Product review: Gro-Via prefolds

15 10 2012

Recently Gro-Via called for people to test a new mystery product. The first 400 people to answer to the Facebook call would be the lucky testers. For a change, I found myself available instead of taking care of the baby or the house, so I could snatch one of these new mystery products!

I was sent a prefold diaper made of a blend of organic cotton and bamboo. Lucky me! Not only I’ve always wanted to try prefolds but I’ve also been itching to try bamboo. My diapers are either Thirsties with the duo system (cotton/hemp+synthetic) or synthetic pockets. So this was lucky indeed! The diaper I received was already prewashed and ready to use, this means I did not have to strip it, but of course I washed it before using it on Ignacio’s skin.

So, what I think about this new prefolds?

When I started the test, Ignacio was 16 months, he turned 17 right before I submitted the answers to Gro-Via, he weights 22 pounds and is a very active toddler.

Gro-Via perfold, as you can see they printed the label so there would not be a scratchy label against the baby’s skin (genius!). You can see the way I folded them in the last photo.

The diaper is on the bulky side, I use my Gro-Via shells with Gro-Via biosoakers and I had to unsnap them to one size larger to fit the prefold. I should add that I used the prefold as a soaker and not as a diaper per se (you can see the different ways of folding it in the Gro-Via webpage) because Ignacio is a heavy wetter. I find they made a bubble butt effect and that there was some space left around the legs of the baby, making it not fit as well as the biosoakers. I used them in as many circumstances I could, day time, nap time, bed time, with different shells, and this is how they performed:

For normal daytime use there were no leaks, this would be up to four hours of use, I used it with both Gro-Via and Thirsties shells and I had no problem, the double leg gussets in Thirsties made the area around the legs fit closer to the baby’s skin (I just love that feature in Thirsties!). Naptime worked just fine too. For night time I had leaking around the waist with Thirsties shells, after 12 hours, but no problem with Gro-Via shells after 10 hours. I guess the prefolds go too wet and moisture wicked up to the waist band with my Thirsties, but it was not a problem with the snugger fit around the waist with Gro-Via.

My baby honored the new prefold by pooping in them right away the first two times we used them, so I was lucky to be able to test how it washes. The prefold laundered very well, I got no stains left behind, and dried as fast as any other natural fiber diaper I have (cotton/hemp). It did stay soft after being washed repeatedly.

We’ve been using these Gro-Via shells since Ignacio was born. He is now 17 months (5 months in this photo) and they still fit. I love how that color looks on him!

As per request of Gro-Via we had to consider what we liked most and less of these new diapers. What I liked the least of it is that the moisture is not wicked away from the baby’s skin and he feels wet, because of this his skin showed irritation after overnight use. I normally put him to sleep in his Thirsties, I do a double cotton/hemp insert and snap a synthetic pad, so his butt is not in touch with as much fluid and they are very absorbent and the same time. I shouldn’t neglect to mention that he is teething and when he teethes his bum skin gets irritated, so I would like to keep trying these after he is done with his… oh, I don’t know… like a hundred teeth coming in at the same time? But I also would like to test these within a pocket diaper that would wick moisture away from his skin and see how that performs.

What I like the best I think is the affordability of these diapers. They come in three packs for $8 to $16 depending on size, so they are a serious easy way of getting started.

As usual, Gro-Via delivers great quality, I am very pleased with this new product. Too bad I have too many diapers as to justify buying more!
Have you ever use prefolds? If so, what do you think of them? Would you be willing to give these Gro-Via ones a try? You can get them for free! Enter the Gro-Via Giveaway and choose which of their new products you would like to win!


When I do use disposable diapers.

11 10 2012

I have blogged several times about cloth diapers and how much I like them. The other day I was on my Facebook account, and this CD company’s mom posted that she hates toddler poop so much that she does use disposables in the time frame that her toddler is going to poop. That was rather disappointing in a way, because you expect that the company owner, or CEO, or what have you will stick to the principle of her company. I thought to myself “hey, I am more hard core than she is!”, but the truth is that there are times when I do use disposables (unscented), just not because of toddler poop.

Ignacio has been using cloth since his umbilical stump fell, at 11 days old. Before that we used disposables, Seventh Generation, to be precise. After that he has been very much in cloth constantly, and his butt lovely and healthy. That is until we started adding solids. There are some foods that will make his bum raw, and you don’t really know until you try them, and then you need to find out how much is too much (an orange a day? after a week he developed sores!). When his butt gets raw I need to use diaper ointment. Lots of it. And if you are familiar with cloth diapers you will know by now that diaper ointment will ruin the cloth and then you will have to strip or otherwise treat your diapers.
I did try for a while to use liners I made myself, but as he kept growing and the rash required *a lot* of ointment this became non practical. Plus the liners ended up in the same pail with the diapers and then the ointment was transferring to the microfleece.  I ended up opting for using disposables at night, when he is going to be in contact with the ointment for about 12 hours, those days that he gets rashes. Now that he is older and his diet is rather well established, he does not get rashes so much because of food, but he gets rabid rashes when he is teething. There is some kind of argument from the doctors’ side that teething should not cause a rash, but many moms will tell you that when the baby is teething, the bum gets red and raw. And my baby does go through that. So those nights, he gets a lot of ointment and a disposable. If his bum looks good in the morning, he goes back to cloth for the day, and then I reevaluate at night if he should sleep in cloth or not.

Add a disposable and remove three levels of cuteness instantly!

Another instance is traveling, especially now that he is older. If I am going to be out of the house for a couple of hours, he uses cloth. If I am going to be out for the day he uses hybrids with disposable inserts. However, because I do not have many shells to use with the hybrid inserts I go to disposables when I am going to be traveling. There is a certain inconvenience about being in a hotel room and having no washer, and I do not look forward to have a wet bag full of poopy diapers in a small room. I know some families stick with the cloth during trips, and I think they are awesome. I have toyed with the idea myself, but here comes the second problem…
My baby is absolutely terrified of changing tables in public restrooms. I think this is because he associates the counter, or the table with the doctor’s office’s bed or table where they measure him and gets shots. He reacts with such a fear that I cannot change his diapers. I have tried doing it in a million different ways, but if his daddy is not there to help me I just cannot control a terrified 22 pounds toddler, and I also do not want to put him through the stress! So I cannot have him in cloth during the many hours that he has sometimes been without a diaper change. Disposable diapers are more absorbent in general and will keep him dry for longer. If I can have an extra hour or two of dry baby, I’ll take it!

So those are the instances in which I do use disposables. It is not often, it is not every day nor every week, but I do from time to time reach for a bunch of diapers that I know will end up in the landfill. The thought of it makes me very uncomfortable, but I think that if we only use disposables seldomly we are doing our part, after all, 17 months down the road we have used cloth almost every day.

And you, do you ever use disposables? If so, when?

Resolution: reducing trash output

4 05 2012

Stock by eby at

I am highly disturbed by the huge amounts of trash that we produce. Yes, we do recycle, but the three arrows in the recyclable materials stand for: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; “recycle” is the last one for a reason. We are supposed to first reduce what we consume, then reuse what we have and only after that recycle what we cannot reuse; besides recycling is expensive and it is not the solution to our environmental woes.

So my new resolution when it comes to greening our lives is to reduce our amount of trash. We do cloth diaper, so that is a win, but still we do produce quite a bit of garbage. One thing that would help could be to compost, but we live in an apartment and we really have no room for an indoors compost bin, so that will have to sit in my to do list, as it has been doing since I am 14. So I am out to research what can we do within our means to make our contribution to the landfill less significant.

As for now, we just are starting to regularly make our own bread (no plastic bags being trashed), we are making our own yogurt (avoiding putting in the recyclables two big plastic pots per week) and this weekend we started to brew our own beer (no bottles discarded!). I also am making an effort to not forget the canvas totes when I go shopping.

Do you have any suggestion, please let me know! I am eager to implement as much as we can!

My *very* not green vacation

23 04 2012

My husband’s family lives in Louisiana, they are a wonderful bunch that has welcomed me as one more of their own and we miss them a lot. Since it had been about a year and a half since the last time we had been down there we decided to go to visit them for Easter, and get Ignacio to meet his Cajun family!

The first question was: cloth diapers, yes or no? Even though I am a big fan of my cloth diapers and I really cringe to the idea of putting tonnes of disposables in the land fills, I do not like to impose my lifestyle on others. Since we were going to be jumping from relative’s house to relative’s house, and they did not cloth diaper and probably are not too fond of having poopy diapers in their washing machine, we decided to use disposables for the ten days that our vacation would last.

So we got some Seventh Generation diapers, they might be disposable, but they are made with plant fiber and they are at least trying, you know? I had read that they leak in the larger sizes, but our baby is a size 3 and he fits in the middle of the range for that size, we had no problems at all! Since we were really looking forward to traveling light and avoiding check in fees we only put as many diapers as would fit in our already quite full diaper bag, thinking of buying more when we arrived to Louisiana. Seventh Generation were fine, but they made my baby’s urine smell acrid. It really stunk each time he peed to the point that I was constantly checking for poop!

As we arrived to the airport, Alamo made a mistake with our car reservation and they did not have a car sit. They openly lied to us about them “needing to get it from the back and installing it”, but after over an hour went by they admitted to us that they did not have one. As they saw that we were not going to be happy returning costumers, the manager, whom until then had been busy elsewhere, came rapidly to us and offered to do as much possible as he could to fix they big mess (I mean, think about it, a couple with a baby, after traveling for hours, stranded in an airport because they cannot leave in a car without a car sit). My husband and him went to Walmart to buy a car sit (a crappy one, the only one they had) and to make things ‘better’ he gave us a different car. We had asked for a small, compact, sedan… he probably pitied us, this was the South, where people looooove their huge trucks, so if you are asking for a compact family car is probably because you cannot afford a huge SUV and you are to be pitied. So we ended up with an SUV, he wanted to be nice… I really wanted to say no, but my husband advocated for us just taking the car and go to his sister’s house. After all, we had started our day over 12 hours ago, we had a hungry and tired infant with us and we still needed to install the crappy car sit. So we just took the SUV. We received lots of compliments and envious looks for it around the city, while I was dying inside thinking on the gas consumption and the carbon footprint. I kind of promised my husband that our next car was going to be an ethanol/electric hybrid to compensate a bit (and if they don’t exist we’ll build it ourselves!).

See that monster behind us? Yes.... I tell you what, when we go back home, we'll buy a hybrid.

Back to the diapers…. Surprise! We could not find Seventh Generation! So my poor husband, after a long day of flights and rental car problems, got Huggies, from Kimberly-Clark, it felt like buying from Monsanto…. And my baby had to wear Elmo on his bum! :/ Oh…and guess what? When I opened the pack, they had scent! Fake baby scent! That “fake baby” scent that is reminiscent of old times bad baby powder… which brings me to the question… why would you cover the wonderful scent of your baby!? I get it, you don’t want your baby to smell like poop, but that is why you change him as soon as he goes, don’t you want to smell it as soon as possible so your baby is clean? Plus, why would you want to put an extra load of chemicals (perfumes plus stabilizers) against your baby’s butt, that is going to be in touch with them 24 hours a day! And because the scent was so overpowering my baby ended up smelling like fake baby all the time… So I was constantly checking for poop…. (see a constant in my vacation here?)

One night Ignacio fell asleep before I could change him for bedtime. I was relieved though, he was wearing disposables, so there would be no problem, right? They are supposed to take 12 hours of pee. However, by midnight my poor baby was so wet that he was very uncomfortable and would not settle, so we had to wake him up to change him and rediaper him… so much for the beauty of disposables. Because of the scent (I assume) my fears were confirmed, and my poor baby ended up with a bright red bum in no time, but that is OK, we just covered the heck out of it with diaper rash ointment. If there is one advantage of disposables is that you need not to worry about them, you are going to put them in the trash can anyway.

Quick tip: Cloth diaper trial packs

18 01 2012

Choices, choices, choices....

Sometimes it feels overwhelming, you need to buy 15-20 (or more in my case!) cloth diapers, and it is a big investment. Yes, you do know that with time it will pay off, since in a few months you will cover the price of what disposables would have been for those months and the rest will be just “free” diaper time. But then you consider that you might spend $300+ in a set of pockets that later you won’t like, that are not the quality that you expected, they are too tight, too loose, you wish you would have bought all in ones, or maybe covers and prefolds… what if you loose all that money because then you are not happy with the product you bought? It really, really seems so daunting!

That is why there are many diaper stores that offer trial packs. You can buy a bunch of different diapers and systems that you would like to try, and after you have decided which ones are right for your family you can return those that you don’t want to the store and use the money you spent in store credit to get the diapers you did like. That way you get to try diapers before fully committing to a certain system or brand and you do not lose money.

Make sure you ask your favourite retailer if they do this. They will be happy to help you!

Buns Up Baby Giveaway Winner Announced.

22 12 2011

The winner for the giveaway is Hope Guerena! Congratulations, dear, and enjoy your cloth diaper! I will be sending you details on the mail.

Please, remember to click the “I did this” button *only* if you have done it. If you do not complete a task I will choose another winner. Hope, you are in luck! The first winner had not completed the task she entered and you came up as a second choice.






Quick Tip: wait for sales

13 12 2011

Stash o' diapers.

If you are a parent wanting to cloth diaper but feel overwhelmed by the initial investment of building a stash, keep in mind that many of the cloth diaper companies offer great sales through the year. Keep an eye on the companies webpages, blogs and social networking, they will let costumers know when a good sale is brewing. Wait for these sales and save as much as 15-20%

There are offers on second too, if you don’t mind small flaws in still functional diapers.