Cloths - Diapers - Reviews

Charlie Banana

July 27, 2015

Cloth diapering is at times a difficult journey and finding brands like Charlie Banana really makes the ease into cloth diapering a comfortable experience. As new parents we are always facing obstacles with finding brands that perfectly fit our lifestyle, which is how Little Gummi originated; we wanted to help other parents, new or seasoned.

When we were presented with the opportunity to do a story on Charlie Banana I jumped at it immediately. Not only are they a Shop Healthy partner but they are a brand that we use daily in our home.
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When we decided to take the cloth diapering route, Charlie Banana was a brand we frequently saw yet knew nothing about and looking back, as a brand that is not so mainstream it seems to have worked the best for our lifestyle.
After our story about the Charlie Banana brand that we posted last moth and their goals and giving back (read it here), we wanted to give you all an inside scoop on how Charlie Banana fits in our life. Enjoy!

Choosing a cloth diapering type can be difficult because there are so many options out there which lead to a lot of brands to get used to. Every brand does it a bit different from design to material to going for a modern diaper or a classic and of course the fit and durability test.

We have been using the Charlie Banana Pocket, or 2-in-1 as you may usually hear it, and we have had a great run so far. While there are many Pocket diapers on the market, Charlie Banana seems to have stood out to us the most.

We have used competing brands and ended up returning them after a bad experience, so I will admit I was at first hesitant for the 2-in-1 experience again but quickly found that my poor expectations would be superseded by a wonderful journey with Charlie Banana.

For those not fully familiar with Pocket nappies or their materials, there is often a shell (we love the cute designs from Charlie Banana) with a pocket and then an insert that will be placed inside the pocket. Various brands offer differing material but Charlie Banana uses micro fleece for the insert and also offers organic and hemp inserts as well.

An important factor to keep in mind is that microfleece is not well suited for little bums, even after the suggested prior-use washing. What we recommend is doubling up the inserts on the inside of the nappie especially at or around 4-6 months when the messes are larger. Charlie banana includes with each 2-in-1 a small insert and a larger one. The size difference is not much but the double up will help best for the older age and night time.

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Because Charlie Banana uses a microfleece material, the inserts work in a great and interesting way. Microfleece will absorb fluids very easily and very quick which in return keeps babies bum dry and little to no irritations. We love to use the Charlie Banana Bamboo liners (they also double as wipes!) as a bonus for those poopy nappies as the bamboo, which is naturally soft, allows for fluids to pass through the liner and insert into the microfleece and the liner will then catch the stools. This bonus helps keep stains away from the shell and the bamboo liners are fully disposable.

Keep in mind that the Charlie Banana bamboo liners are okay on babies bum! They do not get placed in the insert pocket.

I noted this a few statements ago, but I’d like to reiterate that these are not prepped 2-in-1 nappies so they require at minimum 4 washes (Charlie Banana has an in-house laundry detergent), when doing so there is no need to dry and repeat, keeping the nappies in the wash is fine.

The reason for the extra prep is so that the microfleece can reach its absolute absorbency and peak performance. This means little to no leaks!

With that said, the shell should not be placed in the wash with that inserts immediately. In a perfect world we would let the inserts soak in hot hot water over night then add the shells.

With that super cute design, we don’t want those shells to get ruined. This goes for all washes- they are polyester.

As for the design process at Charlie Banana (and we mean aesthetically) we have not found a diaper that we don’t like!

Who knew poop could be so cute?!
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We love that Charlie Banana has different colors and even patterns, though I never have been one to be fond of pattern diapers I don’t seem to mind the Charlie Banana ones at all. The pastel collection is my favorite and dad loves the pops of colours but no matter the mood or outfit of the day, there’s a nappie to match. Trust me, this won’t ever seem like it would matter until you are faced with the option of a polar bear on the bum or butterflies!

The designs are all exterior of course and the material are as follows and cited directly from Charlier Banana 

Shell – Face : 100% Polyester
Shell – Back : Polyurethane
Lining : 100% Polyester
Decoration : 100% Polyester
Insert : 66% Biconstituent Fiber (80% Polyester 20% Nylon) 34% Polyester

A little side info for those of you who are asking ‘why polyester?’

Polyester has the benefit of being prone to wrinkles and will not shrink like cotton may do. When cloth diapering, to absorb the maximum wear these two key points are very important.

We have tried various brands and with other Pocket nappies, we would begin to notice tears in the pockets due to cheap material whereas with Charlie Banana, after multiple washes this has not once been an issue.

As for performance design, the Charlie Banana 2-in-1 nappies have a body that is almost leak proof (we see you side peeing Littles). The pockets for the inserts are in the front of the nappie which if lucky, should remain mostly dry for easier removal.
For frequently asked questions, you can refer back to Charlie Banana where most questions should be answered here
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An issue that I have always had (that the husband never seems to mind) is removing the inserts from the pocket diapers, we recently found a great little tool from a local store in Louisville, Ky, the Diaper Fairy Cottage, to help this process it is like an oven mit for diapers; a diaper mit!

We talked about the material which is just as important as any performance design, but a feature we love is the leg holes which have a gathered type of design that should conform to any size leg. Keep in mind these are one-size, but we suggest purchasing a Charlie Banana newborn diaper for those early days.

We have used our fair amount of cloth diapering brands and with Charlie Banana we have encountered just a hand few of leaks and the best run we have had yet!

Durability is an important factor for us as we are avid travelers so if a diaper can withstand the occasional four hour flights or endless car rides then it’s a plus. Let me tell you, this is far and few between and Charlie Banana is so far the first diaper that has passed.
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A lot of problems that we hear from the cloth diapering skeptics are the over night issues. We stated before that doubling up on the inserts is a major plus and with the gathered leg holes, night time diapers can easily be these 2-in-1 Charlie Banana diapers. We give our stamp of approval.

As for fit -and we are talking snaps- remember the Charlie Banana pockets are also one-size. We find this easier because that means less diapers to purchase and they will grow with your Little (aside from the optional newborn nappie). The snaps can be highly intimidating for first time Charlie Banana users, or any user for the matter.

We believe that Charlie Banana creates one of the best cloth diapers on the market and my only true complaint is the snaps. As a seasoned cloth diapering family, these still get me a little nervous and as our Little grows the snaps change. We like to say we are learning along the way. This is just a minor issue in comparison to the bountiful pluses of using Charlie Banana.

When purchasing your Charlie Banana products we also recommend the bamboo liners which can be found here I can’t applaud these enough! We use them with our Charlie Banana cloths and during urgent times when we have to use a disposable, we place the liner over it.

A product that most cloth diapering first-timers don’t consider is the wet bag. Charlie Banana makes a killer wet bag that holds about 8-12 Charlie Banana diapers, from our experience, and this is from experience with using both inserts. This number will vary depending on the thickness of the used nappie. The Diaper Pail is also waterproof, so no leaks.
The Charlie Banana Hanging Diaper Pail can be purchased here in a multitude of colors. In a stinky business you have to find aestheticism where you can!
As for washing the wetbag, depending on mess you can do this every so often.
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We love our Charlie Banana diapers and will use them for years to come.

Pros:
•All-in-one diapers
•Little prep required, aside washing
•Various shell designs
•Detergent specifically for Charlie Banana
•Little to no leaks
•High absorbency

Cons:
•Long prep-time before use
•Snaps can be a bit tricky

Recommended for: we recommend the Charlie Banana nappies for the parents who want little prep with their cloth diapering journey. With the high absorbency from Charlie Banana, the nappies are also a great alternative for the heavy wetters and usage as night time diapers.

We believe you will love Charlie Banana as much as we do! Definitely a brand with products worth investing in.
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