Everyone needs a method when they’re testing something out. To remain consistent in my reviews, I’ve come up with not only a format template for the review article itself, but also a testing method. Here’s what goes into a cloth diaper review from Mama Knows.
I take photos of the diaper and diaper components upon arrival and after the prep wash. I prep all my diapers the same way, which I outline in this post here and the prep process changes the look of the diaper out of package. I prefer to use the photos of prepped and washed diapers in my review, because you can already see the un-prepped diapers online or in store, but might be curious as to what they look like washed and ready. I also photograph the initial Fit process.
Establish Optimal Fit
I try the diaper on using several settings- starting with the ones recommended by the manufacturer for my baby’s current weight. I make sure to choose a setting that fits my baby’s unique shape and provides coverage at the back above the bum dimple; the front just below the belly button; and ensure that the leg elastics fit right into the creases of his thighs. Extra material in the rise (if rise snaps are being used) is pushed upwards, not down, and the front panel edges under the waist belt are securely tucked into upper thigh creases, while ensuring the “wings” of the front flap are tucked into the waist band.
I test the diaper during the day at home first. Because my initial prep is what it is, the absorbency is often not at full capacity. To compensate for this, the first few times on the bum are just at home during playtime or meal times. I am sure to give the diaper at least 6 Daytime tests over the period of testing.
This is a crucial junction in the testing process and happens once the diaper has reached full absorbency. I put my baby down for his morning nap in the diaper (he naps at least 2-3 hours) without any added boosters, unless they were provided with the diaper. He is a tummy sleeper primarily, but also rolls quite a lot. He’s also a heavy, fast wetter while he sleeps, and so he’s a good candidate to nap-test the diaper.
After the diaper has reached full absorbency (up to 6 washes depending on the type of material), I test it out in the carseat. We take a day trip out and about, with no added boosters or precautions unless boosters were provided with the diaper. The car seat adds pressure to the diaper and if compression leaks are going to happen, this is likely the time. I’m careful to do at least 4 carseat tests and troubleshoot and note any leaks.
Due to the nature of the carseat test, this typically happens in the same outing. We babywear everywhere and do not use a stroller, so if we are out and about in the carseat, it stands to reason that the diaper will get the babywearing test at the same time. This is another compression test to see if the diaper can stand up to a seated, constrained position that babywearing requires. If it leaks onto the carrier or onto me- I want my readers to know. I ensure there are at least 4 babywearing tests before writing my review. Any leaks are troubleshooted with boosters, and then noted.
This is the ultimate test of a diaper. My baby goes 12 hours on one change overnight, with at least one mid-night nursing session and so he fully saturates a diaper by morning. I will test the diaper overnight with only the boosters and inserts provided and see if it stands up. I test the diaper at least 6 times overnight to be sure there are no flukes. However, on some occasions, I don’t test the diaper overnight at all. If it didn’t survive the nap test with plenty of room to spare, I know that it won’t make it overnight. I may then choose to add my own boosters or inserts to the diaper to build a nighttime solution, and note them in the review.
The written review
All my reviews will follow a fairly consistent template (that I’ve developed over time) and describe the diaper first, with manufacturers specs. My reviews all contain disclosed affiliate links where readers can purchase the diapers, and I use a disclaimer to indicate whether the diaper was provided free and if it was a sponsored/paid review. I go on to describe our experience and how we used the diaper, whether it stood up to my expectations of performance, and whether we had any issues with fit or absorbency. I finish with a list of what I love, and then what I liked less or what I’d change.
Integrity of the review
Some reviews are sponsored woth product or compensation, and some are not- but regardless of the status of a review, my opinion is my own. I provide these reviews for the sponsor, but I will not change my opinions based on their response. Sponsors come to me knowing this, because it’s standard practice among bloggers who operate with integrity. My ultimate goal is to provide unbiased and helpful reviews to my readers, and it’s assumed that some products aren’t going to meet my expectations. That being said, I’m a troubleshooter by nature and I will put every effort into making something work for me. All my efforts will be noted in the review and might include, contacting the manufacturer for help or adjusting/boosting the product on my own.