cloth diapering: grovia

The other cloth diaper brand we use is:We came across GroVia a little late in the game. Our go-to cloth diapering store started carrying them after we already had a pretty well established stash of Fuzzibunz. I was initially drawn to them based on color choices alone – which is consistent with my reasons for choosing cloth in the first place. I have had a great experience so far with their customer service department – very helpful and friendly. Their diaper warranty seems to be quite comprehensive and straight forward though I have not had to take them up on it yet as we have had no problems with them in the 6+ months that we have been using them.

As with the Fuzzibunz brand we tried both of the styles offered by GroVia. First up is the hybrid diaper.A hybrid diaper is a cloth diaper that can be used with either a reusable soaker pad or a disposable liner. This was the second thing that attracted me to this brand, I was thinking that the disposable option would be a good solution for traveling. Turns out that for longer trips where we do not have a washer and dryer accessible I think we’ll just use regular disposable diapers but more on that later.Similar to our main Fuzzibunz diapers these are a one-size diaper allowing you to use the same diaper from birth to potty training. Different than the Fuzzibunz – the diaper is adjusted using snaps only rather than having adjustable elastic around the legs and waist. Initially I was unsure that this would provide the correct fit but I have actually been very pleasantly surprised at how well the GroVia diaper has ended up fitting. The diaper is composed of a outer waterproof shell which is covered with a soft mesh layer inside and a removable soaker pad that looks like this.You purchase the shells and soaker pads separately. The soaker pads are always sold in a two pack. I found this odd before I started using them but the soakers are designed in a way that you can switch out the soaker and use the same cover for multiple changes. You can also purchase additional ‘boosters’ that lay on top of the liner allowing for extra absorbency. 
There are two snaps on each ‘flap’ that are positioned horizontally with many corresponding snap options across the front giving a very snug yet comfortable fit – these are the 12 snaps across the bottom in the photo on the right. The 9 snaps in the middle allow for vertical adjustments as your child grows – you will rarely adjust these. Thought the snaps my look a bit overwhelming once you have the diaper in front of you it makes a lot more sense. Promise. The soaker pad is connected with two snaps located on both the back of the insert and on the inside of the cover. Which means no stuffing! This makes these diapers very user friendly. It also keeps the soaker in place making it possible to reuse the cover. As I’m reading the description of the soaker pads on the GroVia site I’m thinking that we are using the ‘Organic Cotton Soaker’ rather than the ‘Stay Dry Soaker’. I think this because ours does not have a layer of micro fleece. The Soakers are slightly contoured with gussets on either side. I LOVE the gussets, they do a great job of keeping everything exactly where its supposed to be. They are lined on the back with a waterproof material so you can easily remove them without touching the anything wet or dirty. This also keeps the cover dry so reusing isn’t a problem. The second style of GroVia diapers we tried were the ‘all-in-one’.I’ll be brief with the description of this style of the GroVia because we only own one and quickly decided that it was not going to be the diaper for us. But I’ll at least fill you in on a few of the details. The all-in-one diaper is just like it sounds – all one piece. It is also a one size diaper which adjusts using snaps alone.Most diapers both disposable and cloth are put on by placing the two side flips on top of the main part of the diaper. For some reason this diaper is designed opposite, where the main flap is snaped onto the side flaps. Really, if its not broken GroVia, don’t fix it. The single most frustrating feature of a diaper, ever. Jake used it for the first time and refuses to use it again.
The ‘soaker’ is sewn into the diaper so there is no stuffing.It comes with an extra ‘booster’ which attaches with a snap and fold behind the sewn in soaker.The closures attach with two vertical snaps which in my opinion does not give as good of a fit as the horizontal snaps on the hybrid.

Our Pick
We much prefer the GroVia hybrid diaper. In fact, had I found these diapers before we were fully stocked up on Fuzzibunz we would have gone exclusively with the GroVia hybrid. Like I said, we own one of the all-in-one diapers and we use it as a last resort. They are awkward to use and leak the most out of all the diapers we have tried and are not holding up well. AND, though the hybrids seem more expensive, because you can reuse the cover and the soakers come in a two pack, they are actually less expensive per change (by about $5) than the all-in-ones.

Care for the Hybrid Diaper
The whole diaper goes straight into the washing machine. You can separate the cover from the soaker if you choose but it will wash the same either way. To extend the longevity of your diapers it is recommended that you let the covers air dry (they dry very quickly). I try to do this most of the time but sometimes everything gets thrown in together.

Why We Love the Hybrids
As I’m sure you can tell by my raving, we have had a great experience with these diapers. Just like  the Fuzzibunz we have had no blow-outs and no diaper rash. Different than the Fuzzibunz, we have never experienced any wicking of moisture onto clothes. Her clothes stay completely dry 100%! And because the cover and liner are separate there is still a soft, cozy feel around the legs and waist. We have had NO problems with snaps . They are holding up great and show no signs of wear, they are a different design than the Fuzzibuns. The color choices are far superior to the Fuzzibunz, very current and very cute – not a huge fan of the patterns but the solids are great! There is no stuffing with the hybrid which makes they much more user friendly and cuts back significantly on time spent getting them ready for use. And they do have the disposable option which I’m not that matters to us as we have used them and could live with out them but I have heard of people that like them and if you want more info on that feature of the diaper you can check out this blog, she does a great job explaining it.

Our Challenges
Really, in my opinion, these are very minor issues but I promised full disclosure. The thickness of the soaker makes it take much longer to dry than our other diapers but an extra ten or so minutes in the dryer usually does the trick. Because the soaker is made from cotton rather than a micro fleece it does not wick moisture. Which means baby feels wet when the diaper is wet. Everly doesn’t seem to mind this and I’ve heard that this promotes early potty training which I can’t speak to yet but I am a big fan of that! Finally, these are the bulkiest diapers that we have tried but I am fine with that because their functionality certainly makes up for it.

In summary, WE LOVE THE GROVIA HYBRID!

*UPDATE*
All of the things I said in this post were true, they were great when Everly was younger however, once Everly hit about 14 months (about 23 pounds) I began to have a lot of trouble with these diapers leaking. Everly drinks A LOT of water and I have found that the Grovias don’t hold nearly as much liquid as the Fuzzibunz. As she got bigger the insert stopped staying in place as well and began bunching in the front making the diaper leak even faster. With the bunching it allowed the cover to become saturated making me throw it in the dirty bag right away rather than using it again for multiple changes with new inserts. If you are planning on a very early potty training the Grovias might be great for you but once we hit the toddler/kid stage they have been a bit frustrating and I may not recommend them as your only diaper choice. But they do still come in great colors – still tempting I know!

The final brand we tried was bumGenius’ Flip diaper and I’ll do a very brief run-down on those next.

Related Posts
Why We Cloth Diaper
Cloth Diapering: The Newborn Days
Cloth Diapering: Fuzzibunz 

cloth diapering: fuzzibunz

This post has certainly been a long time coming but I wanted to make sure that we had a realistic idea about cloth diapering before I acted like an expert –which is something I’m not! I wanted to make sure I was giving information from real experience rather that what I thought, heard or hoped it would be like. So ten months into it, let me share with you what we have learned.

While we were using our newborn diapers I was busy collecting information about diapers for the next stage. I had a hard time picking based on the information, I didn’t really know anyone who was using the brands we was thinking about and cloth diapers today are SO different than the ones my parents used for me! So we were trying to make decisions based on forums I was finding online. Finally we decided the best way to really know which worked best for us was to try them! We chose a few brands and purchased a couple of different styles. I have sat down to write this post about our experience with each many times but kept getting hung up on the format. I wanted to lay everything out in a way that was easy to compare and collect information for you own cloth diapering journey. So I’ve decided to do a separate post for each brand we chose to try with a detailed explanation of how they work. Often times cloth diapering websites assume you know more than you do about the world of cloth diapering and since they have progressed so much over the years I think it would be helpful to explain it from someone who was a newbie too. Once we’re all on the same page about how each one works I’ll  do a summary post of what we felt the pros and cons were of each. So here we go!

Lets start with:

Fuzzibunz is a great cloth diapering company. It was started by a mom that wanted a better solution to cloth diapering and works very closely with moms who actually use their products. They have amazing customer service when you call with a question you talk to an actual mom who has actually used these diapers on their own children! SO helpful! They also have an amazing warranty policy for diapers. If they are defective in any way all you have to do is take a picture of the diaper, email it and they’ll send you a brand new replacement in the mail!

We tried two different styles from Fuzzibunz, first, the OneSize Elite. This diaper is fully adjustable to get the perfect fit for any baby body type and is said to take your child from birth to potty training. Thats right, the same diaper will fit the whole time your babe is in diapers! All though, we used a separate set of diapers specific to newborns more on that here. This diaper is essentially our everyday diaper.

When you purchase a OneSize Elite diaper this is how they will come:

1. Two ‘minky’ inserts – one small and one large
2. One cover and two adjustable elastic replacementsIt is a pocket diaper meaning the shell consists of a waterproof outer layer – the teal part – with a micro-flece inner layer. The two are sewn together to create a ‘pocket’. The pocket is then stuffed with an insert – the absorbent part of the diaper. Based on your baby’s absorbency needs you can add an additional insert. We started out with just one insert for daytime and two inserts overnight. We have since moved to ‘double stuffed’ for both day and night.

The micro-flece is a great wicking material. This pulls moisture away from baby resulting in a ‘stay-dry’ feeling and greatly reducing – in our case eliminating – diaper rash. They look just like disposable diapers but in my opinion, way cuter! The diaper is contoured at the legs to give a less bulky and more accurate fit. As you can see, there is elastic at both the back and legs of the diapers – in the case of the OneSize diaper all three of these are adjustable.Each elastic strip has button holes with corresponding numbers that allow you to loosen or tighten both the back of the diaper as well as each leg depending on your baby’s body type. As  your baby gets bigger you can loosen the elastic allowing the diaper to grow with them. Fuzzibunz provides a size chart with their diapers which gives a good starting point when fitting your baby. I would say that the initial work of getting the sizing just right on each diaper seems a bit overwhelming but after you figure out the right fit you won’t have to mess with it again until your baby gets bigger.The buttons and elastic are positioned underneath the fleece so they will not rub against or irritate baby’s skin.The original OneSize diaper (not the Elite) had the buttons and elastic on top of the fleece and I would always find bright red indentations where they would press against her skin – no good – this is a big reason why I would recommend the Elite over the original!

The waist is also adjustable at the front using the snaps. This three point adjustment makes it easy to get the perfect fit and prevent leaks. If you are more of a visual/audio learner here is a great video that explains how to use this diaper. She is using the original OneSize rather than the Elite but they essentially work the same and you’ll get the picture. The second style of Fuzzibunz we have used is the Perfect Size. These come in XS, S, M and L. Different from the OneSize the Perfect Size is  not adjustable so as your child grows you will need to purchase additional diapers in a larger size.They are also a pocket diaper and when you purchase one it will come with one cover and one insert. Additional inserts can be purchased for these diapers – we bought one extra insert for each diaper. Like they OneSize they are lined with a micro-fleece giving the same soft, stay-dry feeling for your babe. The Perfect Size has only two snaps because they are more size specific to begin with and need less adjusting.

We bought this style because Fuzzibunz says that they give a trimmer fit than the OneSize resulting in a less bulky diaper. I was afraid that the OneSize diaper wouldn’t fit under her tiny clothes so we wanted to try these as well. In all honesty, I think they are just as, if not more bulky than the OneSize. We use these double stuffed as night time diapers, not because they are superior just because we have them.

Our Pick:
We prefer the OneSize Elite over the Perfect Size for two reasons, we can get a more tailored fit for baby girl using the adjustable elastic as well as the three snaps in front and we will purchase less diapers because they can grow with her. OneSize Elites are the most expensive diaper in the Fuzzibunz line but when the difference is just a few dollars and you only have to buy one set rather than purchasing larger sizes as baby grows, its less expensive in the long run.

Care for pocket diapers:
If you have a top loading washer you can throw the whole thing in the washing machine – if your baby is eating solid foods you will need to dump any solid waste before washing but this is true with all cloth diapers and washing machines. The agitation of the machine will separate the insert from the cover for you. If you have a front loading washing machine you will need to pull the insert out before washing. If you want to know more about that there is a great video hereWarning, if you don’t want to see baby poop, don’t watch the video.

Why we love them:
We have had a great experience thus far with both of these diapers. They hold up well to washing and she seems to be very comfortable in them. We have had NO DIAPER RASH and NO BLOW-OUTS! My fear that the diapers would not fit under her clothes has yet to be a problem. All of her cute tiny clothes have fit despite the diaper booty.

Like I have always said, I will be completely honest about all the wonderful and not so wonderful things about cloth diapering. I’m not going to paint some flawless picture about it. Like any diaper, disposable or cloth, there are always going to be downfalls.

Our challenges:
Because of the wicking nature of the micro-fleece and the construction of this diaper (the fleece is exposed around the legs) occasionally we notice moisture being wicked onto her clothes. I would not consider them leaks because rather than soaking it is just damp. We dealt with this in two ways. First, more frequent diaper changes. This worked for a while but as she got older she became more of a heavy wetter which meant it didn’t matter the frequency, once she was wet so were her clothes. Which lead us to the second way we dealt with it, double stuffing. We began to use two inserts at all times and we are back to a normal changing schedule – every three to four hours – and her cloths very rarely are wet – maybe once every two or three weeks? The snaps are another challenge. For the most part they are fine, but we have had three diapers where the snaps have pulled away from the cover and fallen off. Like I said, all three have been replaced very quickly with Fuzzibunz’s snap warranty just by emailing a picture to the company. They sent brand new diapers within the week at no charge to us so I wouldn’t say this is a great concern of ours. Our last ‘challenge’ really isn’t a challenge but I’ve been kind of disappointed with their color choices when compared to other brands we use. Because we intend to use these diapers for all of our children we are trying to stick to gender neutral colors, I think it would be fine if we were choosing all girl or all boy colors but as far as middle of the road I haven’t been impressed with the options. We like the White and Spearmint best.

So that sums up Fuzzibunz. I’ll fill you in on GroVia in the next cloth diapering post.

Related posts:
Why We Cloth Diaper 
Cloth Diapering: The Newborn Days
Cloth Diapering: GroVia

all-natural teethers

Baby girl’s first two teeth are making their debut and she is taking it like a champ. For a teething baby she is handling it very well but I can still tell her teeth are bothering her. We’ve tried the cold teething rings that go in the fridge but she just doesn’t seem too interested in them. I know that the cold would sooth her gums so I started experimenting and came up with this – frozen jicama strips.

If you are not familiar with jicama – pronounced hick-a-ma – it is a root vegetable, crisp, sweet and refreshing. When frozen they are the perfect teether. It’s just barely sweet flavor keeps her attention and you can tell when she chews on them that they feel good to her sore gums. She isn’t too interested in holding them herself – too cold – but if someone will hold them for her, she is all about them! I love that they are all-natural and because they are white and mostly water they are much less messy than teething biscuits! Here’s to new teeth!

On another note – I realized I’ve been slacking when it comes to pictures of the little one! Its hard to take cute pictures of a sick kid and I am beyond ready for cold season to be over but here are a couple from Easter. Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!Happy Monday!

cloth diapering – the newborn days

cloth diapering newborn

Wow! What a great response to my first cloth diapering post! I love that so many of you are intrigued and want to know more! It sounds like a lot of you are where I was at when I first started thinking about cloth diapering – definitely interested but you don’t have all the information. I don’t claim to have all the information myself, just the experience of our 7 1/2 month go at it so far. So I will share with you as best I can because in my opinion, the more you know about them, the more exciting they are!

So lets start from the beginning – the newborn stage.

Why we chose to use newborn diapers.
Newborn diapers are not a must, its purely based on preference and what works for you. As we were collecting our one-size diapers I started thinking we might want something a bit smaller for the early days. Because I knew more babies were in the plan I hoped that having a newborn set would buy a little time for potty training if we have more than one babe in diapers. We had heard that it can be difficult to fit regular sized diapers into newborn clothes. We wanted her to wear things that fit her not her diaper. Oh, and they were ADORABLE! So we dove in.

little joeys

We used lil joeys by Rump.a.rooz – like I said, so cute! Besides being cute there were a few other reasons why I was drawn to this particular brand.

Why we chose lil joeys
1. They have snaps instead of velcro – I hate – no – loath washing things with velcro. All the sticking, all the pilling and it seems like when velcro is washed over an over it ends up loosing its stick. Since we’re in this for the long haul, I wanted these diapers to last. Snaps were definitely a must.
2. They have gussets inside just like disposables. This just made the most sense to me. One more barrier between me and all the stuff that belongs inside the diaper. I’m in!little joeys detail3. They are an ‘all in one’. No stuffing, no folding, the diaper is one piece so you use it exactly like a disposable. It goes into and comes out of the laundry in one piece.
4. They snap down in the front so they wont irritate the belly button before the baby loses their umbilical cord.

umbi snapWe bought all of ours from a specialty children’s store in town, their staff is super knowledgeable and very helpful. You can order them online here, here or here. I have also heard of some places renting sets of newborn diapers for a monthly but I have never actually found anyone that does and we wanted to own ours.

Use and care
We had heard that meconium can stain the diapers and our hospital sent us home with a package of disposables. By the time we were out, the meconium was gone so we started right away. We have two wet bags – I’ll give more information about these in my cloth diapering accessories post – a large one that hangs in the closet and a smaller one that stays in the diaper bag. While you are still exclusively nursing everything that comes out of baby is water soluble so after changing, the whole diaper went straight into the bag and wasn’t thought about again until it was time to wash them. When it was time to wash, we unzipped the bag, shook them into the washing machine and started the laundry. There was no touching the diapers a second time. We washed the diapers every other night. After we put the baby down for bed I ran the diapers. Cold prewash, a hot wash with a small amount of detergent and an extra hot rinse cycle. Before we went to bed I threw them into the dryer and we had clean diapers in the morning! It was really that easy. Every few weeks I would run them in two extra hot wash cycles with no detergent just to make sure there was no residue left behind.

Full disclosure
To date, the newborn diapers were the most challenging part of our cloth diapering experience. I would still do it again with out thinking twice but there were some challenges. Because of their all-in-one design the took longer to dry. We were using them in the summer so I just set up a clothes line outside, after one round in the dryer I hung them up. By the time we needed them they were dry. Every once in a while they would come out of the wash stained, but because we were hanging them in the sun to finish drying the sun bleached them right out. We did have blow outs. I attribute most of them to improper sizing – the diapers offer multiple size options depending on which combination of snaps you use and after adjusting the size the problem was typically resolved.

tiny oneOver all we had a very good experience with these diapers. It felt good to put her in something so soft and cozy right away. She was so tiny for so long that had we gone with one-size only they would have been too big. Everly never ended up growing out of her lil joeys but you know that saying ‘what goes up must come down?’ Well, what goes in must come out and when she started to eat more what was coming out was no longer being contained. We worked our way up to a stash of 12 diapers and they paid for themselves in 12 weeks. We ended up using them for about 17 weeks and they are ready and waiting for the babies to come!

why we cloth diaper

First of all, I could talk about cloth diapers for days. So this will be a series. But, I will do my best to keep each post as brief as possible so as not to bore you. For those of you who really don’t care how I diaper my baby, don’t worry, I will break the series up with lots of food and decor in between.Before I was pregnant I had decided I really wanted to use cloth diapers. This decision was mostly because I thought they were cute, at least, thats what caused me to start researching them. The more I read about them, the more reasons I found to favor cloth. Soon the reasons to use cloth far out weight the reasons not to.

Here was the list

1. They are really cute – this may seem ridiculous but I promised honesty
2. Cloth diapering has come A LONG way. They are much more like regular diapers, no more pins and plastic pants.
3.  Huge money saver! – There are lots of different estimations about how much you’ll spend on disposable diapers from birth to potty training. On average its about $3,500 per child. We dream of having a big family so we’re talking $14K-$17K in diapers alone! Yeesh! Compare that to about $600-$700 for cloth. TOTAL! For all our kids!
4. What exactly is in disposable diapers? I have started examining the products I use with more of a questioning eye, making effort to make decisions because I think is best not because its normal. And I was uneasy about soft baby skin sitting in some sort of absorbent goo for two years.
5. Promise of less diaper rash and fewer blow-outs. Sign me up for that!
6. No emergency-we’re-out-of-diapers trips to the store.
7. No diaper genie/dirty diaper nursery smell. Bleh!
8. The whole ‘less waste thing’ seemed like a responsible decision.

Once there was a baby on the way I had my mind made up. Jake was a little leery at first but we made a stop by our local baby to take a look at the diapers, just to get a better idea of what they would be like. The ladies at the botuique were so knowledgeable and helpful. And once Jake saw the diapers in person he was quickly convinced they weren’t as scary as they sounded. He was in!curious baby It is a good thing we both had our minds made up like we did because we got a lot of negative input about going cloth (all unsolicited, as most baby advice goes). The funny thing about that was, none of the people telling us we would hate them had ever used them before. Weird. But we did it anyway and we couldn’t be happier with our decision.

Ultimately we finalized the decision based on the fact that there are pros and cons to all the decisions we make. But at some point, you have to just make a decision and stick with it. So though there may be some negatives to the cloth diapering world, we think that the positives are good enough for us.

We LOVE using cloth. We have already seen the financial benefits of using cloth, no diaper induced rash yet, since passing the early newborn stage there have been no blow outs, her nursery smells great and, like I thought, they are really cute! Since she was born in the summer she spent the first two months in her diapers only, they were so cozy we didn’t see the need for clothes! diaper with leg warmersLook how much she likes them!

Upcoming cloth diapering posts:

cloth diapering – the newborn days 
cloth diapering 101: fuzzibunz
cloth diapering 101: GroVia
cloth diapering 101: Flip
cloth diaper care
cloth diapering accessories