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 DeviantArt.com

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!





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.





Buns Up Baby cloth diaper review and giveaway.

10 12 2011

I feel I must warn my readers that Buns Up Baby has vanished, me and other people cannot contact the owner or find her Facebook page. Be aware that some people placed orders but have not received them and have failed to contact Amber. I have no idea what happened and just can pray and hope that she and her family are safe, but be aware that it might not be a good idea to order diapers from her at the moment.

Guess what did my mom get me?

Hey, getting ready for Christmas and the end of the year? I am! And because I wanted to give you a gift for this season I am throwing an awesome giveaway sponsored by Amber at Buns Up Baby.

I learned about Buns Up Baby through another blog and decided to try my luck and email Amber. I was ecstatic when she accepted to send me a diaper to review and host a giveaway! She told me to head over to her webpage and choose a diaper I would like to test and basically demanded that I had fun testing it! How nice of her!

I chose a lovely Cow Patty minkee diaper for Ignacio because he is a Taurus and I thought it would be cute to see him wearing a cow print diaper 🙂

Surprise!! She got me a fun Cow Patties minkee diaper by Buns Up Baby!!

The review:

Amber and Buns Up Baby:
Buns Up Baby is a new company created by Amber in March 2011. She is a Canadian mom in Ontario that was not quite satisfied with the cloth diaper options out there: pockets are either really pricey or very low quality, so she decided to get her own designs made (yes, she is that cool!). After testing her designs with a manufacturer that she liked she decided to get started with her own company. To keep her prices lower than the big companies she has her diapers made in China (she regularly makes sure that ethical work conditions and quality are met) but also takes a smaller profit per diaper sold. After all many of the big brands are made in China too, the difference is that Buns Up Baby’s goal is to keep quality diapers affordable because Amber really wants to do something to save the planet.
Amber has some great plans for the near future, there is a new diaper on the making that would have an extra row of rise snaps, bamboo insert, and have colour coded waist snaps. There would also be another row of inner gussets making it as convenient as a disposable diaper but cloth. This diaper would cost more but she promises that she is trying to make it as affordable as possible!
Because she is really cool (as I mentioned before) she gives a free diaper on large orders as a way to thank her costumers, she even includes a diaper pail liner from time to time. And if you live in Canada you can check with her to see if she is going to be on the road so you can deliver your diapers and save you the shipping!! So green and sweet of her!

The diaper:
These diapers are pocket, one size, this means that through the adjustment of snappies you can make the diaper fit the same baby from eight to 35 pounds. They have an inside of microfleece that wicks moisture away and they have an outer layer PUL coated to keep the diaper water proof. The pocket is on the back side and the diaper is stuffed with inserts made of three layers of microterry.

My impression on the diaper:
This is the first minkee diaper I ever touch, and it is so incredibly soft! Besides that… it is absolutely adorable!
I was very impressed with the quality of this diaper. When I received it I thought that it was going to be a “good diaper for $10” but the truth is that it is a good diaper. Period. Yes, there are some really good quality diapers out there for over $20, but for less than $10 you will find that these diapers are very competitive quality wise.

Neutral:
The area between the legs is broader than in other pockets, like Charlie Banana or Fuzzibuns, but this didn’t seem to bother Ignacio. He is not mobile yet, so I don’t know how this would interfere with crawling or walking, but you can see from the photos that he is comfortable and does not mind.
The pocket has no flap to cover the opening, as in Charlie Banana, but unlike other brands it has an elastic that prevents the insert from poking out. It also makes it easy to stuff because, well, it has no flap.
I cannot give an opinion about messes because Ignacio did not poop while using this diaper, besides we are past the crazy poop mess stage now that he is on solids, so I will have to leave that question unanswered 🙂

The diaper is broader than others between the legs, but at the same time the adjustment for size is barely noticeable.

What could be improved:
There is one thing that I wish all CD companies did, including Buns Up Baby, and this is to label their inserts. When each insert looks almost like the other one, and you pull them put of the washing machine, it is cumbersome to try to identify them by comparing them side by side and try to remember how each of them looked… and all of them are some shade of white microterry…
The cloth of this diaper is very soft, as in lacking firmness, so the lateral wings of the diaper are a little floppy and poke out of the waist. If you tuck them behind the waist there is no problem, though, they remain there. I think this would be fixable with a different snappy configuration (says she who knows nothings of sewing!) Actually, I am kind of divided whether writing this one as a neutral, though, because that same ‘floppiness’ of the material makes the diaper hug the baby really well and conform to his body very comfortably.

Awesomeness:
The diaper is so soft! It is super soft in the outside, but most importantly, it is super soft in the inside. I do have several brands of cloth diapers at home, and this is I think the softest one yet. Apart form that, the elastic is very gentle but yet supportive, so my baby did not end up with red marks around his legs and waist, even after 12 hours, which happens to him with Fuzzibuns.
I am surprised too at how this diaper works at becoming smaller for smaller babies, while the fully expanded diaper is larger than many and the waist is high, when you adjust the snaps for the diaper to become smaller there is almost no bulk! I mean it! Just take a look at the photos and see how streamlined it becomes. In my experience with other diaper brands and systems this always has been an aesthetic problem, since the diapers end up looking like bubbles around the baby’s bum, but not these diapers, they look just awesome!
The diaper is crazy absorbent! I used it during the day with no wicking whatsoever. My baby is a heavy wetter and wicking is my bane, so I first used it for 2 hours, and when I changed the diaper I actually called my husband to come and touch the microfleece interior of the diaper. He looked at me like “yeah, right…” but when I insisted he humored me and was surprised to note how dry it felt. That means that my baby, who hates being wet, did not feel any discomfort at all!
I tried this diaper for nap time, and it held! Ignacio slept well, no leaks or wicking at all.
I then tried it for night time. I stuffed two cotton/hemp inserts into it, additional to the one that Amber sent with the diaper and it worked wonderful for almost 12 hours. It did give up after 10 hours, which is a very long time, given that Ignacio is normally soaked and wicking by 5 hours.  Now, before you say something like “yeah, well, but you added more inserts” let me tell you that I do this with every diaper I use for bedtime, and they do not work this well. The great thing is that it still felt dry against baby’s bum! I think that Buns Up Baby’s next diaper with gussets will probably take care of this, since the wicking did come from the legs.

These diapers are super soft and comfortable, listen to my mom!

The Giveaway:

If you are a cloth diapering mom or if you are considering to get started, this is a perfect diaper to try. You can buy these diapers from Buns Up Baby or you can win one in this giveaway! Head over to Sensibly Green on Facebook* to enter the Rafflecopter and fill your entries!

If you do buy a diaper from Amber during the time that this giveaway is running, don’t forget to tell her that you are coming from Sensibly Green, this will give you extra entries! Just write “sent by Sensibly Green” in the paypal comments/special instructions area and she will let me know!

As for me, I am planning to get me a few more diapers from her, the Giraffe print is adorable and it sells like hot cakes! So make sure to get yours as soon as you see it available!

This giveaway will run from Dec 10th to 20th 2011, after that I will verify the entries and draw a winner 🙂 Do tell your friends, the more the merrier!

And now excuse me… I am going to learn some more about cows…

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*Wordpress does not support the Rafflecopter application so I have to run it over there!