So, you’ve decided to get your eco-freak on and go cloth? Nice! I successfully cloth diapered my son for his first 10 months, until solid foods (and my gag reflex) really kicked in in full force. By his 9 month birthday, I was wondering what in the world these insane environmental types were talking about when they indicated I could somehow “flick” the “solids” into the toilet. Diaper spraying had become an eye-watering, dry-heaving torture and I hated the LIES! I couldn’t take it anymore. To make a long story short, I abandoned cloth diapering and started down the slippery slope of ease, comfort and extravagant waste. And I liked it. A lot. I call it The Fall.
Pre-Fall, I had tried lots of different all-in-one (AIO) and pocket-style diapers and BumGenius 2.0 diapers came out as the undisputed champion. Before solid foods, they were virtually as easy as I imagined disposables to be. No spraying, no fuss, never running out of diapers and cute to boot--it was great. But as my dear son ate more and more people food and grew from sizes extra small, to small to medium, drying times got significantly longer, the diapers seemed less and less clean and, in addition to my total disgust, horrendous diaper rashes ensued. At the time (last year), BumGenius warned against ever using bleach (which I don’t use in general but I think it was called for here), saying it would “cause problems” with my diapers. Still, I didn’t bleach, tried sunning them, stripping them, etc., but the problems continued and, after trying several leaky, ill-fitting and complicated pocket styles, I decided to downshift my environmental diapering efforts to gDiapers.
I dropped about $280 for several gDiaper covers and a few boxes of inserts to get started, reasoning that if I jumped in and made the investment up-front I’d stick with it, even though I already knew them to be annoyingly complex (I’d tried them before but found that, once I’d snapped in the liners and stuffed in the disposable inserts, cloth diapering was actually easier—besides, I was always washing poop out of the liners anyway, so what’s the diff?). They were super cute if a bit expensive, but all the parts and the fact that my kid looked like he had a belt two sizes too small strapped around his chubby belly gave those a lifespan of about one month.
It started as just an occasional “treat,” picking up a small package of 365 disposables here and there, and then, like all good drugs, I was hooked. . . I abandoned my enviro-baby experiment.
But now, at 14-1/2 months, having weaned my bub from the boob and more than half his diet consisting of actual people food, his “solids” are consistently flick-able and I’m going back to cloth, at least part-time (my apologies enviro-types, now I see you’re not insane). The guilt of sending at least 40 pounds of plastic-ey (though chlorine-free!) baby waste off to my local landfill every week is getting to me. (Little known facts: a single disposable-diapered infant produces almost one TON of diaper waste in his/her first year and disposable diapers are the third-largest single consumer item in landfills). This is not to mention, even, the detrimental effects having tons of untreated human waste seeping into our groundwater and the hazy health concerns surrounding super-absorbents and the like.
So, I visited my cloth diaper purveyor of choice, CottonBabies.com, and discovered that they recently introduced the BumGenius 3.0 AIO (not to be confused with the BumGenius 3.0 one-size pocket diaper, a solution I found to be too bulky). Not only do they now offer four updated color options (at left), the new 3.0 has all the absorbency of the 2.0 AIO, but it also has an open pocket in back. The pocket has a lot of benefits. You can stuff it with an extra liner if you need more absorbency at night or for a long car ride, and it dramatically improves clean-ability and drying times. BumGenius now also recommends occasionally washing your 2.0 and 3.0 diapers with 1/4 cup bleach, so it seems all of my issues have been addressed. As I said, I loved my BumGenius 2.0 diapers for the first 9 months, but I am even more pleased with the new 3.0 AIO. BumGenius could not have made a more effective innovation and I feel like I’m really getting back on the green band wagon, which feels good.
I love the BumGenius 3.0 AIO thus far, but I only bought three to start, so my re-found cloth diapering experience is as yet very part-time. A slippery slope, after all, takes a long time to climb back up.
Pictured here is my dear boy, sporting his green “Ribbit” BumGenius 3.0 all-in-one diaper.
For extra credit, here are my findings on all the cloth diapers I’ve tried:
BumGenius All-in-Ones - As previously indicated, I really like this design the best. Messes are contained, they seem comfortable for the babe and they’re cute.
BumGenius 3.0 One-Size Pockets - I felt like these were too bulky on the small and medium size settings and didn’t like that they only come with a size small and size large insert—the large insert snaps down to a medium, but it was really bulky. They finally fit right on the large setting but it seriously doesn’t seem like they will work for a 35 pound kid.
FuzziBunz - This is a pretty good pocket style that gets nice and clean, but I found that the leg gussets didn’t contain all messes and the snaps annoyed me for a few reasons: 1.) My husband couldn’t get them right, so they’d leak every time he put them on; 2.) To get them to fit right, I often had to snap them differently on either side, making them seem lopsided, which I know would drive me nuts if I were wearing them, 3.) I like Velcro because you can wad the diaper up better to contain messes & smells (great for everyday use and especially critical when you’re carrying a dirty diaper around in your bag).
Happy Heinys - Great colors, nice AIO design that dries and washes well because of the open pocket, but I call these the Happy Heimlicks because the band is super-duper thick, stiff and high, like a cummerbund. Maybe my guy is short-waisted, but I felt like these diapers, while otherwise perfect, corseted him and limited what would seem like comfortable movement.
Swadlebees - These were expensive and too cute—literally. I have the “citrus circles” pattern and I found myself never using them because I was “saving’ them (???). Also, the Velcro tabs are too small, causing them to come undone on occasion and to stick to each other in the wash. The Velcro also lost stick. Furthermore, the organic velour stained very easily (and permanently) after a few uses (the BumGenius micro fleece stays white after tons of uses).