I had thought about cloth diapering long before becoming pregnant with Cassidy. I was a vendor at The Baby Show in Toronto a few times and once I was across the aisle from the AppleCheeks booth. I had overheard a lot of what they were telling people about cloth diapers and it sounded a lot easier than I thought it was.
When I was pregnant, I mentioned wanting to cloth diaper to my mom and Keegan at the same time. They both didn’t seem to like that idea, and said it’s too much work, and gross, and a few other typical objections that people have when they first hear about cloth diapering. I knew the image they had in mind was large pieces of cloth and a safety pin, not the modern cloth diapers of today. So I let it go at that time. When Keegan and I went to The Baby Show in April before Cassidy was born, I took him to the AppleCheeks booth and basically told the lady that I want to cloth diaper, and to please help me convince my husband! After she explained how it all works, plus how much money we would be saving, he was all in.
We bought a starter kit that they had a special on at the show. It included 12 one-size diaper covers in red, yellow, orange, and blue. as well as a bunch of their bamboo inserts, some bamboo absorbent boosters, about 10 microfleece liners, and a large and small wet-bag for keeping the dirty diapers. Since then, I’ve purchased 2 size-two diapers and another small wet-bag from the AppleCheeks booth at the October show, and 3 more one-size diapers from Babies R Us. I’ve also purchased a few second-hand size-two diapers.
I am basing this review on my experience with the items that I have used. I haven’t tried the All-In-One diapers, or the swim diapers and training pants, so I am unable to give my thoughts on those. We began cloth diapering Cassidy around 2 months old, and have done it for the last 6 months. We still use disposables at night, or when we are out of the house. That’s just what works best for us, but I know that a lot of people want to use them 100% of the time, and that’s great too!
I don’t have too many prints, yet, but even the solid coloured diapers are adorable. The colours are so fun and vibrant. I can’t wait to get my hands on more prints!
These are great! They fit such a wide range of sizes, which is wonderful for a growing baby. According to their website, they fit 6-35+LBS. Which means you really could start your newborn off in them. They are a slimmer fit than the size twos, but will fit most babies who are a size two.
There are extra snaps to adjust the length of the diaper through the crotch. This is what makes the One-Size diaper able to accommodate so many different sized babies. My only criticism here is that I wish there was one more row on snaps. Cassidy went through a little phase where leaving them undone was too loose, but doing up the first adjustment was a little too tight.
Cassidy began to fit into the size two diapers around 6 months old (I think, honestly, the last 5 months have sort of blended together for me!) They are definitely bigger/bulkier than the one-size diapers.
The snaps around the waist of all sizes are in two rows. What is great about this is that you have more options for getting a custom fit for your baby. Cassidy has always has chunky thighs (I’m talking, the nurse had to go get a longer needle for her first set of shots, chunky.) So when I put her AppleCheeks on, the lower row of snaps are usually done up one snap looser than the top row, to fit her thighs well, but still get the tight fit around her waist.
The construction quality of these diapers is wonderful. You can tell just by looking at them that they are quality diapers that will last a long time. I really appreciate that these diapers are made in Canada, so you know they aren’t being made cheaply.
The material used is of high quality as well. The inner layer is very soft, the snaps hold very well, and the elastics are strong. You can purchase new elastics to replace old ones if the elastic gives out after a while, which is wonderful for prolonging the life of your diapers. Inside the diaper, you can see that there is extra material placed where the snaps are attached to give them extra strength and reduce the risk of fabric breaking from wear and tear.
So, how well do these diapers work? That’s the most important part! They and look and fit great, but if they don’t work, then what’s the point?
They work just as well, if not, better than disposables. The elastic that hugs the diaper against the waist at the back has prevented many, many blowouts. In her almost 9 months of life, she has had a total of 2 blowouts, and both of those times, she was in disposables. The elastic in the front also prevents leaks in the front that can happen when they are spending a lot of time on their tummies.
The very soft inner layer that goes against baby’s skin stays feeling pretty dry, which helps them to feel comfortable still even after they have wet the diaper.
The bamboo 3-ply insert that goes into the diapers are very absorbent. If you are going to be going a longer time between changes, or overnight, you can also add a “Booster” layer of bamboo to add extra absorbency.
Now, here’s the part that makes most people say no to cloth diapers. The clean up.
Except here’s the thing, it’s not that bad considering the benefits. Not to mention how horrible it can be to clean up a blowout from a disposable.
So let’s talk about poop. Cloth diaper parents have different methods and techniques for dealing with poop. Some use disposable liners, some use reusable liners to lift the poop off the diaper to dispose of in the toilet, some use reusable liners that they do throw out after it gets pooped in, some dunk their diapers in the toilet to get the poop off, and some have a sprayer connected to the toilet that they use to spray down their diapers. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you don’t need to do anything, no matter how full the diaper is. Breastfed baby poop is water-soluble and will all get washed away.
Personally, I use reusable liners. A solid poop I will carry in the liner to the toilet and plop it in there, and then put the liner in the wash with the diapers. A more messy poop I might just throw out on the liner, depending on if I feel like cleaning it.
The pockets for putting in your inserts have a very large opening, which makes it easy for dad’s with larger hands to be able to help with inserting and folding. It also means that the inserts should agitate out of the diapers in the wash, so you don’t have to take them out yourself. (That being said, I recently got a new washing machine and I have found that they don’t always come out on their own during a wash cycle, so this depends on how your washer moves things around I guess.)
There are a few different ways to store dirty diapers before a wash. I use wet bags that hold the odour in.
My washing routine is easy once you do it a few times. I do a wash every 4 days at the most. You don’t want to leave dirty diapers for much longer than that.
First, a cold rinse cycle. (After this, because all the inserts don’t come out for my new washing machine, I will go in and pull all the inserts out of the ones that are still in a diaper.) Next, I will add detergent to the machine (use a residue free detergent) and start a “heavy duty” cycle with hot water. My machine gives the option for an extra rinse, I do this to really make sure the soap is all rinsed away. It’s also recommended to do an extra rinse now and then.
To dry, I hang the wet bags (which you just throw in with the diaper wash inside out) and the diaper covers. All of the inserts and liners go into the dryer on medium heat.
When everything is dry, you just stuff your diapers, put them away, and you’re ready to go!
One thing I really care about, especially now that I am a mom, is the future of our planet. The impact on the environment that disposables have is immense. It takes about 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose. This is a long time for diapers to be taking up space in a landfill and for the plastic and chemicals to contaminate the environment. And while there is a certain amount of impact on the environment when creating, caring for, and eventually disposing of cloth diapers (like with any piece of apparel) it is nowhere close to the impact of disposables.
If you consider one baby having an average of 5 dirty diapers a day (which is very low, and we are not even considering the amount of times you may put a clean one under their bum, only for it to be peed on immediately) that is 1825 diapers a year, minimum. All of those diapers going into landfills from just your one baby is a much greater impact on the environment than your collection of cloth diapers could ever be. Especially since you are able to use your diapers on multiple children, and give them away or sell them once your children are potty trained.
You may be thinking, “but, cloth diapers are so expensive!” And if you’re just looking at the up front cost, then sure, they definitely cost more than disposables. But lets look at those numbers from above again.
One baby uses 1825 diapers a year, minimum. They may begin potty training around 2 and a half (if you’re lucky), so that’s about 4563 diapers total at the very minimum.
Diapers at Walmart work out to be between $0.30-$0.60 each, depending on how large of a pack you get. So lets just use $0.40 as the average cost per disposable diaper.
4563 x $0.40 = $1825.20
So $1825.20 is the smallest amount you could possibly spend on disposable diapers over your one child’s time in diapers. You’ll have to double it if you want another kid!
Unless you get a little addicted to buying diapers and buy way more than you will ever need, you’re not going to spend that much on your cloth diapers. And even when you think about the extra water from washing the diapers, it’s not nearly enough of an increase to cost you the same amount as disposables.
Especially if you are planning to have multiple children, cloth diapers just make financial sense. I know that if my husband and I decide to have a 2nd child, the diapers we are currently using on Cassidy will still be in good condition to use for baby #2. After that, any that are still in good condition I have the option to sell at a low price, which then brings a little money I spent on them back to me, and also gives someone who wants to cloth diaper a chance to do it on a budget. (If you buy used, which is also great for the environment, make sure you bleach/sanitize before using on your child) I also plan to donate any that aren’t in good condition but are still useable to women’s shelters.
They are cute, they fit wonderfully, the construction quality is fantastic, they work and prevent blowouts, they are great for the environment and they save money! The washing and care isn’t complicated, and worth it! I absolutely love my AppleCheeks and recommend them strongly.
**This review was not sponsored or endorsed by AppleCheeks, these are my honest opinions that I wanted to share**