Cloth Diapers Information & Reviews
It’s been two months since Ean was born and since his birth we have been using cloth diapers, almost exclusively. In retrospect, comparing the simple repetitive act of changing diapers, there isn’t really a big difference between cloth and disposable. The big differences come into play when we talk about how much trash is being produced and how much money we throw in that mountain of trash. This review will hopefully shed some light and clarity on the subject in a simple way.
I have compared several different brands and types of cloth diapers to determine which is best and why I think that. All of them have been used on a daily basis for the past two months. Read on for my verdicts.
POOPS – All in one diaper
What it is:
An all in one diaper, means the insert is sewn to the inside and once soiled you put the whole thing to wash. It closes with snap buttons and have buttons to adjust its size for an optimal fit depending on the size of your baby.
It’s thick, with a very elastic outer cover which is good for comfort. The thick insert makes it a great diaper for the night, as it can hold quite a lot of liquid.
The thickness of the insert makes drying the diaper very difficult. Under the blazing Mediterranean summer sun it takes several hours and probably an entire day for people in colder and less sunny climates. The elasticity, which is great for comfort, makes it a bit hard to unsnap because the fabric stretches.
Imsevimse – All in one diaper
What it is:
An all in one diaper, which means the insert is sewn to the inside and once soiled you put the whole thing to wash. What makes it different from POOPS model is that the insert is split in to two layers that overlap each other. Rather than snap buttons, this model uses velcro to open and close.
The two layers that lay on top of each other from each side of the diaper makes it a lot faster drying than POOPS. Despite it being relatively thin, it does hold liquid very well. The leg-gussets ensure a tight fit around the thighs of baby and secures it from leaking. Using velcro is great for infants and parents just getting started, who are still stumbling around parenthood and its intricacies. You don’t have to fumble around buttons and it gives you a better fit without restriction of button placement. Lastly, the design and pattern prints on the exterior are very charming.
Considering it’s an all in one, it dries pretty fast but it still takes at least 2-3 times longer than separate inserts/prefolds and covers. The velcro, while having many benefits is great until baby figures out he can open the diaper and you find a baby without diaper and a very messy bed. You also have to secure the velcro before putting the diaper in the washing machine, or they will stick to anything like… well, velcro.
XKKO – Prefold
What it is:
A prefold is a type of insert that you put inside of a cover which usually is made with some kind of polyurethane to keep liquid in while allowing the baby’s skin to breath. A prefold can also be used as is with newborns (since they pee less) with plastic clasps. You simply fold it, put it on baby and use the plastic claps to secure it.
These badboys are made of twill weave and they are so strong and durable, you can probably carry rocks in them. They are rigid, absorb quickly and distribute the liquid well throughout the prefold.
How rigid is too rigid? I jokingly call them potato sacks due to the rough appearance but Ean didn’t get any rash or irritation and didn’t show any signs of discomfort while wearing them. They are quite bulky though, so perhaps better when baby’s 1-2 months old. While distribution of liquid is good for overall holding of liquid, I would imagine it to be more uncomfortable compared to Milovias inserts where the liquid simply gets trapped where it is. In XKKO’s case, the entire prefold, from front to back, gets wet.
What it is:
It’s not a brand, it’s a portal for merchants. Think Amazon, but Chinese and cheaper. Basically, whatever you buy on Amazon usually comes from sites like Aliexpress in large quantities and sold with a big markup. In the case of diapers, you don’t have the same certifications for quality and organic materials, all though most of them claim to be organic etc, so it’s a bit of a gamble if you’re big on organic stuff. Aliexpress is for the people who don’t want to splurge big on cloth diapers. We ordered a few and quite honestly, other than less saturated colors on the prints, I found them to be very similar to the ones purchased in EU.
Important tips: When searching, make sure you click the following boxes in the search results – Free shipping. Top rated. 1 piece only. This will eliminate all products that require a certain amount of products to get the stated price, the bad rated and the ones that charge for shipping.
The big selling point here is that they’re cheap, very cheap. Like, 50-80% cheaper. If I were you, I’d order one piece of each, from a large variety, compare them and then make a big order. Quality wise I can’t fault them really, they do their job and they do it pretty well. Obviously everything will differ depending on manufacturer, but if you don’t mind a bit of a gamble, this could be a big money saver for you. If nothing else, you can get the covers from there and get the inserts from EU, I’m looking at you Milovia and POOPS.
They generally don’t look as nice, and then there’s the uncertainty. You simply don’t know for sure with what they’re made, but it should be mentioned that many of the cloth diapers that are sold in EU and North America (unless they say otherwise specifically on their websites) originate from China, if not the final product, at least the components.
Milovia – Cover & insert
What it is:
Covers are usually made of polyurethane to hold liquid but to remain breathable for the skin. Inside these covers, you put prefolds or inserts. Inserts are one piece and inside it’s layered with various materials such as cotton, microfiber or bamboo viscose. Different configurations will work differently, some absorbing faster than others, while another configurations absorb slower but feels drier.
Its small size makes it perfect for newborns, fits very nicely and has beautiful prints on the cover. The snap buttons click easily into place to open and close the diaper. The insert is my absolute favorite because it holds a lot of liquid and it dries extremely fast. Straight out of the spinning cycle of the washing machine it barely feels wet at all. The other good thing about cover and insert configurations is that a lot of times the cover does not get soiled at all, so you only have to wash the insert and you can reuse the cover. We usually got 2-3 diaper changes per cover, unless it was a messy diaper.
I’m drawing a blank here… I didn’t find anything bad with these, they are my favorite combination of cover and insert!
POOPS – Cover & prefold
What it is:
Covers are usually made out of polyurethane to hold liquid but to remain breathable for the skin. Inside these covers, you put prefolds or inserts. Prefolds are square, they have a pattern which splits them in three segments which are folded and consist of differently layered materials such as cotton, microfiber or bamboo viscose. Different materials will work differently, some absorbing faster than others, while another configurations absorb slower but feels drier.
In the same case as the Milovia covers, these are really well designed, adjustable for better fit and they are absolutely gorgeous. You don’t want your kid to wear pants, ever. Rather than a insert, this configuration came with prefolds. Compared to other prefolds, the POOPS prefolds dry very fast because they are very thin (but somehow manage to retain a lot of liquid). They are also silky soft and I would imagine, comfortable.
I’m not saying the prefolds are bad, I just really prefer the Milovia inserts because they perform at least equally well, if not better but you don’t have to muck about with folding them. I know, in a sober state of mind it’s not a big deal but at 3 am and with 4 weeks of sleep deprivation, every little thing matters.
Make no mistake, whatever type of cloth diapers you choose, you’re a winner. You will save about 80% of the money you would spend on disposable diapers. Your baby will be out of diapers faster and will not suffer as much (or at all in the case of Ean) from rashes and skin irritation. You contribute to your own money saving and to the saving of our beloved planet.
Of course there are sceptics out there who would argue that cloth diapers make a big impact on the environment due to “all the washing”. Let me put your mind to rest, if you have a 10 cloth diaper covers and 30 inserts or prefolds, you only have to wash about twice a week. They don’t need prewash or long programmes, just a normal 40 degree wash and sometimes a 60 degree one to give it some extra germ killing action. The best thing you can do is let them dry in the sun, it disinfects and bleaches them naturally.
So if you compare two extra washes per week with the energy and resources it took to produce those disposable diapers, ship them to whatever shop they go to and then for you to take them home, the garbage man to pick it up and drive it away and not to mention the decades of decomposing it would take, if they decompose at all. With all that in mind, you still want to argue the environmental benefits of cloth diapers?
Is it disgusting? Sometimes yes, but so are regular diapers. Personally, I feel such a pleasure and pride from reusing diapers, that whatever disgust or discomfort I may feel is quickly overturned. Besides, you get used to it very fast, just like the many other uncomfortable things you have to deal with when you have a baby.
Now, if we talk specifics it’s clear that I prefer covers and inserts. Prefolds are also good but I prefer inserts. Milovias inserts are in my opinion the most impressive both in performance and drying but POOPS come in at a close second. If I were to choose an all in one, it would definitely be ImseVimse due to the rapid drying, beautiful design and wonderful fit thanks to the velcro and soft leg-gussets.
I hope this review has been helpful to you, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will try to help to the best of my ability.
POOPS have ben generous enough to offer a 10% discount on any purchases in the web shop. It seems the English version of the website isn’t working so great, but you can usually rely on your browsers internal translator. To get the discount, simply write “Fatherologist” as a coupon code and get 10% off. – www.poops.se
Milovia as a manufacturer does not have a web shop but they did agree to take orders from any of my readers at a special price so you can go to their website, check out the products and email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them what you want and they’ll give you the price. If you want exactly what I reviewed, tell them you want the Fatherologist package and specify how many you want of each item. – www.milovia.eu
ImseVimse were in a playful mood so they asked me to announce a competition to pick 2 winners who each will get two awesome all in one diapers. Details on the competition will be up on 25th August. – www.imsevimse.co.uk
To get cheap liners, I suggest you buy them from eBay. Keep in mind the seller is based in China so it takes about 2-3 weeks to receive the rolls, but this seller is the one we buy them from: http://www.ebay.com/itm/321254039492?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT