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My Experience with Cloth Diapers (Bum Genius 4.0 Pocket Diapers with Snaps)

I have been asked so many times by my friends (and lots of readers) about my experience with cloth diapering, and specifically about my experience using the Bum Genius 4.0 Snap Diapers. I thought I'd just put it all into one big, easy to use post.
Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

Why We Use Cloth Diapers:
1. Money: From what I researched the average child is diapered about 7,000 times. Disposables cost about 25 cents each. In the end we would have ended up spending close to $3,000 per child on disposable diapers because we would have purchased the Seventh Generation brand. Other brands will cost about $2,000. The Bum Genius 4.0 diapers cost about $17 each when you buy the 24 pack for $400. The comparable cost (at 7,000 uses) makes the cloth diapers 5 cents each and they can be used for multiple children. Even with the added cost of energy and detergent (about $200 a year with a HE washer), it's still so much lower. That's $600 vs. $3,000! And, since we're planning on a second baby someday, that makes the cost $700 (considering we replace/add a few) vs. $6,000!

2. Environment: I couldn't stand the thought of throwing away 7,000 disposable diapers over the next two years (and that's per child). We use environmentally friendly laundry soap (ECOS or Country Save) that is approved for cloth diapers and we air dry the diapers.

3. Health: I didn't want Gigi sitting in bleach and chemicals.

Other Pros:
-Less leaks: we've had maybe 3 blow outs (poo everywhere for those of you needing definition) since switching to cloth and they don't leak very often (and when they do there's usually a solvable solution).
-They're cute: they come in cute colors that make the online shopper in me excited.
-They are easy: once you get a hang of a system they are easy to wash, dry, and stuff.

And Now, The Cons:
-Big and bulky: they are bulky to pack in the diaper bag. I use my large purse a diaper bag and I'm sometimes frustrated with all the space they take up. Also, sometime they don't fit under some of Gigi's clothes (especially from 3-9 months).
-Tricky travel: traveling long distances can be hard. It's no fun to be dealing with them on a trip. When we can afford it, we buy disposables for traveling.
-Leakage, smells and stripping (not three words you normally hear together):They can start holding odor, and they can all start leaking at once and need to be stripped (notes below).
-Drying rack: we always have a drying rack up which is a little annoying in our space.
-Poop is gross: you do have to handle these diapers quite a bit more than disposable and sometimes it's just plain disgusting.
-Sometimes, even with extra washing, they get a funky smell as soon as they are peed in.

Diaper Choice:
When Gigi was first born (and until she reached 8lbs at around 3 months) we used the Pampers Newborn Swaddlers. They are amazing. There are newborn cloth diaper options but, for us, the Newborn Swaddlers were the best choice. We did try a couple other newborn brands but found these specific diapers to be the best (recommended by lots of new moms).

Our personal experience with the Bum Genius 4.0 Pocket Diapers with Snaps has been great. They fit Gigi well and I love the colors. They are also a little less bulky than some of the other brands. That being said, I have friends who use and love the following: Fuzzibunz (great for chunkier babies because they have adjustable leg openings), Wraps and prefolds (seem to work great for most babies), Gdiaper liners and prefolds (the Gdiaper disposable inserts seem to leak a lot from what I've heard). 

Where To Buy - Diaper Junction:

Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps Diaper Junction
I wrote about our experience with Diaper Junction in my Favorite Baby Things post but I'll say it again, they are awesome! It's a small company run by Robyn. Their 30 Day Test Drive program is fantastic. You can try all different kinds of diapers and return the ones that don't work. We originially tried the Fuzzibunz, Rumparooz, and Bum Genius with Velcro, and Bum Genius with Snaps. We sent back the others and used the store credit to buy all of our Bum Genius Diapers 4.0 with Snaps. They sell gift certificates and have a gift registry. We got a few gift certificates when we were expecting and it was great, when we were ready we had money in our account to buy our diapers. Their customer serivice is fantastic. They are always available to answer questions or help you troubleshoot a problem. I really have nothing but wonderful things to say about our experience with them.

Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 SnapsCloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 SnapsCloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 SnapsCloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

What You Need:

What is a Pocket Diaper:
A Pocket Diaper (like the Bum Genius 4.0) comes with 3 parts: Liner, Insert, Newborn/Secondary Insert. You get all three pieces with every diaper you purchase. We use the main Insert alone most of the time but add the Newborn/Secondary Insert for long naps, car trips, and at bedtime.
Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

A drying rack.
We got this one at Ikea for $20 years ago and we use it for diapers and line dry stuff. It's lightweight and colapses easily so you can put it away.
Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

A storage spot bin.
We got these pink Ikea storage boxes for $5 and use them for diapers, toys, and stuffed animals.
Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

Diaper liners.
I made these really quickly from scrap flannel but you can also use rectangles of fleece. The fleece doesn't need to be sewn, just cut it and use it. I would recommend using a colorful fabric! We accidently toss these ones out with the wipes. You can also buy them here. You need to use these every time you use diaper rash cream. Since diaper rash cream creates a water barrier it will clog up your cloth diapers and cause them to leak. When Gigi has really bad diaper rash, we find that switching to disposables for a day or two does the trick. Disposables really wick the moisture away from the skin a bit better than the cloth diapers do, but using a flannel or fleece liner should help too.
Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

Detergents for Cloth Diapers.
You can find a great list of the best detergents for cloth diapers here. We use ECOS and it works great. Bleach and color safe bleach. (Some diapers cannot be washed with bleach so make sure to check). Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

Dish Soap.
Helps break up build up on the diapers. (More on stripping diapers below).
Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

I use this hard spatula to scrape the poo into the toilet. People buy sprayers for this too. The spatula works. Then we just toss it in the wash with the diapers.
Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

Dirty Diaper Storage.
We use this little garbage bin with a lid. Another inexpensive Ikea purchase. This one was $15 and comes in lots of colors.
Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

How Many to Buy:
We bought the 24 pack for $406. I sometime wish we had a few more and will probably order the 3 or 6 pack to add to what we have. The 24 is plenty of diapers but, when I'm really busy, it would be nice to have a couple more.

How to Wash Your Cloth Diapers:
I run a short (express) cold/cold wash. During this wash I use the recommended amount of detergent. For washing cloth diapers the recommended amount is one-half to one-quarter the usual amount. Then I run by a regular length hot/cold wash adding about a tablespoon of color safe bleach. The color safe bleach seems to help lift out the odor and keep them cleaner. I don't use detergent in the second wash. You want your diapers really clean and free of all soaps when they are done rinsing. Then, we hang them to dry. Bum Genius says you can tumble dry the inserts but I prefer to just line dry it all.

How Often Do You Wash Your Cloth Diapers:
We try to wash them every other day. You don't want them sitting for long. They take about 18 hours to dry completely so if I don't wash them every other or every third day I run low on diapers.

What To Do If Your Cloth Diapers Start Leaking:
Run a strip wash (direction below), and play around with fit. Gigi is almost 14 months old right now and still wears hers on the equivalent of a size 3 disposable! If the diapers are too big or too tight they can leak. When she's inbetween sizes I sometimes find that putting a snug onesie over the diaper helps hold the sides in.

How to Strip Your Cloth Diapers:
If your diapers are leaking, they may have gotten some build up. To strip them, I put them through a regular length hot/cold wash with color safe bleach and a tiny bit (about 1/4 teaspoon) of dishwasher detergent. Then, I remove the liners and run a sanitizing (extra hot) wash on just the inserts with the recommended amount (1/4 cup) of regular bleach. I run a strip-wash on them about once a month or after I've had to throw them in the dryer. If they get really clogged (which ours did because I didn't know about the diaper liners!) you may have to use a dish brush and scrub the liners with lots dish soap by hand to really break it up. Also, pouring boiling water over the inserts and letting them soak helps too.

-Use diaper rash cream directly in contact with the cloth diaper, always use a liner.
-We only toss them in the dryer when it's an emergency. If you use dryer sheets (which we do) the diapers will pick up the dryer sheet coating and it will cuase them to leak.
-Boil your diapers.
-Use fabric softeners or dryer sheet with your diapers.

Tips for Removing Odors:
Most cloth diapers do not recommend using vinegar and baking soda! Usually a second hot wash does the trick. The once a month bleaching and sanitizing of the inserts helps a lot. Also, line drying them outside in the sunshine works great. The sun is a natural bleacher. 

I really hope this helps answers some of your questions about my experience with cloth diapering. If I missed something you want to know, ask in the comments and I'll add it to the post! Cloth diapering is relatively easy and I'm really glad we made the choice to do it. I do like keeping a small batch of current size disposables on hand for trips, last minute drives, or extreme diaper rash situations but, 99% of the time we use and love our cloth diapers.


Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps

p.s. This was not a sponsored post. I just LOVE Diaper Junction!

Cloth Diapers Bum Genius 4.0 Snaps
  1. oh I need to remember this post for when I’ll have kids too. Really interesting =)

    Elle · Tuesday February 7, 2012 · #

  2. Thanks for sharing! This post will be so helpful once we have a little one!

    Lexi M · Tuesday February 7, 2012 · #

  3. Great post! I am expecting baby number two and being on such a tight budget I see how much money I can save with this option. However, we will have to place him in daycare full-time and so I think we may do seventh gen ( I’m from VT, they are local so prices a bit lower here) and cloth at home. So far I love GroVia and Bum Genius and G Diapers w/cloth inserts.

    Alma · Wednesday February 8, 2012 · #

  4. Great info. Glad you did it first so I didn’t have to do all this research :).

    Meghan · Wednesday February 8, 2012 · #

  5. Alma, Great comment. Lucky the 7th are cheaper there! They are so expensive. Good to know about he G and GroVia!

    Kacie · Wednesday February 8, 2012 · #

  6. Great post! I also tested out and ordered my bum Geniuses from Diaper Junction and I agree – it’s the best cloth diaper resource! When I ordered, they sent me a free Diaper Rite pocket diaper, and while it’s not as great as the bGs, it’s pretty good for day time (and only 10 bucks a pop!).

    Also, I love your blog! I started reading a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve enjoyed your photos, recipes, and insights on mommyhood. :)

    Katy · Wednesday February 8, 2012 · #

  7. Wow! I give you all the credit in the world. You’re a super momma! I had planned on giving cloth diapers a try but then reality hit hard once I had my little one (4 months ago). I just posted about it on my blog. Love your blog!

    Jany Claire · Monday February 20, 2012 · #

  8. Great post. It never occurred to me to throw the scraper in with the laundry. We use the sprayer, but sometimes there are things that come off quicker with a quick scrape. I wash of the scraper, but it always seems gross to leave lying around after. I’ll have to try it!

    I would just note that you can use a diaper cream – it just can’t be Destin or A&D. I use Grandma Els, but I know there are a ton of different ones out there.

    Also, if you want the fabric softener feel but still want to dry your diapers in your dryer (on medium heat only, unless your dryer sucks as much as mine where medium is like high), try a tennis ball or a ball of felted wool. Not only does it help the clothes dry faster, but it also beats away static and leaves clothes soft. Cheaper than buying enough diapers to cover the extra line drying time and fewer loads of laundry (we wait until we are really down to the last diapers before throwing in the load).

    Amanda · Friday February 24, 2012 · #

  9. We have almost the same diaper routine – LOVE our BG’s! We have some Kissaluvs + Covers, too, but soon will probably be doing all BGs.

    Megan @ boho mama · Tuesday April 3, 2012 · #

  10. Ah! So happy to see other moms using Bum Genius cloth diapers!! I love them! (But my husband doesn’t)! ….happy you visited my blog so I could visit yours! Yay! Have a great day!

    Crystal (from Billie Jean Blog) · Thursday June 14, 2012 · #

  11. I saw your comment on Bleubird Blog and followed it over here. GREAT post! I did a post awhile back on cloth diapering on my blog as well. It’s a huge process and it even helped me to sort through some of the reasons I did what I did!


    Becca Garber · Monday October 29, 2012 · #

  12. I followed your link over from Bluebird as well. SO helpful!

    Like i said in my comment on her post, I’ve been doing so much research on cloth diapering that I’m starting to dream about it. :)

    Thanks again,

    Hope · Monday October 29, 2012 · #

  13. Hi, I came across ur blog from bleubird’s blog. Your post has been really informative and thanks for sharing this with all mothers or mothers-to-be! It was really useful :)

    marie · Monday October 29, 2012 · #

  14. Thanks for your post! We’re trying out BGs to decide if cloth diapering is for us. So far we like them. It’s kinda a hassle to remove the insert before washing. Is this necessary? Or will it just come out of the pocket on its own during the wash?

    j · Wednesday January 2, 2013 · #

  15. J, You’re welcome! I think you do have to remove the inserts. I don’t think they’d come out on there own and you want them to get really clean. BG also make all in one diapers without inserts. You could try those!

    Kacie · Sunday January 6, 2013 · #

  16. Ok. You just rocked my world with the spatula thing. I can’t believe I never thought of that!! I’ve been putting off getting a sprayer and dealing with lots of poop frustration, so thanks for this great idea!! You seriously have no idea how excited I am about this! :)

    Mary Susan · Friday January 18, 2013 · #

  17. Mary Susan, Haha. This made me laugh! It works like a charm. No sprayer for me. =)

    Kacie · Monday January 21, 2013 · #

  18. So awesome I’m only 2 months along but doing all my research on everything I was a little skeptical to even think about cloth diapers but the BGs look awesome. Your post is so informative I will deff be purchasing these cloth diapers for baby:) Beats the 1,000’s on disposables.

    Arlene · Wednesday January 23, 2013 · #

  19. Great blog! We have been using BGs for 4.5 years now in our house. We bought 24 initially with our first, then when both boys were in them, we bought 16 more. Now only our youngest is in them and I have had to replace all of the velcro tabs from the original set (they didn’t have the snap versions when we bought the first set), but the leg elastics still fit great. If we were planning a third I wouldn’t think of changing to anything else. I am proud that we have purchased less than 100 disposable diapers for our two children! We have even travelled across the country with them. And our daycare loved the BG diapers and had no issues with us keeping the boys in them when they were at daycare.

    Jan · Friday February 8, 2013 · #

  20. Did you know that the Ecos laundry detergent is not recommended for cloth diapers as it does have a fabric softener additive? We use Allen’s and all that is needed for a large load is 1 tablespoon. We use a mix of different diapers, SunBaby diapers are very economical

    Tania · Tuesday February 26, 2013 · #

  21. I have a bunch of bumgenius 4. 0 snaps diapers that I washed in anticipation that I would actually use them. I never did. So now I would like to resell them, but am wondering how much I should ask for per diaper. I have 12 of them and 2 of the G Baby brand. Any help would be great!

    Tammy · Tuesday April 16, 2013 · #

  22. I am amazed! I really didn’t imagine what you are describing. And consider that I found this post searching for disposable diapers. Your post is really informative and I would like to thank you for this. I am only 4 months pregnant and really anxious, excited and happy for the days to come.

    Panes · Thursday May 9, 2013 · #

  23. Panes, Thank you so much for your comment. Congratulations on your pregnancy! You’ll figure it all out!

    Kacie · Monday May 13, 2013 · #

  24. I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me, 
    and I am completely satisfied with your website. 
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    baby diapers · Wednesday July 10, 2013 · #

  25. I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me, 
    and I am completely satisfied with your website. 
    All comments and articles are very useful and very good.
    Your blog is very attention-grabbing. I am loving all of the in.
    turn you are sharing with each one!….
    <a href=“http://www.easyfit.in” title=“Baby Diapers“target=”_blank”>Baby Diapers</a>

    baby diapers · Wednesday July 24, 2013 · #

  26. Wow!! Your post has been so helpful! Thank you!

    Kaylee · Wednesday September 4, 2013 · #

  27. Kaylee, I’m so glad this was helpful for you! xo

    Kacie · Thursday September 5, 2013 · #

  28. I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me, 
    and I am completely satisfied with your website. 
    All comments and articles are very useful and very good.
    Your blog is very attention-grabbing. I am loving all of the in.
    turn you are sharing with each one!….
    <a href=“http://www.easyfit.in” title=“Baby Diapers“ 
    target=”_blank”>Baby Diapers</a>

    baby diapers · Wednesday September 18, 2013 · #

  29. I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me, 
    and I am completely satisfied with your website. 
    All comments and articles are very useful and very good.
    Your blog is very attention-grabbing. I am loving all of the in.
    turn you are sharing with each one!….
    <a href=“http://www.easyfit.in” title=“Baby Diapers“ 
    target=”_blank”>Baby Diapers</a>

    baby diapers · Thursday September 26, 2013 · #

  30. Hello at 37 weeks I’m very interested in cloth diapers so thank you, thank you, thank you for such an informative post. I have one question as renters we only have cold water option on machine washing.You mentioned above not boiling the “diapers” what about the inserts after they have been “scraped” (genius!!!) into the loo, could I then boil the kettle to soak them before the cold machine wash?

    Emma · Monday January 13, 2014 · #

  31. Emma,
    You are very welcome! I would do the wash on cold with both the inserts and diaper covers. Then, maybe once a month put all the inserts in the tub or sink after the cold wash (so they’re already washed and clean) and do a hot/boiling water soak on them without any soap. I don’t think you would need to do it after every wash. OR you could do, as I think you’re saying, do a cold wash, remove the covers from the washing machine, then dump in some boiling water over the inserts before washing them one more time. I think that would work great too. Does that answer your question??

    p.s. congrats on your pregnancy!

    Kacie · Monday January 13, 2014 · #

  32. Do you change the insert when you change the diaper, or just change the whole thing (insert and outer shell)? Is there any need for purchasing extra inserts?


    Grace · Tuesday January 14, 2014 · #

  33. Grace,
    With the pocket style diapers you take the insert out and wash both parts of the diaper (the insert and the wrap) in every wash. No, I didn’t find that I needed any extras. Each Bum Genius diaper comes with a standard insert and a newborn insert!

    Kacie · Tuesday January 14, 2014 · #

  34. I just bought some clean nice looking used bum genius diapers and they have a built in liner. There are 2 layers that flap over each other to make it so that it is adjustable. I’m wondering If you have any tips or suggestions for those, or is it a bust? It was $35 for 6 of them and in really cute colors. I’m just wonder ex about washing and how often I would have to wash them. And since I can’t just change te liner for pee… Any advise?

    Lauren · Tuesday January 21, 2014 · #

  35. Lauren,
    Those are just the all-in-one diapers. You’ll have to wash them after every use, but you have to wash the pocket diapers (insert and liner) after every use too because the whole thing gets soiled. Hang onto them! I’ve never tried the all-in-ones but I’m sure they work great!

    Kacie · Tuesday January 21, 2014 · #


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