Now that I’ve been fully immersed in the world of cloth diapers for four years, I’ve had the chance to try a lot of different products. A lot of times I review diapers or accessories and then pass them on to a diaper-lending charity or a friend, not because there’s anything wrong with them, but simply because they aren’t my favourites. Since I get asked all the time, I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite items in a variety of cloth-diapering categories!
My Favourite Diapers
Whether it’s for daycare or at home, the diaper I reach for most often is not one you can buy in stores—it’s a combination! I use a bumGenius pocket diaper stuffed with the small microfibre insert that comes with it, then instead of pairing it with the large bumGenius microfibre insert, I use an Öko Creations hemp trifold. I have bumGenius 4.0 Pocket Diapers with Velcro closures (now discontinued) that are specifically for daycare and my husband to use, while I use our snap-closure bumGenius pockets myself. This combination lasts up to four hours, so it’s reliable when I leave the house to bring my son to daycare but don’t get a chance to change Little Miss until we’ve returned from preschool pick up. When Cub was in diapers at daycare, he never had issues with leaks once I figured out this perfect insert combination. When Little Miss started daycare I snagged a few more Velcro bumGeniuses to boost our stash, and aside from one very messy poop incident, I’ve never arrived at pick up to find she’s had a leak.
Diaper System: Funky Fluff
Since my go-to daytime diaper isn’t one you can just pick up at your local cloth-diaper retailer in one package, I also have a favourite “everything you need” diaper system. My Funky Fluff systems come second in terms of frequency of use but mainly because I have fewer of them. I love my one, lonely athletic wicking jersey Lux with bamboo inserts as well as my 100% bamboo systems. I can also get four hours out of my Funky Fluff as long as I use both inserts. In case you’re curious, I typically do not stuff the inserts into the pocket, I just snap them on top. Compared to bumGenius, I find it takes more practice to get a perfect, leak-free fit with Funky Fluff, which is why I prefer to send my Velcro bumGeniuses to daycare. At only $25, a Funky Fluff system is my favourite option to recommend to parents looking for something simple (i.e., no combining components of different brands), and you don’t need to buy inserts from a different brand to get enough absorbency. Many retailers also sell Funky Fluff shells without inserts, so you can use Öko Creations trifolds with them if you’re so inclined!
Natural Fibre All-in-One (AIO) Diaper: bumGenius Elemental 3.0
This is a tough one. I’m considering only AIOs that have no synthetic stay-dry layer: SmartBottoms, Thirsties and bumGenius. As I mentioned in my recent bumGenius Elemental 3.0 review, I actually prefer the “OBGE” design to the updated 3.0 design, since it had even more absorbency. But since the 3.0 is the one readily available on the market, I will give it the title. It wins by a narrow margin, simply because I find it slightly more absorbent than the SmartBottoms 3.0 and the Thirsties Natural AIO, which are also really excellent diapers! It might even be my affinity for bumGenius’s stretchy tabs that tips the scale in the Elemental’s favour.
All-in-Two (AI2) System: I don’t really have one
I’ve tried Flip, Best Bottom, GroVia and the TotsBots Peenut. Of the four, I prefer the TotsBots Peenut, and it’s what I always keep in the diaper bag. The Peenut inserts are really absorbent and I like that you can combine the two sizes of inserts as needed. But honestly, my favourite way to reuse a cover is using an Öko trifold, Bummis prefold or even an IKEA Flat inside. Best Bottom covers are adorable and trim, but with THREE sizes of inserts to buy, I don’t see how it can be cost effective. If you want the adorable Best Bottom prints, I’d buy their covers and then use prefolds or trifolds inside. When my son was a baby, I used mainly GroVia shells and Bummis prefolds. GroVia’s snap-in inserts are fine, but not versatile, since you can’t really use them with anything else.
Overnight Fitted Diaper: HumCloud
I used to hate using fitteds overnight. My son just didn’t need an overnight fitted: he was just fine with a combination of inserts in a PUL cover. When my trusty combo couldn’t cope with my daughter’s frequent nursing and peeing overnight, I turned to the HumCloud. Holy doodle is this ever an epic and wonderful overnight diaper! We only need one of the included inserts to make it through the night, but it comes with two more inserts in case you have an even-heavier wetter!
One-Size Ruffled Pocket Diaper: Easy Peasies
There are now three made-in-Canada one-size pocket diapers on the market that have ruffles! Waist ruffles and leg ruffles are so cute! Lately I’ve been trying to evaluate the pros and cons of the one-size offerings of AMP, AppleCheeks and Easy Peasies. On my son, diapers with leg ruffles were GREAT. I never had any issues, and size 2 AppleCheeks were one of our most frequently used diapers. On Little Miss, despite trying a lot of different variations on fit and absorbency, all of our ruffled diapers leak at the legs. I can get four hours out of my bumGenius or Funky Fluff diapers, but when I use the same absorbency in any of these three ruffled options, wetness seeps out onto the fleece of the ruffles and wicks onto my daughter’s pants as soon as the inserts get saturated. That being said, I greatly prefer the fit of the Easy Peasies one-size pocket on Little Miss, and it would be my top recommendation of the three currently on the market. It has a centre rise snap, so even on the shortest rise, the front of the diaper is smooth. It has a hip snap, so there’s no wing droop. I really, really love the fit of this diaper and I’ll keep troubleshooting the ruffle leaks!
Find Easy Peasies using my affiliate link to Cozy Bums
Velcro-Closure Diaper: TotsBots Star
There are very few brands that still offer Velcro-closure options, but TotsBots only makes Velcro diapers. That’s probably because they have the best Velcro on the market. This stuff is STICKY and DURABLE. The TotsBots Star is a great, one-piece, easy-to-use diaper with adorably whimsical prints. It’s not always easy (or cheap) to get your hands on this Scottish-made diaper, so the other option is Thirsties. Both their pocket diaper and their Natural AIO are available in Velcro (depending on the retailer), and I am a big fan of them both!
My Favourite Inserts
Cloth Diaper Insert: Öko Creations
In case it is not already clear, I am committed to my Öko Creations two-ply hemp trifolds. I have inserts that are four years old and are still doing the job perfectly. They fit into any cloth diaper cover or pocket and can be folded to match your needs. Hemp is my favourite cloth diapering fibre for both its absorbency and its sustainability as a textile.
Low-Cost Diaper Inserts: IKEA Flats
I’ve tried flour sack towels, flannel receiving blankets and even old t-shirts, but IKEA’s Himmelsk burp cloths, which I’ve dubbed IKEA Flats, are my hands-down favourites. They are affordable and functional. Fold them “old school” on a newborn or just pad-fold them on a bigger baby and place them in your favourite one-size cover for a super cheap all-in-two solution.
Bummis prefolds were my very first cloth diapers! If you anticipate a teeny tiny newborn, Bummis’ Newborn Package with newborn-sized prefolds is great. I had the newborn prefolds for my son, but he was much too big for them in less than three weeks. I would typically recommend “Infant Size,” which is for 7–20 lbs. You can use them in covers from any brand, and they do fit in most pocket diapers, too. Prefolds make amazing burp cloths, and when you’re all done with diapering, they’ll be your cleaning rags for the next fifty years. The largest size of prefold (called “Baby Size”) is very large. (I feel like they need to add a fourth size, in between the “Infant” and “Baby” sizes.) I used the largest Bummis prefolds on my son when he was 30–35 lbs.
Booster: Öko Creations Hemp Booster
If you can’t use all hemp all the time, you can at least boost with hemp! If I’m using a full-size bumGenius or Rumparooz microfibre insert, you can bet your bottom dollar I’m tucking some Öko hemp behind it! I also use one on top of my TotsBots EasyFit V4s, in which my son never leaked but my daughter does.
Overnight Insert: Flip Overnight Inserts
I have some extremely ratty looking Flip Overnight Inserts in my stash. They were my overnight cloth-diapering staple with my son, and I’m confident I’ll return to using them on my daughter once I get around to night-weaning her. I purchased them used, which goes to show that these inserts have a long lifespan!
My Favourite Covers
One-Size Diaper Cover: Rumparooz
My son was a 95th percentile baby and the Rumparooz was one of the few one-size diaper covers that worked for him almost until potty training. Little Miss is much more petite, and this cover also works great on her. The double leg gussets help prevent gaps at the legs even when the diaper is full of overnight inserts, and the tummy elastic is great for tummy sleepers. The Rumparooz also offers enough coverage for most fitted diapers we’ve tried.
Find Rumparooz covers using my affiliate link to Well.ca
Sized Diaper Cover: Thirsties Duo Wraps
I just love the fit of our size 2 Duo Wrap. It fits well on top of fitted diapers, and since it is sized you’ll find the size 2 will fit even when your baby has outgrown most one-size options. It has the double leg gussets I love, elastic at the tummy and it can be wiped clean.
Find Duo Wraps using my affiliate link to Well.ca
Wool Cover: HumBird
Our HumBird cover is dynamite. Even when the fitted underneath is absolutely saturated, the HumBird isn’t even damp on the outside. It is made with a super-tightly knit wool interlock that guarantees dry nights. I use it on top of our HumCloud and also on other overnight fitteds we own!
My Favourite Newborn Diapers
Diaper Cover: Thirsties
For use both with various inserts (including flour sack towels) and to put on top of newborn fitteds, my favourite covers were my sized Thirsties covers. (We had two sizes: newborn-preemie and x-small.) Most newborns would be just fine with the x-small covers. These are a really nice option to bridge the gap until one-size diapers fit!
AIO Diaper: Blueberry Simplex
The Blueberry Simplex and the Tots Bots Teenyfit are technically tied for my favourite newborn AIOs. However, the design of the Teenyfit has changed since we reviewed it, so I am going to stick to the Simplex. In any case, the Simplex definitely fit longer than the Teenyfit! Thanks to the umbilical snap down, we used it right from birth, and it continued to fit when all of our other newborn AIOs were much too small.
My Favourite Accessories
My Favourite Bum Wash: Les Produits de MaYa
Don’t be dismayed—you can absolutely use plain water and wash cloths at diaper changes. But once you try Les Produits de MaYa Liniment, it’s all you’ll ever want to use. Simply put, I am addicted to this creamy lotion that wipes away even the stickiest of poop (meconium included) and leaves a hint of moisture behind. We don’t typically apply diaper cream at diaper changes thanks to the added moisture and protective oil that comes with wiping with liniment. You do not need water, so even if you’re changing in a random spot in the middle of nowhere, no sink required!
My Favourite Cloth Wipes: Bummis Cotton Wipes
Simplicity is beautiful. Bummis’ single ply, 8″ x 8″ flannel wipes are just right for replacing disposable wipes. Also working in their favour is their sheer affordability. There are some extremely luxurious wipes on the market—wipes that are fancier than what I use on my own face! If you have the budget, go big! But if you want function and affordability, you get six wipes for $5 … spend $30 once and say goodbye to wet wipes forever!
Find Bummis wipes using my affiliate link to Well.ca
My Favourite Disposable Liners: Bummis Bio-Liners
I only use disposable liners for daycare, and my favourites are definitely Bummis’ large Bio-Liners. These offer maximum coverage, and the liner is wide enough that it can be held in place by the diaper’s leg elastics. (I have never had any leak issues even with the liner sticking out a bit at the legs.) When I receive the dirty diapers at the end of the day, there’s typically nothing even worthy of spraying, and they can go straight into the wash.
Buy BioLiners using my affiliate link to Well.ca
My Favourite Dirty Diaper Storage Solution: Funky Fluff Hanging Pail
I love having our dirty diapers and our dirty laundry up off the floor, safe from curious children and kittens. The Funky Fluff Hanging Pail can be hung almost anywhere you can imagine, and I’ve never had it overflow. It’s the perfect size for washing every two to three days, and honestly, if it were any bigger I don’t know many washing machines that could tackle the load.
My Favourite Wet Bag: Funky Fluff Double Pocket Wet Bag
This is the wet bag I typically send to daycare. The two pockets are genius, and you can easily fit a day’s worth of cloth inside, storing the clean ones on one side and the dirty ones in the other. I love the strap for attaching the wet bag to cupboards or the stroller handle or even to a backpack.
What are your favourite cloth-diapering things?
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