March 29, 2012

A BumGenius Freetime Cloth Diaper Review!

I wasn’t sure what the big deal about the bumGenius Freetime was. The fluffy butt chatter around the web was just raving about this diaper and how amazing it was. I also didn’t understand why Cotton Babies would name a diaper “Freetime.” Freetime for what? More cloth diapers? It didn’t make sense to me at all but then I won a diaper from Cotton Babies for participating in the Monday night #clothdiapers Twitter chat. I had a choice between a 4.0 or a Freetime. Naturally because of my skepticism of the Freetime I chose to get one. After all, if I hated it I could always give it away to a friend who might like it.

My Freetime came in the mail about a week from the Monday night chat. I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to get it prepped and try it out on my daughter, Lady Bug. I undid the packaging and threw it in my washing machine ready to go through the prepping process. After a few necessary cycles my Freetime was prepped and dry, ready to be worn.

I had wanted Aplix instead of snaps because, well, I’m a hook and loop kind of girl. It’s what I started out with so it’s what I’m used to. Plus, I think it’s faster to change than snaps on a wiggly baby. I used bumGenius 3.0’s when I cloth diapered my son so I was curious to see how the hook and loop has changed. I was pleasantly surprised. It does feel stronger than what hook and loops they used on the 3.0’s which was a good decision since I, along with other cloth diapering parents, had to replace our Aplix closures because of the wear and tear. That was my first real attempt at using a sewing machine. It was not a pretty picture and I had to do a Facebook plea for help. Thankfully a friend of mine came to the rescue and taught me how to do it.

After using the Freetime Cloth Diaper for three weeks I can tell you why it’s called “Freetime.” It does give you free time. If you’re a pocket diaper user you’ll understand what I’m talking about. The stuffing of pockets gets to be tedious especially if you have more than one child. With the Freetime there’s no stuffing required. Wash it, dry it and put it back to be worn by your baby. Easy peasy! What about the drying time, you ask? The Freetime’s a genius design because the inserts are attached to the diaper as flaps not sewn in like a normal all-in-one (AIO). This makes for speedy drying because it allows for the inserts to air out without having extra layers keeping the moisture in. You can also custom your absorbency by place a doubler underneath the inserts. I did this when I had Lady Bug test out the Freetime at night. I simply place a fleece doubler under both inserts and eight hours later, no leaking.

Here are my pros and cons for you list-liking people:

  • Takes the time that you would spend stuffing or folding away because it’s an AIO.
  • Faster drying time because the inserts are not sewn into the diaper like a typical AIO.
  • Adjustable absorbency similar to but not exactly like a pocket diaper; again everything’s attached so no stuffing required which = free time for you.
  • Disposable user friendly – The diaper is easy to use and not confusing at all. So the disposable using people that come into your baby’s life will be able to easily put this diaper on your child. As some would say, “It is daddy and daycare approved.”
  • Trim which is perfect for my little girl since girl baby pants seem to have smaller butts than boys. (Why is that?)
  • Works at night.
  • Updated hook and loop closures – Like I said, I chose to get the hook and loop because I prefer it to snaps. I’m sure that the snaps are a good quality too though.
  • It’s one-size so not only is it economical for your family because it will grow with your baby but the flaps are also a good fit. What I mean by that is that they don’t overlap or peek through the top of the diaper on its smaller setting.
  • Unfortunately the top corner of one of the insert flaps is starting to come undone. I think this is just a defect and not a true reflection of the diaper design or quality. You know that Thomas the Train song “Accidents Happen?” Well, it’s true… “Accidents happen every day sometimes just by chance.”
  • While the diaper does a good job at night I have to say that it’s not customizable the way a pocket diaper is. I think that’s self explanatory though since it’s an AIO.
Really the Freetime lives up to its hype and if I had to do my stash all over again I would definitely purchase more of them. They’re easy, quality and the name Freetime is a true statement!

Elizabeth (aka Bert) is a stay-at-home-mom and contributing writer for She Thinks Media. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Ben, her son Buggie, and daughter Lady Bug.  When she's not trying to convince Buggie to expand his interests beyond Thomas the Train or put his pants back on she's writing about her experiences as a mom on her blog, First Time Mom (FTM). After all, Bert maintains there's a first time for everything, even if you  have more than one child! 


How does the Freetime compare to the Elemental?

So, total troll comment here again - but basically what you're saying is it's a great diaper, and nothing wrong with it that a quick needle/thread job and an extra soaker can't handle?

I have to say that for me the Freetime made cloth diapering gross! 4.0 is what I love I bought my first six at a yard sale, needing more I had gone online to order. I hadn't realized that I ordered the Freetime by mistake instead of the 4.0 until I opened my package. At first I really did like the diaper. I was a first time mommy who liked not having to find inserts and stuff the diaper in the middle of the night. I ordered six freetime diapers before i went back to the wonderful 4.0. What happened was solid food, the adjustment from breast milk to the solid food made for paste poop. There are two inserts in this diaper sewn to either side, soooooooooo, when you have a poopy diaper and go to swish the diaper in the toilet it is a hassle and makes a mess no matter how gentle or clean you are trying to be. The way the inserts are in the diaper was not at all a well thought through idea of how an aio should be made. HOWEVER! I kept my freetime diapers due to the fact that I became pregnant almost emediatly after having my son and thought to myself "Self, they would serve well as my newborn diapers, and that is about it." If you are interested in these diapers just take into account the way the inserts are sewn in the diaper.

yours truly a mommy who loves to cloth diaper!

Compared to the Elemental, I think the freetime is hands down superior. The only two things I can see being an issue for the freetime vs the elemental is that the freetime isn't organic, and the poop-flap issue. Our freetimes were border-line rags after using them for 18 months with a 30 stash rotation. When I asked Cotton Babies about it, they said "The organic cotton wears differently than treated cotton. It is considered normal wear and tear".

My elementals would take between 12-24 hours to line dry (depending on season~indoor vs outdoor drying) and my freetimes take between 3-7 hours. I never dry diapers in the dryer, but id imagine that the elementals would take hours and the freetimes would take one short cycle.

One more plus of the freetime is the stay-dry inserts. Elementals do not wick away moisture so the cotton is sitting on babies skin. The freetime absorbs better (in my opinion) and keeps your babies feeling dryer. I cant imagine using an elemental overnight, but I would consider the freetime overnight (I say WOULD but my kid has a basketball sized bladder, so we use disposables).