This Charlie Banana One Size Cloth Diapers review is based on my daughter’s everyday daytime usage for 34 months. On the 34th month, inserts absorbency are performing below average. The covers are also already semi-waterproof. On the good side, the buttons are still intact, the seams of the covers are still good, and the colors remained vibrant!
We continued to use them until my daughter was 37-month-old and 39.6 pounds (more as training pants).
Read our 3-years plus journey with this cloth diaper.
When my daughter was born, I was using disposable diapers for two months straight. I haven’t heard of the modern cloth diaper before. I only know the bird’s-eye version that you must put together with a safety pin. Those were what people I know were using for their kids ten years ago. The idea of cloth diapering didn’t appeal to me at all. I thought, why not just use whichever is convenient?
Two months had passed, and one of my friends told me about cloth diapering. She asked me to Google Charlie Banana, and I was immediately attracted to the designs. I know I’m shallow. Just look at how lovely they look!
I asked around and found out that three of my other friends who also just gave birth are also into cloth diapers from day one. I asked what brands they were using, researched a lot and finally jumped into the decision of trying Charlie Banana cloth diapers.
Three days after researching and reading reviews, I found myself carrying three boxes of Charlie Banana cloth diapers from a Mothercare store.
Each box cost around 88USD. It was on sale! The usual price is around 115 USD for the cheapest no-design variety, so I had an upfront saving!
It had six covers and 12 inserts per box. I know, I am such an impulsive buyer! HAHA. In my heart, I was praying that I made the right choice.
What made me confident to buy in bulk was the warranty that says you can return it within a year if it gets stained (they claim it doesn’t get stained). Their warranty also covers any damage on the buttons. It was already a pretty good deal to me.
The Charlie Banana One Size Cloth Diapers
This is how a Charlie Banana pocket cloth diaper cover and insert look like:
You have the option the put an insert inside the pocket and lay another insert outside for maximum absorbency.
Before washing it for the first time so I can start using it on my daughter, I poured an 8 ounce of water on it and was amazed it contained the liquid inside without leaking. I was so happy. Haha.
Look at this video I took during the 16th-month use of my stash:
After sixteen months, it still contained the same amount of water, the absorbency of the insert is simply amazing. Of course, you are not going to let your little one soak on his/her pee.
This is just to say that it can hold as much as this, even after 16 months of everyday use.
Charlie Banana For Starters
When you are just starting to use your Charlie Banana, look for the adjustable strap inside the pocket. It has a garterized strap that lets you adjust the cover from XS to XL.
You can then play around with the buttons’ combinations in front whichever fits the waist of your little one.
Here are the photos of my daughter wearing it from medium to extra large.
When it comes to reusability of the covers, you have the option to reuse a cover several times as long as the pee is only within the inserts. When my daughter was younger and not a heavy wetter yet, I can reuse a cover three times and just change the insert outside. When my daughter started to become a heavy milk drinker, I can only use a cover once. One pee will soak until the insert inside the pockets, but I had no problem with leaking in the first year.
As for the quality, no buttons have yet been removed. The elasticity of the waist and around the thighs are pretty much okay compared to a new one.
How I managed to know is because we have an unused black cover that my superstitious mom wouldn’t allow me to put on to my daughter. She said, “no black colored clothing for the baby.” So look at this unused cover for comparison:
16 Months Used Versus New
The only noticeable change is how thick the inside fiber was when it was new which doesn’t have anything to do with absorbency in my opinion. Also, all my inserts have no problem with staining, except for one which my maid soaked in chlorine, it turned light yellow afterward which brings me to the next point. How do you take care of it?
How to Take Care of Your Cloth Diapers
When you buy a new Charlie Banana cloth diaper, you will see from the manual that you have to wash the inserts four to six times to obtain the maximum absorbency. That’s why my inserts are still all performing quite well until now.
After every poop, you have to rinse any residues very thoroughly to avoid letting it sit for long and staining.
I am now using a wet bag and don’t soak my cloth diapers in a pail of water anymore. I have also avoided using baking soda because some of my cloth diapers are NOT okay with baking soda and I wash them all together in one load.
Make sure you wash your cloth diapers every two to three days. I personally make sure that they don’t stay unwashed for longer than three days. Never use bleach and fabric softeners. It will affect the absorbency of the insert.
As for the detergent, I was using tide for four months as advised by other moms online. But it’s not really working. What worked was the normal baby detergent Purex.* This is something that is of personal preference, and I do not know if any moms out there are doing the same. It is just working for us, so I only carry on using it instead of Tide.
It is advisable to sundry them or hang outside. I used to live in a place where neither is possible, but I never had any problems with indoor drying. I would just usually set the washing machine to how I wash regular clothes, and as they came out clean and spun, it would take half day to 1 day for all of them to get dry.
The Best Part
Using cloth diapers is a safe way to start with your first baby. I only got lucky to have a baby whose skin is not sensitive, so she didn’t have a problem with using disposables for two months straight.
Using cloth diapers prevents Urinary Tract Infection especially for baby girls, and the last thing you would want is a newborn with a diaper rash. Cloth diapers can prevent it from happening, and it is extremely economical in the long run.
My daughter has been using cloth diapers since her third month. Based on my experience, it’s good to have a one-sized variety so that you can it adjust from extra small to extra large.
My stash can last me for two to three days during the third to sixth month. From 2nd year onwards, 18 pieces only can last for two days.
You also have the option to buy a disposable Charlie Banana insert* if you intend to use the covers when going out.
It is an excellent long-term investment because even after your child is done using it, it can be re-used over and over again. If not, there are a lot of stores out there that accept used cloth diapers.
Provided that they are still in good quality, you can sell your stash if you decide not to have another child.
And just look at my savings per year by going cloth instead of disposables:
As for us, we USED to have an additional cost for disposables at night and for going out which reduced our savings to $420 less.
The Tough Part
Putting in the insert in the pocket takes a bit of time, though. It is because the pockets are so narrow which I think is good in a way at least it stays in position even if your little one moves a lot.
Also, adjusting the straps is a bit of a struggle. But since you are only changing from one size to another maybe two months at a time, 15 minutes of struggling to adjust 18 covers’ sizes is nothing compared to the benefit of keeping it tightly on the same size no matter how crazy your washing machine spins it.
In summary, here are the pros and cons of One-sized Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers:
- Highly adjustable from XS to XL
- Excellent inserts absorbency
- You can use a disposable insert for going out/nighttime
- Narrow pockets (this I feel is both positive and negative as stated in my reasons above)
- Cute Designs
- Easy front opening
- Difficult to adjust size straps
- Narrow pockets
- Won’t probably fit a premature baby so you have to buy a sized one
Charlie Banana also offers sized diapers, meaning it comes in XS to L.
June 27, 2016, Update:
The days when my daughter takes more than 8 ounces of milk in an hour, it will immediately soak her diapers. There are nights when we run out of new cloth diapers for overnight, and although Charlie Banana comes to the rescue, I cannot trust it for longer than 2 hours at night.
My daughter is such a heavy wetter, and we would usually get leaks when I don’t change her nappies after 2 hours. It might be because the amount of liquid my daughter is consuming is too much for my two-year-old Charlie Banana stash.
September 28, 2016 Update:
The Charlie Banana pocket diapers continue to be my daughter’s daytime diaper. She’s getting more conscious about wetness so just one pee, and she will ask me to change it, which is every 2-4 hours (varies daily).
This is a good thing that she can now communicate every time she’s wet, no matter how little the pee is. This way, we avoid any overflowing, or “spilling.” The buttons are still in good condition, and the covers remain unstained. The inserts, however, are getting less whiter.
I still don’t use bleach and have stopped using baking soda for several months now. They still don’t stink. The best way to wash them is to rinse off the pee/poop as soon as possible (not more than 12 hours) and store them in a wet bag. I use this exact wet bag.*
I also wash diapers every 2-3 days using normal temperature automatic washer. This is the best method I maintain my cloth diaper stash clean and stink-free.
Our 3-year old Charlie Banana stash cannot be worn outside of the house for more than three hours anymore. Use old Charlie Banana stash full-time at home during the day, but never when going out.
All in all, I would say I never had any regrets choosing this brand. It has served us for more than 3 years, and I can forgive whatever disappointment it has given us from that point onwards.
Some brands have disappointed me from day 1 while others took a few weeks or months to show some flaws. This is one of those lucky impulse buys I made in my whole life.
But if I will become a mother again, I would probably go the All-In-Two way for overnight use, specifically, use the Best Bottoms All-In-Two covers* and with the Charlie Banana insert, in combination with a charcoal bamboo insert* for added absorbency. The main reason is that I already know the Best Bottoms can handle heavy-wetters. It is also way more economical in the long run compared to disposables. But I will stick to Charlie Banana for daytime use.
I can see that my Charlie Banana stash can still serve my 2nd child (not around yet) until early toddlerhood. The covers are still decent, and the inserts are still absorbent for newborns and babies that are not heavy-wetters yet.
–> The Good Cloth Diapers <–
If you have any question, please feel free to comment below, and I would gladly help in any way I can.
Published on: November 7, 2015