The TushMate diapering system is relatively new in the world of cloth, and our family was given a complimentary set to review.
TushMate kindly sent one blue waterproof, one-size Universal shell with snap closure, a pair of 55% hemp/45% organic cotton inserts (retail $9.78), one long organic cotton insert (retail $8.58) and a snap-in, stay-dry fleece liner (retail $5.88 for a 3-pack). TushMate cloth diapers were designed by a Canadian and are ethically produced in China.
The most versatile part of this system, and the star of the show, is the one-size shell made of 100% waterproof PUL. You can choose snaps or hook & loop closure and the wings have a double row of snaps. There are three rows of adjustable snaps on the rise, which equates to four different size settings (the largest being nothing snapped up at all). Inside, there are waterproof flaps on the inside front and back as well as 8 snap holes which receive the inserts and liners. This design will be somewhat familiar to you if you’ve ever used a hybrid before.
The cover runs on the bigger side because Susanna (my 2-year-old toddler) can wear it without all the snaps open, whereas most “one size” covers fit her completely unsnapped. Snapped to its very smallest setting, the TushMate cover is still noticeably larger than a typical newborn cover (red in the photo above). So like most one-size diapers, TushMate would probably start fitting best at 10 to 12 pounds, or maybe more. Erik was on the small side and started one-size diapers at 15 pounds.
Inserts and liners snap into the shell either in the front or the back. The unique insert snaps and flat holes inside the shell are very low-profile in the sense that when they are snapped together, there’s nothing on the other side to touch the skin like you find with standard snaps. I especially like this feature when using my TushMate shell with other things in my stash (i.e. prefolds or flats) that you don’t snap in.
You can use the inserts alone, or with the white stay-dry fleece liner on top. The long insert, pictured in the middle, is kind of like two inserts that are sewn together at one end, and then it folds over onto itself. It’s slightly longer than the regular hemp/cotton:
This infographic from the TushMate site shows how you can use the system in 5 different ways.
I haven’t used the inner front flap to hold inserts or things like prefolds or flats in place because the flaps are actually quite big and so I’m worried Erik will just wet right up against the PUL flap and not into the fabric. And while it’s normally not important to me to have a “stay dry” layer up against my babies’ skin, I’ve actually used the TushMate liner quite a bit, but for a different reason. As you can see from the photos above, the inserts are quite slim through the crotch; the lining is wider and provides more coverage/protection.
After washing, the inserts shrank as one would expect since they are natural fibers. However, I wish they were longer. The directions indicate you can use 1 or 2 inserts, but when 1 is used alone, it leaves a lot of “blank space” up front with no absorbency. If you use both inserts together, like the suggested AI2 and AI3 configs above, you can snap one at the front and one at the back. However, even the Long insert (which is a pair of inserts sewn together at one end) on its own is not quite long enough.
My suggestions? If you want to use just 1 regular insert for a very trim fit, pair it with the liner on top (pocket style) for broader coverage. If you want to try it overnight, snap the Long insert to the back and 1 or 2 of the regular inserts up front.
If you have a much younger/smaller baby and the cover is snapped up shorter, then using 1 insert is probably going to be just right length-wise. (I’m curious to see how it will work on my next baby….due in July!)
Because of the shorter inserts, we have to double up, one in front and one in back, for night time or naps. For regular daytime use, the TushMate system with just one insert is super trim and absorbent; I love the regular hemp/cotton inserts best. And the shell is very versatile because it can be used with ANY diaper, insert or doubler in my stash. The generous sizing means it fits easily over big fitteds.
Let’s see some photos of how the TushMate system fits!
In summary, here are my thoughts on TushMate:
Features I Like:
- The shell can be wiped clean and re-used
- Trim fit
- Inserts are super thirsty yet trim, and made of natural fibers
- TushMate offers lots of options in one system, and the covers alone can be used with other things in your stash (prefolds, flats, fitteds, microfiber inserts, etc.)
- If you are using the TushMate system as a pocket diaper, the liner will stay snapped in place in the wash (it connects at all 4 corners)
- Runs big so it fits toddlers well and covers bulky diapers with no problem
- TushMate offers a 1-year warranty on the snaps and sewing, plus 3 months on the elastics.
- More colors?
- Shorter inside flaps
- A longer “Long” insert
- Wider inserts for better coverage in the crotch
- Stretchier/longer wing tabs would be helpful for bigger/chubbier babies
If you are curious about trying the TushMate system, the Starter Kit is $25.78 with free shipping and it includes 1 shell, 1 liner and 2 of the standard cotton/hemp inserts.
Have you tried the TushMate system yet, or has it gotten you curious? Do you like a versatile cloth diapering system that can be changed up to fit your needs?