Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cloth Diaper Review: All the Cloth Diapers I've Tried vs. Disposable

So... yeah, I thought I'd try to help out some new moms out there who are deciding whether they should use cloth or disposable diapers and, if cloth, what the heck to use... I feel like I've tried nearly everything by now and have some insight. My baby is currently 5.5 months old.

Summary of my favorites:
Best overall diaper: Bumgenius 4.0 pocket/insert diapers (also acts as a diaper cover) - one size and can be reused with multiple inserts! Second choice: Bumgenius organic cotton all-in-one one size. Never had a blowout in either of these either. Minimal leaks
Best cover: Bummis Super Whisper Wrap. Amazing! Blow-out free since week 3 (actually not really week 3, but seriously never had a blowout with this one when properly fastened). Minimal leaking.

Best option disposable vs. cloth? CLOTH! I just don't feel right adding to the landfill issue, PLUS, they are way better. Seriously. They work way better than disposables!

I have had blowouts happen in all kinds of diapers. The following is the list of diapers I have had blowouts in from worst to best (i.e. #1 means I've never experienced worse blowouts than with this kind of diaper).
0. No diaper, but that doesn't really count :-)
1. Disposables - yep. Worst blowouts I've ever experienced were with disposables. I've tried Pampers and Target brand (most mom's I know don't like the Target Brand, just FYI. I think they are the same as the others. My husband and friend thinks they are POS's).
2. Prefold diapers - These have bad blowouts mainly because they are hard to get on a baby in a way that keeps everything contained. No matter how well you fold it, some is still going to come out. What determines the severity of the blowout or lack thereof depends on the diaper cover. See the subsection below on covers.
3. Mother-ease fitted diapers - pretty much limited problems with blowouts with these diapers. Again, diaper covers make a difference here.
4. Bumgenius diapers - both the 4.0 and the organic cotton one size all in one - NEVER experienced a blowout ever with these diapers.

Diaper Covers
I'm beginning to be of the opinion that even people who use disposables should consider diaper covers, the blowouts are so bad.
Again the following is a list from worst to best in diaper cover blowout situations:
1. Hand-knit ones - yeah I knit a few of these. They do nothing for either moisture or blowouts. I don't recommend knitting them unless you double them up and contour them to a baby's body. Even then...
2. Random wool Japanese kind - don't know the name of 'em, but they don't cover the diapers at all. Not good.
3. Pro-services Pro-wrap classic - these were good, but had to be on properly, everything tucked in and didn't really do super-great at preventing forceful blowouts.
4. Biobottoms wool diaper cover - theses are very good at preventing blowouts and leaks when properly applied, plus they have the added benefit of not stinking and drying pretty fast. Just be careful how you wash them. The biggest downside? They get moist as the diaper gets moist, so the seep some wetness onto babies clothes if he/she is a super-soaker like mine is.
5. Bummis Super Whisper Wrap - These are BY FAR THE BEST DIAPER COVER EVER. When properly put on (note that I said when PROPERLY put on), you should have NO blowouts at all. I have not found another diaper cover that works as well. They are perfect. If you can only buy one, buy this one. My baby has been fitting into the small size since she was about 3 weeks old and is still wearing them at 5.5 months and ~15 lbs.

Cloth Diapers
In general, just about anything is fine, if you are using a great diaper cover. If you don't have much money, get the prefolds (be sure you get at least 4 x 8 - that means that the thickest part is 8 peices of fabric thick for extra moisture--this is NOT a kind you can buy from Babies R Us, by the way. You can buy these online or probably a specialty store. Any thinner and your baby will definitely soak through, unless you change him/her every couple hours or less--or you could use 2 at a time, but that's just annoying and bulky) and a couple diaper covers and snappi clips.

Here's what I've used that are slightly more costly and what I thought:
1. Mother ease one size cloth diapers - we started using these when Amelia was 3 months old. I thought we could use just the diaper and that was it. I learned the hard way that you need a cover! Also, you need the insert or something else to go in there to absorb moisture (a folded up prefold works fine). My baby has never been able to wear them without one. I like that they will fit my baby as she grows, but I don't like that I have to use both an insert and a cover. It's a lot of extra work. But, they aren't bad.
2. Bum genius organic cotton one-size all-in-one diaper - LOVE this diaper. Our friends gave these to us as a gift and they are as easy to use as a disposable. My only complaint is that because they are all one piece, they require 2 dry cycles. Kind of a bummer, but doesn't apply to the snap kind. I guess they don't sell the kind we have anymore. I LOVE that they are one size which means they will fit my baby from newborn up to toddler, so I only buy one diaper one time. So much better than trying to buy several different sizes. Also never had a blowout.
3. Bum genius 4.0 insert diapers - These are my #1 favorite. They come with snaps and velcro. Velcro is easier, but you have to be so careful with them in the laundry. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I thought I would hate the stuffing thing, but there are some things I didn't know Here is why I love this diaper:
a) The inside of the diaper stays dry! Just like a disposable when my baby soaks her diaper, the inside part doesn't stay all wet. I don't know how they do that, but this makes it so I can take the insert out, dry off the cover, which is barely wet, and stuff another insert in there.
b) They are one size - they will fit newborn to toddler - again only have to buy one.
c) The microfiber inserts are really lightweight. Our super-soaker requires both the newborn and regular inserts at the same time, which both come with the diapers. They also dry quickly.
d) The outer part can be used as a diaper cover to cover my Mother-ease and prefold diapers as my baby grows. I never need to buy another diaper cover! Fantastic!
a) Can't use diaper rash cream, but not really an issue if she isn't getting it because the fabric inside is moisture-wicking.
b) The outside has to be washed differently from the inside - cold water and then line dry. When she poops, that's a problem. I pretty much have to hand wash them, which kinda sucks. If I had my own laundry machine it would be a lot easier.

That's it. Hope you like my review. I thought you guys could benefit from learning more about diapers. I know I was super confused when I started my research. Good luck!


  1. Interesting!! I really hope for my next child to have my own washer and dryer. I was strongly considering doing mainly cloth diapering and researched a lot into it but I just didn't want to get overwhelmed having another laundry load along with a newborn.

    Also I felt like it was a risk investing a lot of money upfront on an untested diaper/diapers.

    With that said, we have been using pampers with Wilson from day 1 and we have only had maybe 3 or 4 blowouts. No rashes of any kind and we had been using the dry max which has been giving the babys bad burns :(
    That makes me sad but Wilson hasn't had any problems with them whatsoever.

    I think blowouts are just going to happen no matter what type of diaper be it cloth or dispoable. Poop happens!

    I've got a couple friends who CD and they both swear up and down with Bumgenius and Fuzzibuns.

    I was also told to invest in one of those sprayers you can hook up in the bathroom to help clean the poop off.

    I think maybe with our next child I will try to invest in cloth diapering and only use disposables when necessary (traveling, trips type things)

  2. I feel the same way! I love the so much, and they are really not as much work as you would think...everyone should use them!

    You forgot the fact that a bum in cloth is so adorable...and they look so much more comfy than a disposable. Disposables are like wearing a maxi pad 24/7 for about 2 years, that makes me cringe.

    My favorites are the bumgenius 4.0 too, best diaper ever :)

  3. If you are using the arguement that disposables are like maxipads then cloth diapers must be like sticking a wet towel in between your crotch and wearing it for 2 years or more...

  4. well not really, the bumgenius diapers stay dry on the inside. They have an absorbant insert that pulls the moisture away from the baby's skin.