Babble Blogger Favorites: Best Cloth Diapers of 2013

As more and more families become increasingly more eco-conscious, the cloth diapering movement continues to grow in popularity and product selection. Of course covering little baby bums in cloth is something that caretakers have been doing for ages, but with today’s new diaper designs and technology, not to mention the crazy adorable patterns, more and more modern mamas are choosing cloth for their diapering needs.

With so many different diapers and options on the market now, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. We hope this guide can serve as a good starting point for new moms who need a hand to hold, as well as a way to introduce new brands and styles to experienced cloth diapering mamas who want to add to their collection.

It’s worth noting that there is a huge range of products and styles available now, but we opted to stick to some of the more simple and straightforward diapering options. In addition to featuring a big selection of all-in-one and hybrid diapers, our roundup also includes cloth diapers for newborns, washable swim diapers, and a few helpful cloth diapering accessories.

Click through to get started!

All-In-One, Pocket, and Hybrid Diapers 1 of 27
These are your daily diapers — the ones you pull out of the drawer for outings to the park, playtime at home, and even for bedtime. There's an infinite number of diapering systems available, and that fact may be overwhelming to new moms who are just getting started. We've chosen to focus on some of the simpler options: all-in-one systems, and diapers that involve minimal stuffing and sorting. Of course there are many other options available as well, like wraps, covers, prefolds, and more! We're hoping to show you the best way to get started, which in our opinion means keeping it simple.

Here are our favorite all-in-one and hybrid system diapers this year!
bumGenius 4.0 One-Size Diapers 2 of 27
bumGenius is arguably the most popular brand in the cloth diapering market, and for good reason. I have used these diapers on my son since he was about 11 weeks old, and we're still using the same set today at 20-months. The 4.0's have a shell and insert system, and each diaper is bundled with two inserts — one better suited for newborns and younger babies, and a sizable, thicker insert best for older kiddos. Available in both snap or hook-and-loop (velcro) closures, these diapers come in a wide range of bright colors and patterns.

The 3x3 snap-down system allows the diapers to be sized to fit babies anywhere from 7-35+ pounds. Although from personal use, I found these to be a bit bulky and wide between the legs when my son was itty bitty. Like all things in parenting, preferences and styles ebb and flow as kids grow and change. I tended not to use these quite as much when my son was really small (for the bulkiness cited above), but now that he's a bigger toddler, they are our go-to diapers for all outings and occasions. We very rarely deal with any leaks and now that they fit him a bit better, I actually find them to be one of the least bulky brands that provides a good fit under his clothes.

Bonus -- bumGenius runs a fairly regular promo of buy 5, get one free!Size: One-size, intended to fit babies from 7-35+ pounds.
Price:Available from Cotton Babies for $17.95
bumGenius Freetime All-In-One One-Size Diapers 3 of 27
bumGenius developed its well-respected and recommended reputation through the , but the Freetime is their latest brainchild. Where the 4.0 requires sorting and stuffing, the Freetime is an all-in-one diaper designed with overlapping attached inserts. BG touts this new design as a "no-stuff system with semi-attached inserts, that is an ideal solution for families with a child in day-care or family members resistant to cloth diapers." Not having to touch and remove the inserts when dirty is definitely a nice feature, as well as not having to re-stuff and sort once the diapers are clean.

The Freetimes come in most of the same colors and patterns as the 4.0's, and also have the option for snap or hook-and-loop closures. My cloth diaper collection is more than complete at this point, but if I find myself in a position of needing more, the Freetimes will be the first place I turn.

Size: One-size, intended to fit babies from 7-35+ pounds.
Price: Available from Cottonbabies for $19.95
Little Bee Company Bee Changed Diapers 4 of 27
It's impossible to feature The Little Bee Co. without first talking about the company's mission. As stated on their website:

Our "bee changed and change the world" mission is our core: 'For each diaper purchased The Little Bee Co. will donate a diaper to an orphan in need'. Along with providing a quality diaper, our passion is to help children in need and bring an awareness to the orphan crisis consuming the world today.

Why Diapers? Orphans, especially those in 3rd world countries, do not have proper diapering available. A large number of orphanages use split pants, rags or often times no diaper at all. These precious babies find themselves in unhealthy and unsanitary conditions that cause an already bad situation to be far worse. The diapers shipped to each orphan enable a healthier diapering system and a comfort they may otherwise never receive. Our mission is our core "bee changed and change the world."

Are you sold yet? The good news gets even better. Not only is this a company with a cause, this small brand's products rival the best-sellers. Their Bee Changed one-size pocket diaper contains two microfiber inserts: one full-size adjustable insert as well as a contoured newborn insert, which can snap together or be worn separately.

These diapers are relatively new to our collection, but are quickly becoming some of the favorites. My husband immediately noticed our favorite feature — the opening for stuffing and removing the insert is located at the seam of the waist, unlike many other diapers whose opening is on the inside of the diaper. This means that inserts can be removed without touching any of the soiled parts of the diaper, making it a much more manageable mess for mom and dad. The fit is comfortable, the diapers are super absorbent, and the charitable aspect of the company makes these diapers one of our top picks.

Size: Fits most babies 8-35lbs
Price: Available from The Little Bee Co. in three different fabric options: microsuede ($20), bamboo ($17), and ultra cool pocket ($24).
Kushies Ultra-Lite All-In-One Diapers 5 of 27
The Kushies Ultra-Lite All-In-One Diapers are form-fitted, featuring six layers of 100% cotton-flannel with a special absorbent soaker layer inside, and a lightweight waterproof shell on the outside. They are only available with a hook and loop closure and come in a range of adorable patterns. One of the most distinguishing features of the Kushies diaper (vs other brands) is the flannel material — very unique! I also found these diapers to fit quite differently than most of the other brands. They have a much higher rise and tend to have a bigger overall fit than most others. Depending on your baby's build, these might be a good option for bigger or rounder babies.

The other thing worth noting about Kushies is the price. These clock in a few dollars below most of the competitors, making them a good choice for moms who are focused on budget.

Size: Two sizes available - Infant (10-22lbs) and Toddler (22-45lbs)
Price: Available from Kushies $7.25
Rumparooz All-In-One Diapers 6 of 27
Seriously, can we talk about this plaid? These cute prints from Kangacare feature a fun, vibrant plaid pattern that makes you want to skip the pants and just show off these adorable diapers. I can't get over how cute they are!

But beyond the bright plaids and patterns, these diapers also offer great fit and function. The Rumparooz One-Sized All-In-One has uniquely designed and patented leak protection technology, featuring double inner gussets that completely contain mess and won't allow for leakage or accidents. As soon as I laid eyes on these I knew they were going to be winners. Most diaper leaks occur at the legs, and the Rumparooz double gusset system is incredibly effective, while also gentle on sensitive baby skin.

Like many of the others, they feature a snap-down system to adjust for size, so this diaper will last from early weeks into toddlerhood. Each diaper comes with a microfiber 6r soaker insert - with six different absorbency configurations that can be adjusted based on size and gender. These diapers fit my son really well and are some of my favorites to pull from the drawer. Size: Fits from birth (6lbs) to potty training (35+lbs)Price: Available from Kangacare for $25.95
AppleCheeks 2-Size Envelope Cover with Inserts 7 of 27
The AppleCheeks 2-Size Envelope Cover is unique from most others I've tried. This Canadian brand is a bit smaller than some of the others mentioned here, but growing quickly (and we can see why!). The envelope cover has an outer layer of breathable, waterproof polyurethane laminated polyester, while the inside is made of soft micro-fleece. Once of the first things I noticed was how soft and stretchy the fabric felt. Whereas most diapers have decent flexibility in the leg openings, AppleCheeks diapers have great stretch and elasticity all the way around.

Originally I thought the envelope opening, where the insert is stuffed, seemed too central to the inside of the diaper (meaning messy hands when removing after use). But then I realized that this diaper is actually designed so that there is no need to unstuff - the opening is wide enough for the liner to come out automatically in the wash. Genius!

Depending on your preference and needs, there are several different types of inserts available, including stay-dry microterry and rayon from bamboo. You can also purchase a starter kit hat comes with 3 covers, 9 inserts, a storage sac, and some cloth wipes — this is a great product for beginners!

I really like these diapers because they are super stretchy and very lightweight — and thus, particularly nice for tots who live in warmer climates. It's worth noting that the design is overall more feminine than most diapers. The extra elasticity (which I love!) creates more of a ruffled look, that on first glance might seem more intended for little girls. But I assure you my rough and rugged little guy seems very comfortable in these, and he definitely doesn't seem to mind a bit of extra ruffle around his waist. All AppleCheeks products are made in Canada.

Sizes: Available in 2 sizes - Size 1 (fits 7-20lbs) and Size 2 (18-40lbs)Price: Available from Kelly's Closet $19, inserts sold separately
Bummis Easy Fit Diapers 8 of 27
When I was expecting my son, I was lucky enough to have my big sister just a few months ahead of me in pregnancy. This meant that she got to pave the way in all things baby-related, test out products, and report back to me with all her likes and dislikes. She sent me a set of Bummis Easy Fit Diapers not long after her son was born, telling me that these were hands down her favorites of all the brands she tried.

Now at 20 months, we're still using that same original set, and still loving the fit and quality of the diapers. I have only personally used the hook and loop style, but the easy fits are also now available with snaps as well.

The Easy Fit diaper combines the convenience of a one-size all-in-one diaper with the benefits of a 2-piece diaper: there is no assembly required, as this diaper has an attached fold-out liner, making it very easy to stuff. There is no need to un-stuff or touch the inside of any dirty diapers — the liner works itself out during the wash cycle!

The liner on these diapers is made of three layers of soft minky fabric, which both absorbs and dries very quickly. And while of course the function and fit of any diaper is essential, we can't talk about Bummis without mentioning the patterns — ooohhhh, the patterns. In addition to an array of bright colors, these diapers come in nursery rhyme prints, tributes to cities like London and New York, and our newest favorite - the Pooper Hero (pictured).

Size : One size diaper that fits tots from 8-35lbs
Price: Available from Baby Earth for $23.95
Charlie Banana One-Size Diapers 9 of 27
Charlie Banana s another great diapering option, particularly for moms who love fun, whimsical patterns. I have been using these since my son was born, and they have easily adjusted and adapted to our needs as he has grown and our diapering needs have changed. Charlie Bananas are unique in the market due to their 2-in-1 system — meaning moms have the option to use either washable or disposable inserts.

Many cloth diapering parents still keep disposables on hand for "special occasions" — things like long outings, travel, or trips to grandma's house. The people at Charlie Banana wanted to offer a solution for doubling up on diapers, which is why they created this 2-in-1 system. Each one-size diaper includes two inserts (sized small or medium/large) and the disposable inserts are sold separately.

Charlie Banana is also an eco-friendly brand. The diapers are made and sourced carefully and naturally, and part of their company mission is to educate families on the waste and impact left from using disposable diapers (rather than cloth).

I have tried both the sized diapers and the one-size option, and my preference leans heavily toward the one-size diapers. Sized diapers are great for newborns or for meeting another specific need, but the one-sized diapers are much more cost efficient, as they can be used from birth until potty training (in most cases). Make sure you check out their Fashion Collection, and my personal favorite diaper - Goodbye Disposable, Hello Cloth!

Size: One-size diapers fit from 6-35 lbs
Price: Available from Charlie Banana for $20.88
GroVia All-In-One Diaper 10 of 27
There is something about GroVia diapers that just oozes the type of quality and feel that makes you know instantly that you have a good product. The outer shell has a thermal-laminated waterproofing (with no formaldehyde), and the inside is made from 100% IMO organic certified cotton.

There is no stuffing or un-stuffing needed, as the absorbent inner layers are attached for easy folding and washing. The first time I used a GroVia All-In-One, I immediately noticed something different about the snap closure system. Where most diapering systems have snaps on side flaps that attach to the front panel - GroVia is designed almost...backwards? The snaps are located on the back side of the central panel, and attach to side flaps that actually fit in underneath against baby's skin. I'm not sure what the advantage (or disadvantage) is of one over the other, but I have found the GroVia style to be a little bit more cumbersome when trying to get a diaper on quickly.

With that said, what these diapers might lack in straightforward fastening they more than make up for in materials and prints. The other noticeably different thing about GroVia is that these are a much trimmer fit than most other cloth options. The legs gussets have a strong elastic and fairly narrow cut, which might not be the best choice for larger or chunkier babies. But these are likely a great choice for more slender babies who are getting buried in the bulk of some of the other brands.

Size: One size diaper fits babies 10-35+lbsPrice: Available from GroVia for $23.95
GroVia Hybrid Diaper with Inserts 11 of 27
The Grovia Hybrid Diaper has a unique system that allows parents to select a shell first, and then choose an insert based on the absorbency needed - including a disposable option. The outer shell has a thermal-laminated waterproofing, which means that it can be used multiple times (with different options) between washings. This is a great solution for moms who are looking to lighten the laundry load!

The GroVia Hybrids fit very similarly to the (previously mentioned) All-In-Ones - trim through the fit and narrow through the legs. These are another good choice for slimmer babies or for kids who have trouble with diapers being too bulky between the legs. Hybrids are available with both hook-and-loop and snap closures, and some of the cutest patterns out there on the market.

You can tell instantly when you handle a GroVia diaper that the materials and product are top quality. Of course, with that comes a price that is a bit higher than most other brands. But you can save a big by shopping the deals section on their website, or by buying the diapers in bulk packages.

Size: Fits babies 8-30lbs
Price: Available from GroVia - Shell ($16.95), Organic Cotton Soaker Pads (2 pack for $18.95)
Thirsties Duo All-In-One Diaper 12 of 27
Last but certainly not least, Thirstie All-In-One Diapers are another good option for moms who don't want to deal with a ton of stuffing and sorting, particularly for those parents who might be keeping an extra eye on the bottom line. Priced a bit lower than most of the competition, Thirsties still delivers a quality product that delivers in both fashion and function.

The design of Thirsties Duo AIO offers a trim-fitting, easy to use diaper that cleans up easily without any extra handling. A built-in three-layer microfiber terry soaker provides maximum absorption, and is topped with stay-dry microfleece which keeps babies feeling dry. The signature "tunnel design" is essentially a liner that is sewn on the sides with the end and inside left open, creating a "tunnel" underneath that allows for better washing, quicker drying, and the ability to add additional absorbent pads as needed.

Size:Size 1 (6-18lbs) and Size 2 (18-40lbs)
Price: Available from Kelly's Closet for $15.00
Newborn Cloth Diapers 13 of 27
We do the research, save for the investment, and make the commitment to cloth diaper - so why not start from the very beginning? When my son was born I used disposables for the first 10 weeks because I thought the cloth seemed intimidating and many of the diapers I had on hand were too big for him just yet. Our second son is due in October, and I'm planning to do things differently the next time around.

Newborns need to be changed fairly frequently, which means more trips to the grocery store for last minute diaper needs, and more money out of your pocket going straight into landfills. Newborn cloth diapers are a great option for moms who feel confident about cloth diapering from day one, and who might be able to use the investment across multiple children (or share with other expecting friends!).

And if cloth diapers aren't cute enough on their own, the itty bitty newborn versions much just push you over the edge...
bumGenius Newborn Diapers 14 of 27
For those mamas who love cloth diapering enough to invest in an extra set for their newbies, bumGenius has a miniature version of their top-rated traditional (cloth) diapers. The bumGenius newborn diaper is available in hook-and-loop closure only, and is designed to mimic many of the features that parents like about disposable diapers -- easily adjustable closures, stretchable tabs, and ultra-gentle (but effective!) leg elastic.

These diapers are all-in-one, so there is no stuffing or insert required. The soakers are made of microfiber terry, and the suedecloth lining keeps your baby's bottom dry and free of irritation caused by wetness.

Size: Fit from 6-12 pounds. Intended for a newborn and fit low, below the navel, to keep the umbilical area dry.
Price: Available from Cottonbabies for $12.95
Rumparooz Lil Joey Newborn Diapers 15 of 27
The Lil Joey is the newborn version of Rumparooz popular traditional diapers. They have the same double gusset technology as their regular-sized counterparts, designed to hold in any leaks and mess, helping keep both babies and new mamas cleaner longer. They also have a snap down front for those earliest days where cord stumps are extra sensitive.

These diapers are all-in-one, so no stuffing required, and the internal soaker is made of four layers of microfiber. And best of all, the Lil Joey's are sold in the same variety of bright colors and fabulous patterns as the rest of the Rumparooz collection.

Size: Designed to fit babies 4-12lbs.
Price: Available in packs of 2 from Kangacare for $29.95
Little Bee Company Bitty Bee Changed Diapers 16 of 27
I've already told you all about The Little Bee Co. and their diaper donation mission. The Bitty Bee diaper is the newborn version of their one-sized Bee Changed diaper. Available in either a microfleece or 100% all-natural bamboo fleece, these diapers are designed with the littlest babies in mind. They have an adjustable snap-front design, an umbilical cord snap down option, and newborn leg gussets designed to minimize leaks and contain any mess.

Bonus -- the patterns are some of the cutest I've seen, and you can't beat the cause of helping donate diapers to newborns in need.

Size: suggested fit is preemie to 12lbs
Price: Available from The Little Bee Co. in microfleece ($15) or bamboo ($16.95)
Bummis Tini Fit Newborn Diapers 17 of 27
The Tini Fit is Bummis' newborn version of their popular Easy Fit diaper. Made with the same minky lining and attached insert design, these tiny diapers are available in an assortment of bright colors with hook and loop closures. The Tini Fit also comes with an an additional microfiber booster that you can add into the pocket, boosting its absorbency almost to that of the regular sized Easy Fit.

Size: Fits babies 5-12 lbs
Price: Available from Baby Earth for $19.95
Swim Diapers 19 of 27
While cloth diapering has been done for ages, swim diapers are relatively new to the market. It used to be that the only option was to use disposable swim options, which get soggy and saggy immediately upon entering the water. Or you just let your kid go commando, and prayed that there would be no Code Browns in the pool.

These days, reusable swim diapers are a fabulous option for trips to the pool, vacations at the beach, and even just an afternoon out to a splash park. These lightweight diapers are intended to provide a snug but breathable fit that will hold in any solid waste, and keep those baby bottoms covered. Similar to the disposable swim diapers, they are not intended to hold in wetness, since adding absorption would ultimately weigh them down in the water.

Check out this year's best swim diaper options!
AppleCheeks Washable Swim Diaper 20 of 27
When I first opened the package of AppleCheeks diapers, I couldn't figure out where the opening was to stuff inserts into a few of them. Eventually, I realized that what I was holding was actually the AppleCheeks Washable Swim Diaper, and not the traditional envelope cover. These stylish swim diapers are made with the same stretchy design and care as their regular counterparts, and are my personal favorites as we navigate the joy that is toddler swim lessons.

Made with two layers of 100% polyester Canadian-milled mesh, water can comfortably move through the diaper while keeping any solids contained inside. The mesh material feels very appropriate for swim wear, and allows the diaper to dry more quickly than most others. They also feature an adjustable snap closure system, which means easy on and off when dealing with wiggly, wet kiddos.

Size: Available in two sizes - Size 1 (7-20lbs) and Size 2 (18-35lbs)
Price: Available from Kelly's Closet for $19
Little Bee Company Aqua Bee Diaper 21 of 27
The Little Bee Co. is another one of the diapering brands that is now offering a swim diaper option, the Aqua Bee! To carry out their charitable mission with this particular line, a regular Bee Changed or Bitty Bee diaper is donated with the purchase of every Aqua Bee (as the need for swim diapers in 3rd world countries is probably not as high!).

The Aqua Bee comes in sizes small, medium, large, and extra large, and is available in three bright colors. I much prefer the design of swim diapers like this - that mimic traditional diapers (rather than a pull-up). It's easy off and on, and holds in any solid mess that might occur during swim time.

Size: Fits newborns through age 6, depending on size selected.
Price: Available from The Little Bee Co. for $17.95
Charlie 2-in-1 Swim Diaper and Training Pant 22 of 27
Like several of the other brands, Charlie Banana has expanded it's product line to include a swim diaper/training pant option. Available in sizes small to extra-large, these swim diapers are made in a pull-up style rather than a traditional diaper that fastens closed in the front. I have found that this style comes with both the good and the bad -- they tend to give a better, more natural fit, but are also much harder to remove afterward when wet. It's also somewhat unpleasant to pull down a soiled diaper when solid messes do (occasionally) occur.

But the other positive for this pull-up design is that it works much better as a swimsuit alternative than something with fasteners and snaps. And Charlie Banana has designed their swim diapers in adorable prints (hearts, robots, and maple leafs to name a few) so that if you prefer, you can leave the swimsuits behind and let these diapers do double duty.

Size: Available in sizes Small (11-16lbs) through Extra-Large (28-55lbs)
Price: Available from Charlie Banana for $12.88
Cloth Diapering Accessories 23 of 27
No outfit is complete without its accessories, and some of these cloth diapers are so stylish and adorable that they seem like just that. We've rounded up a few of our favorite add-ons and extras to help making cloth diapering a bit easier, and to share some of this year's best products. Enjoy!
Bummis Bio-Soft Flushable Diaper Liners 24 of 27
Poop. Let's talk about it. It's gross, it's messy, and it's one of the things that keeps so many people who are curious about cloth diapering from actually making the switch. "What do you do with the POOP?" is probably the question I hear most when people ask us about our adventures in diapering. Of course having done this now for almost two years, I just chuckle since it has become second nature. But I remember feeling overwhelmed and a tad grossed out myself way back at the beginning.

The reality is, babies who are exclusively on breastmilk or formula have a very distinct newborn poop - runny, and quote honestly not very gross. Once babies start eating solids though, things...change. And rather than get discouraged and give up on diapering, these Bummis Bio-Soft Liners are a simple solution to effectively dealing with messier diapers.

As thin as a piece of light gauze, these biodegradable liners are laid directly in the diaper and designed to catch any solid mess that might occur. When it comes time to change the diaper, you simply remove the liner (with the waste inside) and either flush directly into the toilet, or throw away in a diaper pail with any wipes or additional waste.

We have been using these in every one of my son's diapers since he was six months old, and they have made cleanup so much easier. I can't recommend them enough!

Size: Available in both small and large
Price: Sold by Amazon: Small ($6.00) and Large ($8.00) in rolls of 100 sheets
bumGenius Diaper Sprayer 25 of 27
One of the main sources of resistance to cloth diapering is usually the idea of handling the waste once the diapers have been soiled. Whether it's about handling it directly, or putting soiled diapers into laundry machines, some people just can't get past this hurdle. A good option to consider is the bumGenius diaper sprayer.

It easily attaches to a toilet and hooks up discreetly next to the unit. Once a diaper is soiled, you simply hold the diaper over the toilet and spray using the attachment. The waste falls into the toilet to be flushed, and the diaper (and insert) can then be placed into a wet bag until laundry day. Yes, the mess still needs to be dealt with a bit more directly than just tossing a disposable, but this is a good hands-free way to do just that.

Price: Available from Cottonbabies for $59.95
GroVia Magic Stick 26 of 27
Even though cloth diapering has proven to greatly reduce instances of diaper rash, some babies just have sensitive skin, and occasionally need a little balm or ointment to clear things up. Most diaper rash creams and ointments are petroleum-based, which can't be used with cloth diapers (it leaves a residue that blocks absorption). So cloth diapering mamas are forced back into disposables whenever their baby's bum needs some extra care.

The GroVia Magic Stick is a great solution for this - petroleum-free, and made from all natural and organic ingredients. It also rolls right on, which means no messy cream all over mom and dad's hands!

Price: Available from GroVia for $13.95.
Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liner 27 of 27
One of the most (seemingly) overwhelming parts of getting started with cloth diapering is just figuring out exactly what to DO with the diapers, and how to set up a system. While getting rid of disposable diapers is pretty straightforward (use a diaper pail!) there are a number of different ways to find the ideal system for cloth diapering that works best for your family.

My personal pick is the Planet Wise Pail Liner . Essentially a wet/dry version of a large garbage bag, these pail liners have stretchy elastic that allows them to fit a huge range of garbage can sizes and shapes. So pick out the can that works best for your budget and space, and then choose a pail liner that coordinates with your carefully-planned nursery.

The Pail Liners have a waterproofing sealing technology on the inside that holds in moisture, smalls, and messes. Place these on your trash can and start filling it up with dirty diapers as you get started. When it's time to do laundry, you can grab the entire bag and empty it onto the washing machine, including the bag itself! When everything is dry and clean, use the clean bag as a hamper to carry fresh diapers and inserts back to the nursery to be put away. Price Available from Planet Wise for $16.50

Note: We were only able to review and test diapers from companies who opted to send information and samples to be considered for this piece.  

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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