Yesterday was quite a day for Joy and me. As we pounded the pavement in Portland, Oregon, knocking on the doors of prenatal massage clinics and baby shops to spread the word about our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we stumbled into Eco-baby Gear. Imagine our surprise and delight when we spotted our book on display right in the middle of the store!
But it gets even better. There, before our eyes, was an entire rack of soft, adorable GroVia hybrid diapers. Unfortunately for us–dedicated cloth diaper enthusiasts since 2006–we never had a chance to try GroVia on our own babies. Joy did write a post about them last year: GroVia vs. gDiapers.
We learned a bit more about these diapers. At Eco-baby Gear, they say customers prefer GroVia to gDiapers for a few reasons: 1. Unlike gDiapers, GroVia diapers have snaps so they adjust to fit babies as they grow. 2. GroVia uses all snaps–no Velcro. 3. The cloth inserts snap in place, and the disposable inserts stick on with adhesive. This works better than the gDiaper system.
If you’ve had a chance to try GroVia diapers, let us know what you think. How to they compare to gDiapers–or regular old cloth diapers? Those of you who weighed in on this subject last November, if you are still reading, we’d like to hear an update!
What were we blogging about three years ago, in the dark ages of July, 2008? I had a two-year-old, Joy had just one baby, and we were one month away from signing a publishing contract for the Eco-nomical Baby Guide. Dipping into Green Baby Guide’s archives, I found a delightful assortment of posts (if I do say so myself), including our most popular post of all time: Flushable Diapers (gDiapers)–What Do You Think?
Some posts helped our readers settle into summer: Finding Free Organic Produce, Simple Steps to Fight Summer Heat and Limit Air Conditioning, A Thrifty Green Favorite: Cloth Swim Diapers, Disguise Vegetables in Fruity Popsicles (another one of our all-time favorites!), and Green Olympic Trials. But then, for some reason, I wrote about making Easy Oats for Two: A Cheap and Nutritious Breakfast for Mother and Child. I’m not sure I’d totally latched on to the idea of making my posts seasonally relevant!
We had our regular smattering of product reviews: Borax: A Budget Friendly, Eco-Friendly Wonder Product (alternate title: a million and one things to do with Borax);
Book Review: The Tightwad Gazette; Save Water with BPA and Phthalate-free Baby Bathtubs; and the Isabooties Product Review.
The rest of our July 2008 posts fit under a category I will describe as “eco-friendly lifestyle” posts: Easy Organic Cloth Diaper Stain Removal Techniques, Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Avoid Eating Nuts?, Life with a Baby . . . and No Paper Towels, Sleep vs. The Planet, Save Some Trees–Never Buy Children’s Books, and What’s Your Walk Score?
I hope you enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane. Here’s to our fourth summer of blogging!
Two lucky readers are going to have a very, very good week! One of them will receive three One Size Fuzzibunz cloth diapers and the other will score a Fuzzibunz In and out Mess Free Hanging Diaper Pail and a bag of Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap. What great supplies for all your cloth diapering adventures!
Three One Size FuzziBunz Pocket Diapers
If you aren’t yet a FuzziBunz fanatic, you may soon be converted. They are soft, absorbent, easy care pocket diapers that work wonderfully. The FuzziBunz One Size cloth diapers are built to take babies from birth to potty training, with sturdy adjustable snaps that older tots can’t open. So even though there is an initial investment, once you get a set of these diapers you will never have to buy a different size again!
The soft layer of polyester in Fuzzibunz wicks moisture from baby’s skin while the inner pad absorbs the bulk of the wetness. Because the pad is removable, it dries far more quickly than an All-in-One Diaper or a Prefold Diaper. (In my opinion, FuzziBunz are the best cloth diapers for line drying.) You can also double up the inner pads for naptime or heavy wetters. Check out this FuzziBunz One Size Diaper Tutorial Video to see how to adjust the FuzziBunz One Size Diaper and get a better idea of how a pocket diaper works.
I’ve had a set of FuzziBunz diapers for the last three years and can attest to their durability and effectiveness. Our Velcro diapers have all aged horribly after hundreds of washings with two children, but the vivid colors and quality fabrics of our FuzziBunz are holding up beautifully.
FuzziBunz In and out Mess Free Hanging Diaper Pail and 1 Bag Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap
FuzziBunz In and out Mess Free Hanging Diaper Pail is an ingenious fabric contraption that you can perch on a doorknob or hook for a portable diaper pail. Dirty cloth diapers are deposited in the top opening and when the pail is full, you simply unzip the bottom to drop the diapers into the washing machine. (Which means less hands-on dirty diaper contact!) Toss the diaper pail in along with the load and you’re all set. When your babies are potty trained, use it as a handy little laundry bag.
My favorite part of Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap is that it makes doing the wash seem rebellious and exciting. It’s also the first detergent I’ve discovered that is customized for different water types. Hard Rock Rockin’ Green is the toughest detergent formula for hard water; Soft Rock Rockin’ Green is for soft water and sensitive skin; and Classic Rock Rockin’ Green is for those in the middle. It’s eco-friendly, but works hard to get out stains, spills and stink and has recently been “remixed” to work even better. Its ingredients are safe and free from phosphate, fillers, enzymes or optical brighteners. Rockin’ Green comes in seven natural scents, all made with 1000% essential oils, including, Mighty, Mighty Marshmallow, Smashing Watermelons, Rage Against the Raspberry, Motley Clean, and Lavender Mint Revival.
Enter the Fuzzibunz Cloth Diapers, Fuzzibunz Cloth Diaper Pail, and Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap Giveaway!
Each comment counts as an entry. You can enter up to four times. Here’s how:
1. Simply post a comment
2. Like Greenbabyguide.com on Facebook (then tell us you did it in a separate comment)
3. Visit the Fuzzibunz website or the Rockin’ Green Laundry Soap website and comment on what you learned.
4. Spread the news about the giveaway! Email someone, post it on Facebook, tweet it, blog it, or send someone a message about it via carrier pigeon. (And again, don’t forget to tell us all about it in the comments!)
This contest ends on Thursday July 21th and is only open to U.S. Residents.
(Drum roll, please . . . ) In fifth place, we have Bambo Nature Eco-friendly Diapers.
Tushies Diapers come in strong in fourth place.
Nature Babycare Eco-friendly Chlorine-free Diapers take the bronze medal in the chlorine-free diaper Olympics.
In second place, we have Earth’s Best Tender Care Chlorine Free Diapers.
And, in first place–not much of a surprise here–Seventh Generation Free and Clear Baby Diapers.
What an exciting countdown that was! Now, if you want to learn more about chlorine free disposables (what’s the big deal about chlorine-free diapers? Are chlorine-free diapers better for the environment than cloth? Which eco-disposables do we recommend? Which are the best deal?), you’re going to want to get your hands on The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.
Until then, happy diapering!
Any woman who has been through labor knows that this is a weak comparison at best. Childbirth is humbling, agonizing, magical and miraculous. Moving is… just horrible.
Maybe. But beyond the actual contractions and the loading of the moving trucks, both of these events are entries into huge life transitions. In both cases, there is usually time to prepare for the event and life beyond it.
We wrote The Eco-nomical Baby Guide because our pregnancies were riddled with pressures to stock up on supplies that claimed to make parenthood easier. We faced huge baby registries and “must have” lists and decided that we’d rather buy less and buy used in order to keep the planet and our pocketbooks in mind. Each of our families ended up saving about six thousand dollars in our tots’ first year alone by going secondhand, cloth diapering, and making homemade baby food. Far from being a hardship, we found budget-friendly, eco-friendly living to be a grand adventure and actually started this blog to share our successes (and frequent failures) on our green journey.
Now, as my family is on the brink of moving, it all feels so familiar. It’s tempting to go out and buy new furnishings to fill the empty space, using money to make the shift easier. Instead, we shall be living in our new house with lawn chairs and beanbags as furniture for awhile. We’ll patiently hit garage sales and shop craigslist until we slowly stock our house with secondhand pieces we love.
Whether we’re preparing for baby or moving into a new home, making huge changes with an eco-friendly, budget-friendly mindset requires patience, a bit of self-control, and the humility to realize that we’re not defined by our stuff. I hope that as we continue to face transition with our reduce, reuse, recycle mantra, our kids will learn those same skills for themselves. It’s a glorious way to live a rich life without consuming (or spending) nearly as much.
Green and Clean Mom Has a great post on How to Buy Organic Food Cheap. It’s great practical advice that you can put into action on your next trip to the grocery store.
Stop by later this week to check out our upcoming giveaway. It involves cloth diapers and some fabulous supplies so come back to get the details!
I ran across Broody Chick 100% Natural Fully Compostable Diapers and wondered if anyone can attest to their fit, leakage protection, and eco-friendliness. Broody Chick diapers are chlorine-free, fragrance-free, and hypo-allergenic. They seem like a great product, especially if you are actually able to compost them curbside. (I don’t think they can be home composted.)
One package costs $17.99, and the customers who’ve reviewed them on Amazon seem happy with them. They come in four sizes:
If you’ve tried Broody Chick diapers, let us know what you think!
Our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, is a record of how we saved thousands of dollars by going green. In my podcast with Tanya Lieberman of Dandeliondish.com, I got to reflect on how The Eco-nomical Baby Guide can support new parents as they save money and the planet. If you’re wondering exactly what the book is about, take about fifteen minutes to listen to this interview and see if it might work for you. (And The Eco-nomical Baby Guide is still miraculously cheap right now at just under eight bucks on Amazon–it will earn several dozen times its cost in savings!)
Mom’s Healthy Market is an online resource for high quality, eco-friendly products for children from companies such as Bebe au Lait, Green Toys, Apple Park Toys, Guidecraft, Tegu, Seventh Generation, E-cloth, Pure Rest Organics, and Eco Baby. Everything on the site is organized by room for easy reference. Check out the “baby room” for some great diapering products or the “kid’s room” for an extensive organic bedding selection, as just two examples.
Our favorite thing about Mom’s Healthy Market? They’re hosting a giveaway! The winner will receive a Safe2Go Kids’ Harness Backpack, worth $27. Choose from three cute designs: The butterfly, puppy, or teddy. Your child can use it as a backpack, and it doubles as a safety harness in crowded areas.
Four ways to enter the Safe2Go Backpack giveaway:
The contest ends on Thursday, June 23 and is open only to U.S. residents.
Tired of shelling out hundreds of dollars on disposables and lugging soiled diapers out to the trash? It’s time to make the switch to cloth! If you’re like most of us, cloth can seem overwhelming. Here is a short list of questions and answers that many new parents have about cloth.
What type of cloth diaper should I use?
In our book, the Eco-nomical Baby Guide (now on sale for less than $8 on Amazon!), we give you diagrams and advantages of each type of diaper out there. If you can’t get your hands on the book, be sure to get your hands on some actual cloth diapers. Go to a local diapering shop or ask around to see if you can find a family that uses cloth. Remember, you don’t have to settle on one type of cloth diaper. At our house we use a mix of pocket diapers, prefold diapers, and all-in-one diapers. If you can’t actually find any of those locally, check out this YouTube video. (One note–the video says that you need pins for prefold diapers, which is absolutely untrue. We never used pins or snappies with our prefolds. We simply tucked our diaper into a cover and placed it on our babies.)
How do I wash cloth diapers?
Eliminate the bad odors that disposables produce by dumping solid waste into the toilet. (If you’re baby’s waste isn’t quite solid yet, you may want to buy a diaper sprayer or make one yourself.) Then store them in a dry diaper pail and wash them in a heavy load. We both have great success with cold water, but some parents prefer to use hot. You don’t need bleach but might want to add an enzyme based stain and odor fighter like Bac Out. Then line dry or toss them in the dryer. Done!
Is it worth switching to cloth diapers now that my child is older?
Yep. If you buy used cloth diapers or new pre-folds, the cost that you invest will still be less than disposables. Plus, cloth-diapered children tend to potty train earlier since they have a better sense of what it feels like to be wet. And if you’re going to have more children, remember that you’ll have those cloth diapers when your next child reaches that age.
Why are cloth diapers so expensive?
Some types, like one size all-in-one diapers and one size pocket diapers, cost more but convert to fit baby from birth to potty training, so you won’t need to buy diapers for different sizes. Also remember that you can get any cloth diaper used. Check out websites like My Used Diapers or Jullian’s Drawers for preowned cloth diapers. You can also check at your local consignment shop or craigslist. Prefold diapers will be your least expensive option in new diapers, especially if you buy used covers. If you do decide to invest a few hundred dollars in new cloth diapers, remember that you’ll never need to buy diapers again! You’ll be all set for future children, or be able to resell them once your baby is done. (Which just can’t happen with disposables!)
What if I try cloth diapers and I just can’t make the switch?
If everyone in your family gets the flu or your washer stops working, you can always use disposables for a few days. The point is, once you do make the change, you’ll see that cloth diapering really is simple and fun. And you’ll save hundreds of dollars and dozens of trips to the grocery store for more diapers. (Plus you’ll keep one ton of waste out of the landfill for each child that you cloth diaper!)
If you’re anything like Rebecca and me, you may actually come to the point where you become a cloth diaper nerd. You start up random conversations with people using Fuzzibunz or inquire about the latest Bum Genius innovations. It’s tough to start hobbies as a new parent, but cloth diapering really does become one for many of us!
Remember today is the last day to enter the Monkey Foot Designs wet bag giveaway!
BumGenius and Fuzzibunz dominate the top five list, but Thirsties edged both of them out for the number one position! Why Thirsties? I’m guessing it’s the winning combination of the cute design and affordable price.
Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap , Blackbird, Size One ($13.75) (Note: This diaper is now disqualified, as it is just a cover–NOT a pocket diaper. See the comments.)
bumGenius One-Size Cloth Diaper 4.0 – Grasshopper – Snap ($17.95) (Now in first place! The image here is not right, but if you click on it, it goes to the correct product: a green diaper with snaps in the front.)
FuzziBunz One Size Diaper Big Sky, 10-45 Pounds ($19.95)
Fuzzi Bunz One Size Cloth Diapers 6 Pack Gender Neutral Colors ($116.70 for 6)
Now in fifth place:
Bummis Tots Bots Easy Fit Pocket Diaper ($23.95)–Now that the Thirsties has been disqualified, I’m adding this diaper, made in Scotland from bamboo fibers.
I had great luck with both bumGenius and Fuzzibunz pocket diapers, so I’m not surprised to see them take up four-fifths of the top-five list. I never did try Thirsties on my baby. (And I also never tried Bummis pocket diapers.) Anyone care to chime in with a personal report?