Tag Archives: applecheeks

Diaper Covers

A little while ago I confessed to being a pretty crummy cloth diaperer – but a cloth diaperer nonetheless! In that same post I promised to share some of my thoughts on the products I’d used so far in my first year-or-so of semi-successful cloth diapering. So here goes:

Two-size diaper systems

Thirsties
These were the first diaper covers I tried. Before Boo was born I’d done some research and liked the idea of their duo wrap 2-size system. Not being sure how this whole cloth diapering thing was going to turn out, I also really liked that they weren’t too expensive. So I bought a few velcro as well as a few snap covers to see which I liked best. And that was it. As a novice cloth diaperer, I didn’t want to get in too deep.

As mentioned previously, it took awhile for me to get the hang of cloth, and to be satisfied that it actually fit my Boo Boo (I know I keep saying this, but he was so small…he wore the newborn sized disposables for several MONTHS before we moved him up to size 1). Once I had the hang of things….I liked them. I liked how the Thirsties never had blow outs. I liked that I could wipe down the interior. I liked that his prefolds could be soaking wet, and not a drip leaked out.

And I still like them. We’re now using size 2 and, with other covers to compare, I can also claim to like them for being among the most trim, and fitting really well but not seeming tight (Boo has comparatively few elastic marks on his skin when I take them off).

The only things I dislike about them? Sometimes the excess material that isn’t snapped (basically, the fabric holding the too-big snaps) shifts out of the diaper. And the white fabric covered elastic around the legs and top of the diaper is a little prone to staining. That’s it.

Two thumbs up.

Applecheeks
Another two (actually now three!) size system, I inherited a pile of these from friends. I was excited to try them out, as they’re a local company, and get very good reviews (I never bought their size 1 diapers because the price tag scared me away at the time).

What initially threw me off about AppleCheeks was that there are no snaps to adjust the rise of the diaper. It’s just a matter of how tightly you snap it on. I thought this might be a problem….but nope. They do a great job holding everything in. The “ruffles” around the waist and legs – which I originally thought were kind of girly – actually seem to help accomplish this. They also seem to keep things snug without being too tight.

These were also the first diaper covers I tried with a micro-fleece lining which I worried would require more frequent laundering. And though you can’t wipe the insides down, if Boo has only had a pee (or a well contained poop), then it isn’t an issue and I can reuse them several times (I should note that I just place my prefold on TOP of the micro-fleece – I don’t stuff it into the pocket).

As for dislikes? They aren’t particularly trim. As Boo gets bigger, I’m sure this will become less of an issue – right now he’s still at the lower end of the size 2 weight range. Also, I’m not so sure how durable the elastics are. I had to retire all of my inherited diaper covers, as the elastics gave out (you know…when you stretch an elastic, you hear a crinkly sound, and it doesn’t stretch back?). I’m not sure if it’s because they were getting old, if it had to do with how they’d been previously washed, or how I washed them? Or maybe if they’d been stored near a radiator (before or after they came into my possession)? But they’re dead. I still went ahead and bought two news ones.

Thumbs up.

One size diaper systems

Bummis
I really wanted to like Bummis so that I could support another local Montreal business…so much so, that I went to their physical store location on St-Laurent Street to check them out. But as soon as I walked in there, with Boo strapped into the ErgoBaby, I felt….out of place. Like I somehow wasn’t cool (or crunchy?) enough. When I spoke with a saleslady to ask a few questions, her answers were short and curt. She also gave me the impression she didn’t like talking to me. It was not a nice shopping experience.

But because I’d make the trek out there, I still went ahead and made a purchase. Only I bought less than I’d anticipated.

Impressions of their physical store location and salespeople aside, I’ve had one Simply Lite one-size diaper cover for a few months now and…I barely use it. It’s the second-to-last cover that I use when all of the other covers are dirty. Though I love the pattern (Elephant Tales), the fit isn’t particularly trim. I chalk this up to it being a one-size diaper cover and Boo being particularly slim – but that’s not really why I dislike it. I dislike it because the tags are on the front inside of the diaper – not particularly soft tags, that rub against Boo Boo’s belly. I also can’t stand how the diaper curls in upon itself. As soon as there’s no Boo to hold it open, the tabs immediately curl in and land in whatever happens to be on the prefold. Which means I either have to be extremely fast to catch them (and as an inept diaperer, we know that doesn’t really happen)….or else they get dirty and I have to wash what was a mostly clean and totally reusable cover. Finally, of all the diaper covers I have, the material on the Simply Lite seems the least breathable of them.

So yeah. Thumbs down on the Bummis.

GroVia
These are another one-size diaper cover, and what I initially noticed about them is that their overall shape is different from all of the other diaper covers I’ve tried. The wrap-around tabs that snap in front are much longer – making the sides of the diaper less bulky – and contributing to their being another rather trim cover.

Like the Applecheeks they have an interior lining – only theirs is just that – a lining. There’s no pocket. Rather, GroVia makes their own inserts that snap into place. I can’t comment on the inserts, as I don’t use them – I just use a prefold. The lining does seem to add a little extra friction, though, and helps keep the prefold in place.

The GroVia Snap Shells don’t have any leg gussets, ruffles or anything special to keep everything in….but they do (keep everything in). I sometimes worry that they’re not fitting tight enough at the belly, as there can be a slight gap when I’ve got a thick and folded over prefold in there. But so far, there’ve been no accidents, so I’m not complaining.

I quite like these ones. Thumbs up.

Blueberry
Yet another one-size diaper cover (yeah….I bought a bunch of one-sizes…I really didn’t want to have to keep buying larger diaper covers as Boo grew), the Blueberry Coveralls look very much like the Thirsties Duo Wraps…..only bigger. Much much bigger. These are probably one of the least trim diaper covers I’ve used. They tend to be pouffy, as there always seems to be a little extra fabric at Boo’s bum – even when they were snapped up to their smallest.

But apart from how big they look, they actually fit Boo pretty well. He has very few elastic marks on his skin when I remove them, and he’s had no accidents while wearing them.

Not an enthusiastic thumbs up, but thumbs up all the same.

Rumparooz
And finally the last one-size diaper cover in my stash. I have only one Rumparooz, and it is currently the very last diaper cover I use in my pile. It seems to have too much fabric. When I snap Boo into it, there’s always a bunch of folds bunching up where the cover is folded over to make it smaller.

And that’s just annoying. It also makes it feel bulky.

I do make it to my last diaper cover every once in awhile, though, and once I don’t need to snap it up so small, I’ll have to reassess how much extra fabric there is. I’d love to use it. It’s got to be the softest diaper cover I own.

So….I guess a temporary thumbs down until I can re-asses.

And that’s it as far as diaper covers are concerned. Because I’ve always seemed to struggle with the overall bulk/size of the diapers, I’ve never really used any of the boosters I’d purchased. They felt like overkill. I will, however, try to share my thoughts on the prefolds I’ve used, as well as cloth-friendly rash creams and detergent!

Stay tuned! (Well…only if you’re into that sort of thing, I guess.)

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Confessions of an inept cloth diaperer

Right off the bat let me be clear about one thing…I’m not very good at diapering. Any diapering. But I’d had it in my head when I was pregnant with Boo that I wanted to give cloth a go. So I bought a bunch of prefolds, a few fitteds, some doublers and some covers. I also bought some disposables. Because.

When Boo was born, he was tiny. So tiny. With stiff legs (I’ve talked about his legs before). And I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to fold and put on the cloth diapers so that Boo was lying flat….seriously. They were so bulky his middle was the highest point on his body. So I used my disposables and waited a bit for him to grow.

From time to time I’d give his cloth diapers another try until Eureka! they finally fit! I should note, by this time I’d given up on everything but the newspaper fold, placed directly into the cover. No pins, no snappis…just the bare minimum. It got the job done, and I was happy. I was cloth diapering!

Boo Boo in Applecheeks

But I never got too fanatic about it. Sure, I was pleased to be saving money, and especially to keep our garbage to a minimum. But I still use disposables. At night, for instance…Boo proved too heavy a wetter, and I couldn’t match the absorbency and dryness of a disposable. And when we go visiting. As much as I love not creating waste at home, I also love not creating unnecessary laundry when I’m not at home.

And even though I’m not exactly committed to exclusive cloth diapering, I am over one year into it, and I think I’ve learned a few things along the way. So without further ado…

10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT CLOTH DIAPERING (SO FAR):

  1. A squirming baby is difficult to diaper no matter what your diaper of choice.
  2. Coloured and patterned diaper covers are so cute. Like, incredibly cute. I don’t care how disposables try to emulate this cuteness factor (hello Honest Company!), they just can’t match the vibrancy or colour saturation of a diaper cover.
  3. A trim cloth diaper is like winning the lottery. A not-so-trim diaper means having to size up when putting my little man into pants (for real…depending on his diaper my Boo Boo fits into 6-12 month pants all the way up to 2T). Oh, and the word “trim” suddenly becomes a regular part of your vocabulary.
  4. The xylophone and Boo

  5. Velcro closures are wonderful. At first. When you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, velcro is so much easier and faster to fasten. Later, though, you discover the ugly side of velcro. It snags everything in the laundry, and once your little one gets mobile, it can scratch their belly. Snaps are definitely the way to go once you’ve got your feet wet. You’ll also discover that aplix is the same thing as velcro.
  6. Snappis are the devil. Though they sound like a huge advancement over safety pins….actually getting them to hook, stay in place, and hold a prefold diaper on your little one? Never worked for me (of course, I’m an inept diaperer, so they probably work for other people).
  7. Sure, a fitted cloth diaper sounds easier. But unless you’re going for AIOs (all-in-ones), it means you’ve got TWO things to fasten – the diaper and the cover. Which turns out to be double the trouble (for me).
  8. Boo playing in his diaper

  9. Washing cloth diapers isn’t all that bad. Drying them, however, is the biggest ever pain in the ass. I mean, they’re made to be absorbent, right? So they retain a lot of water. So much that I have to run them through the dryer twice if I’m unable to hang them out to dry (which, let’s face it, only happens during the summer).
  10. You will, without a doubt, find yourself sniffing those “pee pee only” diaper covers a little too closely, as you attempt to determine if you can use it one more time before laundering.
  11. Don’t worry about the poo, it’s totally manageable. This is especially true once solids are started and you use a diaper liner. The foul stench of day-old urine, however…is like an assault on your nasal passage every time you open your wet bag. It is not for the faint of heart.
  12. It’s a miracle how blowouts can be completely avoided with a good cloth diaper cover…I think while Boo was exclusively breastfed, he had maybe one blowout while wearing cloth. Maybe. I can’t count how many he had while wearing disposables. Too many (I’ve blocked it out). This alone is reason enough to use cloth.

So there you have it. I’m pretty sure these 10 things are not the only things I’ve learned (surely?), but they’re what I’m sharing with you today. Got any more hard learned lessons on cloth diapering? Please share them in the comments!

Boo Boo in his wagon

In a future post, I’ll share my thoughts and review some of the actual products I’ve used.

In case you’re curious, the diaper covers pictured in the above photos are (in descending order): Applecheeks’ Lake Echo, Bummis’ Simply Lite Elephant Tales, Blueberry Coverall’s Monsters, and Applecheeks’ Steel Me (they’re barely visible in the above picture, but I just thought it was cute!)

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