Cloth Diapers 201: BumGenius & Beyond

Have you forgotten about my cloth diaper series? I haven’t! Sorry for the longer-than-planned hiatus. Today’s guest post comes from my friend Tamar, who blogs at the delightful In Our Small Garden. Tamar shares her best advice on making cloth work for your family – along with a detailed review of bumGenius, one of the most popular pocket diapers on the market today.

When my son was born, I wanted to use cloth diapers for health, financial, and environmental reasons. I promised myself I would give it a try on the condition that if it drove me crazy, I would stop. That, along with the fact that cloth diapers have a good resale value, allowed me to take the plunge — and I’m really glad I did.

I would recommend it to anyone with a washing machine and dryer (or sunny climate for air dryer your dipes.)

After doing some research, I decided to start with fitted diapers (I used this kind from Green Mountain Diapers) and diaper covers. Fitteds are a little more expensive than prefolds, and the ones I bought were infant-sized rather than one-sized, but I thought they would be less overwhelming for a bleary-eyed first-time mom. In the end, they proved a little too much for this first-timer.

Like most newborns, my son hated to be undressed and it was tricky for me to manage to fit the diaper under the cover while he doing that brain-scrambling newborn wail. I found that if I didn’t fit the diaper exactly into the cover, it would leak at the legs, which usually happened. Those diaper covers eventually had a second life as “swim diapers,” though.

Although they are more expensive, we decided at that point to go ahead and buy some pocket diapers. I chose bumGenius one-size diapers, which got many good reviews on

They’re also a good value in that they come with one large, adjustable insert and one small insert that can also be used as a night doubler. What really convinced me to try them was their video (scroll down) which shows the diapering of a very wiggly baby. And I can attest that I have performed that feat myself many times!

There are many things that I like about bumGenius diapers, including:

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to wash and dry
  • Highly adjustable, and
  • Trim—an important consideration because most baby clothes today are designed for disposables.

Washing them was not at all crazy-making. It helps that my washing machine is a foot and a half away from my baby’s changing table, but I had no trouble tossing these in a wet bag inserted into a regular garbage can, turning out the bag into the washing machine, and getting a fresh load of diapers within an hour and a half. (I’m also a huge fan of Charlie’s Soap — and psst, Sunshine Diapers offers always-free shipping of it anywhere in the U.S.)

In fact, it’s a bit shocking that those diapers come out clean considering the state they go in, but they really do. I have never had any problem with odors and have definitely enjoyed not having to run out and get diapers. (We did use disposables occasionally, but one small package lasted a long time.) The bumGenius diapers performed very well at night, too.

Unfortunately, one of the best features of bumGenius diapers is also their downfall: the stretchy Velcro closures that make them so easy to put on tend to wear out before the diapers do (see picture below). I dutifully followed the laundering directions and closed the Velcro onto the laundry tabs, but by the time my son was two, our fleet of ten diapers just wouldn’t stay closed.

BumGenius does sell a diaper refresher kit that can be used to replace the worn-out Velcro tabs—and if you contact customer service, they will offer you a free tab replacement. I’m pretty sure my sewing skills could take that on, but I am undecided if it’s worth the effort.

Note that the bumGenius diapers that we used were 3.0s, and those on the market now are 4.0s, with several improvements. The velcro closures are slightly larger and sturdier, they accommodate larger babies, and they are available with snaps instead of velcro. The snaps would negate the easy of putting these diapers on, but also alleviate the problem of the worn out velcro.

If you are interested in purchasing bumGenius, I highly recommend Nicki’s Diapers, which usually offers free U.S. shipping on them — as well as other select items.

Tamar is a once-hesitant cloth diaper mom, who blogs at In Our Small Garden about Hebrew books, celebrating the Jewish holidays at home, and Israeli culture for children.


  1. We have the same thing happening with ours- if I were going to buy them again I would get all snaps, the velcro is falling apart. Other than that they have been very good diapers.

  2. My third baby is just over a year and the idea of washable diapers is nothing new, I’ve read the pros and cons, I’ve just never started. After reading this post I just bought 7 diapers – a set of 3 bumGenius 4.0’s and 4 3.0’s that are on sale for $9.95. If you spend over $100 you get a free set of babylegs with coupon code FREEBABYLEGS on cottonbabies.

  3. Tagged this post for the Jewish homeschooling blog carnival #5! Come on over!

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