Monday, June 3, 2013

An Experiment in Cloth Diapering: FLIP and Charlie Banana

**Disclaimer: When it comes to cloth diapering, I am an absolute novice. I didn't research hundreds of brands. I've only been experimenting with cloth diapers for about two weeks.**

Before Luke was born, we decided that using cloth diapers would be something we would be interested in trying. Yep, trying. I wanted to see what it was all about, see if it worked for us, and then invest in more diapers if we liked it.

I liked the budget, environment, and bum-friendly appeal of using cloth. I'm definitely not opposed to using disposables (we are probably using them about 25% of the time right now), but trying out cloth was a doable + enticing option for us.

I didn't spend hours upon hours researching. I haven't bought ten different brands to try out (which is not a bad idea, but I get overwhelmed with too many options!).

Put it this way, I've kept it simple.

(ahh, he looks so small in his Charlie Banana diaper!)

After a bit of research (I tried not to get in over my head by spending years on research...because you could!), we decided on two brands: FLIP by Cottonbabies and Charlie Banana. 

FLIP is a hybrid diaper which just means that you put an insert into a shell and then snap it up. They have options for organic or regular inserts as well as disposable ones.

Charlie Banana diapers are a one-size pocket hybrid diaper that needs to stuffed with an insert. They also have the option of buying disposable inserts for when you are on the go.

(It's kind of fun when you + your diaper match your bed!)

Here are my initial reactions to each diaper (keep in mind that I've only been using them for a few weeks...)

FLIP:

Pros:

  • They seem to be pretty durable
  • I like that I  can reuse the shell if it isn't dirty--this has helped reduce the amount of laundry that I'm doing.
  • They are very cost effective.
  • The outer shells dry very quickly
  • He hasn't had any leaks or blow-outs yet.

Cons:

  • They are a little bulky (but Luke is only 13 lbs, so that might change when he gets bigger). 
  • Sometimes I have trouble getting it all together quickly + efficiently. Especially since Luke is so little, I need to be able to change his diaper quickly (before he decides to do more business...) and the FLIP isn't super quick for me.
  • The outer shell isn't super soft
  • You can't adjust the leg size, but for Luke, this hasn't been a problem yet. 

Charlie Banana:

Pros:

  • They are super-soft and absorbent (so far!)
  • I like their fit. I think they look pretty trim for a cloth diaper.
  • They have lots of fun colors and prints available. Plus, they have some options at Target, so it's easy to pick up some extras or feel them in person too :)
  • I like that I can adjust the leg size, and it was very easy to do.
  • Once they are all put together, it's just like putting on a disposable with snaps (which are simple to do). I can do it quickly and easily.
  • Luke hasn't had any leaks yet.
  • I like that you stuff the insert in the front, not the back. If I have to touch something, I'd rather touch pee than poo :)

Cons:

  • They are more expensive than the FLIP diapers 
  • Although it doesn't take much time, I do have to prep + stuff them all before using them.
  • Taking out the insert isn't always pleasant.
  • They do take a bit of time to dry.
  • I'm still unsure of how they'll hold up after many, many washes and uses. We'll have to see!


If I had to choose a winner of the two kinds I have, I'd probably go with the Charlie Banana. Honestly, they are so soft and easy to use. Right now, the fact that I can whip it on him quickly gives them an edge :)

So what are my initial thoughts + reactions to using cloth so far?

Well, I actually like it! I wasn't sure that I would, but I enjoy using them. Since Luke has such sensitive skin, using cloth has really helped clear up + prevent diaper rash. Even though the laundry does require a bit of process, I feel like I'm getting a bit of groove/system after a few weeks. I do hope to add to the stash after a few more weeks of experimentation, so that will probably help reduce the frequency of washing them too :)

(I let everything air dry...mostly because my dryer eats things!)

(Luke often does tummy time in the crib while I spend about 5 minutes stuffing the diapers)

I'd encourage anyone who is interested in using cloth diapers to just try it without putting too much pressure on yourself. If you feel overwhelmed by the options (like I did!), choose a few brands and try them out! If you like using them, do it. If you don't, that's fine too :)

Have any of you experimented with cloth diapers? What brands do you like or use?

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5 comments:

  1. I went with BumGenius All-In-One's, the Elemental and the ... Freetime, I think? I love them! I much prefer them to disposable. They've really gotten to just be part of what we do around here, and I'm really glad we went this route. I keep checking CottonBabies for their Seconds Sale, you can get them much cheaper!

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  2. I want to give it a try too! I keep telling myself I will hold this one very loosely once the baby arrives. I'm torn in investing in it too much since I won't be staying home with our little one full time.

    Thanks for sharing your honest opinions so far!

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  3. Congratulations on cloth nappying your baby. I did both of mine and am so pleased I did.
    I used Baby Beehinds, not sure if they are availble in the states but I still say well done, and also for getting the word out there about the great new world of Modern Cloth Nappies.

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  4. Thanks for sharing! We'll be cloth diapering as well. Just making it through all of the size 1's I got that she barely fits in and then we're venturing into cloth land. I always love seeing what others use.

    Question - are either of those narrow or do they feel kind of wide? Our little one is super long and lean and it seems like some cloth diapers have a wide design. :)

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  5. So what's the verdict now about your cloth diapers? Have you tried any new ones? I have Just Simply Baby and am considering getting some Thirsties ...

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