Green Diaper Demos provided this diaper for review. For information on how we attempt to ensure our product reviews are as honest and fair to diaper creators as possible, please click here. There aren’t very many one-size diapering systems that truly are one-size (OS). Most OS diapers start to fit between 8-10 pounds, so if you bring home a 5-6 pound baby (like I did!) then you will need to find a second set of diapers to use until the baby gains enough weight to fit into their “OS” diapers. The SoftBums Echo is a system that has a great reputation for being a TRUE OS diaper, and I was eager to see what all the fuss was about when I bought my tiny baby home. In this review I’ll walk you through the features of the diaper, and explain how it worked on my baby girl.
This diaper is an All In Two, which means that there is a waterproof cover or “shell” into which you place an insert. When the insert is soiled, you remove it from the cover and replace it with a clean one. The cover can be reused multiple times (generally until it is soiled). SoftBums inserts snap into the cover in the back of the diaper, which helps hold them in place.
What makes the SoftBums systems (both the Echo and the Omni) unique are the way the sizing of the shell is adjusted. Instead of having snaps on the front of the diaper to adjust the rise, it has toggles on the inside of the diaper at each leg that you use to make the elastic tighter or looser. This system is called Slide²Size.
The toggles can be accessed via a small opening at the top of the front of the diaper, but you can also adjust the sizing from the outside of the diaper (as you don’t need to be able to see the toggle in order to depress it).
My only pet peeve with this system is that there aren’t any markings on the elastic to indicate size setting. You either need to use your tape measure to be sure each side is set equally, or adjust the fit on each leg independently by feel (which most people are probably fine with, but made me uncomfortable. I like things to be symmetrical!) Veteran SoftBums users would also probably be comfortable adjusting the fit from a toddler to a baby (or vice versa) in order to be able to use the same diaper on multiple children, but having demarcations on the elastic would have made that easier for a newbie like myself.
The inside of the shell is lined with polyester microfleece, which means that nothing but soft fabric ever touches your baby’s skin.
SoftBums inserts are called Pods. Pods come in Bamboo (which is 70% bamboo and 30% cotton) or DryTouch fabrics (which is microfiber terry with a layer of microfleece on top to provide a stay-dry effect).
Pods also come in different sizes: Small Mini pods, Large pods, and One-Size SUPER pods. Small and Large pods are rectangular shaped, and one-size SUPER pods are contoured at one end and have snaps to adjust between small, medium, and large lengths. SUPER pods also come with a Small pod of the same fabric, which can be used either on it’s own (for a small baby) or as a doubler (for larger/heavier wetting babies).
Large DryTouch Pod and Small DryTouch Mini Pod:
The One-Size Bamboo insert photographed below has been discontinued and does not show the adjustable sizing options of the newer SUPER pods. However, it does show the contouring of the pod, which provides greater coverage in the back of the shell and tapers to a narrower fit between the legs.
The Echo is sold in both hook and loop and snap closures. Both closure options allow for a snug fit on tiny waists by featuring crossover tabs/snaps.
The hook and loop closure (not photographed) is a wide waistband that is meant to fit high on the waist (instead of low-slung underneath the belly). It also has laundry tabs to keep the hook and loop from snagging other diapers or attaching to itself in the washing machine.
The snap closure has two snaps on each wing in a horizontal line (as opposed to having a top row of snaps to adjust the waist and a bottom row of snaps to adjust the legs).
This diaper comes in 6 solid colors. In addition, SoftBums releases a new, limited edition color/print each month as part of their “Calendar Bums” series.
If you are looking to buy used diapers, this means that there are actually a LOT of different color and print options to be found! However, if you are purchasing new, your options are far more limited.
This is a one size diaper, which means that it is meant to be used from birth to potty training. The leg openings on the diaper can be adjusted from 4-14 inches to truly accommodate a broad range of baby sizes and shapes.
Diaper on the smallest setting:
The Echo shell is $21.95. Pods range in price from $2.95 (for a Small Dry Touch Mini Pod) to $15.95 (for a One-Size Bamboo SUPER Pod).
SoftBums shells are made in the USA.
Here is how I would fill out a Padded Tush Stats All In Two/Hybrid Diapers survey based on how it worked on my baby, who is a heavy wetter. Scores were averaged across the time period that she used the diaper (e.g., a diaper that received a 4 for absorbency at 2 weeks old but only a 2 for absorbency at 6 weeks old would receive an overall score of 3). It should be noted that this is a one-size diaper that was used on an infant, so scores may be quite different for older children or with different pod configurations.
Note: Absorbency = 2-3 hours, Nap = 3-4 hours, Night = 12-14 hours.
- Fit: After 6 weeks old, average score was “5”. Prior to 6 weeks, the average score was “3”.
- Trimness: 3
- Liked By Skeptics: 3
- Worth The Price: 2
- Would Recommend To A Friend: 3
- Absorbency: Bamboo Mini Pod – 3. DryTouch Mini Pod – 5
- Nap Diaper: Bamboo Mini Pod – 2. Two Bamboo Mini Pods – 3. DryTouch Mini Pod – 5. Bamboo Mini Pod and DryTouch Mini Pod – 5 (for 6-7 hours)
- Night Diaper: DryTouch Mini Pod and two Bamboo Mini Pods– 5. DryTouch Mini Pod and small Thirsties hemp insert – 5
Notes on my responses:
- This diaper started to fit best at 6 weeks old and approximately 9 pounds. Prior to that the legs were more than small enough, but it was hard to get the waist snug enough.
- Because Emily’s rise was so short, the shell had a tendency to “poof” outwards. Score for “trimness” would likely be higher on an older or taller baby, as the shell would be stretched out and wouldn’t have so much poof to it.
- I had Small Bamboo Mini Pods and Small DryTouch Mini Pods to work with. I never had success with single or double Bamboo Mini Pods, but had much better results with the DryTouch Mini Pods (either on their own or with some kind of doubler). Leaks were typically out the leg holes, and neither the inserts or shells were saturated. Fit appeared appropriate to Michelle from Green Diaper Demos when sent photos to review, and the Bamboo Mini Pods were prepped prior to being shipped to me (though I used them frequently with success as doublers in other diapers during this same time frame, so I do not believe prepping or build up to be the cause of the leaks).
- In hindsight, I believe the most likely explanations for the leaks could be that either the bamboo did not absorb quickly enough for my heavy wetter (which would explain the pee leaking out the leg holes before having a chance to saturate the inserts and shell) or that the DryTouch Mini Pods were thicker, which meant that they were held closer to the body (they also snapped into the shell, whereas the Bamboo Mini Pods did not, so perhaps they were less prone to shifting when being worn). For whatever reason, we eventually found that the DryTouch Mini Pods were a better option for us and moved to using the Bamboo Mini Pods strictly as doublers. The great thing about having so many insert options is that eventually something is bound to work, though the drawback is that until you find that magical combination of inserts, you might have to deal with a lot of leaks.
- Scores for “liked by skeptics”, “worth the price”, and “would recommend to a friend” would likely have been higher had we not had so many leak and absorbency issues. With different pod options this system might have been more absorbent and easier for other caretakers to use, which would have affected scores for all measures. The addition of some kind of marking system on the elastic would also likely have increased scores for the same measures as it would be quicker to adjust the size for your child and explain to other caretakers how to get the proper fit. This diaper seems to have a steeper learning curve than other OS diapers I have used, so while the eventual outcome may be worth the effort for many people, in our situation it had an effect on the scores for those domains.
Tips On Getting A Proper Fit (from Michelle at Green Diaper Demos):
- The waist of the diaper should be quite snug, but the leg elastic should probably be looser than you’d think (SoftBums has a formula to help determine the correct leg elastic measurement for your baby’s thigh circumference. You can see the chart HERE).
- For tiny waists, you can get the tightest fit by making sure the diaper is pulled up high in the back, and then angling the tabs slightly downward when you overlap and fasten them.
- Make sure the pod is snug against the baby and held in place by the waist tabs (so the pod should come part way up the hook and loop strip in the front, so that when it is fastened it will keep the pod held in place).
- Further tips for fit and troubleshooting common problems can be found in the FAQ section at the SoftBums website and on their blog.
5 weeks / approximately 8.5 pounds
Where To Buy
You can see who carries this diaper by typing in “SoftBums” at the Cloth Diaper Retailer Database (www.clothdiaperretailers.com). You can compare retailers based on shipping costs, location, and even specials they have going on. Many of them even post exclusive discounts for Padded Tush Stats followers. If you buy from those with an asterisk (***) next to their name, a portion of your purchase goes towards supporting this site, so thank you in advance!
Have You Tried This Diaper?
If you have tried this diaper (or any other All In Twos!) please head on over to our All In Two/Hybrid Diapers Survey page and take a quick, 2-minute survey on how this diaper worked for you. Survey responses go towards detailed statistical reviews. Users can also compare statistics on All In Two/Hybrid Diapers by going here.