Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Little Bit About What We Like to Call "Fuzzy Underpants"

I will continue to update this post as I have new information on sizing and better pictures. I also have some fabulous customer pics I hope to dig out and post soon. Last update March 5, 2013.

The measurements listed were provided with the pattern and were taken with the soaker laying flat. When measuring remember to measure on top of the item you wish to cover.

Small: Rise 15"/Waist 13-15"/Thigh 7-9"
Medium: Rise 17"/Waist 15-17"/Thigh 9-10"
Large: Rise 19"/Waist 17-19"/Thigh 10-11"
Extra large: Rise 20.5"/Waist 19.5-21.5"/Thigh 11-12"

The rise is measured from the top edge of the waistband on the front to the top edge of the waistband in the back.

Size small with a rise of 15 inches.

Depending on where your child falls in the range for a particular size, the waistband may fall above, at, or below the belly button. The rise is high enough for boys, but may be too high for girls* when being worn over low rise pants and skirts. (Olive never seems to mind, but the waistband sometimes shows.) See pictures under sizes below.

For measuring thighs I like to go up as high on the leg as possible, though the actual soaker may sit slightly lower depending on what's underneath.

Fleece does have some stretch, but not as much as you'd find in a knit. Most of the fleece I've used (the only exception so far being Plaid Cucumber) has gotten stretchier over time, yet has also retained it's original shape and size.

During the newborn runny poop stage the legs bands on a fleece soaker will not add a significant second barrier to help against runny poop leg leaks as well as a cover with elastic and/or gusseted legs unless they are fitting snugly. Fleece soakers are still an option, but it will be the job of the diaper underneath to contain it all. My favorite bullet-proof newborn diaper against such leaks is the Kissaluvs fitted. (I have both the older version, purchased for Olive in 2008, and the newer version, purchased for Callum in 2011, and they are both super awesome.) Another favorite diaper, sized for 10+ lbs, is the Sustainablebabyish Snapless-Multi Fitted.

My favorite covers that do give you extra protection during the newborn stage are Bummis Super Whisper Wrap, Gen-Y Universal, and Wee Huggers.

My best guess for small is 0-3 months, possibly 0-2 if the child is on the larger side. I do not have any personal experience using this size on my own children.

I started my son (who was still on the small side at 12 pounds) off in medium at 3.5 months. At 9 months and 18lbs even I began to size up at night to a large with his super bulky nighttime combo -- Bum Genius stuffed with the long microfiber insert, a large BabyKicks Hemparoo Joey-Bunz, and a Kissaluvs doubler. GIANT. During the day I use them with prefolds, various contour diapers, Sustainablebabyish (Overnight Bamboo and the multi-sized listed above), Imse Vimse terry, etc. At 20 months and 22lbs they are being worn with a prefold or flat underneath, and also alone as regular underpants. We always take a pair to the pool so that I can quickly get him changed out of his swim diaper without needing to lay him down.

Above, Callum in size medium @ 4 months old.
Below, size medium on Callum, 9 months and 18lbs even.

I was too lazy to change him out of what he was already wearing, so underneath Callum is sporting a medium Imagine Smart Fit Prefold and a medium Bummis Super Whisper Wrap. He is quickly nearing the limit I have seen suggest for this size when used with a diaper underneath.

UPDATE, Medium @ 11 months: While I do not have his current weight, Callum has gone through a tremendous growth spurt in the last eight weeks. Much to my surprise he is still in size medium during the day. Here he is at 11 months wearing a fairly bulky Sustainablebabyish Snapless-Multi Fitted with two inserts underneath.

(Much harder to catch compared to just two months ago...)

UPDATE, Medium @ 20 months: At 22lbs and 32.5" tall, Callum only wears a medium with a prefold or flat. If we are hanging around the house he will often wear them alone as underwear, with plenty of room to grow.

He's wearing the same exact pair as the 4 month old picture above. Made from solid anti-pill fleece, they have been washed and worn on a weekly basis for more than 18 months now and still have plenty of life left.

The thigh measurements are usually the deciding factor that pushes a customer to buy a large rather than a medium. 

Large & Extra Large
At 18lbs, Callum is almost ready for size large with a giant overnight combo. (See description under size medium.) In these pictures he is wearing them over the same combo as listed under the medium picture. Even though the legs and waist are big these work fine for added overnight protection.

Waist band folded over for belly button spotting.

They are protecting against wetness while the diaper underneath is catching solids, so the fact that the legs are loose makes no difference at all. They don't fall off because of the friction between the fleece and the diaper underneath.

My almost 4 year old daughter is thin to average, currently weighs 32lbs fully clothed, is 39.5" tall, with a waist of 20", and has a thigh of 11.5". She is out of 3Ts, and has been for a few months. When I tried a large on her a few months ago, the thighs were already too tight, though I felt like she could have squeezed in if they weren't brand new and we'd really pushed it. My best guess for extra large, based on the way they fit her now, is 4T/5T. She has lots of room to grow, even on top of cloth training pants.

Fuzzy underpants, as my children call them, can be used as a cover for extra protection over cloth training pants. While not quite as absorbent as a cloth diaper, in my experience when paired with cloth training pants they will handle a single good-sized pee as long as it's not a flood. (Also great if your children, like mine, have pee trained but continue to have poop accidents. The extra layer helps keep everything contained.) After a good pee I expect to replace both the cloth training pants and fleece soaker, but their clothing YAY! stays dry.

You can find Gerber brand cloth training pants like the ones pictured below at Target stores, sold in packs of 3 for $7.99.

Can they be used alone? I never tried, but based on how they worked paired with cloth training pants I think they could handle a small pee, especially once a child has reached the stage where as soon as they realize what they are doing will try to stop themselves.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a size is not to go by weight alone since little ones comes in all different shapes.

More questions? Lay them on me! This is a work in progress.

xo Heidi

*If you sew and are looking for a lower rise pattern for potty training girls you may want to try this one. I tested it out along with a few other but ultimately didn't end up using it because I wanted covers for my son.


Hannah Whittington said...

Hi! I came to your blog from your etsy shop. I'm having a hard time finding an affordable cloth potty training solution that keeps my sons clothing dry after an accident. I don't know much about the fleece soakers.
I can tell from your description and pictures, my son would HATE the rise on these. (He's constantly pulling his pants down after I pull them up. I hope that stops before his teens!) I followed your link to the lower rise pattern (I sew), but found there was no pattern for sale in her shop. Do you have any others you'd recommend?

Heidi said...

Hello Hannah! I am so sorry, I am just seeing your comment now. I'm afraid I don't have another low rise pattern I'd recommend. Your best bet might be to use Katrina's pattern (it's free!) and just lower it yourself. While you can't see it very well in the pictures, on my son the soaker waistband does not touch his body at all until he is closer to outgrowing them. The soaker body fits snugly over the diaper underneath, keeping the soaker from falling off, and the waistband is super loose, unlike longies/shorties where the waistband has to fit because it fits loosely in the diaper area. That probably isn't enough to help, but I thought it was worth a mention. Good luck!

beklovescake said...

Hi! These are so cute! I am new to cloth diapering and I was just wondering are thesed used just like a diaper cover?

Heidi said...

Yes! They are also used over disposable diapers overnight for heavy wetters, and as underpants for children who need a softer alternative.