Cloth Diapering: Transition to Pockets

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our cloth diapering intention has always been to ultimately move to using one-size pocket diapers.

Pocket diapers are what convinced me that cloth diapering would be worth doing. After all, once they're put together, it's essentially like putting on a disposable. Very easy. Plus, the pockets give you the ability to add extra absorbency as needed. So they're also very flexible. And they're darn cute, too. Oh, and the one-size adjustability means that baby can wear the same diapers from when they are little all the way up until they're potty trained. So economical was also added into the "pros" column for pocket diapers.

But in my initial cloth diapering research, I discovered that the one-size pocket diaper doesn't usually fit babies from birth--babies generally have to be in the 10-12 lb. range before they fit properly. As a result, we built a starter stash and began our cloth diaper journey with newborn prefolds and covers during the day, and disposables for overnight.

A few weeks back, even though Nora wasn't yet 10 lbs. (she was about 8.5 lbs.), I decided to give the one-size pockets a try.


Now, let me back up for a minute and say that I wasn't sure which one-size pocket diapers we would be going with. Based on reviews and popularity, I narrowed it down to two brands--bumGenius and Fuzzibunz. I ordered three of each diaper and figured we'd do our own little trial using both of them, then order the rest of our stash in whichever diaper we liked better.

I started by putting Nora in each of the diapers during the day. When we went several diaper changes without any leaks, I decided to put them to the test overnight, too. And now Nora hasn't been in a single disposable diaper for weeks. Yayyy!

After testing out both the Fuzzibunz and bumGenius diapers, we ultimately decided to go with the bumGenius. The main reasons? I like the fit of the bumGenius better because they are slimmer. The Fuzzibunz are REALLY bulky, especially when they are double-stuffed for nighttime. They give Nora a ridiculous shelf butt, which is kind of hilarious. The other thing is that I like the snap closure better on the bumGenius; I find the snaps on the Fuzzibunz to be harder to fasten. Finally, I like the inner material of the bumGenius better; it seems to be softer and holds up better than the inner material on the Fuzzibunz. It's a bummer, actually, because I *LOVE* the Fuzzibunz colors--they are bright and fun, while the bumGenius colors are all kind of boring and pastel. Oh well--gotta choose function over color. Anyway, if any of you have specific questions about Fuzzibunz vs. bumGenius, feel free to ask in the comments.

Sooo... we went ahead and ordered another six bumGenius diapers, bringing our total number of pocket diapers to 12 at the moment. We're planning to ultimately have around 24, but right now, we're still able to use the newborn prefolds/covers, so we have more than enough diapers to get by for several days with no laundry. Since I'm going back to work in two weeks, we're getting ready to order another six bumGenius diapers to bring our total up to 18 before she goes to daycare.

Our daycare provider will be dealing exclusively with pocket diapers, so we'll send the bumGenius dipes with Nora every day. The Fuzzibunz diapers have become strictly overnight diapers, since they're bulkier and don't fit as well under her clothes. As for the prefolds/covers--we'll continue to use them at home as long as she fits into them, which I don't anticipate will be very much longer. The covers are fine to fit her up until 18 lbs. since they're adjustable, but the newborn prefolds typically only go to 10 lbs. and Nora is between 9.5-10 lbs. now.

For those of you who may not know much about pocket diapers or cloth diapers in general--I'm going to do a little photo demonstration of how they work. Up until now, we've been using "old-fashioned" cloth diapers with the prefold/cover system. It might be what you think of when you hear cloth diapers. Now, these are the modern versions!

This is a bumGenius 4.0 one-size pocket diaper with snap closures
(you can also get aplix closure if you prefer)
This diaper is single-stuffed with a newborn insert for daytime use

This is a Fuzzibunz one-size pocket diaper with snap closures
(again, you can get aplix if you prefer)
This diaper is double-stuffed for overnight absorbency

All brands of pocket diapers typically come with three pieces--the outer shell, a newborn (small) insert, and a standard (bigger) insert. I'll just show you the bumGenius version and how it works, since all pocket dipes are pretty similar.

Here is the empty outer shell of the diaper. You can see the pocket at the top. That is where you put the inserts.

Here is the newborn insert. It's thinner and shorter than the standard insert. Since Nora is still small and not a terribly heavy wetter, this is the insert we use for all daytime diapers (I typically change her every 2-3 hours).

This is the standard insert. It's a bit thicker and includes snaps to fold it down for when the diaper is snapped down to its smaller sizes. As baby grows and the outer shell is on its bigger settings, this insert can be unsnapped to be longer to fit the length of the diaper. Currently, we use these standard inserts as a "doubler" for overnight diapers. We use both the newborn insert AND the standard insert inside of Nora's overnight diapers, since Miss Thang is going 12-13 hours in her nighttime diapers these days.

In this pic, you can see the newborn insert inside of the diaper. So when everything is clean and dry, I sit down and stuff diapers to put in the diaper drawer. It doesn't take too long, and when it's all said and done, diaper changes are as easy as using disposables.

This is with the back flap folded over the insert. So this is what it looks like when I pull them out of the drawer to put them on Nora. Easy-peasy.

And now for a little bit on the one-size feature...
This is what it looks like when the snap closures are undone. See all those snaps? See how wide they go out? That's so this diaper can easily fit my little Nora around the waist until she's potty-trained.

And this is what it looks like when the "rise" part of the diaper is completely unsnapped as well. So this is the biggest the diaper can get, which is pretty big--bumGenius claims that this can fit a child up to 35 lbs.

Pretty cool, huh?

Hopefully this has given you a bit of an overview about pocket diapers, and I've shared our plan for moving forward with this system. As always, please let me know if you have any questions. And don't forget to check out my two previous posts (here and here) about cloth diapering if you haven't read them already.

Also, stay tuned, as I will actually be reviewing a Blueberry cloth diaper within the next few weeks, and that review comes with a giveaway! :) Very exciting stuff.

7 comments:

E @ Oh! Apostrophe November 22, 2010 at 5:45 PM  

Awesome info! We are planning on going with the bumgenius 4.0 one size pockets as well so it's great to hear that you've liked them.

jack+alli November 22, 2010 at 9:28 PM  

thank you so much for this!!! im currently using prefolds with covers while researching what else is out there! i appreciate you sharing what you're doing :)

Stephanie November 22, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

Thanks for the info! We have a stash of used bumGenius' for our little one due in January. I always like to read other people's success stories with them. It makes me feel more confidant about our choice!

Emily November 23, 2010 at 1:30 PM  

great info. I'm not even pg and am obsessed with cloth :)

Vanessa November 23, 2010 at 2:56 PM  

I lovethis post - one day when we hopefully have kids I know I will come back to it! Bumgenius - I even love the name! And that Nora is so cute! :)

Heather November 24, 2010 at 2:56 PM  

Thanks, all!
I'm glad that some of you find this information useful. :)

Debbie November 9, 2011 at 11:03 AM  

I must have started reading your blog after all these posts, but I just wanted to say that I like that you posted pictures of how the stuffing works. My husband and I are still a couple years away from kids, but we have made the decision to cloth diaper. I've never seen how they were stuffed, and I was a little curious, so I was happy to see it here! (And I've read all your previous posts which are super helpful as well!)

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