Why We Chose bumGenius Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering is WAY more complicated than we thought. We were looking for the simplest option. Here’s why we choose bumGenius.

Cloth diapering is WAY more complicated than we thought. We were looking for the simplest option. Here's why we choose bumGenius.

In our last video, we showed you our cloth diaper setup, and people wrote in and asked us why we chose bumGenius.

 

Frankly, cloth diapering is WAY more complicated than I thought. There are:

  • Prefolds
  • Flats
  • Fitteds
  • Pocket Diapers
  • All-in Ones
  • All-in Twos

Ahh! It was a little overwhelming to be honest.

And I was looking for the simplest option…

I liked the fact that, with bumGenius, there was only one size to buy. That was HUGE in terms of ease and cost. We could coast through the diapering stage without having to stop and think about whether it was time to buy another size.

And bumGenius also had crazy good reviews on Amazon.

We purchased the bumGenius 4.0s right as they came out, which helped us feel like we were buying into cutting edge diaper technology.

We chose to buy 24, because that was enough to let us go three days at a time before we needed to do laundry. (The less laundry, the better… amiright?!)

Turns out: We love our bumGenius

We started using them when Griffin was 10 days old (after the meconium phase—can you say messy?!) and have used them just about every day now for eight months.

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We do see a few cons with bumGenius diapers though…

  • They’re bulky. We kind of like this extra padding, but if you’re looking for a fitted look, the one-size diapers ain’t for you.
  • Colors aren’t all that bright. Instead, they’re light pastels. On the upside, they won’t show through white pants or stand out in a lighter-colored outfit.
  • They get stained. Of course, every diaper does. But when you’re using the same one for years, you need to take extra good care of them.

How these diapers work

The diapers have snaps to adjust to three different sizes, which will take your baby from newborn right up until potty training.

Each bumGenius diaper comes with two inserts:

  • Newborn
  • One-size, which are thicker and more absorbent

We used the newborn insert for about three months with Griffin. Once he started to outgrow that, then we started using the bigger, one-size insert at night.

bumGenius one-size diapers come in two varieties

  • “Hook and loop” (Velcro)
  • Snaps

We bought half and half. At first, Mike and I both preferred the snaps version. But the velcro is pretty easy, too. And the velcro is nice and easy for grandmas and the cloth uninitiated to use, as they go on just like disposables.

The only downside to velcro is that you have to remember to attach the velcro tabs to a pad in the back of the diaper when you wash them, otherwise they’ll stick to and tear up the other diapers (and swaddles and other delicates) in the washer.

Are you researching cloth diapers?

Check out our post on Cloth Diapering 101. It has everything you need to know to get started CD-ing, including all the types of diapers, how many you need to buy, just how much they save you, and more. Enjoy!

Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 85,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.

37 Comments

  1. Is there a cloth diaper brand made from natural and organic materials? I was planning on cloth diapering for the aspect of it being more natural and safer for baby, but looking at the options, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Especially as there are now natural disposable diapers available.

  2. I can’t really fathom how anyone could “love” BG diapers unless they have never tried others. The elastic and hook & loop (aka Velcro) are horrible quality and knowing this, rather than correcting it, BG chooses to sell “repair kits” so they’re just increasing their own profit at consumers expense both financially and the time it takes to repair them. Microfiber is cheap, extremely prone to buildup and compression leaks. No one has time for that mess. And their natural fiber diapers, while moderately more absorbent, still have crappy elastic and short lifespan so don’t bank on being able to use them for multiple babies! There are sooooo many higher quality diapers out there and even many at a much lower price point. Kind of makes me wonder if rather than trying some of the other amazing brands, that this wasn’t a paid advertisement for BG. ?

    • What kind do you like to use ?

  3. I love my bumGenius 4.0s which I bought because of this post and your other cloth diapering posts. Stains is not an issue for me though, and I also have never needed to strip the diapers yet, and baby has been wearing them for the first 6 months of life. I sun dry my diapers and I live in a really sunny part of South Africa so the stains and the stank all come out just from the sun!

    • Nice one, Lorraine! There’s nothing like the ☀️ to fix some funky diapers. ?

    • Hi. I noticed amazons seller’s do not ship this diapers to my country, Namibia. But My South African neighbours, how did you get them? May you please be so kind, Thank you so much.

  4. I started using BG around the time I started potty training my baby around 6 months. Ever since then, she only has pooped in them maybe 5 times…so basically she only pees in them which prevents staining. I am pretty happy with them except I feel as though they are too warm for the baby because of the material. With my second baby I plan to use them becuase I already have them but I am keeping an eye out for something more cotton….oh yea I do laundry every day but they air dried to use for the following day.

  5. I have a 11 week old son. I used Honest disposables the first couple months (shower gifts) and then switched to a combination of BG 5.0 pockets and Freetimes. I could leave the disposable (size 2) on through the night without a change but I have to change the BG. I use the Freetime at night since it has the double microfiber layers. Do I need to add a hemp layer to increase absorbancy? If yes, does hemp go next to skin or below microfiber?
    Thanks!
    My son is 13.5 lbs and drinks 30+ oz of pumped breast milk per day (poor latch etc and pump feeding was the final result after much work with a lactation consultant,) as well as nursing on demand, for comfort, i.e. this kid drinks a lot! We have about 10 wet diapers per day.

  6. I don’t know if anyone is still reading comments since this is an older post, BUT…I started out cloth diapering babies #3 & 4 when they were both in diapers at the same time and got some BG 2.0 AIO I did not like at all! THEN I gave the new new ones a try this time with #7 and LOVE them! Meanwhile I’d tried various pockets, AIOs, flats, fitteds, prefolds, wool, and on and on! The ones I love the best are the BG Elemental which do still have some non-natural components, but they are organic and work SO well particularly when doubled with a hemp fleece doubler!

  7. Hi,

    Just ordered the AIO bumgenius cloth diapers and I’m so excited to try them. My one concern when I bought them was that they are made of polyester. I am happy to be avoiding most other toxic chemicals found in disposables and to be choosing an eco-friendly alternative, however, I’m wondering if you guys have concerns with the polyester lining. First time mama/cloth diaper-er hah!

  8. Hi there –
    I noticed on your “Registry Checklist” that you now recommend Smart Bottoms instead of BumGenius. I’m curious why the switch? I got a full set (24) of gently-used BumGenius diapers and was so excited that’s what you recommended too! Now I’m worried perhaps you discovered something not-so-great about them?
    Thanks for your time. 🙂
    Best,
    Kaitlin

    • Nope, we still love BumGenius 🙂 I think we were just showing a smaller brand some love on the checklist 🙂

      • BG 4.0 or 5.0?? I noticed there’s a. Re version now

  9. Are you using the Bum Genius diapers for Paloma too or have you found a different cloth diaper that you prefer?

  10. Has anybody tried both the bumGenius 4.0 and the bumGenius Freetime? What are the pros and cons of each?

  11. We are considering using cloth diapers for our second child, coming in a few months. I have read conflicting things about the bumgenius 4.0 really fitting newborns well and wearing out fast. What is your opinion on this? How long do they last? Do they work well for a newborn just coming home from the hospital?

    • Our BumGenius 4.0 lasted Griffin’s entire diaper life… 2 2/3 years. Yes, they are bulky as a newborn but it didn’t bother me too much. It helped Griffin “fill out” the clothes when he was so little. It also provided a nice cushion on his rear 🙂

      We did use organic disposables for the first week or so until he got rid of all of the meconium.

  12. I clicked on the link for the diaper setup. One tip I want to add is that, in the video, natural papa talks about seperating the absorbent liners from the shell right before putting them in the wash. Yuck! We use fuzzibunz, but they are also a pocket diaper very similar to bumgenius.

    When I’m changing my little one I immediatly seperate the liner and shell so I’m not dealing with a liner from a days-old dirty diaper. Also, I don’t “pull out” the insert. If you hold the end of the diaper that’s opposite the pocket opening and give ‘er a good shake over the bag, then the liner usually falls out on its own (thanks to the weight from all that pee). When it comes time to wash, you can dump the bag’s contents right into the washer without touching a single nasty dipe. Also, you only need to rinse the non-absorbent shell when there is poop (i.e. no ringing out the water after rinsing the dirty diaper in the toilet). On the rare ocassion that the liner doesn’t fall out on its own that easily, simply opening the pocket wide and giving a slight tug on the liner and then shaking usually does the trick.

    Happy diapering!

  13. Andrea, thanks for the tips! Awesome. I have been thinking it’s time to start experimenting with concocting my own blend of detergents, similiar to what you suggest! I will give it a try… I can barely do any other laundry because of the diaper laundry, so the idea of dropping a rinse cycle is mighty attractive…

    The odor problems have only so far been when the dipes comes out of the wash. Once they are dry (line dried indoors at this time of the year), there is no smell. But to me, the diaper should smell fresh when it comes out of the washer, even before it’s dried.

    • Hi Lily,

      I hope my advice helps. It sounds like a lot of work for you! One other thing – do you keep your diapers in a dry bag or wet bucket?

      Andrea

      • Which do you Suggest? Currently I’ve been rinsing the soiled diapers in the bathroom sink and then putting in a bag to be washed every 2 days. They stink coming out of the wash as well, so maybe I am causing more issue doing that. Baby is 5 weeks and BF so poop is like mustard.

  14. We have been using prefold cloth diapers from Green Mountain Diapers and a variety of covers (Thirsties, Bummis, Mommy’s Touch…etc) since my daughter was born 3 months ago. We also use cloth wipes, which I recommend even if you don’t cloth diaper. On the one hand, I love, love, love using cloth: First, it’s cheaper (especially prefolds and covers). I don’t like I’m spending $$$ each time my daughter immediately soaks a diaper and needs constant changing. Cloth diapers are also super cute and versatile (you can fold them many different ways, use different covers, use them as changing pads, burp cloths, etc). Some brands of covers are trimmer than others: Bummis Super Lite is a good trim cover. Thirsties also can be very trim when used with a trifolded prefold. Also, a stack of clean, white diapers is a lovely thing to behold.

    That said…. wow, the LAUNDRY. We do a load every other day. We have a tiny house, a squeaky old top-loader washer, and hard water. We also do not have a dryer. It’s recommended that you 1) do a cold pre-wash; 2) a hot wash, 3) a hot or warm final wash. 4) Having no dryer, we then need to hang to dry. Our washing machine requires resetting for each cycle and I like to stop it from going to the spin cycle… so you have to “supervise” the laundry. Essentially, I have to do the equivalent of 3 loads in order to wash 1 load of diapers. Occasionally, our spring seems to have trouble keeping up with the water use! I don’t feel that green when this happens.

    Also, figuring out detergent is an ongoing process. Rockin Green started out great, but then didn’t seem to “clean” the diapers after awhile. I tried Country Save liquid (thinking liquid will be better for hard water), but the scent wash too much for me to deal with – gave me a headache. Now I’m trying Planet, but I’m wondering if it’s giving DD the minor but persistent rash that won’t go away.

    Anyone have hard water and find a good detergent that doesn’t require a final extra rinse? Is that even possible? I would love to know…

    • We also have a top load washer and hard water. I use a small amount of Norwex detergent with a sprinkling of Borax (a detergent booster) and a tablespoon of ‘Funk Rock’ by ‘Rock in Green’. I only need two cycles, a cold pre-rinse and a hot/cold wash with detergent. I only wash every three days and his diapers don’t smell. Unlike you, I do have a dryer and that may rid the diapers of the odour. Also, the diapers are made of fleece and micro-fibre, which may differ from Green Mountain.

      Good luck!
      Andrea

    • Hi Lily,
      I’m new to cloth diapering and am curious…..why do you like to stop it from going to the spin cycle?

  15. White vinegar is a great suggestion as well!

  16. I’ve been using BumGenious for about 4 months now, and, while they work great overall, I’ve noticed a distinct ODOR the past month or so. I guess it’s a faint urine odor that smells super foul once she dirties the diapers. And…I can’t seem to get rid of it! I’ve tried putting the diapers through multiple rinse cycles, and rinsing with a squirt of Dawn dishwashing liquid (which I’ve heard recommended). Have you had this problem at all? Any recommendations?

    • Dawn is no good- it just bubbles. My first recommendation would be to put the freshly laundered diapers smelly-side-up in full midday sun, for a good several hours (hopefully you can do that in february !). Also try using oxygen bleach e.g. ‘oxyclean’ in wash cycles. Also, every 3-4 loads do a final rinse with about 1 cup of plain white vinegar added- the acidity does good and it rinses clean out.

    • Hi Tina,

      It sounds like the ammonia in your daughter’s urine is ‘stuck’ in her diapers. There is actually an easy and environmentally friendl ysolution – use ‘Funk Rock, Rock in Green’ all natural ammonia bouncer. It’s about $20.00, but I’ve been using it regularly for six months and I still have half a package. You might have to soak them first with 4 tablespoons in hot or warm water to get the initial odour out and then after that, simply add a tablespoon to every load.

      My son’s diapers usually smell like a ‘hamster pen’, to quote my husband, before going into the washing machine and this works every time. I do a cold rinse/spin cycle to get the urine and poop off and then a hot/cold wash cycle with ‘Funk Rock’ and detergent.

      Definitely try the sun as ‘brnab’ suggested, but be careful with Oxyclean as it is a form of bleach and bleach is not recommended with cloth diapers. I would only use is as a last resort.

      Good luck!

      Andrea

  17. Hi Becca,

    I’m from Canada and I thought I’d let you and your followers know about Comfy Rumps diapers out of Vancouver. They are much like your diapers – pocket diapers, fleece-lined and one size fits all, however, they have snaps instead of velcro. The biggest difference is that they are less than half of the cost of your diapers. The goal for the mothers who run the company is to make them as affordable as possible. They are bright, colourful and come in fuzzy animals prints (giraffe, cow, tiger etc.). They range from $7.50 – 8.50 Canadian with the liners. I love them!
    Keep up the great work!
    Andrea

  18. Last month we started cloth diapering our 7 month old son. I had purchased around 25 Bum Genius pocket diapers, prefolds and inserts while I was pregnant. I was super gung-ho about the whole thing, but I wasn’t sure when I wanted to start after having a new born and going through all of the changes with a little one. We’ve been cloth diapering for three weeks now and I have to say that I am lovin’ it! Living in an eco-conscious town has made me think a lot more about what I use and throw away. We try to recycle everything. The thought of 8+ diapers leaving our house each day headed to a landfill somewhere makes me so sad!! Granted I live in Southeast Alaska and clean water is plentiful. Someone who lives in the midwest and has to pay for water, may want to think about their water useage. Also, there are plenty of detergents that are eco-friendly and aren’t packaged in plastic containers. We use Country Save, an inexpensive biodegradable, fragrance free powered detergent that comes packaged in a card board container, which can be recycled after the fact.

    As for electricity, the pocket diapers and liners should go on a line to be air dried. The inserts and prefolds should be dried in the dryer, but if you throw them clean and wet in with a load of towels, they shouldn’t use much more electricity than the load of towels alone.

    Cloth diapering has only increased our washing by two medium loads a week, and to be honest, it helps me to be more on top of the other laundry in my house. Plus we have never had a major poopy blowout in the cloth diapers, as they cover more bum realestate.

    Three main things that I’ve determined may make or break your want or ability to cloth diaper:

    1. Upfront cost. I believe I invested around $500 in my stash plus diaper sprayer, etc. If you plan to use them again for new additions to your family, this cost may not seem so steep.

    2. Water useage. If you live in the desert, you may want to think about your extra water useage from 2-3 extra loads per week.

    3. Extra laundry to clean. If you absolutely hate doing laundry, and you loathe laundry days, then maybe cloth diapering isn’t for you.

    • Brooke-

      Thanks for posting! I actually just decided to switch to cloth diapers yesterday! They come in the mail tomorrow, I can’t wait! I’m glad to hear that you have had a positive experience with your cloth and I’m looking forward to start it up with my 6 month old!

      Thanks again,
      Ashley

  19. I enjoyed your video and the green benefits you listed by using cloth diapers. However, I keep thinking about the alternate and would like your thoughts on the disadvantage of using cloth diapers: extra water usage; detergent (which has chemicals); detergent bottles plastic built; electricity of running the washer, as well as drier. I am afraid the water and electricity usage is just as bad from a green perspective. Also, I struggle with finding the extra time in the day to wash her cloth diapers. Your response is appreciated.

    • It’s true that cloth diapers take water and energy to wash. On the other hand, disposable diapers take water and energy (and chemicals) to make every single one, plus there’s also packaging and distribution (and waste disposal). It’s hard to say which is better, it depends a lot on the diaper (e.g. where was it made? what’s it made of?) and your habits.

      If you use cloth diapers and are concerned about your environmental impact, you can make sure to run small loads at a low water level, air-dry and sun-dry, use natural detergents, etc. Oxygen bleach (sodium percarbonate) works really well and avoids the chlorine in caustic bleach. Plus we use mr. sun instead of bac-out!*

      The laundry is a time sink- mostly putting stuff out to dry. disposables are definitely easier.

      *- I meant the actual sun, not some competing product named mr. sun.

    • Hey, I completely see what you’re saying as far as cons. I’m a new cloth-diapering mama and thought about that, too. I will not lie: it takes more time. You have to be commited to what you are doing:better for earth, better for baby. (Plus, the more you do it, the more efficient you become.) Most “cloth diaper safe” detergents/laundry soaps use very few, if any, chemicals, or I’m sure you could make your own to save more money and know exactly what is on baby’s skin. Then, you could even use the large glass jars for storage. To save electricity I hang dry my inserts, diapers, and wet bags (pretty much eerything cloth diaper related). It is roughtly 5 more washes per week, but with the new HE machines the extra water usage is minimized. I do have an older washer, but I still count it worth while. Anyway, all in all, I find the pro side of cloth diapering to be far greater than the cons, even though it seems that as with most things there is a give and take. I’m not completely against disposables, though I do not think they are as good for earth/baby, but in the last three weeks of using cloth I have kept about 280 disposable diapers out of the landfill. You have to do what is right and best for you, and as far as finding the time to wash and hang the diapers, I usually throw them in the wash before feeding my LO and after I lay her down I take the extra 5 minutes to hang them up (or it would be less time if you use the drier and just toss them in). The larger your stash of diapers the less you have to launder. I stated with 12 and to always hae 5-6 clean and dry I was washing 2x per day… I decided to stick with it so I went ahead and doubled what I had so I only wash once every day and a half or so. Hope this helps! (And sorry if it seems scattered, it is hard to type while holding a baby:) )


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