In case you didn’t know, it is considered cool now in the modern baby world. I must admit, my cloth diaper stash is my biggest baby related investment. Of all baby stuff I purchased, over half of it is comprised of cloth diapers, cloth diaper accessories, cloth wipes, wet bags, detergent for cloth diapering, or my spit rags, which are actually a stack of pre-fold diapers. Yep.
I am actually working on shrinking my stash a bit, because I went a little overboard(it is really addicting).
I spent many months researching the different diapering options out there. It is overwhelming for the beginner. Pockets, pre-folds, fitteds, contours, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, covers, soakers, hybrid systems: where to start?
So….now that I have been at this for a couple months, I figure I will share my thoughts and experience with the diapers I have tried. This is my basic review of what I am using, since I get a lot of questions about the world of cloth.
Obviously these are just my views on these brands, and others may have different experiences.
Pocket diapers make up the majority of my collection. They consist of a fleece inner lining(or similar stay-dry fabric), a water-proof PUL(polyurethane laminate) outer layer, and an insert for absorbency. Inserts can be purchased in a wide variety of materials, including hemp, bamboo, cotton, and various synthetic fibers. I have quite a few different brands, and no two are identical.
Fuzzibunz Perfect Fit: These are sized pocket dipes. They run a little large, so many babies never need to go beyond a size medium. They are a bit wide in between the legs, which can be bulky at times, but it also means it is very absorbent where it counts. I particularly like Fuzzibunz inserts. They are soft, thick, and hold a LOT of moisture. The lower snaps on the Perfect Fit shell can be snapped very far forward, making the leg openings a little more adjustable than some diapers.
Fuzzibunz One-size: These are of course similar to the perfect Fit, but are one-size fits most. They snap wider and narrower to grow with baby, and also have adjustable elastic in the leg openings, and across the back. The elastic is also really easy to replace in case it wears out. The one-size Fuzzibunz is trimmer than the sized and has a great fit. If I want a non-bulky diaper to fit under tiny pants, I reach for these. I find these to also be a bit more adjustable so they can be used sooner than many one-sized diapers, which generally don’t fit well until baby is at least 10-12 pounds.
Mommy’s Touch One-size: These diapers are huge. If you have a large baby, then these would work great. In general, I would not try these until your baby is a few months old. They are very adjustable, and would be great for toddler, since they can be sized so large. They are fairly wide, so they can be easily stuffed with multiple inserts, which I have found to be handy for an overnight diaper.
Tweedlebugs one-size: This pocket diaper works great for a shorter baby. The rise snaps really low and the one-size insert also snaps down. The shell and PUL are very thick, so it might be a little hot to wear in summer. Overall, it works well, and the low price($12.95) cannot be beat.
Smartipants one-size: Smartipants are one of my favorite pocket dipes. It took a while for Lucky to fit into them, since the leg openings are a bit large, so I might not recommend them for a skinny legged baby. The inner lining on these is thinner and the pocket is actually a sleeve. This design allows the insert to come out on its own in the wash. I like the sleeve design because it makes stuffing the insert easier. Smartipants are also pretty economical at $14.95 per diaper, or $39.95 for a three pack.
Knickernappis one-size: Knickernappis are a larger one-sized and side-snapping. I like the wide design since I can add the extra insert for extra absorbency. Also, the side snapping allows for a little more adjustability for thighs and tummies. This diaper is a little bulky though, so it does not work well under pants.
Tiny Tush sized: I have only used the size small in the Tiny Tush Elite side-snap pocket, and front snap pocket. They were excellent for those first couple weeks. The fit was great for the skinny legs on newborns. The size small was supposed to work up to 14 pounds, but Lucky outgrew the absorbency long before he outgrew the size. In the larger sizes, an extra insert could be added, but I couldn’t get an extra one to fit well in the smalls. If you have a super peeing baby, perhaps a hemp insert would be better.
Happy Heiny one-size: HH one-size has the overlapping snaps in front for major adjustability. Also, the elastic on these is really stretchy, so they have a pretty good fit. Some people don’t like how the inner lining does not attach on the back, but I have not had any issues with it. If you like bright colors, HH has more variety to choose from than many of the other brands.
Fitted cloth diapers do not have a water proof PUL layer and must be worn with a cover. Fitteds usually can hold more liquid, and do very well containing poop since they have the leg gusset protection doubled with the leg gussets on whatever cover you use.
Kissaluvs Contour Hybrid: This is basically a fitted diaper without any snap or Velcro aplix so a fastener like a snappi or pins must be used. They have a sewn-in insert and very strong leg gussets. I have never had a leak with these and when paired with a Thirsties cover, they contain even the biggest poop explosions. They take quite a while to dry, but are very absorbent.
Mother-ease one-size: These are not very pretty, but they work well enough to make up for it. They are very basic, but hold a lot of liquid and always wash clean and stain free. They look like they will be bulky when on, but they adjust down well.
Goodmama: GMs are at the top of the price range for fitted diapers, or any diapers really. However, they are a good example of how “you get what you pay for”. The velour is soft and silky feeling. The snap in soaker holds a lot of moisture. They are one-sized and the snaps and elastic are really good quality. I would love to have several of these, but I cannot justify buying them when I already have all the diapers I need.
Kissaluvs Marvel one-size: These fitteds are a bit spendy as well at $25 each. They are very plush and have pretty patterns. They hold a lot of liquid, which also means they take a long time to dry. They are one-size, but I think they would be too big and bulky on a newborn. I wish they had a snap-in layer and a little less bulk between the legs, but overall they are an ok diaper.
AIOs have a PUL layer like pocket dipes, but the absorbent layer/insert is attached or sewn in, making them all one piece. Some have a stuff-able pocket in addition to the absorbent layer. These are one of the easiest types of cloth diaper to use, but because the wet zone layer is attached, they can take a really long time to dry.
Thirsties AIO V2: Thirsties is the only AIO I have tried so I do not have a lot of experience with this style. The Thirsties have a stuff-able pocket along with the sewn in insert. This AIO has Velcro aplix and the famous Thirsties leg gussets. These hold in blow-out type poops very well. They have a really low rise, so I would not recommend them for long-waisted babies. I wish they came in snap aplix because the laundry tabs always come undone and the Velcro then sticks to my other diapers in the wash. I have used these successfully as an overnight diaper by stuffing the pocket with an extra microfiber insert.
The most popular AIO is probably Bumgenius, but I have yet to try one.
Thirsties Duo snap covers: Thirsties covers are one of the most popular diaper covers used. They are PUL with the famous leg gussets. The duo snap covers are highly adjustable and therefore only need two sizes. They are also available in velcro aplix. I love the bright colors. I used these in the early days with pre-folds, and now with my fitteds.
I recently ordered some fleece covers from Etsy. I am hoping they solve my night time leaking issues. Lucky is a super soaker and I have yet to find the perfect combination to keep the bed dry overnight. I am open to suggestions.
I have not tried any of the hybrid diapering systems like Gro-baby, Gdiapers, and the like.