Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: GoGreen Diapers

I had fully intended to review these diapers next month, when time was a little less monopolized by the daily comings and goings of life. However, a small seed of revelation has been growing in my brain all week long, and this diaper is actually at the heart of it.

Say what?

Let me backtrack a little. Right now--this week-- a group of mommy bloggers is taking on a very unusual challenge. Responding to news reports revealing how low income families are spending their last dollars on diapers, choosing to "recycle" disposables, and/or leaving said disposables on baby's tender bottoms far longer than ever intended, this group has committed to cding their babies in the cheapest way possible for an entire week. They're blogging about their experiences, showing the world how easy/hard it is to diaper using cheap flats with covers, washing by hand or with a homemade camp washer, and hang drying. Every night. For a week.

It's called the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, and while I'm not taking part, it has certainly challenged me.

Why? Because as I've shared many times, diapering Jo nearly 14 years ago was a massive strain on our budget. We relied on diapers purchased by family members quite often, because our own budget just didn't cover that "essential." We were barely buying food--diapers were a luxury!

At the time, I actually considered cloth. I stumbled upon a package of flats at my local Wal-Mart for less than $7 for a whole dozen. A 3-pack of the thin plastic pants I remembered my mom using on my brother was less than $4. I stood in the aisle and contemplated. I had no washing machine. No dryer. No idea what I was getting myself into.

And no support. My husband gave me a dubious grimace when he saw me holding the alternative diapering items. 

"You can't get those clean enough to be safe," he said with a shudder. 

At the time, everyone I knew believed that cloth diapering was something that only the poor, uneducated folks who couldn't see how much better living was possible through diaper chemistry even attempted. It was something like breastfeeding--which I was already doing. To jump off the cloth diaper bridge would surely cement my reputation as a granola nut of an entirely different kind. 

An unsterile kind, most likely.

So I put the cheap flats and pants back, and kept visiting my mom and grandparents, and asking my in-laws to bring diapers whenever they came for a visit. 

I wish at that time that I had read some of the real-life ups and downs being posted by participants in the Flats Challenge. It would have made a difference. It really would have.

But all of this seems to have nothing at all to do with the title of this post. And yet, it does, I promise. 

Years later, money wasn't nearly so much of an issue. We weren't scrounging to keep the power on, but believe it or not, the cost of diapers came up when we discussed the idea of adding to our family. We had a washer, had a dryer, and were now aware that the idea of "sterilizing" a diaper for re-use within one's own family is more than a little overboard. 

On a fling, I sat down at the computer and googled "cloth diapers." The top results were all major names that any cloth diapering momma today would be instantly familiar with. I read with amazement all of the positive feedback people were listing--how they claimed these diapers resulted in fewer rashes, leaked less, and were better for the environment than disposables. I was ready to jump off the bridge without a bungee cord, right up until the moment when I saw the price tag.

Cloth diapering can be expensive. And that expense can push it out of the reach of well-meaning Mommas with modest incomes. Trust me. I know. The $20+ that many of the most popular brands charge per diaper is more than many families can swing, especially when you take into account that a newborn baby will easily need a stash of more than a dozen diapers even if you plan on laundering every night.

But guys, it doesn't have to be that way. And you don't have to commit to learning a myriad different folds or swaddling your baby's bum in multiple layers of gauzy cotton to make it work, either.

Enter GoGreen Diapers

GoGreen's diapers are one size pockets, the type favored by many cding parents. The suedecloth pocket sits on top of a microfiber insert, and the exterior is lined with a waterproof layer of PUL. It's a one-shot deal--basically as easy as a disposable. No folding. No separate cover. No changing out inserts. Just take off the dirty diaper, snap on a new one, and go. And by the way, the exteriors are way cuter than anything you'll find packaged in bundles of 36 waiting in the aisles of your local grocery store. 

The above print is about the girliest thing you could ask for. Bunz 'N Roses. Tell me you didn't get a grin looking at all that pinkness!

GoGreen offers two types of diapers (both pockets). The original is a sturdy, basic pocket with an opening on one end and overlapping snap tabs for a perfect fit even on skinny babies. My sample was a Champ 2.0, a slightly snazzier version with dual pocket openings so that the soiled insert comes out on its own in the wash. It also sports double leg gussets to hold in messes even better, as well as a PUL-lined pocket cover in the back that handily keeps sticky stuff down below the waistline, if you know what I mean. There's even a snap to hold the insert in on top of the suedecloth, if you wish, basically turning it into an AI2 with just the purchase of additional inserts.

The Champ fit Seven like, well, like a champ. No red marks around those chunky thighs, no leaking, nothing but visions of pink cuteness. And yes, she put this one through the paces. I decided to take a day out and about and got caught up in the activities while testing the GoGreen. Four hours into our excursion, I checked Seven. While the insert was sopping wet, her skin wasn't even clammy. That's a pretty good indicator that this is a great diaper, in my book!

Finally, the Champ is trim enough to fit under even little girl tights without much more than the normal, adorable (in my book) cloth diaper baby butt. 

If you've done any research at all into cloth diapers, you're waiting for the other shoe to drop. Diapers similar to the Champ retail for about $24 each, right? Especially with those cute fuzzy exteriors and those amazing double gussets, you're thinking. Yeah, $24. Out of my league.

What if I told you that it was $14.95? 

And that the original GoGreen is just $9.99?

And they're OS, remember? So I just told you that you can diaper your baby from birth to potty training with cute pockets for under $120, and still have some wiggle room on laundry.

Bottom line on GoGreen--aside from the fact that I wish they had been around in 1997? You don't have to spend a fortune to cloth diaper your baby. While they're still out of reach of the folks that the Flat Challenge are trying to inspire, they're well within the grasp of many potential cders who can't afford to invest $20 or more per diaper, yet don't want to deal with flats, pre-folds, etc. These are great diapers, at a great price. You simply can't ask for more than that. 

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this product for review purposes. Refer to my general disclaimer for more information on my policies regarding reviews.


Traci said...

Good grief they have a giraffe print. Be still my heart :)
For the record I think Seven would look adorable in anything.

The Hayes Zoo said...

OH my heck...I'm off to check these out!! This is a whole new ball game for me and my hubby has that grimace down pat every time I bring it up.

The Hayes Zoo said...

So. Stinkin'. Cute. My daughter and I are sold. :) Now - to remember this site in 4 months....

Anna said...

I have been using these diapers on my now 18 month old daughter since December and am increasing my stash so I can use them on our son due this month. I love these diapers! They are the only cloth diapers we own :)