As some of you know, I am cloth diapering Wendy instead of paper diapering. I have gotten so many different types, brands, styles, and colors since before she was born 8 months ago. I could write a short book anything you want to know about cloth diapering. It can be addicting because, unless you’ve vowed to stick with plain old flat prefold diapers and covers, you are always searching for the PERFECT diaper. I’m not knocking prefolds and covers…I think they are the most economical choice, but are often the most difficult to get the hang of.
Let me tell you a little about the world of CDing and eventually, I’ll get to why I like a particular brand called Softbums.
All-in-ones work just like disposables except you wash them instead of throw them away. They are the easiest to use, but because they are so absorbent and in one piece, they often take at least 2 dryer cycles to get dry.
Pocket dipes are diapers in which you stuff a cover (the pocket) with something absorbent. The outside is waterproof, the lining is fleece or suedecloth, usually something that will pull moisture into the absorbent insert that you’ve stuffed inside. Then when you wash, you take out the insert and wash both pieces. This cuts down on drying time.
Fitted Dipes are a shaped like a disposable and made of absorbent material, but they don’t have a waterproof lining, so you have to use a cover over top. This can be troublesome because the cover has to be big enough to cover the whole diaper, which is harder than you think. Plus it’s an extra step to do the cover.
Diapers are usually sized XS-L. But to save money on buying new diapers each time your baby grows, you can buy One-Size diapers, which can be any of the above diaper types. Until Sarah created SoftBums, One-Sizers were diapers that could be folded and snapped in such a way to “hide” the extra material, then unsnapped as the child grows to let out the hidden length in the rise of the diaper. The diaper is folded down in the front and snapped into place. My husband calls our one-size diapers the robot diapers…I think he’s thinking of Transformers because they have so many snaps and adjustments. The only difference is that he *likes* Transformers.
Enter…Softbums. I CANNOT believe that this amazing invention has not been talked about more in the Cloth Diapering world. What is so ingenious is mainly the way this has changed the way “one size” diapers are made. Why didn’t someone think of this before??? I didn’t understand completely until I got the diaper and tried it, but it works basically like this: Instead of folding down and snapping the diaper to get it to be smaller, thus putting all the extra material in one place, you reach inside a small opening along the front waist, pull out little toggle tags which are attached to the leg elastic, and adjust the elastic to be tighter or looser. The “extra” material is then distributed throughout the length of the diaper, not bunched up in the front like it is on other One Sizers. (I hated the bulge the snap-down creates on my little girl!) It’s kind of like tightening the drawstring on a pair of gym shorts. I could imagine this fitting a 6 pound baby without looking like a monster on her. This picture shows the elastic and the toggles coming out of the waist band. After you adjust, just put it back through the hole.
Softbums is actually called an All-in-two diaper, and you’ll see why. The part I just explained is the outside of the diaper. The inside is like what you’d stuff in a pocket diaper, except you don’t put it inside the pocket. You snap the contoured fabric to the inside of the cover and fold to whatever length you need it for the size of your baby. If your baby is really small, you can just lay a smaller absorbent liner or prefold inside. You’ll still be taking advantage of the awesome one-sized cover. Sarah makes microfiber and bamboo inserts.
I could go on and on…the velcro is the best quality I’ve seen on any cloth diaper. The NEW colors are great. The added benefit of not having to wash the cover every time you change a diaper, plus being able to minimize the size of the stuff in your stash and diaper bag. Everything dries in one dryer cycle. I wish I had known about these before I bought so many other brands. The price is comparable and often cheaper than other one size all-in-ones/twos because you really get 3 diaper changes from one starter pack. You get the adjustable cover/shell and 3 snap-ins.
UPDATE 9/8/09: Softbums has come out with a whole new color palette, plus the option of snaps instead of velcro. I haven’t used the snaps version, so I can’t comment on that. Neither can I comment on the absorbency of the bemboo inserts vs. microfiber. BUT, I’d love to try the bamboo since we’ve had issues with stink on (other diapers’) microfiber inserts recently. You know what else I’d love to try? SoftBums Perfect Fit Fitted Diaper.