This post was updated using fresh pictures and prospectives in July 2020. This review was originally written September 2017. I update reviews as my camera gear gets better and my thoughts change and evolve. Reviews are just one persons experience of a product and you should always consider thoughtfully how a product will best work for you and your unique situation.
Cloth Diaper Kids (a Canadian retailer of Smart Bottoms) sponsored this blog post at the time by providing a cloth diaper for review (Black Cats). While this review was done using gifted product it does reflect my true and honest experience.
This post is brought to you by Cloth Diaper Kids. Bloggers like me receive product or compensation to write reviews. A lot of energy goes into making this happen and keeping these spaces on the web. This post contains affiliate links.
The original Smart Bottoms Dream Diaper is compared in this post because at the time that was the thing to do. You might not be able to find the original. I did purchase Theo original myself. The Dream Diaper 2.0 is now available everywhere. There are a lot of similarities between the products.
Smart Bottoms Dream Diaper 2.0 (circa 2017)
Smart Bottoms released the Dream Diaper late 2016. The Dream Diaper was originally marketed as as a night time cloth diaper solution when used with the night time inserts (sold separately). It was revised in 2017 because of feedback from consumers.
This diaper is marketed as an all in one cloth diaper, but over the years I have become very picky about that term. Because the inserts are snap in and not sewn in this diaper is more of an all in two style. I want to be clear on that because an all in one diaper should be one simple piece that does not require mixing and matching pieces on laundry day. If you’re looking for a true AIO diaper this is not it.
The exterior of the diaper is made from PUL and features the Smart Bottoms 4 rise settings, double waist snap, and the male facing snaps along the diaper waist panel. These features remain constant across the Smart Bottoms line up and remain the same from the Dream Diaper to the Dream Diaper 2.0.
Dream Diaper is a more narrow diaper than the Smart Bottom Too Smart or 3.1. The original Dream Diaper is the most narrow, and the Dream Diaper 2.0 is now wider based on customer feedback. This additional width in the crotch is noticeable but not as wide as a standard Smart Bottoms.you might go, hey, but skinny = better. Not always. Not if it gives you a weird fit, and you can’t stuff it full of absorbency.
Inside the Dream Diaper, both models have a front opening pocket made out of a hemp/cotton blend.
A long skinny insert attaches with TWO snaps at the back of the diaper or can be placed inside the diaper via the front pocket. You may choose to place your insert into the diaper for an easier cleaning experience. Some parents do not like cleaning the diaper if your child poops over inserts laid on top.
The insert is made of the same hemp/cotton blend and remains steadfast between the two models. Unlike the Smart Bottoms 3.1 the Dream Diaper only requires three washes to be prepped. Other items in the Smart Bottoms line up may require extensive prepping – upwards of a dozen washes.
Key Differences between the Dream Diaper and the Dream Diaper 2.0
- 2.0 is wider in the crotch. (6 inches instead of 5 inches)
- 2.0 has a stitched reinforced pocket opening.
Is the Dream Diaper 2.0 Better?
Yes. The Dream Diaper 2.0 is better.
At first, I didn’t know what the big deal was, but after using my Dream Diaper 2.0, I much prefer it over the original Dream Diaper.
- No more funny waist with the unreinforced pocket.
- A better fit. That bigger, extra inch gives me a better fitting diaper with both kids. I snapped down the rise on the Dream Diaper 2.0 and got a super trim fit on both kids. It is hard to explain, but the original Dream Diaper is just not a great fit, and this is especially noticeable on my toddler.
Dream Diaper Awesome-ness
In general, the Smart Bottoms Dream Diaper is awesome. I have a fairly substantial Smart Bottoms 3.1 stash, but going forward I choose the Dream Diaper for these four reasons.
- Narrow Crotch – super easy and trim fit, even more trim than the already trim 3.1. A narrow crotch can be a great diaper for those of us looking for a trim fit under jeans. It means it’s easier to get the elastics in the leg crease without their being a big bulk. Note that this diaper does not have a gusset which means it may make it harder to get a ton of absorbency in the diaper without their being gaps. You are limited.
- No Prep Cotton – nothing is more of a buzz kill then washing a Smart Bottoms cotton diaper 12-14 times to get it prepped and ready. Because the Smart Bottoms 3.1 comes unbleached, unprepped, you’ll need to wash it and wash it. It took 14 washes before my Born Smart stopped beading up water.
- Pocket Opening – I have yet to use the pocket, but I like the idea of the pocket. My kids aren’t super soakers, so I rarely need to add additional absorbency, but I like the idea of the pocket for additional versatility. You could easily add your favourite Smart Bottoms Smart Fold in it and have an amazing diaper. I do not like that the pocket opening is so small. As a human with large hands this can be frustrating for me.
- Absorbency: With 30% more absorbency than the original Dream Diaper, the Smart Bottoms Dream Diaper 2.0 has yet to leak, or max out with either kids during daytime naps or outings. I have not yet absorbency tested this product. Let me know if you want that.
Improvements I wish Smart Bottoms would Make.
The Smart Bottom Dream Diaper is pretty awesome. I’m always thoroughly impressed with the quality of the product and the prints. However, here’s a couple tweaks I think Smart Bottoms should make.
- Insert Snaps on the INSIDE of the pocket. I want to snap my inserts into the pocket for mess free clean up, and less finagling on the exterior.
- What’s the deal with that pocket anyways? If you use it, tell me how and where, and when? I know they had issues with the fit of the pocket opening, but the new pocket opening is still narrow and hard to stuff.
- Rolled elastics can be a pain for new parents. If you notice your elastics sticking out the edge that’s normal, and you need to remember to tug on the fabric to bring into the centre of the diaper. You can poke it into the diaper after a diaper change, but tugging it in will get that elastic to roll away from the exterior. Any material that is visible will leak and cause wetness on your diaper.
Buy it at Cloth Diaper Kids Today in Canada.
Smart Bottoms Dream Diaper 2.0 is exceptionally well made diaper. It’s not my go to diaper because I do find rolled elastics and snap-in inserts finicky for an all in one style diaper. To me this functions more of a pocket or all in two, and those are extra steps I don’t usually prefer to do.