Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Cloth Diaper Reviews: What’s the Best Cloth Diaper For You?

April 24th, 2012 · 180 Comments · Green Living, What to Buy

There’s not really a baby step process to having a baby – it’s an all or nothing deal to be sure. You just have to jump in with both feet and get all wet, sometimes quite literally.

go green pocket diaper cow print

I still remember my husband and I, in the very first few days of parenting, trying to figure out if a diaper was wet or dry. We were worried about doing everything right, worried about our son being healthy and getting enough checkmarks under the “wet” and “dirty” columns, and stressed out because it was the middle of the night and the boy screamed bloody murder through every diaper change.

There was nothing to be done other than trial by fire – until baby boy put out the fire by squirting us in the face, one of many learning curves we encountered. (Solution: Cover baby with burp cloth during diaper change.) We also survived and figured out constant wet spots in his cradle (point down in diaper, not sideways), up-t0-the-neck poopy blowouts (bring extra clothes, for everyone), and even getting the pants back on the kicking, screaming baby (reach your hand up through the pantleg from the ankle).


Switching over to cloth diapers after using disposables for 2 babies and 5 months on the third has been kind of like that, right down to the wet clothes and getting personal with poop. There’s really no way to ease into cloth diapering with baby steps – sure, you can use disposables part-time while you’re getting started, but you still have to figure it all out, from the new vocabulary to the laundry routine to finding the best cloth diaper for your kiddo to how to get the diapers on and off (and the fact that you’ll be doing a few more ons and offs each day). The mental energy you’ll expend learning the system is pretty intensive and worthy of many pats on the back – start patting and thanking these cloth diapering mamas for saving the earth, one brain cell at a time.

tiny tush pocket diaper (2) (475x356)

After about 3 months using cloth diapers on our little guy, I can tell you what a gusset is and how often you have to wash cloth diapers, I can laud cloth diapers’ ability to keep the poop in and curse the fact that they aren’t quite as absorbent as “sposies,” and I can throw around (most) cloth diaper terms with ease.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to introduce you to the 25 different cloth diapers from 21 brands that I’ve been testing out with Jonathan. This post includes an explanation of the 5 basic categories that I reviewed, organized by how the cloth diaper goes together. You’ll find quick how-to videos of each group, and the second part of the post lists individual reviews and individual cloth diaper how-to videos for all 25 diapers.

I’ve been busy.

Finally, I’ll lend my voice as a true rookie, teaching you the cloth diaper terminology you’ll need to know, basic “how to” on the cloth diapering routine, and more. (I’ve added an update after more long-term use in September, 2012, plus some more detailed leakage statistics.)

Cloth Diaper Guide
Click HERE for get the newest eBook on cloth diapering, “Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert!”

Here are all the cloth diapering posts at KS:

Here are the diapers I reviewed:

Best cloth diaper for you

That’s 25 different styles of diapers from 21 different brands, plus 4 wet bags and some detergent and wipes. Phew! To see the whole selection in video form, click cloth diaper reviews.

Each category below will include a photo, a list of the diapers I reviewed, written notes of advantages and disadvantages to the style as a whole, and then a video showing the diapers with a quick overview of how they work and the pros and cons I found. Click HERE to skip down to the individual diaper reviews if you already know all about various styles of cloth diaper.

Please keep in mind that any diaper reactions discussed below are purely the user experience in one household, with one cloth-diapered baby. Other body types, hard/soft water types, parental personality types, routines may well yield very different results. Someone probably loves the diapers I hated and had major issues with my favorites. Let’s all agree to be okay with that. I always welcome comments, suggestions, and constructive debate, but I really don’t care to get into arguments. These are my opinions, to which I’m entitled.

Please also note that any Amazon link is an affiliate link, and all Amazon prices are subject to change. All other prices are listed from May, 2012, when I wrote this post.

POCKET Cloth Diapers

pocket cloth diapers

pocket cloth diapers

I reviewed 9 brands of pocket style cloth diapers for a total of 10 diaper styles; 8 are shown above.

opens on one side (top photo)

opens on two sides

A pocket diaper has a “pocket” running from front to back for the absorbent inserts, usually shaped like a supersized maxi pad, to be “stuffed” into. Once stuffed, the pocket diaper works much like a disposable, stays together in a diaper bag, and is very user-friendly. Once wet or dirty however, most pocket diapers do need to be “un-stuffed” before washing, which means you have to get your hands dirty touching the inserts and diapers to separate the two.

Even my son, who is only six, quickly said “Why don’t they all open on both sides?” to me, it’s a no-brainer that it’s easier to stuff when you can reach in to straighten from both sides. I gave my husband a pile to stuff (he loves testing stuff for me – not!) specifically to ask him which was easiest. He said “hands down!” the ones with two openings were ten times faster. So I prefer two, I put up with one on some brands if it’s in the back and wide open enough, and the few that put the opening in the front, I dislike. It’s always wet there and pretty yucky to unstuff.

Some brilliant pocket diapers, like the Go Green! Champ 2.0 (cow print above), are designed to “self-agitate” in the washing machine so you don’t have to worry about taking the parts apart. After receiving the Go Green a little late in the game, I couldn’t wait to try skipping the un-stuffing on other diapers. It seems that if the pocket cloth diaper is open on both front and back (which makes stuffing easier anyway), the inserts work their way out in the wash. If there’s only one way in and out, the inserts get stuck and can’t get fully dry in the dryer (and probably not clean as well in the washer, either).

To skip down to the individual pocket diaper reviews, click HERE.

Advantages to pocket diapers

  • Easy to put on – act like a disposable, so they’re very user-friendly for people who don’t do cloth diapering all the time, like babysitters or relatives.
  • Can stuff extra inserts for added absorbency or easily bulk up near the front for boys or center for girls.
  • Very travel-worthy – because they don’t come apart once stuffed, it’s easy to pop one or two in the diaper bag and know that they’ll be ready to put on baby when you reach your destination.
  • Cozy and comfortable, according to the 3 1/2-year-old in our house.
  • Dry fairly easily overall since all the pieces come apart.
  • Most inserts are interchangeable between brands, adding versatility.

Disadvantages to pocket diapers

  • Added step of taking the inserts out is a hassle (and can be gross) during a diaper change.
  • Added step of stuffing the diapers becomes “one more thing to do” during the day. Those of you whose fingers are hovering, about to comment that this is no big deal, just have your older kids do it, or “it only takes a second,” trust me on this one – from someone whose baby is currently wearing a disposable because there are 20 cloth diapers clean but none paired up/stuffed, it’s an issue worth mentioning.
  • The fact that they’re lined with absorbent material gives them the “cozy and comfy” factor from above, but I feel like it also increases the likelihood of wicking onto clothing, since many pocket diapers allow the cloth lining to extend onto the leg elastic area, which can easily turn a bit outside and leak. (The fleece is not absorbent, but I’m telling you – pockets leak more.)

 

If you can’t see the embedded video, click pocket cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

2-PIECE (Shell and Insert) Cloth Diapers

DSC04027 (475x356)

DSC04028 (475x356)

I reviewed four brands of two-piece cloth diapers, which have an insert that either lays or tucks into a waterproof cover, without stuffing into a pocket or snapping in in any way.

Advantages

  • You don’t have to touch the yucky part in order to get this kind of diaper clean. I don’t know if I can emphasize enough how awesome that is!
  • The covers are reusable 3-5x, so you can just flip out the insert and allow the cover to dry out until the next change, then use a fresh absorbent pad – this saves money because you can own fewer diapers and also can wash them less often, prolonging the life of the diaper.
  • Easy to hang dry the covers as they air dry just about as quickly as the dryer cycle itself, prolonging their life.
  • Very quick to pair up; no stuffing.
  • This group has done marvelously as far as absorbency and avoiding leaks – they’ve all leaked from time to time, but the category as a whole does better than pocket diapers as a group.

Disadvantages

  • Because there’s nothing holding the two pieces together, inexperienced (or just tired) baby changers often allow them to fall apart or shift when grabbing from the stack.
  • It’s important to check around the legs and at the back to make sure all the absorbent parts are tucked in.

Be sure to check out the individual reviews; jump to them by clicking HERE.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click two-piece cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Fitted Cloth Diapers

DSC04041 (475x356)

Advantages

  • Very easy to put on properly.
  • So soft and stretchy; seems very comfortable.
  • Extremely absorbent – amazing nighttime solution so far.
  • Cover can be reused, prolonging its life as in the category above.
  • Tends to contain poopy blowouts really well.
  • Easy to add extra layers for absorbency.
  • Can use covers interchangeably between brands.
  • Covers dry quickly and are easy to pull out to line dry (since you don’t have to separate any snaps to get the cover alone).

Disadvantages

  • Two pieces to put on; takes longer.
  • Must be careful to tuck all absorbent parts into the cover or wicking will be a problem.
  • Must touch the wet diaper, as the entire thing, snaps included, gets soaked. There’s no sneaking through a diaper change without washing your hands because you didn’t touch anything dirty with this one.
  • Generally takes a long time for the fitteds to dry (but it’s worth it because they’re so absorbent).
  • Does generally need to be ordered by the size, so you can’t buy one stash for the baby’s entire diapering lifetime.

Jump to the fitted cloth diaper individual reviews HERE.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click fitted cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

ALL-IN-ONE Cloth Diapers

DSC04040 (475x356)

Advantages

  • One piece simplicity cannot be overstated. They act exactly like a disposable and are dummy proof to put on.
  • Easy to take off as well; nothing to take apart.
  • Nothing to pair up or “stuff” coming out of the laundry.
  • Can add extra inserts for added absorbency.
  • Seem fairly comfortable, although these two brands couldn’t be more different in size and shape!

Disadvantages

  • AIOs take a really, really long time to dry.
  • Can’t separate cover and inserts, so if you machine dry, you must always machine dry the PUL (waterproof cover part), so you’ll wear them out more quickly.
  • Can have the wicking problem I mentioned with pocket diapers.
  • Usually more expensive, but not always.

Click HERE to jump to the individual reviews of each of these AIOs.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click all-in-one (AIO) cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

 

All-in-two Cloth Diapers

DSC04029 (475x356)

DSC04030 (475x356)

Advantages

This category has such a wide variety of styles that some advantages and disadvantages only apply to some…it can’t be helped!

  • Generally fairly easy to put on since the parts can’t fall apart (but not always).
  • Generally easy to take off; sometimes just one snap needs to be undone for the wash, sometimes nothing needs to be touched.
  • The best feature of this category, in my opinion, is that there’s nothing to pair up coming out of the wash, since they “stay together” in some way with their own snaps. It makes having diapers ready much more doable.
  • Some covers can be reused for multiple changes, prolonging their life, but it’s a bit more complicated than with the two-piece cloth diapers since there’s always some snapping and unsnapping to attend to.
  • Sometimes they dry very well, since all the pieces get air to them (some don’t).

Disadvantages

  • Some have very complicated snapping!
  • Some don’t get dry very well at all.
  • Some are less versatile and difficult to add extra soakers in.
  • Each diaper in this category has its own disadvantage; worth watching the individual videos when they’re available to learn about each one! Click HERE to skip to the all-in-two reviews.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click all-in-two (hybrid) cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.
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Individual Cloth Diaper Reviews

I’m a numbers person as much as possible, so I decided to try to quantify how well these diapers worked. I have realized that opinion is a powerful force – I definitely had better emotional feelings about diapers that friends had lauded and tended to “forgive” them for leaks, whereas a few that leaked often at the beginning pigeon-holed themselves into a “that one’s gonna leak” mentality for me, and I would not put them on John as often, so they probably weren’t as comprehensively tested.It will be interesting to see how the numbers fall out vs. the emotional reactions to the diapers (don’t worry, you’ll get both).

Here’s the “key” for the ratings I use on each individual cloth diaper, low being negative and higher, positive:

  • easy to put on:
    1 – very difficult to fasten or organize inserts when putting on; takes way too much time with a wiggly baby
    3 – average; might be a bit clunky but overall tough to make a mistake
    5 – brain-dead simple; often just like a disposable
  • easy to take off:
    1 – must take apart multiple parts, fold things down, get hands dirty
    3 – some steps to getting ready to wash, perhaps taking inserts out (but not terribly difficult)
    5 – unfasten and toss in bag
    *2 extra points for being able to reuse cover
  • leakproof? (I tried to keep tally marks each time a diaper leaked, but I’m sure I missed some and sometimes didn’t count “just damp” onesies and such)
    1 – leaked so often I avoided the diaper; over 5 times recorded
    2 – leaked more than I would want; 3-5 times recorded
    3 – leaked occasionally; recorded 2x
    4 – made clothing damp from time to time, but nothing I fretted about
    5 – never leaked once
  • contains blowouts:
    1 – major blowout or many
    3 – minor poopy leaks
    5 – never let anything out, including stuff that would be been all over if in disposables
  • price:
    1 – over $30/diaper
    2 – $25-30
    3 – $15-25
    4 – $10-15
    5 – under $10/diaper

25 points possible after the initial ratings, with opportunities to gain and lose points below.

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: bonus points for making it through the night with little to no leaks
  • flexible sizing: +1 for one-size diapers that grow with the child
  • environmentally friendly: +1 or 2 for sustainable inserts or company
  • easy to wash/dry: + for staying with inserts or hanging cover to dry, – for taking so long to dry or sticking to everything
  • quick grab: +1 if anyone can grab a diaper and use it; –1 for diapers that totally fall apart when taken from the pile
  • versatility: + for diapers that can be used with other inserts/covers/etc.
  • Remember that one thing I DON’T know is how well the diapers hold up over time, which is certainly a consideration as you’re investing your money.

Note: As of September, 2012, I’ve updated each individual review with my thoughts after a few more months of using the diapers regularly. I also painstakingly recorded every single diaper change for two weeks and whether it was contained, caused damp clothing, or resulted in a genuine leak. Those statistics are part of the summer update, including revised scores if necessary.

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Motherease All-in-One Reviewmotherease all-in-one

from Thanksmama.com
price: $16.95 (or on Amazon)
insert material: 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton, from totwearhouse.com
closure I reviewed: snaps

motherease all-in-one AIO cloth diaper reviewThis one puts the “fluffy” in “fluff” – a term used for cloth diapers because the baby’s buns get all poofy in cloth…

motherease cloth diaper reviewI lay the insert right in, no stuffing involved – bulletproof for nighttime!

motherease cloth diaper reviewMotherease does amazingly well without any inserts, too.

Description: An all-in-one with a very soft inside and a set of side snaps with 3 on top and 2 on bottom to make the perfect fit. Diaper does not grow with the baby; must order the right size. This diaper is no joke – if you’re looking for a trim fit, this isn’t it…

Our experience: …but if you want something for nighttime or long naps, Motherease‘s all-in-one from thanksmama.com is the ONLY diaper out of 25 that has never leaked. It’s amazing! The only weird part is that I can never figure out which way is front and back! Even with that user error, it never leaks. Wait until you see how much liquid it holds in next week’s absorbency testing…

(UPDATE the very next day…you’ve got to be kidding me…Motherease leaked out the top/front this morning. Sigh…J was playing on his belly, and maybe I was too generous trying not to get it on tightly after my husband said he didn’t like the snaps. If one thing is constant with cloth diapers – and babies in general, I suppose – it’s that nothing is consistent.)

UPDATE 4/27: The day after I reviewed this, my husband put it on baby for the first time. He announced, “I don’t like this diaper; it’s too hard to put on.” He said it’s just too tight, so tough to pull around and snap. That could be a sizing problem, too, as our guy is 22 lbs. and counting, or just a big-man-hands problem.

Leak Report Update: Only 1 leak in 2 weeks and 5 dry times, every one of them overnight (with Sweetpea doubler). The one leak was with a hemp doubler from 11p-9:30 a.m. Two solids, no leaks. Motherease has truly been bulletproof, leaking maybe 5 times or less since we’ve gotten it and often lasting 10-12 hours.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: I don’t care if DH doesn’t like putting it on, and I probably put it on backward half the time myself (I do it wrong in the video)…but dry nights are worth it. I love this diaper! I bought the next size up for my 4yo and for John to grow into. It’s a definite favorite and one I highly recommend for nighttime, with one extra insert.

UPDATE after one year: The Motherease is still best for nighttime, and it hasn’t lost any absorbency even though I use the dryer on it every time. Winner!

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 3
  • easy to take off: 5
  • leakproof? 4
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: +3
  • flexible sizing: -1
  • environmentally friendly: +2 for being made in Canada in a green energy factory + the insert is natural fiber
  • easy to wash/dry: + 1 for not needing to be taken apart; –1 for taking so long to dry
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility:
  • other:

Total score: 25 points

Star feature: No leaks!

Potential downfall: Tougher to dry, confusing front/back

Ideal situation: Nighttime, but anytime is awesome. It is bulky to fit under clothing, however.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Motherease AIO cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

 

Ones and Twos AIO Reviewimage

from Ones and Twos
price: $16.95 (or on Amazon)
insert material: microfiber
closure I reviewed: hook and loop

ones and twos all-in-one AIO cloth diaper (2)

It’s hard to tell in the photo, but this diaper is incredibly trim. Worth watching the video if you’re curious about that.

ones and twos all-in-one AIO cloth diaper (4)

The little soaker pad lays right on top, or can be stuffed inside.

ones and twos all-in-one AIO cloth diaper (6)

Description: This is a brand new brand of diaper, designed to be super trim – perhaps the wrong thing for my chunky baby. It goes on very easily, and although it’s an all-in-one diaper, it also has a pocket adaption that is nice for extra stuffing OR for getting more air to the absorbent insert to help it dry out after washing.

Our experience: Unfortunately, this diaper leaked…and leaked, and leaked. It’s nice to have a thinner diaper for getting pants on, but it has been relegated to the “no more wearing” pile. Perhaps on a thinner baby, it would be better.

Leak Report Update: This diaper really did have a problem with its waterproof cover, so I never put it back in the rotation. I recommend checking other reviews from bloggers who did not have a defective product.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 5
  • easy to take off: 5
  • leakproof? 1
  • contains blowouts: 3 (not much testing since we stopped using it…?)
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: -1, no way
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly:
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for easy wash one-piece, –1 for taking so long to dry, –1 for getting poo stuck in the elastic
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility:
  • other: -5 for just not working

Total score: 13 points (but I’d say the leaking is a fatal flaw, no matter what – potentially because it’s a new brand, the company will be able to fix that. Check out other bloggers’ reviews on this brand if you’re interested in more.)

Star feature: Trim, if you need that for your baby’s body type.

Potential downfall: Leaks!

Ideal situation: For babysitters, etc.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Ones and Twos AIO cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.
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Softbums Omni All-in-Two Cloth Diaper with Organic Bamboo Extra Long Soaker Pad

from Softbums
price: $23.95 for shell and $5 extra for organic bamboo pod (or $21.95 on Amazon)
insert material: bamboo
closure I reviewed: snap (2)

softbums omni cloth diaper (2)

softbums omni cloth diaper (4)

softbums omni cloth diaper on baby (4) (475x356)

Description: Very stretchy, quality-feeling material on cover, snap-in insert, single snap, with ability to add extras just by laying in on top. The bamboo insert I used with this Omni cover is extra long, so you’re supposed to fold it in half under. This cover also has a pocket that allows the insert to be tucked in while still snapped, a nice feature for babysitters, etc. who might not know what to do with all the length. Unique about Softbums is the sizing; it uses an elastic cord with a…pinch-and-pull (?) system? You really need to watch the video on this one to see how it works. If it really sizes down to newborns, that’s a winning feature right there. HERE is a resource download from Softbums on how to cloth diaper; very helpful!

Our experience: This diaper is easy to put on and take off, and for my purposes, with 25 different diapers, I was so thankful that the insert stayed with the diaper, as it makes it quicker to grab out of the laundry and put right on baby. The long bamboo soaker pad is excellently absorbent and beats the pants off the Softbums Echo soaker pad, made of microfiber. This diaper only leaked three times, twice under 3 hours (a disposable leaked that same day, too, so it may have just been a heavy wetting day) but once over 3 hours, so I can’t really count that against it too much since I should be changing him before that. Overall I really like this diaper, but it’s a bit pricey.

Leak Report Update: Only 1 leaks and 1 just damp in 2 weeks and 6 dry times; 3 solids held in. Overnight once with a hemp doubler.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: Omni remains one of my favorites, so I’m so sad to report that the other Softbums I reviewed, the Echo, is having a problem with its “slide-2-size” mechanism such that every time I wash it, I have to resize it. I’m really disappointed in that and it makes me worry about the longevity of the system.

The fabric and everything else about the diaper is doing amazingly well in the long term. It’s truly made of high quality material and looks just as it did 6 months ago. It’s one of the one that I default to and trust when we’re out and about, and I’ve started using other inserts and reusing the cover as well. This works fine and stretches the life and usefulness of the diaper cover.

UPDATE after one year: The Softbums company did contact me and replaced the Echo with a brand new one, which was nice. I still love the fabric, but somehow I killed the Omni by using a homemade laundry detergent, and now it leaks right through. :( I don’t believe this is the fault of the diaper, but of my stupidity. Read the story and how I tried to fix it HERE.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 5 (2 snaps keep it simple; pad can be pocket if you want to)
  • easy to take off: 5
    • +1 extra point because you can reuse the cover, although I haven’t ever done it
  • leakproof? 4
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3 (the company recommends reusing the cover 3x, so that reduces the cost. I need to get more bamboo pads!)

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: +1 (made it through with one extra microfiber pad)
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1 for made in US and organic bamboo
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for staying with inserts (although the bamboo takes longer to dry than a microfiber)
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1 can use cover as pocket, stuff with anything
  • other: +1 for such nice, stretchy fabric

Total: 29 points

Star feature: The bamboo soaker is super absorbent, versatile from all-in-two to pocket – also the sizing is excellent if it really would work for newborns, too (I just didn’t get to try it out until John was 6 mos. old)

Potential downfall: Price point a bit high (but reusing the cover makes a big difference!); without the bamboo soaker pad, effectiveness might be a different story

Ideal situation: Good for anything – night, on the go, babysitter.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Softbums all-in-two cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Softbums Echo

from Softbums
price:
$21.95 for shell, Drytouch pod w/snap $4.95, Drytouch mini pod $2.95
insert material: microfiber
closure I reviewed: Velcro

softbums echo cloth diaper

 

Description: The Softbums Echo is basically like the Omni, with the Slide-2-Size fitting, the snap-in pad/pod, and the nice, stretchy fabric, but it does not have the pocket option. With this diaper, I used the basic snap-in microfiber pod. As you can see in the photo, it’s shorter than the bamboo so there’s no folding. I also had an extra soaker pad, which did help out a lot and simply lays on top.

Our experience: It took me a while to figure out what was going on, because the Omni and Echo were acting so differently. Was this a good brand, or not? I finally figured out that the bamboo pod is great, and the microfiber just wasn’t cutting it. The Echo seemed to be hit and miss – sometimes it would leak under 2 hours, once I wrote down that it lasted over 3 1/2 hours. It also leaked on my 3yo and allowed a pretty big blowout to happen, but it also contained one that I thought would have been a blowout if in disposables. Ultimately, if you don’t think you need a pocket, this one is fine, but go with the bamboo extra long soaker pod for absorbency. The microfibers simply let too much through, even when doubled. You can get the Omni or Echo in either snap or Velcro closure.

Leak Report Update: Only 1 leak in 2 weeks and 8 dry times, including a few over 3 hours and one really long nap, double stuffed. Two solids, no leaks.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: I’m sad to say that the closure on the slide-2-size elastic is malfunctioning such that one leg is completely slack every time I wash it. It takes a lot of finagling to tighten it up (minutes of work) and it doesn’t last. :( The company says it will replace, but I have to fill out a form and send back the diaper, and I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. The lack of longevity makes me nervous on that.

UPDATE after one year: As I said above, Softbums did send a replacement and they were very helpful in teaching me on the phone how to strip cloth diapers and some ideas for fixing a problem I caused myself…kudos for that! The fabric of these diapers in general still feels luxurious.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 4, pad sometimes sneaks out and needs to be tucked in
  • easy to take off: 5
  • leakproof? 2 4 (this one seems unreliable, especially with only one soaker pad; better with the extra pad) ?Got much better in time!
  • contains blowouts: 3 (kept a big one in; let a big one out)
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: 0 (with the extra soaker, it almost made it through but then leaked badly as morning was approaching (10 hours))
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1 for made in USA
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for staying with inserts
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility:
  • other: -3 for the slide-2-size breaking

Total: 21 20 points
Star feature: The sizing is pretty cool (and the color, wow!) Winking smile

Potential downfall: The microfiber is just not absorbent enough or quickly enough. I’d go with bamboo soaker from Softbums instead.

Ideal situation: Easy for anywhere.

This diaper is demonstrated in the same video as the Omni, above.

Hiney Liney Versa

from Hiney Liney
price: $16.95 for cover; $4.95 for liney, $5.95 for 3-layer insert
insert material: Zorb II, cotton/bamboo knit
closure I reviewed: Velcro

hiney liney versa cloth diaper

hiney liney versa cloth diaper (2) (475x356)

hiney liney versa cloth diaper (5) (475x356)

Description: The Hiney Liney’s signature feature is that brown liner, a single layer of fabric that covers the absorbent layers (6 of them that look like 3, folded over). The liner snaps into the liney with two snaps and then the liney snaps into the cover with four snaps, two in front and two in back. Phew! The only saving grace of all those snaps is that I only unsnap the back two , leaving everything kind of hanging together in the wash. Of course, ideally you’d reuse the covers, so you’d have to take them all apart for that feature anyway…

The Hiney Liney Versa is a one-size diaper, although rather than three rows of snaps to make the diaper larger or smaller, there are only two, so for the smallest size (12 lbs.) you’re supposed to snap it up, then use the crossover fastener to cinch the belly part up tighter.

hiney liney versa cloth diaper (3) (475x356)

Our experience: It didn’t take long for me to write in my notes: “Why so many pieces???” Every time my husband grabs this one, he gets it on crazy. The stuffing all comes out the back, and it’s a problem. The liney doesn’t seem to serve a practical purpose that I can tell – it’s not flushable, it’s still pretty expensive to replace if it’s just a staining issue, and it doesn’t create any extra absorbency; in fact, the liney repels drops of water while the absorbent liner sucks it right up, faster than microfiber. Besides, a diaper should never ever use brown, yellow, or tan on a liner (or any part). I always think he’s poopy when I peek.

Since I received two inserts and one cover, I thought maybe I could switch the liners and save the outside for reuse like I had been doing with the Flip and the Sprout Change. I said said out loud while doing all the snaps, “Right, this is really going to work. Now you’re going to pee on me.” And he did! If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is. I don’t like the snaps.

Absorbency-wise, when it leaks, it really leaks, but it did have some instances where it seemed to last a good long time, so I can’t figure out what was different about those times.

Leak Report Update: Recorded 3 leaks with the diaper on less than 2 hours, a “damp” at 3 hours, and 4 dry times. Not so impressive.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: I’m still tired of all the snaps, and the fact that my guy has pretty much grown out of this one is frustrating. I do generally prefer the diapers that will really stick with a kid as he grows. Hiney Liney is not one that I trust, but it was in the rotation as a medium favorite – although I just realized that the hook-and-loop is playing out. It’s probably the second worst closure as far as its propensity to pop right open, even without little hands helping.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 2
  • easy to take off: 3
  • leakproof? 3 2
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 2

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: no
  • flexible sizing: +1 0
  • environmentally friendly: (switching to hemp/cotton blend liners…)
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for staying with inserts
  • quick grab:
  • versatility: +1 because you can use a prefold with the lineys
  • other: -1 for bad closure/not lasting

Total: 18 15 points

Star feature: Ummmmm…

Potential downfall: It’s just so complicated with all the parts…and the tan color really gets my undies in a bunch. I used to say the same thing about Pampers and the light yellow design that would end up right by the leg holes where I wanted to check for BMs.

Ideal situation: ?

If you can’t see the embedded video, click cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Itti Bitti Tutto itti bitti tutto

from Kelly’s Closet
price: $26.97 (or on Amazon)
insert material: bamboo
closure I reviewed: snaps

itti bitti tutto cloth diaper (2)

itti bitti tutto cloth diaper (4)

itti bitti tutto cloth diaper (6)

Description: This all-in-two cloth diaper is really an all-in-four, as it has three separate inserts and four colors of snaps to help you figure out how to snap them in. The photo above doesn’t really do it justice; you almost have to watch the video on this one to see how it works. I think the idea is that one can really customize the absorbency as far as where extra padding might go, since there are lots of different ways to put it together. The diaper also has a bit of a double gusset on the edges that should catch things before it leaks.

Our experience: The Itti Bitti Tutto gets major style points for looking like Elmo, but then it’s all downhill from there. The inserts pile up so high that it negates the double gusset idea, since neither liquids or solids really touch that part of the diaper. The inserts are so complicated that it felt like a puzzle every time I had to put it together. Although there are supposed to be many ways to accomplish the task, there are also many wrong ways that don’t work.

A friend who has already cloth diapered a few babies visited, messed with it for a few minutes and stated emphatically, “I’d throw this one on the ground. You can quote me.” Her engineer hubby says things should only be able to go together one way if they’re well designed.

When my MIL tried to put it on the baby, although it was already snapped together, when she picked it up the inserts came unfolded and she couldn’t figure it out for the the life of her – never a good sign.

My daughter, who tried out almost all the diapers for nighttime, was so excited to wear this one because it was red and furry, but she made us take it off the moment we got it on, it was so uncomfortable. She wouldn’t bother with it after that.

In the early days, I wrote this in my notes: “I just don’t get it…but it did hold a lot and almost feel dry against the skin.” However, at some point soon after the Itti Bitti Tutto started racking up the tally points under “leaks” including some leaks that happened very soon after being changed and one that soaked my shirt like nobody’s business. If I had to guess, I’d say the inserts either don’t soak quite quickly enough or the diaper is just too trim/stuffed full to capture the urine and give the inserts time to absorb.

Between the difficulty in putting it on and the incessant leaking, the cute Tutto was relegated to the pile in the corner that nobody wears. I really disliked this diaper.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: I just couldn’t bear to put this one back into the rotation, even if it did start absorbing better…

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 1
  • easy to take off: 3
  • leakproof? 1
  • contains blowouts: 4 – ?
  • price: 2

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: 0
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1 for bamboo inserts
  • easy to wash/dry: net zero, because you can partially unsnap inserts so they stay together, but it still takes a long time to dry
  • quick grab: -1
  • versatility: supposedly…
  • other: -5 for being impossible!

Total: 7 points

Star feature: Supposedly one can customize it; perhaps this diaper has a targeted audience made up of CDing experts, not rookies…?

Potential downfall: Lots of leaking, ever so complicated inserts

Ideal situation: None.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Itti Bitti Tutto cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Grovia grovia_hybrid_hook_nature-m__21939_zoom (350x350)

from Jack be Natural
price: $
16.95 for shell ($14.41 for discontinued styles), +$17.95 for organic soaker pads (2 pk) – same price as not organic (also available on Amazon)
insert material: organic cotton
closure I reviewed: hook and loop

grovia all-in-two cloth diaper (2)

grovia all-in-two cloth diaper (4)

Description: This Grovia cloth diaper has a one-size outer cover with snug elastic legs and the stickiest Velcro I’ve ever met. The soaker pads snap in with two simple snaps, back and front. The pad itself is nice and thick but separated into two sewn-together layers, which should help it dry faster since air can get in between. The cover can actually be used with any insert, including Grovia’s disposable line or any prefold. The cover is fairy trim through the middle and nice and soft.

Grovia (1) (475x356)

Grovia (2) (475x356)

Our experience: I still have mixed feelings about the Grovia. At first, it was one of those that seemed to leak all the time, so I would avoid it until I was nearly out of diapers. When I reinstituted it into the rotation recently to make sure I gave it a fair shake for these reviews, it seemed to fare much better. I had to give it another chance after talking to the wonderful Stacy at Jack Be Natural, who genuinely felt so terribly (and was shocked) that it was leaking for us so much. I also read a comment from a reader saying that her Grovia took at least ten washes to become fully absorbent, so I bet that’s what happened to me, too! It’s now doing so much better…

The super strong Velcro is nice in the dryer, although all my other hook and loop closure diapers end up getting stuck to the soft surface on the front of the Grovia! Sometimes the Velcro is almost too strong and hard to get off its resting place to fasten on baby, but that’s not a deal breaker by any means. The soaker pads, in spite of the dual design, take the longest to dry of all 25 diapers. I do like that it’s braindead simple to snap together, and once it’s together, there’s zero guesswork about how to put it on.

Leak Report Update: Only 1 random leak in 2 weeks and 6 dry times with one solid, staying in. We tried overnight with my daughter and that didn’t go well, possibly because it’s just not practical to add extra inserts; they don’t fit.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: Grovia really redeemed itself as a worthwhile diaper once the insert had its gazillion washes and became absorbent. I do reach for it often, and I like that I can use other inserts instead of the snap-in if I need to, although it’s just too narrow to double or triple stuff for sleep. I’d now rank Grovia toward the upper middle of the list, and it’s holding up nicely, including the super strong hook and loop closure.

UPDATE after one year: I do still like the Grovia, and it’s holding up well!

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 5
  • easy to take off: 4
  • leakproof? 2 4
  • contains blowouts: 4 (I think?)
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: -1 (I think the cover is too narrow to add an extra pad for nighttime)
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1 for organic pad
  • easy to wash/dry: + 1 for staying with inserts; –1 for taking so long to dry
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1 since the cover can be used many ways
  • other:

Total: 21 23 points

Star feature: Simplicity.

Potential downfall: Leaks, takes so long to dry.

Ideal situation: Nice for babysitters and being out.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Grovia cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.
——————-

Flip


from Mom4Life
price: $15.95 including insert ($16.95 on Amazon)
insert material: microfiber
closure I reviewed: both

flip cloth diaper (2)

Description: The Flip consists of two parts, an outer cover and a single, long microfiber insert with a smooth top facing baby’s buns. The one-size cover has a sort of lip on the front and back to tuck the insert into so that it (sort of) stays in once paired up but easily “flips” into the diaper pail at the end of a change. You can reuse the cover if it’s only a wet change, or you can toss the whole thing in without separating if dirty.

The insert itself has a few indentations at the front showing you where to fold it over if your diaper cover is snapped down to a small, medium or large sized baby.

flip cloth diaper (7) (475x356)

flip cloth diaper (4) (475x356)

flip cloth diaper (3) (475x356)

Our experience: My husband will be the one to tell you that the Flip cloth diaper does not stay together well enough for someone to grab it and put it on the baby. He’s always fumbling with this one…

On the other hand, because I know how it goes together, I never have trouble with the Flip. I think it’s pretty easy to put on, and I love the simplicity of it. It fits well, and it’s easy to add extra stuffing for naps or long trips; I just add another brand of microfiber insert underneath the Flip. It’s a fairly trim diaper overall, probably about average as they go. When only single stuffed,it’s particularly NOT bulky.

The Flip is one cloth diaper that does often allow some dampness on the clothing, but it’s also one of the only diapers that I often only single stuff. It tends to have more minor leg leaks with BMs than many of the others, and the insert is more often stained than others. I also wrote down a few times that I thought would have been super blowouts had we been using a disposable. ??? Perhaps that means Jonathan chooses to BM in this one more often, but it’s definitely something that stood out on my performance tally mark list. The legs are simply more gappy than most.

I would not use the Flip for nighttime; I just don’t think it’s tough enough. Interestingly enough, I found the snap version to be much more reliable than the Velcro, but I can’t fathom why. The shell should be exactly the same except for the closure, but the snaps just seemed to work better around the legs.

Leak Report Update: Hanging in there at 50/50: 3 leaks in 2 weeks (once double stuffed!) and 3 dry times (2 with a prefold, not its own insert), plus 4 bowel movements, one of which would have leaked onto a onesie. No overnight usage.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: I think the Velcro is going to play out while the snaps are doing awesome, so I heartily recommend the snap version. The Flip generally does fine with its own insert but is one that I really like to use multiple times during the day with various inserts. It is still not all that easy to keep the insert IN as you’re fighting a kicking, rolling baby. I’d put it squarely in the middle of the pack.

UPDATE after one year: Had an issue with homemade detergent causing leaks, but I don’t think that’s the diaper’s problem, only my own. Sigh. I would like to add that a prefold is great in the Flip, and it really makes it a more bulletproof diaper IMO.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 3
  • easy to take off: 5 + 2 for reusable cover
  • leakproof? 2-3
  • contains blowouts: 3
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: no
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly:
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for cover being easy to hang; –1 for BMs staying on too often
  • quick grab: -1
  • versatility:
  • other: +1 no touching the yuck

Total: 19-20 points

Star feature: The ease of taking off and flipping into the pail can’t be underestimated. I feel like I really like the Flip, and the price is very reasonable, so I was surprised when the score turned out so low…

Potential downfall: More data needed, but the number of leaks isn’t looking great right now.

Ideal situation: At home so one can reuse the cover.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Flip cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Tuck and GoTuck and Go® Diapering System- Covers Only

from Monkey Doodlez
price:
$15 cover, pads 3/$25
insert material:
cotton wrapped in bamboo and polyester
closure I reviewed: Velcro

tuck and go cloth diaper (4)

tuck and go cloth diaper (2)

Description: The Tuck and Go cloth diaper has one of the more unique inserts in the field, as it is shaped to fit the diaper and looks sort of like an hourglass instead of a long oval. The 4 corners tuck into those pockets at either end of the custom cover, and they stay in really well, unlike the Flip, above. The Tuck and Go comes in a few sizes; you can see in the top photo that it’s possible to snap down to one smaller size, but not 3 or 4 like many diapers nowadays.

Our experience: I’ll tell you in the video that the Tuck and Go was in the top 5 or so of our favorite cloth diapers, and then when I start talking I renege on that a bit, and now I’m going to reverse that again. Winking smile

The Tuck and Go manages to hold everything pretty darn well, and if there’s one thing that makes a diaper worth its salt, it’s that one. It’s possible to double stuff the inserts, and I used to do that at the beginning when I thought everything was going to leak, but now the Tuck and Go is one of the few that is always only single stuffed. The insert is very unique, and it does seem to get very heavy and hold a lot of liquid. BMs have never gone up the back or blown out the leg.

The Velcro closure has tabs to close down for washing, and it is a pretty strong Velcro. The only major problem is that the extra Velcro tab on the front that would be used to cross over on a small baby is the scratchy side instead of the soft side…which means it often leaves a little mark on my chubby baby’s belly (and sticks to everything in the wash). The way the leg elastic rumples up so much also means that if poo gets to the side, it kind of gets stuck in there through the wash (yuck). In the video I got pretty down on that, but in the two weeks since I recorded the video, I realized that at least 5 other diapers do the same thing, so maybe it’s not such a big deal – just something to be aware of.

I always love being able to reuse the cover, although I wish it was a one-size diaper. My 3yo couldn’t test this one for me at night.

Leak Report Update: Only 2 damp clothing issues, both at the 3-hour mark, in 2 weeks and 6 dry times, with 2 number 2s held in place. I haven’t used this one overnight.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: My guy is about to outgrow our size of the Tuck, and I want to cry. In spite of that Velcros and the fact that this is the diaper that he LOVES to grin wickedly and peel off when its not stuck under shorts or a onesie, I just love it. It has held up well, is easy to stuff and wear, and hardly ever, ever leaks. For real. I keep thinking about which CDing friend I want to bless by passing this favorite on…

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 4
  • easy to take off: 4 + 2 for being able to reuse cover
  • leakproof? 4
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: ?
  • flexible sizing: -1
  • environmentally friendly: +1 no factories, only home sewers
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for easily being able to hang cover and match up inserts; –1 for sticking to everything
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1 can be used with prefolds; I have used the inserts in other covers, too.
  • other: +1 can I emphasize enough that you never have to touch the poo? Winking smile

Total: 25 points

Star feature: Simplicity of stuffing; not having to touch yuck; reusing cover

Potential downfall: That doggone scratchy Velcro on the front…

Ideal situation: In home or out!

If you can’t see the embedded video, click cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Sprout Change Sprout reversible diaper

from Willow Store
price: $16.95 for shell and $5.75 for organic insert, $1 less for regular insert (also on Amazon)
insert material: organic cotton/hemp
closure I reviewed: snaps, side

willow sprout insert

willow sprout insert (1) (475x356)

Description: The cover on the Sprout Change system is reversible and has two simple side snaps for closure. You size it by using a button/elastic system that hides under the cover like this:

willow sprout (6) (475x356)

There are three places to size: across the back and both legs. You need to find a time when baby is pretty content to get the size right, and then you’d be able to size all your covers accordingly.

The insert is one of the thinnest I’ve seen that doesn’t need to be doubled automatically, although it’s definitely safer to use an extra insert underneath the cotton/hemp blend from Willow Store. This cover can be used with many inserts, including the Tuck and Go or Flip, above, or just a prefold diaper. It could work with a fitted diaper, but it’s a bit trim to actually cover all the absorbent parts, especially on the sides.

If you’re looking for a trim diaper that can be sized and is easy for others to put on and off, this may be the one!

willow sprout (3) (475x356)

Our experience: This cover and simple insert from Willow was one of the first diapers we tested, so I’ve had the most experience with it. It was an early front runner as the first cover I could reuse.

The insert feels almost rough, and I thought it was wool at first, but it does the job decently well. (My 3yo says it’s comfortable, so I won’t question that.) I’m always surprised when it doesn’t leak with just that one thin insert. Double stuffing with another underneath is wise, and it still isn’t very bulky. The insert usually needs to hang to dry a smidge after being in the dryer.

The cover itself is reversible, which is just fun, and I do love that there are only two snaps and they’re very easy to fasten (on the side). The material feels so soft and luxurious.

The only downfall of the design that I see, other than having to take a few minutes to size and resize it, is that since there’s no elastic on the front/top, sometimes you get leaks there or a onesie or T-shirt sneaks into the diaper, ending up wet.

Leak Report Update: Zero leaks in 2 weeks and 6 dry times plus one uber massive poo that did not come out. I use this cover overnight when the Marvel, Motherease, and Econobums are not available, and it is almost just right for the fitteds, a little on the trim side.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: The best part about the Sprout is that it’s made of such nice fabric. My cover is 9 mos old and looks and feels as if I just bought it. I have since acquired the folded insert, which I really like as well, although I do not put it into the “pocket” it came with – far too much of a pain to get it OUT when dirty. Just folded in thirds works great. Sprout is definitely one of my top 5.

UPDATE after one year: Alas, Sprout was struck by the same laundry detergent fiasco as Softbums and Flip. My only other comment is that Sprout really doesn’t cover a fitted diaper well enough, which is disappointing, and I don’t think it will fit on an older child, say over two years.

UPDATE summer 2014: We still use the Sprout covers as swim diapers on our hefty almost-3-year-old, and they fit, but just barely. I think it would be tough to have inserts in there too, but then again, he’s 35 pounds. Swim diapers are a great way to get more use out of leaky covers!

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 4
  • easy to take off: 5 + 2 for being able to reuse cover
  • leakproof? 4 (noted one time with 4.5 hours and only its own insert!)
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: +1 (made it with its insert and either an additional prefold or cotton/hemp doubler from Thirsties )
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for easily hanging cover to dry
  • quick grab: -1
  • versatility: +1 can use with many inserts
  • other: +1 no poo touchin, +1 for holding up so well.

Total: 28 29 points

Star feature: Simple snaps, incredibly trim yet absorbent insert

Potential downfall: Some leaking in front

Ideal situation: Best at home, but nothing wrong with it on the go either.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Econobum


from Mom4Life
price: $9.95 (also on Amazon)
insert material: 100% unbleached cotton
closure I reviewed: snaps (2)

econobum cloth diaper with prefold insert (2)

econobum cloth diaper with prefold insert (4)

Description: The Econobum is the economy line by Bum Genius, and although it’s clear by the thin cover that it’s a less expensively made item, to be able to cloth diaper a baby for $100 start to finish is amazing. The cover, only in white, closes with two horizontal snaps and does snap up and down to fit smaller babies. It comes with a prefold which is very absorbent, and I usually just fold it into thirds and wrap it around the baby with no pins or Snappis or anything. The cover and a bit of tucking around the edges seems to do the job.

econobums cloth diaper (2) (475x356)

econobums cloth diaper (6) (475x356)

econobums cloth diaper (7) (475x356)

econobums cloth diaper (9) (475x356)

Our experience: The Econobum reusable diaper cover is quite thin/flimsy, but it never leaked wetness, no matter how sloppily I got the prefold in! You won’t get style points for this basic option, and the prefold makes for a pretty lumpy, poofy rear end, but what’s important is how effective it is. I did find that at first, the legs were very loose and gappy, but I remedied the situation by snapping up one of the sizing snaps, just on the one side. That versatility was nice, but I did have to engage my brain to problem-solve.

I love that you can reuse the cover, as usual, and this one goes with pretty much any insert you can throw at it, including fitted diapers. It lasted through the night with the fitted diapers I have an an extra hemp doubler – that’s mighty thick stuffing, but the Econobum can hold it.

The only thing it can’t hold, sadly, is BM. If the poo gets off the insert and onto the edge of the cover, it actually leaks right through the thin leg seams (not around it). You end up with poo lines on the onesie, which look remarkably like what happens with most disposables.

Leak Report Update: Zero leaks in 2 weeks and 5 dry times, including 3 overnight: once with its prefold plus a Sweetpeas doubler and once with the prefold and a hemp doubler for over 12 hours! It does very well holding in the poo once things aren’t so loose after 6 months, and it really wasn’t that bad before 6 months; many in the comments said they did not see the seam problem I experienced.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: For the price, Econobums can’t be beat. It is what I recommend, hands down, with a few extra doublers, for anyone worried about budgeting for their new baby. I would start with the $100 stash of Econobums if I were starting from scratch, then add a few other favorites for nighttime and being out and about from there. The cover does feel thin and less expensive, but you know what? It’s still working great after 8 months and doesn’t show very much wear. I’m a fan!

UPDATE after one year: After losing some diapers to a bum laundry detergent, I had to consider augmenting my own stash. I would purchase a few Econobums FIRST for their versatility and price. That’s saying something!

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 2
  • easy to take off: 5
  • leakproof? 4 5
  • contains blowouts: 2 4
  • price: 5

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: +1
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1 for unbleached cotton
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for hanging to dry super fast
  • quick grab: –1 because the two pieces don’t stay together for rookies
  • versatility: +1 works with any insert
  • other: +1 for not having to touch poo

Total: 23 27 points

Star feature: The price simply can’t be beat, and the fact that it is nearly bulletproof and works at night is amazing. As long as you’re willing to train people to tuck in the edges and use a prefold – my husband can handle that, so anyone can – the Econobum is a sure winner!

Potential downfall: The leg poo leaks

Ideal situation: Best for at home, nighttime! But on the go isn’t a problem

If you can’t see the embedded video, click cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

gDiapers Review

from gDiapers.comgdiapers
price: $17.99 (cover) + $29.99 for 6 cloth inserts, OR $14.99 for a package of 32-40 biodegradable (disposable) gRefills ($72.50 for bundle on Amazon)
insert material: microfleece/hemp/cotton, disposables made of cellulose, fluff pulp and super absorber; plastic-free and have no elemental chlorine, no perfumes, no smell
closure I reviewed: Velcro

gdiapers review

gdiapers review

Description: gDiapers are some of the most unique cloth diapers on the market, partly because they have a non-cloth alternative: a flushable insert. Besides that, the diaper covers themselves are actually quite different than any other I’ve reviewed.

The exterior is actually 100% fabric, rather than the typical waterproof layer. The waterproof layer has elastic around the edges and is suspended inside the diaper with four small snaps. I can’t find out what it’s made of. The insert fits inside that part and touches the baby’s skin. The exterior of the cover is made of 92% cotton and 8% spandex.

The reusable cloth inserts are made of two layers of microfleece and two layers of cotton/hemp and slightly longer than the medium sized covers we reviewed (possibly to fit the large precisely?). The flushable inserts are also quite long.

The diapers fasten with hook and loop and it’s quite a strong fastener, which makes it difficult for baby to take off when you’re not looking. They’re actually supposed to go on backward, with the Velcro in the rear, for that reason…but I never figured that out until well after the video and photos!

There are some various ways to fasten the diaper that I can’t say I understand (watch the video to see what I mean).

Our experience: I looked into gDiapers after I began posting these reviews because multiple readers so highly recommended them. I felt like the brand and the whole concept of disposable/reusable would be a shoe-in for a great review, and I was grateful that the company was so willing to work with me.

But.

When I received the diapers, my first problem was with the directions on the disposable insert packaging. It was mostly drawn images with just a few words, and as far as I could tell, the process was this:

  1. Tear insert down the middle.
  2. Stir with a stick in the toilet.
  3. Flush.

I kept looking and looking in the packages to try to figure out where this “stick” was, but I couldn’t. It took me a while to realize that I could just use the spatula I already have by the toilet for scraping poo off cloth diapers for this stirring job. (Sometimes I can’t see beyond my expectations!)

I also emailed my contact at the company and was told that as long as it’s torn open well, you don’t really need the stick/stirring part. I felt that it could have been explained MUCH better on the package.

Unfortunately, even with my spatula-stirrer, I had a disastrous experience with the disposable inserts. I waited quite a while to try them because I was still a little intimidated by something new. When John got a little tummy bug and had diarrhea, I figured it was a great time to be flushing all his excrement instead of putting it in the washing machine.

Most regrettably, both inserts that I tried flushing, after tearing and stirring, clogged up our toilet. It was at least a five minute job to get it unclogged, and I’m no rookie at the task (our old house would often have issues, but this toilet really doesn’t have a history of being weak in the flushing department).

I was only willing to go through that twice, so the package of disposable inserts is sitting, ignored, and will not be used anymore. Many folks say they love the gDiapers for being out and about, but I thought, “How horrible! The last thing I’d want to do at someone else’s house is clog up their potty!”

On the flip side, the basic cloth gDiapers inserts are fast becoming a favorite. I like that they can touch baby’s skin – that makes them more versatile than the basic microfiber inserts that come with many other cloth diapers. They absorb very well and are a convenient size.

The gDiapers cover is not my favorite, partly because John is already pretty much too big for the size they sent (buy big!). It also takes the longest to dry of any other cover/diaper, a really incredibly long time when hanging. It keeps the messes in just fine, but it’s also trickier to get the inserts into the medium, since they’re incongruent lengths.

Finally, I was looking at the package one day recently, after having used the diapers many, many times. I realized that the “g” is on the baby’s bottom, not the front, which means the diaper is made totally backward from the way a disposable goes on! That seems awkward – really!! – to me, and I’m going to keep putting it on so that the hook and loop comes around from the back to the front to fasten, not the reverse.

Although I’m not using these diapers at all as cloth diapers, there is one great silver lining to the gDiapers: they make excellent swim diapers!

Without an insert, that waterproof layer really cups around baby’s bottom, and I can’t imagine it wouldn’t catch any solids that would threaten pool security. ;) We’ve been using gDiapers as our only swim diaper all summer long. I just wish they dried faster…

Longevity update after 8 months: Our guy has long grown out of the gDiapers, so I don’t have much else to say about them, other than the fact that I get heat on You Tube for my negative review all the time. I maintain that a package of diapers should have adequate instructions for how to put it on – especially if the intuitive way is backward – and I don’t want to have to go online and watch videos to show me how to do anything. Ironic, eh? ;)

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 4 (but 1 if put on correctly…which is backward)
  • easy to take off: 5 (but 2 if following directions and unsnapping the inside from the fabric cover)
  • leakproof? 4
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use:
  • flexible sizing: -1
  • environmentally friendly:
  • easy to wash/dry: –1 for taking so long to dry
  • quick grab:
  • versatility: +1
  • other:

Total score: 20 points (or actually 14)

Star feature: It’s unique…but that isn’t always good. Love the inserts.

Potential downfall: Tougher to dry, confusing front/back, inserts don’t really fit size medium

Ideal situation: As a swim diaper.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click gDiaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

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Kissaluvs Cotton Fleece Fitted Diaper Reviewkissaluvs fitted_2.0_1small

from Kissaluvs
price: $14.95 + cover for 16.95 (available on Amazon)
insert material: cotton fleece
closure I reviewed: snaps

kissaluvs cotton fleece cloth diaper (2)

kissaluvs cotton fleece cloth diaper (4)

kissaluvs marvel cloth diaper cover (2)

kissaluvs marvel cloth diaper cover (4)

Description: A fitted diaper is absorbent all the way around the baby, and the Kissaluvs cotton fleece is super soft, super stretchy, and super absorbent. It snaps closed, which I’m just realizing is probably my favorite closure, in spite of the ease of Velcro. Velcro can come loose too easily, whether it’s curious 8-month-old hands or fidgeting 3-year-old sleepers, or just old Velcro. We’ve experienced all three in the last 24 hours, so I’m really feeling the snaps!

You’d never wear a fitted like the sitting up picture below, unless maybe you were outside and wanted baby’s buns to breathe a little but not be naked. A separate cover, like the Marvel that I reviewed, is necessary. The Econobum cover also fits over the fitteds, and the Sprout Change does okay, but it’s just a wee bit trim to really do the job.

The Marvel cover, shown above, is a one-size cover that snaps up and down to fit the baby. It has double gussets around the leg for a super-snug fit that doesn’t let anything out, and it’s nice and big to cover the whole fitted diaper (important). The closure is two horizontal snaps.

kissaluvs fitted cloth diaper (3) (356x475)

Kissaluvs Marvel cloth diaper cover (8) (475x356)

Kissaluvs Marvel cloth diaper cover (11) (356x475)

Our experience: I’m so glad I discovered the fitted diaper category, which I only did because I was looking for a nighttime leaking solution. I just love how comfortable and secure they seem, and my goodness, they really keep everything in. The only time that Marvel cover leaks, ever, is if the clothing accidentally touches the fitted diaper’s absorbent part; you can see the risk just at the front/top in that photo above where Jonathan is standing up.

Ten to twelve hours at night, no kidding, is doable for these fitted/cover combinations. I usually put an extra liner in, either that natural fiber one that snaps in as you can see in the photo, or even another extra microfiber or hemp/cotton blend, just laying on the outside of the fitted between it and the cover. It never seems too stuffed, even with all that in there. The other day after 12 hours of sleep (or “sleep” as it is with a co-sleeping nurser) and a HUGE poo, the fitted fleece and Marvel cover only leaked a teeny bit damp. I think we had asked too much of it that day, but it was still impressive how much it held in, believe me.

Two tiny negative parts: First, you always have to touch tinkle, since the entire fitted, including around the snaps, will be wet under the cover. (I’m one who would change a wet disposable, never touch tinkle, and not wash my hands…because I wash them 50 times a day anyway.) Second, because they’re so absorbent, the fitted diapers do tend to take a bit longer in the dryer, but I’ve found that if I put them in with a regular load of laundry instead of the too-small diaper-only load, then they only take one cycle.

Leak Report Update: Zero daytime leaks in 2 weeks and 3 dry times, plus 50/50 at night.We had one big overnight leak, but not until 6 a.m. Typically, with a hemp doubler and Marvel cover, this diaper is amazing.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: One of my favs for sure – the kind of diaper you trust for long car rides and napping in someone else’s crib. The large size of the Marvel cover, which covers the entire fitted diaper, is paramount to success. The smaller Sprout Change cover does okay, but there’s a lot of tucking in around the edges. One of my top 5, especially for nighttime!!

UPDATE after one year: The Marvel cover seems to have fallen prey to killer laundry detergent, but even so, it’s one of the best for daytime long trips, etc. with a fitted diaper. At night, it will leak now, but it’s not the diaper’s fault. It’s all mine. I’m strongly considering getting a second one, since my little guy is not so little anymore and it would still provide ample coverage.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 3 – hard to mess up, but two parts can’t help but take twice as long
  • easy to take off: 4 – just unsnap everything and done; +2 for reusing the cover
  • leakproof? 4
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3 – I divided the price of the cover by 3, since you wouldn’t need a cover for each fitted diaper

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: +2
  • flexible sizing:
  • environmentally friendly: +1 – Kissaluvs is an extremely eco-conscious company
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for being able to hang cover to dry so easily; –1 for taking a longer time to dry itself
  • quick grab:
  • versatility: +1 can use with many covers, inserts
  • other: +1 gotta give a point for softness

Total: 24 points

Star feature: Nearly bulletproof at night cannot be underestimated; I love having a diaper I feel like I can rely on

Potential downfall: Two parts take double the time

Ideal situation: Anytime, really, but nighttime especially

If you can’t see the embedded video, click cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

kissaluvs organic_clothKissaluvs Organic Cotton/Hemp Fitted Diaper Review

from Kissaluvs
price: $18.95 + cover (on Amazon)
insert material: organic cotton/hemp
closure I reviewed: snaps

kissaluvs organic fitted diaper (2)

kissaluvs organic fitted diaper (4)

Description: This Kissaluvs is pretty much the same style and effectiveness as the cotton fleece above, although I have a different, smaller extra soaker pad with no snap (which helps out a surprising amount).

Our experience: I use the same cover(s) with this and the cotton fleece and also can rely on it for nighttime. The only difference is that I recorded one more leak with this one – could have been a fluke – and of course the material is sourced organically. I love knowing that what’s actually touching baby’s skin is organic, you know?

Leak Report Update: Only 1 minor leaks in 2 weeks (it was during a long nap) and 4 dry times, at least half overnight including one from 10 p.m.-9 a.m. with one extra doubler. Two massive poops taken care of.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: I feel that all the fitteds are just awesome, and I save them for nighttime and long car trips. The organic is just slightly not-as-soft and stretchy as the fleece, and that’s about the only negative thing I can say about this diaper.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 3 – hard to mess up, but two parts can’t help but take twice as long
  • easy to take off: 4 – just unsnap everything and done; +2 for reusing the cover
  • leakproof? 4
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3 – I divided the price of the cover by 3, since you wouldn’t need a cover for each fitted diaper+/- points:
  • nighttime use: +2
  • flexible sizing:
  • environmentally friendly: +2 – Kissaluvs is an extremely eco-conscious company + organic material
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for being able to hang cover to dry so easily; –1 for taking a longer time to dry itself
  • quick grab:
  • versatility: +1 can use with many covers, inserts
  • other: +1 gotta give a point for softness

Total: 25 points

Star feature: soft, effective, organic – the trifecta

Potential downfall: Two parts to snap on baby

Ideal situation: nighttime, but anytime really works, even on the go

Both fitted diapers work the same way; please see the video above.

Wooldins Bamboo Velour

from Wooldins Etsy
price: $24 + needs cover
insert material: organic bamboo velour & fleece
closure I reviewed: snaps

wooldins fitted cloth diaper (2)

wooldins fitted cloth diaper (4)

Description: This fitted diaper is much like the Kissaluvs in general, but it’s ever so much more soft, if that’s possible. It has a single layer soaker sewn in for easier drying (see if coming from the right to the left in the photo above?) and then a second thin pad that can be snapped in on the left. The snaps make it go from birth to potty, 10-35 lbs., and they never touch the baby or leave a mark. I used this fitted with the Marvel cover or Econobum.

Our experience: I keep saying that Motherease was the only bulletproof diaper that never, never leaked, but I keep looking and looking at my tally mark list…and Wooldins was never written down. That means it never even leaked! Bamboo needs to be washed and dried ten times before it reaches maximum absorbency, but Carolyn, the seamstress behind Wooldins, told me she never washes them that many times before wearing, just uses them in the house in case of leak. I probably prepped the diaper like any other, three times, then started using it. UPDATE: It has leaked now. Nothing is absolutely bulletproof, so shoot for “close.”

I’m super impressed by its effectiveness, think it’s so simple to put on, and I love the softness. My 3-year-old enjoys this one as well.

Bamboo also has antibacterial properties, so I’m thinking this diaper should have much less chance of getting stinky than most, and should keep baby’s bottom safer from yeast and moisture problems. I’m a fan!

Leak Report Update: Zero leaks in 2 weeks and 4 dry times, 3 of which were overnight.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: The Wooldins diaper is just so nice. It’s a lovely material, absorbs incredibly well, and has those extra snap-in parts for heavy wetters. Very much in the top 5!

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 3 because of the two-part need
  • easy to take off: 4 +2 for reusing the cover
  • leakproof? 4
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 2

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: +2
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +2
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for simplicity
  • quick grab:
  • versatility: +1
  • other: +2 for softness and antibac

Total: 29 points

Star feature: Nearly bulletproof! Plus organic bamboo, locally made in Grand Rapids, MI

Potential downfall: Two pieces takes twice as long to snap

Ideal situation: Anywhere, anytime – especially night and naps

If you can’t see the embedded video, click fitted cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

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Kawaii Green Baby Cloth Diaper Review


from Jack be Natural
price: $13.95 (but only $9.95 with slightly less fuzzy outside)
insert material: organic bamboo
closure I reviewed: snaps, 3

kawaii green baby pocket cloth diaper (2)

kawaii green baby pocket cloth diaper (4)

kawaii green baby pocket cloth diaper (6)

Description: The Kawaii Green Baby pocket cloth diaper has 3 snaps, opens at the back only, and is stuffed with one or two long, very thin bamboo pads. It is made of a very soft, fuzzy outer material.

kawaii green baby pocket diaper (2) (475x356)

kawaii green baby pocket diaper (5) (475x356)

kawaii green baby pocket diaper (9) (475x356)

Our experience: The Kawaii is known as a nice economy line, and I honestly can’t believe it’s such great material, well-sourced and well-made for the price. The bamboo pads are super thin, but believe me, they do the job! (Check out how they fared on the cloth diaper absorbency tests!) The opening at the back is my second favorite style (I prefer two openings), and I really don’t like 3 snaps, as I find that it’s too difficult for grandmas, dads, and babysitters to fasten them all.

Despite that, somehow I have a soft spot for Kawaii and count it among my favorites. The pocket on this diaper is fairly wide, so it’s easy to stuff, even with man hands, and you can add an extra layer of protection at night. It is super soft on the outside, fits my almost-4-year-old daughter well, holds a lot of liquid and other things, and is even organic and practically costs nothing.

Leak Report Update: Only 1 leak in 2 weeks and 5 dry times. The overnight is 50/50; once it did great, once, triple stuffed, it leaked horribly.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: The Kawaii still looks like it costs far more than it does, and I default to it whenever I can find the inserts. I love that my older child can wear it as well.

UPDATE after one year of use: I nearly cried when I realized that one leg of the Kawaii had lost its elastic. We had a few down-the-leg leaks because of it, although I still use the diaper and just gamble that it will be a number-one-only diaper or a solid poo that stays put. I may have hurt the longevity of the Kawaii because I did use the dryer more on this one than others since it takes so long to air dry, plus it was one of the first I received, and I did use the dryer regularly right at the start. ??? The saving grace is that I would actually pay this price for a replacement, and I’m not sure I could say that about all my favorites if push came to shove!

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 2 3
  • easy to take off: 3
  • leakproof? 4
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 5-4

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: +2
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1
  • easy to wash/dry:
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1 (I like to use hemp doublers at night or give the bamboo insert to another diaper as a thin absorbent layer)
  • other: +1 for comfort according to Leah

Total: 26 or 27 points

Star feature: Sustainable/organic at this price, & those bamboo soakers are incredible…

Potential downfall: I wish it had two openings/pockets and different snaps

Ideal situation: anytime, including with sitters AND at night!

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Kawaii cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Bum Genius Pocket Cloth Diaper Review


from Mom4Life
price: $17.95 (on Amazon)
insert material: microfiber
closure I reviewed: snaps, 2, vertical

bum genius pocket cloth diaper (6)

bum genius pocket cloth diaper (2)

Description: Bum Genius is a pretty classic one-size pocket diaper. It has one opening in the back, an average to wide measure through the middle, and basic microfiber inserts. I received one that is very long with snaps to size it down, one more newborn length and a few extra inserts, shown in the photo above. In my opinion, there’s nothing much standout special about it.

bum genius cloth diaper (4) (475x356)

bum genius cloth diaper (3) (475x356)

Our experience: Whether I single-stuffed with the longest insert (which holds about 1.25 cups according to my cloth diaper absorbency test) or double stuffed, which I usually did, the Bum Genius leaked a TON. So no matter how easy it is to get on and off (average, but not great, as everyone in our household from ages 6-32 agree that two openings is easier), if it can’t hold tinkle and poo, it’s not a very good diaper.

I wrote down on my tally sheet things like “leaked fast!” and “only 2 hours” under the wet column and “badly through 2 layers of clothing out upper leg” under the dirty column. The Bum Genius is also responsible for a fairly large spot on our office floor that is a different color than the rest of the carpet, despite my best cleaning methods (it’s actually cleaner than the rest of the room, but that doesn’t make me any happier with BG and the massive blowout it allowed). The only saving grace is that it does fit an older child…but if it’s leaking, who cares, right?

Bum Genius looks like it takes the prize for leaking the most on both wet and dirty. If you need a pocket diaper, you can do better than this.

UPDATE: It’s only fair to reassert the fact that this is only one family’s experience with a chunky baby. Many, many readers love the Bum Genius.

Leak Report Update: Leaked or was damp 3 times in 2 weeks with 2 dry times, none overnight.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: Although I’m thankful that the Bum Genius fits my preschooler, I still don’t see anything special about it.

UPDATE after one year: Bum Genius may be redeeming itself bit by bit. I have no idea why I had such blowout problems in the early months, but scores of readers have disagreed with me and sing BG’s praises. I will admit that now that John is even bigger, I grab the Bum Genius often since it’s nice and big, easy to put on, and doesn’t leak much at all now that poos are solid.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 4
  • easy to take off: 3
  • leakproof? 1, but 3 or 4 later
  • contains blowouts: 1, 3 or 4 for older child
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: wouldn’t trust it…
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly:
  • easy to wash/dry:
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1 can use with any inserts
  • other: –2 for my carpet!

Total: 13 points; updated to about 19 after one year

Star feature: Roomy enough for an older child at night

Potential downfall: Can’t hold anything in!

Ideal situation: I wouldn’t recommend it

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Bum Genius cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Oh Katy! Pocket Diaper Review


from Oh Katy!
price: $17.95 (on Amazon)
insert material: microfiber
closure I reviewed: snaps, 2 vertical with a 3rd optional

oh katy pocket cloth diaper (2)

oh katy pocket cloth diaper (6)

oh katy pocket cloth diaper (4)

Description: The Oh Katy! one-size pocket diaper is remarkably similar to the Bum Genius I just reviewed. It comes with a long insert with snaps, which for me are fine but nothing special, and a newborn insert. I always stuffed with both. The major difference with this diaper is the opening in the front with that flap you can see in the photo above, and I guess it has an optional third snap for smaller babies to prevent wing droop. It also has crossover snaps so that you can roll up a dirty diaper and snap it closed when you’re out so you don’t need a wet bag. I don’t think I’ve ever used either of those!

Oh Katy pocket diaper (2) (475x356)

Oh Katy pocket diaper (4) (475x356)

Oh Katy pocket diaper (1) (475x356)

Our experience: While the Oh Katy! is darn cute, has a great name, and feels smooth and high quality, it has a few fatal flaws. First, the opening at the front is just annoying, because it’s always wet there and you have to touch it to get the inserts out. They do not come out on their own in the wash.

Second, the Oh Katy quickly gained a reputation for being unreliable. It often leaks tinkle, sometimes in less than an hour. There are many better pocket cloth diapers on the market.

Leak Report Update: Only 2 times with damp clothing in 2 weeks and 3 dry times. My 4yo wears the Oh! Katy overnight and leaked badly once but was okay once.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: Like the Bum Genius, I just can’t think of anything special about it. There are other pocket diapers that are better.

UPDATE after one year: The opening in the front annoys me more than ever, because it’s always wet. Yuck.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 4
  • easy to take off: 2
  • leakproof? 1
  • contains blowouts: 4
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: wouldn’t dare try…
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly:
  • easy to wash/dry:
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1
  • other:

Total: 17 points

Star feature: Also fits a larger child, but leaks…

Potential downfall: Too many leaks, front opening Sad smile

Ideal situation: I wouldn’t recommend it

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Oh Katy! pocket cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Babykicks Basic Pocket Diaper Review

price: $15.99 (on Amazon)
insert material: microfiber on one side; cotton/hemp blend on the other
closure I reviewed: Velcro

babykicks cloth diaper (2) (475x356)

babykicks cloth diaper (8) (475x356)

babykicks cloth diaper (5) (475x356)

Description: The Babykicks Basic one-size pocket diaper is brand new on the market, literally in the last few weeks. It has a very trim design, supposed to look almost like underwear rather than a bulky cloth diaper. The pocket opening is in the front and it comes with one long insert, half microfiber, half cotton/hemp blend. My version has Velcro tabs.

Our experience: The fabric feels luxurious and I like the idea of the two-sided insert, but that’s where the good features end. I was really looking forward to trying Babykicks, as the brand came highly recommended by some readers, but I’m thinking that their fitteds or prefolds are their claim to fame. This new pocket diaper design flopped.

First, the insert is just slightly longer than the pocket, not enough to really be helpful, but enough to be slightly annoying to fold over. Second, the opening is only in the front, which means you get wet fingers getting the insert out, no matter what. The trim design is fine but does make it harder to stuff. Luckily, the hemp side of the insert is safe to rest against baby’s skin, so you can lay it on top…but then, why have a pocket diaper?

Third, the Velcro is really weak. It doesn’t stay closed well and actually popped right open one day when John was scooching on his belly. The Velcro also seems to catch every string or stray piece of tissue in the dryer, making it even less sticky, and it doesn’t fold over easily onto itself; you really have to bend it yourself.

We’ve only had the diapers for a few weeks, so it’s possible that more washing would make the inserts more absorbent, but we have also had some problems with leaking. And lastly, can you see how far down between the legs the snaps for sizing go on that last photo? I don’t know that they’ll leave any marks on baby or cause problems, but they’re very different from other diapers which seem to have those snaps in front.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 3 because of the odd stuffing length
  • easy to take off: 1 for the front opening and weak Velcro
  • leakproof? 2
  • contains blowouts: 4?
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: wouldn’t dare try
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1 made 90% in the U.S. and the company really seeks sustainability
  • easy to wash/dry: –1 inserts take longer to dry and Velcro grabs all the strings
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility:
  • other:

Total: 15 points

Star feature: Eco-friendly company

Potential downfall: Bad design

Ideal situation: I wouldn’t recommend

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Babykicks pocket cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Babykicks Premium Pocket Diaper

from Babykicks
price: $21.50 (on Amazon)
insert material: organic hemp/cotton blend
closure I reviewed: snaps

Babykicks Premium JoeyBunz cloth pocket diaper review (2) (475x356)

Babykicks Premium JoeyBunz cloth pocket diaper review (4) (475x356)

The one-size snaps go way down between the legs on this version, too.

Babykicks Premium JoeyBunz cloth pocket diaper review (8) (475x356)

Babykicks Premium JoeyBunz cloth pocket diaper review (10) (475x356)

See the front panel? Very unique…

Description: Another fairly trim design, with a high rise in front, the Babykicks Premium pocket diaper has some unique features.

First, the bamboo inner lining is slightly absorbent, so it can be used as training pants without an insert.

Second, the front panel snaps go over the side flaps, instead of the opposite like most other diapers I’ve ever encountered.

Third, the diaper employs “air gussets” that you can see in the photos – special fleece around the legs that allow air flow to prevent rashes and are gentle on baby’s skin, avoiding red marks.

The single insert is a hemp/cotton blend and kind of an upside-down pear shape (see video for more), and the pocket opens at the front.

Our experience: Another massive disappointment, even worse than the Basic pocket from Babykicks.

The insert is just a bit too long, causing an annoying small fold. The front pocket opening remains my least favorite, and the unique snapping is first of all backward for most people, therefore it will throw them for a loop, and second of all is a fatal flaw for a tummy poop. If any poo goes up the front, it stays in the diaper (good) but gets all over the flaps (bad!). That diaper change is the record for most wipes ever used in a diaper change, I think, including terrible newborn disposable diaper blowouts. Watch the video for more details, but with poo on the flaps, it got up the stomach, down to the knees, and at least 3 places on the changing table. It was awful.

Also, the air gussets are flawed as well. Before I had John’s pants on one day, right after those photos, actually, I realized I could see the poop through the gusset. Just for you guys, I touched the outside only and smelled my fingers, and sure enough, poop was definitely leaking through. I feel fairly certain that if John had been wearing a onesie, it would have been stained. Skipping the PUL is not a good design!

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 1, confusing snaps
  • easy to take off: 1
  • leakproof? 2
  • contains blowouts: 1
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: wouldn’t dare try
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1
  • easy to wash/dry:
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: –1 for odd insert shape that isn’t interchangeable
  • other: -1 for poop all over my changing table!

Total: 9 points

Star feature: Ummmm…it’s cute?

Potential downfall: everything, see above

Ideal situation: I would not recommend

Both Babykicks diapers are reviewed in the same video, above.

Fuzzibunz One-Size

from Fuzzibunz
price: $19.95 (on Amazon)
insert material: Minky (mistake in the video; I called it microfiber because I didn’t know…)
closure I reviewed: snaps, 3

fuzzibunz pocket cloth diaper (6)

fuzzibunz pocket cloth diaper (4)

I wish I had taken a photo of this one next to one of the other pocket diapers so you can see just HOW much thinner the Fuzzibunz is. It’s quite considerable!

fuzzibunz pocket cloth diaper (2)

Description: By far the trimmest diaper we tested, Fuzzibunz is a basic rear-opening pocket diaper with a few unique upgrades. First, the inserts are “Minky” which is the softest material ever (but I have no idea what it is made of). Second, they offer a limited lifetime warranty on PUL and snaps defects PLUS sent an extra set of elastic that you can switch out at home with no sewing (apparently) right with the diaper. That commitment to longevity is something I admire.

The sizing is done similar to the Sprout Change, and you see a photo of how that works above. It’s basically buttons and elastic around the legs and across the back, much like the adjustable waist on kids’ jeans and pants. Fuzzibunz numbers their holes, which is really nice for consistency (although you could have the sides on different numbers). The 3-snap closure is designed to prevent “wing droop” or gapping at the top of the thigh. As you can see in that photo below, we don’t really have gapping problems here, more like rolling over the top problems! Winking smile (Poor John, all these photos of his bum and chubby belly all over the Internet this week…)

fuzzibuns pocket diaper (3) (475x356)

fuzzibuns pocket diaper (6) (475x356)

fuzzibuns pocket diaper (1) (475x356)

Our experience: I’ve gone both ways on the Fuzzibunz. At first, it seemed like it was leaking a lot, and I was convinced that it was too trim for my chunky baby and didn’t absorb well enough. Lately, however, it’s been doing much better on the leaking, so perhaps the Minky inserts just needed more washes and dries before they were fully absorbent. They do dry quickly, which is a bonus. I really love the elastic replacements and warranty on this diaper.

However, I’m going to pick on two points: first, they really needed to make openings on both sides of this pocket diaper. It’s nearly impossible for a large hand to stuff the inserts in because it’s so trim and because the back side of the waterproof cover is inexplicably sticky and always catches my hand. I always double stuff, by the way, because it came with two inserts, so I figure “why not?” I’m personally not a fan of the 3 snaps. People who don’t know what they’re doing often have trouble getting them all snapped (you really have to do the back two first, and most folks don’t). It’s just inefficient to me.

Leak Report Update: Only 1 leak and 1 “damp” incident in 2 weeks and 3 dry times. Fuzzbuns kept two massive BMs in but also made one huge blowout. (That was a rather rare incident.)

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: I just adjusted the elastic to the largest size, and I’m worried about two things: (1) that John will grow out of it soon, and (2) that the elastic around the legs is already starting to get loose. (Perhaps that’s where the poopy blowout came from) I maintain that this diaper is really best for slim children, and I really, really have a hard time stuffing those inserts. Man hands are almost impossible for the task! UPDATE after one year, May 2013: The Fuzzibunz elastic definitely played out after perhaps 8-9 months of use, and I never got around to replacing it, so I can’t tell you if that’s easy or not. It still holds in urine and very solid BMs fine, so I will gamble with it sometimes. A few time, I’ve lost – loose poo, all down the leg. I said I admire their commitment to longevity, but now I wonder if they offer extra elastic because they know they’ll play out sooner than other brands. ??? It remains frustrating to stuff and just not my thing!

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 3
  • easy to take off: 3
  • leakproof? 3 4 (pending more testing)
  • contains blowouts: 5 4
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: +1 (I’d give it a maybe – Fuzzibunz made it through a LONGGGGG nap one time)
  • flexible sizing: +2 for elastic warranty, too
  • environmentally friendly:
  • easy to wash/dry:
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: –1 many other inserts wouldn’t fit the trim Fuzzibunz
  • other:

Total: 20 points

Star feature: warranty, and if you have a thin baby, I bet this is an awesome choice – my firstborn would have needed Fuzzibunz!

Potential downfall: quite hard to stuff and snap

Ideal situation: on the go for the ease of a pocket, with well-trained babysitters who can do the snaps

If you can’t see the embedded video, click pocket cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Tiny Tush

from Abby’s Lane
price: $19.70 (on Amazon)
insert material: microfiber
closure I reviewed: Aplix (hook and loop)

tiny tush pocket cloth diaper (2)

tiny tush pocket cloth diaper (4)

tiny tush pocket cloth diaper (6)

Shown with newborn size insert, I believe.

Description: Tiny Tush is a pretty standard rear-opening one-size pocket diaper, plenty of room down the middle for stuffing. I reviewed the Velcro closure, which folds over easily for washing.

The diaper comes with two microfiber inserts, a full-length and newborn size. I generally stuff with both.

tiny tush pocket diaper (2) (475x356)

tiny tush pocket diaper (1) (475x356)

tiny tush pocket diaper (3) (475x356)

Our experience: I was thinking there was nothing special about this diaper, but then I began to realize that Tiny Tush had leaked far, far less than the other microfiber insert pocket diapers, like the Oh Katy, Go Green and Bum Genius. It has a tally mark under “blowout avoided” since it contained a nasty BM that I was certain would have been up the back had John been in a disposable.

So ultimately, although I have nothing spectacular to say about Tiny Tush, I have no problem with it, either. It’s effective, and that is saying a lot! The people at Abby’s Lane are also helpful and willing to troubleshoot leaks or help you choose the right brand for your baby, and that relationship can’t be understated.

Leak Report Update: Only 1 leak in 2 weeks and 3 dry times. My 3yo/4yo wears the Tiny Tush regularly for sleep, as it fits her very well. She didn’t have any issues 3 times

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: So far, so good on the hook and loop holding up, but that’s my concern. Overall we use this diaper all the time, and I have been really happy with it. UPDATE after one year: Still going strong, although I can see how the Aplix is going to go soon. I’m even quoted in Erin Odom’s new book, “Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert,” about being “firmly in the snaps camp.”

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 5
  • easy to take off: 4
  • leakproof? 3
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: ?
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly:
  • easy to wash/dry:
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1 could use any insert
  • other:

Total: 23 points

Star feature: Effective, easy to stuff

Potential downfall: Must stuff and unstuff pockets

Ideal situation: So easy for sitters and on the go

If you can’t see the embedded video, click pocket cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Thirsties Duo


from Thirsties
price: $18.50-19.50 ($12.75 on Amazon)
insert material: two-part, microfiber and hemp/cotton blend
closure I reviewed: hook and loop (Aplix)

thirsties duo hemp microfiber pocket cloth diaper (4)

thirsties duo hemp microfiber pocket cloth diaper (6)

thirsties duo hemp microfiber pocket cloth diaper (2)

Description: The Thirsties Duo is a one-size diaper with openings on both side and dual inserts that snap together with two snaps. One insert is microfiber for quick absorbing and one is hemp/cotton for long absorbing. It has an average width, wider and thicker than Fuzzibunz but probably thinner than Tiny Tush or Kawaii.

You can see the “double gussets” in the photo above which ensure that the cover really stays tightly (but not uncomfortably) against baby’s skin and holds everything in.

thirstie duo cloth diaper (3) (475x356)

thirstie duo cloth diaper (2) (475x356)

thirstie duo cloth diaper (1) (475x356)

Our experience: I’ve been a huge fan of Thirsties since the beginning, but I had a few people laud them in the same week I received them, so there was an expectation there as well.

I do think the cover design with the gussets is genius, and I’ve never had a BM sneak out of the Duo. It has been inconsistent on tinkle leaks, sometimes lasting through the night (triple stuffed with an extra hemp/cotton doubler) and other times leaking within the hour. My daughter wears Thirsties at night, too, and usually it doesn’t leak, although her output is also inconsistent.

Lately I’ve seen more leaks, which is surprising me. I think the inserts are shifting and not coming up as far in the front, so technically that’s “user error,” but a perfect diaper wouldn’t be so loose on the inserts. Perhaps that’s why some only open on one side… Winking smile I still think two openings is fabulous, because it’s exponentially faster to stuff, AND you can put the Duo in the wash without unstuffing – it works its way out! The hemp doubler takes extra long to dry and needs to be hung after most cycles. However, that’s totally worth it because it holds a lot – I use extra Thirsties hemp doublers to make many other diapers do nighttime duty.

It also seems like the covers are showing their wear more than some. I do use the dryer, which I know shortens the life of the covers, but Thirsties is just starting to look grungy on the gussets – disappointing. Another unfortunate factor I’m noticing – the Velcro seems to be losing its stick, like maybe it will wear out sooner than seems fair. It opened up on my 3yo daughter the other day! Note: The company says they will replace the Aplix under warranty if it wears out this quickly.

Overall, I’m still a fan of the Thirsties, but I’m curious to see how they play out over a year or more of wear. UPDATE: Thirsties has fallen off my daughter twice now. :(

Leak Report Update: A whopping 4 leaks (plus a nighttime preschooler problem) in 2 weeks and only 1 dry time.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: Thirsties has been the greatest disappointment of all the brands – the fabric and seams, the double gusets, the whole shebang, looks far more worn already than it should.

The hook and loop is absolutely playing out and will come open easily on older babies. I’m worried about the elastic going, too, as it looks so ratty, and the inserts are continuously shifting down in front, the opposite of what a littly boy needs. I absolutely would NOT recommend Thirsties!

UPDATE after one year: We still use them, but they have fallen off even inside pants, and the inserts slide around all the time. I’d rather have other covers.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 5
  • easy to take off: 4
  • leakproof? 3 2
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: +1 for being one of the only pockets to be trusted at night, triple stuffed
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly: +1 for US made by local WAHMs
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for not having to pull inserts out; –1 for hemp taking so long to dry
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1 I use the inserts in a lot of other diapers!
  • other: -1 for showing its wear so quickly; -3 for coming off completely

Total: 21 20 points

Star feature: Dual opening and double gusset

Potential downfall: If the hook and loop closure plays out, that’s a fatal flaw, plus the horrible “worn” look and loose elastic the diaper is getting.

Ideal situation: None.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Thirsties Duo pocket cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Bumkins Pocket Cloth Diaper Review


from Bumkins
price: $16.95 w/one insert ($14.95 on Amazon)
insert material: microfiber
closure I reviewed: hook and loop

bumkins pocket cloth diaper (2)

bumkins pocket cloth diaper (4)

bumkins pocket cloth diaper (6)

Description: Bumkins one-size pocket diaper opens on both sides and has a rather small microfiber insert. I always used two, since the company sent an extra 3-pack along. (I wouldn’t recommend any fewer than that!) It has a fairly average to wide width and Velcro closure that needs to be folded down to wash.

bumkins (2) (575x431)

Our experience: Bumkins was an early favorite, perhaps because I didn’t have very many diapers at first. It’s very easy to stuff, which I love, but it does seem to already be showing its age/wear and tear, and the inserts don’t stay put as well as they used to. The inserts are very small compared to other pockets, and I wouldn’t use just one, ever. Make sure if you have a boy that you pull them up to the front securely.

Style points for the Cat in the Hat, for sure, but I don’t love how you have to fold the tabs in half to wash – it’s just not intuitive or simple to do. You can leave the inserts in, as they will agitate out because of the two pocket openings, so that saves time.

Although the Bumkins didn’t leak a ton at first, it hasn’t been all that reliable lately, and it lets a lot out when my 3yo daughter wears it at night. It also had a few leg opening BM leaks, much like a disposable, but also kept in a couple that were definitely going to shoot up the back if not in cloth.

Overall I think it’s a decent pocket diaper, better than some, but I’d like to see bigger inserts on this one. (Bumkins wet bag is my top favorite, though, and I love-love-love their wipe-clean bibs!)

Leak Report Update: Zero daytime leaks in 2 weeks and 4 dry times, but one massive leak on an overnight for my preschooler.

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: Still a nice diaper, but Bumkins is starting to show its age a bit. Sometimes the inserts shift around more than they should.

UPDATE after one year: Ditto.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 4
  • easy to take off: 4
  • leakproof? 2
  • contains blowouts: 4
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: ?
  • flexible sizing: +1
  • environmentally friendly:
  • easy to wash/dry: +1
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1 (I should try this with bigger inserts…)
  • other:

Total: 21 points

Star feature: Two pocket openings = easier to stuff, easier to wash

Potential downfall: Some leaks

Ideal situation: With a sitter or on the go

If you can’t see the embedded video, click pocket cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Go Green! Champ 2.0 Pocket Diaper Review


from Go Green!
price: $15.95
insert material: microfiber
closure I reviewed: snaps, 3

go green pocket champ cloth diaper (2)

go green pocket champ cloth diaper (4)

go green pocket champ cloth diaper (6)

Above is how it comes out of the wash after self-agitating – inside out!

Description: The Go Green! Champ is sort of a blend between a pocket diaper and an all-in-two, since the microfiber insert snaps in with a single snap in front.

The pocket has openings on both sides, and the fleece layer touching the baby has a double gusset of sorts that you can see in the middle photo above.

The Champ is one of the roomiest diapers we tested, fitting the almost-four-year-old without problem. It closes with 3 snaps and is supposed to snap down to newborn size.

go green pocket diaper cow print (2) (475x356)

Go Green pocket diaper (2) (475x356)

Go Green pocket diaper (1) (475x356)

Our experience: This diaper has been hit and miss. I love that it fits so nicely, even on an older child – there’s no fighting the flaps around, pulling and tugging. It has a decent (but not perfect) record on preventing leaks, and it’s never let the poopies out.

Single stuffed, it leaked on the 3yo overnight. Double stuffed with a bamboo insert from another brand, it lasted overnight on the 8mo. Once I put a prefold on top, and it leaked overnight – but the microfiber inside wasn’t even wet, so perhaps it was overstuffed and the wetness came out the legs because they were held away from the body by the stuffing. ???

I love that the insert self-agitates out – that inspired me to try skipping the unstuffing on other pocket diapers (only those with two openings work). All in all, I’d like to have a little more time with this diaper, and I should probably double stuff more often, since I generally do with other pockets. For the price, especially if you want a diaper that will last into big-kid-nighttime, the Go Green is a great option.

Leak Report Update: Only 2 “damp” leaks in 2 weeks and 3 dry times. It leaked twice overnight for the preschooler!

Longevity Update, 6 mos. later: This remains one of my 4yo’s favorite diapers because it’s the most comfortable of the lot on her 30-something-pound frame. However, even double-stuffed, it has leaked for her. Buy extra inserts if you want to buy this diaper.

Ratings (1-5):

  • easy to put on: 3
  • easy to take off: 5
  • leakproof? 3
  • contains blowouts: 5
  • price: 3

+/- points:

  • nighttime use: Goes both ways…
  • flexible sizing: +2
  • environmentally friendly: +1 Made in USA by WAHMs
  • easy to wash/dry: +1 for self-agitating
  • quick grab: +1
  • versatility: +1 can use other inserts
  • other:

Total: 25 points

Star feature: Self-agitating insert, roomy sizing.

Potential downfall: Jury is out on leaking…

Ideal situation: When you need speed…before and after a change

If you can’t see the embedded video, click Go Green Champ pocket cloth diaper video reviews to see it on You Tube.

Cool bonus product: Adapt-a-snap by Go Green

This little gadget changes any snappy diaper into a velcro closure diaper. Helps speed up changes, especially for those not familiar with snaps, BUT you risk older babies being able to open their own diaper. We found that it worked fine on John (8mo) but pulled too tightly on Leah (3.5yo) and the diaper popped right open on its own. See the video below for how it works:

If you can’t see the embedded video, click how to use an adapt-a-snap cloth diaper closure to see it on You Tube.

What’s Your Favorite?

There may even be some styles I’ve missed entirely (I just learned that “fitted cloth diapers” exist when I started searching for a better nighttime solution, for example), but I hope that overall this gives you a good grasp of the basics of cloth diaper styles and their pros and cons.

For those of you just learning to cloth diaper, I’ll also walk through the basic routines that I’ve had to incorporate into our lives, right down to the rule with my husband: “If there’s not a diaper ready, that’s my fault, so you can just use a disposable.”

I’m always behind on pairing them up, which leads to my first rule for anyone starting out: Don’t get 25 different kinds. It’s too complicated! Winking smile

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Disclosure: You bet I received everything in this post as a product review sample from the companies I linked to. Did it change my opinion? Not in the slightest, although I feel kind of badly when I say negative things about diapers from such nice people. It has to be done though… The only link that is an affiliate commission-generator for these diapers is to Mom4Life, but I even disliked one of the diapers from that shop. See my full disclosure statement here.

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180 Comments so far ↓

  • Karen via Facebook

    My kids are older now, but I want to encourage other moms to use cloth diapers. They are SO worth the tiny bit of extra work. I used cloth on both my kids, except for one brief expirament with disposable with my son, which caused a diaper rash so I promptly switched back. It was the only time either of my babies ever had a diaper rash. I think cloth are not only better for the environment, they are better for baby, too.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Suzanne Reply:

    Hi, I am just reading about the cloth diapers. Can you tell me which brand you used and loved mostly. Also, where do you start for new borns? What fits them best without leaking?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Suzanne,
    I never CD’d a newborn, but many say to use prefolds then. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Audrey Reply:

    Suzanne,
    I have cloth diapered 7 from newborn up to 2-3 years. My favorite for a newborn is a kissaluv type fitted diaper with a cover. I also have prefolds for back-up, but they are not my favorites on those tiny little butts. My favorite covers are wool soakers, but they can be a little tricky on those tiny little newborn legs, I also used a PUL snap front diaper cover, both work well. The combination of a fitted and cover contain leaks extra well. Congratulations on your new little blessing and welcome to the wonderful world of cloth diapering!! :-)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Krysta Reply:

    I used GoGreen on my newborn, and have since been using them for 2 years. She was 5lb4oz at birth, went down to 4lb13oz. They are VERY fluffy on a newborn (when we brought her in to her first check-up one of the NPs thought something was wrong because her butt was so big!) but they work. We did not have any issues with blowouts. The GoGreens are still my favorites and my go to.
    I use the snap-on Velcro for Grandma and church nursery, but rarely anywhere else. The Velcro does not go small enough for a newborn though.
    We also have Flips and I use them mainly for my 4yo at night (he is on a diuretic) I use one micro fiber insert with a flat folded in a pad on top (I use receiving blankets for flats) and have found this to work best for us. Both of my children are very thin. FYI.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Brooke

    I started out almost five years ago with the popular pocket diapers with micro fiber inserts. After several months dealing with stinky diapers, I switched to a cotton all in one and finished with those to lofty training. When the next baby came, I wanted to go back to pockets, since dh liked them better, but using a more natural fiber. I tried a “bamboo” pocket diaper with hemp inserts. I liked them, but the baby’s bottom didn’t, plus I really couldn’t get the stink out, with stripping or boiling. After just three months with these, I gave up on them and went for cotton prefolds and PUL covers. I was instantly in love. Way easier to clean, use, worked great! Much cheaper because I could get 18 prefolds for less than $50(using the higher end/quality brand). I got one size covers that last from 7lbs all the way to 40lbs. I have absolutely loved this system and have already stocked up for this baby due any day. My 20 month old used the same size prefolds for over a year, and has just moved up in size. She is still using the same covers, though I bought new ones for the next when I found them on super sale at Amazon. They do wear out when you use them constantly, but the cost is not a big deal at all when you think about what you are saving versus the sposies and that preofolds are so much more economical than all the other styles. I do like using Snappi fasteners, as thy keep more in and make the diaper fit more trim.

    Hope this isn’t too long. :) It’s crazy how excited one can be about diapers. Lol.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Stef Reply:

    what brand do you use for the prefolds? I am thinking this is probably the most frugal way to go and buy a couple of cloth diapers to use for night or travel,ect. but use predominately prefolds.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Brooke Reply:

    The first brand I got was from Green Mountain Diapers. They have tons of excellent reviews as being most durable and absorbant. They are a bit more expensive than some other brands, but still way cheaper than most options. I have loved them. I bought Osocozy from my local diaper store for the newborn, but I haven’t used them yet. For the amount of time to be used, I doubt it really matters. I also just bought some Diaper Rites for my 20 m.o. to give a try. They seem very comparable to the Green Mountain prefolds. I think the price is similar. Diaperswappers.com has TONS of great info from different cd’ers about every topic under the sun. I have used them and Diaperpin.com to help me decide what to try.

    [Reply to this comment]

    KatieC Reply:

    I also use the Clotheez prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers (on recommendation from my SIL, who currently has 3 in cloth diapers!) and I love them. They truly are workhorses, as they’re named! We have several snap and aplix PUL covers, and recently I bought some wool covers just for fun. I love them all! DH only really uses the PUL covers as he doesn’t feel adept enough with the necessary step of Snappis with the wool covers, but I think both options are good choices. I feel like the Snappi + wool cover leads to a less bulky look, so when DDis wearing something more trimly cut, that’s our go-to option.
    This is my first child, and due to cost I just never questioned whether I was going to CD or not. It was a given. I’m pretty bull headed and once the immediate post partum funk wore off (and we ran out of diapers from the hospital, lol!), I dove right in and haven’t looked back. 9 months now, and no regrets!

    [Reply to this comment]

    KatieC Reply:

    We are starting more solids now, though, so I’m wondering what I need to introduce to my routine…like a diaper duck spray thing, or possibly a (most certainly devoted-use) spatula for the diapery goodness…;)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Johanna Reply:

    Don’t worry about using a “utensil”. Transition poops hose right off, and true solids just roll off (yes, even if they’ve been “sat” in and formed to baby’s cheeks!). But I DO recommend a Diaper sprayer. Not even a shiny stainless one, the ones that look like kitchen sink sprayers work fine! Get it and you won’t be disappointed! You can even resell it when you’re done, so the end cost is negligible!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jenn

    My favorites are prefolds with a separate cover, or maybe a fitted. Why? I can check diapers without getting my fingers dirty. I just slip my finger between the cover and diaper and I have my answer. Pocket diapers and all-in-whatevers don’t tend to have space for that so I have to sniff, squeeze, or smell.
    Also important in this graduate-student household, prefolds and flat diapers are cheap and wear like iron.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Nicole via Facebook

    I can’t say enough good about cloth. Out of my three kiddos ny best experience was receiving diaper service for the first 6 months – what a great gift, and no issues with prefolds on an infant. Then a combo of bumgenius, knickernappies ( so great under certain outfits), kissaluvs and a few other randoms. There were a few gross cleanups, still so worth the savings and green factor!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Rachel

    We have loved pocket diapers for being out of the house because they ate easy to deal with and fairly compact to carry clean ones around.
    I have never had a problem getting the middle out to clean and I honestly don’t trust the ones that say it’ll come out on its while washing, I’d rather take it out in my own and know its going to get clean. I just hold the pocket diaper upside down and the middle slides right out! My fingers don’t get dirty, although honestly if I’m washing cloth diapers they probably will anyway so I don’t find it a big deal.

    At home we use prefolds and fitteds most of the time.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Stephanie M

    My favorite are Motherease one-size fitted. Easy enough for a babysitter (although I ususally leave a pocket) and they last forever! I also have the option of leaving the baby without a cover at home for even more air flow.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Johanna Reply:

    I agree about the MEOS being a good balance between price, durability and ease-of-use! I love the double bulletproof-ness (?) of the fitted plus cover. I too leave the cover off for air and EC observations. No leaks ever (if you need the doubler, use it!). We started DS with prefolds (Bummis velcro kit) in the infant size, moved to the premium size for a few months… but then I wanted something easier for daycare workers and my return-to-work. MEOS to the rescue! They took DS up to full potty training at 3yo (nights I added their snap in doubler, but I was too lazy to snap and they never shifted). I had about 5 Mother Ease Air Flow covers in each size range (most in rotation and one at school for backup). Sister/nephew used our stash for a while. Now DD is in the MEOS (4th or 5th baby, since I bought many used!) with a few months until I move her up to the M/L cover. The MEAF covers air dry within the hour (I reuse immediately, rinse in sink, or wash them with the kid’s clothes) and the MEOS fitteds air dry about the same at the 4/8/4 prefolds we used initally. But if I was SAHM, I’d totally be all over the prefolds since they are SO cheap and look SO “crunchy” hanging outside on the line!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Stacy

    I tried oodles of cloth diapers trying to find the “perfect” diaper for us. It drove me crazy! Toomany diapers to lean for hubby, inserts here and there, remembering which diapers needed what, etc. In the end, we chose refold diapers for their ease of use and wash. They could also be used for an impromptu burp cloth, nursing cover, pad for the crib, etc. We used snappi fasteners to avaid having to use pins, which we NEVER would have been able to do with a wiggly baby. The snappi keeps the diaper on snugly and usually helped prevent leakage because of the snug fit. We put snap covers on the outside (pro wraps and kissaluvs, if I remember right). Extra soakers could be added to those if needed, too. Easy to launder, sort, dry, and no brainer diapering!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Julie

    I don’t have children, but my sister has had great success using repurposed wool for combination diaper covers/longies. Here’s her etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bundlesofjoy and the Etsy Cloth Diapers: http://etsyclothdiapers.com/ for more resources.

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  • Becky via Facebook

    I have had the best success with prefolds and a cover. Super easy, covers can be reused throughout day. Prefolds are super cheap (just don’t get ones filled with polyester.)

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  • Erika

    I also have a huge variety of cloth diapers, though my favorites are Flips and similar ones. For daycare I send pockets and AIO’s.

    I wanted to chime in that I rarely put my AIO’s in the dryer and they dry “OK” in the air. Actually, the itti bitti AIO (forget the name) dries FAST! My others are Bum Genius Organics and Swaddlebees- and they take 2 days to dry when hung in my basement.

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  • Diana

    What a great post! Looking forward to reading the updates :) And thanks for relieving me of being jealous that you got to try out so many diapers–I never thought about the fact that it would actually be confusing to have so many!

    I have Fuzzibunz and Flip (snaps) diapers. Neither are perfect–the Fuzzibunz tend to leak pee and the Flip tend to leak poo (but not as bad as disposables did!).

    I’ve only got one child, so this solution will probably not work for everyone, but here’s what I do about stuffing the diapers: I throw all the covers into a basket and stack the different inserts according to type. During the diaper change I make sure everything’s covered (with a dry wipe) and stuff the diaper right then and there. It’s a great time for things to air out a little, which helps with diaper rash.

    If your kid hates diaper changes or you have a toddler who destroys your house while you’re occupied, that may not be the best solution, though :) I’m sure I’ll have to modify as little buddy gets older, too!

    I’d like to try out a wool cover to go over the Fuzzibunz for overnights (when I get the most leaks). Anyone ever try that or have any suggestions?

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  • Kristan K.

    We started out with Fuzzibuns and I HATED having to stuff pockets . After much trial and error we finally settled on BumGenius Elementals and Freetimes (both avaliable at Hop Scotch Childrens Store in GR). Both dry great on the line, the Freetimes much quicker than the Elementals.

    For night, we are using the Thirsties Fab Fitteds with a Thirsties Hemp doubler, and Sustainablebabyish wool longies. Works perfect and the outside of the fitted diaper is barely damp in the morning!

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  • Nichole

    aw, I’m sad you’re not trying out gDiapers, which have turned out to be my family’s (and babysitters) favorite. I know there are definitely some cons (such as getting all the pieces together after the wash) but they also have contained leaks/blowouts the best because of the waterproof snap-in liner.

    Looking forward to reading all of your reviews since I’m asked ALL THE TIME about using cloth diapers. this will be great to share a link!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jo Reply:

    Hey, I’m with Nicole. gDiapers are fantastic! Please try them.
    I’m on baby #4 and have cloth diapered on & off for 10 years. Trying many different types along the way.
    You can purchase flushable disposable pads for the gDipes or use their cloth pads which are great & can be doubled for extra absorbency (ie: nighttime), but most of the time we just fold a flat and stuff that into the gDiaper liner (flats dry REALLY fast).
    Awesome for containing the messiest and they are so cute & trim.
    Love your blog, one of the very few I make sure not to miss.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Jo and Nicole,
    You got me; I emailed them just now! ;) Katie

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    Lindsay Reply:

    Yes, please review gDiapers! They’re the kind I’m thinking of trying for my first baby… I don’t know of anyone who’s tried them so it would be great to see what you think! :) Thanks for these reviews, super helpful!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jeanette Reply:

    Yay looking forward to what you have to say about gDiapers! I did not cloth diaper my first three and just started a few weeks ago with my fourth (she’s four months old). My friends recommended gDiapers, so that’s what I started with and so far I am pretty satisfied. But I didn’t try anything else, so I am reading all of your posts on this subject with great interest.

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    sarah Reply:

    your website is great! a friend recommended it to me, thank you! i’m about to have my 3rd, and want to cloth diaper, and have also been looking into the gDiaper line. i liked it for its flexibility, but wondered about how well it’ll really work. i was going to buy one and test it out on my friend’s baby before investing in the whole system. looking forward to more great reviews and ideas!

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    Cary Reply:

    I started using the gDiapers last week and I LOVE THEM!!! They are amazing- easy to use and easy to clean. They are excellent at containing leaks (I change every couple of hours). I used disposables until now and I haven’t tried any other cloth diapers, but as far as I’m concerned I don’t have to. I think they are amazing!!!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Cary,
    Cool! I just got a box from them this weekend; now to try them out. :) Katie

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  • Carrie

    I’m so excited to see you getting on the cloth diaper train!

    One quick comment about stuffing: it’s a lot easier if you don’t have 25 different diaper styles!!! I started with all Bum Genius, and now my excitement over buying diapers has led me to try out a bunch of stuff, but I have to say there is a lot to be said for picking one thing and going with it for simplicity. Having the bulk of the diapers BGs helps a ton with stuffing because most of the inserts fit most of the covers. But when my husband or a sitter is dealing with the laundry or diapering, it throws them for a loop to have almost any other combo, particularly the non-pockets. But even the pockets I like to put the right insert into, and they end up with everything from the wrong insert to no insert to a prefold stuffed in there! Luckily, except for leaving the insert out altogether, it all works in the end, unless you are a perfectionist and then it’s a good exercise in letting go. :)

    We’re hoping to move on to number 4 soon, so I’m thinking on newborn diapering and leaning toward building up a fitted stash this time around. So I’ll be enjoying your reviews!

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  • Lisa

    I’ve used cloth diapering on 2 of my 3 children, and will be getting them out for another baby soon. I have found that cloth diapers are definitely NOT a one size fit all! My son needed a cloth diaper with a lot of wicking (Bum Genius was best for him). My daughter was fine with other options. And – she wasn’t a preemie but needed preemie size – so fitted contours at first were good for her. Good fit with cover and not a lot of bulk for her tiny body. After those, Thirsties fitted were great for her. Then we used Nickis Diapers best bottoms. Loved the ease of those. My best hint – if you have a heavy wetter – then you can not beat a WOOL DIAPER COVER at night! My daughter was on a continuous feeding pump every night for most of the 17 months that she lived, and that meant one very wet baby. But the wool diaper cover was great – never had a leak unlike any other combo I tried.

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  • lizi

    hey katie, i am sorry but i just have to say you seem a little attached to your clothes dryer! first it was you lamenting on your grease stains that inevitably get heat-sealed in by the dryer and now it you seem pretty committed to drying your cloth diapers in the dryer. i am sorry to pester you, but i think when it comes to being green, hanging out clothes to dry is a habit worth forming!! i will admit, i go on and off at times (like winter, when my tiny house is full of clothes drying); and i fluff my husband’s pants and some shirts- but for literally 5-7 minutes. otherwise, it is a “chore” that i actually enjoy, especially when it is nice out, it just feels so good to know my extra 10 minutes of time hanging it up is saving $$ and energy that in my area comes primarily from coal.
    with cloth diapers, it is a no brainer for me. gotta line dry, because otherwise the PUL will come off WAY quick. sad indeed! yes the inserts take like 5 times longer to dry :( but my solution has been to stock up on insert so that i have enough extra to hold me over if the others all still drying.
    i have been wanting to switch to a more natural fiber cloth diaper situation since baby #2 and i am obsessed about my kids wearing natural fibers. i tried sposo easy, which are AIO with cotton on the inside, and sized. i just noticed my son had to be changed immedietely or they would leak and he would get a red bum. the upside to those synthetics is they really do a better job of wicking away from skin. ideally i would have a diaper with cotton or hemp insert and wool next to skin and wool on the outside. i just gave up though and have stuck by my investment of BG and FB.
    BTW i NEVER shake out or remove dirty inserts and maybe once a month or less, honestly, do i have maybe one not agitate out itself. i used to just shake them out one by one into the washer, not getting my hands too dirty, but one day i decided to give even that up, and i just throw them in.
    also we live in a pretty hard water area but i never have a problem with stink or needing to strip, and my diapers are on about their 44th month of use. i stripped them once but for no other reason than i read you were “supposed to”. i wash them on 3 cycles : cold, very warm with soap nuts, and cold. and of course i always hang them up to dry :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lizi,
    I sure am in love with my dryer! On this one, I’m not budging quite yet be/cause:
    1. I live in Michigan. It’s cold here, man.
    2. I just moved. No clothesline. Valuable real estate for playing catch would have to be sacrificed, and I don’t think we’re willing.
    3. I don’t want clothes drying all over my house, and I don’t have a laundry room – just a w/d in the bathroom.

    So I’m drying them, for better or for worse!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    lizi Reply:

    well i can respect that, katie, as i have only been hanging up my clothes in this house for the last year. it took a commitment, and a shift. but now i really do love hanging everything up. i seriously get a little joy out of it.
    and with the diapers, i always hang those up, because otherwise it seriously shortens their life-span. a good compromise is to hang up the PUL covers/shells and throw the inserts in the dryer. the covers dry really quickly, and that is the part damaged by drying. after using the diapers for 2,3 years, you will definitely see a difference. wish they lasted forever :)
    you might consider those fold-out clotheslines or clothes dryer/rack things for outside. they don’t take up much space and fold back against your house, or you can reel in the clothesline. or those ones that resemble an umbrella? i know years ago it wasn’t a priority for me, either, but now i am very happy to hang stuff up. you might be surprised when you make that transition- it isn’t hard to do and it really does save energy/$$. plus no baked in greasy stains!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Nichole Reply:

    I read a tip on another site to decrease overall drying time by putting clothes/diapers in the dryer for 10 minutes to get them started and then hang them up and they’ll dry a lot faster! still need to try it :-) I did hang my gDiaper inserts and since I have enough to kind of switch off, it worked perfectly! nice, fresh and white as new!

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  • Marguerite

    I love how you have tackled this subject with such detail, Katie! (Not that it surprises me. :)

    We’ve used prefolds for two kiddos, paired with covers made by Thirsties, Dappi, and Mommy. At the “pre solids” stage, the Thirsties covers were a favorite because of their easily customized fit and gussets. Once solid foods were introduced, the Dappis proved terrific (and they are SO inexpensive). We were on a very tight budget when the first kiddo was born, but found no reason to change the diapering strategy when the second one came along, because it worked!

    The one challenge has been nighttime diapering. I never did discover anything that worked well enough, and figured we were willing to pay 25 cents or so for a good night’s sleep. :)

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  • caitlin chapman

    i just wanted to take a minute and tell you, KS, how much i APPRECIATE this post. i just started cloth diapering and this has been unbelievably helpful. thank you thank you thank you!

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  • Krysta Bauer

    Welcome to the world of cloth! Just wanted to let you know that AIO’s dry fine on the line….really.
    And the pockets and AIO’s don’t have an absorbent inner (except in rare cases), they have a wicking inner that is supposed to stay dry and wick the moisture to the absorbent pad inside the diaper. However, this wicking material often does not wick as fast as your child pees and leaks happen. So, more leaks are probably occuring for you with these types of diapers due to liquid not moving through the layer fast enough, not from the edges of the inner material being wet. If the material had wicked properly the edges wouldn’t be wet at all.

    An AI2 will have much less problem with wicking, even if the soaker pad is topped with a wicking type material. The wetness that does not wick through fast enough will roll around the edge of the pad to the underside and get absorbed.

    The only AIO’s I know of that have a cotton (absorbent) inner layer is the BumGenius Elemental, and maybe some WAHM made diapers. The Elemental is made in a special way that makes sure the cotton isn’t on the edge of the diaper to cause wicking leaks.

    Isn’t it extra confusing that wicking has two different meanings!

    I have been making dipes for about 5 years now and have done extensive testing, and understand the mechanics of diaper construction and materials very well.

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  • Sonia via Facebook

    I can’t get to your site because of the malware. :( Luckly I could read the post in email. I just wanted to say how much I love cloth. My favourite is all in two’s. I use AppleCheeks Cloth Diapers which can be used as all in twos or pockets. I prefer to use them as AI2 so I don’t need as many covers. I do love fitteds too. They are great to use as an ‘airing out’ diaper where you don’t want to let your baby go diaper free and pee/poop all over the place, but they can still get some airflow!

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  • Shiree Martin

    So glad you’re getting into cloth diapers! Kind of a hassle, but they are great!

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  • Nicole

    WOW. 25 different types of diapers? I think you need a streamlined stash, lol. =)
    We do prefolds and covers (with a few AIO’s for outings) in the nb stage and then jump right into pockets, for the most part. I almost never dry mine in the dryer, aside from prefolds (or rainy days). AIO’s do tend to take the longest, but you don’t have to use the dryer.
    I especially love cloth diapering a newborn as I never get blowouts in cloth, but had to change constantly when we used disposables.
    I think it’ll be much easier for you once you decide which you like and get most of your stash in them. I think having so many different kinds would make CD harder than it has to be (but great for reviews, I know!).

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  • Joy

    I’m surprised that with all those diapers, you haven’t tried wool yet! Most people are afraid of wool because it seems like it would be a pain to wash, but nothing could be further from the truth. Because wool naturally cleans itself, it only has to be “washed” once every 1-3 months. And washing wool for me consists of: fill a bucket with warm water and wool wash, drop in the cover, and walk away. Then dump the mixture in the washer, spin it out, and lay it out to dry. Done! Wool works awesome as a night-time solution, and I love wool best in the form of wool pants or shorts over a fitted absorbent diaper. You can also use a wool cover over any diaper that you would use with a PUL cover. It is natural and breathable, a great option for people who want more natural options for diapering. And easy to make your own if you know how to knit, crochet, or sew. And so dirt cheap if you make one out of an old wool sweater!
    Great post, by the way, I love reading about people’s cloth adventures! I’ve been cloth diapering my kids for seven years, I find there is always something new to learn. I’m not big on the brand names, but I think I’ve used just about every system out there.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Joy,
    One of the sellers I worked with, a local friend, actually makes wool covers, but she said herself that they’d be too much work to have just one with all the treating or oiling or stripping or whatever it is…although the way you describe it, it sounds wonderful! Hmmmmm…. ;) Katie

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    Erin Reply:

    I love wool, but for this baby it just wasn’t in the budget. I had previously given away (yes, given freely) my entire re cloth stash then had a little blessing three years later. I prefer the diapers I have this time but miss my wool!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Liz

    Flats! They are awesomely absorbent, easy to wash (forgiving & won’t build up like microfiber), can be folded in many different ways and snappi-d onto baby or pad folded into a cover or a pocket! Can use one set of flats birth to potty… It is the most economic way to go!

    Also, have you checked out wool covers? Great for overnight :) cheap to make on your own if you can sew.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Micah

    We bought cloth diapers for our baby on her first birthday. She is the first out of five we’ve cloth diapered. I say “we” because it is a team endeavor! I researched until I was more confused than I was when I started! I finally went with Sprout Change. They are made in the US by a mom who took her favorite aspects from several different cloth diapers and put them together in one diaper. I had some trouble with leaking early on but realized I hadn’t washed the inserts enough times to get rid of the natural oils in the fibers. I think they are more reasonable in price than other options since you can use each cover for multiple changes. I just bought a few more so I don’t run out between washings. I wash every other day & line-dry. The owner was very helpful as I communicated with her via email when I was having trouble with leaks. I double stuff the diaper for naps but still use disposables at night. Yes, my 14 month old still wakes to nurse some nights!!

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  • Sarah

    I just started cloth diapering in January when my son was born. I absolutely love cloth. We picked it mainly due to the money factor, but now I can’t imagine dealing with disposables all the time! Plus, cloth is just so darn cute!

    We’ve used disposables on occasion for “convenience,” and because we had been gifted a big box of diapers. It has NEVER been convenient. When we first brought him home, we were using disposables until his cord came off, because we thought it would be easier to keep it clean (and the hospital had given us some, in addition to the gift). Yeah, right. Should’ve just started with cloth. He peed up his stomach nearly every time. We started with flats and bummis covers for the first 2 months, because those were easier to get a good fit on a newborn, and then switched to one size pockets when he outgrew the newborn covers. We use Kawaii, bumgenius and Fuzzibunz. I think the best is Kawaii. It seems to hold the most. I know people say that cloth doesn’t hold as much as disposables, but I rarely have a leak if he uses a Kawaii overnight, and typically he overflows a disposable in that same amount of time. And then, this past weekend, we were using up the last of the disposables someone had given us on a trip to see family. The poor kid had so many leaks, particularly poopy leaks, that he nearly ran out of clothes! His cloth has held a lot more poop than those disposables did! I really don’t know that I’d be doing less laundry if we had used disposables, because I’d be washing the poop out of both his and my clothes all the time! The poopy diapers occasionally leak out the leg, but I have yet to have a poopy up the back in cloth. Most of the poop went up his back in the disposables, with very little staying in the diaper. I was so frustrated, and so glad we normally use cloth.

    I wash every other day and line-dry. We don’t even have a dryer, but everything I’ve read said it definitely lengthens the life of a diaper to line-dry. Living in the north, this meant lots of drying racks in our basement all winter. But with the dehumidifier running (which it needs to anyway, down there, or mold takes over) it took less than 24 hours to dry the covers and usually less than 36 hours for the inserts. But since the Kawaii diapers came with 2 inserts per diaper, it really wasn’t a problem.

    The only thing I’m trying to figure out is how to travel for more than a weekend with cloth diapers. Since the weekend with disposables was an epic fail, I don’t really want to ever use them again. But I also can’t really buy (or haul along) enough cloth for a week long trip we’re planning to take this summer.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Joy Reply:

    Sarah, I always travel with cloth, and it’s not as hard as it would seem. I do have to devote an entire suitcase to diapers, but if that is doable for you, here’s how I do it. I make sure I have enough diapers for at least three days. I get some flushable diaper liners, this makes it super easy to clean out a yucky diaper when you’re dealing with solid poo. Just lift the liner out and flush it, I’ve even done this in an airplane bathroom or in an outhouse when camping. Get a large diaper-pail sized wetbag to put in your luggage, and a smaller one for your diaper bag. If you are visiting friends or relatives, just ask ahead to make sure it’s okay to use their washer/dryer/clothesline for your diaper wash. Make sure to bring a small amount of your own diaper-friendly detergent, because you never know what they might have. If you are not going to visit a friend’s house, just find a laundromat. I’ve stayed at hotels and even campgrounds with laundry facilities, so as long as you schedule a laundry stop once every three days, you should be fine. I’ve even done cloth on a 4-day camping trip, I just brought every diaper and diaper substitute I could scrounge up to bring with me to last the four days. If I could do it again, I would bring flats, wash them in a bucket, and dry them on a line while camping. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with that huge bag of stinky cloth diapers at the end! Flats would be the way to go as a travel diaper in any situation because they dry so quickly. And they are dirt cheap. You can use them with a cover or folded as an insert for your pocket diapers.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Sarah Reply:

    Cool. Thanks for the tips. We already use the flushable liners, since we didn’t want to have to mess with a diaper sprayer. I have flats up the wazoo, because that’s what we started out using and my mom gave me all of hers from when we were babies (she cloth diapered until midway through me being in diapers, when she decided it was too much with 3 kids. She is in awe of the new diaper “technology.” She thought I was crazy at first, but now gets as excited over diapers as I do.) I figured I would use them for extra absorbency in the pockets, but I suppose if I get a few more covers in a bigger size (only had them in newborn size) it would still be cheaper in the end to use cloth for traveling than disposables, and we wouldn’t have all the poopy clothes.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Beth via Facebook

    Is it crazy that after CDing 2 kids (one full time the second part time) and trying every diaper imaginable. I recognize and can name most of the diapers in your pictures! So glad we are done CDing. I even used them while traveling in Costa Rica (since we were in the middle of the jungle with little access to disposables oh and when we could get them they were like $.50 a piece). My ending favorite was Gro Baby but unfortunately one size diapers never fit my chunky kids well so we grew out of them way to soon (they didn’t have the larger size one then).

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  • Erin

    I love flats! They are so easy to get clean and stink free plus they are one size and very reasonably priced at Green Mountain Diapers. I hope to purchase a few cotton/hemp flats from Sweetbottoms Baby soon (love the free shipping). For my 19 month old I just fold it into a square then into thirds, easy-peasy no pins required. I also have some prefolds and a couple of Flips day packs. The Flip covers are wonderful and the inserts very easy for when Dad is in charge or when out and about.

    If anybody has tips for how to get my lovely Flip inserts stink free I would be so grateful! I have tried everything I am trying to avoid bleach, but may have to resort to that as I’m getting desperate.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Johanna Reply:

    If I recall, ammonia smell means too much detergent, poopy smell means not enough detergent (whatever kid you use, we Love Charlies. I hear Nellie’s is good). You might have luck boiling your inserts in a huge pot of water(like 6 or 8 qt size). It only takes 5 minutes or so and is safe for plastic snaps if you keep the inserts moving around– pour off any scum and use tongs to remove the inserts! Spin out in your washing machine and dry in the sun if possible. HTH!

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  • Emily @Random Recycling

    I laughed out loud when I read your comment about pocket diapers and John being in a disposable because nothing was stuffed…sad, but true in our house at times. It’s so worth mentioning. I have both pocket and all in ones from BumGenius and I wish they were all “all in ones” for the ease of it all.

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  • Heather

    I use fitted diapers and wool covers. I make my own, though, so no brand to plug. I’ve had the best luck making the absorbent layer out of the microfiber shop towels Costco sells. The diaper insides (next to the baby) have been flannel, knit terry, cotton velour, knit hemp, and some microfiber velour that keeps a bottom dry like you wouldn’t believe! The best-wearing outside material seems to be quilting cotton. Mine velcro, rather than snapping, because I don’t have a snap press and I did fint an enormous wheel of velcro at a garage sale for $2 years ago–many dozen dipes later, I still have half of it left! Some of my wool covers are hand-knit, but I’m a sloow knitter. Once I found the pattern online to make covers and longies from rummage sale wool sweaters (which is about a 15-minute sewing job!), I switched to those gladly. One sweater is good for a cover and a pair of longies, and then you still have some felted wool to play with! Wool longies are the BEST nighttime diaper cover! My kids sleep in longies and a T-shirt till they’re potty trained.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Heather Reply:

    Oh–I’ve used the same system through 3 kids thus far. My kids are almost 5, 3 1/2, and 8 months. The only time I’ve had stinky diaper problems are when I’ve had to use the dryer a lot. I’ve used either Charlie’s Soap or homemade laundry powder, plus baking soda and peroxide in each load..

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Angela

    I am so looking forward to this series. I started using cloth diapers with my youngest when he was two because he started to break out with all brands of diapers. I only used one type since he was close to being potty trained. We are now expecting another child soon and I have been looking around at all the different types out there. Since there are so many types of diapers it will be nice to read your reviews of them.

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  • Mary P

    I use Ragababe AIOs and they dry so fast!!! They are really hard to get right now though. :( I only have 3 but they are the bulletproof night time solution. Especially for my tummy sleeper–I need the waterproof lining flap to extend inside the diaper to prevent it from leaking out the top. Bumgenius does this too and I have two of those to help out with the night time leaks.

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  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    I’ve cloth diapered for 4 years with three babies from newborn through potty training.

    I sewed all mine. They either have a pocket at the back or a “sham” pocket near the back and open on just the one side.

    I never pull the inserts out before washing, but 90% of the time they come out on their own anyway. I check as I’m switching to the dryer and pull out the few that didn’t come out.

    I almost always put them in a dryer and none are worn out yet, even with heavy use for four years. There is not a single diaper that can no longer be used because of an issue with the PUL. I have had to replace elastic in some and many of my most heavily used diapers (now 3 years old or so) could use elastic now. The better ones even look new after 2.5 years! Dryers do not necessarily age your diapers too quickly — they can still last easily through two or three kids which is all most people need anyway. Frankly some of my 4-year-old prefolds look worse than any diaper shells.

    Prefolds are way better, IMO, than microfiber as a stuffer. I’ve used both but I always go back to prefolds. I have light, medium, and heavy wetters and like prefolds for all, albeit in different sizes.

    Extra gussets are usually not necessary. I have never used them and rarely had blowouts. If the diaper doesn’t fit tightly or you are getting “wing droop” or gaps around skinnier thighs, you might have leakage. Get diapers that fit your baby’s shape.

    SNAPS. My babies learned to undo Velcro by 6 months old. I have some cute pictures of my oldest in her crib around 5 – 6 months, naked after a nap. But that can be messy. :) They don’t learn to undo snaps until they are around 2. I just don’t even use any form of hook-and-loop now, though when I did I preferred touchtape.

    I forget what else…but those are the things I thought of. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    If you’re sewing inclined, this tutorial has a built-in wetbag: http://www.modernalternativemama.com/blog/2012/04/13/the-perfect-diaper-bag-tutorial/

    I could.not.remember to bring one with me; I would wash it and forget it, so I sewed one in. I like it. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Erin

    Thanks! It’s an ammonia smell and I kept thinking I wasn’t using enough detergent so would add a bit more. Oh well, at least I know now.

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  • Erin@TheHumbledHomemaker

    Loving this series, Katie! Your reviews are so in-depth! My favorites are the Kawaii bamboos…but I think I already told you that! :) Can’t wait to see what you think of them!

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    Lori Reply:

    I Love Kawaii Bamboos too! I actually got mine at a yard sale, score! I also got some Kawaiis that have the elastic edging too that I really like cause I can stuff them with big prefold for nighttime for my toddler and the pocket opening is loose enough for the inserts to kinda just drop out into the diaper pail. I’d love to get some more of the bamboos but I cant really justify spending money on them at the moment.
    I also have a bunch of Sunbaby pockets which I loved with my first but leak a little after 2 hours with my 7 month old. Sunbaby diapers just can’t be beat for the price though. 6 bucks for a diaper with 2 inserts is cheap as can be. And they come is so many cute fabrics. If I ever have a girl I will definitely order some more of these in girly prints just so she can have a cute bottom :) I found them on ebay originally but she has a website too.
    I am curious to see your fitted reviews. I think those may be my answer to nighttime for my little guy. Or maybe I should get a cover to go with the prefolds I have. Decisions decisions… For now I’m just sticking with sposies for night.

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  • That Married Couple

    I’m surprised you haven’t tried BumGenius yet, as they’re a pretty popular one. My husband loves our all-in-ones! You should definitely check them out. They’re also local to the St. Louis area, so I suppose I’m a bit biased.

    Another one I’ve tried is Tots Bots. It’s like a cross between a pocket diaper and an all-in-two. The insert goes inside but is attached, but not by snaps. And I never bothered pulling it out to wash – it always came out. I really like it a lot, but it was so expensive that I didn’t get many.

    I know a lot of people like having diapers that grow with their child, but I actually prefer to have the separate sizes. While it’s more money at the start, I think that if you’re hoping to have several children, the cost will even out (so hypothetically four kids could wear the small for 6 months each vs one kid wearing a one-size for two years) and you’ll get a better fit as you go. This is theoretical – we’re only on baby one but I’m hoping it works that way!

    I’m so excited about all these individual reviews! Our stash is all set right now but I may splurge and try out a new one if it seems worth it :)

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  • Marykay

    Thanks for the great reviews! I am looking forward to reading/watching the rest of them. This is coming at the perfect time for me as we just found out we are having twins and are in the process of deciding how to build our stash. For my older two we used a combination of disposables and prefolds with traditional covers (“plastic pants” we had the kind that were a bit more breathable but you still just pull them up like they had when we were all young… I can’t remember the brand now but it was CHEAP) Anyway we decided that since we have most of what we need this time we will invest in nicer, easier to use cloth diapers. I have already purchased quite a few XS AIO and pockets and plan to get some thirsties/bummies or similar and some smaller prefolds to supplement with. My biggest question right now is what to do when they are first born since I have no idea how big they will be. My other girls were both born at 41 weeks and weighed 7’9 and 8’3 but I’m sure these little ones will be smaller.

    Does anyone else have experience CD twins from birth? how about preemies/very small NB? What are your recommendations?

    Thanks!!!

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  • Heather

    This is a reply to ThatMarriedCouple, but the “reply to this post” button doesn’t want to work for me today. I make my own cloth diapers, using a pattern that does make them in different sizes, roughly corresponding to disposable sizes. My 3rd baby is 8 months old. Because we had some things in a storage I couldn’t get at when Kid 2 was born, I have made two complete sets of size newborn dipes, which is the size that gets the least wear, anyway. With the other sizes, the first two kids used all the same diapers, but, with Kid 3, I am having to replace about 1/2 of my original stash, just ’cause a lot were worn out. We’re planning to have one more baby yet, so this doesn’t bother us.

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  • Lenetta

    I can’t seem to reply to comment either! Just wanted to say i pink puffy heart my retractable clothesline. Admittedly, i’m on my second one, the first quit retracting. I can’t wait to hang little diapers on it again though!! The sun is wonderful for getting them dry quick and killing bacteria. I think it was $30 or so at menards, worth it for saving on drying! I just about always throw clothes in the dryer for a quick tumble to soften and make sure they’re dry- and to knock off any bugs. :)

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  • Jess E.

    We like “Flip” diapers with the organic cotton insert. We still use Seventh Generation disposable for nighttime.

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  • Hannah

    Hi and THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post!! What an extensive review!! Did you mention you had a link or review for diaper baggies, too? Am I missing it? I’m not even sure if that’s the right term.. just starting to do my cloth diaper research now : )

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Hannah,
    It’s coming, yes – watch next week for info on how-to, wipes, and the bags… :) Katie

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  • Cindy

    Thank you so much for all the good info! I love this site! Baby will be coming shortly so we’re doing all our research so we’re ready…..

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  • cory

    Wow… …. ….

    My parents cloth diapered all of us. Prefolds, pins, and Gerber plastic pants. That’s why I stared with (why fix what ain’t broke, right?) Yes. Pins. And no, I did not routinely stick my kids. 3-4 times total between the two I used pins with.

    Then, after a friend did some research, I ended up with Bummis. Tried a few different types of shells like that, Bummies are my favorite. Inexpensive, rarely leak (even without the double gusset), easy to wash and dry (though the prefolds do seem to take two tumbles in my dryer before they’re done)… And another great site out there is Nickysdiapers.com.

    And, to MaryKay – My sister-in-law CD’d twins. They were 6 lbs at birth, so she couldn’t get them in her type of diaper until they got bigger. That’s been my experience too – babies don’t fit typical diapers (even so-called newborn sizes) until they’re 8-ish lbs. However, I’m intrigued to try contour diapers if ever I have a newborn again. They make covers that fit, it just seems like the inserts are always too bulky for the little ones. I was a fan of Rumparooz for my 6 lb 11 oz DD.

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  • cory

    Also had to add… In two generations my family has CD’d seven children. Never have we owned a sprayer or other such poo-removal device. And we also have never stuck our hands in the toilet. All you have to do is grab the clean end and shake the dirty end up and down in the water. This will usually remove all dirties within a few shakes – sometimes it takes longer, but you can always get enough off to get it ready for the laundry. Works for me. But then I’m a minimalist. I hate having a different tool for every task.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Cory,
    This is the current question I’m working on – how do you not drip the water all over the bathroom then? I don’t want to wring them out… ??? :) Katie

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    cory Reply:

    Yeah I’m not a fan of wringing either! Use an old wipes bucket or lidless tupperware for the transfer. Our changing area is two floors above where I keep the diaper pail (I’d rather lug dirty diapers down 5 times a day than the whole heavy bucket once a week…), so ours gets used quite a bit!

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    Sarah D Reply:

    I keep my diaper pail (a small trash can with a flip top lid) next to the toilet and transfer them after dunking a few times. I usually let them drip a little first so they don’t soak through the wet bag, but there are almost always a bunch of 1/2 wet diapers underneath to soak up any excess water.

    I have a diaper sprayer, but we’ve never installed it. It didn’t fit the toilet in our last house and I haven’t gotten around to trying to install it here.

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    Micah Reply:

    I keep my large wet bag in a tall garbage can with a swinging lid. I just reach over and take the lid off the can and pull it right next to the potty. After I’m finished dunking, I let the diaper drip a few seconds while I tip the can over toward the potty. I have only been cloth diapering my baby for 3 months (since her first birthday) but haven’t had to clean up any drips around the potty or on the floor. Of course, now that I’ve said that, I’ll probably have a mess this afternoon!! Most of the time I’m able to shake the solids out.

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    Genet Reply:

    I know this is an older post but wow! it is timeless information for sure! :)
    I’ve diapered 3 from hospital to potty and never diaper dunked at all. I use the tissue paper looking diaper liners. They are very cheap. If they are only wet, I put them in the wet bag to wash. When the wash is done, I stack them on top of the dryer and they sit there while the others dry. If they are dirty? Well. . . .its the flush for them !!!
    Maybe not the most “organic” but it works for me. No dunking or spatula required. :)

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  • Katie G.

    I’m having a lot of fun watching your videos, and I’m really looking forward to your take on the Sprout Change cover. I don’t have any babies (yet) so I haven’t had that much experience, but when I’ve taken care of kids in cloth diapers my favorite was the cover and pre fold, SO easy (I was 16 when I started babysitting the CD’d kiddos). So if anyone is thinking pre folds are too hard, honestly they’re not. A 16 year old got it and was able to manage 2 in diapers over a weekend :)

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  • Marykay

    Thanks! that is pretty much what I have heard regarding NB CD. I have purchased a few used lil joeys which is a line by Rumparooz specifically for preemie/tiny newborns. Glad you like the Rumparooz, hopefully the LJ will work for us

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  • Lisa @ A Little Slice of Life

    I used grovua diaper with my son and they took a ton of prepping for them not to leak, I’m talking wash and dry at least 10 times, but after that they were fabulous.

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  • Kristi

    I’m so glad you’re doing this series! It’s soooo helpful to beginners like me. The only ones I’ve found in a store near me are Grovias and gDiapers. A friend gave me a few g’s to try and I like them enough to give cloth a try with my almost 2 year old and do more with my 3rd on the way. My question is a total newbie one. :) Are you going to tell anything about the prefolds? That’s the one thing I don’t really get. I understand how some covers can use them but do you just fold the big old cloth diaper up and put the huge thing in there? Or maybe I just don’t really know what a prefold is?

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    Krysta Bauer Reply:

    I don’t think Katie is reviewing any prefolds, but I can tell you. I love prefolds for newborns especially, and they are actually less bulky than many of my other diapers, especially the one-size ones.
    A prefold is probably the diaper that comes to mind when you think of what used to be used for diapering. It is a rectangle that has a thicker pad in the middle and thinner material on each side of that pad.
    The easiest way to use them is to simply fold the thinner sides over the center and then lay it in a cover and put it on the baby. Almost any cover will work in this way, as long as it gets snug around the waist. There are some covers that are poofy all over and those won’t work for this method. You can also fold prefolds in several ways and use pins, or a snappi (easy to us pinless fastener).
    When I started using cloth 5 years ago I resisted prefolds and flats, and now I wish I had started with them. They are for sure my workhorse, favorite diapers. I often put them in pocket diapers to make changing easier for dad, but I find them easiest just to lay in a cover.
    Hope that helps!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Kristi,
    I did review one prefold, with the Econobum cover, and I do love it. They hold a lot and are very frugal. I’ll talk more on that kind of option next week; many, many people go through lots of kinds of cloth diapers and then end up loving prefolds!
    :) Katie

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  • Charlotte

    Katie, I just want to thank you for this thorough, detailed review!!! You have saved me so much work. :) I switched my 3rd baby to cloth when she was a year old, and for any babies in the future I’d never go back to Pampers. But I got basic prefolds with nylon pants, and although I loved them for a toddler, I want something without pull-on pants for a small baby. I had thought Flips seemed perfect, but now like some others better after reading your tips. Thank you!

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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