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Cloth Diapers for Toddlers and Bigger Babies

…because nap time and night time are a long time to go without a potty break.

Although my son wore most of his non-fitted cloth diapers for a very long time (4 months to 24 months), his bigger thighs have rendered most of the smaller cloth one size rather unwearable.

You may have already read my extensive review on cloth diapers and tips for how to care for them.

Since I wrote the cloth diaper review in August 2008, more styles and brands have landed on the market. So, it’s time for an addendum particularly targeting bigger babies and toddlers.

Again, a great benefit of cloth is how it makes babies conscientious of their wetness or diaper fullness, thus encouraging elimination communication at an early age.  Even once your child enters the potty training stage and transitions to underwear during the day, there’s the sleep time periods that require something other than underwear.

My son wore disposable training pants…once.  Never again.  He borrowed a pair from his cousin’s stash.  The extra amount of chemicals (polypropylene, polyethylene, polyacrylate) was irritating to his skin and caused an instant diaper rash.  No thanks.  We’ll stick with cloth.

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Kushies Ultra Lite

Kushies Ultra Lite, $12.49 – $13.99

  • Effectiveness at night: 4/5
  • Aesthetics: 5/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 4/5
  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Maintenance: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 4/5

The  ultra lite is for infants is designed for babies who weigh 10 – 22 pounds, while the toddler-size is for babies who weigh 22 – 45 pounds.

This is a fitted diaper with hook and loop closure tabs using 6 layers of absorbent 100% cotton flannel plus an additional attached flannel soaker that can be folded up (boys) or down (girls). The roomy legs of the toddler version allow my son to run, jump, and walk without a discernible bulky cloth diaper waddle (totally cute in babies, but not desirable in walking and running toddlers). Compared to the Classic Kushies Diaper, the Ultra LIte feature two fewer layers of cloth and a lighter waterproof barrier.

My son used the classic Kushies beginning when he was 8 months old.  They were fantastic–and they were hand me downs used by 2 other children (talk about a long diaper life). I love everything Kushies makes regarding cloth diapers–definitely a workhorse that’s light weight and built to last, plus super easy to clean without pulling out stuffed pockets or removing snappies.

The Ultra Lite diaper is available in variety of fun and mod prints suitable for girl (pinks with brown accents), boy (blues with brown accents), and neutral (greens with brown or multi-color as shown above). As a day use diaper, I found it worked well compared to the majority of other cloth diapers that my son can barely fit into.  The slimmer legs are perfect for mobile babies and toddler.  As a sleep time diaper, I needed to use an extra layer of soaker for my son who is a heavy wetter.  There’s room to add soakers as necessary with this diaper.

Easy to clean since they’re washing machine/dryer friendly, comfortable for my son, and delightful to the eye.

Read product details from Kushies. Purchase Kushies Ultra Lite Diapers.

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Envibum One-Size with absorbency pad $23.99, Absorbency pads $2.99

  • Effectiveness at night: 5/5
  • Aesthetics: 5/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 3/5
  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Maintenance: 4/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 4/5

Envibum’s minkee soft outer features a PUL water barrier lining inside; plus, there’s an unbleached cotton waffle with extra absorbency.  It works like a pocket or with extra flannel soakers on top.  Washer-friendly and line dry to keep this super cute and super soft diaper beautiful for the long haul.  It’s designed to fit the tiniest newborn to a growing toddler for babies weighing 8 to 40 pounds.

The soaker pads are optionally fit with hook and loop closures to keep them in place (no need to deal with stuffing and unstuffing soiled soakers in pockets!)–or you can get them without the hook and loop closure.

Envibum has a high commitment to creating green products that are useful for moms from all walks of life.  This is a very high quality diaper that feels like a super soft stuffed animal.  You’ll want to snuggle your little one in this beautiful diaper.  My son stroked the minkee fabric saying, “So soft!  My diaper!”  It’s definitely his favorite cloth diaper and easily one of mine.

I LOVE that Envibum is owned and operated by a family who gives back $2 toward every all-in-one cloth diaper sale to a non-profit (based on the color of the diaper).  Read more on their giving back page. Available colors include green, pink, red, aqua (each color related to a specific non-profit).

Envibum

Mom4Mom diaper cover $12.99, t-shaped liner $9.99.

  • Effectiveness at night: 3/5
  • Aesthetics: 4/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 4/5
  • Ease of use: 3/5
  • Maintenance: 3/5
  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Value: 4/5

This is Envibum’s take on prefolds with a cover.  The t-shaped prefold is made from flannel–it’s much less bulky than a rectangular chinese prefold, yet just as absorbent and durable.

Envibum claims you don’t need to use pins or snappies to keep the front flaps of the prefold in place before applying the waterproof, hook and loop closure diaper cover, but I thought it was very hard to keep the prefold in place while applying the cover (and my son is old enough to hold relatively still for diaper time).  Snaps  or hook and loop closures would help with securing the prefold. 

For every Mom4Mom diaper cover purchased, Envibum gives one to another mom in need.  Reading about how moms in third world countries re-use disposable diapers as diaper covers…for months…made my heart heavy.  Learning about the hope that Envibum provides for these moms (there and here in the US) and why they use brown velcro makes me want to support this company with all future cloth diaper purchases.  Period.Read product details from Envibum and purchase diapers.

Note: I received diapers, soakers, and cover samples for the purpose of this review.

Happy Green Baby — Seminar Scoop

happy-green-baby1Thanks to everyone who participated in today’s seminar!  What a fun group.  For those of you who couldn’t make it and are out of town, no worries…get your Happy Green Baby highlights right here.

As promised, I’ve collected all the links and info into one location to serve as your Happy Green Baby information headquarters.  Don’t forget to bookmark this post for future reference.

Cloth Diapers

Feeding Baby

TOXIN-FREE BABY

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Family-Friendly Grand Opening

As a friendly reminder, I hope to see you at the grand opening festivities for Spinal Health & Wellness on Thursday, October 8th from 4PM to 7PM.  We want to make this fun-filled event enjoyable for the entire family. Participating vendors are offering FREE portrait sittings, chair massage, face painting, and kid-friendly snacks. There’s also fabulous door prizes including 8×10 portraits, HappyBaby coupons and snack samples, and much more.

Healthy Mama Workshop

healthy mama smallI’ll be back at Downtown ACAC on Saturday, November 7th as the featured speaker for the Pre-Natal and Post-Natal seminar series offering a Healthy Mama Workshop that begins at 11:45 AM.

Moms will learn safe and ergonomic postural considerations for both parent and baby while babywearing.  Also, augment the breastfeeding bonding experience by caring for mom and baby’s back needs.  This workshop will teach you how to stay comfortable longer while wearing baby–preventing spine or pelvis injuries on baby.  You’ll also learn body support tips for the most common nursing positions, and caring for your baby’s back from infancy to toddlerhood.

Bring your baby carrier/sling and nursing pillow, if you use them.

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Green Baby & Ribbon Cutting

happy-green-baby1It’s almost here…

The Happy Green Baby workshop at Downtown ACAC (111 Monticello Ave.) in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, October 3rd at 11:45 AM.

I’m teaching new parents simple ways to go green with baby through an intro course in cloth diapering and I’ll show you how to make organic baby food from scratch–don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds!

This class is part of ACAC’s pre-natal/post-natal program and the first 15 minutes includes yummy snacks and social time with other new parents.  We’ll wrap up at 1PM (just in time for the afternoon nap).

The best part about this event, it’s FREE for the general public.  So, bring your friends, and let’s have some fun!

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Then, on Thursday, October 8th from 4PM to 7PM, Spinal Health & Wellness, my practice, is celebrating our official opening in grand style with a big party and a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The office is located in Charlottesville in Berkmar Crossing, near the intersection of Rio Road West and Berkmar Drive at 679 Berkmar Circle.

We want the entire family to enjoy the fun, so we’re offering yummy Asian-fusion styled tapas, chair massage, kids crafts, face painting, portrait sittings, kid-friendly snacks, and cake!

Non-profit National Eating Disorders Association and Rabbits for Recovery will be represented at the event along with Charlottesville Regional Airport (cuz  hey, we’re building a patient base that extends beyond central Virginia!), SuzySaid.com, and many other community partners.  Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is officiating the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Don’t forget the fabulous door prizes:

We can’t wait to see you at the par-tay!

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Happy Green Baby

Hey Moms!

If you’re in the central Virginia area this coming weekend, stop by for a  one-hour class on simple ways to go green–an intro to cloth diapering and preparing homemade organic baby food from scratch–at Charlottesville’s Downtown ACAC (111 Monticello Ave.) on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 at 11:45AM. This event is free and open to the public as part of ACAC’s pre-natal and post-natal seminars.

Happy Green Baby classes focus on surrounding a baby with a safe and and healthy environment, void of synthetic chemicals and harmful toxins.  This class will teach parents simple ways to go green, through an introduction to cloth diapering and creating homemade organic baby food, as well as a brief overview on wisely choosing items that come in contact with a baby’s mouth and precious skin, such as non-toxic bottles, baby skincare and baby sun care.

The workshop will be led by me…besides editing Traveling with Baby, I’m also a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Charlottesville.

I’m excited to offer Happy Green Baby to parents.  There’s enough learning curves involved with a new baby; I want to help parents feel confident and simplify the learning curve involved with raising a healthy, happy, and green baby.

For more information on Happy Green Baby, please call the office at (434) 566-0126 or visit www.scoliosisdoc.com.

I hope to see you there!

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Caring for Cloth Diapers

img_3106I’ve learned the hard way that there is a such thing as too much washing, or at least, using too much detergent.  I love that my son wears cloth diapers most of the time (there are a few exceptions such as while we’re at the office), but getting them clean is a pain.  No lie.

I absolutely detest the overpowering, “punch-you-in-the-nose” pungent smell of ammonia when I open the diaper bin to do the wash.  Long gone are the days of the odorless or almost sweet smelling diapers that only had breastmilk-induced waste. Yeah, it’s no fun to dump, dip, and scrape cloth diaper contents into the toilet.  But, there is a bright side to this mortifying task of natural motherhood, potty training awareness arrives sooner than later.

My son tells us when he needs to pee or immediately after he’s done some serious diaper dumping so that it’s MUCH easier to clean the diaper.  I’ve been waiting for this day for oh-so-long.  Cloth diapering definitely increases his awareness because he can feel wetness or solid masses of poo next to his skin, and his desire to be rid of it is finally here.  It’s enough to make me lift my hands to the heavens and sing praises to the Almighty.  Seriously, I’ve been praying for my son to want to potty train since he was born.  Does that sound ambitious?

Let me share some helpful cloth diapering cleaning and care tips that I’ve learned along the way.

CLEANING CLOTH

j0396131There’s definitely a difference between natural, plant-based fibers and synthetic fibers.  You may not detect a difference when waste matter comes from only breastmilk, but once your baby hits solids and especially meats  you’ll notice that wake-up scent called ammonia hit you between the eyes.

1. Use a dry diaper bin.  You won’t have to worry about a mucky and stinky mess of a cess pool in your home that’s also a drowning hazard if you use a wet bin, so stick with dry. Line your diaper bin with a heavy duty trash bag or waterproof cloth bag that can be washed along with the diapers.

2. Dump, scrape, dip, and flush solid waste matter in the toilet.  It sucks, but it has to be done.

3. Remove any liners or doublers from the pockets of any AIO diapers, so they’ll come clean in the wash.

WASH DAY

1. Wash diapers, diaper covers, and wet bags with a hot cycle (to remove and sanitize any excess solid waste matter).  Then, repeat with a cold cycle.

2. Instead of laundry detergent, I like to use Soap Nuts.  You can also use a couple drops of standard essential oils to brighten up the scent of the diapers.  Every so often, I add 1/4 cup of vinegar or apple cider vinegar to strip away any excess build-up.

3.  Hard vs. soft water may require modifications.  Sometimes I add some Oxiclean.  Usually, soap nuts is all I need to keep diapers clean and scent-free.

4. Line dry if able (we’re not able).  So, dry on perm press (not super high heat) with NO dryer sheets.  Those work like fabric softener to repel liquids and make the diapers less absorbent (not a good thing!).

5. Some of the thicker fabrics stay a little damp after the dryer cycle.  I just hang up the one or two diapers to air dry.

Check out my Cloth Diaper Essentials Comprehensive Review post if you’d like to learn about some of the best options available for cloth.

So, what works for YOU in caring for cloth diapers?

–By. Dr. Dolly

Cloth Diaper Essentials: A Comparative Review

Question:

I want to make the conversion from disposable to cloth diapers, but I don’t know where to begin. There are so many styles and brands, and do they really work as effectively as disposables? What do you recommend? Help!

Answer:

I’ve received the above question in similar form from several readers. As a cloth diapering mom, I’ve been searching for the BEST type of cloth diaper to really hold up to overnight wetness. However, I don’t want a diaper that is so bulky that my son won’t fit into his clothes. Then, there’s the issue of cost. Sure, I want the safest option for my baby that’s also easy on the environment. But, when economic times call for penny pinching, I need an option that’s also easy on the wallet. Traveling with Baby’s Cloth Diapering Review compares 9 brands bum-to-bum to give you the most comprehensive information for smart shopping.

This review will evaluate 1) effectiveness during nighttime wear, 2) aesthetics and bulkiness, 3) ease of use and maintenance, 4) most comfortable, and 5) value.

Cloth Diapering Jargon

Before proceeding, it’s essential to define key terms to help cloth diapering novices familiarize themselves with the extensive varieties and accessories associated with cloth diapering.

  • All-In-One (AIO) – An all-inclusive cloth diapers include an absorbent interior lining as well as a waterproof outer layer or cover.  These may fasten with velcro or snaps.
  • Fitted – A shaped cloth diaper with fasteners (either snaps or velcro) and elastic gathering around the waistline and leg holes.
  • Chinese Prefold (CPF)/Prefold – Rectangular and flat cloth with varying layers of fabric for absorbency with 3 combined strips.  These do not have fasteners sewn in, but pins or snappies can be used.  These are referenced by numbers (i.e. 2x6x2, 4x6x4, or 4x8x4, etc.) which are associated with the numbers of layers in the sides and middle of the fabric.  A 2x6x2 has 2 layers on the sides and 6 layers in the center strip.  Some prefolds have color-coded stitching to indicate the size: dark green = infant; white = regular; dark blue = premium or toddler
    • Bleached cotton prefold (BCPF) – white cotton prefold that has been bleached
    • Unbleached cotton prefold (UBCPF) – off-white or ecru cotton prefold that has not been pre-bleached
  • Contour -A shaped “fitted” cloth diaper (typically made from fleece) without fasteners or elastic gathering around the waist or leg holes.
  • Covers – Waterproof fabric that either wraps which fasten in front (velcro or snaps), side closures which secure on the sides (snaps), or pull-ons which are already pre-sized.  Covers are used with fitteds or prefolds since they have no other waterproof outer layer. 
  • Doublers/Liners – Strips of fabric used to increase absorbency of a cloth diaper.  These can be used with any type of cloth diaper for extra wicking such as nap times or nighttime.
  • One Size -This type of diaper grows with your baby.  Some all in ones and pockets are also one size diapers with a variety of fastening options for an infant to toddler.  This is a great economic option.
  • Pocket – Similar to an AIO with an absorbent and wicking inner-layer usually comprised of fleece, plus there’s a waterproof cover which is either fleece or PUL, and an opening either in the back or the front which creates a “pocket” which can be stuffed with the desired layer of absorbent inserts.  Velcro or snap fasteners are included.
  • PUL – Acronym for polyurethane lining.  Waterproof-lined fabric used in outer layer or covers of cloth diapers.
  • Snappis - “Y”-shaped plastic fasteners that have sharp “teeth” to allow you to fasten prefolds or contours which don’t have their own built-in fasteners.

Smart Shopping

My overall top picks in various categories are listed below.   I found pocket diapers with several layers of liners to be the only type of cloth diapers to hold up for night time or naptime use.  Continue to read for more specific reviews on each style that was tested.  You can compare prices and click on the associated hyperlinks to be directed to retailing sites.

Previously Used

If you’re comfortable with purchasing or freely accepting gently used diapers, it’s a great way to save on cash.  Most cloth diapers have a long lifetime and can last through several babies.  I received some gently worn, and although they’re an older style, they’ve held up well and I’m just as pleased with them as the ones I purchased new.

Review

I hope you find the review helpful in your journey with cloth diapering.   Scroll down to read about various diapers which are categorized alphabetically.

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bumGenius!

bumGenius! 3.0 One-Size by Cotton Babies, $17.95

  • Effectiveness at night: 5/5
  • aesthetics: 5/5
  • lack of bulkiness: 5/5
  • ease of use: 4/5
  • maintenance: 4/5
  • comfort: 5/5
  • value: 4/5

This fantastic pocket diaper utilizes a fleece liner, polyester outer shell, and an envelope pocket with 2 inserts, and reusable flannel wash cloths.  This diaper fastens on the sides with velcro.  Snap downs on the front enable an infant to wear it through toddlerhood.  I love this one-size diaper because it grows with baby, up to 35 pounds.  I began using this on my son when he weighed 12 pounds.  Now, my 25 pound baby boy can still comfortably wear this at night.

The velcro is great for putting on the diaper in a jiffy.  However, as my son’s gotten older, more dexterous, and increasingly curious, he’s apt to unfasten the velcro.  I prefer snaps on diapers for older babies since those are harder for them to open.

The liner doesn’t pile over time, and this attractive diaper has held up well over several months of use.  The fabric surrounding the center bottom snap became separated from the snap, but it doesn’t affect the use of the diaper.  At this point, it’s only an appearance issue.

The 3.0 comes with an infant microfiber insert and a one-size microfiber insert.  I also tested it with the Hemp Babies inserts.  When I first began using this diaper, I found that one insert was not enough for night time use because my son was still nursing 2 to 3 times at night which created a lot of output.  When I doubled or tripled inserts, this became one of my favorite diapers for night time use.  One insert works great for daytime use.  Even with multiple inserts, this diaper isn’t too bulky, and it does a great job of keeping my son dry.

Because of the great durability of this diaper, great construction, and the fact that it’s a one-size for baby to grow in, I think it’s one of the best values for pocket diapers on the market.

This diaper requires pre-stuffing of a liner (or 2 or 3), and removal before washing.  Check out Cotton Babies‘ detailed info on the 3.0.  Purchase a bumGenius! 3.0 one-size pocket.

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Bummi’s & TotsBots

Bamboozle $18.50, Super Whisper Wrap $11.00 – $12.25

  • Effectiveness at night: 3/5
  • Aesthetics: 5/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 5/5
  • Ease of use: 4/5
  • Maintenance: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 2/5

Of all the diapers tested, this was definitely the softest…as in fuzzy, angora sweater softness.  I love that it’s made from sustainable fibers: 4 layers of bamboo fabric which is more than twice as absorbent as cotton.  A doubler is sewn inside for extra absorption.  You can fold the doubler for more absorption where needed based on whether you have a boy or girl, or whether your baby sleeps on his belly or back, or whether you’re using it day or night.  I like having options!

For prep, this diaper needs several washings before it’s ready for use.  It fastens with snaps which I like because they’re more difficult for a baby to unfasten compared to velcro.  However, the size 2 diaper (for babies weighing 10 to 35 pounds) was initially just a little too wide in the waistline for my son.  More snap options would easily fix this dilemma.  He fits into it well now that he’s added a few more pounds.  Since it’s worn similar to a fitted diaper, it requires a wrap or cover.  I liked using it with the Bummi’s Super Whisper Wrap which fit it well and looked adorable with the frog print.

This fitted diaper is pricier than most fitteds, and even compared to some pocket diapers.  However, most apparel items made from bamboo fibers tend to be more expensive than cotton.  You do get what you pay for, and I personally love the feel of bamboo as well as its durability to maintain soft, silky texture even after numerous washings.  Cotton doesn’t hold up nearly as well as bamboo.  This diaper shot to the top of the list for perceived comfort.  It’s a great diaper for day use and nap time, but it wasn’t quite absorbent enough for night use.  If lined with an additional microfiber or hemp liner, then it passes the test for night use with ease.

Read about the Bamboozle on Bummi’s site.  Purchase Bamboozle. Purchase a Super Whisper Wrap.

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Chinese Prefolds

Unbleached Chinese Prefolds, $2.50

  • Effectiveness at night: 2/5
  • Aesthetics: 1/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 4/5
  • Ease of use: 2/5
  • Maintenance: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 5/5

These are a great staple for cloth diapering.  They’re compact, easy to clean, easy to store, and work for multiple uses (think: burp rags, smaller prefolds become liners for bigger diapers, roll ‘em up for neck support in a car seat, use ‘em as a changing pad in a pinch).  I think every parent could use several of these on hand.  We’ve used them since our son was an infant.  When we’re all out of the other, fancier cloth diapers, these were always a saving glory.  If you’re practicing Elimination Communication (EC) these diapers are perfect to just lay underneath your baby when getting used to his output patterns.

I used the unbleached prefolds which come with a waxy surface when purchased new.  They had to be washed several times (5 to 7) before becoming absorbant, non-waxy, and usable.

These may or may not be used with a waterproof cover to prevent baby’s clothes from getting wet.  My sister-in-law is a sewing wizard who made several fitted cloth diapers and covers for our son.  I also used wraps from Bummi’s and Mother-ease.

For a great photographical tutorial on how to accomplish various diaper folding techniques with prefolds, check out the Diaper Hyena for Diaper Folding 101.  Also, visit the Diaper Pin for Prefolds 101.

Purchase prefolds, or diaper covers/wraps.

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DryBees

DryBees AIO Hybrid, $16.95

  • Effectiveness at night: 5/5
  • Aesthetics: 5/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 4/5
  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Maintenance: 4/5
  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Value: 3/5

I was nothing less than thrilled with the appearance and performance of this diaper.  Both DryBees diapers that I tested quickly floated to the top of my list of faves.  I can’t imagine why there isn’t more buzz (no pun intended) about DryBees among parents who use cloth, because it’s an amazing diaper that works just as well if not BETTER than other pocket diapers, and it’s priced competitively with similar styles.

This diaper fastens with velcro closures for a snug fit around the waist to prevent leakage.  The elastic around the legs also prevents leakage, but stays comfortable around baby’s thighs.

There is a rear pocket with a slight amount of elastic to keep the liner in place and prevent wetness from leaking onto baby’s back at night.  I loved the style of this pocket at first sight.  An absorbent liner is already sewn in the interior, but it comes with an additional liner for babies that need more–like my son.  This diaper not only made the grade for night time use, but it can also be worn for day use and it doesn’t have a lot of extra bulk.  I found that I preferred this diaper over and over again for night use, road trips, or times when diaper changes weren’t always convenient (church or appointments).

Purchase a DryBees AIO Hybrid and read more details about the product from DryBees.

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DryBees

DryBees Fleece Night Time, $17

  • Effectiveness at night: 5/5
  • Aesthetics: 3/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 2/5
  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Maintenance: 4/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 3/5

When I first began my search for the perfect diaper for night use, my son was a v-e-r-y heavy wetter at night.  For many of the pocket diapers I reviewed, I had to re-try them at bedtime by stuffing with more liners each subsequent use until I found the magic amount that worked.  However, it was so simple when I used the Fleece night time.  I used one or two liners…that’s it!  It just worked, and it worked better than any other diaper on the first try for overnight use.

This diaper incorporates a heavy weight fleece on the outside and a milled suede cloth lines the interior to keep baby’s skin dry.  I love that it doesn’t need a waterproof cover, but the super heavy and absorbant fleece also protects against skin irritation with its breathability.  Velcro fasteners ensure a perfect fit.  You can fold down the front and velcro to the folded down interior for babies with a shorter rise.  The elastic trim on the thighs prevents leakage and keeps baby comfortable.

The main drawback with this diaper is that it is extremely bulky, especially in comparison to other pocket diapers.  So, you’ll find that baby’s pajamas may not exactly fit when coupled with this diaper.  I used a sleeping bag or left some pajama snaps unbuttoned, and it worked well.  I chuckled to see my son in this diaper with his extra padded bottom–it reminded me why this brand is called DryBees because he looked like he had a little bumblebee bottom.  He still comfortably slept on his back with this diaper, but it’s even better for babies who are side or belly sleepers.

If you have a baby who has a significant output at night and you’re still nursing throughout the night, I’d suggest this diaper above all others.  Hands down, TOP choice for night time use.

Purchase a DryBees Fleece Night Time and read more details about the product from DryBees.

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FuzziBunz

Fuzzi Bunz Pocket, $19.95

  • Effectiveness at night: 4/5
  • Aesthetics: 3/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 3/5
  • Ease of use: 4/5
  • Maintenance: 4/5
  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Value: 2/5

It’s a big diaper. Long, wide . . . BIG. It fits much better on my son now that he’s 9 months-old and weighs 25 pounds, compared to when he first started using it at 5 months of age and weighing 14 pounds. Even though it’s big, I like that a baby can grow into it. With snaps for fasteners, they work well for an older baby to prevent unfastening of his own diaper. However, for a smaller or younger baby, I found the snaps for the smallest fit were still not as snug on the waist as I could get with other diapers using velcro fasteners. I had problems with it the first 2 times my son wore it for overnight use—it leaked from the pocket opening in the back through my son’s pajamas. He was NOT a happy baby, and needed a middle of the night changing. I’ve also heard from other readers who wrote to me experiencing leakage problems with this diaper.

I had to work with it a little until I figured out how to make the pocket work for me instead of against me. Essentially, I had to fold down the liners so they didn’t cause the pocket to remain open at all. The pocket opening had to be flush with the outer layer of the diaper before I snapped my son into it. When he had heavier output at night, those extra steps did work. But, if I wasn’t the one who put him in his night time diaper, inevitably, he’d wake up soaked from leakage in the back pocket opening.

Now, I love it for night time use, but my son’s output isn’t as heavy. I also like it for daytime use with fewer liners. The inner liner did eventually pill after several washings—this was the only pocket diaper tested that ended up pilling.

Overall, I felt like it was a nice diaper, but I found that other diapers worked better with far less troubleshooting for leaks through the pocket opening.

Purchase a Fuzzi Bunz pocket diaper.
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KCK One

KCK One Front-Pocket, $17

  • Effectiveness at night: 5/5
  • Aesthetics: 5/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 4/5
  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Maintenance: 4/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 3/5

Daytime use, overnight use, this is my favorite all-around diaper for a number of reasons. It’s a one size, so it grows with your baby. The front can fold down, and the velcro can fasten to the interior lining when baby’s smaller with a shorter rise. As baby grows, it still fits. I think this diaper is especially appealing for heavy wetting babies who are back sleepers. I found that other pocket diapers sometimes leaked if the back openings weren’t secure or too stuffed. There’s no such problem with the KCK One which has a front-loading pocket that lays flat. The interior liner is a soft microfiber fleece blend that wicks away moisture from baby’s skin. The legs are trimmed with elastic for a sure, snug fit that prevents leakage.

This diaper isn’t manufactured from a multitude of workers who were hired by a large company, but when you purchase a KCK One diaper you are directly supporting a work-at-home mom (WHAM) who purchased the license to sew and label these diapers with the KCK One label.

When I received this diaper from Maria, I was impressed with the sizing versatility of one diaper. The side tabs with velcro fasteners also have hook and loop closures on the outside of each tab which allows them to overlap for small and slender babies. This diaper worked like a champ for overnight use. I stuffed it with several layers, and by morning, my son was dry and there was no waistline leakage. This diaper is definitely one of my top picks. I only wish I had discovered it sooner—sleeping through the night might not have been such a struggle!

Purchase KCK One Front-pocket diapers.

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Kissaluvs

Kissaluvs Fitted, $11.50

  • Effectiveness at night: 4/5
  • Aesthetics: 4/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 5/5
  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Maintenance: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 4/5

My son’s first cloth diaper was a newborn fitted that was made from a pattern similar to the Kissaluvs style. I loved them, and we used them for several months until he outgrew them. It was the fitteds that first got me hooked on cloth diapers, and I still consider them a great diaper.

I was happy to try out a fitted made by Kissaluvs. I loved the super soft fleece which scored high on the perceived comfort scale. The snap fasteners allow for baby to grow into them. There are different size/weight options, but this diaper will last a very long time. There’s elastic on the waistline and leg openings which are snug and prevent leakage. This diaper doesn’t have a waterproof outer layer and needs to be used in conjunction with a diaper cover or wrap. I love this diaper for day use while at home because it helps my son to be aware of the wetness sensation which encourages potty training. I also used it during naptime with an extra microfiber liner for extra absorption. However, this diaper just didn’t have enough absorption power for overnight use. This diaper is the reason I prefer cloth to disposables.

Read product details from Kissaluvs. Purchase Kissaluvs Fitteds.  Purchase diaper covers._______________________________________________________________________

Kissaluvs

Kissaluvs Contour, $5.99

  • Effectiveness at night: 1/5
  • Aesthetics: 3/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 5/5
  • Ease of use: 3/5
  • Maintenance: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 5/5

The Contour is like a Fitted without the elastic in the legs. There’s a thick inner liner sewn with stitching down the center to allow for easy cleaning while being laundered. There are no fasteners with this diaper, so pins or snappi’s need to be used to secure it. Also, it’s soft fleece, but it lacks a waterproof outer layer, so it needs to be used in conjunction with a cover or wrap.

It’s easier to use than a prefold, and more absorbent. However, it’s not as effective as a fitted due to the lack of the elastic around the legs. The lack of elastic means that there is a likelihood of leaking through the leg holes. It’s not good for nap time or overnight use, but it’s a great back-up when you need a diaper in a jiffy. It takes up less room in a diaper bag than any pockets or fitteds that I tried, but I found the best time to use it is for day use while at home when getting my son used to the sensation of wetness while working on potty training. This inexpensive diaper isn’t something I’d stock up on in great supply for a small baby, but for the transition to potty training, it’s a great option compared to sized fitteds or underwear.

Read about product details from Kissaluvs.  Purchase Kissaluvs Contours. Purchase diaper covers.

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Mother-ease

Mother-ease AIO, $16.95

  • Effectiveness at night: 3/5
  • Aesthetics: 3/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 4/5
  • Ease of use: 4/5
  • Maintenance: /5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 3/5

This is a well-made diaper, but because of the snaps  which fasten on the sides, finding a good fit for smaller and more slender babies can be a challenge. This diaper lacks as much size versatility as other brands, but it is a good, solid diaper that uses absorbent cotton terry for the inner lining to keep baby dry. The legs have elastic, but I found them to be a bit roomier than other brands which meant leakage was inevitable if my son slept on his side.

The sewn outer cover acts as a waterproof barrier. This diaper is plain and white, but effective. There is room inside to add an additional terry or microfiber liner, if needed. My son needed the extra liner. As a day use diaper, I found it worked well, although it was a little bulky. As an AIO, it’s easy to use and even easy to clean. No unstuffing of the pockets is necessary. Just use, remove, and throw it in the wash. Done.

Read product details from  Mother-ease. Purchase Mother-ease AIOs.

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Mother-ease

Mother-ease One-Size $12, Air-flow Cover $12.25

  • Effectiveness at night: 3/5
  • Aesthetics: 3/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 5/5
  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Maintenance: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 4/5

This is as close to underwear as you’ll find in a diaper…one that grows with your child from infancy to toddler (8 to 35 pounds).  The beauty of one-size diapers is that they are versatile with size.  This one does a dandy job of enabling size changes with snaps.  Add as many liners as you like for your child.  You won’t need as much with a newborn, and there’s plenty of room for several layers for nap time use.  This diaper isn’t robust enough for over night use, except maybe for a newborn.  But, this is a great economical diaper which will last through your child’s growth.  It’s available in regular white terry, terry combined with an extra moisture-wicking inner layer, organic cotton terry, and bamboo terry.  I used the regular white terry, but I’d recommend the bamboo terry since it has extra absorption compared to cotton terry.

This diaper is available in plain white or unbleached white.  There are no fancy colors or patterns.  It’s a plain, all-purpose diaper that just does the job.  You’ll need to use this diaper with a cover since it doesn’t have a waterproof outer layer.

Mother-ease makes an air-flow cover with side snaps, but I found that it didn’t offer enough snaps to size specifically to my child who is slender for his weight.  If the waist and leg elastic are too loose, then leakage is a higher probability.  Specifically for my son, I found other diaper covers and wraps to work better based on his particular build.

Read product details from Mother-ease. Purchase Mother-ease One-Size.  Purchase diaper covers.

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Mother-ease

Sandy’s Diaper (fitted) $11.75 – $12.25, Air-flow cover $12.25

  • Effectiveness at night: 3/5
  • Aesthetics: 5/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 4/5
  • Ease of use: 4/5
  • Maintenance: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 4/5

This is a soft, terry cloth fitted that fastens with snaps on the side.  My son falls in the weight category for a larger diaper, however, he has a small waist, and the diaper was a little too loose.  When coupled with a diaper cover, it was fine for preventing leakage, but if it had more size adjustment options with more snaps, it would fit taller and slimmer babies better.  It’s a roomier fit with the elastic around the waist and legs compared to other fitted diapers I tested on my son.

There’s an extra layer of terry sewn into the interior for extra absorbency.  It also can be worn with an additional terry liner for naptime use.  It doesn’t quite boast the absorbency level needed for overnight use, at least not with a heavy wetter.  However, this is a great diaper for daytime use.  It’s simple, plain, and white.  Nothing flashy about it, but it’s comfortable and it works.  It’s also available in organic cotton terry and bamboo terry fabrics.

Since this is a fitted diaper, it needs to be worn with a wrap or cover. I preferred to use it with a Bummi’s whisper wrap which could adjust to my son’s waistline and prevent leakage.

Read product details from Mother-ease. Purchase Mother-ease Sandy’s fitteds.  Purchase diaper covers.

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CJ Swag

Rumpster, Oh! AIO, $32.00

  • Effectiveness at night: 5/5
  • Aesthetics: 5/5
  • Lack of bulkiness: 5/5
  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Maintenance: 5/5
  • Comfort: 5/5
  • Value: 1/5

What a beauty of a diaper!  This is the “mother” of all AIO diapers.  An all inclusive diaper that has 5 layers of hemp fabric sewn into two folding flaps for extra absorption, yet it can unfold in the wash for a thorough cleaning and drying.  Less work for me means I’m more likely to use it!  Also, the inner flap incorporates a strip of microfiber fleece for extra wicking power and comfort for baby.  You can reverse which flap is against baby’s skin if you want your child to feel the wetness (the non-microfiber flap) to help with potty training.

Another feature that makes this diaper stand apart from many others are its fantastic leg gussets with elastic.  These gussets create less bulk around the thighs, yet the elastic keeps baby extra dry which is fantastic for a side-sleeper.  Since the inner flaps fold over one another, they also create yet another “pocket” if you decide you need to add another liner for more absorption.  I found this truly remarkable diaper to be sufficient without an extra liner for overnight use.

This diaper gets high marks all around except for value.  It reigns in a hefty price compared to others on the market which accomplish the same objective.  However, if you want a really nice diaper to keep baby dry overnight, but you don’t want to deal with liners and pockets, then this may be the diaper for you.  The velcro tab closure is nice.  And, the tabs are designed such that it is difficult for baby to pull it open, unlike other diapers with velcro closures.

Read more about the Rumpster, Oh! from the manufacturer’s site, CJ Swag.  Purchase Rumpster, Oh! AIO’s.

Check out my Caring for Cloth Diapers Guide

–By Dr. Dolly

Poop Scoop

As parents, we hear horrendous stories about absurd, crazy, and disgusting things babies and little tykes do.  And we think to ourselves, “that won’t EVER happen to MY child.  I’m much more aware, and I’ll handle any crazy thing that comes my way.”  Well, if you think that, you’re better off dealing with reality than disappointment.  So, might as well pony up to the poop because one day, you will have one heckuva poop story to tell.  This one just happens to be mine.

Calvin woke up early from his morning nap.  When I found him, I was greeted with an unexpected surprise.

POOP. EV-E-RY-where.

Smeared on his hair, face, entire body, all his blankets, the entire pack ‘n play, plush toys . . . EVERYTHING was covered in __IT.

He’d managed to pull off his diaper, and there he sat, naked as a jaybird  grinning up at me knowing full well what he’d done.  Because, my boy-in-potty-training just doesn’t like the sensation of sitting in his own mire.  But, I guess it’s okay to have it smeared all over his body.  THAT doesn’t seem to bother him one bit.  I was torn between laughing/crying/and throwing my hands in the air in utter desperation.  I did some quasi-combination of all three.

I felt like the universe was askew and imploding at that very moment within the space-time continuum, and somehow I had to keep talking to my mom on the phone (because she was from out of town and kept getting lost driving to my apartment), get Calvin and his bed clean, and then open the door for my mom in this crazy electronic-key/self locking door apartment so we could meet for lunch before she got on the road for her 8 hour drive home.

Please, Lord.  Did the poop have to hit the fan quite so literally?

My mom was stressed out because she is navigationally challenged.  While I held poop-covered boy, she was parked across the courtyard in the parking garage.  I had to “signal” her with my window blinds so she could lock on to where my apartment was relative to her location.  I couldn’t very well take my filthy, naked boy out in the lobby to walk her back to the apartment, so I had to guide her through an apartment hallway maze through the phone.

Meanwhile, I put Calvin on the floor (yes, I put the baby with the dried poop on his body on a carpeted floor), so I could start filling up the bathtub and I began to wipe down the NASTY pack ‘n play with a non-toxic, all purpose cleaner.  I also washed all of his pack ‘n play bedding and plush toys.

By the time my mom was utterly confused walking down the hallway, I went out there to greet her.  She came inside and I showed her exactly why I couldn’t walk to her vehicle to meet her.  My mom took one look at Calvin, one look at his bed, and just laughed.

Then, I plunked him in the tub and he started laughing, splashing, and kicking.  My mom said he made such a mess because he wanted the opportunity to play in the tub and get clean.  Yes.  I seriously wouldn’t put it past him.

After his decontamination, I got him diapered and dressed, and handed him to my mom for playtime and supervision so I could decontaminate EVERYTHING else that was poop covered.

Somehow, I managed to clean the pack ‘n play, get a load of laundry started, and got us out the door for lunch so that my mom didn’t have to have such a late start for her long drive back to New York.

I retold the tale of the poop monster when Steve came home from work.

Steve: [2 minutes of laughter] Did you grab the camera?

Me: Are you kidding me?  Our son was naked, sitting in his own filth, and you thought I should grab the camera?

Steve: [more laughter] Well, obviously he doesn’t like sitting in his own poop.

Me: Obviously.

Potty Training Update and WIN a FREE Cloth Diaper

Some of you have been asking about how potty training went over the past week. Well, it was amazingly awesome. We knew he’d typically go about 10 minutes after a feeding. So, we’d put him on his potty, show him the sign for “toilet” while saying “go potty” and then proceed to make “shhhhhhhh . . . psssssssss” sounds in alteration to encourage him to go. And, most of the time, he did. On average, we caught 4-8 pees a day, on occasion 1 poo a day.

I also learned Calvin’s word for “wet diaper/change me/I need to go” which is a strongly exclamated “Ma!” which begins at a normal pitch and decreases to a lower pitch by the end of the word. I’d heard him say this before, and intuitively knew he needed his diaper changed, but now, I realize it can also be a warning word. Yesterday, I made the mistake of trying to use his word to encourage him to go on the potty since my timing seemed to be off by a few minutes at every potty attempt. . . I always kept missing him and he’d JUST gone in his diaper (quite evident when you use cloth). So, I said “Ma” while I was still taking his diaper off, and of course, the shooting stream got all over me. Needless to say I did correctly hone in on Calvin-speak for “pee”.

When he DOES go on the potty, it’s usually almost immediately after we sit him on it and start the “pssssss. . . shhhhhh” sounds. At which time, we are so thrilled that we lavish him with hugs and kisses and tell him “good boy! you went in your potty”. He, of course, smiles, laughs, and looks oh so pleased that he did something to generate such adoration.

Even the time he went on the changing table when I used his word for “go potty” I still told him he was a good boy, because, after all, he only did what I encouraged him to do. It’s only my bad that I didn’t get him on the throne in time!

Most days, I save at least 1 diaper. Yesterday, I saved 2. That means it cuts down on the wash load just a slight amount, but I think over time, instead of washing a pile of diapers every other day, maybe we can wash ‘em every 2 days. Now, that would be awesome!

Speaking of cloth diapers, MommyKnows and www.thebabymarketplace.com (a great place to shop and learn about cloth diapers) are hosting the bumGenius 3.0 One-Size Cloth Diaper Give Away.Go on over and comment and be entered to Win one of two bumGenius 3.0 One-Size Cloth Diapers.

Potty Training

clear_potty.jpg
    Yesterday, Calvin used his potty 6 times. Not bad for a 3 1/2 month old. We sat him on it after we took off a wet diaper for the majority of the day. I’d tried to put him on it in the past in the evening, but he just got irritated with it. Since he’s happiest in the morning and early afternoon, I figured that’s the best time to start working with him. He laughed, talked up a storm, and smiled at me while we waited for him to go.
    He only went once or twice in his potty today since he was a little cranky (not enough nap time). But, he, we’re just goin’ with the flow (no pun intended). I hope for him to eventually be able to sign to me when he needs to go, and eventually grow to be independent from a diaper.
    I love that this Baby Wunder Deluxe potty is clear. So, I don’t have to lift him off the pot to see whether or not he’s done his business. It’s the same shape as the popular Baby Bjorn little potty version (all their models are opaque plastic).
    You can get your Baby Wunder Deluxe at the EC Store for less than $20. You can also read about elimination communication in The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative.This book definitely helped us get started with confidence.

Calvin’s Cousins Visit

Calvin’s cord fell off on Day 8.  That midwifery advice to do an herbal bath and to keep the cord dry with a hair dryer really did the trick!  Now diaper changing is so much easier.

Calvin’s Aunt Vicky has blessed him with at least 3 dozen cloth diapers, wash cloths, pre-folds, and numerous other baby clothing items.

By the way, cloth diapering rocks.  We couldn’t wait for him to finish up the meconium stage so we could be DONE with disposables and move on to cloth which absorbs and keeps diapering contents where they’re supposed to be . . . in the diaper and not running over!

I’m pretty sure Calvin’s cousins came by to look at him on his birth day while I was resting.  Today they came by to spend a little more time with him.  And, all eagerly awaited their turn to hold him, except for Isaiah who was hungry and antsy to go home.  The girls all enjoyed their time with their baby cousin, especially the other baby, little Livia.

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