All right, when I started the first part of this story, I was loving my cloth diapers. We have been using them for about three months, and up until about a week ago, they were working so well. I was planning to write a glowing review of not only the cloth diapering process but also of the particular cloth diaper we use. I am still committed to cloth diapering, but my confidence in our particular product is wavering a bit - we are having some serious leaking issues with our diapers. I contemplated holding off on this post until the issue was resolved one way or the other. But then I decided that maybe this is just part of the cloth diapering journey, and therefore worth discussing.
So. I’ll start with a little bit more about the product. We use a one size pocket diaper made by Fuzzibunz. In the previous post I discussed some of the different options and manufacturers. Pocket diapers have a waterproof outside layer and soft fleece inside layer with an absorbent cloth insert that goes between the waterproof and fleece layers (See figure 1 below). The One size diapers come with two terry cloth inserts - a newborn size and a regular size. The diapers are fitted with special elastic around the leg holes and across the back. The elastic has various button holes with little numbers next to each hole that fit buttons on the diapers. There is a place to adjust the elastic in the front and back of each leg hole and on either side of the back of the diaper. The leg adjustments go from 1 (the loosest) to 8 (the tightest) in the both the front and the back, and the back elastic goes from 1 to 4 on either side. The diapers close with snaps. There are two rows of snaps so that you can adjust the tightness as needed (see figure 2 below). As your child grows, you adjust the waistband with the back elastic and the snaps, and you adjust the leg holes with the leg elastic.
Figure 2 - Snaps
The process of using these diapers has been extremely easy. Yes, it is slightly more work than your basic disposable, but I find the work load to be minimal. They go on very easily – no pins or folding like our parents dealt with. It took me a few tries to get the sizing right, but once we had that figured out, they pretty much go on just like a disposable. When we remove the diapers, we have an extra step of spraying them off before putting them in the hamper. I only spray off the poopy diapers. Sometimes we do this right when he dirties a diaper; however, more often than not I am by myself or it’s the middle of the night, in which case we leave the diapers on the side of the changing table and spray several off at once. It probably adds an extra 5 minutes a day at the most. Then I shake out the insert and put them in the hamper. We also use reusable wipes, which I also throw in the hamper and wash with the cloth diapers.
The most obvious extra work comes with the extra load of laundry. I do a load of diapers every two to three days. They require a cold soak and pre-wash, followed by a hot wash and a double colds rinse. Then I dry them on low. It takes me about 20 minutes to put the inserts back in and then they are ready to go.
When we are out and about, I just take a little “dirty duds” bag with me and I used flushable liners to get rid of the bulk of the yucky stuff. When I change his diaper, I flush the liner and then put the dirty diaper in the dirty duds bag and I’m done. Pretty easy.
After my last post, someone asked me about the extra energy and water costs associated with using cloth diapers. I haven’t done full research on this yet but I guess it basically costs the same as doing a load of laundry, plus a little extra for the prewash and second rinse. I have a hard time believing that this is comparable to disposable in either price or environmental impact, particularly when you take into account the water and energy needed to make the disposable diapers, not to mention their space in landfills.
All right, so now I’ll tell you about some of the issues I’ve had with the Fuzzibunz product. One of my main problems with them in general is that you can’t use diaper cream because it doesn’t wash off of the fleece and then creates repelling issues (where the water pools and leaks out instead of being absorbed into the insert). Generally speaking, babies in cloth diapers don’t get diaper rash as often as babies in disposables. Cyrus, however, got thrush when he was two weeks old that led to a really severe diaper rash, and he has very sensitive skin, so we often have to use diaper cream. In these instances we use a flushable liner, which actually sometimes makes clean up easier. However, this is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
Now on to the big one. Over the past week or so, the diapers have been leaking out of the legs incessantly. In fact, I’ve had to change Cyrus’s clothes almost as often as I’ve changed his diapers, which leads to more laundry. This I don’t appreciate. After looking on the Fuzzibunz website, I discovered that I could have some build-up issues. I followed the procedure on the website to “strip” the diapers of their buildup but the leaking continued. On further inspection I realized that the seams are leaking. And not just on some of the diapers, but on all 24 that I purchased. I’ve switched to disposables for the time being just to avoid the hassle.
So I e-mailed Fuzzibunz and was pleasantly surprised by their response. They basically told me to send in my diapers and they would send me replacements. Just like that, basically no questions asked. So that’s where we are. We shall see how well the new batch functions and I will update my Fuzzibunz review at that time. For now, I still like the product, but I cannot recommend it. Check back to see how it goes.
*For the update, click here.
*For the update, click here.