Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cloth Diapering (Again) - Fuzzi Bunz vs. Bum Genius Edition

Ok, so now that I've started talking about cloth diapering I'll probably NEVER STOP! No, just kidding, I will. I can totally quit any time. Hahahaaaa.

Oh, by the way, Megan you read my mind (get out of my head!)... I was actually planning on writing the "breastfeeding 101" post next! But I'm stuck in a cloth diapering do-loop for the moment so you'll have to bear with me cause I want to tell you guys a few more things.

So as I'm sure you've noticed, there are a dizzying array of types of cloth diapers out there. There are flats and prefolds and fitteds and all-in-ones and pockets and covers and wool and hemp and fasteners and oh my god make it stop make it stop. I'm not going to waste time going into a description of each because you can find that somewhere else, like here or here or here and seriously the entire internet has already written about it already, and to be honest I don't even know what all of it is and frankly I don't care.

See, I knew if cloth diapering was too involved or complicated I would give up. I needed something simple and straightforward. Raising a baby is complicated enough. I don't need my diaper system to be fraught with stress and worry. That's just me though. Maybe you can make better sense of it or you're just more interested in it than I am and you'll go get yourself some flats and snappis and shorties and wool covers and when you figure out what those are and how to wash them let me know, kay?

PLUS! And this was a big one... I knew I needed something simple for the Other Diaperers who would be diapering Avery (mainly Adam and my mother). Everyone who heard I was planning to use cloth diapers kind of chuckled and patted me on the head like ok dear we'll see! Adam was on board with the idea in theory because he liked saving thousands of dollars. But I knew if it was too complicated no one else would want to learn how to use them or wash them.

Anyway, so after reading a couple summaries of the different types of diapers I knew I wanted to use a pocket diaper because they seemed the easiest and most straightforward to me. I thought about an all-in-one (AIO), but since they take a long time to dry I figured that was not such a great idea living in a humid place. It didn't take me long to decide, really. Here's what happened: the first articles I read about cloth diapering talked about FB's and BG's and when I started to research diaper systems I got totally overwhelmed and decided I would just do what the blogger I liked did cause if she liked them then I probably would.

If you find it harder to make a commitment than me, you can always get one of a few different kinds and try them out. Cotton Babies offers a sample pack for $100 and free shipping! Then you can decide which ones you like best a buy more of them.

So let's assume you're like me and you want to go with one of the two most popular brands, Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius. Which one should you buy? The difference between the two is minimal and people seem to like them equally well. Some people like one or the other better, but it seems it's split pretty evenly. Like I said the Bum Genius 4.0's with the snaps are my favorites. Don't waste your time with the velcro, it doesn't hold up very well and it's not like it's so hard to do the snaps. My BG's with snaps look like new still and the one I have with velcro looks worn already.

I like the FB's too. I even liked them slightly better in the beginning! But as time has gone on the BG's are the front runner. I'll show you why as I walk you through these pictures.

Fuzzi Bunz one size dipe on the left in sage green.  Bum Genius 4.0 one size dipe in cotton candy on the right.  As you can see the look really similar.  And they are.  They are made of different materials, but the look and feel is nearly identical.
First the FB's.  These adjust in two ways - adjustable elastic changes the fit on the legs and snaps change the fit on the waist.  Obviously Avery is over 20 lbs now so this is on a larger setting.
Here's the inside, it's made of fleece like the inside of a sweatshirt.  It's really soft!  You will love putting your baby in this fabric.  I was worried it might be too hot in Hawaii, but it's been totally fine.  And you can see there's no staining yet either.  You can also see the back on the left is just an open pocket where you stuff the insert. 
Here's a closer up of the fabric and the elastic.  I want to show you this because it's the main reason I don't like these as much as the BG's.
 The elastics have holes along them to button on each end front and back.  They come with an extra set of elastics so when they wear out you'll have a replacement (and you can buy more for cheap).  [Maybe I will prefer this in the long run because the elastics in the BG's are sewn in and while they can be replaced, you would have to sew in a new one with a couple stitches.  I don't know, I have been using mine almost a year and they don't show any signs of wearing out yet so for now they're still my fave's.]  Is it really so much of a pain to change the elastics on the FB's?  No.  You do it once and don't have to worry about it again for a few months.  But you still have to do it.  On all your diapers.  Four buttons on each dipe. 
 AND?  The ends of the elastics always come out of their little holes in the wash and you have to put them back in.  See?  Is it a huge deal?  No.  But it's the reason the BG's are slightly better for me.
You could just leave them out I guess, but I like them tucked in so there ya go.
Moving on!  Here's the outside of the dipe.  You can see the back is elasticized - the reason why you'll never have poop blowouts with these diapers.  Anyone who uses 'sposies can tell you the poop goes right up the back (and out the legs).  And you can see there are three buttons on each tab - two for the waist and one lower down that gives the leg a tighter fit.  If you end up with a skinny legged babe, you might prefer this.
Here's the pocket where you stuff the insert.  The FB's are slightly narrower and therefore a bit tougher to stuff.  That's the other reason I like the BG's slightly better.  Again, it's not a huge deal, but your hand kind of gets stuck both in the narrow part and on the material because it's more plastic-y and sticky on the inside, if that makes sense.
Here's the insert.  It comes with a doubler too, but I've mostly just used one insert.
Now for the BG's.  The outer material is a bit softer on these than the FB's and it's not as sticky on the inside so your hand slides in easier during stuffing.  Like I said the elastics are sewn in to these so they adjust with a series of buttons to make them smaller (the six lower snaps) and have only two snaps at the waist.  Avery is already wearing them on the biggest setting (all unsnapped), but she still has plenty of room to grow in them.
See, you just snap these together to make them wee.  There are only three snap settings - wee, medium, and bigger (unsnapped).  I hope I'm making sense, it's really not that complicated.
The inside is made of micro-suede.  It's really similar to the FB's fleece, but feels more like a lightweight felt almost.  It's soft too.  You can also see that the back has a flap over the pocket.  That helps keep the poopsplosions in better.  I've never had a blowout with the FB's either though, even without the flap.
Looking inside the pocket.
Here's the insert.  It's bigger and wider than the FB's.  The FB's fit a bit better when she was littler but now I get a better fit with the BG's.
As you can see the inserts on the BG's adjust too with snaps.  They also come with a newborn sized insert that I never tried because I didn't buy these until she was three months or so.  You can also use the newborn insert as a doubler (i.e., put it in with the regular insert too) if you need more absorbancy.  I think as they get older they pee in greater quantity so these might come in use later but I just use one insert now and it's fine.  We sometimes have some pee leaking (on both BG's and FB's) if I wait too long between changes, but it's minimal and rarely even requires a wardrobe change.

So that's the run-down, y'all. 

P.S. I forgot to mention on the last post, you should never use diaper rash creams with your cloth dipes!  The oils will get in the fabric and ruin your dipes. 

P.P.S. I use cloth when we're out too.  They take up more room in the diaper bag.  You need to remember to bring a bag with you to put the dirty diaper in!  I forget sometimes and it's not a big deal, but you don't want to keep smelling a diaper.  You can get a wet/dry bag or something similar for dirty dipes when you are out.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Thank you! Thank you! I've been wondering how these "new" (ie different than the ones our parents used on us) cloth diapers worked. Your last two posts were incredibly helpful and informative. And I didn't even know that there was such a thing as a reusable diaper pail insert and never thought about having to dampen the cloth wipes--great tip on using the warmer for that. Super helpful and I look forward to reading the breastfeeding one soon!