Friday, January 25, 2008

Diaper Reviews

Diaper: BumGenius 3.0
Price: $17.95
We got ours from Angel Bunz

These are my favorites! We had a gift card for Angel Bunz and when I used it, the BumGenius 3.0 were on clearance, so we got 4. I like them so much that after finding out we had baby #2 on the way we decided to purchase another 14 of these. The newer ones are a bit nicer and come with 2 inserts - one-size and newborn size.

I thought these were great as they are a one-size diaper and they'd fit our next kid from the get-go on. They're a pocket diaper with Velcro tabs and the sizes are determined by the snaps in the front of the diaper:





The sizing snaps are a little weird to get used to, but they work well. One of the inserts they give you is a one-size insert that ALSO has sizing snaps so it will grow with the diaper. The newborn one is quite a bit smaller and thinner and they recommend using it for extra absorbency when the baby gets bigger, which is probably all it's really worth using it for, unless you stick two in one diaper.

The Velcro tabs can be attached to the flap over the pocket for laundry, so the Velcro doesn't grab anything in the wash. It also makes it easier to put the diaper on! Once your baby starts rolling over the Velcro is definitely preferred over snaps as it doesn't take much to secure it.
On the newer version there is an extra flap of the PUL on the inside part that goes over the baby's belly. This is an amazing feature! Seriously, it makes all the difference in leakage. The older version didn't have this extra coverage and would leak, like the Fuzzi Bunz. This helps contain all the mess.
The diapers come in a number of different fun colors. This helped us as I could set one color to fit Rusty so it was easier to organize the diapers after washing and quicker in choosing a diaper when changing the kids.

There are only a couple little things I don't like about them. One is the pocket. It has a little lip that covers the pocket hole so if her poop goes up then I have to go digging for the insert. You can still shake out the insert, though, by holding the flap out. Not a HUGE downfall, but not a fun one. The other one is that the one-size insert doesn't lay flat when storing the diaper for use later. Once on the baby it lays fine since the outer part is stretched out a bit, so it's not THAT big of a deal, but an annoyance.
In comparison with Fuzzi Bunz I believe you'll get more for your money with the BumGenius. For one, you don't have to buy different sizes or extra inserts. I also like them better because of the Velcro. This became a bigger deal once Karrots started rolling over and refusing to lay still at times. The Velcro is SO much easier than the snaps at that point. Also, with use, the BumGenius seem to stay in better condition and don't stain as easily.

Another note, if you make big babies like we do, they're definitely easier. Before Rusty reached 4 months old he was wearing the diaper without the use of any sizing snaps, like Karrots. This is the easiest stage.

Their website answers frequently asked questions and tells about their warranty here.




*10/30/2009 - The past month or so these diapers have been tearing up my fingers.  I'm sure it's not simply the diapers, but if you have severely dry hands (nursing 2 kids, change in the weather and not drinking enough) then Velcro is not the way to go.


Diaper: Fuzzi Bunz
Price: $16.95-17.95
My MIL got these for us by request from Fuzzi Bunz Store, but now they're selling them direct on the Fuzzi Bunz website. She got us the older style as the new ones weren't out yet. (FYI- you can find the older styles on clearance!) After having a snap issue, they sent us a new one so I have a little say as to their use.

These diapers were recommended by a friend. She raved about how they kept her bed wetter dry all night when used with the hemp inserts when the disposable diapers wouldn't.

As Karrots was wetting her bed almost every night in the disposables, I was stoked to finally give the Fuzzi Bunz a try. Unfortunately they didn't live up to my expectations. They're great during the day, but they don't keep her dry at night. I've heard it can do with not cleaning the hemp well enough, but I had washed it many times prior to using them on her.

These diapers are easy to use. I usually put the microterry inserts in them right after the wash so they make it quick to change Karrots. When she was wetting heavily over night I just grabbed a hemp and added it in.

To fasten them, there are 2 male snaps on the tabs and they're placed diagonal with quite a few female snaps in two rows on the front. When I put them on Karrots, the snaps meet in the middle so they're at their smallest. The rest of the fabric from the front droops at this size. You have to play with it to make sure it's laying on her flat. (This may be where the leaks are at night.)

These each come with microterry inserts that have to be washed numerous times before they'll absorb anything. This has something to do with the chemicals that are on them. You can feel the stickiness on the new ones. Once they're broken in, they absorb great!...just not as much as the hemp ones you have to buy separate. (The downfall with the hemp is that it takes much longer to dry.) The microterry ones dry on medium and and hemp ones don't. As I don't want to do another load in the dryer just for them (quarter operated!), I usually lay them out to finish drying.

They have a pretty good warranty on them which includes snap defects for 18 months, elastic defects for 60 days, and sewing/workmanship defects for 60 days. We received a diaper that had faulty snaps and the return policy was rather easy. I sent it in and they sent me a brand new NEW Fuzzi Bunz. The only bad part was that I had to pay for shipping. Here's a pic of the new style:



The new style I don't like as much. The new flap has a corner to it (probably for looks) that isn't secure and so it doesn't stay down. Also, the inside plastic makes it hard to put the insert in. It sticks more to my hand than the older style.

The Fuzzi Bunz Store will also buy back used Fuzzi Bunz when you're done with them.

(Quick FYI - eBay has banned the selling of used cloth diapers...poo!)
As of May 2009 we are no longer using these diapers for Karrots. They seriously don't fit her! A number of times she went poop she would squat down and the poop would fall out of the crotch of the diaper because of the major gap it had on her. Gross!



Diaper: charleneluvsbraves from eBay
Price: $8.00
You can also get them at Your Diaper Store

When I bid on the "mystery lot" of these I checked what the diapers were going for and guessed I'd probably get at least 2 of them since we bid around $20. We ended up with 4! She was very generous!

After using them, there are quite a few negatives to them. 1. They leak. The inside and outside of the diaper are both made from the same fabric (flannel?) and so when they're wet the pee wicks to the outside of the diaper. When handling them you can tell that there's some waterproof layer in them (PUL?), but it's not doing much to keep the liquid from seeping out the sides. 2. The Velcro gets caught in the laundry. As there are no tabs to place the grabby Velcro, it grabs whatever it can in the wash. I probably would need to Velcro the diapers inside out to keep this from happening, but then they're not getting as well washed. 3. Some of the stitching is crooked. Check out the inside of Elvis:



4. They're bulky and don't fasten very well. The tabs stick up when Velcroed to the front. It's probably from not being sewn close enough to the ends or because the fabric is a bit bulky.



Diaper: Mandi's Menagerie
You can get these from her eBay store or hyena cart.
These are the last type of diaper that I reach for because they leak...like crazy...every time. They also don't fit our little girl so well, which probably adds to the leaks.
Mandi is a work at home mom so in buying these you'd be helping another mom out, which I love! She had found that the diapers she was buying weren't fitting her kids very well so the diapers she makes are all made from her own patterns...and with some of the most adorable fabric. She does quite a few different styles so I'll try to cover the ones I have.

The diapers have either snaps or Velcro. I love the style for the snaps. Mandi makes them with a third wing snap so the excess from the front won't droop, unlike Fuzzi Bunz. For the Velcro tabs, she makes them with laundry tabs so they won't stick on everything in the wash. This saves on the wear and tear, but the tabs on our don't line up well so it still sticks to stuff.

She has quite a few in stock, but she also takes custom orders. This gives you the opportunity to choose the size, snaps or Velcro, type/amount of absorbency in AIOs and fitted, and color. From what I can tell, being able to choose is at no extra cost.

She also has a return policy if for some reason you change your mind. They'd have to be unused and you'd pay for shipping.
After more use of these, I've found that the PUL outter layer leaks. It's not 100% waterproof. You can feel the pee through it as it leaks through. They work better when used with the wool soakers.


Mandi's All-in-One (AIO)
Price: $13.00-15.00

These come with either snaps, side snaps, or Velcro.

They're easy to wash, but take quite a while to dry. I usually throw them in with everything else on medium in the drier, but have to let them sit to dry for a day or so. This is the downside of AIOs.

The inserts that are sewn in don't cover the full length of the diaper as the pocket diapers do. They DO cover the important parts, but having the full length, I think, gives greater absorbency.

My one suggestion would to wash the hemp inserts better before sewing the diapers together. On her site she mentions that she washes the inserts on VERY hot and dries them on VERY hot to make sure they won't shrink after being sewn in, but isn't not enough to get the hemp broken in and at maximum absorbency. This has me washing them a bunch of times before they really absorb and I feel like it's wearing the diaper out, mostly the flannel on the inside.


Mandi's Pocket Diapers (Also known as AI2 or all-in-two)
Price: $11.00-13.50

These also come with either snaps, side snaps, or Velcro.

Though I only have the ones with snaps (the picture is a side-snapping one, the ones above are regular snaps), you can also get them in Velcro.

Because the insert is separate from the actual diaper, they dry much faster, like a typical pocket diaper.


Mandi's Fitted Diapers
Price: $6.50-9.00

These diapers only come with Velcro and have the inserts sewn in and the outer fabric is flannel so you'll need a waterproof cover, whether wool or PUL. When purchasing, you have the option of purchasing a matching double for added absorbency.

Since they're flannel on the outside, you get all kinds of fun and adorable patterns, but have to cover them to avoid leaks. With the AIOs and AI2s you get solid colors only as the outside is PUL and doesn't come with the fun and cute prints.

As with all of her Velcro diapers, these have the laundry tabs, which are like BumGenius.
Like the AIO's, the sewn in inserts don't cover the full length of the diaper as the pocket diapers do. They also have the down fall of a long drying time and having to break in the hemp inserts. One of the AIOs we have wasn't sewn well and the absorbant layer is a bit tangled inside.


Mandi's Wool Covers
Price: $14.00-23.00

I purchased the covers, but she also sells longies, which are like pants. Her blog has plenty of pictures of her son wearing them if you're interested.

The reason I got these is I heard that they were great for heavy wetters and because I needed covers to use with the fitted diapers. You don't need to wash them often as wool has lanolin and can be fairly self cleaning, but they need to be washed by hand. Most people recommend 2-3 weeks between washes. As they will still need to dry, it's recommended to get two cover so the baby would wear one while the other dries.

The only problem is that they CAN leak and DO leak. My other experience with wool for absorbency is breast pads. As I am a heavy wetter (and sprayer), my milk shot right through the pads. I wasn't impressed...I've been told that wool's supposed to be able to hold 30% of its weight before leaking, but compression (AND spraying) can cause leaks.
After using these for a while, they're not as impressive as I was hoping. Karrots isn't waking up in a huge puddle, but her sheets are damp. During the day the soakers seems to leak easily under pressure. They're better than nothing, but they do leak.
They also make Karrots' little booty quite huge. Mandi also sells wool longies when she has them. (I've only seen them on her ebay store.) These are probably the better bet if you don't want to be buying two different sizes of clothes just to keep her butt proportionate. As it's rather hot down here, I don't think the longies would be too beneficial during this weather.


Mandi's Doublers/Inserts
Price: 6 for $9.00


These inserts are made of a mix of flannel and hemp layers.

The only use I have found with these is an added protective layer in her diapers. They do not aborb much at all, if anything, so I'll put the hemp insert she sells closer to our daughter and the flannel one by the PUL. I, personally, prefer the inserts that come with Fuzzi Bunz (microterry) over these because they're longer and reach the full length of the diaper. Mandi's home-made inserts are cute, but they're not long enough to cover Karrots on both ends.
The main thing these have going for them is the fact they have adorable fabrics, which doesn't say much since they're going to be in the diaper and no one will see them.


Hemp Inserts
Price: $3.50-5.50

Mandi also sells hemp inserts that are bi-fold. They come in different sizes and fit the entire length of the pocket diaper. I'm pretty sure that she just cuts these ones up to sew into the AIOs and fitted diapers. She notes that you can just lay them in a diaper that has no pockets. These are great for when you need the added absorbency.

As these are thinner, they dry much faster than the Rainforest Babies inserts that we purchased separately with the Fuzzi Bunz.

I like 'em!

(To find out more about Mandi and her diapers, you can check out the About Me section of her hyena cart.)



Accessory: Minishower
Price: $36.00
We picked this up from Angel Bunz.


I couldn't picture cloth diapering without this! When Karrots' poop isn't solid, this thing makes it so I don't have to play with her mess in the toilet. Also, I had some issues with the diapers staining because they sat for a while drying out, but since I started using the minishower, there's no issue. You connect it to your toilet's water source and it hangs right on the toilet.

As it has a very powerful spray, it's difficult to keep everything going into the toilet so I've been using our tub after I lightly rinse it out in the toilet since it's right by it. I figure it's all going down the drain! I thought this would keep my hands completely clean, but it hasn't quite worked out that way. You have to move the diaper around to get in the gussetts (the elastic around the thighs) and the powerful spray makes it almost impossible to stay dry completely (i.e. your hands get wet).


Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail
Price: $19.99
We got ours from our 1st baby shower from a friend.  It's sold at Babies R Us.

This pail has worked well for us with the below liner.  We don't use the smaller lid or the odor inserts.  In fact we've popped of the dome for the deodorizing disc to make more room for the diapers.


Wahmies Diaper Pail Liner
Price: $16.95
We picked this up from Angel Bunz.

I LOVE this liner.  It fits the above pail and is washable.  I just throw it in the wash with the diapers.  It has a little fabric patch sewn in that you can add some tea tree oil to which seriously helps neutralize the smell.


Detergent

I've been recommended a couple different laundry detergents for diapers.  The first is Charlie's Soap.  You can order this stuff directly from their website, through certain co-ops like Azure Standard, and through soap.com, which is attached to diapers.com so you can add it to your cart to get the minimum required for free shipping.  I've been using this for everything and everything comes out clean.

I just recently heard of Crunchy Clean from a girlfriend living in San Diego.  She said it's all the rage down there.  In doing the math it IS a big cheaper than Charlie's Soap and you can order it with exotic scents like Monkey Fart (Bananas???) and Love on the Beach or familiar scents like Vanilla Lavender and Cherry Almond.  They even sell samples in case you want to try a scent before being stuck with enough to do 320 loads. After using some I'm not super impressed by it.  It washed the diapers and clothes, but the diapers still have somewhat of a stench.

3 comments:

Steven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steven said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Deborah

http://maternitymotherhood.net

Raising Arrows said...

Sounds like you've had quite a time. I definitely have known my fair share of leaks.

I think I'll pbly end up doing a post on all the things I've learned about leaks and cloth diapering, but I'll tell you a couple of key things here...

printed PUL leaks
and PUL sewn with cotton thread leaks

the right cover makes ALL the difference

pocket diapers HAVE to be the right size with the right inserts or they will leak

wool doesn't work if it isn't lanolized

fleece can't be used as an overnight

your baby's thigh measurement is key to a good fit (the leg holes on those dipes look HUGE)

some diapers just don't work for some kiddos

I don't know if any of that helps, but let me know if you have any other thoughts. heritage arrows at yahoo dot com

Blessings,
Amy
ps-great new header!