Cloth Diaper Review: bumGenius Freetime vs. Thirsties AIOs

Let me preface this post by saying we're eight weeks into cloth diapering. An expert in fluff, I am not. However, you learn pretty quickly what works and what doesn't. 

Starting Cloth

We totally skipped the newborn phase of CD'ing because of some sage advice I read while pregnant, and I think it was the best decision for us. We used Seventh Generation disposable diapers and wipes during the early days, and they suited us just fine. (We were also gifted some Honest Company wipes, which I liked too, though I recently switched to Water Wipes to have on hand because of how simple is the ingredients list.) Asher was about 8 weeks old when we started cloth, and I think that was a good age. We were past the "Sweet Heavens, what do we do with this little creature?!" phase, and he had gained enough weight to fit into the cloth diapers we purchased really well.

We opted for a stash of AIOs (all-in-ones) only. I read about more cost-effective options, but I knew that simplicity and sanity would rule the day (and I was right...which is pretty much the only thing about parenting that I estimated correctly). I also wanted a system that M could get behind as well, and AIOs are very similar to disposables, so I went that direction. We started stocking up early (once we were well into the second trimester), buying a diaper with each paycheck, and rounded out our stash thanks to two beautiful baby showers. 

Mommy Tip: The bumGenius diapers we got are coupon-eligible at Buy Buy Baby. Holla!

We ended up with 17 diapers in total (which turned out to be just right at his age), and it's a mix of bumGenius Freetimes and Thirsties All-in-Ones. I had read good reviews and feedback about both, but I have to say that one far outperforms the other...

bumGenius AIOs vs. Thirsties AIOs

I'll cut to the chase: bumGenius Freetimes for the win. No question. 

Thirsties AIOs (left) and bumGenius Freetimes (right)
They are very, very similar in style and function, which makes it easy to split a stash between the two. Thirsties has some really cute prints to select from, and they're ever so slightly cheaper. (We're talking $1, folks.) But when it comes to holding in the pee and poo (which, you know, is the whole point), the Freetimes hold up much better. 

Both styles are considered OS (one-size-fits-all), so they adjust to fit just right for your little one via snap configurations. (Thirsties also offers a Hook & Loop option.) But where bumGenius has two layers of microfleece (two attached inserts), Thirsties has only one. I even bought a set of bumGenius doublers to add to the Thirsties, and while it helped, I still get leaks with the Thirsties diapers. 

To be fair, cloth diapers are not as absorbent as disposables, so I am not expecting miracles. I changed his diaper every 1.5 - 2 hours, and I still regularly had leaks. I have yet to have a single leak with the Freetimes, even leaving him in the same diaper for 3 hours at times. (We've yet to have a single case of diaper rash, by the way. I apply a mix of organic coconut oil, Lavender oil, and Frankincense to his bum every other change and overnight, and we've been in good shape.)

Speaking of overnight, I will clarify that we do not cloth diaper for nighttime. After his evening bath, we use the homemade bum balm I just described and Seventh Generation disposables. Again, keeps things simple, and we rarely have leaks.

So, there you have it, bumGenius Freetimes are the AIOs that take the cake (at least compared to Thirsties). They really are so simple to use and don't leak. I only have to wash the diapers every three days (which is not difficult at all, especially at the rate babies go through laundry in general), and have been so pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to transition to fluff. Not to mention, going from throwing away 50+ diapers a week to just 7 feels pretty dang good. 

Cloth Diaper Accessories Worth Mentioning

Since I don't plan to do eleventy thousand posts about the joys of CD (given that many, better posts are out there en masse), I will go ahead and share a few additional tidbits that helped make cloth work really well for us...

We switched to cloth wipes about a month ago, and I'm loving them as a natural extension of doing cloth diapers. If I'm washing diapers, I figure it's easy enough to do wipes at the same time. I use a mix of bumGenius flannel wipes and these ridiculously soft Duckery Kid washcloths. I keep them in our Munchkin wipe warmer, folded and soiled in a solution made with distilled water, witch hazel, Lavender oil, and Tea Tree oil (which I apply via the peri bottle from my delivery). I love that they're gentle enough to use on his face too (because all the drool), and I don't have to worry about a bunch of ingredients that are sure to damage him for life (because all the mommy guilt for everything).

We also use the Aquaus 360 sprayer and Aquaus SprayMate, which makes rinsing the poopy diapers super simple. You technically don't have to rinse poop if they're exclusively breast fed, but, ew. We put soiled diapers and wipes in the Ubbi diaper pail until we're ready to wash, and no stink, no fuss. Pop all of the above in the wash on laundry day, and there ya go! 

(I'm not even going to mention wash routine and all that, but I will say that Fluff Love has been an amazing resource for us, and I have had great luck following their guidance.)

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Nothing to shill here. All opinions are my own, and no discount or compensation has influenced this post.

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