Your Cart

Your Cart is Empty
  • Subtotal
  • Total (before taxes)
bumGenius & Cotton Babies Reviews
July 17, 2009 4:45 pm | by

I’ve always been bothered by reviews that I read that were not organically inspired by the writer’s natural desire to share information. I generally disregard anything written before the product was available to the public or even by someone who got the product free. I just do… it means much more to me as a reader when a review was written by someone who just liked the product and decided to tell the world about it.

I feel the same about movie reviews. When a friend tells me that a movie is safe for my kids to watch, then I’m more likely to take my kids to that movie. I certainly wouldn’t give as much weight to her words if I knew she was getting paid to tell people to see that movie.

I started writing down my thoughts on this topic after The Consumerist was kind enough to post a positive review of our customer service ( I read that article and then realized that my customers don’t know how much I value the good, un-asked-for reviews from real customers that we see come across our Google Alerts every single day.

I’ve been selling products in this category long enough to see many companies forcibly generate buzz about their new item. They write their own reviews, their “testers” are asked to write reviews, their retailers write reviews, then customers are asked to write reviews in exchange for coupon codes.

Sometimes review-driven sites will rank products based on the number and quality of reviews that a product gets. A manufacturer understandably wants their product on that list, and then wants to see their product rise to the top of that list. We’ve had our fair share of negative reviews, some fake, some from competitors trying to trash us, some from unreasonable people and some from real people who just genuinely didn’t like the product.

The world is selfish and thrives on recognition. I get it. There is something flattering about being #1. I’d like to see all of my diapers at the top of those lists. I want them there, but I’m not about to try to “fake it” or “force it” to get them there either.

I understand the manufacturer’s position. They want to create buzz around their product. It can cost big bucks to bring a new product to market. The faster sales are built around that product, the faster the startup investment is reclaimed. The temptation to force that buzz is huge.

I understand the paid reviewer’s position. They want a deal. Manufacturer’s want buzz, the paid reviewer brings it, they want to be paid for their time as an advertiser.

I also understand the consumer’s position. They just want the truth and they want it from people writing honest, unsolicited opinions.

I side with the consumer. Big companies are likely to laugh and call me a “silly little lady” (like the guy in a suit a few years back who told me there was no way I’d make it in business without his help) because generating reviews to build sales is “just business”. They probably would and likely are. But frankly, we have grown because people told people who told people that we care about people. We’ve had our moments of trying to force buzz… like I said, the temptation is great… but the consumers have proven, again and again, when you really care, you don’t have to force your buzz. It just happens because people talk.

We believe in organic reviews.
1. We don’t offer coupons or reward programs for people who leave us reviews. This means that you’re more likely to get a mix of honest opinions.
2. We occasionally invite customers who have sent us a happy email to post their thoughts publically.
3. Professional bloggers approach us all the time to ask if they can review our products. We are always welcoming to reviews but require appropriate FTC disclosure so you know everything you should know.
4. Personal bloggers almost never ask us if they can review our products. They just do it because they love the diapers or they love Cotton Babies… and I love them for it!
5. Media approaches us frequently. We welcome their calls. I would love to have our products profiled on the Today Show or be interviewed by Oprah. (One of my favorite interviews was with Valerie Schremp Hahn. Valerie is a local reporter who happened to be using bumGenius. She interviewed us and wrote a story for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that she called “A couple of bums… and proud of it” for the St. Louis Post Dispatch. It published on the front page of the business section.) If you are media, and want to interview us, several contacts are listed at the bottom of this post.
6. We choose not to publicly celebrate when celebrities use our products. You would be surprised who uses our product, but we believe that celebrities deserve to have a private life.

In a nutshell, if they like us, they call us. We’ve grown organically, parent to parent, from our $100 beginning seven years ago (6).

While this strategy may have worked against us in some ways (because we might not get coverage from members of the media who are influenced by favors), the media coverage for Cotton Babies and bumGenius has been hugely positive and from well-respected venues like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Slate Magazine, Parents Magazine, Pregnancy Magazine, The Consumerist and a host of parents just like you.. While we may not take a traditional media approach, we believe that our approach is to your benefit.

In conclusion, we are appreciative beyond words to everyone who has written about us and all our faces (Cotton Babies, bumGenius, us personally or have inquired about covering our upcoming products) over the last seven years. I couldn’t have bought the kind of media coverage we’ve been treated to. Thank you for honoring us, our company and our product lines by taking the time to share your thoughts with the rest of the world. If you want to reach us with questions or interview requests, our marketing representative at Cotton Babies can be reached at Alternatively, you may contact Robyn Frankel of Frankel Public Relations at



About the Author

Jenn is the founder of Cotton Babies & creator of bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum, worldwide leading cloth diaper brands. She has four children (Andrew, Oscar, Elsie and Louis) and holds an MBA from Washington University. When she's not working full time, she enjoys teaching business leaders how to implement sustainable economic & social change.



  • said...
    August 19, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I loved that consumerist post about you, and I have read several other posts on cloth forums where when something did go wrong with their BG Cotton Babies was prompt and efficient and overly kind in correcting it.

    When researching cloth diapers before my son was born I decided on the 3.0 due to the excellent reviews overall on diaperpin. the 3.0 is still the workhorse in my stash, and coming in second (only because I only have 6, and only five are in working order) are the Organic AIO. I have lots of diapers and finding new ones to try is a passion and hobby and business of mine. I do have a soft spot in my heart for BG because they make starting cloth diapers easy for parents new to cloth.

    I do reviews of cloth diapers, and started my blog as a way to help parents compare diapers without having the luxury of going to a store to see them. I wanted to spread the love of cloth diapers and give a detailed film of diapers. I hope that I don’t come off as a “greedy” mommy blogger. I do earn money through ads, and the diapers I review I get to keep, but many of the diapers I have reviewed I purchased myself because I love them. The review I did of the BG AIO Organic was my own. I hope to review the new diaper from Cottonbabies to provide that information to parents looking to buy them.

    Anyway, I did want to put my 2 cents in about my blog. I hate getting called a “mommy blogger.” I genuinely want to provide a service to parents. I have a passion for cloth diapers!

    Thanks bumGenius for being a stand up company! I hope to make it to ABC so I can say hello!


  • Anonymous said...
    August 10, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    I want to thank you, too, for great products and a great company. Keep it up, and don’t be bothered by big business. Mom to mom word of mouth has caused most of my friends to use bumgenius diapers. We love them, they work.


  • Pamela said...
    July 21, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    I love that you aren’t among the growing herd of “follower” and commenter giveaways!

    I’ve been mostly happy with my bumgenius but feel compelled to share my — and several friends of mine — story with our diapers.

    We’re all ditching velcro (aplix, hook and loop, whatever you want to call it…)

    i have 29 bumgenius 3.0s that I bought shortly before my son was born (he’s 11 months old next week). My laundry tabs are shot. To make do, I started re-fastening my diapers for the wash to try to prevent diaper chains. Now my landing strips are shot and my diapers come unfastened inside clothes.

    The velcro (aplix? hook and loop? what do you call ’em?) tabs themselves are curled up and cut into my son’s legs and belly if I don’t have him wear a onesie or shorts over the diaper.

    I’d normally think this was a result of heavy, hard wear but I have more than 40 diapers total and rotate frequently.

    Do you think my problems are just a symptom of them being well-loved? I can’t use a laundry line because I’m an apartment dweller, so I’m guessing it’s a dryer issue.

    However, all of my snap diapers are holding up just fine.

    Knowing what I know now, if anyone asked me what diapers to get, I’d say I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bumgenius, but man…you’re going to wish you bought snap diapers because the velcro/aplix/hook and loop just doesn’t last.

    Thank you for a wonderful product and great customer service. I hope my feedback is helpful.



  • Sarah said...
    July 18, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Thats why I love you guys. You rock.
    I review diapers on my blog, so that other first time Cloth Diapering moms won’t feel so alone. I’m learning about all sortsa diapers and methods.I don’t ask for money or free stuff. I often will trade out my old diapers or sell them to be able to afford to buy new ones just to review them for other moms lol
    I think reviews should be helpful, not done so you can get a cookie

  • jill said...
    July 18, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    I have suggested, using your company name and BG name to several different places (like the Rachael Ray show)about green living and etc to feature cloth diapers. Maybe one day they’ll get enough suggestions and have you guys on..?!?

  • Mrs Yelle said...
    July 18, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I am just waiting for baby Allison to wear them! They are all washed and ready for her when she gets just a tad bit bigger! (6.9 lbs currently). Thank you CottonBabies!


  • sara lou & stew said...
    July 18, 2009 at 4:04 am

    The truth is your product is so good, you would never need to offer an incentive to people.

    I took the leap and ordered 24 BG One Size 3.0’s before my daughter was born. And, hand’s down, they are absolutely the best purchase we made for her! I am completely in love with them and more importantly, so is she!

    When she was first born we used disposables because I had a C-section and could not do laundry. As soon as we switched to your diapers she was a happier baby! They are so effective we actually have to check to see if she is wet because they absorb so well she doesn’t cry. Her diaper rash also disappeared.

    I was so surprised by how easy it is launder them. We fell into a routine right away and it runs like clockwork. Personally, I find it so much easier than worrying about having enough disposable diapers on hand. And not having to take dirty diapers out to the trash, brilliant!

  • Anonymous said...
    July 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I love your products!! Thank you for what you do 🙂

  • Torry said...
    July 17, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    You are obviously doing something right that works for you! BG’s are the first cloth diaper I ever heard of and I read so many great reviews that they will be our primary diaper when baby gets here. In fact, just this week I tweeted and asked for other diapers to add to my stash and learned about the BGOS organics from a fellow mom that swears by them. I already ordered 4 of them. 🙂 Keep up the awesome work. It is so refreshing to use products from a company with ethics and morals!

  • Erin said...
    July 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    This is the reason that I love bumGenius diapers, and Cotton Babies in general. Thank you for your integrity, and for creating such a fantastic product!
    @mothergreenest on Twitter