Cloth Diapers

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After my first two children have been toilet trained, I am going to try cloth diapers with my third and in anticipation of my fourth and final child. I rashly dismissed the idea of cloth diapers before, but recently learned more about them and have decided to give them a chance. I can’t remember how, but I heard about disposable liners that you put on top of the diaper so that you don’t have to deal with washing the poop. You just lift out and flush in the toilet. I’m hoping they work! As long as I don’t have to be cleaning poop off the diapers, I am okay with washing soiled (mostly pee filled) diapers. I’ve already dealt with clothes from potty training accidents and kids throwing up, so this can’t be any worse.

As I look at the plethora of cloth diapers available, I narrowed it down to the following (in alphabetical order):

  • Alva (see review below)
  • Bum Genius (see review below)
  • Glow Bug
  • Go Green (see review below)

ALVA DIAPERS
I found Alva diapers online and watched a few YouTube videos which claimed that these diapers were similar quality to other diaper companies and are made by the same manufacturer. I am not sure of the validity of these claims, but I was persuaded to order one and give it a try. I ordered the Colour Snap Re-usable Cloth Diaper Nappy (with 1 insert and double gussets) on May 13 and received my order on May 24 (8 business days). Shipping was free and the one diaper cost me $6.99 US in total.

Observations:

  • Colour coded snaps which make it easy when someone else is looking after you child. You can just tell them which colour to snap and there is no guess work.
  • The flap on the right has snaps which enable you to overlap the wings to make a better fit.
  • There is a double gusset (different than the Go Green) on the inside of this particular diaper which seems to be highly praised – I will give it a try and let you know what I think.
  • This design is a stuffable diaper which comes with one insert. The insert snaps into the diaper to prevent bunching and movement, but it is not a stackable snap. Unsnap the liner after the diaper is used and it will self agitate out in the wash.
  • The elastic is very good with lots of stretch.
  • Stiching is consistent and tight.
  • No logo.
  • The outside seems a little thin, but I will use it, wash it and let you know how it holds up to vigorous use.
  • I have seen one review which claimed that the print design on their diaper did not hold up against numerous wash cycles.
  • No need for extra absorbency, it was full, but did not leak during the night.
  • All-in-One design will fit from 8-35+ pounds. No need to buy another size.

BUM GENIUS

I bought my Bum Genius from a maternity boutique. It was much more expensive: $22.99 per diaper. The store had a 10% off sale, which saved me most of the tax. It would have been cheaper to order it through the website, but I wanted to get my hands on one to give it a try. I got the Freetime All-in-One One-Size Snap Diaper. The reason I was willing to pay a bit extra for this diaper is because I figure my husband is more likely to cloth diaper if it is as easy as possible. This diaper has two inserts sewn in, so no stuffing required.

Observations:

  • Only two designs available. The rest are solid colours.
  • The outside fabric is very durable and still looks brand new after lots of washing.
  • After being washed, it comes out fairly dry – no dripping while drying.
  • A little harder to get the ammonia smell out with All-in-Ones (you’ll need to use an ammonia bouncer)
  • The elastic is very good with lots of stretch.
  • Stitching is consistent and tight.
  • All-in-One design will fit from 8-35+ pounds. No need to buy another size.
  • Logo sticks out a bit from the diaper.
  • I have had a few very runny, poopy diapers and it has not leaked yet.
  • Stretchy tabs helps with a comfort fit.
  • Double inserts are sewn in, no need to stuff.
  • No need for extra absorbency, has lasted quite well thru the night.
  • Inserts are able to be folded to provide customized absorbency where you need it most.
  • Excellent warranty. (For original owner with reciept)

GO GREEN

I ordered these while they were having a sale and scored 3 Crazily Paisley for $12.95 each ($2 off the regular price). I placed the order on May 14th and recieved my order on May 28 (9 business days). Shipping was $11.95 to Canada. I opened my package today and was dissapointed to find that I had only 2 diapers, when the order form said there should be 3 (and I paid for three). I emailed Go Green and they got back to me within the hour apologizing for the mistake and promising to send out the missing diaper immediately.

Observations:

  • Colour coded snaps which make it easy when someone else is looking after you child. You can just tell them which colour to snap and there is no guess work.
  • The flap on the right has snaps which enable you to overlap the wings to make a better fit.
  • There is a snap on the inside of the flap which helps make a snugger fit and prevent sagging at the tummy.
  • There is a double gusset (different than the Alva Diaper) on the inside of this particular diaper which seems to be highly praised – I will give it a try and let you know what I think.
  • This design is a stuffable diaper which comes with one insert. The insert snaps into the diaper to prevent bunching and movement, but it is not a stackable snap. There is a second snap halfway down to double up on the insert and make it smaller for a younger baby. Unsnap the liner after the diaper is used and it will self agitate out in the wash.
  • The elastic is very good with lots of stretch.
  • Stiching is consistent and tight.
  • Logo is stitched onto the diaper.
  • The outside is a much better quality than the Alva Diaper.
  • All-in-One design will fit from 8-35+ pounds. No need to buy another size.

After washing my diapers, I hang them up to dry. Since my laundry is on the second floor, I bought a hanging clothes rack from IKEA, which is very handy for drying diapers.

I also use disposable cloth diaper liners which catch the solid poop. This makes poopy diapers much easier to deal with. Just lift out and flush. (Think dryer sheet)

I am currently using Nature Clean to wash my diapers. After researching on the web, this one came back very highly rated and was a decent price per load of wash. Also, I can buy this in the health/organic section of Zehrs/Loblaw/Great Canadian Superstore.

I found that after a while I needed to use something to get rid of that ammonia smell (mostly in my All-in-One diapers). I decided on the Rockin’ Green ‘Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer’. I add one tbsp to each wash of diapers and it totally gets rid of the scent.

Washing Routine 

After playing around with my washer (I have a Whirlpool Duet Steam Front-Load Washer), I have decided that they need a SOAK (my washer has this option, but if you pause your cycle and let it sit – same thing!) in 1 tbsp of Funk Rock (and a pre-dampened towel) then a Quick Wash Cycle, on HOT is working for me to get them clean. [The pre-dampened towel is to add extra weight and trick my HE washer to add a little more water to the cycle