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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Cloth Diaper Favorites!

When we first began researching cloth diapers for Charlie, we went with bumGenius since they were recommended by friends of ours and seemed simple enough. If you haven't researched cloth diapers before, it can be very overwhelming - different brands, styles, price points, etc. We ordered 24 diapers and went on our merry way.

Over the 2 1/2 years we cloth diapered Charlie, those bumGenius diapers took one hell of a beating. Assuming they were washed every other day, it means they survived over 450 washes and saved us over $2,000. Awesome, right? They did their job, that's for certain, but by the time Ginny came around they were in bad shape and needed to be retired.

Time to build a new stash! For Ginny, I knew I wanted to try to cloth diaper from birth since we spent so much money on preemie and newborn diapers for Charlie before he could fit into his one size cloth. Our newborn stash of diapers consisted of Green Mountain Diapers prefolds, various covers, and Snappis.

Our favorites covers were:
  • Thirsties, size 1
  • Best Bottoms
  • Rumparooz, newborn size
Of the three, the Best Bottoms fit the absolute best with Rumparooz second and Thirsties third. The Best Bottoms are actually part of an all-in-two system, but just over simple prefolds, they were bulletproof. We didn't have a single leak the entire time we used them. What disposable diaper could say that?

The newborn (orange edge) prefolds lasted until Ginny was about 3 months old and around 12lbs. By doing newborn cloth, we saved an estimated $155 (Newborn Up & Up diapers @ $6.49/36 diapers, 2 packs per week for 3 months). All of the prefolds and covers cost me about $100 and I was able to recoup about $60 reselling the covers and most of the prefolds when we were done.

Then it was time to move onto one size! Now this is where things got a little out of hand. There are these amazing things on facebook called Buy/Sell/Trade groups and they will be the death....of my wallet. On these pages, you can chat with other cloth diapering Moms and find great deals on used cloth diapering supplies. Since cloth diapers are meant to be deep cleaned, there is no danger of buying used. Score!

Once all was said and done, Ginny ended up with over 100 possible diaper changes of all kinds of combinations. All in ones, all in twos, prefolds/covers, pockets, natural fibers, name it. Though we still have several bumGenius pockets, there is so much more out there!

This is an all-in-two hybrid system that consists of shells and inserts that snap into the shell. I love this system because the prints are cute, the inserts are absorbent, and they fit Ginny really well. The perk of an all-in-two system is that during a diaper change, you pull out the insert and snap in another one. You can reuse the same shell a few times before swapping it out (unless it gets dirty, obviously). It cuts down on laundry quite a bit.
Grovia also has the most buttery soft bamboo cotton prefolds in addition to their snap inserts. They are the most wonderfully soft things I've ever felt in my life! They are also the most ridiculously absorbent things I've ever seen. We use them for overnight and never have a leak, even after 10-12 hours of sleep.

The problem with Rumparooz is that the prints are collectable. That's right, poop catchers....collectable. It was my mission to own them all, which I eventually did thanks to the swaps. I love the rainbow of solids and prints that Rumparooz offers!

Functionally, I love Rumps because they fit well, are sturdy, and have an inner gusset that really keeps in the mess. We've only had leaks with these when Ginny starts out peeing the absorbency and we need to stuff more in the pocket.

Microfiber vs. Bamboo/Hemp/Cotton Inserts
Our original bumGenius diapers came with microfiber inserts that we used to absolute death. We went through a lot of trial and error finding the perfect wash routine for our hard water. Though microfiber is an overall good material, there are other options for absorbency - organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp.

  • Pros - It absorbs quickly, holds a lot, and is the most inexpensive insert option.
  • Cons - Can be bulky when doubled up in a pocket, can't go against baby's skin, and has a tendency to hold stink and get soap and mineral build up.
  • Favorite Brands: Usually come with pocket diapers (i.e. Rumparooz, bumGenius, Imagine)
  • Pros - Holds about 2.5 times more moisture than microfiber without being bulky. Also, naturally antimicrobial and can go against baby's skin.
  • Cons - Can be rough, get misshapen in the wash, and takes longer to dry.
  • Favorite Brands: Hemp Babies, Thirsties, Rumparooz, Knickernappies
  • Pros - Incredibly soft, can go against baby's skin, not bulky, and absorbs slowly to lock in moisture.
  • Cons - Often more expensive than synthetic materials and can wear out quicker, forming holes and thin spots. Takes longer to dry.
  • Favorite Brands: Grovia, Blueberry, Thirsties, Rumparooz
Organic Cotton
  • Pros - Super soft, very absorbent, and can go against baby's skin.
  • Cons - Often more expensive and can wear out quickly, forming holes and thin spots. Stains more easily than other fibers, but usually suns out well.
  • Favorite Brands: Grovia, Green Mountain Diapers

I love to mix and match the various inserts to get the absorbency I need while keeping the bulk to a minimum. A thin microfiber insert paired with a thin hemp insert will absorb much more than a thick microfiber insert alone. A thick microfiber insert on top of a hemp or bamboo insert will quickly soak up and then lock away moisture for a great overnight solution. Knickernappies LoopyDo inserts are a great example of various fibers (hemp, french terry, and microfiber) working together in sweet leak-free harmony.

Planet Wise wet bags
We are fortunate that daycare accepts cloth diapers, but we were in serious need of a few new wet bags to bring home the dirties. I was admittedly cheap when cloth diapering Charlie and didn't even look at Planet Wise bags at $20 a pop (I picked ours up on clearance and on the swaps). Well let me tell you - they are SO worth it. Worried about leaks and stink escaping? These things can literally hold water. We have three that rotate throughout the week to and from daycare. They take a little long to dry, but otherwise I have zero complaints.

We also have their sandwich and snack bags and I highly recommend them!

The more I read about cloth diapers, the more I learn. There are so many options out there to suit your unique needs and make cloth diapering easy for your family.

Want to check out the swaps? These are just the ones I'm familiar with - there there are tons more out there!

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