Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cloth Diapers, First Impressions

The two cloth diapers I ordered arrived this afternoon. I never thought I could get so excited about diapering. However, if this allows us to be free from an ongoing expense- even eliminate a future expense if we have more children- then I'm on board. Anything that can lower our long-term expenses gets me excited!

The diapers were both pocket diapers made by FuzziBunz. The diaper has a pocket that holds an absorbant insert. The At the next diaper change, I put one of the cloth diapers on my son.

The Upside
The diapers were not nearly as bulky as I thought they might be. The cloth diaper made it through his afternoon nap well. There is, however, a bit of a learning curve. The diaper did so well at keeping him dry, that I did not realize how full the diaper insert actually was. I also did not adjust the diaper size snug enough. It ultimately leaked, but it was clearly my error. I put the other diaper on him, properly adjusted, and it held up beautifully.

The main reason that I ordered these particular diapers was the sizing. Most diapers were recommended for babies 35 pounds or less. As our son is very tall for his age, he is also close to the upper weight limit at only 16 months. The FuzziBunz diapers I bought are recommended for up to 45 pounds. They have adjustable snaps to adapt to multiple sizes, and there's still room for Karl to grow in them.

The Downside
There are two distinct disadvantages of this particular brand. First, the company does not make an organic version of the product. For moms who would rather avoid the toxic chemicals normally used to grow cotton, you'll have to look elsewhere. Second, the labels on the diapers and the doubler (extra padding for overnights) say "Made in China".

Considering everything that we purchase in the US that comes from China, I shouldn't be surprised. However, many other brands of cloth diapers are made in the United States. The web site did not indicate where this brand was manufactured, but since there was the sizing issue, my options were limited.

The Takeaway
So far so good, when it comes to the ease of use and effectiveness of cloth diapers. I really like the diapers, but am disappointed about where they were manufactured. I will contact the store I bought them from and ask about a comparable sizing in other brands that are made in the US. If these are truly the only ones that will fit my son, then we will buy more- preferably on consignment. At least on consignment, no more money is sent overseas.

Live better, a little everyday.


  1. Though I am not a Mum myself, I have done a LOT of research into cloth diapering. Have you given much thought into looking at etsy sellers of cloth diapers? My good friend Jenni has this store and is more than happy to do custom orders for various sized diapers. She is moving right now but has internet access and is an active member of the etsy cloth diapering community. I know that there are a lot of variations on the standard cloth diaper theme but after changing a couple myself, I have to say that her creations are a wonderful hybrid and work like a dream.

  2. I so enjoyed cloth diapering my girls! I bought most of my diapers used, through the Trading Post and I liked Fuzzi Bunz okay, but when we moved back to our homestead (well water) they developed a smell that I grew tired of fighting so I sold them all. :/ We eventually switched to 99% prefolds and covers: cheap, easy and effective. :)

  3. We have been using Imse Vimse organic cotton diapers on our son for all of his 19 months. They are just wonderful. The diapers themselves are thick cotton and are disposable-diaper-shaped and are held together with velcro. They have a poly blend cover that has a plasticy surface on the inside. Not ideal sounding, I know, but it breathes well and keeps the moisture from getting out and soiling his clothes. And then there's a paper liner that goes between the diaper and the baby. It's a poop catcher. They can be re-used until there is poop, and then they can be composted. They can be flushed if you're on a city sewer system, but since we're on a septic system we don't want to do that. They cost about 5 cents apiece, and compared to the bother and water use for rinsing out poopy diapers, we think they're worth it. If you don't like the idea, though, you don't have to use them. We liked them a lot better than the inserts because there are fewer parts to assemble with a squirmy child, and fewer pieces to wash (and lose). Alfie almost never has leaks, even at 30 lbs, and we haven't had any trouble with them. We wash them in hot water and line dry them. We haven't used the special disinfectant soap they sell, and only a few times have we added bleach when some had sat around too long and were really foul. We bought two dozen diapers and three covers in each size, and we wash them in with a regular load of whites every couple of days. Imse Vimse also sells organic cotton feminine products, which I want to try sometime, and washable wipes (but I just cut up terry cloth from the fabric store and that has worked fine for wipes).