Jul 15, 2009

Use At Your Own Risk

I have been compulsively researching cloth diapering and trolling the review sites. Those of you who know me can attest to the fact that I am completely OCD when it comes to researching anything I will be investing a great deal of money in! Anyway, I have come to the following conclusion: use at your own risk. Now don't get me wrong, the same can be said for the use of disposables with the famous poop-up-the-back incidents common with their use (I can't even count how many I've cleaned.)

What I'm getting at is this: no matter what the product is there will be people who love it and there will be people who hate it. I not-so-fun part is weeding through all the information and reviews with a nice heavy dose of skepticism. Remember that people are more likely to review a product if they have had a negative experience with it. For those of you looking into cloth diapering for the first time, let me help you out with what I've learned:

Basic Styles:
  1. Old Fashioned flat or pre-folded diapers: clipped or pinned and put under a diaper wrap or cover
  2. Fitted Diapers: cloth diaper that has snaps or Velcro so no pins or clips required, still need an outer wrap or cover to hold in wetness
  3. Pocket Diapers: Usually have a waterproof shell and and inner lining that you stuff with an insert.
  4. All-in-Ones (AIO's): a complete diaper all together - cover, insert, lining, and Velcro or snap closure. They are similar to a disposable in that you just take off the old one and put a new one on, throwing the old one in the wash. Most of these require you to buy different sizes as your baby grows.
  5. One-Size: either pocket diapers or AIO's but they have a snaps to adjust the rise and on a few models the leg openings adjust as well.

Common Complaints:

  1. Fit issues - seems that thinner kids are prone to leaking around leg openings, large kids have a hard time getting a fit that is not too tight or rise ends up being insufficient causing leaks at the waist
  2. Closure issues - saw a large number of complaints over Velcro closures pilling and becoming unusable or irritating the babies tummy or legs, some had issues with snap closures not allowing enough sizing flexibility
  3. Wetting through - issues with the inserts not being absorbent enough or repelling urine instead of absorbing it after some extended use
  4. Customer service issues - some diapers did not get favorable reviews due to interaction with the company not being up to the reviewers standard - or not receiving the accommodation desired
  5. Materials/production issues - some diapers where written off because they were all or in part constructed in China. Others claimed that product quality varied depending on where it was constructed (one that comes to mind said that USA product was less absorbent than Chinese product of same brand.)

In the end (no pun intended) I believe you will just need to try several types and see which work best for you and your baby. Each baby is built differently so you need to see what brand/style fits your child best as well as your lifestyle. You might get lucky and have the 1st diaper you try work, but it might end up taking several trials before finding what works.

Here are some sites you might want to check for info and reviews:





In the meantime, I'm going to check out my local earth friendly baby supply store and see some of these brands up close and personal before I invest any money.

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