When we made the decision to use cloth diapers, I had no idea where to start. I started reading every blog and website I could find that had information to help me. I entered lots of diaper giveaways and won a few. I asked the few friends I knew who had tried cloth. There are so many options out there, and it was hard to know where to start.
Here the Bear is modeling his SoftBums Hot Diggity Dog Diaper. Does it have wiener dogs on it? Why yes, yes it does.
I started to build a stash, slowly but surely. Here's how it happened. Friends recommended BumGenius and gDiapers, so I put those at the top of my list to try. I registered for gDiapers. I won one of each: SoftBums, Apple Cheeks, Doopsy, Happy Heinys, and Bummis diapers. I got to review a Bunzuke diaper. I went to The Nappy Shoppe, a semi-local cloth diaper shop and bought a BumGenius 4.0 Artist Series, a BumGenius Elemental, a Charlie Banana, and 2 Sweet Pea diapers. Then I went to Babies, Bottoms, and More, another semi-local shop, and bought 4 gently used diapers - 3 Sweet Peas and 1 Bottombumpers. I say semi-local because they are in near by suburbs of Dallas. There isn't a cloth diaper shop in the actual city of Dallas. Shocking, right?
Some diapers we loved, but some didn't work for us AT ALL. This doesn't mean they are bad diapers, they just weren't a good fit for us. Every baby is different, so what fits our little 95 percentile chunky monkey might not fit a long and lean babe the same way. Each of these brands has a loyal following and are a perfect fit for some babies. There are also a few brands that we really like, but are not our FAVORITES for one reason or another. Please let me reiterate that these are opinions are solely ours and are only about how the diapers worked for US, not a statement about how the diapers work in general.
SoftBums Sunnyside Up Diaper
Here's our ranking system:
***** Five Stars = The best, our favorites, perfect for us in every way.
**** Four Stars = We love this brand but there is one thing we would change.
*** Three Stars = We really like this brand but there are a few things we would change.
** Two Stars = We don't really like this brand and wouldn't recommend it.
* One Star = This brand didn't work for us at all.
Here's how the diapers we tried and tested stacked up:
This is our go-to favorite brand. We LOVE them. They are pricey, but worth it. They are simple to use and come with a system of snap in pods and shells. The shells can be used several times unless soiled. They have super cute patterns and colors and are easily adjustable one size diaper that fit from 8-35 pounds. They dry super fast and never leak. We LOVE THESE DIAPERS. I won the first one in a blog giveaway and we have since purchased 7 shells and 20 pods. This is such a case for blogger reviews, because I never would have found this brand without reading blog reviews.
Apple Cheeks ****
This brand rocks and is tied with BG for our 2nd favorite brand. I never would have discovered this brand either without reading about them on blogs. The one thing I would change is that they are not one size diapers, and are pretty expensive. They come in 2 sizes - 8-20 lbs, and 18-40 lbs. They fit well, don't leak, and are super cute. We won a size 1, and bought a size 2. I would like to have more and really want to try their swim diapers.
BumGenius 4.0 ****
BG diapers came highly recommended by friends and bloggers. The 4.0 comes in super cute colors and a few patterns and is an easy to use one size diaper. The one thing I would change about the BG 4.0 is that because you stuff the insert into the pocket, poop has a tendency to get stuck in the wrinkles of the elastic. Not fun. Other than that these diapers rock. I would definitely like to have more of these.
BumGenius Elemental ****
The BG Elemental is another great BG product, and we love it with a few caveats. This diaper is organic, one size, and all one piece, which makes it easy to use and fit on your babe. The trouble is that it takes FOR.EV.ER to dry. This makes my husband want to cuss and throw things. The other issue is that if you don't get all of the organic cotton lining tucked into the diaper, it will leak. Otherwise it works well. I've heard rumors that the new BG Freetime solves some of these issues and I'm excited to try it.
Happy Heinys ****
I won a small Happy Heinys diaper from a blog giveaway, and LOVED it. It worked really well and was easy to use. The only issue I have with HH is that the one we had was a sized diaper, for newborns, and Bear quickly grew out of it. I would love to have more of this brand.
Bunzuke Cloth ***
The WAHM behind Bunzuke sent me a diaper to review, and we like it a lot. It is a super cute red bandana design and fits well. Bunzukes come with a unique Convertabunz insert that works really well and can be snapped in or stuffed. Bunzukes come in some wild and crazy designs like superheroes and the Lorax. The negatives about Bunzuke are the accessibility and cost. They are all hand made and her brand has really taken off so it is super hard to get one. She does a lot of charity auctions, and the Lorax diaper is currently at $75. Whoa. I think you can order semi custom diapers from $24-34, and fully custom diapers for $40. These are great for a special occasion diaper like a Halloween costume.
This is a great diaper, another that I won in a blog giveaway. It is a waterproof cover that you stuff with a prefold or insert. We use mostly gFlappers from the Nappy Shoppe. This diaper is reusable as long as it isn't soiled. There are 2 reasons why this one doesn't have a higher ranking for us. The first is that it is a sized diaper, so you have to buy 3 different sizes. Bear is currently wearing a medium, which fits from 18-30 lbs. The 2nd issue is with fit. The diaper fits a wide range of babes, but leaves red marks on the Bear's chunky little thighs. Red marks make me sad. We have actually used the cover as a swim diaper, and it worked fabulously.
Oh gDiapers, how you disappointed me. We used these a lot at first, before Bear's legs fattened up. Once they did, it was all over. I really liked the idea of having a flushable liner option as well as cloth inserts. They just don't fit him well. It is unfortunate, but true. One of my bffs used gDiapers on her boys, who are long and lean, and they worked perfectly. We don't use the gDiaper covers any more and are trying to sell them. We do still use the cloth inserts for extra soakers.
We liked this diaper for a while, then began to have fit and leak issues. The 2 part insert also took FOR.EV.ER to dry, which is kryptonite for Jed as I mentioned earlier. We do not use this diaper any more and are trying to resell it.
We bought one of these diapers new and 3 gently used. They all began to have fit and leak issues, and we gave up on them because we liked some of the other brands better. That said, Sweet Pea has a loyal following, they just weren't for us. We don't use these diapers any more and are trying to resell them.
We could not get the fit figured out on this diaper to save our lives. It caused us so much frustration and so many leaks that we gave up. I was really frustrated about it because it was dang cute. A lot of folks love this brand, but it just didn't fit our babe well. We don't use this diaper any more and are hoping to resell it.
I won this diaper from a blog giveaway. It worked well but we didn't find it easy to use. The insert has to be pulled out of itself, which is messy if poopy and takes a bit to get it reset up to use. We don't use this diaper any more and are hoping to resell it.
This diaper fit ok, but Jed didn't like the way it works. It snaps in the back and sizes on the inside, making it a little confusing to use. We also had some leakage issues, which could have been user error. We don't use this diaper any more and are hoping to resell it.
The Bear modeling his Apple Cheeks Size 1 Diaper.
Deciding which diapers to buy is a HUGE decision, and I hope this post will help you a little. All opinions are my own and I am not affiliated with any of these companies. Know that a lot of cloth diaper retailers have options to try before you buy, which is awesome. Here are some links for those sites.
Newborn Diaper Rentals from Wee Little Changes
Sample packs from Kelly's Closet
Two Week Trial from Babies Bottoms and More
Do you use cloth diapers?
What are your favorite brands?
What matters most to you - fit, style, cost, etc?