Cloth diaper boosters do just what it sounds like they do: they boost the absorbency of your diapers. Most boosters are also absorbent and small enough to serve as newborn diaper inserts (for example, in a newborn sized cover or a one-size cover snapped to its smallest rise).
Whether or not you need boosters in your stash will depend a lot on your baby. Many brands, like BumGenius and FunkyFluff, have a small insert that comes standard with their pocket diapers that you can use as a booster, while other brands offer boosters that can be purchased separately.
Booster materials, like with regular inserts, are usually some combination of microfibre, hemp, cotton or bamboo. The best boosters will pack a lot of bang while still being very trim, so as not to add too much bulk to the diaper. Some babies require a booster at all times, while others might just need one for naps, car trips, longer outings and bedtime. Sometimes it’s just certain diaper styles in your stash you will find you need to boost.
Here are the boosters in my stash:
And here’s how they all stack up:
BumGenius Microfibre Newborn Insert 11.5″x 5″
I personally don’t use the standard BumGenius microfibre inserts in my 4.0s, I use my Oko Creations hemp 2-ply inserts, folded in three. I find that hemp is less prone to stink, and I love the fact that hemp is such a sustainable fibre ecologically speaking, along with being super absorbent. However, my first choice for boosting my BGs is a newborn insert on top of the hemp trifold. When I send Cub’s diapers to Day Care, the BumGeniuses are all prestuffed with a hemp trifold and a newborn insert, with the newborn insert as the top layer, directly under the pocket.
This insert comes with all BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers, along with the larger insert. They can also be purchased separately for about $2.50 each, or in 3-packs for $6. Not all retailers carry them for individual purchase.
GroVia Organic Cotton Booster 12″ x 3″
This insert is the TOPS in terms of absorbency and trimness. It’s so tiny I didn’t even know what it was supposed to do the first time I saw it. You can slide this baby into any diaper, but my favourite place is as the centre of my overnight cloth diaper insert sandwich! I don’t use it in my other diapers simply because I only have 4, and generally reserve them for overnight usage.
A 2-pack costs around $12. Available at Lagoon Baby.
Funky Fluff Microfibre Insert (suedecloth topped) 11.5″ x 4.5″
What I like about this microfibre booster compared to the BumGenius one is that I can use it directly against Cub’s skin. If I’m using it inside a pocket diaper, I’ll turn it microfibre side face up and directly under the pocket, since microfibre is what absorbs liquid the fastest. But if I’m building an insert sandwich inside a cover, the Funky Fluff small insert serves both to boost and to create a stay-dry layer! It also fits great inside other diaper brands, including snapping into BestBottom and Buttons-brand shells.
This insert comes standard with Funky Fluff 2.0s, and can be used directly against baby’s skin since the top layer is stay-dry suedecloth. (Plain microfibre shouldn’t come in direct contact with baby’s skin.)
Purchased separately, you get 2 for $6.50. Available at Lil’ Monkey Cheeks.
Funky Fluff Bamboo 11″ x 4.75″
Funky Fluff’s Bamboo 2.0 diapers come with a newborn/small insert which can be used as a booster, but the boosters I’m talking about here are different than what comes standard in the 2.0s. They’re a bamboo fleece rather than a bamboo terry, and I use them mainly in my TotsBots V3s.
A 2-pack sells for $12. Available at Lagoon Baby.
AMP 3-ply Hemp 11″ x 4.75″
AMP boosters were my first booster love, and continue to be a favourite. When I can’t use an Oko Creations insert, my AMP boosters represent the hemp ingredient in my diapers, especially in my TotsBots V.3, which are my least absorbent AIO diapers. (Note that the new V4s are extremely absorbent.) When sending Tots to Day Care, they’re always boosted with an AMP 3-ply. The reason I boost for Day Care is in case it takes his Day Care Mama longer to change him, especially if they’re out of the house, and also so that whichever diaper she grabs will be suitable for nap time. I also use my AMP 3-ply boosters to top off my overnight insert sandwich. I personally feel very comfortable with my own cloth pads made of hemp, so I am not worried about Cub feeling too wet with hemp directly against his skin.
Omaiki Omega Booster 6″ x 4″
I love the idea of the Omaiki Omega booster: it’s topped with a polyester mesh for a perfect stay-dry layer, and has a built-in gusset. If you lay this booster on top of a diaper without double gussets, all of sudden you have gussets! Except… this booster is, in my opinion, abnormally short. As you can see, all the other boosters I have discussed are around 11″ long or longer. The Omega Booster is only 6″ long. When I put it in Cub’s diapers, it barely reaches his wet zone. I think this insert would be amazing on a newborn, but the price is prohibitive at almost $13 a pop. (Many parents don’t spend much more than $13 per diaper, let alone per insert.)
Available at Lil’ Monkey Cheeks.