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Cloth Diapers: Part I

March 30, 2011

This is the first post of the promised cloth diapers series. Each day I’ll write one review for each of the diapers I’m trying out. Each review will have several different categories to make it very thorough. Then I’ll finish the series with general information about cloth diapers and (hopefully) a calculator to help you determine if cloth diapering is right for you!

Before I start my series, you should be aware that cloth diapers have come a long way from the pre-folds and diaper-pins that our grandmothers used. There are several different types of cloth diapers and pins are a thing of the past. In my last blog of the series I will go into more detail about the different types.

For right now though, I want you to know a little about pocket diapers, since that is the kind I have chosen to use and will be reviewing. Pocket diapers are a two-piece system that consists of the diaper and an insert.  The diaper has a waterproof shell and a fleece inner layer. An absorbent insert slides in between these two layers through a pocket usually in the back of the diaper. For heavy wetters or night-time use 2 inserts may be used for extra absorbency. All of the diapers I am trying out are one-size (they adjust to grow with the baby from birth through potty training) and use snaps as opposed to aplix or Velcro. Now that you know a little about pocket diapers here is review #1.

FuzziBunz Review

FuzziBunz diapers were one of the first brands for pocket diapers and they are very popular in the diaper community.

Overall Adjustability: Fuzzibunz diapers have a unique system for achieving the overall size of the diaper. Most brands have snaps on the outside to attain the small, medium, or large size, but Fuzzibunz uses adjustable elastic in the waist and legs. This makes it a little more difficult to adjust the size but gives the diaper a better outer appearance. At first, I had a feeling this would be a problem for me because I was planning on using the diapers for both girls and needed quick adjustability, but since Kaylynn is almost potty trained that isn’t needed anymore.

I did like that this diaper came with a sizing guide, something that the other diapers did not come with. However, it’s a little confusing. The adjustable elastic has holes and numbers. You find your child’s weight on the chart, then adjust the elastic appropriately. This is from their packaging, “Corresponding hole is ABOVE the number on the legs and BELOW the number on the waist.” I swear I had to read this 10 times the first time I tried to size the diaper. Why they had to make the number above the hole on one and below the hole on the other is beyond me. I also think the order of the wording is a little off. Since all the holes look the same and the chart tells me the numbers, I’m going to find the number first. So tell me the number, then where the hole is, not the other way around (ex. corresponding number is below the hole). Even though it was confusing, I think I got it figured it.

But then again maybe not, because I tried this diaper on both girls using their sizing chart and even on the largest snap settings, it was too small. Each time I have put it on Kennedy I have had to adjust the elastic because it would leave deep red marks on her waist and/or thighs. But I think I have finally found a setting that works and that is the joy of adjustable diapers, you can keep tweaking them until you get the perfect fit.

Adjustable Waist Snaps: Fuzzibunz diapers have a unique system for this too. Most diapers have 2 straight rows of snaps on the front with either 3 or 4 snaps on the part that wraps around and attaches; Fuzzibunz have 1 straight row with 2 snaps from the back and 1 contoured row around each leg with 1 snap from the back (total of 2 rows in front and 3 snaps from back). The contoured row means that you can change the size of the leg holes quickly as well as the waist. I’ve heard that the size of the leg openings makes a huge difference in whether the diaper leaks or not.

Absorbency: I haven’t had a single leak yet from these diapers. At night I put in 2 inserts and it works great!

Bulkiness: Cloth diapers are going to be more bulky than disposables. I’m not sure if there is any way around this. But this brand doesn’t seem to be as bad as others. I did the under-the-jeans test. Take a look for yourself.

Look at that booty!

Longevity: Obviously there is no way for me to personally review this category after only a week. The diaperpin.com however, has been a great resource for me as I have been learning about cloth diapers and choosing which ones to try. Based on the user reviews posted there, I am pretty confident that Fuzzibunz will hold up through Kennedy’s diapering and at least one other baby. The Fuzzibunz website claims that their diapers will last at least 3 years.

Warranty: From the Fuzzibunz website: “Snap Defects – 1 Year. Elastic and/ or PUL (waterproof layer) Defects – 1 Year. Sewing/Workmanship Defects – 1 Year. Diapers will not be replaced with new product due to repelling, shot elastic past 1 year, staining or leaking.” It should also be noted that each diaper comes with easy to replace elastic.

Patterns available: This is one of the perks of cloth diapers. They can be their own fashion statement! I love the bright colors and there are 14 different colors to choose from. However, there aren’t any fun patterns to choose.

Customer Service: Again, I haven’t had a need yet to contact them, but other users have been thoroughly impressed with the support they have received.

Cleaning: The directions for cleaning were right on the packaging, so I didn’t have to go searching for it. Pretty straightforward, easy, and nothing out of the ordinary from other cloth diapers. I especially like that it says to use 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent (remember this post?). As far as staining, I haven’t had any problems with this diaper and staining until the load I just did. But, every diaper in that wash ended up with a stain, so I’m guessing its a problem with the user, not the diaper.

Cost: About $18/ diaper (comparable to other One-Size Pockets)

Overall: I really like these diapers. Originally I had some concerns about the sizing, especially since this diaper kept leaving red marks on the baby, but I think I have that part figured out now.

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