Best. Diapers. Ever. Get some for Free!
There are so many baby products out there. Does it really matter which one you choose? Often, it doesn't. But every once in a while, I find a product that actually improves my life in some real way. And that's worth sharing! Bambo-Nature Diapers are one of those products. How did they change my life? They took away my guilt about choosing the convenience of disposable diapers over the concerns of Mother Nature. These diapers are a) the most eco-friendly diapers you can buy (earning the Nordic Eco-label, the Swan.) b) the safest for baby's skin, and c) actually work better (read: leak less) than Huggies, Pampers, or Seventh Generation!
I was going to write about them anyway, but since I'm learning how to be a savvy blogger, I decided to contact the company first to see if I could leverage my review and get some free diapers for my friends to try. And it worked! So, if you're interested, see the bottom of this post for a few discount codes, and to see how you can enter a simple contest to win a free pack.
This is a detailed review. If you'd like to skip ahead, then click here:
Why I don't use Cloth
I think the process of choosing a diapering system really makes you look quite closely at your priorities. Before I had the GT, I thought I was committed to being good to the planet. I considered cloth diapers. I knew they were inconvenient, but I figured "hey, if I can go do a surgery rotation, I can do cloth diapers!" (That line of reasoning has led me astray more than once, and I've since abandoned it.) I even looked into diapering services, but found they were very hard to find. A lot of cloth diaper services (the kind where they come pick up your dirty diapers, and drop off clean ones so you don't have to wash them yourself) had gone out of business where I lived. I just couldn't see myself doing all that laundry, so I chickened out. Besides, I read some critiques of the impact of cloth diapers on the environment, with increased water use, and gasoline-use associated with these services. Anyway. I wasn't sure it was actually better for the environment overall.
Well, then I discovered gDiapers. It's a half-cloth, half-disposable compromise. They have these little biodegradable inserts that you toss out when they get soiled (you can even compost them or flush them) and then you only wash the cute cotton diaper covers when they get soiled. I thought this was perfect, so we had a pack ready when the GT was born.
What happened? Well, you remember those first few weeks of parenthood hell, right? If you're faced with having to do the laundry in order to change the next diaper, what are you going to do?? Reach for the Pampers! That's exactly what I did. There was no way in the universe a load of dirty diapers was going to take priority in my life. Not over sleep anyway. The gDiaper covers got at least a little dirty every time we changed a diaper. So, you basically had to wash them every, or almost every time. And then, it's not just a load of laundry you have to do... You have to reassemble the diapers every time. It may not sound like much, but it makes all the difference in the world when you're caring for an infant. So, I sold them, apologized to Mother Nature for my weakness, and switched to disposable diapers.
Search for an Eco-Friendly Disposable
When I made the switch to disposables, I resolved to find the most eco-friendly diaper I could. But I had to ask myself - "Why do I want eco-friendly diapers?" There are different reasons to go this route. One reason is the impact on the environment. Landfills. Carbon Footprint. Toxic chemicals leaching into the ground. That kind of thing. But the other reason is the impact on the baby. Disposable diapers have a lot of chemicals in them. Absorbent gels. Chlorine. Perfumes. Stuff like that. None of these things have been proven to do any harm. But it's hard to be sure. We find out about long-term side effects of things all the time. Well, I decided to prioritize my baby's bottom. Again, sorry Mother Earth. I'm not saying that's the right choice. It's just what I chose.
Also, both of these concerns have to come in second behind absorbency. If the diaper leaks, what's the point? Right? It turns out, the GT is a big fan of water, so he pees right through lots of diapers. I blame those cute straw sippy cups. It's like he's trying to cleanse his system or something. He can soak through Pampers in an hour. Seriously.
I tried these: Nature's Babycare and Comforts for Baby.
We might as well have used paper towels. He peed right through both of these. Like, through the back. Not even just out the sides. The latter one isn't supposed to be eco-friendly. I just got fooled because it's in a green package.
Eventually, I tried Seventh Generation. I really liked them because they were chlorine free and seemed relatively eco-friendly (although they do have a gel in them.) They have a brownish color which makes you think they have some old paper bags recycled into them. I don't know if that's true, but they do have some recycled content. They were also surprisingly soft! And, they didn't leak! Much. They didn't leak much. They were better than Pampers and Huggies - which, by the way, I always switched back to after I failed with an alternative brand. As for overnight, we use an overnight diaper. And still, he sometimes leaks. No regular diaper has ever been able to last the night.
I used Seventh Generation for many months. On heavy water drinking days, we'd still have to change him pretty often. But he could usually go 3 hours without a leak. And that was an improvement over everything else. I was content, even though Seventh Generation represented many compromises. They were only sorta eco-friendly. They were only sorta good for baby. The main benefit was that they were good absorbers. And I guess that turns out to be my highest priority, because that's the diaper I chose for a while. I felt a little guilty about this, but since I had tried so many other options, I considered my diaper hunt over.
Why Bambo-Nature Beats All
Then one day I met another mother who was giving out free diapers. She was doing a promotion very similar to what I'm doing here. Given my experience above, and my experience with drug reps in psychiatry, I was skeptical. Marketing makes me skeptical. In fact, it took me several months before I even ordered a pack. I had tried the few diapers she gave me, but it's really hard to make a decision after a diaper or two. You need to use it consistently for a bit before you can really tell if there's a difference. But this other mother had made surprising claims about how environmentally friendly the diaper is: that it had earned a very prestigious eco-label, the Swan. That it was so eco-friendly, it was even compostable if you cut the tags off. (They don't recommend that you do that by the way - composting human waste is generally a no-no.)
I figured I owed Mother Nature a few favors. So, I bought a pack...not expecting much. After all, they use wood pulp for absorbency. Wood pulp from sustainable forests. Jeez. Oh yeah, and wheat starch. Woo hoo. I was expecting the Tubaloo to blast right through them.
But I was blown away. On our first pack, I had not a single leak. That had never happened before. There were days that I pushed it a little bit. You know, when you're at the Zoo, and he's not complaining, he doesn't feel wet, and you just want to wait to change until you get home? There were a couple times I waited....maybe 4-5 hours before changing a wet one. Not advisable! But it happens sometimes. No leak - not even with my little fire hydrant son sipping on his water all afternoon. I couldn't believe it!
So then, I started taking these diapers seriously. I looked up the Swan. It's the main eco-labelling system used in Nordic Countries since 1989 when it was set up by the Nordic Council of Ministers in response to a UN report about the environment. It's a voluntary label - companies have to apply and show that they meet very stringent criteria throughout the entire lifecycle of the product. Every three years, as technology improves, the criteria are updated and they have to re-apply.
The problem with environmental claims made by US companies is that they just don't mean much. They focus just one piece of a very large puzzle. For instance, maybe they say they are biodegradable! Great, but not if you put them in a landfill. Maybe they don't have chlorine or gels - but other dangerous chemicals are produced during manufacturing. The process of making a product, delivering it, using it, and disposing of it is so complicated that it is very difficult to make any overall conclusions about whether a product is really eco-friendly.
The Swan is about the entire puzzle, including all the pieces. And it means that this product conforms to the strictest criteria possible, at every stage of manufacturing, use, and disposal. Because of this, Abena (the company that makes Bambo-Nature Diapers) can make so many claims about how eco-friendly their diaper is that they can't all fit onto one cute little label (the following is copied from their website):
"Abena only uses state-of-the-art renewable raw materials.
- The wood used for pulp is derived from sustainable forestry; where more trees are planted than felled.
- There is absolutely zero chlorine used in the bleaching process.
- No chemicals or compounds from SVHC (REACH Article 33(2)) are used – Substances of Very High Concern.
- No known substances that are harmful to health or the environment.
- Formaldehyde (HCHO)
- Organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT)
- Heavy metals
- Chlorine (CI)
- Abena has gone as far as to prevent use of any chemical or compound that is known as locally irritating or sensitizing.
"Abena adheres to strict requirements during production.
- Abena requires a reduction on energy consumption.
- Bambo Nature Baby Diapers are manufactured on Abena’s newest and most efficient diaper machine.
- Abena adheres to requirements on resource consumption.
- There are criteria on factory emissions into the air, water and land.
- Abena has reduced carbon dioxide pollution.
- There are no chemicals used during production.
- No optical brighteners
- No skin care lotions
- No perfumes, essential oils
- No odor eliminators
- Abena has designed an absorbent core with less SAP
- New technology with a wheat starch absorber
- Abena has almost completely reduced all waste during manufacturing.
- Even powder and dust from the plant is filtered, collected and sold for further use.
"Abena’s packaging and distribution focuses on reducing waste and the use of fuels
- Abena coined and started the Re-3 Concept of Recycle, Reduce & Reuse
- Abena’s sustainable carrier bag reduces the world’s CO2 emission by using recycled plastics.
- Abena does not use cardboard boxes to package and ship Bambo Nature Baby Diapers.
- Products and packaging materials can be disposed of through recycling, incineration or composting.
- Products are designed to be easily dismantled so that parts can be recycled and/or composted.
- Bambo Nature is 80% biodegradable, more than 3 times as much as other brands.
- Stora Enso, wood pulp supplier of Abena, member of Clean Shipping Project."
Did you read the part about how their production plant produces almost no waste? They sweep up all the dust and sell it. Wow.
What about baby's bottom? The diaper is non-toxic, certified free of harmful chemicals, and hypoallergenic.
Oh, what I said before about all this not fitting on a cute little label? My mistake. That's what this symbol means, The Swan:
This is the real deal. An assertion about an eco-friendly product that you can actually trust.
It's very similar to other diapers. It has a wetness indicator and a cute animal cartoon on it. It's a little thicker than Seventh Generation. Just a little bit. I almost didn't even mention this because I don't want you to get the wrong idea. But I'm trying to be very honest here. I think cloth diapers are much thicker. So, it's somewhere in the middle. Not a big deal. And they're very soft. Here's a diagram:
They also run a little bigger than US Diapers. So, the GT wears size 5 in Seventh Generation and size 6 in Huggies. I know. He got his big butt from me. He'e a size 4+ in Bambo-Nature. They have half sizes between 4 and 5. I hope that helps when you order your pack.
Here are some coupon codes that anyone can use when you buy diapers online from their website.
nofreight -- offers free shipping
coupon -- offers 10% off
macaroni -- offers 15% off, but expires in a few months.
I have three packs of diapers to give away, so we're going to have 3 winners. I'm going to do a simple drawing in 1 week, on October 14th.
This is how you get your name in the hat: I'd like some help publicizing my website. So, for every action you take below, give yourself 1 point. Then send me an email telling me how many points you have, and I'll enter your name in the hat that many times. (You don't have to do all of these things! Just one is fine. But you have a better chance of winning if you do more than one.)
Share an article from my website on a social networking site (please tag me if you can so I can see it!) You choose the article. Any from my site is fine. Even this one.
Link to my site from your website
Email and article to someone. (please cc me if you can.)
Sign up for my Art. Life. Newsletter
If you've already done one of these things in the past, I'll count it. Just let me know.
The number of entries so far: 4 Chances of your next entry winning: 60%
(The only limitation: contestants must live in the US. My apologies to non-US readers, if there are any.)
Even if you don't win the contest, give these diapers a try. We all owe Mother Nature a few favors. And thanks to Bambo-Nature, it's not even a compromise.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 02:01
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Dr. Dad = My darling husband. The Great Tubaloo, or the GT = what we like to call our son (rhymes with "tube of glue".) Note, it's a title, not a name. as in "The Great and Almighty Tubaloo who has traveled from from over the mountain to impart his wisdom!"
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