TIL: There Is a Thing Called “Pringles Man Bum Placement”

Ok, y’all.

The “bum placement” obsession has always made me laugh, but this takes it to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.

Today I learned that people are calling this the “Pringles Man Bum Placement” on a bumGenius Martin diaper….

"Pringles Man Bum Placement"... lol

…and referencing it as such in eBay auctions. Does a vague resemblance to a character on a can of stacking chips actually increase the market value of a cloth diaper? Apparently so.


If you absolutely must get yourself a Pringles man bum placement Martin diaper, check out these stores. At the time I posted this, they still had Martins in stock:

People, They’re Flipping Diapers

“Limited edition”.

Those two little words, especially if followed by “bumGenius”, seem to be enough to make people flip out.

The Cotton Babies "limited edition" frenzy... madness or genius?! How much would YOU pay for a "limited edition" print diaper?

Websites will crash. Fists will be pumped in victory, or for those who aren’t fast enough in checking out, swear words will be uttered.

You’ve gotta hand it to Cotton Babies: they created the Cotton Babies Cloth Diaper Flash Mob and turned it into an actual mob more than 10,000 strong. The cover image has a tempting offer: “Want the inside scoop on Cotton Babies news before all your friends crash the server”?

It’s some kind of genius marketing. (“Genius” is, of course, also the name of one their print series…)

Seems to me that Cotton Babies is borrowing from the Beanie Babies playbook to generate all this limited-edition hysteria. The Wikipedia page for Beanie Babies reads, in part:

“Beanie Babies began to emerge as popular collectibles in late 1995, and became a hot toy. The company’s strategy of deliberate scarcity, producing each new design in limited quantity, restricting individual store shipments to limited numbers of each design and regularly retiring designs, created a huge secondary market for the toys and increased their popularity and value as a collectible.”

I’m sure most of us remember the insanity of the Beanie Baby heyday. But take a second to rewind to your pre-baby days. Wouldn’t you have totally LOL’ed if someone told you that there were would be people going every bit as crazy over diapers?!

Chart of bumGenius colors/prints through August 2014 | Image by Erin Falvey

Image credit: Erin Falvey

Over in the Flash Mob and other bumGenius buy/sell/trade groups, mamas post photos of their bumGenius diaper stashes; the more limited-editions you have, the more impressed everyone else is. You thought you were using cloth diapers to go green? Or save green? Yeah, ok, and also making other mamas green. With envy, that is.

When you’ve hunted down all of the available colors and prints, you’ve got what they call a complete rainbow. Behold, a bumGenius stash to die for:

Impressive bumGenius rainbow! What a stash!

Come to think of it, posting an impressive bumGenius stash shot is akin to having a ton of karma on Reddit, although unlike cloth diapers, karma doesn’t actually have any useful purpose. What’s that, your karma can’t absorb baby’s urine or contain blowouts? Take that, Reddit.

And that secondary market the Beanie Babies were so famous for creating? Cotton Babies has definitely fueled a healthy resale market of its own. As soon as the newest Cotton Babies limited editions are no longer available from retailers, the real flipping begins with hard-to-find (“HTF”) prints going for two, three, or four times their typical retail prices.

Wow; crazy listings on eBay for bumGenius diapers!

And who can blame people for buying and reselling the diapers for a profit? Cotton Babies creates an insanely rabid demand for their prints and then only manufactures a very limited quantity. If you’re lucky enough to snag a limited-edition diaper, why wouldn’t you sell it and double (or triple or quadruple or quintuple) your money? Willing buyers are not difficult to find.

Of course, the thing that killed Beanie Babies back in the day was they they became too popular – at which point they no longer seemed so unique and special, so people quickly lost their enthusiasm for them. We’ll just have to wait and see whether Cotton Babies can keep up the excitement surrounding their limited editions, or if people will get tired of all the frenzies.

Do you buy limited edition prints? Why or why not?

What Materials Absorb Fastest?

Speed of Absorption Testing

Don’t hate me, but I’ve never had much of a problem with leaking cloth diapers. I like to attribute this to the following factors: (1) My baby has the perfect body type, (2) My impeccable instincts lead me to only the very best cloth diapers, (3) I’ve devised a fool-proof laundry routine, and (4) I always know precisely which insert or combination of inserts to use for every occasion.

I kid, I kid. I’m sure it’s mostly just dumb luck.

For parents who are having trouble with leaks, though, it can be a huge hassle. You’re dealing with a baby who should be sleeping but instead is awake, crying, and wet. You’re making frequent clothing changes for the baby (and possibly having to change your own clothes and the sheets as well). While doing all that extra laundry, you find yourself wondering, “Is the diaper repelling? Is it not fitting properly? Is my baby just an unusually heavy or fast wetter?”

If you have eliminated the possibility of repelling or a fit problem, you can experiment with different types of absorbent materials.

I’ve always heard microfiber described as a “fast-absorbing” material, but wasn’t inclined to believe it. It’s a synthetic material, and if you’ve ever thrown a microfiber insert in a bowl of water, you might have noticed that it will float happily on the surface of the water for quite some time before succumbing to the fathoms below. (Wait, what?! You mean to tell me that no one else does this for fun?!)

Floating Microfiber

“Microfiber Magic Carpet Ride” – cue music from the Aladdin soundtrack.

I decided it was high time I test the speed of absorbency of various cloth diaper materials for myself and then spread the word. You know, for the edification of cloth diapering parents everywhere. And to satisfy my own curiosity.

The testing method involved emptying a syringe of 50 mL of water into a tube that is anchored and weighted where it touches the insert (to simulate a good, snug fit on baby). I simply timed how long it took each insert to absorb the full 50 mL of water.

Testing Method

The lineup of test subjects from my own personal stash included two synthetic-fiber inserts and two natural-fiber inserts. The results? Yeah, totally proved my “slow-absorbing microfiber” theory wrong. Both microfiber inserts absorbed the water significantly faster than the natural-fiber inserts:

  • 19.1 seconds – bumGenius microfiber
  • 21.0 seconds – Rumparooz microfiber
  • 27.7 seconds – SoftBums bamboo
  • 30.0 seconds – Thirsties hemp
Speed of Absorption Test Results

Left to Right: Thirsties large hemp insert (55% hemp, 45% cotton), Rumparooz one-size 6r microfiber soaker (80% polyester, 20% polymide), SoftBums one-size bamboo pod (70% organic bamboo, 30% organic cotton), and bumGenius one-size microfiber insert (microfiber terry).

Now don’t go hating on the natural fibers just because they’re slower on the uptake. Natural fibers are more breathable, less prone to build-up problems, and often better for babies with sensitive skin. And for lucky folks like me who don’t have leak problems, speed of absorption doesn’t really matter. I just wanted to know!

What is your favorite type of insert and why?

The Best AIO Diapers of 2013

Did you see last week’s post on the best pocket diapers? This week we’re featuring the best AIO diapers. That’s short for “all-in-one” if you’re new to cloth diapers; just read the guide and it will all become clear!

In this series of free downloadable product guides, I’ll introduce you to the best brands of cloth diapers. These diapers are made by respected companies with fair manufacturing practices – no sweatshop diapers allowed. These are brands you can trust because the products are made well, but if you should need support down the road, I know you’ll get it, whether from the manufacturer or the retailer. You can find a wide range of price points in each guide, so there’s something to fit any budget.

Here’s a peek at 19 of the best AIO diapers currently on the market in the United States and Canada. (It was just a coincidence that 19 pocket diapers were on last week’s list, too!) Do you own any of these? Which ones would make your personal list of the best AIO diapers?

Best AIO Diapers

Download the free PDF guide to AIO diapers to see and compare lots of handy information about the best AIO diapers – where they’re made, how much they cost, the sizing options, types of closures and absorbent materials, and which cloth diaper retailers carry what.

Delaminating Diapers – Can They Be Salvaged? (Part 2)

In spite of my earlier failed attempts to restore a delaminated pocket diaper to its former glory, I was still hopeful that I could come up with a solution to this problem. It’s frustrating if you have a diaper that is otherwise functioning well except for, oh, the waterproof part.

As I mentioned before, you can spot delamination by examining the shiny inside of a diaper cover or pocket diaper. Cracking or bubbling indicates that the laminate is degrading. You’ll see in the photos below that I took a wet sponge, inserted it in the pocket opening of a delaminating bumGenius 4.0, and set a kettlebell on it to simulate the pressure of a baby’s weight on a wet insert. When I removed the weight, the back of the diaper was totally saturated.

Delaminated Cloth Diaper

A quick trip to Joann’s Fabrics was encouraging – I found a few types of patches that seemed like they had potential for cloth diaper repair. In addition, while I was re-organizing some cleaning supplies at home, I came across a can of spray-on water repellent. Score! I assembled a team of delaminated bumGenius 4.0s so that all of my delamination experiments would be performed on essentially the same cloth diaper.

Possible Delamination Repair Products
From L-R: Kiwi Camp Dry silicone spray ($5.79), Dritz nylon patches ($4.49), Singer fabric bandages ($1.99), and Dritz iron-on mending fabric ($3.99).

So I get down to the task of testing each of these options out, starting with the spray-on silicone stuff. I’m perusing the back of the can to figure out the best way to apply it and how long it should dry, when all of a sudden I notice the little warning that, oh, you know, well, this product contains a chemical known to cause cancer. (Someone really should notify the other 49 states about this, because apparently only California knows about it so far.)

Kiwi Camp Dry Causes Cancer

Obviously that’s as far as that experiment went.

Next I applied the three patches. The first two were the stick-on type, one nylon and one plastic. The nylon patch was much easier to apply than the plastic patch, and it also seemed more flexible – kind of like the difference between fabric and plastic Band-Aids. The third patch was an iron-on, which made me nervous considering how I’d recently ruined a delaminated diaper by ironing it. However, I was careful in ironing on the patch and did not allow the iron touch the exposed PUL. I was pleased with how easily I was able to apply the iron-on patch.

Patches for Cloth Diapers

Of course, none of this means anything if the patch doesn’t wash/dry well, so I threw these three diapers in a hot wash with a tiny bit of detergent.

The nylon patch made it through okay, although a couple of corners were beginning to turn up on the patches. I doubt that it will hold up well through repeated washes and the stuffing/unstuffing of inserts.

Nylon patches after washing

The plastic patch peeled off completely in the washing machine. Fail.

Fabric Bandage after washing

And surprisingly, the iron-on patch came through looking great. (There were a couple of loose spots that I hadn’t ironed well enough to begin with, but I re-ironed them after taking this photo.) This diaper is going back into my rotation and I’ll let you know it holds up long enough and well to justify spending money on the patch. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook if you want to hear how it goes!

Iron-on patch after washing