I received compensation and product samples to facilitate this review. All opinions and ridiculously cute children remain my own.
There’s not a lot that surprises me in terms of cloth diapers these days. When I put what I thought was an overly-large-sized-one-size diaper on Little Miss Cub, only to discover that it gave us a perfect fit, I was definitely surprised. That surprising diaper was the Glow Bug.
Here she is, in her very first Glow Bug, at one month old and 10 lbs:
I would consider Glow Bug in my top five best-fitting one-size diapers on a newborn. (The other four would be TotsBots, The Little Bee Co. Pocket, Rumparooz and Funky Fluff.) Naturally, it’s all well and good that a one-size diaper fits awesome close to birth, but does it last until potty learning? Some of my top five one-size diapers do not fit on Cub any more, and Cub is refusing to potty train because he thinks it’s important for him to keep trying on one-size diapers (at least, that’s what I’m telling myself).
So check out this very same diaper, on Little Miss Cub’s 35 lb, 40-inches tall, three-year-old brother:
He has waist-snaps to spare! Since he is still generally peeing on the potty, he is fine to just have the included microfibre insert in the Glow Bug. I’ll discuss different absorbency options further down!
Of all the one size diapers that I’ve tried, I’d say this one provides the most remarkably good fit at both ends of the weight and size spectrum. The weight recommendation from Glow Bug is 7-35 lbs, but I can tell that their design would fit kids larger than Cub.
The wings feature two rows of closure snaps and a top-level hip snap.
There are two columns of crossover snaps to get a super snug fit at the waist on a newborn (at 10 lbs, we only used the looser level). With three levels of rise snaps, you end up with four rise options. The tallest rise is ample on Cub, and many other one-size designs are not tall enough for him anymore (he gets a prominent plumber’s crack).
Here’s a look at the smallest rise:
The standard insert that comes with a Glow Bug is microfibre:
The insert can snap to the inside of the diaper, at the front waist:
The inner front waist features a waterproof fold over flap to prevent waist leaks and wicking onto pants.
I immediately noticed that the inner, stay-dry material of the Glow Bug was different than any other diaper I’d reviewed. It wasn’t fleece (like AppleCheeks), it wasn’t microsuede (like BumGenius) and it wasn’t athletic wicking jersey (like Omaiki). I asked Sarah at Glow Bug to tell me about their inner fabric:
We decided to use an athletic wicking fabric for the stay-dry properties and have it custom made for us so it could be mechanically brushed for softness. You get the benefits of a technical polyester fabric (like Nike shirts or Under Armour) with the softness from the mechanic brushing process without any chemical treatment. We decided to call it SlimDry. As far as we know, no one else uses it!
When you look closely at the SlimDry, the top, which is against baby’s skin, is pilly after a few washes (but still soft). It looks and feels like well-loved pajamas. The reverse side of the fabric looks like athletic fabric, it reminds me of my yoga pants (that I totally use for yoga) from Costco.
When you buy a 12-pack of Glow Bugs, you receive 12 microfibre inserts and 6 bamboo inserts. The bamboo inserts have the same dimensions as the standard microfibre. These inserts are composed of two layers of bamboo rayon and a microfibre core.
What do we think of our Glow Bugs?
So I’ve told you all about the anatomy of a Glow Bug Cloth Diaper, and I’ve shown you that the fit is nothing short of perfect on both ends of the weight and height spectrum. As Little Miss continues to grow, (and Cub is eagerly encouraging her to drink more milk so that she’ll be big enough to play with him), I continue to really appreciate the great fit:
I also want to point out how nuts I am about this print, which is called London Britches:
I really need to know if parents in Britain would be as excited about a diaper with a Canadiana motif! (Probably not.) The fit on Little Miss Cub is still one of my favourites from our one-size stash:
I am stuffing with one microfiber insert and one bamboo insert.
We haven’t had a single leak with this combo, and it’s good for at least a four-hour stretch. An additional bamboo in there would surely be good overnight.
On Cub, he’s not doing huge pees in his diapers, but the natural fibre/microfibre combo was always the best for his big toddler pees, so I would recommend using both on an older child, too.
So you’re probably wondering about that 360° Gusset. Here’s the thing: we have not had blowouts with any of our one-size diapers that fit properly. Some of our one-size diapers have some kind of leg or internal gusset, some don’t, but regardless, I’m dressing Little Miss all in white, and she’s only getting stains from her Mommy being a messy eater. So I cannot say that the 360° Gusset is a game changer for us. If other one-size diapers are giving you blow outs, then it could very well be one for you! When she switches to solid foods, I’m a bit concerned that the gussets will get lots of poop trapped in them, which is my biggest beef with internal gussets in general. Glow Bug makes awesome disposable liners, so definitely lining my Glow Bugs would solve that problem.
Things I like best about our Glow Bugs:
- Exceptional fit on both ends of the size spectrum;
- Pocket opening at front and back for easy stuffing;
- Possibility of adding additional bamboo inserts or swapping completely for bamboo;
- Super adjustability thanks to three sets of rise snaps and two columns of crossover snaps;
- Waterproof flap at the front waist;
- A diaper with a bamboo insert costs under $20 CAD;
- While manufactured overseas, Glow Bug seems to go beyond the competition in terms of being transparent about its manufacturing, and even has bios of its manufacturing team in China on its webpage;
- Original and awesome prints.
Things I like less about our Glow Bugs:
- I’d like to see longer inserts that can be folded over in the front or back to add absorbency as needed;
- 360° Gusset isn’t a plus for us, but it might be for others who are having blow out issues in other models;
- SlimDry fabric becomes pilly super fast, however this is purely an aesthetic observation and makes no difference to performance.
How do you buy Glow Bugs?
So, shopping for Glow Bugs is a bit different than other brands out there. Glow Bugs are not sold through retailers, and are generally sold in packages of 12. Each year, they release three new packages of prints. Here are this year’s print packages:
Packages are priced in USD, though Glow Bug is actually based in Canada. This is because 70% of their sales are to the US, and the US dollar is so much more stable. All orders from Glow Bug ship for free, and they currently offer a 10% discount on all orders shipping to Canada to help compensate for the low Canadian dollar. A package of 12 diapers (with twelve microfibre and 6 bamboo inserts) is sold for $189 USD, so with the 10% discount and converting to CAD at the current exchange (10/25/2015), that would be $223, so about $18.50 per diaper. When you order your packages, you can swap out or add on bamboo inserts at an additional cost. I would definitely recommend getting either all bamboo inserts, or getting extra ones for boosting. Glow Bug’s wipes are also really great: they are larger than average and do an awesome job on the messiest poops.
If you already have a full stash but want to treat yourself to a couple of Glow Bug’s adorable prints, you can buy individually from their Facebook group, Glow Bug and Friends.
I can also offer you a referral link that gives me points (and you can sign up for a referral account to, if you’d like) and will save you 5% on your first purchase.
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