Monday, January 23, 2012

Cloth Diaper Comparison: Bumkims vs. Kushies vs. Prowrap All-in-Ones

All-in-one cloth diapers are the closest to disposables in terms of ease of use.  Well, perceived ease of use, anyway-- all the systems are easy to use once you get a system going.  But all-in-ones are unique in that they are all the pieces you need, and already assembled.  They have a waterproof layer on the outside, and an absorbent layer inside. Some have this soaker piece (the absorbent part) only sewn on one side instead of all the way in, and this is so that it will dry faster and get more clean in the wash.  Before I started sewing my own, I tried a few brands.  I am using these diapers again with baby #2, so they are fresh in my mind.  Note that all-in-ones are wash-it-yourself at home.  Here is how they compare:

Bumkins: These are my favorite ones.  They are soft and supple, yet waterproof and plenty absorbent.  The laundry tabs cover the velcro and the tabs are wide enough to maneuver quickly with a squirming baby.  The waterproof layer is thin.  The innermost flannel layer is only attached at the ends and dries easily in the dryer.  I also like how they are sized; mine are size large, which isn't supposed to fit until 22 pounds, yet they fit from about 15.  These are by far my favorite.  But at $20 each, they are a bit steep.  I found mine used, and they are still going strong on their fourth child.  They come in a huge variety of patterns or plain white.

Kushies: These are also made of flannel inside and a waterproof material outside.  This is more of a woven material outside and it is thick and contains moisture well.  These are absorbent and dry quickly enough.  They also have lanundry tabs.  I do not like how thin the velcro tabs are, though they do allow for some give in sizing up or down (meaning your baby can wear them outside the weights posted a bit).  At $10 each, they are a good deal for an all-in-one; though not my favorite, I like them.

Prowrap: I tried these because a friend swore by the diaper covers (see below- here is the all-in-one link).  She used them with her diaper service diapers and swore they were the best for containing blow-outs.  I found these to be a bit thick as an all-in-one, meaning they keep the wetness in very well, but take forever to dry out of the laundry, even though they are flannel. They also don't have laundry tabs, so the velcro sticks to the rest of the laundry often.  The tabs themselves are a bit short, so they don't accommodate any sizes adjustments and I feel like my babies grew out of them quickly.  At $10 each, they are cheaper than the others, but the thickness and short tabs made them my least favorite.

DIY: I like making them myself because I can make the adjustments and all the choices.  For example, I prefer snaps to velcro.  They don't have any laundry issues, hold up well, and don't wake baby with the noise.  I can also choose if I want flannel (feel-wet), or fleece (feel-dry) against baby's skin.  They are also cheaper in terms of materials but more expensive in terms of time... I guess it's a trade-off...

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