Cloth Diapering 101
- Cloth Diapers: They're Easier Than Ever
- Recommendations for a Cloth Diapering Layette
- Troubleshooting Leakage
- Tips on Choosing Diaper Covers
- Washing Velcro Diapers
- Stain Prevention for Diaper Covers
- Washing Cotton Diapers at Home
- Washing Pocket Diapers at Home
- A Note About Mixing Diapering Systems
- Types of Cloth Diapers
- Picking a Diapering System
- Cloth Diapers: They're Easier Than Ever
A note from Paula: “When I used cloth diapers with my first child, I used pins and nylon pants; this was the only choice available. My decision was driven by a concern for environmental issues, as well as concern about the additives in commercial disposables, coupled by an overall feeling of distaste at the thought of wrapping my precious baby girl in chemical-filled paper and plastic, and then throwing the soil filled diaper into the trash can. Even though it was not easy, to me it was the best alternative. At that time disposable diapers had taken the market by storm due to “convenience”, and in our society convenience is one of the ruling principles (along with a seeming disregard of where products come from and where they are going). It would have been hard to convince people to switch from disposables back to pins and nylon pants.
But then a good friend gave me some Nikky 100% cotton diaper covers as a shower gift while pregnant with my second daughter, and I began using them right away. Suddenly, diaper changes were so fast! Leakage was a thing of the past. They were so soft to the touch. Just fold the diaper in thirds, lay it inside the cover, and fasten the velcro tabs. A business idea was born. THIS is something that could entice people back to cloth diapers! Babyworks was started with this one product, and Nikkys remain our best selling diaper cover — and have been, every single year. I wish I had kept a tally of the countless thousands of customers we’ve successfully helped to use cloth diapers since the beginning.
And now, there are even more choices. Pocket diapers (Bum Genius and Fuzzi Bunz) have simplified things even further, and used along with a diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet, is easy enough for anyone accustomed to disposable diapers to use; most end up greatly preferring them to paper. There are lots of other options in covers and diapers, as well. It’s all about personal preference--what you enjoy using, and what fits your baby. Just know that with all the choices available, there IS something that will be perfect for you and your baby.”
Best Tip for Success
Sounds so simple, but: If whatever you are using isn’t working for you, for whatever reason--try something else! There are so many options you’re bound to find one that does work. And don’t ever give up without trying a pocket diaper (Fuzzi Bunz or Bum Genius). Many feel that these are the easiest possible diapers to use.
- Recommendations for a Cloth Diapering Layette
1) How many diapers do I need?
a) Pocket diapers or all-in-one systems: we recommend a minimum of 18 pieces, up to 24.*
b) For diaper covers and diapers (2 piece system):
Diaper covers and prefolds:
We’d recommend 6 (or more) diaper covers per size, and 3 dozen diapers. (Most people using wool pull-on covers have just 3, with perhaps other backup covers.)
- If your baby is not soiling much, which most often happens with older babies, you can probably get by with 4 diaper covers.
- If your baby soils very frequently, you might be happiest with 8 covers, until they outgrow that phase.
- If you’re on a budget, you can get by with 2 or 2-1/2 dozen diapers*, washing every other day.
Bum Genius Flip System:
We’d recommend 6 Flip diaper covers and 24 inserts. (These should be washed every 2 days.)
2) Other Helpful Accessories
a) A Diaper Pail
b) A diaper pail liner (optional), if you don’t plan to soak your diapers. 1 will work; 2 are nice to have (so one is in the pail while the other is being washed).
c) Cloth wipes, if you plan to use them. 1 to 1-1/2 dozen large size wipes, or 2-3 dozen smaller sized wipes. Adjust based on how often your baby soils. A wipe warmer is convenient but not necessary.
c) A reusable wet bag, for carrying wet and soiled diapers in your diaper bag. 1 will work; 2 are most convenient.
d) A method for dealing with soiled diapers. The Mini Shower Diaper Sprayer is very highly recommended by many customers, for all types of diapers and diaper covers. The Diaper Duck can be used to rinse and wring prefold style diapers. A roll of flushable liners is handy when travelling out and about, with any type of diaper.
e) Appropriate laundering products for your type of diaper and diaper covers.
f) Diaper doublers or extra pocket diaper inserts, when you need more time between changes (whether when out and about, during nap time, and overnight). These can be skipped for newborns.
g) Last but not least: Knowledge! Please take time to read through the recommended care instructions for your particular products, for best results and to protect your investment (e.g., to not destroy the waterproofing, the velcro, etc.).
*If you are hoping to use your items for more than one child, we recommend buying the larger quantities of each, to reduce the wear and tear on each one caused by more frequent laundering.
- Troubleshooting Leakage
- With a good cloth diapering system, there should be almost no leakage. (In fact, even disposable diapers and “pull-ups” are not leakproof. When using them overnight for our son on vacation, he wet through them each night – unlike our reusable products at home.) I have heard many people say that they have had less leakage with cloth diapers than they had with disposables. If you experience leakage on a regular basis, something is amiss; working through the list below should solve your problem. Of course, if you need more specific advice about products you’ve purchased from us, just give us a call.
- (1) Are you careful to tuck the diaper completely inside the cover, so moisture doesn’t wick out into the clothing? This is the most common cause of leakage.
- (2) Is there leakage around the leg openings, while the diaper and cover don’t seem very wet? This is likely caused by the fit of the diaper cover: the leg openings may be too big for your baby’s legs. Sometimes people will buy diaper covers overlarge, hoping for long use, but will experience leakage due to a loose fit. Other times, the baby may have outgrown the cover – is it too small or tight? Sometimes at around 10 lbs., the newborn sized covers may appear to fit, but really don’t have enough coverage for a baby this size. Some brands of covers, even good ones, may not fit your baby well, and therefore will allow leakage. Also, if you have a very slim baby, you may need to adjust the size chart downward.
If you are using unbleached diapers, be sure you have prepped them by washing them 3x on hot water with non chlorine bleach, to dissolve the natural cotton wax residue in the fiber. Otherwise, wetness will be repelled and not absorbed.
- (3) Is your baby wetting through everything, with a totally saturated diaper, wet cover, and wet clothing? Are you changing your baby often enough? If you change the diaper only occasionally, it of gauze and birdseye), and you may need to use two or three of them, together with a doubler overnight, for enough absorbency. You will find our diapers to be far more absorbent than the average storebought diaper! If you nurse at night, you should ideally plan to change your baby, as well. Changing your baby when he or she first starts to stir, before nursing, is least disruptive to you and to your baby. Keeping a diaper ready to go next to your baby’s sleeping area will make this less of a bother, and you can do it with one eye closed. HOWEVER – if you want to try going all night without a change, you might have luck with the following: a pocket diaper with 2 or even 3 inserts; a pull-on cover with an organic fitted diaper and a hemp fleece doubler; a hemp diaper with a doubler inside your regular cover; or a Dappi pull-on pant on top of your regular velcro cover, diaper and diaper doubler, or pocket diaper.
Your baby can also wet right through the diaper cover if its waterproofing has been damaged. Please follow the care instructions for your diaper covers.
- Tips on Choosing Diaper Covers
Different brands of diaper covers have differing fits and sizing — just as with blue jeans for adults. In the beginning, it’s a good idea to try more than one brand of cover. If you’re on the borderline of two sizes, you might want to order one of each. We can help with sizing choices for the various brands if we know your child’s weight and build. Consider your laundering habits. If you choose breathable or natural fiber covers, these require gentle laundering to remain waterproof and functional. For many people, this is a worthwhile tradeoff; for others, it’s unrealistic. We may be biased, but think at some point you should try a Nikky — whether natural fiber or heavy duty poly, just because we think they still set the standard in diaper covers!
- Washing Velcro Diaper Covers
When machine washing and drying velcro® covers, turn them inside out and fasten the velcro® to protect it. Use gentle cycles, low temperatures and mild detergents (not soaps). Avoid fabric softener, which will coat them and could permanently destroy their waterproof properties. Wash them separately; washing with clothing or diapers will cause the velcro® to become linted and less sticky, and the high temperatures may wear your diaper covers out prematurely. If you hand wash your covers, use mild laundry detergent, or wool wash for wool covers, but not dishwashing liquid, hand soap, bar soap, or anything else. Do not use a scrub brush or anything other than a gentle touch! Wool diaper covers should not be machine dried. Never use chlorine bleach! It will destroy your covers.
- Stain Prevention for Diaper Covers
To prevent staining, rinse soil from the diaper cover (nothing beats a utility sink or toilet sprayer for this). It really helps to presoak soiled covers in a bucket of water with a bit of mild detergent added (1 tsp.) until several accumulate for laundering. (We do not recommend soaking diaper covers in BacOut, non-chlorine bleach, Oxy-Clean®, vinegar or anything else.) If diaper covers become discolored, try an occasional wash cycle with a little non-chlorine bleach to brighten them up. You can spot-treat stains on the leg gussets with a paste made of non-chlorine bleach and water, left on for several hours before washing. (Use of non-chlorine bleach on wool products is not recommended; apply Eucalan Wool Wash full strength to stained areas, and let sit before laundering.)
It is normal for soil to get on the diaper covers occasionally, as their function is to prevent the dreaded “blowouts” onto the clothing. Fitted diapers will reduce soil on the covers. If you have a frequent pooper, be sure you have enough diaper covers — at least six or eight — to make laundry more manageable.
- Washing Cotton Diapers at Home
(These instructions do not apply to Fuzzi Bunz or Bum Genius products; see specifics on those, following)
Note from Paula: “Most people cannot imagine what it would be like to wash cloth diapers at home. I was in that position at one time, until I watched a friend do it and saw that it was not much different than doing other types of laundry. I also saved a lot of money over my diaper service. Following is the method that several of us at Babyworks have used to wash diapers, that gave us clean diapers and virtually rash free babies.”
Diaper are definitely a cleaning challenge. Washing them is not difficult, but there are certain steps that are very important and will ensure your success. Incorrect washing methods are the most common cause of diaper rash with cloth diaper users! Particularly, not using hot water, not washing often enough, not using strong enough detergent to get them clean enough.
TO SOAK OR NOT TO SOAK?
Soaking diapers means to store them in a “wet pail”, submerging them in water to which a soaking agent has been added. Biokleen Bac Out is great for this, as is Oxygen Bleach. To do this, fill your pail about 1/3 way with water and add your soaking agent. As you add the diapers, the water level will rise; add more water as needed to keep diapers completely submerged. Advantages of soaking: helps prevent stains and odors. Disadvantages: heavier pail; some people just don’t like doing it.
If you are not soaking your diapers but are having persistent trouble with odors or staining, do give soaking a try. (A note about diaper pail smell: the worst in our experience comes from diaper service diapers. This is because you let them sit, unrinsed, for an entire week.)
You can soak your diapers for up to 3 days between washings.
Successful Non-Soaking: If you don’t soak your diapers, you can also achieve good results. Going this route, we’d recommend washing the diapers every 2 days. We also recommend the diaper sprayer; you can spray off both soiled AND wet diapers before putting them in the pail, which will minimize odor (spraying off wet diapers dilutes the urine which is responsible for creating that ammonia smell you want to avoid). You can pre-treat soiled areas with spray Bac Out. If you have a top loader, you can dump the diapers in the machine and presoak with a soaking agent overnight before washing them in the morning; one customer, a mother of 5 who has used cloth diapers for all, suggested this tip. Some companies suggest being laid back about stains and odors; this is a personal choice and is fine, but we’re all about minimizing both of those.
FOR FRONT LOADING MACHINES: People using front loaders most often opt for not soaking, or if they soak, to pick up a cheap mesh laundry bag and use it as a pail liner. Then, the diapers could be easily lifted out and put into the machine. Some people wash them right in the mesh bag. Recently, customers have told us that using just the right angle, the inner bucket of the deluxe diaper pail can fit sideways into the mouth of the front loader, allowing the diapers to be emptied directly in.
DETERGENT ALERT: We don't intend to pick on particular detergents, and if these work for you, there is no need to change detergents. However, if we have a widespread pattern of complaints about particular detergents having particular effects, I feel compelled to mention it, for use in troubleshooting if you are experiencing these problems. Our most complained-about detergents in terms of those which cause diaper rash for the baby or odor to the diapers are Charlie's Soap and the Costco natural brand of detergent that has a lavender scent. Again and again, customers who experience problems with these two detergents find the problem is eliminated by switching to another detergent. We also had a pattern of complaints about Dreft removing the waterproofing (probably due to the fabric softeners and other additives) from breathable or porous diaper covers.
Also note that the detergent you use can affect the way your diapers feel to the touch. We see this mainly in terms of "fuzzy" diapers like Kissaluvs (hemp or regular) or hemp prefolds, when they are returned - some come back very soft, some are too rough. For these types of diapers, we recommend a mild liquid such as Biokleen liquid, and Allens Naturally might be best of all, though more expensive. Do not use too much, and minimize the use of non-chlorine bleach, if you use it at all. Remove the diapers promptly from the dryer; do not overdry. For other prefolds such as cotton, I noticed that if I used too much detergent (e.g., got in a hurry and dumped it in without measuring), they would come out feeling rougher than if I used the correct amount. Once I had to wash my clothing in a detergent called Sun, and it came out noticeably rougher than when I wash it in Biokleen. Just something to be aware of.
BASIC CLOTH DIAPER STORING & WASHING METHOD:
(1) Storage: Wash your diapers at least 2-3 times per week, to keep things sanitary. Wet diapers can go directly into the pail; you may wish to spray them off with the diaper sprayer to further reduce odor. Any loose soil should be removed from the diaper before it goes into the pail. Use a diaper sprayer, a Diaper Duck for prefolds, flushable diaper liners, or the old hands with rubber gloves routine--whatever you prefer.
(2) Washing: Dump the contents of the pail into the washing machine. For diapers in a wet pail, with a top loader, run a spin cycle just long enough to remove the dirty liquid (30-45 seconds). You can run a pre-wash cycle with non-chlorine bleach added for extra cleaning, if you wish. Add detergent and non-chlorine bleach, if your detergent does not already contain it. Wash with HOT water at HIGH water level and LONG cycle (at least 10 minutes), on Normal or Heavy Duty setting. Some customers say that ultra-hot, “sanitizing” cycles may be okay for 100% cotton diapers but avoid it with all-in-ones or pocket diapers. Rinse twice (cold water is fine). Check the rinse water to be sure it is clear; soap residue can be irritating. You can add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cheap white vinegar to the final wash to prevent ammonia buildup, soften them and restore pH.
(3) Drying: Dry on high heat, or in the sun. The sun is a great, natural “bleach” and sterilizer.
DO’s and DON’Ts for successfully washing diapers:
1) DON’T use chlorine bleach. It will cause your diapers to shred and degrade, sometimes alarmingly fast. With all- in-one products like Bumkins, it can instantly destroy them.
2) DON’T USE FABRIC SOFTENER. This will coat your diapers and make them non-absorbent.
3) DO USE NON-CHLORINE BLEACH if your detergent does not have it. Biokleen makes a great one. This will give you the whitening and cleaning power you need but will not hurt the diapers. Anything labeled color safe bleach, bleach alternative, etc., is non-chlorine bleach.
2) DO USE HOT WATER. This is necessary to sanitize the diapers and kill bacteria. This is not the time to conserve energy by washing on cold or warm. However, cold rinses are fine.
3) DO DOUBLE RINSE. You want to rinse out every trace of detergent so as not to cause skin irritation.
4) DO WASH YOUR DIAPERS OFTEN ENOUGH. If they sit unsoaked in a pail for days, they will become a major cleaning challenge. Remember, you don’t have the equipment or chemicals or desire to do the gazillion washes and rinses that diaper services use.
5) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SUN (if you have it): Don’t underestimate the power of the sun to bleach out the toughest stains and sanitize the diapers. This includes all types of diapers, from prefolds to pocket diapers.
- Washing Pocket Diapers at Home
Bum Genius and Fuzzi Bunz have their own unique and specific washing instructions for each of their products. Please check out their websites for current details. (We would post them here, but they change periodically.)
Here are some guidelines:
1) You should use specific, recommended detergents. The wrong products can cause pocket diapers to repel moisture, or to develop odor from detergent buildup.
Allens' Detergent is highly recommended and we've had consistently good feedback about it--for not only pocket diapers, but for other types, as well. It will help keep hemp diapers and Kissaluvs diapers soft and snuggly. It's also great for Bum Genius Organic Diapers.
For the record, Charlie's Soap is currently the most complained-about detergent we hear of in terms of odor and rash issues. Many people who use it have no trouble; if you don't, we won't steer you away from it (though Bum Genius does not recommend it). But if you are having these problems, we'd recommend trying another detergent. Research on the internet shows we are not alone in this.
2) The manufacturers currently recommend doing a pre-wash with cold water, and adding detergent to the hot wash which follows. Double rinsing all diapers after washing is a good idea, to remove all traces of detergent residue. Wash them every other day; do not presoak. Bum Genius now recommends hanging the outers to dry rather than drying in a dryer, to keep the velcro in mint condition. Because they are synthetic, they dry very quickly. Many customers have had good luck with low temperature drying, but we'll stand by the manufacturer's recommendations, as we must.
3) Do not use any random laundry additives on pocket diapers, including such things as baking soda or vinegar.
4) Remember if you use a rash cream, use a paper or fleece liner as a barrier between that and the pocket diaper. We would never recommend heavy, greasy ointments like A&D or Desitin brands, as these leave greasy marks even on prefolds. Plant based creams, like Earth Mama Angel Baby, Country Comfort or Wild Carrot Herbals, would have a much better chance of dissolving out if they did get on the diaper.
5) A diaper sprayer is a popular and easy way to manage soil with these diapers.
6) Hanging in the sun, climate permitting, is an excellent way to remove any stains.
7) We would not recommend washing them with prefolds, because both the detergent amount and laundry requirements are different.
- A Note About Mixing Diapering Systems
Be aware of washing instructions for the items you are buying. Some systems, like diapers and covers, require two loads of laundry (an extra-low, gentle load for the covers, and a high temperature load for the diapers, which is double rinsed), which is very doable for most people. However, throwing a third system into the mix requiring a third load of laundry would be more than most people want to deal with.
For instance, some people try to wash pocket diapers with prefolds. This does not normally work well, because (1) pocket diapers use 1/4 the amount of the normal detergent, which will not clean the prefolds well enough, and (2) if you use the amount of detergent that prefolds require, it could cause detergent build up on the pocket diapers, which creates odor. (Yet some people do claim to have luck doing it. Since others do not, we don’t recommend it.)
Some customers do “workarounds” - like washing pocket diaper inserts with the diapers, and pocket diaper outers with their covers, with good results. HOWEVER - the pocket diaper manufacturers will not endorse this and it may void their warranty on their product. So, there are some solid advantages in settling on a system or systems which have compatible washing instructions. For instance, prefolds and fitted diapers could be successfully washed together, as could prefolds and Bumkins all in ones (I am not sure how the velcro survives, but it seems to, if closed when laundering).
- Types of Cloth Diapers
This section will explain the different kinds of diapers you’ll find in this section of our website.
There are two broad categories of cloth diapering products:
1) DIAPERS THAT ARE USED INSIDE OF A DIAPER COVER
These diapers are the absorbent layer that goes next to the baby’s skin. Waterproof coverings are normally used over them - velcro, snap or pull on - to keep the wetness away from the baby’s clothing.
With these diapers, if a baby wets, you would remove the diaper and put a new diaper inside the same cover. If the baby soils, and the soil gets on the cover, you would change both pieces. (Some of the newer diaper covers, Thirsties and Bummis Brites, have wipe out interiors - so small amounts of soil can be wiped off and the cover re-used.) While some people do use pins and nylon pants with prefold style diapers - which is a very inexpensive and traditional choice that does work (and which is admittedly more of a hassle to do) - most have adopted the velcro-closing diaper covers instead.
Don’t underestimate the importance of quality and absorbency. Many store bought diapers are uselessly thin, or contain synthetic polyester fluff in the center. And remember, at Babyworks you can buy individual diapers as samples to try to see which you like best before committing to a large quantity. In fact, if you are unsure, we recommend this - as diapers are expensive to ship back for return or exchange. If you are experimenting with diapers, we’d encourage you to try a prefold along with fitted or contour diapers so you can evaluate which you like the best.
The traditional, rectangular prefolds are still the most popular diaper, probably because of their versatility. They are most often made of cotton, but now can be found in hemp blends and other fabrics. This is the type of diaper that a typical diaper service would provide. Good, absorbent prefolds have additional layers of fabric in the center, or an absorbent natural fabric sewn into the center panel, such as cotton terry. They are simple to care for, and can be used with most detergents - just avoid chlorine bleach and fabric softener. The most versatile diaper, it can be folded into thirds to use inside a velcro-closing or snap-closing diaper cover, or used with pins and a pull-on cover, or fastened with a Snappi clip. With a properly fitting diaper cover and changing the diaper before it becomes drenched, you can prevent nearly all leakage.
These diapers are shaped to cover the babies’ entire diaper area, as a prefold would if wrapped around the baby and pinned - and generally have gathers at the leg for additional leak prevention. They close with snaps or velcro. Because of the leg gatherings, they minimize leakage even onto the diaper cover. They can be made of various absorbent fabrics including cotton and hemp. They can be used under full-fitting velcro diaper covers, or with pull on diaper covers.
Contour diapers are shaped to lay inside a cover without folding, and the side wings in the Kissaluv brand are long enough to be pinned, if you want to. Because they span a large pound range, some folding and tucking may be required on the lower end of the pound range. Fans of contour diapers like them because they are less bulky than prefolds.
2) DIAPERS THAT HAVE A WATERPROOF LAYER BUILT IN
With these diapers, you would change the entire diaper each time the baby wets or soils, and replace it with another diaper. This is because the absorbent inner layer is built right into the waterproof outer fabric. Many people, especially those who have used disposable diapers, find these to be the easiest cloth diapers to use. The synthetic pocket diapers (FuzziBunz, Bum Genius 3.0) feel dry to the touch, and also dry very quickly after being laundered, and many customers love them. However, other customers prefer the convenience of a one piece unit with natural cotton rather than a synthetic inside (Bumkins All in Ones or Bum Genius Organic).
Pocket diapers. Pocket diapers come as two-pieced units: the outer layer and the absorbent insert. The waterproof outer covering, closing with either snaps or velcro, is lined with fleece (FuzziBunz) or suedecloth (Bum Genius). In between the waterproof outer fabric and the soft inner lining is an opening or “pocket” where the included rectangular microfiber insert is placed. When the baby wets, the wetness travels through the fleece or suede cloth layer, into the microfiber insert, staying dry next to the baby’s skin. They are easy to use, providing you carefully follow the manufacturer’s particular care instructions. While these instructions are not difficult, each step is important, e.g., using particular brands of detergent, laundering them every 2 days, not presoaking them, etc. While there are no extra pieces “needed”, most people like to purchase extra inserts for overnight use, so that the inserts can be doubled.
You can buy Pocket Diapers either in “sized” versions or new “one size fits most” versions. They are available in styles which velcro or snap closed.
All in One diapers
All in one diapers consist of an inner, absorbent cotton lining directly bonded to a waterproof outer covering - like a diaper and diaper cover in one. You can buy all in one diapers in “sized” versions (Bumkins) or “one size fits most” versions (Bum Genius Organic). When the baby wets or soils, the entire unit is changed and replaced with a new one - basically like a cloth version of the way a disposable diaper is used. They may not be as absorbent as a pocket diaper, but such is the nature of cotton vs. microfiber. (You can have the same absorbency, though, by using a diaper doubler for nap or night time, or times you wish to go longer between changes.)
Some all in ones, like Bumkins, have the same washing instructions as prefolds. Therefore, it is easy to throw a few of these into your prefold-and-cover system for convenience (or times when other people might be helping to change your baby, or when you get behind on washing diaper overs).
- Picking a Diapering System
There is no answer to the frequently asked question, “Which system is best?” Each one of our diapering products has its own following. It all boils down to what you most like to use and your own preferences, as well as what fits your baby well. If you are pregnant, there will be some guesswork involved, as you won’t know the build or weight or your baby until he or she arrives.
At the moment, customers are pretty much divided between two piece systems and one piece systems.
Countless parents could give you various explanations as to why they like the particular system they use.
People with multiples (twins) most often choose Bum Genius, finding them to be easy and cost effective. However, we have parents with triplets using cotton Nikkys with prefolds.
What do we at Babyworks use?
Those of us working here mirror our customers - we each have our own favorites, and our own reasons for choosing them. If there were more of us here, no doubt there would be even more products represented on this list.
Paula - 100% cotton Nikkys and prefolds. (Even though they are more “labor intensive” and the covers require gentle care, she feels it’s hard to beat the feel of cotton on cotton, and liked the stretchiness and breathability of the cover. She was willing to change her baby at night if he or she woke, and used the same system at night with the exception of adding a doubler.)
Adrienne - Bum Genius Organic All in Ones. (She feels these are the perfect mix of organic next to the baby’s skin and one-piece convenience, as well as economical.)
Sarah - Fitted diapers and pull on covers, especially wool covers.
Beth - Breathable poly Nikkys during the day, and FuzziBunz at night. She preferred birdseye prefolds because both of her kids were very slim and the Chinese diapers were bulky on them. Her daughter did not like to feel wet at night, and once she began using FuzziBunz the complaints disappeared.
We are on the fence between knowing whether it’s best to try a lot of different products at once, or to try one or two products, then adjust. For some people, it is overwhelming to have too many different products to figure out how to use and care for at a time. Other people like to dabble in all the choices and find that the one or two they most like becomes readily evident - and feel if they didn’t try some of each, they may not have found the one they ultimately like! So - you may know best which of these scenarios most appeals to your way of doing things.
Finding Products Through Internet Reviews
While being generally useful and exposing us all to new products we might not have been aware of, as with any products, reviews of diapering products are all over the map and are ultimately subjective. I’ve personally read reviews on many things from shampoo to books, and sometimes have made purchases based on those reviews. Sometimes my experience with the product agreed with the positive reviews, other times it didn’t at all. Reviews of diapering products are the same. There are a lot of factors at play - and sometimes a negative review can reflect such things as the way the product fits the reviewer’s baby, personal preference or even the way a product is cared for.
At times we’ll read reviews to learn of new products. One example was reusable bags for carrying wet diapers, as we were looking for a bag that closed with a zipper, as has been often requested. We ordered several types, after gleaning names and reading reviews on a popular diapering review website. The one that received the most number of 5 Star ratings ended up being our least favorite. We found that it was heavy, and smelled strongly when we first took it out of the package - much like a new shower curtain’s heavy chemical smell. Another bag, while not the most highly rated one, was the unanimous favorite due to its perfect size, lightweight waterproofness, and cute designs which were not phased by washing with diapers. Admittedly, we did not try products that universally had poor reviews. So indeed that can be a clue. But our experience with the diaper wet bag seems pretty typical of buying things based on reviews.
Sometimes, there are trends of product defects - e.g., a pocket diaper being well rated except most people post that it wicks moisture at the legs. In one specific example of a product we tried, this paralleled our experience.
Laundry Product Reviews: We are always dismayed to see Biokleen laundry products reviewed poorly and even with misinformation. The main target seems to be that it contains citrus “oils” which coat diapers (not true; it’s a water soluble extract), the enzymes are bad for diapers etc. We’ve been selling these products for about 18 years and customers (and us!) have been very pleased with them. They are excellent, natural, non polluting and effective products. Just follow our recommendations about the use of each individual product. Conversely, we see higher recommendations for products that customers have complained about leaving odor in their diapers or causing rash. I am unable to figure out who tests these products, on laundry product review sites, or how extensively.
Advice: Read the internet reviews, but if you are curious about a product and it is not unanimously given very low ratings, go ahead and try it. Your experience might be entirely different. Sometimes people are unwilling to try a product because of a single bad review, which could be a shame, because they might really like it.