Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In Defense of Cloth Diapers - Part 3 - Kawaii Diaper Review

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2

Once we made the decision to switch to cloth diapers, it was just a matter of choosing a brand. At $18 a pop (an average price for the type of cloth diapers we wanted), we weren’t going to be able to build up a full supply at once. We were switching to cloth largely for economical reasons – a $500+ investment wasn’t an immediate option.

Luckily, my friend Jana answered my Facebook call and recommended Kawaii diapers. At $6.99 apiece, I could afford to purchase my entire supply at once.  I was a little concerned about the inexpensive price, and was worried that they wouldn’t be of the quality that the more expensive diapers were. I didn’t want diapers that fell apart in the first wash or didn’t absorb properly! But since many of the reviews commented on their excellent customer service, I decided to take the risk.

Then I had to choose the diaper style. Kawaii has several options, but we chose the one size heavy duty pocket diaper with suede cloth inner lining. Here’s my logic behind the choice:

1. These diapers advertise an 8 to 36 lb size range. I wanted a one size diaper that would grow with Larkin through potty training. It just didn’t seem cost effective to have to buy more diapers every time he went up a size.
2. I wanted a pocket diaper. Although stuffing the diapers is a little more effort than an all in one, they are easier to clean and quicker to dry.
3. I chose the heavy duty diaper because of the Velcro closure. I debated for awhile between snap and Velcro closures, but Jonathan settled that one for me. He hands down refused to change any more diapers if I tried to add one more snap to the already insane amount of snaps that keeps baby clothes on.
4. I opted for the suede cloth lining because some reviewers said the suede cloth is less likely to pill than the micro fleece. Also, (and I could be totally off base, but this was just my instinct) it seemed to me that the suede cloth might be cooler against baby’s skin during the steamy Houston summers.
5. I liked all the pretty colors.

The Velcro was a tough choice for me, but I’m really happy we went with it. I feel like we get a more perfect fit than we would with the snaps. The Kawaii snap closure diapers offer side snaps to prevent wing droop, but with a little practice in putting on the diapers, we’ve never had this issue with Velcro. Some people say that older babies can undo the Velcro, but if that’s an issue, it would be for disposables also.

The only downsides to Velcro – 1) If Larkin is wearing a t-shirt or only a diaper, sometimes his Velcro catches on my clothes. 2) If we don’t place the Velcro low enough on the closure strip, the hard edges of the Velcro leaves red marks on his little round belly. That wasn’t hard to adjust to, we just have to make sure the closures are latched at the halfway point or lower.

The only trick with the pocket diapers is to MAKE CERTAIN that the insert and tag are COMPLETELY tucked in. That’s not hard to do, but it’s very important if you want to avoid wet clothes. My habit is, after I put a fresh diaper on Larkin, I do a quick scan of the entire diaper and make sure I don’t see any white of the inner lining. This would probably be easier if he wasn’t such a stinkin’ wiggle worm during diaper changes.

Hmm... what can I get in to over here?

Oh! Toes!

Yay! Clean diaper!
I love, love, love these diapers. For full disclosure, I will admit that I’ve never used any other brand of cloth diaper, so I can’t truly COMPARE them. But I can say that in the almost four months we’ve been cloth diapering, I haven’t had one single leak that couldn’t be explained by user error (ie: leaving part of the insert exposed or laundry issues). NOT A SINGLE LEAK.

That gets even more impressive when I tell you that, unless he poops, I don’t change him at night. Before bedtime, I double stuff (using two inserts) a diaper and put it on him when he gets in his PJs. When he wakes up 10 to 12 hours later, both inserts are soaked, but his cloths and skin are totally dry. In fact, the suede cloth inner lining is even dry to the touch. Let me repeat myself: TEN HOURS, NO LEAKS. He used to soak through his disposables almost every single night. Do you know what a pain it is to change a crib sheet every single day???

Also nice – Larkin has never had a single diaper rash. It could just be that he is not prone to them, but I guarantee that the soft, chemical free, dry to the touch, cloth diapers help. Another selling point is that when babies poop on cloth diapers, the poop tends to stick to the cloth, rather than smearing all over them and spreading around the diaper as it does with disposables. That’s even true when they are exclusively breast fed.

When we initially switched to cloth, I planned to use disposables while we were out of the house. I started forgetting and would throw a cloth diaper on before we’d head out, but I never had any issues with leaks or on-the-go changes. So now we use cloth exclusively, except when we go to church and Larkin will be going to the nursery. One note: if you are out and about and do a diaper change – make sure you remove the liner immediately. It’s easy to flip a wet bag over the pail and dump a soiled diaper and liner out. It’s a lot less pleasant to remove the liner of a diaper that has been sitting for hours.

The one possible downside is that the Kawaiis are pretty bulky. That is true of all cloth diapers, although I have heard tale that some brands are slightly more trim. If we are coming up to Larkin outgrowing a pant size, we usually have to increase sizes a little bit earlier because of the extra cloth bulk. But to me, I LOVE that cute fluffy butt. It’s so adorable!

Width comparison, Kawaii versus Pampers Dry
Bulk comparison, Kawaii versus Pampers Dry
Here are some photos to show the workings of my Kawaiis:

Sizing snaps
Partially stuffed insert

I also wanted to give Kawaii’s customer service a thumbs up. I know they are currently having some issues keeping their supply in stock due to a sudden increase in orders (with a product this good and well priced, word had to get out eventually!). If you are in a hurry, you always have the option to purchase your diapers from an online boutique, but in my opinion, it’s worth waiting until the diaper you want is in stock and ordering directly from Kawaii. When we got into our diapers, I found some diapers that had snap issues.  The sizing snaps on two of the diapers wouldn’t stay well snapped. It wasn’t a huge deal, although it was somewhat inconvenient. I contacted April with Kawaii, and described my issue. She quickly offered a refund for the price of the diapers (minus the inserts, so a $5 refund out of the $6.99 purchase price). This seemed more than reasonable to me, especially since I was well out of the average return day range by the time I got around to e-mailing. Also, I know the snap problem won’t be an issue as soon as he grows into the next size. April offered to suggest other refund options, but since the snaps weren’t a huge problem and I didn’t want to mess with return shipping, I was more than satisfied with her refunding the price directly to me.

To summarize, I could not recommend these diapers more. As Jonathan said so perfectly, “If these diapers are less than half the price of the other diapers, what do the more expensive ones do? Wash themselves?!?”

1 comment:

  1. Great post! We love our Kawaiis too. After I prepped the bamboo, the mom label minky bamboos preform equally well and are super trim.

    Nice blog too!