Review: Imagine One Size All In One (Initial Thoughts)

I did not forget about my cloth diaper series. After my last post, my husband started a new job and sprained his ankle, so I’ve been on duty 24/7. Then we needed to move to a new server, but we’re back in action now!

I’ve been really excited for the mail to come all week. Nicki’s Diapers put out their new Imagine products this week. Among them is an all natural fibers inner, one size, All-in-One! That alone was really exciting to me since we’ve been discussing switching to pockets or AIOs (diapers that have the absorbent part and waterproof layer as one diaper – or, all “in one”) as Olivia gets squirmier on the changing table, but it’s not all that excited me. In addition to the all natural fibers, the introductory price is a very low $12.95. No, that’s not a typo. It really is $13!

We received ours in the mail yesterday: a beautiful Raspberry one size AIO in snaps. It is gorgeous. I actually had opened it outside in the sun and the color was so vivid and rich that I immediately wanted to like this diaper. I was a little worried I wouldn’t like the color because the stock photos on Nicki’s Diapers aren’t as vibrant but that’s not the case at all. My pictures are not really true to life either as far as shade goes, but I hope they show some of the vividness of the diaper:

(Small, medium and large rise snap settings.)

The PUL is very soft and the entire diaper is very stretchy. The bamboo inner isn’t as soft as others I’ve felt but it’s not really rough, either. Probably about the same roughness as your baby’s washcloth on the terry side. The elastic is also not the most gentle that I’ve felt, especially compared to diapers/covers with more relaxed elastic (like Thirsties or Flips), but it’s still gentle enough for me to be willing to put it on Olivia’s skin with her chunky thighs.

The soaker snaps in, which is supposed to decrease drying time, and there is a back flap that goes over the top of the soaker. This flap covers up the tag and top of the soaker for added comfort for baby.

I prepped it (by washing and drying multiple times) and tried it on Olivia to see what the fit was like. As with all natural fibers, there was some shrinkage for the soaker and, actually, the diaper over all. The dry time was pretty rough: for the first prep round it took just under two hours in the dryer with a full load of towels and then being set out overnight to finish air drying, and it was still damp in the morning. I’m hoping this is something that will improve over time but for me, it’s a very big drawback. I already have to run my prefolds through the dryer twice; anything that takes longer than that is not my best friend. Electricity is finite and expensive!

Moving on. The fit isn’t super trim but it’s not something that can truly be considered bulky, considering it’s an AIO. Initially, I put it on Olivia using the medium rise snap and I found that it seemed a bit short for her long rise. She is in the ballpark of 14-15 pounds and she is 5 months old but her rise is about 16″ or so. Since it seemed small, I put it on the largest rise snap (or rather, left it unsnapped).

See what I mean by squirmy? Also look at what I mean by the lack of bulk. The rise was actually wonderful on this setting but the elastic around the legs was too loose. Definite potential for leaks, so this setting wasn’t going to work yet. I feel I should also point out that the waist is a little on the smaller side so wide babies may need some adjustment. Out of 8 snaps, I leave 2 unused in the middle. That’s not exactly the right fit, but close enough.

Since the largest rise setting was simply too large, I went ahead and tried the medium setting again:

I actually love the way this looks on her. For one, such a pretty pink! And two, it’s really not a bulky diaper. Bulkier than a pinned or snappied prefold, maybe, but just as trim as any of our pockets. You can see that the elastic is still somewhat loose, but not so loose that it will cause a blow out. I can’t really make it tighter at the thigh snap because of her thighs and the smaller rise setting is just not going to happen. Olivia doesn’t have a “plumber’s crack” showing or anything but this setting isn’t going to last as long in this diaper as it would on one of our Bumgenius 4.0 pockets.

I can’t really speak to the absorbency yet. I don’t exactly have a super soaker, though she is no light urinating machine, but bamboo isn’t really prepped until quite a few washes. The absorbency will get better and better with each subsequent wash. I will comment on the fact that the soaker seems somewhat small but it’s working for us so far, even with my tummy sleeper. You don’t have to snap the soaker in, either, which is part of what makes the back flap so great (because it’ll cover the snap sockets). You can slide it up to go more between the legs, in the middle of the diaper.

I haven’t decided yet whether or not we’ll keep this diaper. I’d like to give it a couple more tries, of course, because I think it could be a great diaper bag diaper with some more prepping and adjustments.

If we do keep it, I’ll try to update in the future about how the quality of the diaper holds up over time. Honestly though, at a $13 introductory price (plus shipping unless your order is over $75), it’s an inexpensive way to try out an all natural fibers inner AIO, considering that some alternatives are over $20 each. (Bumgenius Elementals and Swaddlebees Simplex come to mind.)

Pros:
- All natural bamboo inner
- Gorgeous color combos; very vivid
- Soft, stretchy PUL that accomodates some for the smaller rise
- Low introductory price!

Cons:
- Long dry time (took just under 2 hours in the dryer and the rest of the night to air dry)
- Smaller rise than some other diapers
- Short soaker (though this can be remedied)

Did you buy one? Do you think you will after reading this review? Let me know what you think!

This is not a sponsored review. Nicki’s Diapers has never heard of me, other than to answer my inquiries as a regular customer. All opinions are mine and I have not been compensated in any way.

Why I use cloth diapers, part two

I am writing a series of posts about cloth diapers this month, in an attempt to help answer questions that newbies to cloth might have. This is inspired by pregnant friends that have been asking me questions! If you’re knowledgeable about cloth diapers and you are reading this, please feel free to chime in on the comments, whether you agree with me or not. I think discussion and commentary can be very helpful for the learning process.

Deciding to use cloth diapers with Olivia didn’t take as long after her birth but I had months before she was born to really consider the option. My Livejournal friends can attest to the fact that I spent a lot of time going “should I or shouldn’t I?” about using cloth. At first, it wasn’t really the money factor but the environmental factor. I felt bad hurting the planet with more disposables but I was, again, daunted by the idea of laundry. There are also a lot more options in brands and companies than there used to be when Noah was a baby and I had a lot of research to do. I tend to stay current on baby-related topics since I have friends who are planning to have more babies than me and I like to know things, but I was still unprepared for the onslaught of information I found when I started researching cloth diapers.

I decided to do disposables and figured I could change my mind later. Then Joshua lost his job and I started to save money wherever I could. We figured he’d find one pretty quickly so I planned to use coupons. We actually didn’t spend much money on newborn and size 1 diapers; between coupons and a sweet Craigslist person who passed on diapers that her son had outgrown and the hospital, we had a good number of diapers to get us through the first two months.

Except, Olivia started getting rashes more and more often. “Nakey time” gave her a chance to air out and lose the rash, so I started my research. I had learned that prefolds came in different sizes and that sized prefolds were trimmer. (I’m not one for bulk.) I had also watched Youtube videos and realized that prefolds are actually pretty simple to use! I decided that prefolds and covers would make up the bulk of our stash because I wanted “the cast iron of cloth diapers”. Basically, natural fibers that could take a beating and still wash up beautifully (and they do).

Picking the cover was the hardest part, I think, but once I make a decision I tend to stick to it, so once it was made, we ordered the diapers. This time around, we had just received our income tax return, so we went mostly new. I also bought some secondhand Bumgenius 4.0 pockets for Joshua because I wasn’t sure how he would like prefolds. (He’s answered that question for me since then!)

When Olivia was six weeks old, she had her first cloth diaper and we haven’t gone back. I’ve had some issues with stink (because Houston apparently has hard water) and working out how many diapers we needed per day has been a bit of trial-and-error. Now I can go about two days without washing and wash on the third day, though I usually don’t wait that long.

Honestly, there are so many reasons to cloth diaper that even though Joshua has a job now, I don’t see myself going back to disposables. We will still continue to save money on diapers, even if I continue to buy a few more because of how cute they are. Adorable prints are another reason to cloth diaper, by the way. A diaper gets used more often than pretty much any outfit you will buy your kids and during hot summers like we have here in Texas, kids can often go around in a shirt and diaper and no one thinks anything of it. Therefore, if you have a cute print you want to show off, you can! And the savings you will get from not buying disposables will still make it worth it financially, before you even touch the resale value.

Yes, that’s right. You can sell used cloth diapers if they are in functional condition. Some diapers that are “hard to find” and really sought for are known to go for hundreds of dollars on eBay or Spots (a smaller selling site). Of course, if a diaper is pretty used up, you may not get as much back as a diaper in near-perfect condition, but really, what kind of resale value do disposables have? Exactly. (A personal example with reselling are the prefolds I bought. I spent $56 on yellow-edged Green Mountain Diapers prefolds and sold them for $50. After shipping and fees, I basically got $36 back on diapers that had already saved me money to begin with!)

There is also the community aspect. The cloth diapering community online is pretty small, considering, and there are a lot of amazing people out there. Like I told you in my last post, many cloth diapering parents are so willing to help others because they want more people to be able to cloth diaper and bring awareness about modern cloth diapers to the world. I’ve passed on used diapers myself and just been happy to help another mother out the way I was helped. Plus, sometimes it’s just fun to talk about fluff with someone who “gets” it!

If that’s not enough of a reason for me to cloth diaper, then there is my kids’ health. Disposables have a ton of chemicals in them and, for Olivia at least, cause rashes that cloth diapers don’t. Instead, I swaddle Liv’s bum in cloth and make sure there is a waterproof layer and call it good. She might as well be wearing only clothes, with no extra chemicals added!

Basically, there’s five reasons:

1. Financial (both cost effectiveness and resale value)
2. Environment (helping to not add to the already enormous waste on this earth)
3. Appearance (cloth diapers can be CUTE!)
4. Community (a great group of parents you can chat with and help each other)
5. Health (no chemicals on that sweet little baby!)

Like I said before: we are not an anti-disposable family. We never will be, because we used them with our son and cloth diapers do not always work. There are so many reasons for us to use cloth diapers though that we will continue to do so as long as we can and put that money towards something else, like a zoo trip. :)

Why I use cloth diapers, part one

I have a cousin and quite a few friends who are due in June or July and a couple of them have been asking me questions about cloth diapers. Therefore, I thought I would do a series of posts about cloth diapers this month, in an attempt to help answer questions that newbies to cloth might have. If you’re knowledgeable about cloth diapers and you are reading this, please feel free to chime in on the comments, whether you agree with me or not! I think discussion and commentary can be very helpful for the learning process.

I think a good start to this segment would be to explain just why we cloth diaper and how we ended up taking this path. I should also make clear that we’re not an anti-disposable household; it just didn’t work for us as well as cloth this time around.

When I was pregnant with Noah, I didn’t really consider cloth diapers. I knew modern cloth diapers existed from reading parenting communities and having “crunchy” friends. I did think they were cute and saved money, but I was daunted by the idea of more laundry, and disposables just seemed easy. Use, toss, done. Then, when Noah was three months old, Joshua and I were both laid off and jobs were scarce in our town. Suddenly, we were pretty worried about how we would get diapers among everything else we needed and my mind turned to the alternative solution: cloth.

It wasn’t an immediate switch. First, you need the initial funds to be able to purchase a decent-sized stash. I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of prefolds and covers, and AIOs (all-in-ones, diapers that need no cover or stuffing and are the most like disposables, especially if they have velcro-like closures) seemed like the best bet. Those are, however, some of the more expensive diapers available.

I posted to cloth diaper communities asking for ideas on cheaper options and some wonderful women decided that they would send me some diapers in the mail as a “starter stash”. I was also linked to this starter prefold stash on Cottonbabies that was basically enough diapers to get through a day, as long as I could get over my fear of prefolds. I still remember getting the donated diapers in the mail – various old pockets that were past their prime but still functional, covers that were basically “free for shipping” (you just pay shipping) but were, again, functional – and Joshua asking me how I knew these women. I said that I didn’t, but they wanted to help us out, and they did. I will forever be grateful to them.

A now-good friend of mine also sent me some new Bumgenius 3.0 pockets and I purchased some off of Diapers.com during a sale with a coupon (always the coupons, with me) and after slowly adding one or two diapers at a time, I ended up with a full stash of pockets and a handful of prefolds. I didn’t really figure out how to use prefolds properly at the time so they were always very bulky but I still loved seeing them with a cover on Noah. I can’t think of Bummis Whisper Wraps in the Froggy Pond or Star Baby prints without getting nostalgic. ;)

We cloth diapered Noah for about 18 months and then we had stink issues when we moved to Houston so I gave up. It was too difficult to combat for me and in hindsight, I see how easy they would have been to fix, but I’ve learned quite a bit since then. I sold them and switched to Huggies. (Cloth diapers often have decent resale value, even used.) I figured Noah would potty train within a year and it wouldn’t be a big deal.

The joke is on me though. Noah didn’t potty train until last November – just two months before his fourth birthday. *sigh*

With Olivia, the decision was made a little faster, but still a little delayed. More on that tomorrow…