Cloth Diaper Q&A Vol 8: Hybrids and Budget


I am just starting to research cloth diapering, and this post has been a HUGE help! Your website is great!!

I’ve been trying to convince my husband why we should do it before our daughter was born, and now that our disposables are running out from the shower, I think it’s time to try again.


I have a couple questions for you before I bombard him with loads of information.

1. I have it narrowed down to 3 systems- pockets, hybrids, or all-in-2?s- and I just don’t know which would be best for our situation. I’m a WAHM so we don’t go out too much (we only have one car), but in the summer we are campers. She also is babysat by my parents and my husband’s parents from time to time, and we want something that’s fairly easy for them as well. We definitely need something that’s good for night time because she pees a LOT!

2. How well do the one-sized diapers really fit? My daughter is 7 months, and just about 18 pounds. How often would I have to buy sized ones if we went that route?

3. Do you use a pail for home and a wet bag for travel? Or can a wet bag be used in the home as well? I know this one sounds kind of silly, but it’s all brand new to me! Which do you prefer for home and which for light travel (like when you do errands)?

4. What brand of actual diapers do you prefer? I like sylish patterns, but they’re not necessary. I’m also on a budget, so what’s the best deal?

Thank you so much in advance! Again, this has been a huge help with the research I’m trying to do to convince him



Hi, Bailey!  Convincing our husbands can be a hard task.  Thankfully, in almost every case, in the end they’re thanking us for finding a healthy, environmentally friendly, budget saving alternative to disposable diapers!

The 3 systems you have narrowed it down to are all excellent and easy to use.  We, too, are campers and I have used each of these systems in the wilderness.

Personally, the all-in-two/hybrid system was an easier one to use when camping and traveling.

My favorite hybrid system is Flip by BumGenius.  Why?

  • Cover is easy to rinse and quick to dry.
  • Disposable inserts are absorbent, soft, lowest SAP levels, adjustable and when doubled up works at night.
  • Stay dry cloth inserts are absorbent.
  • Affordable.
  • Best fitting cover among hybrid systems.

Flip is a one-sized system which is great for adjusting based on which insert you are using or as baby grows.

Most of the time a one-sized diaper is a great choice.  The only exceptions are if your child outgrows them before potty training.  Some one-sized diapers do run short in the rise which can be very frustrating for parents hoping to not buy more diapers.

Again, most of the time a one-sized diaper works great.  Check out the post The Life Expectancy of a One Sized Cloth Diaper.

I like sized diapers for their simplicity.  No snaps to worry about popping open or leg elastic that needs adjusting.  Fuzzi Bunz Perfect size are one of my favorite sized pockets.  With Fuzzi Bunz the medium is generously sized allowing it to fit your child for most of their diapering months.

As far as nighttime cloth diapering, you have a couple of options.  Here are 2 I like to recommend:

Whether I am at home or out I use a wet bag for storing dirty diapers.  I have amassed a ridiculous collection and I blame it fully on the amazing design of Monkey Foot Designs wet bags.  I have tried at least a dozen different brands of wet bags or pail liners and none compare.

Monkey Foot Designs wet bags are available in a variety of sizes…I have many in each size and use them for every need.

What do I currently use?

As of this weekend I have boxed up ALL my unused cloth diapers to send to a good friend soon to have her 4th child.

I filled the empty space in my wooden chest with BumGenius Freetime AIO, Ragababe AIO, itti bitti AIO, Rumparooz (for night) and Fuzzi Bunz Perfect size pockets.  But, really I only use the first 2 brands.

I like a cute diaper as well but simplicity and performance are more important.  BumGenius colors are the best I’ve seen overall in a brand, especially the new ones.

Another brand that I love is Cutiepoops.  She has cute prints and her one-sized diapers are budget friendly.

If you want the best deal, you would go with a Made In China, massed produced pocket like Sun Baby.  Never used them myself but many of my readers email me saying they love them.  I guess if you get burned the good news is you didn’t spend much :)

Other inexpensive but well performing pocket brands are Kawaii Baby and Diaper Rite.

Keep an eye out for cloth diapers on daily deals sites and cloth diaper stores that offer a Daily Deal like Diaper Junction and Kelly’s Closet.

I hope that helps ease you into cloth diapers!  If you need more ammo to convince husband show him the info found in the Why Choose Cloth Diapers category.

* affiliate links contained within post. thank you for your generous support!

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About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at

View all posts by Autumn Beck

17 Responses to “Cloth Diaper Q&A Vol 8: Hybrids and Budget”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    I didn’t really have a lot of money to spend on CD, and my hubs wasn’t really all that supportive (but I told him I change most of the diapers, it’s better for baby, environment and budget so we were switching!). . I originally switched because I was sick of either preventing or treating a diaper rash while using Huggies. I’ve got prefolds, a couple fitteds, a Smartipants pocket (which I like, but not as much), and 4 Alvas pockets so far (more coming in the mail!!). I personally love my Alvas! They are one size pockets and come with microfiber inserts. They are China made, so if you want to support the US don’t go with them. You can buy bamboo inserts for them as well. They are only $5.50 a diaper so when you’re on a tight budget that’s great, and they are very trim fitting which I love since my walking 13 month old was used to the trim disposables. These are what turned my husband from “I’m not going to change any cloth diapers EVER” to “Okay, these aren’t so bad!” All of them are snap closures. I don’t know about the longevity since I haven’t be CD long, but I have several friends who have used them for over a year and still love them =] Good luck!


  2. Emily D Says:

    I agree with looking out on used sites like craigslist (or kijiji where I live)- I have scored lots, including 6 perfect size fb that were never used- love them!- some barely used rumparooz and totsbots fitteds (bamboozle), and wool- wild child woolies, aristocrats, and woolybottoms soakers, and bumby longies (on a side note, I couldn’t find much info/reviews on those, but they are awesome!) And I have small numbers (1-3) of lots of other types as well. So I have to say I don’t really understand this whole “what type should my stash be”- I love having many different types to choose from, depending on what I need or want to use. Pockets and AIO are great for grandma or hubby to use, wool over fitteds or prefolds esp if dd needs the breathability (rash etc)… you get the picture. I do have to say that while I like my soft bums and other AI2, I get frustrated because the poop ALWAYS gets on the cover- of course just after it’s been washed! And you certainly can’t go wrong having some prefolds (or flats) to bulk up your stash in case you don’t manage to get the dipes washed- they’re the cheapest.


  3. Lucy Says:

    Has anyone combined washing cloth diapers and baby clothes together? I was thinking perhaps the first cycle could be just the CDs for cleaning off the poop then in the second cycle add in baby clothes with detergant and combine the two loads into one as opposed to doing separate loads for saving water/power. It has been hard to find information on the internet regarding this method so I’m curious to see if any people do this?


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Personally, I wouldn’t. It’s not going to hurt the cloth diapers but I could see a chance of buildup occurring if they aren’t rinsing well with the extra bulk.


      • Stephanie Says:

        I normally don’t either, I just wash baby’s clothes with ours. However, if he did manage to blow out, or leak because I didn’t bulk up the diaper enough at night, then I’ll toss his pants in (normally only one or two a load). I figure that if they have pee or poop on them then if I wash them with the diapers then the poop wont get all over our other clothes. But it’s rarely more than 4 items


  4. Bailey Says:

    Thank you so much for all of this info everyone! It’s so helpful :)

    My husband isn’t sold still, but I’ve convinced him to at least give it a try! I ordered 3 bumgenius 4.0 pocket diapers and they should be here tomorrow. I can’t wait to get started. I’ve had a couple mommy friends suggest Sun Baby, so I may give those a try as well. And definitely check out Alva :)

    I actually did buy some used ones (2), and I have a friend who has some I can buy as well. We are generally going for snaps and one-size, because we do plan on having more kids and I’d love to be able to only buy diapers once ;)

    Thank you all again so much for all of the helpful advice and suggestions. It really makes it easier to choose knowing what moms like to use and what works best!


  5. DCRunner Says:

    Autumn- Have you tried the Alva Baby pocket diapers Katy mentioned? It doesn’t look like you’ve mentioned them on your site before. I’ve read reviews about them on some forums, and people seem to like them. And I really like the price. Right now we’re registered for some Flips, but I’m thinking about adding some of these to more cheaply add to our stash… but I’m hesitant to order from China without a more reputable source.


  6. Destinee Says:


    I have a couple questions regarding the BumGenius Freetime.

    1. How do you strip it since it is a onesize diaper? There may be an obvious answer but with a pocket you only strip the inserts so I’m wondering how this will affect the diaper.
    2. Will stripping it shorten the life expectancy as compared to a pocket?
    3. I know you have mentioned that replacing microfiber inserts becomes necessary after extended use. Knowing this, and that the soakers in the Freetime are microfiber, would you recommend this diaper over a pocket for someone trying to get as much life out of the diapers as possible?


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      1) Stripping isn’t necessary often if at all. In the event it is needed you would follow the same procedures.
      2) Again, not something you will do often. If you did then, yes, you would shorten the life.
      3) Hard question. I would say if you wanted a diaper to last you 2 or more years or if you were going to try and use 12 Freetimes full time or more than a year, then you would be better off financially going with a non-microfiber aio. :) However…the Freetime may very well last through the years. You just never know.


  7. taralucida Says:

    Small word of caution on Craig’s List and the and similar sites… if you see something on there that looks like a fantastic deal, check around for reviews of those products on the internet–and not on the company’s webpage. I got burned when we first started with some local purchases, because I like variety and wanted to try out some new brands which unfortunately did not work for us at all.

    On the flipside, if there’s a brand that you find that you absolutely love, you certainly see some big names (including some of the ones Autumn mentioned) pop up on lots of deal sites, and all the major retailers have frequent sales! And there are a TON of work at home moms who have pockets and fitteds for sale online, do a quick search of etsy or hyenacart.

    Good luck!


  8. Allison Says:

    Sorry if I missed it, but do you have a review of the bumGenius Freetime? I’m especially interested in how you think it compares to the Elemental.


  9. Stephanie Says:

    Bailey – Don’t be afraid to look around for used diapers too! Most of my stash started that way. I found some on Craig’s List that were local, but have also purchased a bunch from some cloth diapering groups on Facebook. It sounds weird to buy a used diaper, but you can definitely save money there (and try lots of different kinds). Also, if you do end up buying some and find out that they don’t work for you, there is probably someone out there looking to try that same diaper, so you can sell them on those sites as well. Good luck!


  10. Kate Says:

    My husband was really into the cost savings of cloth diapering. We use Indian Prefolds and Econobum PUL (adjustable as she grows and from covers during the day, and a hemp doubler and prefold inside a wool soaker at night. We use pins to close the prefold before pulling up the woolie, but I’m sure the snappies would work too. Our favorite wool soakers are Disana. We only need two and they are $28 on Our son is 8 months old and 21 pounds but he is tall as well so he is more like a 12 mo old. He pees a ton at night but the hemp doubler plus the woolie works great. Good luck and don’t be afraid to create your own system, whatever works best for you.


  11. Katy Says:

    Autumn and Bailey,
    I agree with all of the info here! I just wanted to add that Alva Baby pocket diapers are also SUPER budget-friendly at around $5 each. I have triplets and needed to find something that works on all 3 of my babes (and that I could afford), and these diapers are fantastic if you don’t mind buying from China. Alva makes solid color and adorable print one-size pockets that are generously sized. You can get microfiber inserts, bamboo inserts, or a combination of microfiber/bamboo. I personally love their all-bamboo inserts and have replaced most of my other inserts with them. Sunbaby are good quality inexpensive pockets as well, but they run smaller; they currently fit only 2 of my 3 babies who are 13 months old and 19, 21, and 22 pounds.
    I also love BumGenius products…ALL of their systems and colors! And Thirsties duo pockets are great too! I’ve tried so many different brands and styles, and I’ve settled on pockets for everyday use. They are easiest for anyone who might be helping us out, easily customized for absorbency needs, and I find that I like the mindlessness of stuffing the pockets.
    Just thought I’d throw in my two cents since I wish I’d known some of this when I started out as well.
    Thanks for such a great website Autumn! I’ve learned soooo much since I found you!


    • L.E. Says:

      I too found that the Alva baby diapers work great! Some of our snaps (maybe 5 total off of 21 diapers) have come off (after 5 months of every other day use). I plan on getting one of the snap machines anyway since I want to experiment with making my own diapers too. Many of their prints are minky which is a great bonus if you like soft cuddly diapers. We got ours from ebay but you can buy directly from thier site as well.

      Autumn, thanks for such a great resource!


  12. Maia G Says:

    Bailey- You should look into the Charlie Banana system! They are a pocket diaper, but they also have a disposable option (great for camping). They are very good diapers. Your baby would wear a size medium and might eventually grow into a large, but a lot of babies just stay in medium until potty time. The one-size option would also work for you, if you like that better.
    Another super easy option (perfect for babysitters/dads) is the thirsties duo diaper. Your baby would already be in size 2 and it would last for the rest of her diaper days. They are very absorbent and you don’t have to pull out the yucky insert.


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