Genius? Would defeat the object of the fleece layer, which wicks the wetness away from the skin, plus the texture of the microfiber seems to stick to poo, which means you can’t just shake it into the toilet.
    My big discovery, care of a brilliant British web site called twinkleontheweb is FLEECE LINERS. Buy a cheapo Ikea blanket, and cut lots of strips out of it, and put them into the nappy. It keeps baby’s skin dry, and poo just falls off it. I use this over my cotton nappies instead of flushable paper liners, and I use BG without any liners at all. The paper just counteracts the drying action of the fleece otherwise, and baby gets a wet bottom.
    Still, I am saving up for the day I can afford more than 3 bum geniuses. Did someone say they wanted to sell some?

  • Gillian

    June 18, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I love CDing… AMP Duo Diaper is my new favorite. Not sure if they’re available in the USA yet, but they’re fantastic.
    I’ve been using FB and BG for the past 18 months with my son, and I have to admit that I’m not sure if my BG will last through another child or not… but I do whas them every single day, because I was frugal and only bought one day’s worth of diapers.
    Also, I’m glad to see it’s been said already- but yes, you’re not supposed to use a microterry next to the baby’s skin- instead use a hemp insert or flat diaper folded into thirds inside your FB or BG diaper. A natural fibre like that is just fine.
    I do this for a living (I work at a natural parenting store), so I know what I’m talking about. 🙂 So happy to see such positive things said about CD!

  • Kirsty

    June 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I’m doing the cloth diapering tester system with my 11 week old. So far LOVE BG. I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t like these diapers. I thought I’d still use disposables at night because I did NOT want to sacrifice sleep to get up and change my hippy diapers but these diapers are SO AWESOME at holding in the pee & keeping baby’s skin dry that now I use one overnight, too. I have, however, heard the wear-and-tear can be an issue. Have a few FB that I don’t feel too strongly about. I have a few Applecheeks ( which I didn’t THINK I liked until I started using them with the BG inserts (I can still get away with just the newborn insert except for overnight – never had a leak) now I like these too and may get a couple more mostly because I WANT A RED ONE (and agree 100% with Amalah re: the colours of FB. Ordered an orange and when I took it out of the package I think it burned my retinas a little). Have a few prefolds/covers that I use at home with a fleece liner because I like that whole wetness-away-from-skin thing and to Candace: I’m with you – I didn’t think I’d do it because I’m SO not a hippy and thought cloth diapers came with pins and a complimentary hemp skirt and sitar but when I realized how much cheaper it is to use cloth AND the fact that diapers these days are so cute and not as bulky and keep wetness away from the baby’s skin (with fleece or microsuede lining) plus are better for the baby’s reproductive health and the environment blah de blah, it seemed worth a try and now I’m a total convert. SERIOUSLY I’m a lazy girl but it’s not that big a deal. Oh and if you’re going to use the diapers may as well use cloth wipes since you wash them all together and the cloth wipes are SO much more effective than disposable ones – you only ever need one even for a poop that would use multiple disposables.
    Okay I’m done.

  • Ameya

    June 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Great comments ladies! I’m still super confused, but i always like hearing more reviews on the different kinds. I’m 19 weeks so i’m just starting to think about starting my stash. Trying to figure out which prefolds & covers to get (figure that will be most of my stash, and which other ones would be worth trying (is the pocket diapers better for night? for example). I hate velcro too but everyone seems to love thirsties & they are velcro-y as well. Argh, so confusing! Remind me when I know this stuff to make the easiest to use “Cloth for Dumb-heads”, ever.

  • Robin

    June 18, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I’m a cloth diapering twin mama and I’ve tried several things in the five months I’ve been cloth diapering. We used prefolds and homemade covers for the first size. In hindsight, I was CRAZY to sign up for that much laundry with newborn twins. When they outgrew their newborn prefolds (pretty quickly as they were 7+ pounds each at birth) I bought a bunch of BG and a few FB. I definitely liked the BG but then they started to stink … and then they started to leak … and then my daughter started getting rash after rash. After a night of having to change both of them twice after they leaked and, obviously, a night of very little sleep, I started to rethink things. I stripped like crazy, changed soaps, started doing triple rinses, etc. I was probably doing something wrong but just couldn’t keep trying to figure it out. I’m selling my AIO/pockets and am now using a local diaper service. My daughter’s rash is gone-gone-gone and I’m happy to be back with prefolds, Thirsties covers, and no laundry. It gives me more time to play with the babies and more time to sleep, something I still desperately need even at 4.5 months. I plan to sell my BGs as soon as I find time.
    I occasionally use Seventh Generation paper diapers when I run out of diapers or am on the go. I really like them. Even the smell of mainstream disposables bothers me!

  • Susan

    June 23, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Way late to the conversation, but had to chime in – I’m surprised more people haven’t mentioned gdiapers. We’ve used them with our son for almost 7 months now with NO diaper rash whatsoever. I love that I have the choice of flushing the insert (which we always do with the poopy ones), throwing it in the trash (which I usually do with the wet ones), or composting the wet ones (which DH won’t let me do- whatevs). I also got uber geeky a month or so ago and sewed my own reusable cloth inserts, which have also worked well – and gdiaper just announced that they’ll start selling gcloth inserts soon.
    Of course there are drawbacks – the inserts are expensive, but they now sell them at Whole Foods, Babies R Us and King Soopers, so it’s easier to restock (though the’re still cheapest on My son has always been a heavy wetter, so we don’t even try to CD at night – it’s Huggies Overnights for us. The velcro is also losing it’s stickiness, so I’m in the process of figuring how to change over to snaps. I’ve found that if you stick the tabs together and then wash them in a laundry bag or zippered pillowcase they won’t stick to anything else. And finally, some of DS’s pants and shorts don’t fit b/c of his big gbutt – but now that it’s warm, who needs pants?
    I use the Kirkland brand enviro-friendly detergent from Costco, plus a scoop of Oxi-clean in every load. Ditto the leaving the inserts/liners out in the sun to remove poop stains (although also ditto WHO CARES).

  • Emily

    July 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    This blog is freaking awesome!! I am just about to have my first baby and am SO relieved to read such honest advice about cloth diapers! I am so much less freaked out about the whole diaper situation after reading this. Thank you so much!

  • KatieJ

    July 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    This advice is all fantastic. Still leaves a first time mom-to-be a bit confused as to what to ACTUALLY purchase, but I like the advice about buying a little of a few different systems and trying them all out to see what you like best. Two things:
    1. Damn. I forgot #1. Thanks, pregnancy brain.
    2. Amalah…….can you PUH-LEEZE go ahead and do that long post about all the CD accessories..what is a “must,” what is a “skip it,” etc?? C’mon…you know you want to!!!

  • Marisa

    August 25, 2009 at 12:44 am

    I am really interested in having my BG velcro turned into snaps. Can you share the name of the person on Etsy who did this?

  • Acher

    September 3, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I do not have any babies (yet) and so have never had to wash a cloth diaper, but I DO use Charlie’s Soap. IT IS THE GREATEST STUFF EVER. I would have no worries about it getting diapers clean, because it gets everything else so clean! I use both the laundry detergent and the all purpose cleaner, and I will NEVER GO BACK.

  • Joceline

    January 24, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    @Marisa–In case you ever happen to come and read this–sorry it has been so long. The person who did my snap conversion no longer seems to be active on Etsy, but if you’re interested, email me at joceline dot foley at gmail dot com and I can explain a few options for getting the snaps done.

  • Lacey

    February 4, 2010 at 8:34 am

    What a great post — and a great bunch of comments! I’m 23 weeks pregnant with my first (a boy), and planning to cloth diaper.
    So far I have five BumGenius one-sizes, and five Kushies 10-22 lb diapers. I’m planning to get another 10 or 15 BumGenius ones, since that seems to be the clear favourite, but I was wondering if one type was especially good for boy babies (since the pee is mainly in the front, etc.)?