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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Diapers - a more thorough look. :)

We've experimented with multiple kinds of cloth diapers since Sophia was born over three years ago. I mentioned before that we began with Chinese prefolds and Bummis Whisper Wraps. This system just didn't work for us. They leaked, and I'm not sure if it was just the covers or the diapers, but it was maddening. I had several different types of diapers that my sister-in-law had sent me, so I tried all of those. I spent hours on the phone with Babyworks trying to trouble shoot my diaper issues. In the end, after trying several things, we went with Bum Genius 3.0 pocket diapers. Now, these diapers are fairly expensive, but we only needed 18 of them because they're a one-size diaper. Very handy! We had to buy special detergent, but that one bottle lasted us the life of the diapers (two and a half years!). So, considering all costs, still WAY cheaper than disposables, not to mention much better for the environment.

When Sophia was 11 months old I was pregnant with Dominic. I knew I couldn't use her diapers for him, so I started researching again. As much as I had loved my Bum Geniuses, the velcro was just awful. After one year it was fading, catching everything in the dryer, shrinking, and not fastening. I decided to go for snaps this time. I ordered three of Kissaluvs organic hemp/cotton fitted diapers. With these I ordered to wool covers from Royal Buns. Both the diapers and the covers were/are excellent. The Kissaluvs are super absorbent, and the wool covers, of course, are amazing.

Let me just quickly tell you about wool covers. Wool is naturally antibacterial/antimicrobial, meaning it doesn't harbor bacteria or retain odors. Because of this, it only has to be washed once or twice per month. PER MONTH!!! That is, if it doesn't get soiled. Yes, you must generally hand wash. However, you put it in the sink with a little water and lanolized wool detergent, squeeze it a couple of times, and then let it soak for at least 15 minutes. Take it out, squish it with a towel, and lay it out to dry. Not very complicated, and honestly not too time consuming. Wool is the most amazing thing to use at night; with a good wool cover you are basically guaranteed a leak-free night, even with just a so-so diaper. In the morning, if the cover is damp inside and smells of urine, flip it inside-out, lay it out to dry, and by the evening, no wetness, no odor! It is AMAZING. If you do smell urine at the end of the day, it's time to wash the cover. Also, wool diaper covers are not like commercial wool. Commercial wool tends to be itchy and generally irritating, but wool diaper covers are untreated and soft, soft, soft. This also means they are incredibly breathable (read: not hot), so they can be worn in winter AND summer.

So, the Kissaluvs organic fitteds and Royal Buns wool covers were/are fabulous. I use them still, and love them.

When Dominic was born we used the Kissaluvs fitted diapers in size zero, along with a Marvel one-size cover. This was also an awesome system. Those diapers are the most amazing newborn diapers I have ever experienced. The explosive breastfeeding poop never even escaped the diaper!! Now, they are not the most absorbent diaper, which gave us some frustrations at night. However, if I had had a newborn wool cover, it would have been fantastic. The Marvel one-size covers are great, but when you have a newborn baby who nurses every two hours, you have lots of very wet diapers, so it's difficult to find a better cover than wool for night time. So, in the future, I will buy a couple of newborn-sized wool covers to go with my Kissas.

When he outgrew the size 0 Kissaluvs, we switched to an entirely different system - Best Bottoms. I sold my Marvel covers (which I'm still sort of kicking myself for) to help cover costs. However, Best Bottoms is a pretty economical system - you can find them at Nickisdiapers.com. I like my Best Bottoms, but we had issues with sizing and night time leaking for a good 8-10 months. During this time I bought a bamboo fitted diaper, a Gen-Y Universal cover, a Kawaii bamboo pocket diaper, and Cloth-eez prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers.

The Bumbo bamboo fitted diaper is pretty cute and absorbent, but also has a pretty convoluted fold-up snapping system. Paired with the Gen-Y cover, though, it is pretty awesome. Also, the Cloth-eez prefolds from Green Mountain diapers are AMAZING. They are wonderfully absorbent. They're 100% cotton, which means they don't retain odors. (More on this later.)

The Kawaii pocket diaper is also one of my favorites. It is an inexpensive pocket diaper (compaired to others), but is super cute, and really absorbent! I might consider buying a few more of these in the future. The one we have is a bamboo one with a soft, gray outer cover. So cute!! You will be amazed at how well these work, especially for the price!

So, I used all these other things to get us through the nights until Dominic was done nursing at night and therefore didn't get nearly as wet in his diaper. I still use the Kawaii regularly and the prefolds with the Gen-Y cover, but the Bumbo bamboo diaper is out of circuit because the snaps are impossible to deal with on a squirmy toddler boy.

This post is certainly long enough - more later. :)


  1. I have been cloth diapering off and on for years now! I really prefer it, but stopped when I had trouble with my two year old's sensitive skin. I think I have figured out the issues now, lol, and am thinking about putting him back in them. I figured it would work out since our baby will move into them when he is potty trained, I imagine in a few months.
    ANYWAY! lol I was just wondering what you use to wsh your diapers? I have been using a Tablespoon each of Arm and Hammer Super Wash Soda and Boarax. But you said you had a bottle that lasted you 2 1/2 years?? What is it?? Sounds good to me!
    Also, have you ever made wool covers? They are fun to knit and there are some really cool patterns out there. It would be worth learning to knit to make them too, lol!

  2. Hi Amy! Thanks for reading! :) Right now I use Biokleen Laundry Liquid. I order the bulk pale from Babyworks: www.babyworks.com. I wash both our clothes and diapers with Biokleen, and I love it! When I used the Bum Genius diapers, I had Allen's Naturally detergent. (Also from Babyworks). Bum Genius and Fuzzibunz specify this detergent for their care instructions. I used it only for the diapers, which is why it lasted so long! It's so concentrated, that it averages out to about 512 loads, or something ridiculous like that! Lol. It's 50 bucks, but went for the life of my Bum Geniuses, so I can't complain! Lol. I hope you enjoy getting back into cloth! It's such a pain when the babies start getting rashes, and you're trying to sort it all out. I've definitely had times where I've switched to disposables until I could figure it out.

    And, I've never made wool covers. Unfortunately, I have no sewing, knitting or crocheting skills. :( I'm hoping to learn, though, as life goes on, and would then love to get into cloth diaper making!