Sunday, January 31, 2010

Softbums Review

Basic Information:
SoftBums are a one-size diaper system. This is an all-in-two diaper system, which means that they have a waterproof shell and snap-in inserts.  This allows you to reuse the shell after the insert has gotten dirty. The basic inserts are made of layers of micro-terry and one layer of micro-fleece. The outer shell is PUL and the inner part of the shell is micro-fleece. The basic pack includes a bamboo doubler which can also be used as the insert for newborns. It is elasticized across the back and along the thigh areas. It is currently available in 9 colors and 1 print (as of 01/2010). It has hook and tabs to easily adjust around baby’s waist. Before laundering, press the tabs to the inner laundry tabs. Snap waists are now available.

How it works:
They have adjustable leg elastic allowing you to make the diaper larger or smaller (from 2”-14”) based on your child’s size. There are snuggers on the elastic that allows you to adjust the leg area, stored between the outer PUL layer and the inner microfleece layer.

There is one snap on the inner part near the back of the diaper where you snap-in the insert. The insert is very long, so you fold it over when you are putting diaper on baby. When the diaper is wet, you simply unsnap the insert and snap-in a new one. The company recommends having 3 inserts per cover. In our experience, you need to let the cover dry out before using it again, the fleece lining gets damp. For extra absorbency, you can add a hemp doubler-we do this at night.

The basic pack is $36.95 for a single shell, 3 inserts, and a doubler. Bamboo inserts can be substituted for an additional cost. Packages are available which discounts the price per unit.

Our Experience:
We bought these diapers to be our main diapering system before our daughter was born. We bought the Perfect Fit Good Package which comes with 8 covers, 24 inserts, and 8 doublers. We didn’t start using the diapers until she was about 3 weeks old (about 8.5 lbs). She was 7 lbs at birth and using the regular insert made it just too bulky. I didn’t realize that the doubler could have been used as the insert or we would have started sooner.

We’ve had a few leak problems with these inserts, but I attribute it to our laundry routine. I believe that the main problem was that we used regular detergent and fabric softener to wash our clothes and it may have been “hanging out” after the wash cycle in our front loading machines. Although, this didn’t seem to affect the natural fiber (organic cotton) diapers we have, the Softbum inserts started leaking regularly. In the end, we washed them with Dawn detergent and that has eliminated the leak issues. My hypothesis is that the micro-fleece and micro-terry are more sensitive to detergent or fabric softener residue. We stopped using regular detergents and dryer sheets for our normal laundry and started using cloth diaper-safe detergent for everything. Since making the change, we haven’t had any leak problems.

Features We Love:
  • Adjustable leg-easy to get the right leg fit for each baby
  • Trim fit for an AIO diaper
  • Can use the shell multiple times-reducing the laundry loads
  • Micro-fleece layer wicks away moisture and almost always feels dry to touch.  The bottom layer holds moisture away from baby's skin. 
  • Inserts dry pretty quickly (in one cycle in our machine)
The Downside:
  • All-in-twos may not be a good choice for daycare, babysitters, etc.
  • Inserts-because of the leak issues we had, if we had to do it over again, we’d pay the extra money for the organic bamboo inserts. 
  • Snuggers-can be difficult to reach between the lining. Sometimes the snuggers move while you’re pulling up the front of the diaper during a change.
  • Inserts-sometimes they are a little difficult to fold over for the best positioning.  As our baby gets a little older and moves around more, I see this being problematic. 
We Vote:
  • Good price
Overall Rating (out of 10): 8
In-Use Photos
pull up the folded-over insert
Pull up the cover and velcro 
pictured on a 13 week-old (~12 lbs)

Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this review.  I purchased this product for use.

******UPDATE 3/1/10********
I feel that I should update my review of Softbums.  We have had some consistent leak issues.  They tend to leak out the legs while she is nursing.  I tried to improve this by making the leg tighter, but it doesn't help.

I think that I have to amend my overall rating to a 7.

We've totally altered our laundering methods since our first leaking problems. We do not use any type of fabric softener in our washing machine and use CD safe laundry detergent for all of our laundry.  I don't believe that this is a result of residue buildup.  


  1. I am having the same problem with my softbums, have you tried other brands and found them to work better (such as bum genius)? I think sometimes we have the insert hanging out a bit and it just goes straight to the clothes.. but then there is also the issue of actually wearing onesies. My friend said she stopped putting onesies on her son and saw a big difference one the leaks (the shirts and top didn't cut in as much).

  2. I had had much fewer leak problems with the other brand that that I own. In fact, I don't think that we've had any leaks with any of the other diapers that we own.

    I can definitely see how the design of the clothes contributes to leaks. However, we haven't had too many problems with wicking this summer.


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