By Chris Singer
Review of the Charlie Banana Cloth Diapering System
I’m not new to cloth diapers. My wife and I have been using cloth diapers since our daughter was born almost 2 years ago. We were lucky to have a good friend who loaned us her daughter’s cloth diapers and those worked until my daughter grew out of them by around the 9-10 month old mark. From that point on, we’ve been using prefolds with a diaper cover and those have worked great for us.
When I was trying to learn about Charlie Banana cloth diapers, I read reviews from all over but didn’t find any written by a dad. All that being said, I’m certainly not a cloth diaper expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have opinions regarding them. Here’s what I thought about the Charlie Banana Cloth Diapering System:
The Charlie Banana cloth diapers are really cute. They’re available in bright colors and nice designs and no doubt make any baby and toddler look adorable.
GRADE: A (Nice, bright colors. Cute)
I don’t want to hit a nerve here but the exterior design of the Charlie Banana diapers reminded me of the Fuzzi Bunz diapers we had borrowed from our friend early on. That wasn’t a negative mind you, just pointing it out as there’s been all sorts of bruhaha about this in the cloth diaper community (which despite using cloth diapers, I am NOT involved with at all and have no opinion either way).
Anyway, the Charlie Banana design has the diaper part with the waterproof outside cover (more on that in a bit). For each use, Charlie Banana says you should have a reusable insert. For heavy wetters like my daughter it is recommended that you put an extra thick cotton insert into the diaper. If you’re a parent interested in a disposable option, you can put in a Charlie Banana disposable insert in as well.
GRADE: B+ (Not complicated but there’s a lot going on here. If you’re not someone who reads directions you’ll miss out on the special smart side snap and other features.)
My daughter is going on 2 years old and definitely needs the large toddler size. The diapers fit pretty well and you can adjust the fitting using the different snaps on the outside of the diaper. We were also sent a One Size Fits All diaper and that did not work for us at all. In fact, I was pretty disappointed in that sizing. You can tell by looking at it that it wasn’t as big as the large size. I tried it anyway and paid the prize for it. My daughter got a painful little irritation around the inside of each of her thighs from wearing that size. I wasn’t happy about this and obviously didn’t use the one size fits all diaper again.
GRADE: B+ for the Large Size / F for the One Size Fits All
I felt really good going into this after reading the materials sent to me and reading a lot of the reviews I had read, but I have to say I was pretty unimpressed overall. I consistently would find my daughter leaked right around the leakproof leg casing and a few times even the outer waterproof cover of the diaper was wet leaving my daughters pants damp and needing to be changed.
I went back multiple times to make sure I was securing them properly and everything but to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t find anything that I was doing wrong. I even added a second reusable insert into the diaper hoping that would work but it made things so bulky I couldn’t even get my daughter’s pants on at times. When I did find some pants which worked, it was pretty obvious that she wasn’t comfortable in them.
I continued to use them for a time but if it was time for a nap or to go out somewhere (know too that I live in MI – it’s cold), I changed her into a disposable.
GRADE: D (Didn’t live up to the hype)
OVERALL GRADE: C-
For the money (retailing at almost $100 for a 6 pack / $17-$20 depending on where you purchase for one) and the hype, these just wouldn’t be worth it in my opinion. The diapers are attractive and made from nice materials, but we’ll stick with our prefolds and covers.
|Besides being the co-creater of his 22-month-old daughter Tessa, Chris is a stay-at-home and work-at-home dad. You can find him at Stay At Home Dad in Lansing, Book Dads and Fatherfolk. He’s also on Twitter at Tessasdad.|
FULL DISCLOSURE: Chris received the Charlie Banana system to review. Neither Chris or DadDoes.Com received any money for doing this review and receive nothing if you do decide to buy the cloth diapers. This is a real review, by a real Dad (and his kids)!
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