Just this morning I had a cute baby on my lap, typing away, when I heard the telltale putter of a BM in action.
It didn’t sound ominous at all, just average size, maybe even on the small end of the spectrum, not too forceful. Still, wise mama that I am, I wasn’t about to let him sit in it and ON it and risk having poop sneak out onto his clothes. I held him against my front, careful not to squeeze the diaper, and started to head upstairs.
Things felt awfully warm and wet on my belly, and a quick peek confirmed it – more out than in!
“What diaper do I have to blame for this one?” I asked my husband, who had changed a wet leak an hour before. Since we reviewed 24 brands of cloth diapers a few years ago, we’re constantly feeling out which ones lasted for the long haul for this next baby and which are giving up on us.
Apparently, he was so frustrated by the short time that cloth diaper had been on our 4-month-old that he put him in a disposable so as to avoid another leak.
I wouldn’t have been looking at a palm-sized poopstain coming through the back of a onesie if he had just stuck with cloth. (They have tighter elastic around the waist compared to disposables’ rather open top band, if you’ve not used cloth diapers recently.)
But I don’t blame him – we went through a LOT of leaks, confusion, and the quite hard work of keeping 24 diapers straight to test them out three years ago, and although it’s much easier this time for a couple of reasons, cloth still has sort of a scarlet letter on it around here.
I feel like I really have a view from above this time around, the big picture of the “best cloth diaper” question instead of being right in the trenches trying to figure everything out at once.
You can read a little bit more about our cloth diaper background and how I feel about cloth on newborns if you like, and in this post I’m going to finally answer the question of the ONE brand of diapers I bothered to buy more of to round out our stash for little Gabriel.
When you’ve tried over two dozen brands of something, you start to figure out what’s important after a while.
And when it comes to cloth diapers, here are the criteria I prioritize:
- Effectiveness – obviously, it’s pretty handy when diapers are tight enough around the legs and waist to actually hold in BMs and also absorbent enough to hold in urine.
- Ease of use – I want my diapers to be quick to put together, cover + insert, and easy to take care of after the change as well. That means I prefer the diapers where the insert lays inside and touches the baby’s skin rather than pocket diapers which need to be stuffed beforehand, and at least the one-opening kind need to be “unstuffed” or shaken apart after the change.
- Reusable – I’m not being redundant here, don’t worry. I mean that I want to be able to reuse one cover for multiple (wet) changes so I can own fewer covers and do less laundry. That again means no pocket diapers. (We’ve been treating our pockets like regular shells this go round, laying inserts in them without bothering with the stuffing and reusing them anyway if they’re not too soaked.) This also means that the inserts can’t be straight microfiber, which was the most common insert we owned, since the microfiber is too rough to put directly on baby’s skin.
- Longevity – will the cover last for more than one child? Lots of ours started wearing out at the elasticity level, creating dangerous gaps around the legs (dangerous for poopy leaks, not baby). Some of them began losing their waterproof qualities as the PUL gave out. Not so great!
- Flexible Sizing – I really wanted to be able to cloth diaper my newborn without buying a tiny stash of tiny diapers. I packed them up over a year ago in two bags, labeled “smaller – might fit right away” and “larger – for later.” It was an interesting experience trying all the “smaller” brands on Gabe that first month to see which ones actually worked. Have you guessed that there weren’t very many in this category?
I started trying to take pictures of each diaper on our little guy for you all, but just remember that I was still a recently-postpartum-mama trying to keep it all together, and the best I could do was usually on the changing table, sometimes with a flash at night, with a point-and-shoot camera. And he was starting to get older before I even thought of it, almost two months! You’ll just have to imagine the legs being quite a bit skinnier for that true newborn phase.
RELATED: 5 Surprising Reasons for Toddler Tantrums & Are Cell Phones for Toddlers a Good Idea?
The big question with all these diapers is the leg fit:
- Does the leg fit securely on a newborn, or almost newborn?
- Does the leg fit securely on a slightly older child?
- If not, is it because the elastic is wearing out completely or perhaps because 2-year-old legs are just bigger than newborn legs and the diapers all got a little stretched out when John’s thunder thighs filled them up?
I’ll be updating every single diaper at the massive review post with the “will it last for two kids?” update summary, and I’ll dish out on what we experienced here too. Ready? Here goes!
I’ll review them in reverse order of how much we like them now, ending with our ultimate favorite.
Not Worth Beans
Never liked them, still don’t bother with them (have given or thrown away for the most part):
- Hiney Liney
- Oh Katy!
- Ones and Twos
- Itti Bitti Tutto
Remember that you can see my thoughts on all of these in the post where I first reviewed all those cloth diapers, which includes 6-month and one-year updates to share how each diaper fared over time.
Used to Like it, but Stuff Happened
All of these were initially very good diapers, Kawaii and Econobum among my favorites, but they all had serious sustainability problems:
- Kawaii – got all stretched out before John was even done with it, elastic totally played out on one leg, which kind of kills the whole “frugal” benefit.
- Econobum – started losing elasticity as well and is on probation for probably leakage problems. These are super cheap, so they might still be worth it, but it’s frustrating not to be able to use them for two kids. It’s the last one we grab if we’re totally out of diapers, but I need to retire the cover, really. (However – Econobum’s organic liners would be a good investment to go with other covers!)
- Bumkins – just another two-opening pocket diaper. It showed its age quite a bit with some elasticity issues and leaks right through the PUL (which might be my fault because of detergent, but it’s retired nonetheless). We’re using Molly’s Suds cloth diaper detergent from one of our current sponsors right now and I’ve been really happy with the results. (Use the code kitchen for 20% off your order.)
- Grovia – once the tightest fastener out there, Grovia’s aplix got curly, so it struggles to sustain its grip nowadays. It is also having elastic problems around the legs and leakage:
Grovia, above: this is baby at two months old, so the legs are certainly starting to fill out. See the big gap above the leg though? You can also see how the fastener is pulling away from the diaper; it just won’t stay flat, so not enough of the aplix is touching the surface. We’re using it, but we know if he has a BM in it, we’re in trouble! So I wouldn’t invest in this brand, personally.
Just Fine…but Nothing Groundbreaking
- Tiny Tush – just another one-opening pocket diaper. It’s on probation for leaking a few times, but that might be because I washed some diapers in the wrong soap a few years back.
- Fuzzibunz – has held up well and gets bigtime points for fitting a small baby! However – it falls over on the other end and doesn’t fit large babies well, and it’s also nearly impossible to stuff. We just lay the liners inside the cover now and it’s a happier situation. Longevity = great because you could replace the elastic; the diapers even come with an extra set.
- Bum Genius – just another one-opening pocket diaper. The quality remained very good, so I have nothing bad to say about its construction, and it sized down well to a mid-sized baby, about 2-3 months, but too bulky for a newborn.
- Go Green – I want to love this one because it’s a two-opening pocket diaper that will agitate its own liners out, works fine with the liners just laid in, and also sizes wayyyy down and wayyyy up to fit even a 4yo at night.
Fuzzibunz, above: You can see that the trim fit of Fuzzibunz, which is super annoying when trying to stuff the inserts, works well on a new infant. The ‘sizing down’ is done by elastic with buttons around the legs and waist, which is harder to adjust than the snap-downs but more effective on getting the right size. However, it’s not as easy to adjust as my favorite…
Bum Genius, above: There’s a little gapping at two months, but in reality it’s not as bad as it looks (i.e. BMs don’t run down the leg like crazy. In the front view you can see how it sizes down with the snaps, although you can also tell it’s pretty darn bulky on this little guy.
Go Green, above: You can see in the photo on the right how huge the diaper really is, and it looks a little silly on a tiny baby, but it’s amazing that it’s not really gapping on the leg! It’s having some leaking problems however, and it still has 3 snaps (harder for other people to put on for sure) and hasn’t stood out from the crowd enough.
Like it Better Now than I Sounded in the First Review!
Thirsties (found on Amazon) – I started out loving Thirsties and their double gussets, then turned on them because they looked like they were showing their wear so fast, and the aplix was coming off my bigger guy – the diaper would even fall off inside his pants! But for a newborn, the Thirsties fit surprisingly well around the leg within the first month, and although they were bulky on him, they held in what they needed to hold in. (Gabe is about 2 months old in the photo, and his thighs are obviously getting lovably chunky, but they really did fit well at one month – the double gusset is the key.)
They might not look gorgeous, but the elastic has held up better than 50% of the other brands, and the fasteners are fine on a younger not-so-active baby. So I would tentatively recommend Thirsties again, perhaps leaning toward snaps for longevity.
Ummm…Totally Lost These
- Flip – I have a feeling I’d still love the Flip…but I have no idea where it is. Maybe it was a casualty of the wrong detergent or I lent it to someone. ???
- Tuck and Go – I also loved the Tuck, except that it had super scratchy Velcro on the outside that hurt babies’ tummies. Where it is now, I don’t know!
- Sprout Change – we used Sprout as swim diapers for a year or two after we quit cloth with number two…so I didn’t feel like it would be a fair fight to use them after all that chlorine in pools. BUT the fabric really holds up so nicely; they still look like new. They adjust with elastic and buttons much like the Fuzzibunz, so I imagine they would fit the legs great and would still very much recommend the brand.
Has Some Very Redeeming Qualities That Put it Ahead of its Peers
- all fitteds we reviewed (Kissaluvs and more) – There’s still nothing like a fitted with a Marvel cover to contain everything.
- Marvel cover
The fitted diaper (left) holds a lot and can even make up for some of the leg gappage in other covers. The Marvel cover (found on Amazon) is amazing and has double gussets (see them there on the right?) which are like a suit of armor for poops. The Marvel is pretty large, so I had to wait until about 3 months to get it out. The only potential problem is if a grandma puts a fitted diaper on and doesn’t realize it needs a separate cover because it looks like a diaper already. That may have happened recently. It doesn’t work all that well!
Thank goodness we had Branch Basics on hand, a natural cleaner that can get the smell out of fabrics that can’t go in the washing machine. :/ They’re a current sponsor, and if you’re a new customer you can get 20% off your order with the code KS20.
My old review surprised me by saying that the diaper was leaking through the PUL, because we really haven’t had significant problems with it. Perhaps smaller infants urinate so much less that it wasn’t a problem, yet? I would recommend this cover/fitted combo for overnights for sure!
The Motherease is a beast of an all-in-one, humongous and takes two days to dry if you hang it, but it’s worth machine drying this one because it holds. in. everything. It’s a great overnight diaper, and I stand by that, although a bit of a pain for daytime because the snaps are hard to fasten. For some reason I don’t have new photos of these two; maybe because I had to wait for both to get them out.
The BEST Cloth Diaper for Newborn to Toddler
This diaper has it all together, truly:
- Effectiveness – It rarely leaks, even at the newborn stage. Either kind of insert, bamboo or “soft-touch” microfiber, absorb wonderfully.
- Ease of use – Choose aplix or snaps, both are super. The diaper has a little stretch to it, so it’s easier to put on and off IMO and to make it fit just right. Because you can snap in the inserts, you can have diapers prepped and ready for babysitters who might not be used to cloth, but you don’t have to take time to stuff pockets because you can also just grab and go without snapping, no biggie. All the inserts can touch baby’s skin because the microfiber ones have a side that is soft for bums.
- Reusable – We’ve had great luck hanging them to dry and reusing over and over.
- Longevity – The fabric is still gorgeous on our old ones, practically luxurious. The aplix fastener has held up probably the best of any that I received three years ago, and the elastic is fantastic.
- Flexible Sizing – They come with short and long inserts, so it sizes down to newborn great on the inside. But it’s the slide-2-size that really makes it special. You just use a little pinchable resizing thing (see below) to quickly tighten and loosen as baby grows. These diapers definitely went right down to newborn size and were the only ones we loved using in the first few weeks (other than the few newborn covers that we borrowed, which were almost too small to contain the inserts they came with).
I’m not a gusher, people. I take great joy in pointing out the downfalls of products I review so that you don’t have to deal with problems.
But Softbums are really, really making me happy lately!!!
(That’s a lot of exclamation points for me. I’m talking serious here.)
It brought such a level of clarity to just be a regular person, not always reviewing everything, and trying cloth on a second child. When I was just a mom using these diapers, it was so clear which ones I wanted to buy more of, and when a really great deal from Softbums landed in my email during December, I jumped at it. (You might want to get on their email list to watch for sales and coupons.) The diapers aren’t cheap, but in my experience they’re worth the cost because of how well they hold up and how versatile they have proven to be.
If you’re in the market for cloth diapers, I highly recommend Softbums. You can shop around for pricing below, although prices for covers seem to be the same across the board, $21.95 per cover everywhere. Watch for coupons! I got a package with a few covers and 6 inserts, which is a great idea. I love the bamboo inserts but couldn’t quite stomach $10 more per insert, but shop around because prices do vary on those.
- Softbums main site ($2.95-8.95 pods) and their money-saving packages
- Sweet Bottoms Baby ($2.95-15.95 for the various pods)
- Squishy Tushy ($4.25 Bamboo Mini Pod, $8.95 Large Bamboo Pod)
- The Green Nursery ($3.95-11.95 pods)
- Amazon (Not seeing single inserts on Amazon)
I’m happy to answer any questions you have about any of these diapers, and remember that there’s a very, very long review of all two dozen brands (with videos of each one so you can see them in action!) right HERE. That post will be updated with the info from here later, but for now, I’m off to play with my kids!
I’m well known for honest, thorough product reviews…
…and you can always tell a real family has run these products through the gauntlet.
When I review a type of item, I try to review a LOT of different brands! From over a dozen reusable sandwich bags to over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, I’m your girl for straight-up info about natural, real foodie items you’re considering buying.
Click here to see more product reviews and you’ll also love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!
84 thoughts on “The Only Cloth Diaper I Bothered Buying (BEST Brand Newborn to Toddler!)”
Hello, can you recommend a good overnight diaper for a three year old and beyond?
Hi Rachel! I loved the Marvel and Motherease for my babies as they got older! Softbums might work if they get big enough (3yos vary in size a lot) but those 2 Ms are the real workhorses. To be honest though – by the time we were only using nighttime diapers, I couldn’t get enough for a valid “load of laundry” before they were too stinky, so we used pull-ups. That was when I started praying potty training would work! 😉 It didn’t always kick in though…
Hope you find the right one for your child!
Thanks so much for taking the time to put your experience and trial and error with cloth diapers in this post. I am expecting with my first and I assumed that buying cloth diapers would be easy. Now I feel very overwhelmed but this post will help me sort it all out.
Thank you again for this informative post!! You are helping many new moms like me!!!
I LOVE Lalabye Baby! They are 3in1 diaper. I can use it as a pocket, AIO or OI2 depending on my mood 🙂 They are trimmed, cute and don’t leak. How great is that!? The other 3in1 I like is Funky Fluff Lux Bamboo Diaper (Canada) but they are very slow in stocking their USA reseller. Most of them sold out or only has 1 option available.
Before you even published this post, we decided to go exclusively with SoftBums Omni’s for our LO. This post closed the deal, and we haven’t looked back! I’m part of several cloth diapering pages on Facebook and I’m constantly referring people to SoftBums and this page so they can see what these awesome diapers are all about 🙂
That’s so fun to hear Ashley, thanks for the referrals! 🙂 Katie
Hi, Katie! Let me say I’m quite impressed by the effort you took on this review and of course, taking care of little Gabriel (he should be a gigant by now!).
I’m about to become a father (hopefully mid-December) and i’m reading every blog and book i can and i’m quite interested in cloth diapers. Some of my friends recommended Grovia ones but i got surprised by your words on them. 3 of my friends have been using Grovias for 3 or 4 kids now and no major issues but the learning curve related ones.
I’m trying to decide between buttons and velcro for the main lock, but i couldn’t even find any pros/cons about any of them. Would you be so kind to tell me, in your vast experience, which one would be better? Thanks!
Congrats on fatherhood, Sum, you’re really grabbing it by the horns!
Pro of velcro – way faster to put on.
Con of velcro – way faster for the baby to pull off! Another is that they can tend to stick to everything in the dryer.
Pro of snaps – longevity. Velcro will wear out much sooner.
Con of snaps – takes more dexterity to put on.
I personally kind of like velcro for smaller babies (who can’t get their diaper off yet) and snaps for older, but they’re really both good. Get a mix for your first dozen diapers and see what you like!
The only two brands I likes were #1 Gdiapers and #2 rumparoozs. Tried many those worked best for us.
I am in need of advice on cloth diapers. My almost 6 mo son has very sensitive skin. We were using seventh generation diapers on him and the papery part, without the absorbency material, caused a bad rash. So our derm recommended we try earths best diapers. The papery elastic trim that starts from the inside of the diaper is reirritating his skin. So, it’s time for cloth diapers. Regular pampers and Huggies type diapers gave him contact dermatitis.
Do you think softbums would be good for super sensitive skin? Also, which material for inserts? The shell? I have no idea where to begin with cloth diapering and I want to make sure I try to get what’s best for his bum. Sorry for the long post! I really need help and I felt like I needed to give some background on my babes super sensitive skin.
Your poor little guy (and mama)! That’s so hard. I don’t know that I can weigh in with any experience on this issue, but I would recommend trying an organic insert (not microfiber) to start. Seems safer! I would try a few, maybe buy 4 diapers, and see what happens. For some babies, their dermatitis clears right up with cloth, for others, it can get worse because of the wetter feeling on the skin. I’m hoping it works wonders for you! 🙂 Katie
No best bottoms?? Love them and flip. I have softbums and want to love them so bad but they leak everytime in the leg area.
Hi there ! I currently am using thirsties but they are so bulky my little guy can’t fitbin any clothes. Is the soft bums more trim fitting?
Yes, I would say Soft Bums are slightly more trim than Thirsties. It kind of comes down to how heavy you stuff them too IMO.
Most of the brands I use aren’t on this list. SoftBums were the first cloth diapers I bought. HATED then. Got Morakis and hated those too. I LOVE my Best Bottoms, Nicki’s Bamboo AIOs, Lalabyes, Funky Fluffs, and Blueberry diapers. I have Smart Bottoms and Grovias, which are okay. And I have rumparooz covers on the way. I tried a rumparooz pocket and wasn’t a fan, but hoping the cover is less bulky 🙂 this list honestly leaves out most of the good brands.
Interesting! I’ve heard of a couple of those but not all – my major review was 2012 so I wonder how many (probably lots) have come on the market since then. Thanks for adding to the list! 🙂 Katie
I have tried SO many different brands and softbums are by far our absolute favorite! I can’t Believe they’re not as popular as others! They’re incredibly trim, fit like a glove, absorbent (with bamboo pods, MF not so much) and I can put any type of pants on my son without issues. Can’t even tell he’s got cloth on. Only problem I’m having is not enough money to buy more!:)
Have you ever reviewed the brand happy flute AIO for newborns..it’s a Chinese eBay buy. If so, curious what you thought.
That one isn’t familiar to me, no Jax, Sorry. 🙂 Katie
Thanks for the very thorough reviews! You are right cloth diapers are very easy to use, reusable and also very helpful when we are going outside there is no tension about baby changing clothes, and also comfortable for baby, and my baby wear Fuzzibunz and Thirsties both are very good and comfortable.
Wow! What on earth happened to those poor Grovia diapers!?!?! Looks like they have been poorly mistreated. Not only are they in poor shape, but the diaper isn’t even put on properly. This is a very unfair review of Grovia, in my opinion. I’m using shells that are 4 years old and have been on multiple children. If you properly take care of your diapers and make even a remote effort to put them on properly, there is no way they could possible look like that. I hope people don’t take this review too seriously.
I hang them to dry 95% of the time, used cloth diaper detergent…not sure what else I could have done. Do you have any tips on care? I’m all ears, believe me! I like Grovia at first a lot, but then the fastener really started going… Thanks, Katie
I disagree with your review of GroVia. We use their hybrid system and have for two years. It’s our go to for overnights, nap time, and long trips. We use the stay dry insert and a stay dry booster, or the no prep insert and a stay dry booster.
The aplix gave us no issues after many uses, and this brand fit our tiny baby best earliest. We also use snaps to prevent toddler removal. Of all the brands we’ve used GroVia is definitely our favorite.
We have been exclusively diapering with Grovia (mix of snap/aplix shells used with stay dry and no prep inserts and also a handful of O.N.E.’s) for about 18 months and I was very surprised to read such a negative review of their product. The picture you posted of the nature print shell – I must ask if you bought the shell used. That is an older retired print and the way your tabs have curled and the elastic has relaxed leads me to believe it has seen way more than 2 months of use or perhaps wasn’t laundered correctly (by tucking the tabs into the laundry loops and ensuring the aplix is flattened before hanging to dry). We have not seen that amount of wear on our shells in 18 months of use and we haven’t also been rotating between several other brands the way you have. I appreciate your honest and candid reviews but would love to know a little more info regarding the history of that particular shell. ????
I got the GroVia directly from the company 3 years ago to test a bunch of brands out with our child no. 3 – see the initial reviews with video of it when it really was only 5 mos. old or so here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2012/04/24/cloth-diaper-review-whats-the-best-cloth-diaper-for-you/
I do not take the time to tuck tabs into loops, no.
I’ll add another vote for Thirsties AIOs. I really enjoy having everything all together and just being able to throw the whole thing in a diaper can (just like throwing a disposable in the garbage) and forgetting about it until laundry time. You’re right, the aplix SUCKS. But the snaps are wonderful. You do have to get 2 sizes, BUT that helped me by less of each size because there is definitely a few months where you can use your small size adjusted all the way big, and your large size adjusted all the way small. I did a load of them every other day because it was just so easy. And no having to stuff them when they’re done in the wash. (I have enough laundry to fold!:) I’m expecting #4 and the Thirsties AIO’s I used for my daughter will still work for this baby. (Although I”m sure I won’t be able to resist buying more!)
Ellie, I like Thirsties too, for the most part. All-in-2s are really convenient too, same with the throw in the bucket, then not having to stuff. 🙂 Katie
Had my boys on diaper service 20+ years ago and they had rectangles the had 14 layers of soft flannel in the middle third and 7 layers on the sides. You’d just fold these rectangles differently depending on boys/girls as well as size of baby. Then they had the waterproof velcro covers. I loved these because I had skinny babies and everything else leaked. When they went out of business I bought a bunch the used them as rags later on. The just got softer with use and lasted forever.
Whatever happened to good old bird’s eye diapers and rubber pants? They worked great. Probably dating myself but I used them on 3 kids. But with the cost of water where I live we used luvs diapers on the great grandson.
wow… I cannot even imagine trying out 25 diapers?! I went with GMD sized prefolds, workhorse fitteds, flats (I thought I’d need back ups as I bought only 12 prefolds) and variety of covers on the same website… even bought used covers on ebay for fun. Never needed anything else. Never had a leak… Everytime I hear about parents having leaks I know they arent using cotton prefolds! I also have Bummis baby sized prefolds from ebay WELL WORN OUT! I feel sorry for all the troubles you went through! Green Mountain Diapers is where it’s at! She is a cloth diaper expert. I learned everything off of her website as she writes very informative articles about everything she sells. EXCELLENT customer service… I’m not affiliated with GMD (apart from being a totally satisfied customer!) hahaha just cannot imagine going through all these woes in Cding! I throw all my stuff into the washer, grab the tiniest amount of Tide and wash it and dryer it all! When my (large, off the Dr.’s growth charts!) son was still nursing throughout the night till 11 months of age, I no longer wanted to change him cause it would wake him up too much. I then bought some hemp inserts, again, from GMD. And added only one to his Workhorse fitted… I didnt have to change him in the night nursing sessions, from 7pm to 7am! I hope this helps someone else avoid “trying” out cloth diapers by the dozens! Grab some cute covers and prefolds and move on with baby and life! Prefolds are CHEAP!
I LOVE GMD prefolds! I also watched for their “seconds” and bought that way for baby #2. Super affordable then.
I wish I would have gotten my hands on some GMD back then – but don’t worry, I tried out 25 brands because I wanted to for the blog. It’s just what I do, so I can explain them to others! 😉 Katie
Love your reviews! Maybe I missed it, but do these hold up well? Do you think it’s possible, if using these exclusively, that the same set would last from newborn until ready to potty train?
I’ve found that the Softbums hold up VERY well. I had over 25 brands of diaper covers, and I used them for one baby from 5 mos. until about age 2, and now we’re at 10 mos. with baby no. 2 in cloth. Some of them lost their elastic, others the fasteners…but I still use both Softbums covers without problem (although the company did replace one that had a problem with its tightening apparatus). I can’t promise – but I can say that they have a good chance of lasting the whole time! 🙂 Katie
Thank you for these reviews! I was given three practically-new softbums Echo covers and heaps of microfiber inserts, from a friend who was getting too many leaks with them. I sooo want to love them, and I adore the adjustable leg elastic design, but I’m getting a lot of leaks too and have to change the insert on my two month old every hour or so to avoid leaking. I read your previous review in which you found the bamboo didn’t leak but the microfiber did…. Just wondering if you’re using microfiber now? If so, any insight into why they’re working better? Thanks so much!
Hi Monica! Depending on the age of your baby, I almost always use 2 inserts, no matter what brand insert or cover I’m using. So at 2 months…you might need two. ? I do use the microfiber mostly right now. Good luck! 🙂 Katie
PS – If you have hand-me-down inserts, it’s possible they need to be “stripped” because they have build-up that is making them non-absorbent.
Wow thanks for this follow-up review! From your first review I went with Softbums OMNI and I LOVED them! The slide to size was really the best part. I’m pregnant now with my second and started searching to see if I should switch systems. I loved them, but the slide-to-size broke on several diapers and the elastic piece started separating from the cover. But after this follow-up review, I’m now more confident that I’ll just buy a few new covers. We found that the speciality prints held up much better than the white and soft blue. Maybe an artifact of large production? We had an ammonia problem for a few months, but switched detergents and that helped tremendously.
Thanks so much for taking the time!
I am also planning on using the OMNI Softbums. What kind of detergent did you find worked best for washing them?
We totally love the SoftBums, too!!! But we have only ever used their bamboo inserts.
We bought our first few SoftBums after our mild child got HORRIBLE rashes/ammonia burns with some of the other cloth diaper microfiber inserts (he had super sensitive skin- we even went to only using warm water on reusable cloths to clean his skin). The website I bought most of my diapers thru recommended bamboo (supposed to be less build up issues & naturally antimicrobial, as well super absorbent).
Man, have those inserts & diapers lasted….We’ve diapered 3 children for 5 years (with other diapers, too, but the SoftBums used constantly as they are just about everyones “fave”). In that time, I think we have had one of the “slide-to-size” break, and I finally noticed some “wear holes” starting on the backside of some of the original bamboo inserts. Velcro is still working though!
On the velcro subject, for the Thirsties brand (and some others with the velcro also on the backside of the tabs), when the velcro starts not holding any more, we just buy a strip of the sew-on velcro (6″ or so?- depends on “width” between the tabs on your baby), take only the “rough” side and use it hold the diaper closed- so hooks on the backside of one tab, all the way across velcro in middle, to the backside of the tab on the otherside of the diaper. In a pinch, my hubby has even used the velcro electical cord wraps for this. 🙂
I am going to buy some of the softbums, & I was just curious. Did you prefer the echo or Omni (pocket)?
Since currently I’m using them both exactly the same, I would go with the less expensive. 🙂 They act the same except for the pocket…so if you really want pocket functionality, like maybe if you have some other inserts that won’t snap in and will have babysitters helping with cloth diapering sometimes, you might want the Omni. Otherwise, the Echo is quite sufficient! 🙂 Katie
Have you hears of lil helpers diapers? I dont knlw anyone that has used them yet. Theyre a small company in Canada.. 2 dads own the company… supposedly theyre good.
Just wanting to see of youve ever heard of them?
I kind of just want to buy them and try them out even though theyre not one of tethe more ‘ppopular- ones
No, Mimi, that one is a new one to me, sorry – Katie
I agree with the above comment about the SoftBums Omni. It was great for me functionally, but looked so ridiculous (HUGE fluffy butt).
I settled on Ragababe as my primary cloth stash go-to diapers. Simply. AMAZING. They’re probably not large-scale enough to hit most people’s radar though. But I’m SO glad that a friend hooked me on them.
I also use Best Bottoms, and after 1+ year of diapering (and now two in diapers!), the covers are holding up great, as well as the inserts!
Hi! I am a FTM and came across your website and thoroughly read all your reviews (and others) have settled on SoftBums! I wanted to know if you had a preference between the velcro or snap closure. I plan on having several babes so I would like to have a closure that lasts. With both, problems could definitely arise (the velcro strength could decrease over time or the snaps may not snap well). Thanks so much in advance!!
I went with both – the velcro has held up really well, but the snaps will still likely be best for longevity. Velcro is quicker for changes and easier for others to jump in and do. Snaps can’t be taken off by an older child toddling around. 🙂 Katie
Also chubby babies do better in snap closures and trim babies do better in Velcro in my experience
I, too, was very thankful for your detailed reviews. It helped me choose many of my first diapers to begin CD my 3rd baby (wish I had started sooner!). I also have softbums (omni) at the bottom of my stash as my worst performing diaper. It leaks everytime, unless I use a different insert. I wanted to purchase the bamboo inserts, but couldn’t justify the cost. Fitteds with a cover (sbish mini, kissa 0, and the thirsties duo 1) were ideal for the newborn stage, with no explosions. At 7 months, we like BG freetime and Blueberry simplex for the day and sbish fitteds with a cover for night.
Huh! Bummer…could your inserts have been compromised somehow, I wonder, and be non absorbent? Maybe a good stripping? I’m sorry to hear that (but glad you found some favs!). 🙂 Katie
I was head over heels with the concept of Softbums while pregnant, and because the company is based in my state, I actually got to meet the owner (they opened a storefront right next to my husband’s work). I chose not to use them because: 1) I wanted natural fiber, not polyester (I have heard bamboo is not very sustainable for fiber production so the bamboo insert option didn’t sway me) and 2) they are made in China, and I try to avoid those products if possible. We went with prefolds and flats under Thirsties and Bummis covers, and I also got BabeeGreens and Disana wool covers. I saved $$ by not getting a huge fitted stash but man are they nice! (we have a couple Green Mountain Diapers Workhorse fitteds) I could have saved more by DIYing or buying up cycled wool covers, but they were my splurge. Glad to hear you are liking your diaper choice so far!
Sounds like you found some good ones, Danielle! Softbums told me that the covers and bamboo inserts are made in the US and the dryfits in China…but if you talked to the owner, maybe you have better intel?
All of the SoftBums Shells and bamboo PODs are made right here in the US, but the DryTouch PODs. We have actually been to the sewing facility in China that makes our DryTouch PODs to oversee things, and they are awesome people. We really took our time finding good people to work with and have been happy with them for about 9 years now!
I was sad to see that both Bummis and Blueberry covers were missed out on. Ive got Bummis covers that are on their third bums in the toddler sizes (48 months+). Some of our bummis size smalls have been on five or more newborn bums. The whisper wraps especially last for(almost)ever. Our Blueberry covers are newer but seem to be holding up amazingly.
I keep hearing about these brands, so now I’m sad I didn’t get them, either! 🙂 Katie
We loved MotherEase Sandy’s fitteds for nights. I really liked their covers, too, although we used Disana wool covers at night. We almost never had a leak issue. I also used prefolds with Thirsties covers during the day. When ever DH changed a diaper, he always use the Sandy’s. He liked the diapers and covers that simply snapped on.
Thanks for the very thorough reviews! I prefer fitteds with a separate cover, and I take every opportunity to tell people that Dappi nylon diaper pants are excellent covers that cost only $3 each! They contain leaks very well, wash easily, dry quickly, and are not bulky.
I was really surprised Ragababe didn’t make the list. They are my favorite by a landslide. Not to mention they hold their value well.
BK – with two dozen brands, I know I missed some good ones. I’m always curious how reader favs would shake out here! 🙂 Katie
I agree dappi covers are good and affordable. When I first did CD, I used a service, and those were the covers they had.
I do prefolds, which of course are a whole different animal. But I love the Thirsties covers for the prefolds so much! It’s amazing what a good cloth diaper can do. For overnights my favorite is the Motherease. I especially love the Motherease for when Grandma is putting her to sleep and I don’t have to give a her a complicated inserts plus prefold explanation.
This is exactly what we do, too! Katy is right in that the Thirsties aplix and elastic wear out, but seeing how great they work for us and the price is good, I am happy with just buying more when they wear out. We used Thirsties on our 7 lb newborn and had no trouble with leaks. We use a Snappi on the prefolds and my 10 year old can even manage that!
Same here! A prefold secured with a Snappi with either a Thirsties or Flip cover or wool soaker/shorties/longies (my personal favorite, but I’m a knitter).
Prefolds and covers seems like the expensive route compared to AIO diaper. Because every time your baby grows you have to move up to the next size and pay 150 dollars for prefolds depending the count.
We’ve done the Bummis infant sized prefolds from birth to potty training (2/2.5) with our heavy wetters. Baby #3 is in them now and still going strong at over a year. Our PF cost has been 150$ for 5 dozen. Covers run avg 16$ for sized covers that fitted birth to potty training. We have about 10 of those so tack on another 160$ Given that 3 dozen good pockets would run me $720, we have spent way less this route. We’ve been gifted some new AIO and pockets, and frankly they just didn’t stand up as well, certainly not through 3 babies.
I have two sizes of prefolds. They have lasted for four babies. I bought new “seconds” and I don’t think I paid $150. They probably would have lasted longer if I still had a front loading washing machine.
I didn’t see my two all-time favorites listed, both all-in-ones: the bumGenius Freetime and the Blueberry Simplex. I have been cloth diapering for almost five years and have tried almost every brand and style imaginable, and the Freetime is what I use almost exclusively now. I just layer a hemp liner or two under the flaps to turn it into a nighttime diaper. Anyway, wish I’d had your reviews when I first started out!
We were given a Blueberry Simplex, used, and it is an excellent diaper! I love the attached insert that comes out of the pocket in the washing machine–no unstuffing needed, and it is easy to re-stuff. My daughter is 10 months and is still able to use this as a nighttime diaper (with one extra insert) without leaks.
I don’t even stuff them…I just leave the flap out! I got lazy after my second son was born and I had two in diapers at the same time. 🙂
What hemp brand inserts do you use?
Dang. My kids are a few years past the diaper stage, but all I had to choose from was prefolded or flat gauze, with rubber pants. It sure was a lot cheaper than all these options today! But I will admit, I was never comfortable using them when going out for a while. I remember begging a disposable off somebody in the cry room during Mass because I didn’t think we’d need to bring an extra….
First let me say I love the thoroughness of your reviews! But it’s so funny that the Softbums have been the worst for us! Leaks every. single. time. Guess that’s why there are so many diaper options out there. I personally prefer a Kissaluvs, Motherease or Tiny Tush fitted with a Thirsties cover. Those have worked well for 3 kids. Oh, and the Motherease bedwetter pants are awesome!
That is wild, Myra! Could it have been the inserts/absorbency of them? Fitted are awesome. 🙂 Katie
I have no idea! I think it was somehow just the fit of them. Either way, glad they work for you!
I came along a similar journey. I don’t stuff pocket diapers (no way!) but just lay my inserts right in, which is fine with non-microfiber inserts (which my kids don’t do well with anyway). So I use fuzzibuns, Charlie Banana (which I love even more!), and my only softbums. I’m using Joeybunz hemp inserts with them and just lay them in instead of stuffing. Only bummer about soft-bums – when they are old, the elastic thing loosens over time, it isn’t firmly in place the way buttons are. This is where I like charlie banana brand better. Glad you found a dipe you like. There so sooo many options anymore!
I have been looking at charlie banana and was unsure about stuffing them. Just laying the insert inside works? that might have just sold me on them!
Yes, I just lay the inserts in, I hate stuffing.
I’ve been using Alva baby (pockets & snaps) and have been extremely pleased with their performance considering they were very inexpensive . I’m on my 2nd baby with them and only 2 (both white ones) of 20 have given me issues . The inside clear layer of the covers has separated which I assume makes them unusable? I also have 1 Kauai and its ok, but not my favorite. Alva baby cds fit my baby girls from 8 lbs to 25-ish. I cant remember how big my daughter was when she stopped using them (around her 2nd b’day). I use 3-layer microfiber inserts now with my 4 month old but found I needed to upgrade to 4-layer bamboo inserts when my daughter got older (18 mos-ish?). Bamboo takes so much longer to air dry than microfiber inserts!
We bought one Softbums Omni, and it is the only diaper I’ve given away. It didn’t leak or anything (the sizing was neat, similar to Fuzzibunz we like), but it just looked so ODD. The crotch and butt area gave a whole new meaning to the term “fluffy butt”! They were huge! I don’t get it. Maybe it would fit her now at 5 months, but I really wasn’t a fan. :/ Did you use the Omni or a different one?
Fitteds, especially hybrid fitteds, are becoming my cloth diaper love. I loved pockets at first, but stuffing two wet bags worth of pockets every 3 days is annoying (I shudder to imagine having 2 or 3 kids in diapers and stuffing all those pockets!).
I have both Omni and Echo (they’re really similar in looks). I wonder if your inserts were different than mine? They have some really long inserts that we didn’t use at first when baby was under 12lbs or so. It’s amazing the different experiences people have!
Charlie banana aren’t practicle or easy to use at all! I have a stash of 12! You have to open the pocket to adjust the legs and it so hard to do and the pocket os so narrow it takes forever to get insert in and they always leaked for us. Not a fan at all! Super cute prints though!
I like softbums a lot. I can get a really good fit with them. But, I stopped reusing them for multiple changes when I noticed that since they are cloth, the smell of urine is really strong. They lasted about 4 years between 2 kids but lost its waterproofing so I recently retired them.
I used to LOVE Grovia, but for how expensive they are, they did not last 4 years. I kept using them even though they lost elasticity in the legs for how absorbent they are. But the hook and loop totally sucks. I tried the ONE but the Velcro attachment made it super bulky.
I love Thirsties bc of their fit, but they also lost their waterproofing after 4 years, and mainly leaks out the waistband. I still use them but make sure to change more frequently before a leak happens.
Bumkins have SO many buttons and are really customizable. I really only like their minky inserts and use it with other diapers.
I also have Charlie Banana that is pretty solid. It was in the clearance section at Buy Buy Baby so I had to try it.
I used Kanga when babies were newborns and loved them but didn’t get larger ones.
Flip and Bum Genius are still going strong after almost 5 years. I mainly have the covers, AIOs and some pockets that I just use as covers. If they leak, it’s around the waistband now.
I just bought a bunch of Alva Baby ones of Amazon because they are inexpensive and I needed to replace the Soft Bums and Grovia ones. They are okay, still feeling them out. But they are holding everything in so far.
Was hoping to see charlie bananas on this list. That’s my entire stash through two kids. Am wondering how much I’ll have to replace for baby 3
I never got my hands on one of that brand, but it’s at least the second or third time I’ve heard of it this weekend! Wonder how I missed it 3 years ago! 🙂 Katie