Our daughter (S) has had some challenges with diaper rash over the past several months (presumably due to a combo of factors including sensitive skin, an increasingly varied diet and warmer summer temperatures). Due to this, I've gravitated toward natural, breathable options for cloth diapering (particularly at night) and in my search, stumbled upon Babee Greens. Browsing their website, I was quickly impressed by the company's values and line of products, which can be summed up by their mission statement:
At Babee Greens our mission is to provide a safe, economical and green diaper alternative. We are committed to setting a new standard that helps our global community reverse the negative effects diaper manufacturing has had on our environment, in order to create “A Better World for Babies.”
Babee Greens uses only the highest quality, organic, eco-friendly fibers in its cloth diapering products and abides by safe and ethical manufacturing standards, plus all products are made in the USA. Learn more about the company's values here. You can check out the Babee Greens Eco-Blog as well to view informative articles on cloth diapering and other eco-friendly topics.
I've had the pleasure of reviewing two cloth diapering products from Babee Greens - their Organic Greens Organic Cotton Diaper and their Wool Diaper Cover.
Product Information - Growing Greens Organic Cotton Diaper:
Price per Unit (piece): $19.95
Growing Greens is our original one size diaper, fitting most babies 5-35 lbs. The two part diaper system is constructed entirely from the softest fleece knit, 100% unbleached cotton thread and natural rubber elastic.
Our unique non-PVC, hypoallergenic snap system offers wide adjustment for thigh and back allowing a custom fit. The functionality of the two part snap in design creates a trim, multi-fit diaper that enables a thorough cleanse and quick drying time.
Each Growing Greens diaper includes our unique contour that features an umbilical cord cutout to promote healing for those first few weeks. Used alone, contours will fit newborns 5-10 lbs. As your baby grows, use the fitted diaper alone with the front folded down, customizing the rise and exposing a hidden row of snaps fitting 10-18 lbs. For toddlers, 18-35 lbs., Growing Greens can be used with the snap in contour for increased absorbency. A doubler can be added for night or naptime.
The elastic waist works well into the potty training stage. It allows toddlers to pull the diaper up and down themselves.
Cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop in the world next to coffee. Babee Greens organic cotton diapers are made from organic cotton responsibly grown and milled in the U.S.A, without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals, so you’re putting the softest and best fabric possible next to your baby’s skin.
Product Information - Wool Diaper Cover:
Price per Unit (piece): $34.95
We make our wool covers upcycling sweaters that we hand select with softness for your baby in mind. Each cover is lined with Oeko Tex 100 certified Merino Wool and has a 100% cotton interfacing in the wings and front (to hold the snaps securly in place). The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is a globally uniform testing and certification system for all stages of textile production. This certification ensures that products are free from harmful substances. There is no finer certification than the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. It goes beyond the organic label!
Each cover is one of a kind. Three rows of snaps provide an adjustable fit to accomodate your growing baby. Wool is highly absorbent. It will absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture and is slow to feel damp, yet remains breathable, allowing maximum circulation around your baby's bum. It contains natural lanolin, which creates a waterproof barrier. Its elasticity means the cover fits well, yet moves with your baby. Wool is easy to care for. It doesn't need to be washed as often as other covers and it is naturally anti-bacterial.
Hand wash and hang to dry. Use lanolin in the rinse to keep them waterproof.
Small 8 - 18 lbs.
Medium 15 - 25 lbs.
Large 20 - 35 lbs.
Please specify Boy, Girl or gender neutral for color and S, M, or L in the comment section at checkout or call for current color selection.
For review purposes, I received one Growing Greens Organic Cotton Diaper and one Wool Diaper Cover (large size, warm brown shade).
I was immediately thrilled by the softness and high-quality feel of both items. So far, so good!
First, I got to work understanding the sizing system for the cotton diaper. Babee Greens thoughtfully included the following quick & easy-to-follow guide:
On the small size (5-10 pounds), the snap-in contour is used alone inside a well-fitting cover. I tried it inside a cover intended for about 8-16 pounds and it fit pretty nicely, though I did need to fold the one end slightly. Notice the newborn umbilical cord cutout at the front, though note that a cover would need to have this feature as well to take advantage. Once the stump has fallen off, the front end of the contour could be folded insted of the back to provide a little more absorbency where it's needed the most.
Next, the medium size (10-15 pounds). At this size, the diaper is used alone without the contour, and the front is folded down to expose a hidden set of snaps.
The diaper is then secured at the most appropriate setting using the wing snaps. Two cross-over snap settings are available for thinner babies.
Finally, the large size (15-35 pounds). At this final size, the diaper and contour are used together. The contour snaps in so it stays in place. Cleverly, it attaches to the same row of snaps that are used to secure the wings on the medium size. Very cool!
The diaper features soft, stretchy elastic around the legs and the back of the waist. The front is not elasticized, but still has a little stretch from the natural cotton fibres.
Next up - the merino wool cover. First of all, did I mention how super-soft it is? I did? Well, it bears repeating as this is some lush, luxurious wool, folks. Definitely not the prickly stuff stereotypical of grandma's old cardigans!
This is a sized cover, so it has only a single rise setting, however it features three sets of double-row snaps on each size to get that ideal fit.
The inner is every bit as soft 'n' snuggly as the outer.
Similar to the cotton diaper, the cover is elasticized at the legs and the back of the waist.
A benefit of the snap closure design (vs. pull-up wool variants) is that this cover can be worn with a trifolded prefold, if preferred over a fitted diaper or snappi'd prefold. Of course on the flipside, this also adds a bit of time/complexity to the changing process.
To prep the diaper, I simply washed it twice along with my regular diaper laundry. To prep the cover, I washed it using a gentle wool wash and then lanolized it to increase its water resistance. Nice & easy! The snap-in contour did get slightly bunchy around the edges after washing, but nothing that should affect performance nor comfort.
My favourite part of a cloth diaper review is getting all those great shots of the diaper (and/or cover) in action. It's becoming a bit challenging now that we have such an active toddler, but no less fun (and can result in some interesting and entertaining photos! :)
First, the diaper itself. Our daughter (22 months and 22 pounds - funny that!) is well into the large size, so she's wearing the diaper unfolded with the contour snapped in. She's on the thin side and somewhere between the looser cross-over snap setting and the first "un-crossed" setting. Since the cotton material is somewhat stretchy, the settings are forgiving and both currently work pretty well. Here's a shot from the front, with the diaper on the looser of these two settings:
And here's one from the back. Notice the nice, trim fit.
The diaper achieves a pretty snug fit against her thighs. When worn alone, it does start sagging/gapping somewhat over time (and lots of active play), however in practice this wouldn't be an issue as the diaper would generally be worn with a cover to keep everything in place.
Adding the cover on top, we have one cute li'l tushy indeed! The complete system is snuggly soft, well-fitting and even relatively trim (especially compared to other fitted diaper/cover systems I have tried).
Notice here we have the top snap at a different setting than the bottom snap. Our daughter's waist is (proportionately) a little thinner than her thighs, so this particular alignment works the best for her. Notice there is no resulting bunchiness and/or gaping, which we'd likely see if we tried this on a stiffer cover.
Finally, I'm happy to report that the diaper/cover combo stayed perfectly in place - it even endured try-outs for the Toddler Olympics! :)
Both diaper and cover are easy to put on - even when battling an ultra-squirmy and resitant toddler! The stretchiness of the material allows the fit to be quite forgiving (even if you don't quite get the setting you're aiming for!) and the snaps are easy to attach but snug enough that they don't inadvertently come loose. The snap-in aspect of the contour is helpful as it keeps things in place.
During our testing period, S has worn her Babee Greens cotton diaper / wool cover combo mainly overnight and it's performed exceptionally well! We've experienced no leaks during the 7-8 times she's worn it so far. Admittedly she isn't a super-heavy wetter, but the diaper could have easily held additional moisture each time so it certainly has appreciable absorbency. The system contains messes very well too; we had a few poopy diapers during our testing, and only one (a huge, smushy incident!) got out of the diaper a little bit and onto the cover, but didn't make it any further.
As for our daughter's poor, tender skin (during her particularly rashy periods), we've found that this diaper combo at worst doesn't exacerbate things, and at best helps her skin look & feel a little better each time she wears it. Two thumbs way up, as this has been such an uphill battle for us!
The diaper and cover are both straightforward to care for. The diaper is machine washable and can either be machine or air dried. (I prefer machine drying as the material stays softer this way.) Messes spray off quite readily as well. Wool requires specialized care - e.g. need to handwash, lay flat to dry and lanolize periodically - but once you get the hang of things it's actually quite simple. The Babee Greens wool cover is no exception, and I find it even dries a little more quickly than the average wool cover which is a nice plus.
Durability-wise, I'm very impressed so far. Aside from the slight bunchiness I already noted with the contour, the diaper remains in perfect shape after 7-8 wearings/washes, and the cover looks good as new following the same number of wearings and 3 washes. I have every reason to believe that both parts will last through the remainder of our daughter's diaper wearing days, and then serve our little man-to-be from birth to potty training as well!
Here is my official evaluation of the Growing Greens Organic Cotton Diaper & Upcycled Wool Sweater Cover used together as a 2-part diapering system!
+ Totally soft and adorable. I couldn't take enough pictures of our li'l monkey's tushy in this combo! :)
+ Side snaps add a unique touch
+ Relatively trim (compared to your average fitted diaper / wool cover combo)
+/- Available colour selections vary due to "one of a kind" nature - which could be considered either awesome or a little frustrating if you're looking for a particular colour and it's not currently available.
Score: 5/5 (since I'm personally a fan of the "one-of-a-kind" factor :)
+ Very absorbent; no leaks over 7-8 night diapering trials.
+ System contains messes very well
+ Snap settings on both diaper and cover are very flexible, allowing the perfect fit on babies of all sizes
Comfort & Health:
+ Cotton/merino wool combo results in an extremely breathable system and has been very gentle on our daughter's sensitive skin
+ 100% organic cotton (in the diaper) ensures little one's not being exposed to pesticides
+ Combo achieves a snug (but not pinching) leg and tummy fit
+ System is VERY soft & stretchy; must feel nice on baby's skill, and no marks left behind when removed
Ease of Use:
+ Diaper is easy to put on. The snap-in contour, stretchy materials and snug but not-too-tight snaps are helpful here.
+ Diaper is simple to care for - easy spray-down, machine wash, machine dry or hang.
+/- Waist snaps allow cover to be worn with a trifolded prefold, however also adds a bit of time/complexity vs. pull-up variants
+/- Wool requires special care - e.g. need to handwash and lanolize periodically - but simple once you get the hang of it. Cover dries a bit quicker than average.
Quality & Durability:
+ Babee Greens takes great care to select the highest quality, organic materials for its diapers and covers, and it shows.
+ Both diaper and cover are extremely well-constructed; no loose seams or other imperfections
+ Snaps on both diaper and cover are sewn in nice & tight
+ Both parts of system are holding up well and retaining softness after multiple washes
- Snap-in contour got slightly bunchy around the edges after washing, but nothing that should affect performance nor comfort.
- Score: 4.5/5
Total "Diaper Awesomeness" Score: 23.5 / 25 (Pretty much a perfect diaper. Go out there and buy some NOW! :)
Overall Comments: The Growing Greens Organic Cotton Diaper + Upcycled Merino Wool Cover combo from Babee Greens is a wonderful diapering system, particularly for babies with sensitive skin and/or parents striving to find the greenest, highest-quality materials for their little ones' tushies. This system is super-absorbent, breathable, easy to use and totally adorable to boot. Highly recommended!
Approximate Stash Cost: $758.50 to 1129.85.
Calculation details: At $19.95 each, 24 Growing Greens Organic Cotton Diapers cost $478.80. Wool diaper covers cost $34.95 and come in 3 size ranges. Assuming 6 covers at each size, this adds another $629.10. However since the diapers hold in messes so well and wool doesn't need to be washed as often as other covers, 4 at each size may be sufficient, for an additional $419.40. If you really want to be frugal, you could try skipping the medium size and just do 4 small and 4 large, for an additional $279.60. Our daughter does fine with the diaper and cover alone, however super heavy-wetting babies may need some overnight doublers ($21.95 for a 6-pack.)
Babee Greens products can be purchased directly from the company website or from select 3rd party retailers. Babee Greens offers free shipping in the United States on order of $100 or more.
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Disclosure: The prize is being provided to the winner by Babee Greens. I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample items free of charge. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.