When you think Canadian cloth diapers, what do you think of? Many people would start with AppleCheeks Diapers, a proudly Canadian company started by good friends Ilana Grostern and Amy Appleton Venu. AppleCheeks was kind enough to send me a Size 2 AppleCheeks Bamboo Little Bundle in Limited Edition Steel Me for review.
Anatomy of an AppleCheeks Diaper
AppleCheeks diapers come in two sizes. Size 1 fits from 7-20 pounds, and Size 2 fits from 18-40 pounds. (I received a Size 2.) AppleCheeks calls this an envelope cover, though I’m not exactly sure on the difference between an envelope and a standard pocket diaper.
The outside shell is waterproof PUL and the inside is soft microfleece. The opening is towards the centre of the diaper, a feature that’s meant to allow the insert to agitate out by itself in the wash. Both the front and the back are elasticized (one of my favourite features).
This diaper has two rows of eight snaps across the front to adjust waist and leg hole sizing. Each extra wide wing has 2 snaps to prevent wing droop and to allow the waist to be adjusted independently from the legs. And don’t forget those famous AppleCheeks ruffles!
AppleCheeks offers several different styles and types of inserts to suit everyone. I received a one-size rayon from bamboo insert made from two layers of 70% rayon from bamboo and 30% organic cotton fleece. The insert measures about 12″ x 15″ and can be folded into thirds for six layers in the soaker zone.
Diaper Fit & Performance
AppleCheeks can be used pocket style or as an AI2 (All-in-2) with the insert laid on top. You’re supposed to be able to reuse the cover that way, but I don’t. The lining isn’t wipeable so it smells like pee as soon as the insert is soaked. My personal preference is to stuff the diaper and wash after every use.
AppleCheeks are one of my favourite diapers for going out or for nap time. I can’t remember ever having a leak. I like that the cut is on the generous side which provides more coverage, but it’s still fairly trim-fitting. The daddy-friendly wide pocket is easy to double or even triple stuff if necessary, and there’s lots of room to lay one or two inserts on top as an AI2. The envelope opening is designed to let the insert agitate out in the wash, and I found it worked 4 out of 5 times in my front loading washing machine.
Here’s Kay at 19 months and 26 pounds wearing her Steel Me AppleCheeks. Aren’t they adorable?
I really like the two size system that AppleCheeks uses. I had some Size 1 AppleCheeks when Kay was a newborn, and they fit really well too. I love that there’s no messing around with snap down or fold down rises, and no extra bulk.
The elasticized front works well to stop leaks when Kay’s lying on her tummy. The soft elastic has lots of stretch, feels gentle on Kay’s legs and cute belly, and doesn’t leave any red marks. And no review would be complete without mentioning the adorable ruffles around the legs, front, and back.
The insert that came with this diaper is made from bamboo and cotton. As with any natural fiber insert, I had to wash and dry it at least three times to remove the natural oils before using it. (The absorbency will continue to increase with a few more wash and dry cycles.) Natural fibers are less likely to cause irritation and don’t hold smells the way microfiber can. This insert does have to be folded into thirds before stuffing it in the pocket or laying it in the shell, but I don’t mind taking the extra couple of seconds to fold the insert as it’s noticeably easier to get clean and quicker to dry than standard sized inserts with more layers.
The only thing I wish I could change on this diaper is the opening in the middle of the diaper. I’ve said before I’m not a fan of this placement because it’s right in the middle of the mess when baby poops. I may not have to manually pull the insert out (thank you, AppleCheeks!), but when I use the diaper sprayer it’s hard to keep little bits out of the pocket. Using a liner means less of a mess, but even then, there’s almost always some “overflow” requiring use of the sprayer anyway. Having an opening at the front or the back would reduce the ick factor.
Oh, and I’d be so happy if these came in more prints. Currently, AppleCheeks has a palette of 12 solids and two prints. New colours are introduced every once in a while, usually with lots of anticipation, a fun launch party, and contests.
AppleCheeks cloth diapers are popular for good reason! They fit well, and they’re a great compromise between the superior fit of sized diapers and the economy of one sized diapers. The fact that they’re manufactured in Canada is a huge plus in my book. The wide pocket, great fit, and super cute ruffles (oh, the ruffles!) make this one of the first diapers I grab from my stash.
Connect with AppleCheeks Cloth Diapers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and specials, fun contests, and awesome cloth diaper videos! (Yes, I said awesome cloth diaper videos and I stand by my assessment.)
Shop directly at AppleCheeks Diapers (Canadian orders only) or search for a retailer near you. Envelope covers (no insert) retail for $20, and a Bamboo Little Bundle like I reviewed retails for $29. AppleCheeks now offers free shipping in Canada on any orders over $100.
Disclosure: I received a sample item for review purposes. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.
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