Going Half Way On Kushies Washable Diapers

kushies washable cloth diaperAfter recovering from the shock of motherhood, Karin tries an eco-compromise by using washable diapers half of the time.

It’s been 4 months since I’ve given birth and I decided that I was fit enough to try washable, reusable diapers. My daughter is exclusively breastfed, an undertaking that completely overwhelmed me for the first few months of her life. But the benefits of breastfeeding are enormous. Call me a wimp, or call me out for not being green enough, but I couldn’t ever imagine during that period, finding the energy to wash diapers. Praise be to women before the invention of disposable diapers. But as the editor of Green Prophet, I know I need to walk the walk. It was time to try washables.

Where I live in the Middle East, the only options open to me are online ordering, and I found all the systems and options so expensive and really confusing – not to mention the sour behavior from my husband every time I brought the idea up. (He’s thinking smelly diapers all over the place). So back in Canada for a visit – I took a trip to the local BabiesRUs to see with my own eyes what washable diapers are available. Here’s my story.

I’d read a lot of good stuff about “G” diapers, Kushies, and many more that Green Prophet’s resident eco-mom Sophie had blogged about. But the only choice available to me at BabiesRUs in the small town where my parents live were Kushies. They were simple all-in-one diapers, with an outer plastic layer sewn into the diaper itself.

kushies diapers washable cloth

Kushies are made nearby in Canada, and I like the idea of supporting the local economy, so I bought 2 packs. Ten diapers in 2 packs (The Ultra), came to $100. I brought them home and my eco-thrifty dad was super excited about the cost savings. A 50 pack of disposables are about $15, so it doesn’t take long to see how adding washables into the cycle can start saving you money (and of course the environment too). They will fit my growing girl until she is about 25 pounds.

Here’s what I found with Kushies:

The Pros
1. I like that they are all in one and I don’t have to think “diaper system”
2. I like that the internal liner is attached to the back end of the diaper and falls out to scoop out the number 2 – which isn’t that serious right now because girl child is still nursing exclusively.
3. I like the biodegradable washable liners you can buy to handle the more serious stuff
4. I worry about all the gels and plastics in disposables. I can smell the chemicals on them and am happy to know my kid will be exposed less to the stuff (that would be true for all reusables, I guess).
5. I like that they are cute.

The Cons
1. My well-fed baby is already a little bottom heavy. The Kushies are really bulky making it harder for her to squeeze into her sit-up chair and onesies.
2. They don’t wick the liquids away like disposables causing more diaper rash. Forget about overnights. She is soaked half way through the night.
3. The washing business. The diapers can be dried on low in the dryer. In the Middle East sun they’d obviously dry out very fast. But in the winter in Canada they need a couple of hours in the dryer, or a day on the line near the furnace to dry. That’s a long time if you’ve bought only the minimum.
4. The outer layer is rough. I wonder how that feels on her skin which looks all crinkled when I take them off. There is the comfort factor here. The disposables just look more comfy.

Over all I am happy I tried Kushies and will keep them in the drawer for use. Until I find a better solution, I won’t use them for overnights or trips out of the house for more than a couple of hours. I plan on trying out some other diapers, Happy Heinys, G or Motherease. They look less stiff. Any advice most welcome.

Read more on washable diaper options:

EcoMum On Swim Diapers
All About Cloth Diapers
More Tips on Using Cloth Diapers

24 thoughts on “Going Half Way On Kushies Washable Diapers

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  3. Miriam

    Hi Karin!

    I had posted on here a while ago, and my website is about to go live — right now it’s still a work in progress. I make and sell a terrific side snapping cloth diaper (pocket) that is one size and fits from as of tested 4kg to 16kg. they are nice and trim,no need to put your baby in a size up clothing to accomodate for the bottom.

    I use cloth diapers and am in the middle east — i definately feel that the cons of using water in a water short country still outweighs the chemicals and landfill usage from using 3000+ disposable diapers per child, not to mention the cost savings.

    Kushies are the worst of the worst in my opinion — if you would like to try out my diapers and possibly review them for this site, I would be ecstatic to send you some!

    And by the way, for nighttimes, nothing beats wool :)
    (I will be selling cloth diaper pockets, fitteds, wool covers and pants, wipes and wetbags, slings, meitais (baby carrier), and other assorted baby items, such as pacifier clips and refashioned clothing :)


    • Karin Kloosterman Post author

      I am not thrilled about the Kushies for the points mentioned above. They were the only brand carried in my local baby store in Canada. I found some more at a health foods store. They were all pre-folds, or G diapers with disposable inserts. My main issue here is the choice and all the different systems. Could you send me your cloth diaper to try and review? I will send you my address privately.

  4. Marya

    What about overnight diapering? Our top selling overnight cloth diapers are the nearly leak-proof bumGenius combined with two of our ultra-absorbent Cotton Babies microfiber terry inserts or our 6-layer Hemp Babies inserts. bumGenius will keep your baby dry overnight.


    I am almost certain that they sell bumGenius in Canada.

    Good Luck!

  5. Marya


    You want to try a night diaper for overnight use. The regular cloth diapers won’t work overnight.

    I use Issy Bears, little lambs and Wee Notions Night Notions. I am not sure of their availbility in Canada.

    The G diapers are suposed to work if you double up on the cloth inserts.

  6. Jen

    I too started with Kushies because I wanted to “try” cloth diapering & they were the only ones available online at Walmart. I too was overwhelmed with ALL the choices & I wanted to buy something that I could return to a store if the fit wasn’t right.

    I did use them quite a bit. When we were out many times I used disposables & overnight they did leak so I used disposables then too. Like you we used them about half the time. It was a good economical decision because I did save $.

    A few of my friends use cloth diapers & before the birth of our 6th baby I did more research. This time around I’ve been using cloth from the start exclusively beginning in the hospital. I have both Bum Genius & Fuzzi Bunz, they are both one size fits all. I like them both & really have no preference to either diaper. I still have the Kushies but I don’t think I’ll ever use them again, maybe I should sell them??

    Best of luck in your diapering adventure. If you have the chance give Fuzzi Bunz or Bum Genius a try you will be pleasantly surprised :)

  7. Daniel Ben-Tal

    There are a few options nowadays in Israel. Biodegradeable disposables can be bought here – very useful when you’re not at home. Ehud Ilan of moshav matta sells them from the back of his car – you can find him on facebook. send him a fash from me. If you want, I can can try to get some more info for you

    Your former editor

  8. Maurice Picow

    Now my 2 cents worth from a dude who used to deal with soaking cloth diapers:

    Stick with disposables like Huggies or Pampers. The ecological benefits of the “eco diapers” just are not worth the hassle involved.

    Besides, maybe something can be done with the disposable ones (like contributing to a composter, etc.

  9. Maya Norton

    Karin, congratulations on your newish motherhood.

    I would have far preferred to use a more eco-friendly options than disposal diapers, but as you point out, that’s a little more difficult in Israel than in North America. Also, living in the Negev it seemed to me like it was an even split ecologically speaking (or akin to it) given how much more washing would need to take place, and therefore water usage.

    I wasn’t able to find statistics on this, so if anyone has them, please do share.

    ~ Maya
    – The New Jew: Microblog on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/TheNewJew)

  10. Rebecca

    Hey Karin,

    The kushies are great. I brought them from Siach Hateva here in Israel. You are right, they are not for nights and you need to change alot to prevent rashes.

    I used Kushies until under a year on both my kids and then switched to another Canadian brand called Happy Heinies, which I loved, although I balanced it out with an organic Australian brand called itti bitti as Happy Heinies are synthetic.

    There is a woman here in Israel called Robyn who handmakes great nappies. I never bought them, but I checked them out at a market and I was impressed by the quality not to mention blown away by the cuteness. http://www.robyna.co.il/catalog/index.php?language=he

    The biodegradable nappies are good for nights although, their eco-friendliness is questionable if you are putting them in a bin-liner that does not biodegrade. Also, poop still needs to be composted or flushed down the toilet.

    I love talking about cloth nappies, you could make it a category on your site and we could all yabber away!!!

  11. Aviva Weisgal

    Here in Israel there are biodegradable diaper that are quite nice, I am sure you can find them in N. America…

    Enjoy your baby!

    You could also try the Indian way…potty training from birth! ;+}


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