Cloth Diaper Road Test

December 07, 2010 12:00 AM by

Cloth diapers aren’t really my thing

And they aren’t my fellow www.BreezyMama.com co-founder Chelsea’s either. In fact, when she told me she was going to do a story on cloth diapers, I thought she was just trying to make me laugh. But no, she insisted. A year passed and I never did see that story. She came to her senses, realized she wasn’t a “cloth diaper person,” and asked me to do it. I laughed. A few weeks would go by and she’d ask me to do it again; I would laugh.
This continued for some time until I finally said, “Oh, the heck with it” and grabbed the big diaper pail of samples. Then it sat in my office (aka my bedroom) until a few weeks ago, when I reached into my daughter Emily’s changing table and realized I was out of diapers. No time like the present! I thought, and thus, the cloth diaper road test began.

FuzziBunz

It was the first diaper I tried on Emily because it was the first one that was dry. (Earlier—when I realized I was out of diapers, I threw the samples in the wash.) First thing I realized going into this is that the diapers take forever to get dry. I put them on low, so after two 60 minute cycles of that, I finally cranked the dryer up to high and they were done. But I digress…
Emily was going down for her nap and I put the FuzziBunz on. It had a non-disposable insert that went down, inside the crotch, and the entire thing snapped up to fit her perfectly. As she fell asleep and I started working, I thought, Hmmm, what do I do when it’s wet? So I emailed the CEO, Tereson Dupuy, who got back to me right away—great customer service!—telling me that the entire “set” needs to be changed. Silly me.
Emily woke up a couple of hours later and the FuzziBunz was going strong. I decided to really put this diaper to the test and kept it on for a total of five hours. No, I’m not a bad mom, this is a road test for goodness sake! Well, in doing that, I got to experience a poop in a cloth diaper. This is when it got interesting.

The tag on the diaper said “Shake solids into the toilet.” So I took Emily in the bathroom with a tub of wipes. I was filling the bath, which she loves, so she kept moving toward the tub, as I took the diaper off, shook it out, and then tried to wipe poop off of her. Somehow poop fell on the bathroom rug. I tried to hold her still, but then she stepped in it. Meanwhile, my son was trying to make her laugh, so he got a robotic stuffed kitty and put it out in the hall. She headed toward it and stepped in more poop. My son came in to ask what was going on, and then he stepped in it. I yelled and he backed out of the room, smearing more poop. The dog heard the commotion and decided to help by licking the rug. Meanwhile, I still have this poopy cloth diaper in my hand.
Next time, I think I’ll change Emily on the changing table, clean her, and then carry the neatly wrapped up diaper to the toilet and shake it out.

THE GRADE: As for the FuzziBunz diaper itself—I give it an A.
Easy to use, absorbent, and a perfect fit. Tereson says: “For full-time FuzziBunz users, 12 is typically enough—moms usually wash every day to day and a half. They can really start to smell after about two days.”

With most cloth diapers, the more you buy, the cheaper they are!

Happy Heinys

Now I didn’t have any literature on this diaper, so I had to go with God and trust my instincts. What’s scary about that is that I put it on before Emily went to bed at night and she sleeps for 12 straight hours. But it snapped up and around the sides ensuring the perfect fit.
Fast forward to the next morning. She seemed dry, no saturation, no wet sheets. I held her on my lap as she drank her milk, then I got up to fix breakfast. Uh-oh, I had been leaked on. But considering she had been in the diaper for 13 hours at this point, and had just finished a big glass of milk,
I think any diaper may have had some leakage.

I actually had two different samples of Happy Heinys—one with snap closures and one with Velcro. I’ve used them both at night, and she wakes up dry—but that 13th hour of having it on is the straw that breaks this diaper’s back. So, if you’re not lazy like I am, you won’t have that problem.

THE GRADE: I give Happy Heinys an A.

Rump-a-rooz

I put this on after switching Emily out of the Happy Heinys. It was the first diaper of the day, which means we could find ourselves testing it with a poop. It’s definitely a cute diaper, and like the other two it has the snaps to ensure a perfect fit. The diaper did well. I tested it again for nighttime, and boy, did it exceed all expectations.
Put it on at 7 p.m. and didn’t take it off until 8:30 a.m.—it was a hectic morning!
Rump-a-rooz has a system that lets you snap two inserts together for nighttime saturation protection. The cool thing about this is that it customizes to boys or girls. So, if you have a boy, the insert is snapped so there is extra padding in the front.

THE GRADE: I give Rump-a-rooz an A+.

DryBeez

This diaper comes with an absorbent pad built into the diaper, so there’s no need to add your own. It has Velcro tabs, no snaps, so you put it on just as if you were using a disposable. But here’s my problem—it lasts about three hours and then it leaks. I don’t know, maybe I’m not changing my baby’s diaper enough, but that seems like too little time. So, I emailed customer service to see what was going on, but never got a reply.

THE GRADE: I give DryBees a C.
What I do like is the waterproof bag that DryBees makes.
Take it out and about with you, so when you have to change a cloth diaper on the go, you just stick it there.

Kushies

Kushies’ lining feels like flannel, which is lovely. The crotch is nice and thick with an absorbent pad sewn in, and then another pad is sewn on by one edge on top. Unfortunately, I put one on Emily and she pooped about five minutes later. The next time I put one on, she wore it about five hours with not a leak in sight. It was time for the ultimate test—nighttime. It passed with flying colors, although I needed to change it right as she woke up.
Kushies also makes disposable diaper liners that come on a roll. You insert one in the diaper so when you child poops, it’s that much easier to “shake the solids in the toilet.”

THE GRADE: I give Kushies an A.

Charlie Banana

By the time I got to this diaper, I was feeling like a pro. I put it on Emily and the first thing I noticed was the perfect fit. With some of the cloth diapers, once you get it on, you still need to adjust it. With Charlie Banana, snap it in place and you’re ready to go. The other cool thing about this diaper is there’s a disposable liner option—it looks like one of those mega maxi pads you get after giving birth. It tucks in neatly into the built-in flap, and voilà—guaranteed protection for when you’re on the go, or you know a poop will be coming soon.

THE GRADE: All around, a fantastic diaper—I give it an A.

The Take Away

Now that the road test is over, do I still use the cloth diapers? Yes. They’re very easy, especially with the options of inserting disposable liners—great when your child is a scheduled pooper. So don’t be afraid to try the cloth—it’s easy and will save you a chunk of change.

Lessons Learned From the Road

POOP STAINS

When I washed the diapers, I threw in some OxiClean as well as detergent, but the diapers still came out stained. The whole poop-in-cloth thing is pretty gross to be perfectly honest, but you get over it. With three strengths, this soap’s worth a try:
Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper & Laundry Detergent, $14, www.rockingreensoap.com

RASH

Emily gets diaper rash very easily and she never got it during this road test. In fact, I had to use disposables while the laundry was finishing (see above) and in that time, she developed a rash.

MORE IS MORE

You need a lot of diapers. I started with seven and needed to wash them after a day and a half. Pay attention when you’re putting on the last one of your stash.

CONTAINERS

If you still use disposable wipes, you’ll need a pail for the diapers and a trash can for the wipes. Charlie Banana makes non-disposable wipes and they are so soft. Dip them in water and then wipe baby clean. Toss them in the same pail as the diapers, and the extra trash can isn’t needed!

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