Friday, November 06, 2009

FuzziBunz cloth diaper review

A few weeks ago, a fluffy package arrived in the mail: two FuzziBunz diapers to review! FuzziBunz sent me a yellow One Size Diaper and an apple green Perfect Size Diaper in size medium. Now that I've used, washed, and dried both diapers several times, here is my detailed review of these cloth diapers.

First off, let me explain more about how FuzziBunz diapers are made and how they work. They are pocket diapers, which means there's an insert that you stuff inside the diaper and take out when you do laundry. The main diaper is made of two layers:
  • outer layer: PUL (polyurethane laminate): a common breathable, waterproof outer layer used in many cloth diaper systems)
  • inner layer: polyester microfleece, which wicks moisture away from the baby and onto the insert
The absorbent inserts are made of several layers of polyester microfiber serged together into a rectangle. I received one short and two long inserts. After the diaper is wet or soiled, you shake the insert out and toss both pieces into the diaper pail. The diapers are turned and topstitched with elastic along each leg opening and along the back waistband.

One nice thing about pocket diapers is that they dry more quickly than all-in-ones (AIOs). The FuzziBunz inserts are thick, probably at least four layers of microfiber terry serged together. If you used a folded insert instead of a layered, serged one, you could line dry these diapers in no time at all. 

Most cloth diaper systems use either hook & loop (velcro) or snaps for closure. FuzziBunz diapers fasten with snaps. Both the one-size and the perfect fit diapers have multiple snap settings so you can adjust the diaper to fit as your baby grows. Hook & loop is hands-down the easiest to fasten, especially at night when you don't want to turn the lights out, but it also wears out, snags in the wash, and attracts lint. (I know this from experience, because my own diapers have hook & loop. So far, the H&L has stood up well, but eventually I'll have to replace it.) The snaps take a little more manual dexterity, but you soon get the feel of which snap goes where.
FuzziBunz diapers come in a rainbow of colors and prints. I especially love the green daisy diaper. Mmmmmm....

Whenever a diaper claims to be "one size", I am curious to see how it's made. How can one diaper adjust to fit a tiny 7-pound newborn, then a chunky 20-lb baby (Dio's current size), then a 30+ pound toddler (Zari's size)?

FuzziBunz one-size diapers do it with 1) adjustable buttonhole elastic and 2) multiple snap settings. The back waistband and each leg hole have narrow buttonhole elastic that fastens onto hidden buttons. Each diaper has 6 buttons for the adjustable elastic: 2 on each leg and 2 on the waist. You can create 8+ different size settings on the legs and 4 on the waist. This picture shows the yellow One Size diaper with the elastics pulled tight (but not all the way to the smallest settings) and snapped up all the way, and then with the elastics let out and the snaps at the largest setting.

In the picture below, I have pulled the buttonhole elastic out from its "hide away hole" on the right side.

The elastics have numbers next to each hole, so you know that you have pulled the elastic the same distance on each side. There's a chart on the FuzziBunz website that gives suggestions for where to set the elastics, depending on your baby's size.

If your adjustable elastic wears out, you can get replacement pieces for a minimal fee. I called FuzziBunz to find out how this works. You can obtain replacement elastics if you bought the diapers new and can show proof of purchased from an authorized FuzziBunz retailer. If you bought them used, you're out of luck. (I tried searching the net for 3/8" wide buttonhole elastic and had no luck; it seems to only come in 3/4" and 1" widths). The elastic is easy to replace: simply hook the new piece to one end of the old piece with a safety pin and pull the new piece through.

Changing the snap configuration further adjusts the diaper's fit to your growing baby. Now, any one-size diaper will be quite bulky on your tiny newborn. But if you're willing to put up with extra fluff at first, the diaper will soon fit normally.

I tried both diapers on both of my kids. The yellow one size FuzziBunz actually have a trimmer fit at this point than the apple green Medium Perfect Fit diaper. The Perfect Fit diapers are about the same shape and size as the One Size, but they have sewn-in permanent elastic and slightly different snap configurations.

Zari has been wearing underwear for the past 6 months, but she was more than happy to model these for me. She especially loves stuffing the inserts in the diapers. (And how crazy is it that Dio's torso., bum, and thighs are as big as Zari's?!?)

I first tested the FuzziBunz diapers on Dio during the day, and I was pleasantly surprised at how I couldn't tell when he had peed or not. The microfleece wicking layer really kept him feeling dry, even when the insert was wet. But I was really curious to see how the FuzziBunz performed at night. Dio goes to bed around 8 pm and wakes up several times to nurse, usually every 2-3 hours. He wakes up between 7 or 8 am. When I am using my home-made AIOs (all-in-one cloth diapers made of hemp or bamboo fabric with PUL on the outside), I have to change diapers and/or potty him every time he wakes up. He doesn't like having a wet diaper, and at night this translates into extra night waking or restless sleep. So I put the FuzziBunz to the test. I stuffed each diaper with 2 inserts and tried several nights of no diaper changes.

Nighttime verdict: You *can* go 11-12 hours with a double-stuffed FuzziBunz, but by the end of the night it's really, really saturated and even the wicking layer can't keep a baby feeling dry with that much pee. Dio started getting rashes from having so much moisture against his skin all night. So I adjusted my routine and now change diapers and/or potty him when I go to bed (around 11 pm, which is when he wakes up for the first time) and maybe the next time he wakes up to nurse around 1 or 2 am. Then, with a fresh FuzziBunz on, Dio gets to spend the rest of the night without having to be disturbed by diaper changes. And me too!

Conventional cloth diapers have absorbent fabric right against the baby's skin, which feels wet as soon as the baby pees. (I don't mind this during the day, but it does pose a problem at night when you want your baby to sleep!) FuzziBunz , however, feel dry even when they're wet. You probably should change your FuzziBunz diapers once during the night if your baby is nursing as often as Dio is. By his age, though, many babies are sleeping longer stretches and nursing less, and you could probably get away with just one double-stuffed FuzziBunz at night.

Cloth diapers are a big financial investment up front, but they save a lot of money over the long-run. One Size diapers are a great solution to the initial cost of cloth diapers, since they will fit from the newborn stage until your child has potty trained. I suggest a minimum of 24 diapers and up to 36 if you have some generous family members who want to help out with baby expenses. I have 24 of each size of my home-made AIOs, and I wash every other day. You might be able to get away with fewer than 24, since FuzziBunz feel dry even when your baby has peed. FuzziBunz are available both online and in select stores. You can also find used FuzziBunz at Diaper Swappers.


  1. Yea pocket diapers! By the way, how do you get your "all in one" diapers to dry thoroughly? I have a couple and they take almost two days to dry (or several dryer cycles).

  2. The majority of my cloth diaper stash are FuzziBunz pocket diapers (M) and BumGenius pocket diapers (one-size). Then I have a whole bunch of other kinds I tried but they didn't work well on my sons. (e.g. Happy Heinys wick pee onto the clothes because of the fleece fabric poking out from around the legs. and Swaddlebees are too narrow in the crotch, easy leaking.) There are so many diapers to choose from, but FuzziBunz have been a great choice for us. Am currently putting new elastics into the sides of my BumGenius diapers after over 2 yrs of heavy use for my 1st boy. FuzziBunz elastics are still going strong. (I wash all my pocket diapers at 60 degrees and line dry.)

  3. I've loved my Fuzzi Bunz, and your post reminded me of that. Thanks for explaining the One Size concept, that's really innovative. I'm going to need to get some more Large size, so maybe I'll get the On Size instead.

  4. I have a newborn I am usin fizzibunz X-smalls with right now and i also have a 3 yr old that uses fuzzibunz larges at night when she sleep. i looove them!

  5. My AIOs take 50 minutes in the dryer on medium or medium high. I made mine fairly thin and, instead of putting the soaker pad inside the diaper, made it into a soaker flap that's attached at the front waistband. My AIOs have 2 layers of fabric (either hemp fleece, cotton terry, or bamboo velour) in the body, and 2 layers that make up the soaker pad. Not a ton of fabric to absorb liquid, but since I do EC they function more to catch pees that we miss, rather than to hold large amounts of liquid.

    I need to make some more diapers soon in the next size, and I think I'll do pockets. I like being able to have lots of absorbency without having to put the diaper in the dryer for hours. Plus you can customize how absorbent the diaper is by adding more soakers.

  6. These little pictures are really extra cute and funny! I think you will get a big kick out of these someday. For some reason their little side by side diapers just made me smile!

  7. We were gifted 25 small fuzzi bunz and I really like them. My daughter is 7 months and just under 16 lbs right now, and still has a ways to go before outgrowing the smalls.

    On the moisture wicking in FBs: sometimes I have to smell the diaper to see if she really needs to be changed because I can't tell by sight or touch ;)

  8. Haha! This was a great post. I love how your kids are little mini-models for your experiements. That is so awesome. And I reaaalllly loved the comparison of Zari and Dio; he is such a little chunk! Adorable!

  9. Many of these benefits remind me of why I like my bum Genius diapers. They don't have the adjustable elastic (sounds fancy!), but we have been using the same stash of bGs since Robin was 4 months old (she is now 20 months). Only just recently has the elastic died and the H&L closure become impossible. We're having the elastic replaced and snaps put on by a WAHM for a very reasonable fee. We are nervous about transitioning to snaps but my goodness, the velcro was becoming a real problem! We hope these "rehabs" will mean we can use the same diapers for our second as well.

    For nighttime, when Robin was a very heavy wetter we'd use 3 (!!) inserts with no leaks or wake-ups. I LOVED that she wouldn't wake up at night due to a wet diaper at such a young age.

  10. My wife and I are considering a variety of cloth diapers, FuzziBunz being at top of the list. Since this is our first baby ("the bean" is only 16 weeks in the oven), we're completely unfamiliar with cloth diapering. I've been reading a ton of articles but this is the first that's truly explained (and photo-documemented!) the one-size mechanism. Thanks for finally enlightening me!

  11. Ok...
    This may sound like a dumb question, but I just purchased 36 one size fuzzi bunz diapers for my "twins on the way" and am a little confused. Everywhere I read it tells me to "shake out the insert in the toilet", but if I am using these diapers as they are meant to be used, aren't the inserts in the pocket and therefore not in direct contact with any poop? If I am wrong on this, please tell me so I don't use these improperly. Thanks for the review, it makes me happy I chose this brand!

  12. You shake the insert into the diaper pail, not the toilet, then put the pocket into the diaper pail as well. You just don't want to wash a stuffed diaper--it won't clean as well. Does that make sense?

  13. Oh, and once your baby's poop gets more solid, you'll probably want to shake the poop into the toilet--just make sure the insert doesn't fall in with the poop!


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