The Life Expectancy Of A One Sized Cloth Diaper

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There may be a misconception floating around out there.

Yes, one sized cloth diapers will fit your child from ~10lbs-35lbs.

Yes, one sized cloth diapers are the best option for families cloth diapering more than one child.

Yes, one sized cloth diapers are the more economical route.

However, it is NOT necessarily true that one sized cloth diapers can be used with ALL your kids from day one to potty training.

If “Timmy” wears a one sized Rumparooz for 2 years, “Susie” may not get to use them for all her diapering years.

Elastic does wear out. Albeit, I’ve never had an elastic problem in a Rumparooz!

Is it the responsibility of the one sized diaper manufacturer to replace every diaper with shot elastic? No.

Let’s be realistic.  We all save clothes to pass down to younger children.  Camden is wearing things Haven wore.

But, when a button pops off I don’t email the manufacturer for a replacement.

That is the good and bad about “knowing” cloth diaper makers.  The good is that there is an open line of communication; something you don’t get with Levi’s.

The bad is the open line of communication leaves them, often times, trying to make everyone happy and their profit suffers.

Elastic isn’t the only part of a cloth diaper to show wear and tear over time.  I used Bum Genius Organics (now called Elementals) for many years.  By the time I retired them, 2-3 years later, they were buttery soft and full of holes.

They still functioned decently but had outlived their life expectancy.

Even more common than elastic problems and fabric wear, is the breakdown of aplix.  Most aplix is shot after a year.  There are some brands better than others but I believe that aplix shortens a cloth diaper’s life expectancy more than the other factors.

How long do you expect a one-sized cloth diaper to last? What if it doesn’t last as long as you had hoped?

What has been your experience with one-sized cloth diapers?

I asked a couple of my cloth diaper friends to give me their personal testimonies using one-sized diapers and what they offer to their customers:

Julie of Rumparooz/Kanga Care:

If you take good care of them I think that they can make it through 2 kids. Autumn and Sebastian have shared diapers that worked out fine, but I will be replacing them for #4.

We don’t have many elastic issues so we just usually replace them. I do know that when we have elastic issues it is usually a diaper that is a year + old and the customers first response is “These were supposed to last me from birth to potty training.” Well, they will FIT from birth to potty training, but you still have to take care of them to make sure they “last”..

Adrian of Cutiepoops:

My little guy has been wearing his Cutiepoops OS ever since I started making them and they are still in perfect working shape, a little faded but everything is still working great on them.  I have them all boxed up for the next kid (when ever that will be).

I have only been around for 2 1/2 years and didn’t start making a OS diaper until a year and a half ago.  I haven’t had anyone email me about elastic wearing out yet.

I wouldn’t have a problem fixing any elastic problem w/in 6 months for free.  Any elastic problems after that will be fixed for a small replacement fee.  The elastic usually won’t wear out if taken care of but some people don’t care for their diapers as they should and things will wear out faster.

Charlene of Tiny Tush:

I think it is very important to be honest and upfront with people so they do not have unrealistic expectations .

I tell people when you are purchasing one-size diapers it is for one child when you have 30 diapers in rotation.  If you have less the you will see wear sooner. If you get more use out of a stash of 30 onesize diapers then consider it a bonus.

A one-size diaper like Tiny Tush Elite or Trims usually see’s all the wear of all  4 sizes [nb, s, m, l]. Being washed and dried every other day for 2-2 1/2 years. Simple math tells us it has been used 365+ time.

We have been very fortunate not to have Tiny Tush elastic burst/fail at 6 months.  In the 11 years of making diaper no elastic breaking,  I bet I have had less than 12 snaps repairs.

Quality is very important to us!  We source the best American made components ( not buy imports from a USA supplier we ask every single time we place an order if it is still made by them in the USA).

The biggest issues we have is improper laundering, fabric softeners and dryer sheets or stink smell  from microfiber insert that we need to help customer figure out why this is happening.  We are here long after the sale to help.

There are certainly ways to extend the life expectancy of your one-sized diapers. Wash in cold water, don’t use vinegar and bleach regularly, dry outside as much as possible, limit the use of enzyme detergents on organic fibers…

These are just a few suggestions.  Not doing them doesn’t mean your diapers will wear out faster.  I use enzymes (Bac-Out), I always dry on high heat and I often use hot water.

If you have a small rotation of cloth diapers then each diaper will be used more often.

One-Sized Diapers Are Highly Undervalued

We all want the most bang for our buck, right?

Most one-sized diapers are giving you plenty of bang.  Remembering to evaluate them fairly when something wears out is the problem.

If you are a visual person, like me, this chart will help you to see the extreme value of one-sized diapers:

24 pack Rumparooz = $528
Total for Sized Diapers = $1,038 (breakdown below)
One Size Savings = $510

Breakdown:
8 NB (avg. $15) = $120
24 small (avg $17) = $408
18 medium (avg $17) = $306
12 large (avg $17) = $204

Let’s say you don’t ever buy larges. Subtract $204 and you still have a $306 savings. 8 NB is nothing compared to what you’d really need.  As you can see the savings is great.

I’m not a one-sized only girl.  I love sized diapers.  However, for saving money you really can’t beat a one-sized diaper.

Tell me your thoughts!

(Remember I’m on vacation. If this is your first time commenting it won’t show up immediately but I have someone moderating for me.)

In May, 2010, I addressed one-sized cloth diapers in Are One Size Cloth Diapers Worth It?


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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. Autumn enjoys writing but would choose camping with her family any day!

View all posts by Autumn Beck

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59 Responses to “The Life Expectancy Of A One Sized Cloth Diaper”

  1. Misty Says:

    I bought 24 bumgenious os 3.0s 3 years ago when my daughter was born. I bought another 12 4.0s last year when my son was born. I have replaced elastic on the 3.0s once and just changed the aplix to snaps a few months ago. I wash every other day and rotate my stash religiously so they all get equal wear. I just noticed today that the pul on one of my diapers is starting to crack/flake. I figure I essentially got 4 years of use out of it so it was a good investment. I have been very happy with my bg diapers. They still fit my very tall, skinny daughter well (she’s not so hot of the pting yet) and they fit my very tall, chunky 11 month old well. My 4.0s still look new after a year of use, and while my 3.0s are showing wear, I think most still have a lot of life left. I will probably have to replace them before my son is out of diapers, but for now they do their job. I figure if I have to buy one more dozen, I’ve still only paid $1000 to diaper 2 kids.

    Reply

  2. Laura Says:

    Hi! I have a question. I’m due in Jsnuary and I’m shopping around for cloth diapers. This is my first child and my husband and I are totally new to CDing. We would like to have a lot of children.

    I found a stash on Craigslist- 23 BG 3.0s for $150. All are in good condition. They have been used for 2 years on one child. I wouldn’t mind doing some sewing on them, as long as it’s not too involved.

    Are these diapers going to be totally shot by the time we are done with baby #1? Would they last that long?
    Do you think this is a good option for us? Would we be better off just going with prefolds and covers?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      1) You will need all new inserts. So that is an added expense.
      2) The aplix tabs will all have to be replaced. Time consuming.
      3) The elastic will be relaxed.

      I’d pass on the deal. For $150 you could get prefolds and covers, MIC pockets, several different hybrid systems. You don’t want to over-commit yourself to one style, brand or more work on your plate (which is soon to be full with a newborn!).

      Reply

  3. Ina O'Connor Says:

    When I was researching which diaper I wanted to put on my website I read a lot of diaper reviews. My impression was that the Tiny Tush Diapers not only do fit from 7 to 35 pounds, but that they wear very well. I have not been disappointed.

    Reply

  4. Rachel Says:

    My Organic Bum Genius Diapers are getting worse by the day…they look like a rag doll….I’d go with the grovia anyday if you want organic. Otherwise I’m still loyal to my Pocket Bum Genius and they are simple to repair!
    http://www.happygreenbabies.com/diapering/organic-cloth-diapers-review/

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Yep, Rachel, when I sold our BGEs in a garage sale they were for $5 b/c they were so ratty. Still worked but ugly looking.

      Reply

      • Rachel Says:

        Unfortunately some of the BGE’s are also loosing their ability to be waterproof. I’d try to re-waterproof them, but there is no way to get “inside the diaper without cutting a hole in it. I’m going to have to figure out a way to repurpose them I may cut off the soakers and use them as inserts for a night time diaper or something :)

        Reply

  5. One Lucky Mama Says:

    My daughter is a big 4T at not quite 3 years old and 93% on height. Many one size diapers are too small for her now. She is still able to wear Happy Heinys one size, Tiny Tush one size and BumGenius one size. However, I finally broke down and bought her some size Large FuzziBunz perfect size. I am so glad I did.

    She is just not ready to potty train yet and it is such a relief to have diapers that really fit with no fuss. I was hesitant to buy more diapers until I stopped and did the math. I bought 10 new diapers (we still have a handful of others that still fit). If we use them for 6-9 months, then sell them for even half what we paid – we’ll come out money ahead versus disposables.

    None of our one size diapers have worn out – although we had lots of diapers in rotation due to my testing diapers for my store and writing reviews on them. Generally my customers tell me that they are able to use their one size diapers well into the second baby’s diapering years so long as they have enough in rotation.

    While you can “get by” with 12 diapers, you’ll be washing nearly every day and the diapers will wear out faster. Save time and money by getting a stash of at least 24 diapers and you’ll need to wash only every second day with a newborn or every third or fourth day with an older baby. Your diapers will last longer and you won’t go crazy doing laundry.

    Reply

  6. Rachel Says:

    I see your point first hand. I had a friend asking me about the bum genius one size diapers and I wanted to show her what mine look like 2 years later: http://www.happygreenbabies.com/diapering/bum-genius-all-in-one-vs-pocket/
    I am still using these, but am waiting for the day they fall apart or I have to do some major sewing repairs!

    Reply

  7. Joel Embry Says:

    I am totally confused. There are as many opinions as there are brands/types of diapers and that seems to be in the hundreds. Geez I just want to know what to use for my infant son so we’re not throwing away 15 diapers a day. One place sings the praises of BumGenius 4.0 but here they don’t seem so well liked. There is TOO much info.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I completely understand! That’s why I wrote a book lol. Seriously, that is the reason I was motivated to write the Ultimate Guide to Cloth Diapers. I wish I could say go out and buy a whole stash of Charlie Banana diapers (for example) but you may not like them or the fit may be terrible on your son (not likely though). There are many diaper trial programs and places like re-diaper.com that sell certified used cloth diapers. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to buy a pack of Charlie Banana diapers off Amazon bummer, not on Amazon anymore, and give them a try. Here’s the link to their site though http://www.charliebanana.com/Value-Packs-of-6-ONE-SIZE_c_21.html

      Reply

  8. Toria Says:

    I’m surprised to that no one has mentioned growing out of them before wearing them out. I just started CD’ing a couple months ago around my daughter’s first birthday and I buy larger diapers whenever I can as it is clear the one-sized diapers will not fit through potty training. I use my almost 3-year-old as my size tester and he is too big for all of my one-size pockets, even without inserts in them, I can’t imagine what they’d look like if I stuffed them enough for his heavy wetting.
    One-sized diapers seem to go up to around size 2T, maybe 3T if you child is tall but skinny. Since my 1-year-old wears 2T already and seems to be following in the footsteps of the 3-year-old who wears 4T/5T I just know they won’t fit for long.

    Reply

  9. Evolution Diapers Says:

    Not all OS cloth diapers are created equal. our brand guarantees our diaper will fit from 5-40 pounds or we refund your money. In the 5(almost 6) years we have been in business we have never had a return for fit!

    As to the life expectancy I think that different fibers last differently. natural fibers will wear out faster for sure. For a PUL diaper with a synthetic inside I don’t think its unreasonable for that diaper to last through 2-3 children. I have diapers I used on my 4th child that I used on my 6th.

    As someone with years in the textiles industry I can tell you your diaper will last as long as materials its made from. If you buy a diaper made in the USA with USA materials you can expect your diaper to last much longer than its China made counterparts. The old adage, “You get what you pay for.” definitely applies with cloth diapers.

    Reply

  10. Gina Says:

    I was too scared and intimidated with my first son to try cloth diapering. I did cloth potty train him though, so when my youngest son is ready to potty train, I will be prepared. I understand completely what this article is saying. Yes CDs are better for the long haul, but they are still cloth, not indestructable. So, my goal with this is to do this: Find as many good deals for gently used diapers, as in ones that are really “like new” and every now and then pick up a good deal on brand new diapers. I hate the idea of buying more than I would need, and knowing myself I may become addicted to diapers! But, having a few more than neccessary means that they wont wear out as quickly so that for the next baby we plan to have they will pass down in decent condition, OR if we don’t have another baby, I can sell them and maybe make some of my money back.

    Reply

    • Amy Says:

      I am wondering what your strategy was for cloth training? We used bum Genius almost right until potty training time, but it’s not working out for potty training, so now we have switched to disposable pull ups, but I would love to switch back to cloth for potty training if I could find something that worked well.

      Thanks,
      Amy

      Reply

  11. Kimberly Says:

    I’m crossing my fingers that I get a little more use out of all my diapers that I bought for baby #2 because baby #3 is right around the corner (I’m 11 weeks pregnant). I’m prepping though because we are going to have two in diapers and the amount that I’ll need is essentially doubling.

    Luckily, I don’t have any unrealistic expectations…I know that elastic goes bad, things fall apart, etc. etc. Not to mention that I don’t have any clue what happened to any of my receipts, so I couldn’t get a refund or replacement anyway!

    Reply

  12. Ginger Says:

    I’m a cd newbie too… Is it safe to assume that natural fibers will break down faster than synthetics, like the BG Elementals? Or is it the PUL that goes first?

    Also, I’ve heard great things about Rockin Green but also some comments that some people felt that it was breaking down their dipes faster. Would love to hear about any experiences with that!

    Reply

  13. Jennifer Tippett Says:

    Hi there!

    I am wondering if anyone’s heard of BambinoBUMS cloth diapers?
    They are one-size, pocket cloth diapers. There is an excellent sale that is going on until the end of July on them, but I can only find one review online for them. Has anyone used them or know anyone who does/has? If so, how are they? Do they have a good fit, are they absorbent, etc? I’d hate to have a good sale slip through my fingers, but I don’t want to potentially waste our stash budget with a whole bunch of cheap-quality diapers either.

    My husband and I are having our first child who’s due Thanksgiving, so we are total newbies when it comes to cloth diapering. We have decided to use one-size pockets so that we won’t have to buy a whole bunch of fitteds with covers or different sized pockets. So needless to say, we have little budget to work with, so we are hoping that these will last for a while. Either way, it’s still less than disposables and better for everyone. Thanks in advance! =)

    http://www.clothdiapercontests.com/2011/07/bambinobums-os-pocket-diaper-review.html?spref=bl

    P.S. Again, the sale is going on until July 31st so a quick reply will be much appreciated.

    Reply

    • Erin Says:

      I’m sure autumn has some good advice for you, but in my experience I would not jump on a deal and order an entire stash before baby comes. There are other diapers out there in the same price range as these that have been tried and tested with good reviews. I went on autumn’s review of kawaiis and built most of my stash with these. I have used them with two children from more than 7 months, and they have held up better than my bum genius 4.0s. You can get kawaiis at http://www.theluvyourbaby.com or http://www.Jackbenatural.com. The luv your baby is the distributor, so they are cheaper there, but jbn is tax free & free shipping (& fast!) so they end up being just as cheap. Another option is go green or my new favorite—bububibi. You have time to build your stash. Maybe order one of those but I would hate for you to order an entire stash that may not work for your baby. Just my humble two cents! Congrats on your baby! Wish i had started cloth I’m the beginning!

      Reply

    • April F Says:

      Jennifer
      I was dertermined to CD my son with one size pocket diapers when I was pregnant. I bought about 12 to start with. As we began I hated how big and bulky they were on him. I put them away and went back to disposables. When he hit about 15 months we tried again and now that he was bigger the one sizes fit. However I began buying other types of diapers. Caden is now 19 months and we have pockets, grovia, flips, g-diapers and best bottoms. If I had to do again I would have tried several types before deciding when he was first born. I have found I LOVE covers and inserts and hybrids with cloth inserts. I will be buying sized diapers next time around. I have learn alot this summer with CDing.

      Reply

    • Jennfier Says:

      Hi there again!

      I decided to head advice and NOT get them. After all, if I spend all of our stash money on them and hate them, then what? And, as stated, they are cheaper diapers like Kawaii’s anyways. Thank you for your input! =)

      Reply

    • Nikki Says:

      I ended up loving fitteds on my newborn because they were easier to deal with the very runny poo. I have Kissluvs, bamboozles (bulky but loved them) and Sandies. I used FLIP, Econobum (work best for the bulky bamboozles) and Thirsties Duo covers. Now my fav seems to be a trifolded prefold in a cover. I got the Thisties covers, a bunch of Green Mountain Diaper prefolds and the Bamboozles on Craigslist for a great price. Here is a great resource for making your own prefolds out of a kitchen cloth form IKEA. She also shows you how to make a “contour” diaper. She teaches sewing classes and structures it for people with little to no sewing experience. http://greenmommydiapers.com/contact-us/youtube/ My other fav is the GroVia. Right now, my least fav diaper is the pockets because I get a lot of leaks. My strategy when I was pregnant was to get as many different kinds as I could for as cheap as I could so I could try them out and see what I liked best. I ended up liking something different from what I thought and it has changed over time (and my babe is only 6 months old).

      Reply

  14. Erin Says:

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been hoping my one size diapers would last through my current baby and baby #3, whenever he/she comes along, but this helps me be realistic. We started cloth when my 3-year-old was 2 1/2, and she’s STILL not potty trained, so my stash of 35 is definitely getting wear on them from two girls now! I have mostly Kawaiis, a FB, and a few BGs and some other random brands. Interestingly enough, my Kawaiis are holding up better than my BGs!

    I am very, very interested in the fact that you wash on cold. Can you explain that to me? How do you know they get clean? Thanks! :)

    Reply

  15. Sarah Says:

    GREAT post!! I think that is one major misconception that one size diapers are invincible. Yes, they are good and save money, but when we use something daily and wash at least 2-3 times/week, we will definitely see wear and tear.

    I mainly use prefolds with PUL, fleece, and wool covers, but do have a few one size and sized pockets/AIOs in my stash. The sized diapers I will definitely be able to use for another child, but we’ll see about the one size. So far, they seem to be holding up well.

    Reply

  16. Tara E Says:

    great info. i have a bunch of small Fuzzibunz and size 1 Applecheeks that got us through the first while. once he outgrew those, we started using size 2 Applecheeks and OS AMPs. i found that to get a good fit on a skinny baby, the sized diapers work much better. i’ve been cd’ing for about a year now and hope to be able to use our dipes the next time around.

    Reply

  17. Amy Johnson Says:

    What perfect timing for this post. Just last night I noticed that two of my FB are starting to wear out. My Rrz are are still doing great, as well as my Flips anf other FB. I have used them for just over one year now since I started using them late with my 2nd child and now with my third. I onlu have 2 Rrz, 2Flip, and 8 FB in my roation. I just ordered 2 grasshopper cds. I can’t wait to try them once they arrive. I ordered them based on the info from the last post about y your favorite CDs. I was trying to increase my stash but soon enough those 2 FB will not be useable. So glad that I ordered two more.
    Anyhow, I plan on having more children and want longterm savings. So, that brings me to my questions.
    Do wool covers last “forever”?
    Do the Sloomb BBF with or without snaps last very long?
    Would that be a better investment to use sloomb?
    I also wanted to say that I think using Tide F&C and Oxiclean did some damage drying out my CDs when I first started. I switched to crunchy clean hard water formula and pure sodium percarbonate, havent had a problem since and my diapers are way softer.
    Thank you! Loved third post!

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Wool covers can last a really long time. It would depend on how well you cared for them in the washing process and how rough your baby is in them. When baby is crawling, walking, toddling wool longies can take a beating. Also, the crotch can felt up from the rubbing together of the legs. Sloomb snapless multis last longer in my opinion, both in size and durability.
      I think an investment in the Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb snaples multi is an excellent choice.

      Reply

      • Amy Johnson Says:

        Thank you for your feedback. I truly appreciate it and am grateful for you sharing your expertise. You are a blessing!

        Reply

  18. LizzieAnn Says:

    Thanks for the article, really interesting. So for pocket diapers, is it just the elastic and the closure system that wear out, or is it the diaper itself? It seems like you should be able to replace some elastic and snaps for a heck of a lot cheaper than 18-25 dollars, but if the diaper itself somehow came undone that would be a different issue….

    Reply

  19. Melanie Says:

    Four of my six bumGenius organic AIOs did not last a year. The PUL cracked or the snaps fell off. I washed them as per their recommendations. Not being in the States, I found their return policy a hassle (send it at your own cost, then they decide if and how to repair). For me, I think the one-sized notion is a bit of a scam. Anything that gets washed with such regularity will wear out.

    Reply

  20. Connie Says:

    Cottonbabies has always replaced my defective diapers; they are very nice to work with. In fact, I’d say they replaced 60% of my stash that first year of diapering. Given my experience, I expected the one size covers to wear out faster what I didn’t expect is for some of the microfiber to live out its life expectancy within 18 months. I have 3 microfiber inserts that I used exclusively overnight and they are very stiff and apparently that can’t be fixed. After contacting cotton babies (who said it couldn’t be fixed) and my retailer I was told they just need to be retired so I replaced them with organic cotton prefolds. I’ve also found that the normal microfiber ammonia problems have gone from annoying (yet easily fixed) to a real war that is a loosing battle. I haven’t tried everything yet but I just can’t see how all of my microfiber may last another year until my baby is closer to 3 and hopefully with be potty trained.

    Reply

    • savannah Says:

      i read earlier today that replacing microfiber with a hemp and bamboo is more absorbent and not much thicker which helps with heavy wetters, and that micro is prone to strong ammonia odors mainly when used overnight. a good way to reduce ammonia or yeast build up is strip with 1 tbs dawn dish soap, hot water, rinse well and use a disinfectant like bac out to kill the yeast otherwise it just keeps coming back. not sure if those suggestions help your micro problem with out more background info but hopefully it does.

      Reply

  21. Sara Says:

    I love that you posted this. I often wonder about the life expectancy… and I’ve actually been told I should sell off my cloth and buy new since we don’t know when number two will come along (number one is going on ten months now…) but I’d much rather hold onto my stash and see how it goes. I’ve only emailed one manufacturer once… but my baby isn’t even one… and it was wool… which is wicked expensive… other than that, I’ve never worried about a missing button here or a rip there (which is sparse… seeing as it hasn’t been that long.) great post! :)

    Reply

  22. Rebecca2 Says:

    Being a person who has been sewing for over 30 years I know there is a lot that can happen with our diapers. Using high quality materials and parts to start with is very important on items like cloth diapers that are going to get an incredible amount of use in a relatively short period of time. But even when using the BEST materials they are going to eventually break down. Luckily elastic and velcro/applix can be easily replaced with minimal sewing skills and very little cost. I know that I fixed or replaced them occasionally while diapering my two oldest children from one very small stash, but 10 years later, I still have a couple of those diapers…..however, I won’t be using them with the next baby as things have changed so much in the cloth diapering scene that I refuse to go through that much hassle again with Cloth when I have newer products that are easier and more practical! I will, however, be replacing some elastic in some adorable “vintage” outfits to re-use ;0) Now with four very active growing kids and seeing how quickly we go through clothes and especially shoes, I am grateful, but surprised I got through two children, let alone one. On the up side…..the raw wool covers are still great after 4 kids, though they were mostly used at night time and they just don’t require as much washing as the diapers themselves!

    Reply

  23. Hilary Says:

    I’ve had life expectancy issues not only with one-sized but with sized diapers- I find mediums last the longest from a few months old to PTing. For me it’s the PUL that craps out- it’s been a few different brands, some bought new, some bought used, different sizes, some were actually replaced by the manufacturer the first time the crapped out. All of mine seem to last 18-24 months before the PUL starts cracking and thus the diapers start leaking. And I ran my wash routine by the company that made the diapers and there were no issues there. I did find that drying in the dryer they crapped out around 18 months compared to 24 months when exclusively line dried. So I know for me, for whatever reason, one-sized would likely have the same issue and not be worth the extra investment over sized diapers. Whatever I get unless I switch to natural fibers is NOT going to last though all my kids nor will I be able to resell. Sucks, but I’m still saving lots of money.

    Reply

  24. Amanda Says:

    I am using the same one size for the third baby that i used for the first. The first two that used them were in diapers at the same time and i washed every other day. so far they have been washed so they have been washed over 500 times ( three years of diapering). I have replaced very few of the aplix, no snaps have had to be replaced, and only one diaper has has shot elastic. My current baby is 5 weeks old and i used newborn prefolds up until now and as i pull out our old diapers they still work great. some have small holes in them from all the washing an drying. We live in alaksa so line drying is no much of an option for 8 months of the year. Over all if you take care of them they will last. Most of our one size are happy heinys and we wash in Rock in Green.

    Reply

  25. Katherine Says:

    Great post! I love my One Size diapers, and they lasted me through to Potty Training because I took care of them, had a large rotation, and got lucky when my LO potty trained at 23 months! The bumGenius diapers I had were hook & loop, and I had to change them to snaps when my daughter was 12 months old (she could get out of anything velcro). The snaps made them last longer because they weren’t getting stuck together anymore in the wash. I wash in cold water 90% of the time and I line dry about 80% of them time. When I’m rushed I throw them in the dryer and I can tell each time that it wore them out more. My inserts lost a lot of absorbency after 12 months, but instead of replacing them I stripped them with Dawn, bleached them (a tiny bit), and sunned them for days. Afterwards, they worked great again and the sun got them nice and white. I’ve never tried to get a replacement for any of my diapers, but they were all bought on sale, clearance, seconds, or used!!

    Reply

  26. Nikki Says:

    I’m just curious, when you say “take care of them properly so the elastic will last” what do you mean exactly?

    I only ever air dry, with the exception of the “sweet” colored BG or white Econobum cover that got thrown in with some prefolds because the color blended in.

    The biggest problem I’m having is the lining of my BG and FB repelling. I think it might be from using diaper rah cream, but I have only used Grandma El’s. I’ve since started using liners. I’m seriously considering selling them and getting some FLIPs and possibly more GroVias because I LOVE those diaper systems. I prefer hemp and organic cotton inserts but I also have a ton of GMD prefolds that I use all the time. I like to wrap them around a GroVia booster at night.

    Reply

  27. Sherry W Says:

    I never thought about my OS diapers not making it to the 2nd child. I have both OS and Sized but love the sized diapers more. I am finding it harder and harder to attain sized diapers. I wish that Rumparooz and Bum Genius Elementals came sized.
    10 months in and no problems with elastics, snaps or aplix but I am sure it is only around the corner. Honestly I wash in warm, use vinegar once a week and use the dryer half the year (I live in Canada). If I can get a years worth out of each diaper then anything more is icing on the cake :)

    Reply

  28. Clarissa Says:

    I have been using bg 3.0′s for just over 2 years (on 1 kid). I have about 40 diapers, and I wash Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Every so often I take a straight pin and clean out the velcro, which does get fuzzy from the dryer. The fabric and the inserts are in fine shape, and the elastic is still working fine, too. I am about to have my second kid, and am planning on replacing the velcro and the elastic (I bought the kits) just to freshen them up and make sure they last through kid #2.

    Reply

  29. Sheila Says:

    I think the elastic should definitely last at least a year, if following instructions. I use one size BottomBumpers diapers, which I have had 4 with elastic problems. I have found it had to do with the direction I was hanging them on the line. The weight of the diaper when wet was enough to pull on the elastic and cause an issue. I have to hang them by the tops and not the bottoms, even though the bottoms make more sense, considering where the snaps are. This was something I learned the hard way. My diapers are only 3 months old…

    Reply

  30. Candace Says:

    I haven’t been cloth diaper very long, but my husband and I figured out early on that one $25 cloth diaper – no matter what “style” – will pay for itself in 2.5 – 10 months, depending on how you price disposables and how often you use it.

    If one disposable costs $0.25, then that is the price of each diaper change. So if you use a cloth diaper once a day, if you price it as $0.25 per change, it would take 100 days of use to reach $25 and 200 days for every other day. And even if you have a big stash and wash every three days, it would be 300 days which is less than a year.

    So, my belief is, even if it wears out in less than a year, it has paid for itself when comparing to disposables. Granted, this doesn’t count water use or detergent, but then, not all diapers cost $25 either. (and some disposables are a lot more than $0.25) And the savings in chemicals and landfill space should be enough to make you feel better!

    Reply

  31. Wendy Says:

    Thanks Autumn! This is a great article for someone starting out cloth diapering (I wish I’d had something similar to read when I started!). I started out (almost 4 years ago) with a size small Bummis diaper kit, 3 bamboo fitteds and 6 BG 3.0 OS. Of my stash I loved the BG most because of their ease of use and adjustable fit. But they did wear out faster than I expected…because as you mentioned, I thought I’d be using them until ALL my babies were done with diapers. After about 18 months of very regular wear, the aplix wasn’t terribly effective anymore and the inserts had a stink problem that I couldn’t get rid of (I learned later that inserts need to be replaced long before the life of the diaper is over). When my first son got too big for any of my OS diapers (wait a minute…how did that happen?!) I bought size large AMP pockets. With my second, I used second hand small fuzzi bunz pockets when he was newborn and then bulked up my stash with more large AMPs. I have tons of fitteds and flats for back up but in my experience, at least a 2 size system (with a snap closure!!) is the way to go, especially if you’re planning to use them on more than one baby.

    Great topic!
    Wendy

    Reply

  32. Stephanie Says:

    For the diaper shells, we don’t dry them in the dryer..we let them air dry on a drying rack, so that the elastic will last longer.

    Reply

  33. Lauren Says:

    We use gdiaper covers w prefolds during the day and only use the one size for night bc I can stuff them with hemp etc and have no leaks. I’m hoping this will continue to work for us, either way, we have 6 (one I won in a raffle and one was a free w purchase from kellys closet) and so hopefully they will last a long time. I’m hoping to find my absolutely FAVORITE and buy a couple more for the next child, just bc the pockets and all in one types are easier for babysitters etc. I also wash mine on hot, but I air dry them so hopefully that will help them last!

    Reply

  34. Jill Says:

    I’ve gotten replacements from cotton babies and fuzzibunz, and rumparooz come to think of it. I have a TON of diapers. If one wears out, I might be disappointed, but if it’s not in warranty, it’s not. I would expect to pay for my fridge to be repaired (at 14 months, dangit, just did that, actually), and so on. I’ve had really good luck, but if I had to replace one or two, oh well. Let’s face it, your alternative is buying a ton of disposables, or you could go with flats or prefolds for an inexpensive replacement if finances are an issue. If going without ONE diaper is really that much of an issue, then you’re probably rotating with too few diapers anyway, and need to add some more into your stash in order to make sure they last long enough. it’s like clothes, if you wear the same 5-6 shirts, they will fade and wear out. If you have 15, you wear them less and they stay bright and new looking longer.

    Reply

  35. TaraLucida Says:

    If anyone has unusable aplix or needs replacement snaps, we had good luck with the girls at http://www.convertmydiapers.com/ for some broken snaps. They match identically, and we got to throw those two diapers back into rotation! Increases the life expectancy of those and the others in our stash. :)

    This is an interesting post–I hadn’t really thought about it because our first baby is only 17 months, but I definitely am hoping to get a lot more use out of these, at least through another kid. We’ll see. We have a few sized, but mostly OS from lots of various companies. So far they’re holding up well.

    Reply

  36. linz Says:

    I expect one size diapers to get through at least 1 child if I follow the washing/drying instructions. I have 1 OS that only lasted 5 months and I don’t think that’s long enough.

    Reply

  37. Mandy Says:

    I am an exclusive OS pocket diaper user. My daughter is 2 and has been using them since about 2.5 months old. We have about a 50-50 split between BumGenius and Rumparooz. My RAR’z elastics (both inner and outer) gave out at about 12 months. BG’s are just now starting to wear out. With our second daughter on the way, I’m in the process of rehabbing all of my diapers. I have replaced all aplix with snaps and am replacing the elastics as well thanks to the help of various online tutorials. This is a great one for replacing elastics on BG’s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0cVgCL8QNk

    In my opinion, you merely need to sneeze on your diapers the wrong way to void the warranty. So instead of treating them as precious, delicate ostrich eggs, I’ve decided to use them and wash them as best I can without constantly worrying about warranties. I bought them and I’m going to use them until I can’t anymore. I agree with you Autumn in that CD manufacturers go above and beyond with service after the sale. Even if I have to replace them with each child, I’m still saving a ton of money over using disposables.

    Reply

  38. Sherry Says:

    Hi! I have 17 organic bum genius diapers and I’ve only had them for 14 months but I noticed one of them has a bunch of holes in it that look like a bug ate through it! I knew that they may not last through all my children but 14 months sounds too short. The one that’s falling apart I got as a gift from a friend and she no longer lives here so I don’t have any proof of purchase to take to cotton babies. What do you think I can do? Please help!
    Sherry

    Reply

    • TaraLucida Says:

      Sherry–I think the cotton babies warranty is good for 1 year from purchase, and does require a proof of original ownership/purchase. Sorry. My dryer ate some snaps off of a couple AIO organics, and we were at about the 14 month mark, too. Here was part of the info they sent:

      “We want all of our customers to have properly functioning diapers that they love! We will be glad to look at your diapers and replace them for you if they fit the replacement criterion and are still under our one-year warranty period. We will need you to send the diapers in to us through our Returns System. Please go to http://www.cottonbabies.com/returns and fill out the Return Merchandise Authorization Form that you will find there. Please also include information about how you cared for your diapers, i.e. what detergent and/or laundry additives you have used on these diapers. Moreover, please be very specific about what issue you are experiencing with your diapers as you fill out this form. After you complete the form, the system will generate a RMA number for you to put on your package. Be sure to write the RMA number on the outside of your package. You will be provided with a Cotton Babies address to mail the package to after the form is completed.

      If you did not purchase your diapers from Cotton Babies directly, you must provide a receipt. If you no longer have a receipt, you may contact your retailer for a copy. “

      Reply

    • Megan Johnson Says:

      Sherry- I also have 26 BG Organic diapers and have the same problem! I don’t know what I did wrong. I have always used CD detergent, line dried etc. Yet I have holes in my diapers! :( Mine started right around the 14 month mark as well.

      Reply

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