Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Being a Diaper Tester

We are a diaper testing family. I don't mean that we're a family that really puts each and every diaper to the test by leaving it on too long or having particularly voluminous bowel movements. I mean, we often test new products for cloth diapering companies.

With this being our second time through the cloth diapering gamut, I feel we have a unique perspective to add. Our first daughter, A, was an average-sized newborn with a healthy appetite. For the first two months, she put on a pound a week. By the time she was two months old, she was 16lbs. By 9 months, she was 26lbs and wearing a size large diaper and size 18 mos clothing. She was solid, but proportional in height. Our second daughter, M, is the opp0site. Also born of average size, she put on so little in the first few weeks that we had to go in for extra weight checks. at 9 months, she was just 16lbs and at a year now, she 18lbs and wearing size small diapers. We've seen both ends of the spectrum.

Most recently, we were the lucky testers of two All In One diapers from two different companies. I won't go into details about either the diapers or the companies other than to say that they could have shared shipping and diaper costs by just shipping me the one diaper. The two diapers are largely the exact same. Down to the same color, even! Well, okay, not exactly the same. One was a dirty butter and the other a yellowed peach. When they sit side by side you can tell that they're different colors but straight from the wash, I have to look at the label to know which diaper I have.

I find it interesting that diaper companies are all moving along the same trends of development. Over the years, different designs have come and go into fashion. First, pocket diapers were the big thing and everyone started designing their own pocket. Then it was fitted diapers with flaps instead of sewn-in doublers. Now, it's either all-in-two diapers or all-in-one diapers with flappies.

They've all been around for years. Someone has been making them at some point over the past five years. Gdiapers have been using disposable inserts laid in a cover for years. Parents have been using cloth inserts in their gDiapers for years, too. Prefold users have been trifolding cotton diapers into PUL covers for years, too. There have even been bonafide AI2 diapers on the market for years.

But for some reason, these lay in a cover and reuse it later systems are really big right now. So big that some diaper stores are now calling All in twos "Hybrid" diapers to make them sound new and exciting. Don't get me wrong, I love my AI2 diapers enough that I just invested some cash to expand my system. I just want us all to be honest that hey, these are AI2s, not really any sort of hybridized newfangled thing. It's just really good marketing for what parent in the know have been doing for years. I find that amusing.

Off to change an insert in my "hybrid" Flip. Toodles!

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