The Cloth in Peace, Love, Cloth – Part 1

It’s been missing. I know it has.  Here, to remedy the situation, is the first installment of what promises to be a very long series – reviews of every diapering accessory or diaper that I’ve ever tried. It’s quite a list. Don’t judge me.

Back when I first started this blog, I posted the contents of my “stash“. It’s somewhat humorous (unless you’re my husband or mother) but the only diapers that I started with that are still around are the Fuzzibunz… Oh, and the Kissa diaper pail liners. The rest have either been “re -homed” or are currently going through the adoption process. Hopefully. Why?  Well… I’m picky. And Leo’s a tad difficult to diaper. He grows fast, pees copiously, and quickly learned to remove diapers. At 7 months. Yeah, 7  months. Not 8 months or 12 months. SEVEN MONTHS. I honestly thought I’d have a BIT more time before the naked baby streaking began, but alas, my son was waaaaay ahead of me. I’ve made my peace with it.  I’m getting used to being two steps behind my super baby.  The result of these situations, however, is a long road littered with cast off diapers. Poor homeless diapers! 😦 The upshot – I’ve tried quite a few of the diapers and systems out there, and I have very firm opinions on most of them. Which, you guessed it – I’m now going to share. I’ll start with the diapers I started with.

bumGenius 4.0 one size pockets – I don’t get it. I really don’t. When I went to sell these, a bidding war broke out. These diapers have somehow become the holy grail of pocket diapers … and I’m lost as to why. Please don’t get me wrong – they’re not terrible. They are perfectly… adequate. They absorb pee and hold in poop. BUT – once you’ve tried a Fuzzibunz one size or an AppleCheeks two size – they just pale in comparison. The BG fleece inner isn’t ANYWHERE as soft and fluffy as the Fuzzibunz fleece. Their system of adjusting the sizing via snaps on the outside works fine if you have a calmish, smallish baby. Once my son put on weight (he’s a chubster) and hit the “fighting diaper changes” stage (at like… three weeks of age) – any diaper that you had to snap on the outside to adjust the sizing was a joke. He’d rip the snaps right out, end up in a diaper that was sized all wrong, and then pee all over the couch or some poor unsuspecting person who only wanted a cuddle, dang it! That said, I have friends who use nothing but BG’s. They love them. I’m fairly certain they want to strangle me every time I go off on my “WHY is bumGenius SO popular” rant. (Sorry, and I’m glad they work for you, I really am. Love you! <3)  You know what – bumGenius is popular for a reason. They work for a lot of families.  BUT let me just let you in on a little secret that a friend who runs a cloth diaper retail business passed on to me. According to him, on its retailer website, bumGenius plainly states that their diapers are only meant to last through one child. Yup – ONE. Now, I haven’t seen this with my own eyes – for obvious reasons, bumGenius doesn’t put this on their customer website. AND, you CAN buy replacement elastic for them very cheaply, thus prolonging their life span. But still, my source is reliable, and that just kinda ticks me off.

bumGenius one size Elemental All-In-One – Eeeh. I really liked the concept of an organic one size All-In-One, but they took FOREVER to dry (due to the hemp soaker AND being an All-In-One),  didn’t fit very well because of all the bunching of the insert, and the soaker itself was stiff and scratchy. I also disliked how they and the 4.0’s would leave such angry red marks on my son’s legs and waist. Totally bad fit for him, obviously. Great concept, clunky design. Bummis did much better with their TotBots diapers. (More on those later) If you DO decide to try bumGenius, don’t get the aplix (velcro)  – it wears out FAST, and is a huge pain in the dryer or washer, because you end up with a diaper train a mile long you have to pull apart. I ended up buying big lingerie bags and putting a few diapers a piece in those to wash.

Rumparooz one size pocket – First diaper I re-homed.  It leaked constantly, and seemed to fit all wrong on my son. I was so sad, because I really wanted to love this one. It was a firetruck print, ya know? I’d try these again, however, just to be sure. I could have washed it wrong in all of my newbie inexperience. Like I said, I reeeeally want to like these diapers.

Happy Heinys one size pocket – I got all Alpix. Biiig mistake. . Honestly, these are the only pockets I’ve tried that I can flat-out say were truly bad quality. The fleece inner was pilly and see through within weeks, the aplix started shredding and getting less “sticky” almost immediately. The fit was fine, my husband loved them because they were easy for him to put on our son, and I loved the colors. If the quality hadn’t been so awful, especially considering the price, I would have happily stuck with these.

bumGenius Flip day pack –  I didn’t like the covers – the PUL was flimsy, and didn’t seem well made, they fit my son all wrong, even when he was itty bitty, and I always seemed to have the hardest time getting the cover and insert to stay in place while I battled with the snaps. The disposable inserts leaked just as bad as the newborn disposable diapers we tried to use, and I’m just not a microfiber insert fan either, so none of the system’s inserts impressed me. It just wasn’t the hybrid system for us. At all. (I was MUUUCH happier with the GroVia hybrid system, but we’ll get to that later…)

Fuzzibunz one size pocket – I LOVE ME FUZZIBUNZ! LOVE ’em, I tell ye!  They’re great quality, the fleece inner is super, duper soft (and STAYS that way, thank you very much) the unique adjustable legs and waist are a great design, ( no snaps on the outside, woo hoo!) and they come in great colors. If anyone is interested in buying one size diapers to take them from birth to potty training, THIS is the diaper. My only recommendation would be to replace the microfiber insert with a hemp insert. It’s a  MUCH trimmer fit, and so extremely absorbent. We’ve cut waaay down on leaks thanks to our BabyKicks hemp inserts.

Rockin Green cloth diaper detergent and diaper pail deodorizer – I was a die-hard fan of this brand until about a week ago. I LOVE the awesome range of fragrances, the eco-friendly formula, and the fact that you can get a “hard rock” version for hard water, a “soft rock” version for soft water and  a “bare naked babies” version for sensitive skin. However, lately I’ve noticed that my diapers, despite dogged devotion to Rockin’ Green, and despite all of my stripping, soaking and line drying, have still developed quite a smell when wet (which is a classic sign of detergent build up), and started looking pretty grungy. So I looked elsewhere, and stumbled upon Charlies Soap. A few washes with Charlie’s,  and not only do they look brand new, but they smell SO CLEAN.  I was further inclined to prefer Charlie’s when I compared prices, amount of detergent used per load, and when I discovered that a few other cloth babies in my circle of friends have had reactions to diapers washed in Rockin’ Green.  So – bottom line? In my humble opinion, tea tree, mint or lavender essential oil sprinkled on a wipe in the diaper pail does a better job of keeping the smell down than Rockin Green deodorizing powder, and Charlie’s Soap (review coming later) is not only a better buy, but works better (at least for us).

bumGenius diaper detergent and diaper deodorizer – Worked fine, nothing exceptional, but it got the diapers clean, which was all I expected it to do, after all! The spray deodorizer was nice, I rather preferred it to the powders, actually.

So there you have it. My take on my first “wave” of cloth diapers. There are of course, many more reviews to come, culminating in my rundown of my current – and FINAL “stash”. I’ve found the winning diapers, Ladies and Gents, and I’ll tell you what they are – once I’m done telling you who DIDN’T make the cut. It’s like American Idol – for cloth diapers! Till next time – enjoy the sunshine while you hang those diapers out, ya’ll!

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