Monday, October 1, 2012

My Cloth Diaper Sh*t List

Buttons that touch baby's skin. Pet peeve.
I love me a good cloth diaper. Cloth diapering is something I firmly believe in for many reasons - for the health of the baby, health of the environment and the health of a family's finances. I have no problems admitting that I am a cloth diaper addict and I definitely have more than I need. I could certainly get by with a small stash of a dozen prefolds, a few flats and maybe a pocket or two and a bunch of covers. However, my addiction doesn't allow for that and I have more than I actually need. Still, in cloth diapering two children, I have not spent near as much as it would cost to disposable diaper one child. I love most of my cloth diapers. I am partial to Mudshrimps covers and pockets. I also love Thirsties along with plain old prefolds and flats. I've tried a few brands over the years and like most of them. Yet, there are some brands or some cloth diaper accessories that I just don't like. So, here it my Cloth Diaper Shit List.

Boingo - these are fasteners for prefolds, flats and contours (remember those?). They are an alternative to Snappis and pins. Boingos come in a set of two fasteners. One for each side of the diaper. These have recently been "improved," but I can't comment on that as I never owned a pair of the old kind. The thing that drew me to these was that they are like pins - you use on to fasten each side of the diaper. I love my Snappis and never honestly had a problem, but I was always a bit turned off by the fact that a band goes across the belly. I'm always checking to make sure it's not too tight as I imagine it would be uncomfortable for the baby. Lots of people raved about Boingo fasteners, so I decided to give them a try during the 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. They are damn cute, I'll give them that. However, I hate using them. It's not for lack of trying. I have tried so many times, in so many ways with so many diapers. I have tried them on a variety of flats, prefolds and my old Kissaluvs contours. They don't work well for us. I can't get a tight enough fit with them and I end up with a diaper that will fall off before I even get a cover on them. Some people say to fasten them quickly first and then go back and fasten them a second time and get it tighter. Well, that is fine and dandy if you have one of those babies who actually stays still for a diaper change. I don't have that variety of baby and I don't have the  time to fasten and re-fasten and re-fasten. No, they should work properly the first time. For flats, I have tried them with the diaper bag fold, the Jo fold, the origami fold, the kite fold and the neat fold. Nadda. I forget the name of the fold I use for prefolds - angel wing, maybe? Anyway, they suck for that, too. I can't even use two for a Kissaluvs contour because they're big and my daughter is bitty. One Boing could hold the two sides together - in the middle of her belly, which defeats the purpose of using them to avoid having something going across the belly. Also, they are large and I have a bitty baby and they rub against her leg. Again, this was true for all folds, no matter how tight or loose I got them fastened. By the time I changed her diaper, they would shift and a part would rub against her skin and leave red marks. Speaking of mark, I cut myself with the teeth more than once and my daughter, who is in the habit of grabbing herself when I change her diaper, was scratched as well. When I compare the Snappi teeth with the Boingo teeth, they don't look any different, but I've never hurt myself with a Snappi. Speaking of teeth, these fuckers have put holes in my prefolds and my flats. Yes, some of those holes do shrink up when I wash them. Some stay, however. Even with the ones that shrink up after washing, you have to wonder if repeated tearing would eventually be unrepairable. The worst tears were in my Ikea Burp Cloths that I use as flats, my Osocozy flats and my Indian prefolds. They did not leave holes in my Kissaluvs or my hemp/cotton prefolds.

I really wanted to like these. I realize they are popular and many mamas like them. They are adorable and I like the idea. For now, I am staying with my Snappis. Maybe I'll learn to use pins.

Thirsties Aplix - I have been using Thirsties covers since my son was a year old. I started using their old AIO/pockets when he was around two years old. they don't make them anymore - they probably got sued by FuzziBunz (who hasn't?) or something - and have switched to a different AIO and pocket design. The ones I have had for years have been washed a billion times and have held up nicely. The Aplix is holding up just fine. When my daughter was born, I needed a few more smaller covers and also decided to try out their Duo pockets and their AIO. I love the Duo pockets. The AIO is fine, too, but not as absorbent as I'd like. The Aplix, however, is a different story. I don't know if Thirsties changed something with their Aplix, but the newer diapers do not hold up like the old ones. I mean, the Aplix started to wear out on all of my new Thirsties stuff within three to four months. She was wearing a dress one day this past Summer and I didn't use the little bloomers that came with the dress because she had a cute little Thirsties diaper under there. We were eating at a restaurant and I picked her up from her high chair and the diaper stayed behind. It came undone by itself. Isolated incident? Nope. I found this happening again and again with several of my newer Thirsties items. They do offer snaps on their Duo line, but not on the plain covers, if I recall correctly. I chose the Aplix because it's daddy friendly. My husband has learned to fold flats, but he and snaps do not get along. He tries, but they are more frustrating for him. The newer crappy Aplix in these diapers is disappointing. I will continue to use Thirsties products, but I'll have to avoid Aplix from now on.

Charlie Banana - people rave about these, too. I never had any intention of buying them. My friend got some on clearance at Target, didn't like them and gave me three that she didn't use. They're cute, but they are definitely far from my favorite. These are one sized diapers that you adjust with elastic in the gussets. Guess what? I hate that part. I hate gusset adjusting. Yep, I do. Since my daughter is so small, I've had to adjust it to the tiniest setting. The diaper bunches up horribly at the waist when adjusted to small. Plus, it doesn't stay that way. I'm constantly having to re-adjust the elastic. I also get those awful hip wings, where part of the diaper slides out from under the fastening snaps. I also hate this feature in the one FuzziBunz one size that I own - yet another diaper I received for free because I will not give that company any money. Speaking of -

FuzziBunz - their diapers are fine. I own three, a one size and two perfect sizes. These were all free to me. I dislike the one size for the same reason I dislike the Charlie Banana - adjustable elastic in the legs. The perfect size are just fine. I dislike the company. I have been reading about cloth diapers since way before my son was born in 2006. I used to lurk on the AOL cloth diaper message boards (remember those?) and I remember when the initial "scandal" surrounding FuzziBunz went down. The gist is that pocket diapers have been around for a few decades, but became more popular in the 2000's. The founder of FuzziBunz took the opportunity to patent the pocket diaper. Was her design original? No, but she had the "smarts" to patent it. What followed was panic by a lot of work at home moms, some of who reported being harassed and threatened with legal action or coerced into forming license agreements with FuzziBunz. There's slightly more to the FuzziBunz story, including her recent issues with Charlie Banana, where she made serious false accusations against CB and emailed retailers telling them not to sell CB products. It just left me with a bad taste in my mouth regarding that company and I choose not to support them.

Microfiber - I have plenty of diapers with microfiber sewn in and with microfiber inserts. This is a material that I am trying to get away from. First, microfiber is a petroleum product. Ew. Second, it just plain sucks. Yes, it's absorbant. However, I find  that microfiber is the only material I have ever had stink issues with - in both inserts and AIOs. Plus, it takes for-fucking-ever to dry. I have always disliked BumGenius diapers and the main reason is the microfber as it retains smells, holds residue and takes for-fucking-ever to dry. I liked Kissaluvs fitted when my son was a baby and planned to buy a few more for my daughter. Nope. They replaced their cotton terry soaker with microfiber. Bummer.  I've been making the switch to mostly hemp inserts. Yes, hemp takes for-fucking-ever to dry, too, but it's the lesser of the environmental evils.

Snaps inside of a diaper - there are some diapers out there who were so poorly designed that the snaps, whether to fasten them shut or to hold an insert, touch the baby's skin. This is not okay to me. I have an old Thirsties fitted that would probably be a workhorse, but I don't use it because of the rows of snaps in the front that directly touch the baby's belly. I also have a Baby Bee-Hinds bamboo (another fake eco-friendly fabric) fitted that is unbelievably absorbent, but has snap-in inserts where the snaps directly touch the baby's skin. Unlike the Thirsties diaper, I am able to place one of my thin fleece inserts into the diaper to cover the snaps and hopefully make it more comfortable for the baby. Again, Kissaluvs is an example here. I wanted to get their organic fitteds, made with hemp and cotton. Sadly, they come with snap-in inserts and the snap is exposed and will touch baby's skin - right at the tailbone area. Ouch. It's just a dumb design flaw with some diapers and I don't see why manufacturers think it's a good idea.

$35.00 Diapers - bitch, I'm poor as hell. I don't care if it's made of sustainably harvested fibers from a unicorn's mane. A diaper cost $35.00 or more better change it's damn self.

And that, folks, is my cloth diaper bitch session for today. Do I expect you to agree with all of these? Nope, so please don't feel defensive. These are merely my opinions. I am perfectly fine with the fact that people love FuzziBunz, Boingo and Charlie Banana and are happy to spend $35.00 on a diaper. These are my own thoughts. Much love.


Humble said...

You post this while I am in the middle of washing diapers. Lol I have actually never heard of the Boingo but now I am going to have to look it up...I was on the Aol boards as well. Small world eh? Did you hear about FB being shot down at Shark Tank? She made claims that she invented modern cloth diapers or something. She is cray. Anywho good post lady!! Xoxo Humble

Funky Little Earthchild said...

Humble - I am in the middle of folding and putting away several billion loads of laundry. So, I did what any responsible person would do and I left that shit on the bed and sat down to write a post.

I did not hear about Shark Tank. I need to check that out. She is most definitely cray cray.

Funky Little Earthchild said...

I just Googled - she made reference to Charlie Banana. The same company she accused a couple of years back and ending up having to retract that statement. Wow - she's a fucking nutjob.

Funky Little Earthchild said...

And one thing I have learned in the past 10 minutes of looking up stuff on Shark Tank is that there are WAY more people who think like me than I thought. Good to know. :-)

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