November 11, 2010

"Sunning" your diapers in the rain

I live in a part of Oregon where it rains approximately 400 days a year.  Okay, not that many, but it feels that way!  We do get rain most days during the winter and spring.  That makes sunning diapers difficult.

Or does it?

I often tell customers they can sun their diapers anytime, even on cloudy or rainy days.  I've done it before, but thought I'd do it again and post pictures along the way.

Clean diapers with heavy stains: Hemp on the left, bamboo on the right

11:45 am - Laid them out on our patio...in the rain.
Rain and massive clouds!
4:45 pm - Looking much improved already.  Bamboo is nearly stain-free.  Hemp has a little way to go yet.  You can see that both diapers are sopping wet from the rain.  It rained all day.
11:00 am the next morning - stains are gone!
Freshly washed and dried, they're in perfect, stain-free condition.

All together, the "sunning" took about 10 hours but it worked, even with constant rain and clouds.  And you don't have to put your diapers outside...it works laid in a window or even the dashboard of your car, too.

So why does sunning diapers magically bleach out stains?  The UV rays...terrible for skin, great for naturally removing stains!!  As long as it's daylight, UV rays reach the earth (and they do at night too, but far less).  If UV rays are reaching the earth's surface, you can lay out diapers!

Sunning works on all types of organic stains.  Blueberry stains on a onesie?  Spit up stains on a bib?  Lay them outside and let the sun (or UV rays) work its magic!

November 8, 2010

GroVia vs. Flip - are they the same?

There are so many new diapers coming out...AIOs, OneSize, and now Hybrids--diapers that can be 100% cloth or a mix of cloth and disposable.  Flip and GroVia are two examples of hybrid diapers.  Both are diapering "systems" that can either be used with a cloth insert or a disposable insert. 

Why choose hybrid diapers?  As my husband says, cloth diapering isn't a religion (though it can feel like it!).  Most families do choose to use disposables at least occasionally for vacation, daycare, etc. 

When we had our daughter 5 years ago, I was strictly 100% cloth.  No disposable ever touched her bottom once we made the switch to cloth.  Even our wipes were cloth and we didn't own a single package of disposable wipes.  But now that our son is here, I find myself relaxing about what diapers we use.  Colby had a non-diaper-related rash that required a special ointment.  The same weekend, we were heading out of town for a 3 day trip.  I pulled out a pack of Flip disposable inserts and thought...why not?  I should at least try them since I sell them. 

That started our trial of Flip disposable inserts, GroVia disposable inserts, and even a pack of GroVia disposable wipes.  Here is my review.

Just looking at the packages you'll notice that GroVia disposables are meant for full-time use.  They come in packs of 50.  Flip disposables come in a pack of 18 and are advertised as an alternative diaper for vacations, etc. 

GroVia insert, Flip insert
You'll notice the difference between the two inserts immediately.  Flip are an off-white natural color, long, no elastic, and no plastic.  GroVia are pure white, feature elastic at the leg and in a gusset, are a lot shorter, and are backed with a layer of plastic for waterproof protection.

GroVia insert inside GroVia cover, Flip insert inside Flip cover
GroVia inserts feature two spots of sticky tape to stick the diaper to the cover.  I found right away that you pretty much have to use this sticky tape.  Otherwise, because of the elastic, it bunches up and doesn't provide coverage.  The old GroBaby inserts, I heard, would stick fast to PUL products, meaning they couldn't be used with other covers like Thirsties.  I carry the new version of the GroVia inserts and I've used them now with every cover we own, including Thirsties.  The sticky tape is just the right amount of stick...it holds without sticking forever to the fabric.

Flip doesn't have any sticky tape or elastic.  You fold it under to the length you need, then lay into a cover.  Flip covers are easy because they feature a flap at each end for holding the insert.  But I've used these in all of our covers with no trouble. 

The GroVia feel more like a disposable with the elastic and the plastic backing.  The Flip feel more natural.  Both claim to be compostable, but I don't think I would ever put GroVia in the compost pile.  The package says the elastic needs to be removed first as it may not break down. 

Days: Both do great during the day or for naps. 

Nights: I was never successful with GroVia overnight.  Since they have plastic backing, you can't lay another insert underneath for extra absorbency.  With the Flip inserts, I would put a hemp insert underneath to hold overnight.  Worked great every time.  I did try folding a second GroVia insert and placing inside the first for overnight use, but that didn't work either.  After about 5 nights of trying GroVia overnight, we gave up.  We had leaks every night, some worse than others.  Flip, however, kept our son dry every night, as long as we had a hemp insert for extra absorbency.


Poop:  GroVia does the best at containing runny breastfed baby poop.  The elastic generally keeps everything where it needs to be.  Since Flip inserts don't have elastic, the poop did escape the insert a few times but the cover did hold it in.  We never had an actual poop leak with either brand.  But I wash covers more often with Flip. 

Price: Before shipping costs and not counting any discounts, the Flip inserts are $0.33 each.  GroVia inserts are $0.43 each. 

Bottom line: I wouldn't use either one of these for full-time diapering.  Too much disposable to really be saving the planet, too expensive to be saving money.  After all, I'm a cloth mom!  But for vacations, times when you need to use diaper creams, Grandma's house, etc, these are both perfect choices.  I would use them both again, though I'd probably pick Flip first just because it seems more of a natural option and the package count is smaller.