Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bumgenius 3.0 Review

While I was pregnant with our first child, we decided to cloth diaper. We were living on a small income (watch for future posts on making it possible to be a SAHM on a tight budget) and disposables were not an affordable option. But, neither was dropping hundreds of dollars to buy a stash of expensive, brand new cloth diapers. In the long run, cloth is very economical (especially if you plan on using them for more than one child) but the initial payout can be difficult to work into the budget. The top brands were appealing, but we just couldn’t spend $16+ per diaper and have enough to make it through a whole day, so we planned on using the cheaper prefolds. Near the end of my pregnancy, however, a dear friend blessed us with her gently used Bumgenius 3.0 diapers and I was SO excited!

I think my friend had used the diapers for 6 or 9 months, but her son kept getting rashes from them for unknown reasons. She had taken good care of them and all 24 diapers were still in like-new condition. The Bumgenius 3.0s are one-size, Velcro, pocket diapers. We LOVED them. It was easy to get a good fit, they absorbed well, and the colors were super cute. It was a little difficult for other people to learn how to stuff them properly, but once stuffed they were easy to put on so if we were having someone over to help with the kids I just pre-stuffed a bunch for them.

HOWEVER, partly due to my wash routine and partly due to age, by the time my son was 11 months old
they were starting to show a good bit of wear. I make my own laundry soap and was using it for our diapers at the time, which left too much residue on the diapers, making them not as absorbent and leading to leaks (I’ve recently switched to soap nuts and they seem to be working great). This is when I heard about stripping diapers and I began to do that once a month, but they never were quite the same. By this time, not only was the Velcro not sticking well and coming undone too easily, the Velcro strip was actually coming OFF and I had to go through and re-sew it all back onto the diapers. Whether that was also due to my wash routine or not, I don’t know.

At any rate, along came Baby #2 and, in desperate need of more inexpensive diapers, we bought several DiaperRites (look for a future review), and continued to use the Bumgenius diapers on both our 11 month old and our newborn. Last year, my oldest began potty-training, and I was SO thankful because the 3.0s were leaking often, especially at night. Every morning we would wake up to two drenched toddlers, and we would have to change clothes multiple times a day. Again, I was still using homemade detergent on them at the time, so that was probably the issue, I just didn’t realize (that was probably also the reason both kids started getting bad rashes after a while). So, after two and a half years we had one toddler in daytime diapers and both toddlers in nighttime diapers and the leaking 3.0s were about to drive us mad. We had to make sure we changed them every two hours or less, and we had to change bedding every morning. I eventually started making wool soakers for them to wear over their diapers at night (which you can purchase HERE if you are interested), but the diapers were still annoying during the day because the Velcro wouldn’t stay closed. When my second child potty-trained not long after my first, I was thrilled. We were down to using 3.0s only at night, with a wool soaker over them. Yay!

When Baby #3 was born two months ago we gave the three and a half year old 3.0s one last chance. They leaked every time within minutes of putting them on. So frustrating. My husband, in one last effort to rescue the diapers we had loved so well, went on a diaper stripping frenzy. He washed them with our new soap nuts, he washed them with vinegar, he washed them with bleach, he washed them with Dawn, he washed them in plain hot water over, and over, and over. He tried every method of stripping that we could find suggested on the internet and STILL any drop of liquid just rolls right off. I think we are finally going to have to accept the hard truth that the diapers are simply shot. I feel like we should have a memorial service for them. They served us so well in the beginning and were a huge part of my early motherhood days. I will truly miss them.

I admit that most of the problems were most likely due to my harsh homemade laundry detergent and lack of stripping in the beginning. I will also say that while the Velcro didn’t last long the elastic is still in great shape, and that is impressive to me. They fit my munchkins well and seemed to be comfortable to them. They were easy to stuff and dried quickly in the dryer (which we started doing after we moved up here to Michigan where we don’t get enough sun to line dry them all the time).

Even though I’ve never used them, I would recommend the 4.0s because they have the option of snaps, which I prefer. Otherwise the 3.0 and 4.0 seem to be basically the same. Overall, Bumgenius 3.0s are a good diaper that should last you through at least two kids if you take proper care of them. They are a simple, mid-price, adorable diaper.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. Limited access to internet and staying busy with three kiddos makes uploading pictures difficult. But I hope this review was helpful to you nonetheless. Next I will talk about our experience with the Bumgenius Freetime and Elementals. Stay tuned!

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