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

By Amalah

Cloth Diaper 101 (Part 2)

Amalah!

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.
L

“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.

(Am a NERD. NERRRRRRRRD.)

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.

So.

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)

 

Published June 5, 2009. Last updated March 27, 2018.
Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

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 [email protected].

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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