What Works for Us: Cloth Diapering

I first started this blog in part to talk about cloth diapers. Now, four years later, some of my most popular posts are those about cloth diapers, cloth training pants, mama cloth or other reusable products.

So I thought it would be fun to provide an update on our current cloth diaper use.

What Works for Us Now

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Our son is almost two and definitely nowhere near potty training. (Though all my cloth training pants are in the bottom of his closet just in case.) We use Flip covers primarily during the day usually with prefolds or Flip microfiber inserts. At night we use a bumGenius pocket diaper (4.0 or 3.0, though all have been rehabbed at this point anyway) with a Joey Bunz Premium Hemp Insert (size Large or Medium, but Small works in a pinch) with a bumGenius one size microfiber insert and then a bumGenius doubler on top. This keeps him leak free most nights.

We do struggle with fit. A while back I decided to rehab our diapers with all new touchtape and elastic. Since then I have converted several others to snaps. Last fall a friend kindly gave me a whole bunch more pocket diapers all of which need rehab, but I just haven’t had the time. If I did, we probably would have enough bumGenius to use them almost exclusively. They are not the best diapers ever, but they are all around useful and easy for others to use.

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We have a couple of Free Time diapers that I keep in the diaper bag for going out. But these also needed to be converted to snaps when the aplix started failing. It seems like the new, improved bumGenius aplix just doesn’t have the staying power of the old stuff. It is stronger, but it also wears out quicker and destroys the front loop strip as well. I still really like bumGenius products, but I think if I had it to do over again, I would mostly purchase snaps, especially for items like Flip Covers that get such heavy usage. I also think that the Free Time diapers are soon going to need doublers, at which point I might as well be using a pocket. These were fun to try and work great for a younger baby, but by the second year of life, similar to my old bumGenius AIO’s, they just don’t hold enough for my heavy wetting kids.

I have two second hand Grovia’s that I rehabbed with touchtape and a couple of Thirsties Duo diapers that we use as well. When I first bought them, I was super excited, but they just didn’t work for my daughter. But they don’t leak often with my son, and they make decent daytime or even naptime diapers, but I don’t prefer them for going out and I wouldn’t dare use them at night.

Overall wear and tear

So this is the second child that I’ve diapered and much of my stash is showing the wear. I always figured that whatever I bought for my daughter would work fine for any future children as well.

So here’s my take on what lasted and what didn’t.

Diaper Pail and Liners.

We bought a bumgenius diaper pail and two pail liners. I’m really glad we did. It is still as good as new almost five years later. No, we don’t often change the carbon filter, mostly because I can’t be bother to remember when it needs to be changed and I never use deo disks. Yes, it does smell when you open it, especially in summer. But it’s still a great pail. I love the handles that lock down, since I have to carry it from the second floor to the basement for washing. I know some reviewers have complained about these pail liners, honestly, I’ve never had a problem. But then again, the only time I take the liner out is from the pail (which I carry to the basement) to the washer. This is NOT a wet bag, only a pail liner. A wet bag (such as the Planet Wise Wet Dry bag) is designed to be much sturdier.

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Wet Bags

We registered for and were given two Bummis diaper totes (in size small and large) before my daughter was born. Within weeks I hated them. So I bought the, then new, Bummis Fabulous Wet Bags for going out. I loved the zippers that kept anything in. I rarely notice smell unless it’s a very hot day and the bag has been sitting in the car. They get a fair amount of use, though not daily, at least church each Sunday and MOPS meetings twice a month. We go out often, but daily errands don’t usually involve a diaper change. These bags have held up well for us. I did have to repair the stitching near the handle at one point, but it wasn’t a big deal. I have two medium size which can hold 4-6 diapers comfortably, more if you stuff it. Two years ago we finally bought a large size wet bag for travel and it has made cloth diapering on longer distance trips easier, but since it doesn’t get much use, I can’t claim it’s longevity. I definitely prefer the zipper to draw string.

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A friend gifted me her Planet Wise Wet Dry bag. I like the concept of a wet dry bag but I don’t know if I would have considered the price worthwhile. So far I do like it, but I feel like I have to pull the liner out for it to dry properly and it’s always awkward getting it back in again.

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Thirsties covers. I still love the original Thirsties coverst easily replaceable. But overall, they definitely held up better than my Thirsties Duo Wraps. I feel like no matter how tight I make the cover, the edges of the diaper are still exposed. In general, time has not been kind to my Thirsties products. I didn’t realize fully until I pulled out my Size 2 Duo Wraps for my son. Wow, these were worn, the leg elastic sagged, and the Velcro was incredibly fuzzy and starting to unravel at the edges. Would I buy them again? Definitely the Thirsties covers. I think a few of these in each size is a great investment.

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I even think that the Duo Fitteds are great for newborns, though not nearly absorbent enough for older children. They won’t remain that beautiful soft velvet that they come as. Mine are all rough on the outside and pilled and stained on the inside. But we’ve also been hard on them. For a while, a Size 2 Duo Fitted with a Thirsties Hemp insert and a bumGenius microfiber insert all under a Thirsties size large cover was all that kept our daughter dry at night. Toddler urine is very hard on diapers, especially over night. I was forced to go against manufacturer recommendations and bleach these to deal with the stink. I paid the price in wear and tear, but I still think these diapers have their place. While I prefer snaps for more diapers now than ever, I still prefer hook & loop for fitted diapers. I haven’t had very good results from those with snaps.  But I probably wouldn’t purchase the Duo Wraps again because I now prefer Flip covers.

Flip covers we didn’t discover until our second child. I loved these, but I was terribly disappointed by how quickly the hook & loop wore out. I had to convert them all to snaps. I also don’t know if the fold over elastic on the legs is going to hold up through another child. I do think I now actually prefer Flip to Thirsties Duo’s, but I think Thirsties covers are still the best for newborns and exclusively breast fed babies. Nothing holds in the breast fed poo like those leg gussets. But be warned, you will need more covers. Thirsties covers are cut to accommodate the use of a Snappi or other fasteners. Flip covers are not and because of this you will get poo on the cover much more often.

I think that if I could pick any diapering system now, for this child, at this age, I’d be doing something very similar to what I am now.

I’d be using Flip inserts and Joey Bunz Premium Hemp inserts in Flip covers as a daily go-to combined with bumGenius pocket diapers for going out.

So that’s where we are with diapers. If you’re on to diapers a second or third (or more) child tell us how your diapering style has changed.

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