Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cloth diapers - my stash review!

I have been using cloth for over a year now and thought it was high time to do a little comparison and review of the diapers in my stash. I found it overwhelming when I started out, with the number of different brands (and prices from $5 to $30 per diaper). How do they stack up?

Here are the diapers I have tried and what I thought of them. Most are OS pocket diapers.

Applecheeks. These are Canadian-made, high quality pockets (and pricey at around $30). The microfleece liner is soft and good quality - it does pill but not to the extent that some of the cheaper diapers do. The envelope design allows the insert to come out in the wash (most of the time). I like the bright, intense colours and the prints are cute as well. The bamboo inserts are absorbent, but I don't like how crunchy they get if line-dried, and when they are wet they seem to get hard, which must add to the discomfort of a wet diaper. The microfiber inserts are wonderful, very thick and absorbent and even indicate which side to put away from baby's skin to keep the moisture away. The downside - again, the diapers are tight on my baby's thighs. They come in two sizes, I have gone through size 1 and 2's and even at the largest setting they do leave welts on my chunky daughter's thighs. She is not at the weight max by far; she just has fat little thighs. And she is walking and showing no sign of slimming down (I can only hope that by the time she's in her teens her thighs are more in line with the rest of her!).

Bamboo Baby. Canadian-made. These are the only AIO diapers I have. I have mixed feelings about them. They are extremely absorbent, don't leak, and are very soft if dried in the dryer - stiff and crunchy if line-dried. The velcro laundry tabs work most of the time.  My daughter has figured out how to undo velcro, and it's only a matter of time before that translates to taking these off herself, but so far, so good. (They are also available in snaps). I don't like how they really keep the moisture close to her skin, though. About $20 each.

Best Bottom. I was apprehensive about these ones at first. They are a PUL cover (unlined) that you snap inserts into. You can reuse the cover by wiping it and snapping in new inserts to change wet diapers, and replacing dirty ones entirely. My apprehension is twofold - the PUL right against baby's skin, and the inserts seeming to keep moisture against baby's skin as well. I have grown more fond of these in recent months. I like how easy it is to change the wet inserts out. It is less bulky than many other diapers, and if you are out and about it's less to carry around in the diaper bag - just bring a few inserts and a cover along instead of 3-4 full out diapers. I like the double leg gussets. Poop is kinda gross in them (but when isn't it gross...). About $18

BumGenius. I don't have a lot of "big name" diapers because I started out with cheapies and then could not justify the price of the brand name versions. However, a friend gave me a BG 4.0 Artist Series and you really can tell the difference in quality of the fabrics. The PUL is soft and thick. The microfleece is fine, soft, and resists pilling. Nice thick microfiber inserts. Is it worth the price, though - around $30 each? I am not entirely convinced.

Charlie Banana. This is a really nice diaper, good quality.  They come with two microfiber inserts (a longer and a shorter). Double up for extra absorbency, or just use the small for a smaller baby and the large when she grows. I have found the inserts get a little stiffer than most of my other inserts. Not sure why.  I have a plain one in "butter", but looking at their website they have some really adorable prints and a "Fashion Collection" that I love. Mid-range at about $21 per.

ComfyRumps. This is a Canadian company, but Chinese-made diapers. One of the first diapers I tried (read my original review of ComfyRumps diapers), and these are still in daily use at our house. They're cheap (around $7 a diaper) and plain (though now they have a few prints and minky diapers). I had two of my dozen delaminate and that seems to be a common complaint if you read their Facebook page. They will replace faulty diapers, but it can be tricky getting a response from the company. The microfleece has pilled fairly heavily but is still functional. However for the price I am quite happy with my ComfyRumps. The microfiber inserts have thinned out and stiffened over the year, but I could always pick up new inserts (which I probably would not buy from CR) if I wanted to. They have fit from newborn (around 8 lbs) to now at 23 lbs, and still have room to grow in the snap settings. I think they have modified their design a bit from when I bought, but still I would recommend these.

Giggle Life.  Again, I only have one of these that a friend gave me. The microfleece liner has pilled quite a lot - the most of all my diapers. I have found that there is "seepage" along the seams - not enough to call a leak, but poop has stained the outside of the diaper where it has wicked out along the stitching at  the inner thigh. The outer is TPU (not PUL) so is softer and less plasticky, but breaks down more quickly if you wash in hot water or use the dryer. Good fit but another I would not invest in if I were to buy. They are about $18 each or cheaper if you buy by the dozen. I will say that my daughter (a heavy wetter who needs to be changed every 2 hours at minimum) once went 4 hours in this diaper with no leaks.

Go Green  I only have one of these, a "fuzzy", and they're pretty good for Chinese-made cheapies (approximately $7). The elasticized hole to stuff prevents the insert from coming out in the wash, which is a pain. The Go Green does have wing snaps. Overall, functional diapers (and cheap, and lots of cute prints available) but would not be my first choice to buy. That said, I have not tried the Go Green Champ and have heard good things about it. Would love to try that one out. *Go Green and Lovely are IMO pretty much the same diaper

Happy Heinys These have cute prints and fabulous inserts (fluffy and soft even when air-dried, and quite absorbent. They have lots of snap settings and don't tend to droop. Good fit on my chubby-legged daughter and rarely leak (remember, she's a heavy wetter). 

Knickernappies. American made. My husband hates that these are side-snapping, I don't mind it.The hemp Loopy-Do insert is quite absorbent, but is wide and bulky. Two inserts come with every diaper. A fine everyday kinda diaper. They have loads of room to grow and fit chunky thighs beautifully. About $22 for the diaper with microfiber inserts, $27 if you choose the hemp inserts.

Lovely Diapers. I only have one of these, a "fuzzy", and they're pretty good Chinese-made cheapies (approximately $7). The elasticized hole to stuff prevents the insert from coming out in the wash, which is a pain.  My Lovely diaper has had a snap fall off (they offered to replace the diaper if I sent it back - not worth the shipping IMO). It does have a vast rise, and is the only diaper in my stash in which we are not on the largest rise setting. Lots of great prints available. *Go Green and Lovely are IMO pretty much the same diaper

Monkey Doodlez. I haven't used their diapers, per se - but I love their swim diapers. Mia's on her second size and I'm ready to buy the next size up (if anyone hears of a Monkey Doodlez sale, let me know please!). At $20 a pop they are pricey, but we love taking Mia swimming and they are super cute. I only wish they lasted longer in terms of size. Note: We have never experienced an "aquadump" (as my husband so charmingly puts it), so I can't entirely vouch for the containment properties!

OsoCozy Diapers. I have just one of their all-in-one diapers. The first time I used it, it leaked out the legs, but I think I hadn't tightened the Aplix enough. The second time I used it, Mia had it on under a dress and at naptime I went in to find her standing in her crib with a wet diaper in her hands, having removed it herself! The down side of Aplix! However, under clothing it is fine and no leaks since I tighten it a bit more. I find the cotton takes ages and ages to dry. At least two days hung on a drying rack indoors. I love the deep purple colour of the one we have. I do find the cloth/elastic at the legs is a bit less soft than I would like (it's almost like a hard edge because the fabric is stiff), but overall this is one I use often.

Rumparooz. I have tried their fitted and one-size. I love the double gussets in the fleece. I don't love the inserts - they are pretty standard micro-fleece, quite thin. They have snaps on the inserts for size settings/doubling up in front or back, as well as the "super-R" soakers which are smaller, hourglass shaped inserts for doubling. I don't find the inserts that absorbent (they're thin!). I also find that these have too many snaps. Four snaps at each side. It does prevent droop, but it's a pain and I can't always get a good combination of thigh to waist settings because the snaps are close together. With a tiny waist and chubby thighs, these are not the best for my daughter.

Sunbaby. These come in fabulous prints that change all the time and are dead cheap. I think I got 12 for $60, shipping included from China to Canada. It's a Chinese brand, supposedly with good labour practices if you believe the website. They worked well (no leaks, narrow microfiber inserts that were just fine in terms of absorbency) but sadly my daughter has enormously chunky thighs, and by the time she was 7 or 8 months old they would leave red welts even on the largest setting. I ended up selling the entire bunch on to a friend with a skinnier baby. I miss the cuteness. I understand that Sunbaby has recently created a new size that is larger and I am tempted to give them a shot - except I really do have enough diapers.

Wudda H. A Malaysian diaper that did not fit well when Mia was smaller, but now is one of my favourites. Great fit on Mia. It's not much to look at (plain white) but is a great diaper. The liner is some kind of terry (bamboo blend, perhaps?) that is soft after many washes and wicks moisture away. The soft, absorbent insert snaps into the pocket and has the same fabric on the upper layer. I have no idea what these cost in Canadian dollars (I think I must have won the one I have) but I like it a lot. I find their online store is a bit confusing.
** Note: delaminated after about 6 months' frequent use. That's disappointing! The nice bamboo terry/microfiber insert is still in rotation, though.

Zippy Doo. I still adore the fabrics (read the full Zippy Doo diaper review) and quality of these American WAHM-made fitteds. I still resist using a cover - another layer adds bulk - so these have ended up on low rotation for now. I think I'll use these more in the summer when I don't need to put a cover and pants on Mia. They are quite absorbent and so, super, lovely-soft. They take quite a while to dry, but I feel fine with putting them in the dryer as there is no PUL to delaminate or destroy, of course. The fit is great. Around $22.

more to add later...

Disclosure: this is a totally unsponsored, unbiased, non-affiliated, spur of the moment post. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


My baby doesn't sleep. Still. She's 13 months and a week old. Still up five times a night, usually (more often now than she was night waking at 16 weeks) - nursing every time, because it's easier and kinder to all of us for me to bust a boob out and be back in bed 15 minutes later than to lie there for an hour not sleeping, listening to her cry until she cries so hard she throws up and then spend the next half hour scrubbing puke out of the carpet. That's my effort at letting her self-soothe and it does not work for this baby (and I feel like such a JERK for lying there while she is upset, too). I have tried more than once but it just doesn't sit right with me to ignore her cries. CIO is simply not for us. It doesn't work and it makes us all miserable.

I have ended up using overnight disposables at night (cloth during the day) because I was changing her three times a night with cloth. Yes, doubled-up with hemp inserts. I tried all kinds of things. She's a super heavy wetter and with so much night nursing, cloth just doesn't work for now. I still change her disposable at 5am because if I don't, she's soaked through her sleeper and the crib sheet by 7.

Bedtime is often a battle, involving crying. We have a bedtime routine - a sleep sheep, a bottle of water in the crib, a favourite bunny, bath time, stories and cuddles. Some nights she is so tired she crashes fast. But it's still a battle. She wakes after about an hour and a half every night, crying. I could set a clock by it. And then at 11, 12:30, 2:30, 5, and sometimes she will wake just 15 minutes after I get her back to sleep, crying. Bad dreams? Maybe not all the burps came out, although I do burp her after every nurse? I don't know.

And she doesn't nap without a good hard fight, either. Some days she does not nap at all and those are long, long days. Some days she will have two naps (rare) and those are great days.

Meanwhile, I'm exhausted... so tired all the time. I haven't gotten a solid night's sleep in over a year and a half (I couldn't sleep through the night myself when I was pregnant). I can't even imagine waking up feeling well-rested.

When did your little one sleep through the night? I want to hear from the long-haulers, the mamas who stuck with attending their babies when they cried, the night nursers and attachment parents. Tell me this will not go on forever.

True story... as I was writing this, she woke up, 40 minutes after she went down at bedtime... sigh.