“Rear-View” – Nicki’s Bamboo AIO

Today, we’re going to be talking about the Nicki’s Bamboo AIO, or as it’s affectionately known, the NBAIO.  That’s not to be confused with NB AIO, which would stand for Newborn AIO…so that space is very important!

This diaper is one of those in my stash that I don’t reach for all the time, but when I do use it….I don’t understand why I don’t reach for it more often.

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                                                NBAIO in Blue Razz

As the name implies, this is an AIO with a bamboo inner. It is One-Size, and it does come in snap and aplix options. The soaker is a bamboo terry that’s pretty soft and squishy – although it can be crunchy if you’re a line dryer.  The soaker is detachable, which makes for faster drying…and if you’re like me and prefer to line dry things with elastic, this helps, because you can throw the soaker in the dryer, and line dry the shell.

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This diaper is SUPER thirsty.  It’s actually probably the most absorbent thing I have.  I use it most for long car rides, or Daddy Days Out, since he’s not in tune enough to think about changing her unless she is emitting a smell. In all seriousness though, these things can hold a LOT of urine.  I think this is certainly a night worthy diaper – although I’ve never done it…I have used it for some pretty lengthy naps.
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This diaper has a great fit. The elastic is rolled, so it’s very gentle on little legs. It also creates a tight fit that helps to prevent any would be leaks. However, because of the rolled elastic, you may have to roll the legs back in to create the leak proof-ness that we all desire in our diapers. If left un-corrected, it will look like this:
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So, why is that a problem? Well, if you leave it like this, there will likely be wicking around the legs, and onto the clothes your young’n is wearing. That’s never good, if it can be avoided. Speaking of wearing clothes; I think this diaper is pretty trim, and works well under clothes.
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I do think that this diaper looks a little smaller than most of my other one-size diapers, so if you have a super chunky baby, I may get one to try before investing in a whole bunch.  Although they do have great stretch, and E is still on the middle rise, and has a LOT of room left in the waist in this diaper, she’s a pretty petite little girl at a year.

Problems others have reported with this diaper, that I haven’t experience myself are: wicking through the tag, holes forming near the soaker snaps, and elastic giving out too quickly.  Although Nicki’s has GREAT customer service, and are generally really quick to address any issues. Now, that said…I’ve been using these diapers for over six months, and have had absolutely no issues.

Overall, I give this diaper a B+

Price: $$

Pros:

  • Price
  • Fit
  • Dry time
  • Absorbency

Cons:

  • Because of leg elastic, there is some finagling involved.
  • May not fit all babies
  • May be quality issues

 

State of the Stash

I’ll go ahead and warn you; this is going to be a lazy post. Mostly words, few pictures…and mostly for narcissistic reasons. You’ve been warned>

So. I’ve been using cloth for almost a year now. I started very modestly. I bought a dozen prefolds, two Flip covers, a BG 4.0, a 2 BG Freetimes, and two BG new style elementals. I later added a few more flips, and the GMD workhorse that’s in this picture. And here’s the thing…this stash worked wonderfully for me. I could still be happily CDing with this set up (if I still stayed home, and didn’t have to send E to daycare)…but my, how I love to try new fluff!
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In the year that’s followed, my stash has changed like crazy. I’ve added a few things, and destashed a few more. So where do things stand now? What am I loving? What am I considering sending on it’s way? What do I want more of? What do I have enough of? Here’s the break down…
 photo D25B6D8E-7DE7-4548-87FF-0F72A18211D3_zpsvk5l3ck2.jpg(This picture was taken a few weeks ago…and even since then I’ve added/destashed a few things…okay, okay…added more than destashed)

Pictured above

  • 6 Nicki’s Bamboo AIO
  • 6 Blueberry Simplex (3 bamboo, 1 cotton, 2 aplix)
  • 17 Tots Bots (V3 and V4)
  • 1 Goodmama fitted
  • 1 Poppy Fields fitted
  • 1 EarthLINGZ fitted
  • 3 Bamboozles
  • 2 Tangerine Babies
  • 1 Sprouting Jems
  • 1 Lily Lou Hoo
  • 6 Teeny Textiles
  • 9 OBGE
  • 1 Bububebe Sleepytime
  • 4 Pooters fitteds (1 hemp, 3 bamboo)
  • 1 Chelory
  • 1 Padded Patootie
  • 2 Bottombumpers
  • 2 Ragababes
  • 5 BG 4.0
  • 2 Flips
  • 1 Blueberry Capri

Not pictured, but was included in my stash at the time this picture was taken are 2 dozen prefolds (1 dz small, 1 dz medium) 1 B4 sleepytime, and 1 Capri.

I’ve since destashed the Chelory, and have added 6 more Simplex, 2 more Pooters Bamboo, 2 more Teeny Textiles, 1 more Tangerine Baby, and 1 Patty Pants fitted.

So.  Hypothetical situation.  Someone has a gun to you head, and you have to streamline your stash.  What do you do?

I keep the Simplex, because in my opinion, they are THE ULTIMATE AIO.  If I could get them ALL in bamboo, that’d make everything even better…but they’re still supremely excellent. I keep the Teeny Textiles, because they are my favorite fitted for daytime airing out of the booty.  And I keep the pooters, because they cannot be beat for nights, paired with wool (which I didn’t picture, because they can also be considered clothes)

Okay, but now I’m confused.  It was so easy for you to hypothetically pare down your stash…why don’t you do it for reals, yo?

Because I don’t WANT to!  I LOVE ALL THE DIAPERS!  Okay.  On a serious level…the NBAIO are excellent for long trips. Super absorbent, and fit SO great.  They’re also a great bang for your buck. I use these when travelling to see the grandparents, which are about 2 hours away.

The OBGE’s fit great and you can’t get them anymore!  What if they’re the ONLY thing that works down the line?  I keep these mostly out of fear that I’ll want them later. 

The Tots Bots are our day care diapers.  As far as ease of use, these are tops! Not only are they super easy to use, they’re pretty easy to keep clean too.  And it helps that the prints are so darn cute.

All the fitteds? I love the variety. Next to the Teeny Textiles, I adore Tangerine Baby diapers next. Also, most of them I bought to try out for myself after glowing recommendations. Even though they may not all be my favorites, they do work…and most of them are too darn cute to get rid of.

The Sleepytimes? What if they Pooters suddenly stop working for me overnight? I don’t want to have to wait for more of these guys to ship from Canada!

The Bottombumpers? They’re so trim!  What if she needs to wear skinny jeans?

So that same dude holding a gun to your head says you can keep most of it, but you have to get rid of 15 diapers.  What do you let go?

That’s actually pretty easy.  I let go of the OBGEs, and the BG 4.0’s (okay…that’s 14)…aaaaand, the Goodmama.  Mostly because I really don’t love the BG product line all that much.  And of all the fitteds that I have, the GM is my least favorite.  But thank God, no one is actually holding a gun to my head, so I can hoard them for as long as I want to, and you can’t do anything about it! 

Really, Jenni?  Seems like you need to get a grip!  

I know, I know.  It’s completely over indulgent.  This has truly become a hobby…and is about way more than E’s cute little booty.  But I figure, I’ll only be using these for a short while, so I may as well get all the enjoyment out of it that I can, while I can….and besides…if my husband can buy a dump truck, I can darn well BUY ALL THE DIAPERS!  

Okay, enough about you…does E have a favorite diaper?

No.  She’s an equal opportunity pooper.  Although, when I do hold a basket out to her and tell her to pick one, she tends to reach for orange ones first?  So, maybe she DOES have a favorite…

(Reviews to come on all the diapers mentioned here that haven’t been “Rear-viewed” yet.)

 

“Rear View” – Tots Bots

I know, I know…I’m not great at updates.  I apologize. Working, and now chasing a walker are about to kill me. It’s not killing my passion for cloth, though…so thanks for sticking around!

Let’s talk about Tots Bots. Tots make up the majority of my stash, at 17.  I wouldn’t say they’re my very favorite diaper but they are very user friendly, so these are our day care diaper of choice.  Just to warn you, Tots may be more difficult to get your hands on at the moment, but give them time.  Tots Bots is a company based in the UK, and they are in the middle of transitioning between two different version releases here in the States, so V3 are hard to find anymore, and V4 haven’t been released stateside yet.  I’ll cover both in this review.

Tots Bots

Tots Bots V4 Hey Diddle Diddle (left)
V3 Farmyard (right)

Tots Bots are One Size AIOs, with a pocket that can be stuffed with added absorbency. They are most well known for their aplix. In fact, some people claim theirs is the best in the CD world. Very sticky, and laundry tabs that actually stay stuck. Their aplix is SO popular, and the snaps, so not…that they didn’t even produce the V4 with a snap (or, as they call them in the UK, popper) version.

So, what’s the difference between the V3 and the V4 anyway? The inner. V3 has a super soft minky inner.  Minky isn’t known for being the most absorbent material…which is probably why the switch.  V4 is a bamboo and minky (aka, binky) blend. It’s not as soft, but much more absorbent. V4 also comes with a detachable booster that can be snapped on to add a little extra oomph.

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V4 inner

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V4 Top V3 Bottom

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V4 with additional booster. It snaps in, and then can be tucked into the pocket.

These diapers have a very soft, thin PUL, which makes the diaper very flexible and soft all around. It is also a very trim option, although the V3 is more so than the V4.

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V4 Tots Bots

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V4 under clothes (Very difficult to get this little walker to be still!)

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Still the V4, still not standing still

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V3 in Blue Moo

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V3 under clothes. (This shot was taken a few months ago, before she was on the move)

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Left: V4 with added booster
Right: V3

These diapers also come in some GREAT prints! You may also see the word “Frugi” bounced around in the Tots world. Frugi is a clothing label in the UK, that collaborates with Tots Bots on some of their prints. There is no difference in the quality of a Frugi Tots Bots and a regular Tots Bots.

One thing I really LOVE is how easily poo sprays out of these, especially the V3. I have never had any issues with staining…which is another perk to them being our daycare diapers, since the poo can sit there for a while before I can address it in the evening.

Would I buy them again?  Well, I’m not sure.  I don’t really reach for these on my own, and at this point I have enough to get through daycare just fine. I am a sucker for their prints, though.  And they’re kind of marketing geniuses, and usually release in “sets” that go together – so they really play to the OCD nature of the general CD mom. (Obsessive Cloth Diapering??)

Price: That’s really hard to call at the moment, since most of the V3 are mostly sold out, and V4 aren’t released here yet.  Assuming that they go for the same price as the V3, $$

Pros:

  • Aplix
  • Super trim fit
  • Nice and soft inner
  • Stupid cute prints
  • Cleans like a dream (V3 better than V4)
  • Quick drying
  • Built in pocket

Cons:

  • Hard to get
  • Not the most absorbent for the price (although the V4 is better than the V3)
  • Price
  • Assembly

Praise for the Prefold

I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while.  Life. It happens.  I’m hoping to be back to a more regular posting schedule in the coming weeks…and I’m going to try to get one Rear-View up this weekend at least. Thanks for bearing with me.  :)

I know in some of the very early introduction posts I mentioned prefolds, but to this point, I haven’t really said much else about them.  You probably think I just mentioned them in a “had to cause they’re part of the diaper world, but not one I really care about” kind of way.  You’d be wrong though.  I love me a prefold.  I started with prefolds.  I still use them on the weekends almost exclusively.

They’re incredibly easy to care for and are very versatile.  While they can come off as intimidating at first, once you get the hang of them, they’re likely to be at least a part of your arsenal as well. Had I known how much I’d like them and how easy they’d be, I probably would have started with about two dozen of these, and a dozen workhorses (More on those later) for a newborn stash.  Now I know.  I will be employing that stash for eventual baby number two.

There are a few folds you can use, and finding one that works best for you may be trial and error.  I suggest looking up The Angel Wing Fold (this is the one I use), The Bikini Twist, and The Jelly Roll (good for bitty babies with runny EBF poo).  I’ll try to give a brief rundown of these three, and use Sleepy Bear, my childhood Care Bear, as E is cranky, teething, and currently fighting sleep with her Daddy.

We’ll start with the Angel Wing Fold.

Start with the prefold laid out flat.

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GMD small prefold

 

Fold one side over, followed by the other, to give a long tri-fold.

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Flare the back out.  This part will be on your baby’s back, and the wings will wrap around to hold the diaper closed.

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Place baby on diaper. (Once you’re comfortable with this, you’ll be able to fold it up and slip it under the baby already on the changing pad…but while you’re getting started, it helps to get it to this point before the little bum is introduced.) Pull center up between legs.  If the diaper is a little too large, you can fold down the front, or the back to make the fit a little more optimal (I usually fold down the front.)

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Pull wings around the front and snappi (what I prefer) or pin into place.

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If you’re just hanging out around the house, this is a great way to air out a booty, but this is, of course, not waterproof.  You will feel dampness when wet.  To make clothing worthy; employ a cover.

 

Here are a few pictures of E actually modelling the prefold and cover combo.

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Note the folded down edge in the front? This is before she fit into a medium really well, but was a bit too big for a small.

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Fit around the leg

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Cover snapped into place. (Flip cover, in Bubble)

The Jelly Roll is essentially the same fold, but the legs are rolled in to give a greater barrier to catch runny poo.

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Once legs are rolled in, snappi or pin into place.  Or you may find it easier to roll the legs in once it’s already pinned on.  Again, this takes a little bit on finagling to figure out what works best for you.

The Bikini Twist is another option that gives a little more absorbency in the wet zone.

To do this lay a prefold out flat. And either place the baby on top, or go ahead and fold over.  You will be grabbing the front two corners, and crossing them over.

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Bring front up between legs, and pull wings around and snappi or pin into place.

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I’ll be honest.  I was never able to get a good fit around the legs with this fold on E. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

But wait!  There’s more!  Not only can you use a prefold as a diaper alone.  They can also be used to stuff a pocket, or just tri-folded and placed in a cover.

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Tri-folded in a Blueberry Capri cover

Because of their versatility, I highly recommend having at least a dozen prefolds on hand.  If you’re having rashes, they’re nice to use to air out booties.  If you’re having yeast, they’re a good option because you can bleach the heck out of these guys and they’ll just keep coming back for more. Oh crap, you forgot to get the wash started early enough to hang out? No problem, these guys can be dried in a tumble dryer on high (unlike some of the AIO that take longer and need a lower heat) so you can get them in and out and on the booty.  Stained?  Lay these bad boys in the sun after you wash them and just watch them disappear.  Need a burp cloth?  Well, there you go.  Need a little extra padding under a booty at changing time cause you have a baby with a tendency to squirt a little.  Here’s your guy.

I personally have a dozen smalls, which we used from 2 months to about 8 months.  Then we switched to the dozen medium.  I prefer Green Mountain Diaper prefolds (Cloth-Eez) They come in organic, bleached and unbleached cotton.  I also have some super plush Bamboo Terry prefolds from Sustainablebabyish (although they call them flats, they are the same measurements as a prefold and much thicker than a flat.)

If you’re planning to use from birth, I would recommend going ahead and investing in the newborn size instead of just skipping ahead to small, unless you’re planning to have a large baby.  Follow the size guidelines on your order site of choice, but use your own judgement too.  I personally wouldn’t invest in a large stash of AIO’s for a newborn since they’re going to be used for such a relatively short time…but newborn prefolds make excellent inserts for pockets, and burp cloths.  Since new babies need to be changed more frequently than older babes, I’d recommend at least 24, but ideally 36 changes for your newbie in order to be able to wash every other day.

When you receive your prefolds in the mail, they most likely won’t look like the ones pictured.  They’ll be a little flatter.  They will quilt up as you wash them. I suggest four or five washes with drying in between.

You can buy Gerber prefolds in most storms, but I personally would stay away from these and buy a pure cotton version.  From what I understand, the Gerber have almost a batting in the middle that’s not as absorbent.

Sure flashy AIO stashes are pretty…but there’s a lot to be said for this little fellow. Prefolds are cheaper by a long shot and very easy to maintain.  You could easily get by with an entire stash of a few dozen prefolds and maybe six covers.  If you’re CDing to save money, this is certainly a route I suggest  you look into.

 

Happy Diapering!

“Rear View” – Blueberry Simplex

I know what you’re thinking…to this point, you probably assumed that my entire stash was made up of BumGenius products.  But oh, how wrong you are.  I have a very diversified stash, made up of many brands, and many types.  Today, I’m going to tell you about the Blueberry Simplex.

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Simplex in Giraffes

Simplex are available in one-size (OS) and sized options.  The sized are side snap diapers.  I don’t have any sized diapers, but many people like the sized, because they are especially trim.  I find this diaper to be quite trim as well thought.  I believe it’s trimmer, especially between the legs, than BG products.

The is an AIO style diaper, although there is a pocket that can be stuffed for extra absorbency.  The soaker is attached at one end.  It can be tucked into the pocket to keep natural fiber against the skin, but one side does have a stay dry lining, which can just be folded over if you’d prefer that lining against the skin.

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Simplex with soaker untucked. Tuck in for natural fiber, or fold over for stay dry.

This diaper does come with snaps, and recently with an aplix version.  Blueberry did a limited release with bamboo in addition to the cotton lining.  I grabbed two of the bamboo option, and would buy all of them if they ever release them again.  I much prefer the bamboo to the cotton.  For some reason, I’m not able to get this diaper as soft as all my others, but I’m still trying to love it.  I love the design and the fit of this diaper, so I can get over a little bit of a rougher fabric.

DSC_0053 DSC_0054 DSC_0055This diaper does have rolled elastic in the legs, which I think gives a great fit.  I’ve never had any kind of leaks in this diaper, and that’s without ever adding absorbency.  It’s also incredibly trim under clothes.  I’ve been using this diaper since the beginning, when E was 2 months old, and I’ve just now, at 9 months had to move up from the smallest rise, so I believe this diaper is a TRUE OS, that will last until potty training.

Overall, I think this is a great diaper, that if someone were interested in building a stash with just one type of diaper, I think this would be THE diaper I would suggest; especially now that it comes with an aplix option for the snap averse.

Number in my current stash: 3 (2 bamboo, 1 cotton)

Would I buy them again?  Abso-freakin-lutely  and I plan to, as soon as I get over my WAHM obsession (don’t worry, updates coming soon!)

Price: $$$

Pros:

  • Great fit
  • Natural fiber
  • Built in pocket
  • Stay dry option
  • trim

Cons:

  • Price (Not that it’s not worth it!!)
  • Softness (and maybe this is just a personal problem…I don’t have it with the bamboo option)
  • Prints – where I love some of the prints offered, I feel there should be more!
  • Assembly – While it’s an AIO in that it’s all in one piece, you do have to stuff the insert back in for some applications

“Rear View” – Bum Genius Elemental

I’m almost done with my reviews of BumGenius products.  I know it seems like they make up the bulk of my stash, but that’s slightly inaccurate. I have destashed all of my Freetimes, and all of today’s subject.  I’m just trying to make sure I include all of my experiences in the good ole blog. So, without further ado…THE ELEMENTAL!

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BumGenius Elemental – “Ribbit”

This is the new style Elemental.  You will also see this diaper referred to as the NBGE, as opposed to the OBGE. For whatever reason (Okay for cost effectiveness, most likely) Cottonbabies redesigned the fabulous Elemental into this.  This diaper is…well….not fabulous.  At least in my opinion.

It does still have two organic cotton soakers, so it does get a thumbs up for having natural fibers…but for me, that’s about all it has going for it.

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As you can see in that second photo, there is no lining sewn between the soakers and the PUL, like the OBGE.  This can lead to exposed PUL against the babies skin with a lot of movement.  This diaper is essentially a Flip cover, with the soakers attached at both ends.

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Left – Flip Cover
Right – NBGE

This diaper is also much wider between the legs than the OBGE. It is probably not wider than the Freetimes or the 4.0, but with less bulk from stuffing, it is more noticeable.

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OBGE on top of NBGE to compare width between legs.

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Side by side
Left – OBGE
Right – NBGE

When I first started contemplating cloth diapering, I wanted to just get two dozen of these guys.  (I had read reviews of what I now know are the OBGE, and was unaware of the redesign). Shan suggested that I not put all my eggs in one basket, that I may not like them or they might not work for us.   If I had done what I wanted, I probably wouldn’t have become so obsessed with trying all the diapers!  I would have just stopped my research, and been happy with what I had.  I am so glad that wasn’t the case, because while these did their job, they were not my favorite!  I could have lived with them, but am so happy not to.

IMG_0287 IMG_0288 IMG_0290They are a pretty trim diaper, and do fit pretty well under clothes.  They tend to fit a slightly larger child better, but the more mobile E became, the more the soakers scooched around and the more the PUL was right against her skin.

Overall I give this diaper a C.

Price: $$$

Pros:

  • Natural, organic cotton soakers
  • Trim
  • True AIO
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Wide crotch
  • Exposed PUL
  • Awkward on mobile babies
  • Not worth the price (IMO)
  • Poor redesign of a previously great diaper!

 

“Rear View” – Bum Genius 4.0

So, so far I’ve reviewed AIOs.  Today I’m venturing into the world of pockets.  I don’t have much personal experience with pockets outside of the 4.0.

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BumGenius 4.0 in “Mirror”

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Unstuffed Pocket Diaper

(Please excuse baby toys, and baby fingers in these shots.   But, E was chilling with me while I folded diaper laundry, and took these shots. Real life Mommy, right here.)

The 4.0 comes with two microfiber inserts; a newborn – which is slightly thinner, and a one-size – which was snappable to adjust for rise settings of the diaper.  This diaper is a one-size which can be adjusted and used throughout (for the most part) your child’s diaper wearing days.  The lining of this diaper is a suedecloth material, that lends to a stay dry feel against the baby’s bum.  The great thing about this, and any pocket diaper, is that you can completely customize the absorbency.  Because I prefer using natural fibers, I stuff mine with a bamboo flat, and a hemp insert.

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Top: Nicki’s Bamboo Flat pad folded
Bottom: GMD small hemp insert

I use this combo for overnights.  So far, I’ve had no leaks with this.  E is mostly a tummy sleeper.  Pocket diapers can be troublesome for side sleepers, as pee can leak out of the legs before being absorbed, but I’ve been pretty lucky so far.  This particular combo does make for a bulkier diaper, but it’s not generally a problem for sleeping.  I don’t really use this diaper for daytime, because I don’t need this kind of absorbency during the day, and I don’t feel like she moves as freely with all the bulk.  That said, I could stuff with something less bulky, and this would be a wonderful day time diaper.

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BumGenius 4.0 in “Grasshopper”

DSC_1046 DSC_1048No, your eyes do not deceive you.  This is a different color than the model diaper.  It is the same style.  I apparently have picture taking ADD.  I got these OTB before I realized I hadn’t taken the model shots, so I supplemented with another diaper. Please forgive me for the errors in continuity. :)

Also; please forgive me for not including any shots under clothes.  By the time we got in our jammies, we were pretty wiped out, and not into picture taking.

Cleaning these diapers is a breeze!  Because of the lining, any poop sprays off very easily as opposed to some AIOs, where it might get lost in the folds.  Some pocket diapers claim that their inserts will agitate out in the wash.  I don’t follow that practice, and unstuff before they go in the wash, because otherwise they could bunch up in the pocket and not get really clean.  Because all the parts are separate with this diaper, drying time is very quick.  I prefer to line dry anything with elastic, but I can throw all the stuffings into the dryer on high, and this shell will dry very quickly on the line.

The downside of this diaper is the stuffing.  I only have a few so it’s not super bad for me, but an entire stash of these diapers could get overwhelming for me to keep up with.  They do make great diapers for grandparent and sitters, because they go on just like a disposable.

Over all I give this diaper an A.

Price: $$

Pros

  • Customize-able absorbency to fit your particular needs
  • Easy to clean
  • Quick Dry
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Stuffing/Unstuffing
  • If you don’t stuff with the inserts that are included, there is an extra cost to purchase inserts that work
  • May have to troubleshoot to find an insert combination that works for you
  • Bulky (depending on inserts)