Cloth Diapering 2
As a part time cloth diaperer, I have been curious to try reusable swim diapers to see how they compare to the convenience of my usual disposable swimmies. I have always disliked that waterlogged, saggy bum look with the disposables (as well as the impact on the landfill) but truthfully didn’t give much thought to a reusable cloth swim diaper (despite being very familiar with cloth diapers of the regular variety). When I was offered the chance to review the AppleCheeks Washable Swim Diaper, I jumped at the chance.
When it arrived in the mail I was struck by how light and thin it was. Would this really protect me from being called out as the ‘Mom Of The Kid Who Fouled In The Pool’? It was so stretchy and soft- not bunchy and scratchy like the multilayered design of my previous disposables. I was eager to put this swim solution to the test so I did what any nervous mom would do- I asked my own mom to come with me! She could hold the baby while I took photos, that way, should anything “escape” from that little diaper, she would be the one holding the guilty party, not me!
I love that these diapers are available in two different sizes. My son is about 18 lbs, which is at the higher end of size one and the lowest weight of size two. I went with the size two and hoped he wouldn’t have to “grow into it.” When I tried it on him for the first time, I realized that the swim diaper is just as genius as AppleCheeks‘ popular envelope style cloth diaper- with snaps at both the waist and the legs to obtain the ideal fit. As promised, it was perfect and I began to think that this diaper might really have the containment powers it promised. The other thing I immediately noticed was that there were no rub points on the diaper, which is perfect for my babe’s sensitive skin.
Into the pool we went, armed with a diaper and a silent prayer that we would not be responsible for evacuating parent and tot swim. I am happy to report that we swam about for 40 minutes with no incident. About the only thing that did happen was having three (3!) separate moms come up to ask us where we got the diaper and how we liked it. When we completed our dip we headed to the change room to dry off and not only were we lacking that soggy, waterlogged diaper, the diaper was almost dry to the touch immediately after we got out. I expected it to be heavy with the weight of the fabric and moisture, but it was seemingly absent of anything other than my son’s cute little baby bum. He laid happily kicking his legs while I changed him and marvelled at this crazy swim technology.
All in all, my honest review is that I absolutely loved this swim diaper and will continue to use this line for all of our swimming needs, be it beach, pool, or lake! I am wowed by so much more than I thought I would be, so I had to make a Love List:
- The fit- all those snaps give you the best options for the perfect fit at both the waist and the thighs
- The feel- So soft both when it is dry and wet and absolutely no rub points or velcro.
- Lets water flow through instead of soaking it all up- no waterlogged soggy diapers!
- Adorable colours- I tried the Bondi Blue (bright and bold) but it is also available in three other colours- Sail Away, Suddenly Sunny and Breath of Fresh Air– all equally adorable.
- Convenience- Lighter and smaller than a disposable swim diaper and easy to care for/wash
- Doesn’t end up in a landfill
- CANADIAN MADE! I love supporting Canadian products AND AppleCheeks is owned and founded by two amazing female entrepreneurs, which also makes my heart sing a little.
I would really love to give you a balanced review with an accompanying list of cons but I truly found none. These retail for $19.99, so they are completely affordable (much cheaper in the long run over buying bags of disposables) and to sweeten the deal, they are on sale for 15% off for the entire month of March!! Some styles have sold out so hurry if you would like to get one or two for yourself! I have already ordered a second colour and can’t wait to pair these with matching rash guards for the summer. All in all, the maiden voyage went swimmingly and we will never go back to disposable swim diapers again!
As of this year we are officially a diaper-free household, after six years of cloth diapering three kids. I’m not going to lie, it feels amazing! By choosing cloth, our family saved thousands of dollars over the course of three kids! We also felt good about our decision, knowing that we weren’t contributing to the 1-2 tons of waste that each child sends to landfills during their two years in disposable diapers. We still used the occasional disposable diaper, mind you. But knowing that it takes 250-500 years for a diaper to decompose didn’t sit well with us.
Thankfully cloth diapering has come a long way from our grandmother’s day! That said, there are still challenges with cloth diapering. Cloth diapering is certainly more laborious than disposable diapers, though it becomes second-nature quickly. It’s a choice I would make again in a heartbeat, but I had to get over a few personal objections at first.
Simply put, yes. But news flash: So is all diapering. There’s nothing sanitary and tidy about poop, pee, and everything in between. At first I thought choosing cloth diapering was making the gross choice, but I soon realized that all diapering is gross! Breast-fed babies, formula-fed babies, babies who eat solids – none of this is enjoyable, friends.
A better question is how much more disgusting is cloth diapering than regular diapering? Minimally. A simple wet diaper is exactly the same, regardless of your diaper choice. With cloth, you only have the difference of tossing the used diaper in the laundry bin, or the garbage. Dirty diapers are slightly worse. I toss poop in the toilet for both kinds of diapers – who wants feces sitting around waiting for garbage day?, but it’s essential for cloth diapering to pre-flush poop and then toss the diaper in the laundry.
Is cloth diapering complicated?
This is a fair objection, as it can be. I used bum Genius and Apple Cheeks, which are two-part diapers, including an outer layer/cover and the absorbent insert. When you are tossing your diapers into the laundry, you need to take the insert out of the cover, and likewise, after laundering, you need to put the insert in the diaper cover before using again. These steps become habit in no time, but it can seem complicated at first.
Isn’t cloth diapering just as expensive?
Absolutely not. Even if you have only one child using your cloth diapers, you will save money compared to using disposables, but if you have more than one child, and can re-use all of your cloth diapers on your second child (and so on), you start to see incredible savings.
Let’s say, on average, disposables cost $0.40/diaper (I’m assuming you get them on sale sometimes, too). If you average 6 diapers a day, and potty train by age 2 (and that’s early!), you’re spending over $1,750 on disposable diapers for one baby. Want another kid? That’s over $3,500 for two kids, assuming you buy diapers on sale and that they’re potty trained early. Yikes.
Cloth diapers can be an intimidating up-front cost, but once you buy a high quality, new stash, that’s it. You can reuse them all the time, for many children. Plus you can find great quality diapers second hand too! They are also a great item to add to your baby registry!
How many diapers do I need?
You can buy the Apple Cheeks full-time kit which covers everything you will need from birth to potty training, in one kit. This is definitely the simplest route. I was alright doing laundry every other day, and found that I needed slightly fewer inserts in my diaper stash, so I recommend:
No matter what brand you’re using, it’s nice to have at least 12 diapers so you aren’t doing laundry every day.
How do I wash cloth diapers?
Every brand will have their own exact directions on washing, so be sure to check those first. In general, cloth diapers are sensitive to laundry soaps and only need a small amount of cloth-diaper-safe soap per wash. Cloth diapers are best cleaned with a lot of water and a little bit of soap.
Never dry diaper covers! They take no time to air-dry, but the dryer can damage the fabric. The inserts, however, are perfectly fine dried on high heat.
Do you use cloth diapers all the time?
We used cloth diapers every day, including during naps and outings. Once our kids started sleeping 12 hours through the night, we switched to disposables at night, and we also use them when traveling. We also felt that cloth diapering was our conviction, so we didn’t want to force it on others who were caring for our children, which meant babysitters, day care, and Sunday school was disposable diaper territory. The nice thing about only needing disposables the odd time is that we can wait for them to go on sale and never pay full price!
Emily is a Montreal-based writer and blogger, but most importantly, a mom of three littles (age five and under). She geeks out over cloth diapers, lattes, and will do just about anything to travel. You can find her on Instagram @emmorrice where she profusely overgrams pictures of her meals, kids and city.
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