Before Abby was born I entertained the idea of using a hybrid diaper. Being able to use cloth diapers at home and a disposable insert when I was out and about seemed like a logical and budget friendly alternative to the standard disposable diaper. Ultimately I chose the disposable diaper, as the thought of dealing with the dirty diaper both scared me away and made me a bit squeamish.
After Abby was born I became a bit more educated on how common and easy it was to use cloth diapers. And oh my gosh do you know how many options there are? There are one-size, hybrid, all-in-one, pocket, sleeve, fitted, prefold, and flat diapers. Needless to say it can quickly become overwhelming!
When Abby was about 9 months old I purchased my first cloth diaper. Since then I have bought several different kinds and brands. I don’t use them all the time but I try to use them anytime I’m home and I recently bought a travel-sized Planet Wise bag for on the go.
I am often asked questions about the diapers I have tried, so I figured I would throw my reviews out here and hopefully someone finds the information useful. If you have any questions on the topic feel free to ask. I am no expert but I will do my best to answer and offer my help any way possible. Most of the diapers I have happen to be the one size diapers. In my opinion, if you can find one that works well for you, it will give you the biggest bang for your buck!
First of all I would like to point out some important facts about the diaper. This is a pocket diaper meaning there is a pocket that you stuff a liner in. When I put them away I pre-stuff them so they are quick and ready to go. You can open and put it on just like any disposable diaper, which is great for babysitters and others who may not be familiar with cloth diapers. The downside to the pocket style diaper is that what goes in must come out. Who wants to pull a soaking wet insert out to wash it? Not me! Apparently you don’t need to pull it out; it will just come out in the laundry all by itself… but that didn’t work when I tried it!
Secondly note that this is a one size diaper. There are snaps down the front so that you can size it yourself. This is great for your wallet, as the one diaper will fit your little one from infant to 40lbs! The downside to the one size diaper is that the fit is never quite as good as it would be if it was made for your baby’s size. Also the fabric that is folded over in order to snap it down adds a bit of bulk to the diaper.
A word on velcro. Yes, velcro works well for infants and is easily done in the dark and half asleep. But stop for a minute and think of your 15 month old ripping off her diaper and throwing it across the room. I would strongly suggest getting a snap closure diaper if the brand you intend to purchase has the option (Bum Genius now offers this option as well).
Chew on that a bit while I talk about this diaper more specifically. Want the good news or the bad news? The good news is that this diaper provides a great fit and is super absorbent. It is also very soft and stays that way wash after wash. As a bonus, it cleans up easy with no stains!
Bad news: besides my obvious dislike for pocket diapers, the velcro is awful. After the first wash the velcro had already lost strength and it only gets worse with every wash. We will be lucky if this diaper lasts til Abby is potty trained. Also I don’t love the fact that the shell can’t be thrown in the dryer. We have experienced a low number of leaks with this diaper, but note that we haven’t had much in the way of major leaking problems with Abby. If leaking is a concerning issue, you may want to take note. Overall I’m not a huge fan of this model, but Bum Genius may have recovered themselves as they now have the options of snap closure and an all in one. I haven’t tried it but that would fix almost all of my issues with the diaper.
Why hemp? Why not? Hemp is super absorbent and therefore thinner than other material. The downside is that it it stays wet against the skin. Many suggest using hemp underneath a cotton insert in order to keep the baby’s bum a bit drier and therefore preventing diaper rash in the future.
What I like is the color coded snaps are an easy, no counting way to size the diaper. Abby is an orange snap kinda girl. Also since the hemp causes this to be absorbent, it has been leak free and seems to fit well.
What I don’t like is that the shape of the liner and insert make this diaper a bit hard to stuff. It seems like it takes more time messing with it to get it to lay flat. The insert has no natural bends or snaps to hold it to a different size. So when the diaper is sized down the liner becomes too long to lay right.
Moving on to fitted diapers, let’s take a look at Kissaluvs Marvels One-Size Fitted Diapers. Be aware, these diapers do require a diaper cover! Once you purchase the diaper and cover they become a bit costly.
The good: these are the most absorbent diapers we have. They are our night time diapers. They also come in a variety of super cute print choices. They are the softest diapers we have, seeming to be comfortable for Abby. They have a unique snap closure which means no velcro! These will also fit the largest of babies giving you lots of room to grow in. They are even very stain resistant!
The bad: Kissaluvs Marvels are huge! We need to go at least one size bigger in pants to be able to sport these diapers under an outfit. They work best under dresses and PJ’s. The unique snap closure makes them a bit confusing at first.Instead of snapping the length down these diapers have the ability to snap on either side so you just fold to the correct position and snap, no counting! This causes the bulk of the diaper to lay along the waist, which is why the pant size needs to be larger. This does take the bulk away from between the baby’s legs, which must be more comfortable.
Next up is the Flip One-Size Diaper Cover and Stay Dry Insert. These are covers that you simply set the insert into. The downside to this kind of cover/insert relationship is that the waste easily can go under and around the insert causing the cover to get dirty as well. The covers can be simply wiped down with a wipe and reused, only washing when needed (these are line dry but dry almost immediately). These are also hybrid diapers, so a disposable insert may be placed into the cover and flushed when soiled.
The good stuff: the option of using it as a disposable or cloth is appealing for anyone who would like to simplify the earth-friendly diapers (the inserts are a bit more costly than purchasing regular disposable diapers at the store). Flips are all snap diapers so you don’t have to worry about velcro. The diapers themselves are among the cheaper options so they are very cost effective.
The bad: as I stated earlier the cover gets dirty a bit more often than I would like. If she poops, forget it, the cover is dirty! Because you only place the insert in and nothing really holds it in place it becomes difficult with a squirmy child. Abby went through a stage where changing a diaper was apparently torture, and these became extremely difficult. We have had a few leaks with this brand as well.
What I love: the inserts to these diapers actually snap in place! No stuffing, no shifting, just two quick snaps and it’s ready to go. These are very easy for babysitters and anyone new to cloth diapers. Since it is a hybrid you can reuse the shell; if the insert is soiled, unsnap it and snap in a new one. The insert itself has leg gussets causing the insert to hug the leg and not let anything out. So it’s very unusual that the shell gets dirty. The soaker has two layers and is extremely absorbent. We have yet to have any leaks. The fit is perfect! They also offer a variety of prints with no need to cover up those prints with another cover. The shell is a line dry shell but because of the material it drys in half the time the Bum Genius does. If you are going to go with velcro these are the way to go. The quality stands up over time! I don’t notice a difference today over the day I purchased them! I haven’t used the disposable inserts with these but I have heard they are great. They stick in so they can be used with underwear as well and may be a handy option for potty training in the future.
Nothing is perfect. The shell cannot be wiped and reused, so if the shell gets dirty, there’s no question that it’s time for the washer! The inserts take a long time to dry. When I put the inserts in the dryer I set them for a timed dry and add extra time. If you are line drying, allow extra time as well. The inserts also stain a bit easier than others, but a quick soak usually takes care of the problem.
Grovia also makes an All in One. An all in one meaning it is one piece and super easy.
These are a great all in one option because they have a snap that you can use to put an extra layer for night time in, but even without the extra layer it is still absorbent. These are all snaps and the tabs from the back of the diaper go on the inside instead of the outside, making it harder for a toddler to unsnap it on her own. These too are offered in a wide variety of prints so they are super cute.
Where they are lacking is that unlike their hybrid sister the inserts don’t have the leg gussets, which would add extra protection against leaks. The cover seems to be adequate though, as we haven’t had any leaks with these.
The good: the G Diaper is unique in the three piece system. Because of the three individual pieces they are extremely thin and fit under almost anything. The outer layer and the liner can be both washed and dried, leaving the middle layer which dries almost immediately. The velcro attaches in the back making it hard for a toddler to pull off the diaper.
The bad: the velcro curls more with every wash, even when washed properly. This leaves the tabs sticking out to catch on things. The tabs in the back makes it a bit harder to put the diaper on and seems a bit awkward. The cost of these diapers can add up quickly. Most likely three times over the “diaper years” you will need to change sizes in both the cover and the inserts and they are both sold separately.
The ugly: poop everywhere! Every time this diaper is used all three layers are soiled! The clean up is awful and these seem to leak every time. I had high expectations for these and I was very disappointed.
That concludes my diaper collection. There are many others out there and available as well! If you are considering the use of cloth diapers I strongly recommend a Planet Wise wet/dry bag or equivalent. It holds all the stink in, leaving her room or diaper bag smelling fresh. When I wash the diapers, I dump the contents of the bag in the washer and throw the bag itself in right behind them (it can be both washed and dried). Also have a place in mind for storage of the clean ones, as they can take up a bit of room. I store mine in bins on the bottom of my changing table. As I said, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!