I’ll kickstart my Diaper Quick Review series with my first foray out of the world of disposable diapers: gDiapers.
Things I like:
- Versatile: have the option to go with flushable inserts (a.k.a. flushies) and cloth (I use gFlappers from Nappy Shoppe).
- Travel: Flushies are great for travel.
- Cute: They come in a good selection of colours. In addition, the gPants are made in mostly cotton, making them great for dyeing and embroidery.
- Night use: I used to use 2 all bamboo gFlappers for night time, but now switch to 2 flushies.
Things I don’t like:
- Steeper learning curve: My mom doesn’t know front from back, sometimes forgets the snap-in liner, and generally has problem getting a good fit.
- Leaks: Since I use 2 flushies or gFlappers at night, it’s hard to get a perfect fit on DS who escapes from all diaper changes in no time. I sometimes get leaks the next morning.
- Velcro: Some of my gPants have bad velcro. Some of them have so-so velcro. In general they’re much easier to get caught in clothes than other diapers.
- Cost: Flushies are more expensive than disposable diapers.
Verdict: 9 out of 10
When we bought our current house a few months ago, it already has a HE front loader washing machine and a water softener system installed.
These two made for a very frustrating laundry experience thus far. We started with Tide HE liquid detergent for our (adult) clothes, and Nature Clean liquid detergent for DS’s clothes. I used the recommended amount for HE light load on both, and there were always suds on the washer door even after a second or third (or fourth or fifth) wash cycle with no detergent. Even after I cut the detergent amount to 1/2 of the recommended, I still had to do 3 or 4 wash cycles per load.
That’s far from “high efficiency,” and incredibly time consuming: every week, I have 2 loads of adult laundry (one each of whites and colours), 1 load of baby laundry, and 2 to 3 loads of cloth diapers. With an average of 4 wash cycles, realistically I can only do 1 load of laundry every day. That means I’m always doing laundry, every day.
When he commented I’m always doing laundry, I jokingly said to DH it might be something genetic: my grandmother used to launder towels for barbershops as a profession, and she is still on a mission to wash any and all clothes and linens in wherever she considers her territory (which unfortunately includes my home, and I constantly have to resist). Now I am the one who’s always doing laundry.
I have since switched to using soap nuts and Nellie’s Natural laundry soda. Both are considerably less sudsy, but I still do at least 2 wash cycles (plus a cold/cold prewash rinse with no detergent for cloth diapers) to make sure the clothes are well-rinsed.
DS wearing wool shorties for the first time
I purchased a few recycled wool covers from Someday Sarah’s Etsy store. (Bonus points for her being a local WAHM!) After properly lanolinizing and washing them, I put a pair of shorties on DS on his 9-month-old birthday. He was wearing a Jamtots snapless fitted underneath the shorties.
Once I made the jump, I found using wool covers isn’t much harder than using other cloth diapering system. In fact, it was easier for me to wash them than figuring out the “right” way to wash my pockets and inserts–something I’m still experimenting, after 3 different detergents and stripping.
My biggest hurdle to cloth diapering with wool is actually finding affordable and adorable t-shirts to go with his woolies. He has been wearing bodysuits but they would look awkward with a wool shorties underneath. 🙂
Since I don’t have Original Dawn at home, I couldn’t strip my now clean-but-water-repelling diapers. All other cloth diapers were dirty. Besides, I was planning to go out today. It was the perfect day to try the G-Flapper cloth insert for gDiapers.
The G-Flappers I ordered were all-bamboo. I use the bamboo velour as top layer because it is the softest, but really any layer would do.
After I got home, I switched to Gro Baby. I love their hook closure! (I haven’t tried the snap closure yet.) Since the top part of the whole front panel is a very soft loop, I could easily put the diaper on DS despite his usual rolling and wiggling. For better or worse, DS decided to poop in it while fighting sleep–luckily, everything was caught by the soaker pad, and I can reuse the shell with a clean soaker pad.
He is now wearing a Gro Baby with a booster pad on top of the soaker pad. I suspect it won’t last through the night, so I already have another Gro Baby with booster pad lying by my bedside.
Day 2’s diapers include:
- Sweet Pea Diaper one-size pocket was easy to use, but the size seems run a little small–DS is already using the largest snap setting. The front snap wasn’t too hard to handle; maybe it was just DS being cooperative. Its price point is the most attractive feature.
- bumGenius sized AIO: Initially, I wasn’t sure what to make of the large size I received from the Peekaboo Bottoms test drive package. I was surprised it fitted DS perfectly! This and all subsequent bumGenius I have tested are every bit as good as I thought they would be, except that all I really want is side snap now. 🙂
- bumGenius one-size 3.0: After using the large size AIO, I set the one-size to the largest setting before putting it on DS, which also fitted him snugly. It was an overnight diaper so it was double-stuffed, and all the moisture was contained with no leaking. I think this will be my night diaper of choice.
- The bumGenius organic cotton one-size AIO I bought was a snap closure, which is so much harder to find. Since it is cotton, it took forever dry. Although it doesn’t seem to hold as much as the microfiber insert, I still like the idea of putting a natural fabric as the top layer. Like the one-size 3.0, I set it to the largest setting.
- The Wahmies one-size pocket I bought was with snaps only instead of the hook shown. I like it being trimmer than other diapers I’ve tried so far.
Additionally, a small accident happened on Day 1 which I didn’t realize until today: while putting on the Thirsties AIO yesterday, my mom put Vaseline on DS’s bum bum. I didn’t know about it, and washed all of Day 1’s diapers along with the Gro Baby shells and the Smartipants + inserts.
Now I have to test and maybe strip all of them. 😦
As mentioned in my previous post, I have started building my cloth diaper stash from scratch and most of them decided to arrive on the same day. While I was excited to try them on immediately, I have been chained to the laundry to wash them at least once (hemp needs 6 times!) before they are ready to be used.
After a full day of washing (by the washer, not me), I have gotten the at least the microfiber inserts and the matching pocket diapers ready. I dove in and used cloth diapers full-time on DS yesterday. Here are some of my initial observations:
- Swaddlebee’s AIO/AI2 was very soft, thanks to the organic cotton velour top layer. It was the first ever cloth diaper I used and I immediately declared I like side snaps. I didn’t use the doubler because it was day time.
- Thirsties AIO was the next one I tried. It didn’t feel as soft as the Swaddlebee’s because the top layer was microfleece (as most pockets are). Although I thought I like snaps better, its hook closure can be quite useful with DS–who rolls over onto his tummy in less than 5 seconds every time I change him.
- Fuzzi Bunz pocket & one-size pocket: I tried both, the sized pocket during the day and one-size pocket with doubler at night. I thought I would like them before I tried, but they both leaked. Granted, both inserts in the overnight one was soaked, so it was my fault more than theirs. But then, the one-size has too many snaps. We went out for dinner last night and got home late, so DS was overtired when I put the FB OS on. He was already screaming before I could close one side!
- Happy Heinys pocket & one-size pocket: I tried both as well. Even before I actually used them, I was less-than-impressed by the laundry tab–the laundry tab on the left side of the diaper is not long enough for the hooks. There was slight leaking as well.
Out of all the diapers I tried so far, I would probably split any new order 6:4 between Swaddlebee’s AIO and Thirsties AIO.
Yay! I received 4 packages of fluffy mail on Monday, from The Nappy Shoppe, Parenting By Nature, More Than Cloth Diapers, and Peekaboo Bottoms. Then I received another 2 fluffy mail on Tuesday, from The Nappy Shoppe (yes, again) and Smartipants.
Diapers — bought:
- Hemp organic one-size fitted (natural)
- Bamboo fitted (natural)
- BerryPlush AIO (jaguar, medium)
- Luxe Baby wool soaker (lime, medium/large)
- Kissaluvs organic fitted (medium)
- Fuzzi Bunz one-size pocket (red)
- Fuzzi Bunz pocket (print: under the sea, medium)
- Knickernappies one-size pocket (turquoise)
- bumGenius AIO one-size (grasshopper, snap)
- Thirsties Fab fitted (celery, medium)
- Sweet Pea one-size pocket (black)
- Happy Heinys one-size pocket (cheetah spots)
- Wahmies one-size pocket (blue dot)
- bumGenius 3.0 one-size pocket (moombeam)
- 10 x G-Flappers insert (bamboo velour + bamboo terry + bamboo fleece, medium/large)
- 2 3-pack Smartipants one-size pocket (neutral colour pack and boy colour)
- 3 Gro Baby one-size AI2 (blackberry hook, kiwi hook, vanilla snap) with 2 extra soaker pads and 2 booster pads
Diapers — test drive from Peekaboo Bottom:
- bumGenius one-size pocket
- Happy Heiny one-size pocket (velcro)
- Blueberry one-size pocket (snap)
- Fuzzi Bunz one-size pocket
- Happy Heiny pocket (medium)
- Swaddlebee AIO
- Thirsties AIO
- AppleCheeks pocket
- Fuzzi Bunz pocket
- bumGenius AIO
- Haba Toys clutching ducky
- Heirloom organic cotton ball
- Heirloom organic cotton toy block set
- Pippalily sling (dragonfly, small)
- Leslie’s Boutique diaper bag with matching wet bag (daisy dreams)
- Leslie’s Boutique wet bag (print: zazu zinnia, medium)
- Kozy Carrier mei tai (print: spotslyvania, straps: black)
- Wahmies pail liner (print: cow print)
- Imse Vimse Flushable Liners
Posted in Cloth Diaper
Tagged applecheeks, baby carrier, berryplush, blueberry, bumgenius, clothdiaper, fuzzi bunz, g-flappers, gear, gro baby, haba toys, happy heinys, heirloom, imse vimse, kissaluvs, knickernappies, leslie's boutique, luxe baby, mei tai, more than cloth diapers, nappy shoppe, parenting by nature, peekaboo bottoms, pippalily, sling, smartipants, swaddlebee, sweet pea, thirsties, toys, wahmies
I didn’t find out about Peekaboo Bottom’s cloth diaper test drive programs until I have already ordered a stash. However, I still signed up to test the diapers I haven’t ordered.
The program is super easy and useful for anyone wanting to try out cloth diapers but not sure where to start or even whether it is for them: you select a package you want to try, pay for it with deposit included in the amount, and they will send you a few different used diapers (one of each). You can then use them for two weeks. After you send them back the (cleaned!) diapers two weeks later, they will refund you the deposit if they find everything fine. Alternatively, you can keep all the diapers and opt not to get the deposit back.
I chose packages A+B (package A is one-sizes, package B is all-in-ones). I was also tempted to try package C (fitteds and covers), but that can probably wait until later. Package D is newborn diapers, and my DS has definitely outgrown them–I doubt they would’ve fitted him for two months anyway.
On top of the test drive packages, I also ordered a Kozy Carrier from Peekaboo Bottoms. This will be the 5th baby carrier I have, in addition to the Hotslings, Moby Wrap, and BabyTrekker I have on hand, and a Pippalily I ordered earlier today. I fancy a mei tai-style carrier will be easier for me to get around the house and actually do something. The Hotslings, while simple and convenient, just didn’t cut it, because DS wiggles in the side carry position and I constantly had to keep one hand on him.
Hopefully I won’t mix up the test drive diapers with the ones I actually bought!
I mentioned in my last post that I wasn’t planning to buy any more cloth diapers for now.
Partly thanks to last night’s #clothdiapers chat, I ordered two (sized) pocket diapers from GADBaby, and three Gro Baby one-size diapers (two with hooks, one with snaps).
That brings the total of my cloth diaper stash to a dozen, not counting the gDiapers + gFlappers combination.
On top of all the diaper purchases, I bought a cloth diaper pattern from Little Comet Tails and a few yards of cloth–yes, I am going to sew my own diaper!
(And I don’t even own a sewing machine. Yet.)
I am also tempted to buy a prefolds kit by Bummis. Someone please stop me before I do!
I ordered a total of 7 one-size all-in-one cloth diapers today (two 3-packs of Smartipants and one bumGenius one-size). This is in addition to the gDiapers starter kits I already have, two additional gDiapers starter kits and a case of gRefills flushable inserts for the gDiapers arriving tomorrow, plus 10 g-Flapper bamboo inserts for the gDiapers I ordered along with the bumGenius.
Why would I order all these diapers when I already have three boxes of size-3 Pampers diapers sitting at home? And why do I want to switch to cloth all of a sudden anyway?
In truth, I had contemplated going cloth since before DS was born. I was talked out of it by the following reasons:
- It’s a lot of work.
- It’s messy (and icky)!
However, the people who warned me against cloth diapering were armed with outdated information. My warnings on cloth diapers were from my own mother and my mother-in-law, whose cloth diapering experiences were 30 years old and consisted of flats and safety pins. I am fairly confident almost nobody uses flats now–the closest to flats would be prefolds, and Snappis and diaper covers have all but eliminated the need of safety pins.
In hindsight, part of me was glad that I listened. As DS was exclusively breastfed, he was pooping during every meal when he was a newborn. That was a lot of diapers I didn’t have to wash. However, things on disposable-land weren’t much of an improvement, as I had to deal with many blowout episodes anyway.
Lately, the part of me who wanted cloth diapers have found out about all-in-ones, which are as close to disposables as cloth diapers can be. Then, yet other part of me who thinks DS will outgrow sized diapers too fast for them to be worth the money found out about one-size all-in-ones. These two parts motivated me to make all the purchases I mentioned above.
I probably won’t order more diapers for now. After all, I still have the three boxes of Pampers to deal with.