Saturday, January 15, 2011

Been a while!

Well, first of all, I want to sincerely apologize. It's been a while since I last posted anything significant, and I'm aware and ashamed of that. My original idea for this blog was to post at least weekly, if not more often, and I've been so caught up with life and everything it offers - and a lack of money that has made trying new items rather difficult - that I've neglected my sincere desire to post here and continue to review what I've got.

So, first and foremost, my most favorite topic of all: cloth diapers!

Okay, so you saw that coming. As a mom of an 18 month old who used disposables all the way through her first child (who is almost four), at this point, it's pretty much a guarantee that I'll be talking about diapers often enough to make non-parents scream, but they're a focal point of my life at the moment. A good diaper is hard to come by. They need to be taken care of, and when one ends up destroyed somehow it's either like the loss of a good friend or an opportunity to try something new and, potentially, better. And I'll admit, I've found favorites here and there, diapers I love and some that I simply hate.

Dipes I haven't tried yet
KaWaii Baby overnight diaper. I have one that I bought from Sara over at Cloth and Carry, and while she does have an online presence I'm lucky enough to live in the same city as her!

Dipes I've tried, and love
Thirsties Duo fitteds and covers. I obsess over these because the covers have the coveted LEG GUSSETS! Yes, leg gussets are worth it. Yes, they are amazing. And yes, they still fit my 26lbs, 34" long 18-month-old in MEDIUM! It's a small miracle, and makes me love these diapers even more than I did before. He will need to move up to the large size soon, but only because the mediums are almost too short - not because he lacks waist space. A somewhat smaller baby would easily be able to keep wearing these. I think he'll make it to two years in the medium dipes before a switch to the large size will be necessary. Just about any diaper will work under the covers, too, which means if you have a beloved fitted that needs a cover, all you have to reach for is a Thirsties cover and you're set.
FuzziBunz OS. I absolutely adore these diapers because of their versatility. They come with replaceable elastic for the legs so if you need more length, or if it breaks or stretches out, you've an extra set for BOTH legs. They're pretty sturdy diapers, well-constructed, and are soft both inside and out. Plus, their inserts are quite similar to the BumGenius microfiber inserts. Just about any insert will fit in here, and I actually love using the bamboo inserts from my Blueberry Minky dipes inside the FuzziBunz diapers - they're so trim this way! Plus, they have three snaps holding them on, so you're guaranteed to get an amazing fit on almost any size baby every time.

Dipes I've tried and are okay
BumGenius 3.0 OS. These are pretty good diapers, but not ideal in my opinion. I find that nearly anything you stuff them with makes them fairly bulky in comparison to the FuzziBunz dipes, and if you put in too many layers (even just their microfiber insert with a single soaker) the fit is horrible. The diaper ends up so bulky on A that he actually has gaps around his waist with it fastened on him as tightly as he is comfortable in, never mind that so much bulk means more of a chance of leaking in the legs. I've tried these as overnight diapers, and I have to say I wouldn't use them as such on a regular basis. I've also had problems with their hook-and-loop closures wearing out quickly - I have several dipes where it needs to be replaced ASAP. I haven't tried the 4.0 yet, and hope to before potty training.
WonderWrap OS covers. These are okay covers, but a lack of leg gussets (I'm so spoiled) and an unreliable fit around the waist means that they aren't my preferred line of defense against poo. I use them most often over prefolds with a Snappi. I do like the wider Velcro, though, and the waistbands are reliable when you finally get a good fit on them.

Dipes I've tried and dislike
Blueberry Minky OS with bamboo insert. These are adorable diapers in amazing colors and patterns, and they're incredibly soft, but they are also insanely overpriced. When I bought them, I think one was either $34 or $36, don't remember which now. I have two, and I don't think I'll get more. Each of mine has two snaps for the closure, which for us ends up meaning a pretty poor fit, and they become bulky quickly, moreso than the BG3.0 does. The inserts aren't bad, but one bad wash means they'll end up stiff and uncomfortable on your baby the moment they get wet. However, I do love the reverse adjustable snapping that they use on the inserts to fit them. I actually think I use the inserts more than I do the actual diapers.

Dipes I've tried and hate
GroVia OS with snap-in insert. I absolutely despise these diapers; for us they are a go-to when just about everything else is currently in a wash. I own all of one and will never buy more at this rate. They claim to have a reusable cover, but unlike the Thirsties covers that actually can be wiped clean and reused if desired, the GroVia diapers have a sort of cloth netting inside the cover that soaks in urine and poo the moment it touches the insert, rendering reuse a bad idea. The insert also bunches at the front with A, which may be partially because he's a boy and wets there first, but either way the insert doesn't soak in urine evenly. Plus, because the insert sits on top of the cover and has no elastic on either side to hold it to the baby, runny poop can be a total disaster. Overall, I'm not impressed, and wouldn't recommend them.
gDiapers. Okay, these were the first reusable diapers I tried, and I even made the effort to use them both with flats, prefolds, and the disposable inserts. And boy, do I have complaints! First, because any insert you use sits inside an elastic-sided snap-in "cover" for the cover itself (which is actually cloth and is not waterproof at ALL), any blowout will probably effect the entire diaper, which moots the point of being able to remove and exchange the snap-ins. Second, the disposable inserts are horrible at absorbing the runny poops of smaller, younger babies who are still mostly on breastmilk or formula. It really just sits there, which means you need to hope it isn't a blowout, and change that diaper ASAP or you're in for a LOT of diaper changes. Third, the actual cover isn't at all waterproof - yes, I already said that, but it's important enough that I feel I ought to say it again! It's a layer of cotton cloth, nothing more, so the moment it touches anything it can absorb, it does just that - which can lead to a lot of wet clothes. Prefolds were too bulky in these dipes, and flats did absolutely nothing - no style of insert helped prevent the blowouts and soaking issues I saw with the disposable inserts. My biggest beef with the disposables, though, was that even though they could be flushed, they had to be broken up first via a "swisher stick" used in the toilet - and they had to be ripped up first, before that. A total pain in the butt, and I would not recommend them to anyone personally.

So there's that bit. Hopefully I'll have the KaWaii dipe prewashed and ready to go tonight. I'm super-excited about getting to use the soap nuts I got from Cloth and Carry. I snagged a five-load sample pack for $4.49 so I could try them out before committing to them full time. I've been looking for a replacement ever since my Rockin' Green stopped doing what I need it to. Boo!

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