Whaaaaat, you ask? You mean FuzziBunz? Well. Yep. You read that right. Many of you found me & this blog because of my love of cloth diapers. I have now been cloth diapering for nearly three years and have learned a lot along the way. Back when I first started CDing, I chose my favorite brand of the brands available to me and went with it. I still love my FuzziBunz. But I’ve discovered a new gem in the CD world!
Just as I believe that there is a perfect photographer for everyone, I also feel there is a perfect cloth diaper for every baby, regardless of my opinion. Cloth diapers are NOT one size fits all. They are all cut differently and fit each baby in their own special way. FuzziBunz worked great on my girl, but my boy is built differently. He’s got a thick middle and skinnier legs than she had. & after struggling a bit with my FuzziBunz, I decided to explore a new option. I ran into Charlie Banana at TARGET one day. (Target!!) & I bought one. Then I bought more. & now I have about a dozen of them in my stash and I love them. Here’s why:
#1-Charlie Banana diapers load from the front
My babies tend to have poopy diapers that spread up the back of the diaper, making it nearly impossible to get the microfiber insert out the back without getting dirty fingers. Because this diaper loads from the front, I can easily get the insert out without touching poop. YEA!
#2-The Charlie Banana logo tag sewn on to the microfiber insert
This tag makes it possible for me to unstuff the diaper without ever touching the insert, again keeping my fingers from getting so dirty.
#3- The back elastic waistband of a Charlie Banana diaper is covered with fleece
A major complaint about many back loading pocket diapers are the red marks that are left on the baby when the diaper is sized tight enough. Since these diapers load from the front, the back is sewn shut. This allows the fleece to extend over the scrunched up PUL, which lies flat on baby’s back, reducing the indentations that occur with other pocket diapers.
Both of these pictures were taken after at least an hour of wear in each diaper. While both do show an indentation, the Charlie Banana’s is not as deep as the FuzziBunz Elite, and is made by fleece, not PUL.
#4-Charlie Banana’s sliding sizer
I am used to working with a two ended button sizing system which has been hidden in the new FuzziBunz Elite diaper. Most of my diapers are the original FuzziBunz OS diapers that have the exposed buttons. The exposed buttons always leave button marks on my daughter, sometimes rubbing her raw. I also find myself tucking in the ends of the elastic every time I wash, especially as she grows and the diapers are sized larger–on the 1-3 button setting. Tucking the elastic deep inside the new FuzziBunz Elite diaper is a great improvement, but they are difficult to access. This makes sizing the front a challenge. I have also noticed that the buttons on the back waistband elastic of my original FB OS diapers are starting to wear a hole through the PUL after three years of use. Since Charlie Banana does not have a sized waistband, this is not an issue.
Charlie Banana uses a sizing system that resembles a bra strap. The slider is tucked inside the fleece pocket and only adjusts from one side (the back) of the diaper. It is simple, easy and does not touch baby. It is marked S-XL and can be set at any point on the strap, not just on a dedicated sizing mark.
#5- Charlie Banana’s crossover waist snap
This crossover snap replaces the need to do any kind of elastic waist sizing. You can make it itty bitty for infants by crossing the tabs over one another OR fasten on the last snap for big babies. I could easily fit this diaper on both my five week old AND my three year old.
BUT, I love this snap for a different reason. I can never remember to bring a wet bag with me while out on the go. Using the crossover snap, I can wrap the diaper up nice & tight, keeping everything icky inside. I just tuck it into my bag like a little secured ball and unload when I get home.
You can see the fourth crossover snap on the left tab on the Charlie Banana diaper. I have one really old FuzziBunz diaper that has one, but none since the very first diaper I purchased have the additional snap.
Now some of you asked about FIT. & wanted to see how they fit on little & big kiddos. So here’s how they look.
Everett is husky. In these pictures he is five months old and weighs 20 lbs. He is 28 inches long. He is in the 90-98th percentile.
& then there is Caroline. She is now long & lean, but with a belly. She will be three next week and is 37 lbs and 39 inches tall. She is in the 90-95th percentile.
FuzziBunz makes a great diaper. Charlie Banana makes a great diaper.
You have to find the one that you prefer for your baby’s body & your own taste.
Here are some things to consider:
- Nice & Trim cut. There is very little bulk, especially if you look at the size of the front snap panel. This is wonderful for smaller babies (especially as you transition out of newborn diapers) but may not fit bigger babies. I have several friends who had to liquidate their FuzziBunz stash because their babies were just too big. My daughter was day potty trained before the Elites were out, so I was never able to try them on her. But now, it is impossible for me to stuff a FuzziBunz Elite for her nighttime stretch. (She wears a Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefold + 2 hemp BabyKicks & there is still at least two inches between the snaps, preventing me from closing them while stuffed.)
- Dynamic. & by dynamic, I mean that every time I order FuzziBunz I feel like I get a different diaper. No two of mine from separate orders have the same fleece, PUL or inserts. They all fit differently. This can be a positive–as I feel that they are listening to us moms & what we want–trimmer diapers with less bulk–but the changes I have seen over the last three years do shake my confidence a bit. Some of their diapers have been better than others.
- Excellent Warranty. FuzziBunz offers a LIFETIME warranty on their diapers. In the last six months I have experienced broken snaps, excessive pilling, really sticky PUL & delamination. Every single warranty claim I have submitted has been approved & I was promptly sent a new Elite diaper. Do I wish I didn’t have to use the warranty? Yes. But I did. & it was great.
- Small Business Friendly. If you run in the cloth diapering circles, odds are you meet a lot of WAHMs. Much of this industry is fueled by small businesses and I have heard that FuzziBunz is pretty good to their small retailers. So if you want to support small business, this is a great brand to go with. FuzziBunz Elites are normally about $18/ diaper. Sometimes you can catch them as low as $15/diaper if you catch a really good sale.
- Generous Fit. I would describe Charlie Banana as a “fluffy” diaper. It is super soft and just wraps nicely around my little guy. The fleece is softer (so far) than my FuzziBunz and it definitely covers the booty generously. However, the larger snap panel in the front does hang over the thighs when snapped up tight. You can see this on the left side of my little man’s thigh above, and on my girl’s thighs, too.
- Consistent & Absorbent. So far, all of my diapers look and feel the same. All of the inserts are microfiber, as compared with the new minky style of the FuzziBunz Elites. I am not yet super confident in the FB minky. Right now, I prefer microfiber, though they do have a lifespan of about 18 months from what I understand. I am still using the FuzziBunz microfiber inserts from my original purchase three years ago and they are definitely not as absorbent as they used to be. I always use a Charlie Banana diaper at night, and I have them double stuffed with ease, on my five month month old who is currently 20 lbs.
- Standard Warranty. The warranty covers most defects for the first year, excluding elastic, which is only covered for 180 days. Since I have only been using these for five months–I cannot yet talk about their wear over time. All I can say, is that I am VERY grateful for the FuzziBunz warranty. Nothing can beat it. I don’t know any other company that will replace a diaper after well over 300 washes.
- Mass Retailer Availability. Charlie Banana caters to the masses and can be found in large retail outlets. You will find them at some Targets, & online at Diapers.com, Amazon & BRUS.com. Small businesses cannot compete with the clearance prices of places like Target or Zulily, so if you are looking to support small business, this is not your brand. If you are looking to score a great deal and use some coupons/shop discount sites, this might be a good brand for you. Full price at Target they were $21/diaper but I caught them on clearance & found a 6 pack of diapers for $78. $13/diaper is a total steal.
Some FAQs from Facebook:
Is it a problem that you cannot change out the elastic on the Charlie Bananas?
- I changed out the elastic on my FuzziBunz when Everett was born and it has not made a difference in the quality of the diaper at all. I am still experiencing some leaks, more due to the microfiber inserts wearing out. I don’t find the ability to change the elastic to be all that beneficial. I’ll have to see how much the Charlie Banana elastic stretches out by the time we are done with diapers to make the final call.
How does the Charlie Banana sizing compare to FuzziBunz? Have you used the sized options?
- I would say it is the comparable to the the original FuzziBunz One Size diapers. The new FuzziBunz Elites are definitely smaller. I have only used the CB One Size. I prefer One Size diapers.
Are Charlie Bananas good enough to consider buying MORE diapers to add to my FuzziBunz stash?
- YES. I think the perfect stash would have a mix of both. I like CBs for nighttime, for sure. & as Everett gets bigger & we have to start bulking up at night, I am sure I’ll lean towards the Charlie Bananas since they can comfortably fit more inserts in the pocket.
Do you have to unstuff them to wash?
Have you used Charlie Bananas with disposable inserts?
- I have not. I use GroVia disposables, when necessary.
How do Charlie Bananas compare to BumGenius?
- I don’t know. I was never able to get the bulky BumGenius to fit my daughter well, so I didn’t buy any. They were also only made in velcro back when I bought my first stash, so I never went that route. My BFF uses BGs on her super chunky girl and prefers them for her big baby. I have heard great things about them, but I have no personal experience with them, other than the Flip diaper, which failed for me.
Have you had any issues with the PUL getting sticky, so they are hard to stuff?
- I have had this problem with FuzziBunz, but never Charlie Banana. I find the Charlie Banana are a piece of cake to stuff, which is part of the reason why I love them.
How does the Charlie Banana fleece compare to FuzziBunz?
- So far, I have found the Charlie Banana fleece is much softer. But I also have so many different FuzziBunz, with so many different fleece styles that have all worn differently, that it is hard to compare directly. Overall, Charlie Bananas are much softer.
Are they your new brand of choice? Would you skip the FuzziBunz next time? Do you think they would have been just as successful on your daughter?
- I reach for them first, yes. But I still really like my FuzziBunz. I need to see how they do in the long run before declaring them the preference. I still like my FuzziBunz, but I think the new Elites are going to be too small really quickly. I am pretty sure I would have liked them just as much on my daughter as I do on my son. I sure like the size better for her as a big toddler.
& by request–one last image of both a Charlie Banana OS and a FuzziBunz Elite OS on the largest setting so you can see the size comparison. The FuzziBunz can still be let out one more button at the waist on each side.
Whew. You still with me?? I think that just about covers it! Feel free to comment away with experience, questions or anything I missed that you think should be added. I’m always curious to see if you’ve had the same experience as I have & why or why not. :)