Rosa is a work-from-home mom of 2 active children. An author of both fiction and non-fiction, she enjoys reading almost as much as writing.
It's not Easy Being Green
When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I really wanted to be a "green mommy." I spent hours pouring over reviews of various cloth diaper styles and brands until I narrowed my list down to hybrid diapers. These are simply shells with inserts, such as g Diapers and, of course, the Flip Cloth Diapering System by Bum Genius.
It took months for us to find second-hand Flip diapers that we could afford, and when we finally got them...well, the following video gives a quick explanation of how Flip diapers work and, more importantly, how well they worked for us.
Rosa's VIDEO Review of Flip Diapers
The video touched on several important points. I have outlined key points below that parents should consider before purchasing these (or any other) cloth diapers.
Hybrid diapers are a pain the butt to keep together, bulky to carry around in a diaper bag, and add more loads of laundry on top of the loads of bibs, blankies, spit-up cloths, and jammies a baby generates. Moreover, we found out that if (WHEN) your baby gets a rash, you can't use diaper cream or it will ruin the liner!!
Being green wasn't going to be as cost-efficient as we were promised it would be.The idea is that you buy cloth diapers once as an investment and get years of use out of them, especially if you have more than one child. No more trips to the store to buy cases of diapers, which can be inconvenient and add up in cost over the years.
In reality, most cloth diapers are stupidly expensive. Flip diapers, in particular, range from about $14 - $20 per diaper. If you're lucky, you get an insert with the cover, depending where you buy them. But, even then, that's just one insert per cover. You're supposed to be able to reuse the covers, which means shelling out more money for extra inserts. For a reasonable size stockpile of diapers and inserts to get you through a week (or at least 2-3 days), you're looking at spending a lot of money.
Then, there's the cost of special detergents and special stain removers, diaper pails and/or wash bags, spray cleaners, liners for a poopy mess, etc. ad nauseam. The cost quickly escalated beyond what we could afford.
The diaper covers and Stay-Dry inserts are well made with beautiful (and durable) materials that last. The ones we bought were second-hand and still in amazing condition. Out of 12 diaper covers, only 2 showed slight wear with one having a greyish discolouration on the tabs. 2 of the 36 inserts we received had mild staining. None of them showed much wear; no fraying, tears or even signs that the elastics were wearing out.
Ease of Use
Flip diapers are simple to fold and snap together. The covers wipe clean easily so they can be reused, but wiping it down and getting a new insert in there while making sure your little one doesn't roll away is a trick and a half. You're better off just tossing the used cover aside and using a fresh diaper, then going back to wipe and reload the used one.
To make things worse, these diapers lack any type of fastener to keep the inserts in the diaper cover, so you have to be careful how you hold them when trying to take them off or put them on your wiggly baby.
The covers work very well, except where fit becomes an issue and leaks happen. The company has several suggestions on how to make the diapers better fit your baby, including using a bigger size setting than would normally be called for, making sure the leg gusset is properly sealed around your child's legs and cinching the waist tighter. Unfortunately, while these things supposedly work for other parents, none of the company's suggestions worked for us.
The Stay-Dry inserts are serious mis-named, especially when the company says;
"... a Stay-Dry Insert is perfect for overnight & anytime use. Made of 3 ultra-absorbent layers of microfiber and a smooth stay-dry suede cloth that wicks moisture from your baby’s bum." (www.flipdiapers.com)
My preemie daughter finally reached the minimum weight for these and soaked through an insert with one piddle. She was wet and unhappy, plus there was excess urine floating in the cover that I had to mop up. The company's recommendation? Use 2 inserts! That becomes a big problem, as you'll see in the next category ...
When you buy a product that promises to fit your child, you really want it to do just that. Even more so when you've shelled out hundreds of dollars. I've heard and read reviews from other moms about how great Flip diapers fit their children. I am not one of those moms. The covers adjusted beautifully, however the inserts caused us nothing but grief!
They were too wide to fit comfortably between our daughter's legs, forcing her to be bow-legged. Plus, when folded down to the "small" setting, they became so bulky that they caused the waist to gap and pee to leak out under her arms where the insert forced an opening.
On top of that, the diapers were so bulky on her that we couldn't fit any clothes over them unless we started dressing her much bigger clothes. No onsies, jammies, pants - just the darned diapers. While they are pretty to look at, my child needs more clothes on than that and she deserves to have clothes that fit.
[Update: I've had "cloth diaper moms" eye-roll at me over topic. Of course, I was supposed to buy my child clothes that were "a size or two sizes larger". Duh .... So, yeah. Heads up if you decide to go with cloth diapers. Don't bother buying newborn cloths. Skip straight to the 3-6 months stuff (or bigger) so your child's diaper can be dressed.]
I know there are parents that adore these diapers and I say, "If it works for their family - great!" For us, these diapers were more hassle (and cost) than they were worth.
© 2013 Rosa Marchisella