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Cloth Diapering Review and the BEST Cloth Diapers

It has already been a year of cloth diapering under the belt. Here are the lessons learned and best advice I can offer after twelve months of dealing with baby poop in an up-close and personal way, including the best cloth diapers (in my opinion).

Cloth diapering was something I always knew I would do. Just like breastfeeding, it was something I figured if you could do it, why wouldn’t you?

I spent weeks reading articles online and watching YouTube videos to learn everything I could about cloth diapering before I dove in. What should I buy? What are the best cloth diapers? After we cloth diapered for about six months I shared the methods I found that worked for me.

Now, many months later, I have some more wisdom to share including my favorite styles of diapers, whether a SprayPal is worth it, and other tidbits I’ve picked up along the way.

Why Cloth Diaper?

I could go into a long spiel on this one, but instead I’ll direct you to my first cloth diapering post where I cover all the reasons you might want to cloth diaper.

Personally we chose it for two primary reasons: Sustainability and affordability.

Lessons Learned Cloth Diapering One Year Later

Here are all the things I have learned about cloth diapering over the last year including my choice for the best cloth diapers. If you are new to this idea or are considering it yourself, I hope these will equip you a bit better than I was.

Cloth Diapering is Cheaper than Disposable Diapers

Yes, it’s much, much cheaper. Again if you visit my initial cloth diapering post I give you a quick rundown on this.

We still have disposable diapers in our arsenal. We like to use the Pampers Pure brand. When you divide out the price per diaper, they wind up costing about 50 cents per diaper. We go through around 5 diapers a day, so $2.50 per day. Times seven days a week that’s $17.50 a week. You can easily buy one or even three decent cloth diapers for that.

Cloth Wipes are Also Cheap

Baby wipes can really add up on a monthly budget. We invested in some organic cotton flannel wipes. We use these for all pee diapers and they get tossed in the diaper bag for washing.

For poopy diapers it is just easier to use disposable wipes and toss the whole thing, rather than try to clean the wipes later.

reusable wipes rough and tumble farmhouse

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

Look Online and Put the Word Out for Used Diapers

I read this tip many times while researching diapers. I thought it wouldn’t apply to me since I live in a rural area.

After watching Facebook Marketplace over the last year I have seen at least a dozen moms selling their cloth diaper stashes for great prices.

Let people know you plan on cloth diapering, as they might know someone who is transitioning out of their diaper days.

I ended up getting half my stash for free from my sister’s high school friend who just wanted them to go to a good home!

Spray Pal: Is it worth it?

Yep.

I know some folks might be fine with the “dunk and swish” (which is exactly what you think it is). I didn’t start using the spray pal until we introduced solids to my daughter.

While somewhat clunky to work with it is worth it to get a SprayPal.

If you are planning to spray off your diapers I can’t imagine doing it with out this contraption to keep water and poop from flying all over your bathroom.

What about a sprayer hose?

I say get one of these too. They are very simple to hook up and hey, if for some reason you can’t buy toilet paper, they double as a bidet.

Here are a few things I learned about a sprayer hose:

  • They are easy to set up, so if it is leaking when you turn it on, try hooking it up to another toilet. I could NOT get it to stop leaking on our nursery toilet and drove myself insane. I decided to hook it up to our other toilet. Didn’t leak once.
  • ALWAYS turn it off when done. Now this hasn’t happened to me personally but I’ve read the horror stories. A hose gets left on, the hose can’t handle the pressure, and people have flooded bathrooms/houses. I make a habit of always turning it off, then giving it a final spray to make sure the water pressure is off.

Cleaning Poopy Diapers and Maggots

Yes you read that right. Maggots.

When our daughter was just starting solids it was winter. Her diapers weren’t that gross so I’d leave them, poop and all, for three days. Then I’d rinse them out in the sink (before the spray pal came around) and wash my diapers. No problem.

Fast forward a few months. The poop is now pretty solid and the weather is hotter. We live on a farm in the country so flies are a real thing around here.

I don’t know how they found those diapers in the bag or how they even got to them but they did.

The first time I opened a diaper to wash it and found maggots in it I nearly threw up. It was like something out of a horror film.

The lesson here is to clean the poop off your diapers either right when they happen, or like I do every night. I just keep a small plastic garbage pail by the changing table and toss them in. Before I take a shower for the night I hose off the diapers, then dump them in the wet bag.

Disposable Diapers Are Great for Nights and Travel

My daughter is still up at least two times a night. There are moms, bless their determined souls, who cloth diaper even at night. I’m not sure what layers of what fabrics they use to make it work but they do.

For us, sleep is such a commodity I prefer to just use a disposable. If my daughter is fussing, chances are good it isn’t from a leaky diaper and I can let her complain a little and hopefully go back to sleep.

We also found that no matter what combination of inserts including cotton, hemp, microfiber, etc., that we can’t escape leaks on long car rides.

When we go visit my husband’s family about three hours north of here, we always put her in a disposable for the drive.

Add Inserts at Nap Time

Especially when using a microfiber insert or a pocket diaper, I have found we absolutely have to add an extra layer of absorption or we get leaks. I have very thin pre-folds that I will lay in the top of the diaper and that seems to work well.

The Best Cloth Diapers

In my cloth diaper stash I have Flips, Econobum, Alva, Mama Koala, Grovia, and BubuBibi. Here are my thoughts on each.

Pocket Diapers

This includes Alva and Mama Koala. I don’t find much of a difference between these two brands. The quality seems pretty similar. Mama Koala’s are slightly more expensive and come in more fun pattern options.

What I like about pocket diapers, is that once assembled they go on easily like any other diaper. I also don’t mind stuffing them and folding them, it’s not a huge chore.

What I don’t like about pocket diapers is that so far, they are the ones we get the most leaks, especially at nap time.

I also think the fabric has more of a synthetic feel, which I think would be less comfortable on a little butt than cotton or hemp.

Hybrid Diapers

My two hybrid diapers are both Grovia brand. The idea with hybrid diapers is you have an insert that snaps into the diaper.

Honestly, I don’t think hybrid diapers are worth the extra cost. If you can snap in an insert, you can just as easily lay an insert in the diaper like you would with a diaper/cover combination for a fraction of the cost.

The Grovia diapers are solidly built and I like that they have a type of breathable but soft mesh for their inner layer.

I don’t like the gussets on them. They are bulky and tend to leave marks on our daughter’s legs, no matter how loose we have them.

Hook and Loop vs. Snaps

I hate hook and loop. Maybe it works for some people, but not for me. I only have one hook and loop and it is one of my Grovia hybrid diapers. After enough washes the velcro doesn’t stick as well. If you don’t clean the velcro parts they wont stay on your baby.

Hook and loops you done me wrong!

Snaps all the way.

Double Gussets

The BubuBibi brand are diaper covers that have double gussets. Honestly, I haven’t noticed that they make a big difference when it comes to fit or leakage. I’d say if they are more expensive I would just get single gusset.

Diaper Covers a.k.a. the Best Cloth Diapers

I have Flip, Econobum, and BubuBibi diaper covers. Here’s the big reveal… I like diaper covers with inserts the best.

I have found overwhelmingly that I get the best fit and the least amount of leaking with diapers and covers.

It is easy to change up what type of insert I am using or to add something extra when it is nap time.

These diapers also seem like they will fit my daughter easily until potty training.

My favorite cloth diaper is Flip or Econobum, both are bumGenius brands.

The Flip has little stretchy tabs where it snaps which help with the fit. They also have little pockets on the end to help keep the insert in place.

The Econobum is as plain as you can get. No real extra features, plain white, and work great.

The only downside to these diapers is the little poop hammocks they make when hosing them off. For the Flips with their mini pockets on the end, they will catch poop, but you can pretty easily spray it out with some extra effort.

The Econobum has a large pocket that is stitched over the snaps. Poop can get stuck in there and it is impossible to hose out, though I have noticed it will come out in the wash.

My champions!

If I were to start from scratch what would I buy?

This is a personal list of items I’d buy if I was starting from scratch with cloth diapers:

  • 5 Flip Diaper Clovers $75
  • 5 EconoBum Diaper Covers $55
  • 15 Inserts- $50 (varies greatly depending on type of insert
  • SprayPal-$25
  • Sprayer Hose – $30
  • 2 Large Wet Bags – $15
  • 2 Travel Size Wet Bags- $9
  • 30 Organic Flannel Wipes – $25

Total: $284

You don’t even have to buy everything all at once. With my daughter, at first I had just six cloth diapers until we could afford to buy a few more. I used the six up and then used disposable. We didn’t add on the sprayer hose and SprayPal until we started on solids. We bought the wipes a few months in, too.

The very first things I would buy are the diapers, inserts, and wet bags. Everything else can come over time.

There’s No Wrong Way to Cloth Diaper

Don’t feel as if you have to cloth diaper the way I do, or the way someone else does. We use cloth diapers probably 90% of the time and that’s what works for us. Try different things and find out what works for you and stick with it.

A great resource for those new to cloth diapering is Fluff Love University. They were a big help to me when I was new.

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