Taking a Look at Disposable Diapers

In spite of pressure to cloth diaper coming from all sides, I knew it was something that was never going to work for us. I don’t have anything against cloth diapering, obviously, but it’s just not right for our family. That being said, I did want to find the best disposable diapers for both Finn and the environment. This led me to doing tons of online research. So far. I have used three major brands: Babyganics, Earth’s Best Tendercare, and Seventh Generation.

So, what were we looking for in a diaper? I wanted something that didn’t use any chlorine in their manufacture. Chlorine is way bad for the environment, and isn’t really needed unless you want something to be all sparkly white. I also wanted something that used as many natural and renewable resources as possible. Being latex free and minimal in petro chemicals is a huge plus (that last one turned out to be a little ironic, which you will find out in a later post.)

L-R: Earth's Best (sz 1), Babyganics, and Seventh Generation (both sz 2)

L-R: Earth’s Best (sz 1), Babyganics, and Seventh Generation (both sz 2)

photo 1

(I didn’t have a sz 2 in the Earth’s Best, as we only ever used them in a sz 1)

Open Babyganics Diaper

Open Babyganics Diaper

All three of the above diapers fit those criteria, but we decided to start off with Babyganics. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from any  kind of eco-friendly diaper, but I was pleasantly surprised by these ones. They are so soft, have nice stretchy sides and back, and fit well around the legs. You also don’t need to put on a ton of “bum grease”, as they have a built in Neo Nourish Complex that’s made up of a skin friendly seed oil blend.

Finn never got any kind of diaper rash when we were using these, although I’m not one of those people who finds it hard to keep the rash away. These diapers do have a handy little wetness indicator along the front that vanishes as more moisture gets absorbed, and it can be handy if you just want to do a visual check instead of relying on the “poke check” (a test I use to tell if Finn needs a change. If the diaper still makes a crinkly, paper noise when I poke it, odds are he’s good. If It feels like a sponge, a new diaper should be forthcoming.)

Babyganics side tabs; stretchy, but thin.

Babyganics side tabs; stretchy, but thin.

One thing I did notice, however, was that these are not the best diapers if you have a bigger baby. If you compare them to both other brands above, you’ll notice that they’re a little on the narrow side, and this led to a fair few leaks when he was getting to the upper range of a size. It also meant more diaper blowouts as in this instance as well. I would definitely recommend Babycanics diapers more if your kid is on the slim side.

I did mention that the tabs are stretchy. They are also resealable/adjustable. Have a kid to like to kick and wiggle their diapers open? No problem! These reclose easily and don’t lose their sticking power. One thing I would have liked was a little more thickness in the side tab. Finn is a bit of a pee wizard and can manage to pee up and over his own legs. A little more thickness here could have prevented some small leaks.

To Summarize:

5/5 for softness

4/5 for absorbency

2/5 for fit on bigger babies (My guy is 16lbs at 3 months and 24.5 inches)

2.5/5 for availability. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, and the only place to get them is Baby’s R Us, who are terrible at stocking anything larger than a size two, and they don’t even  have that with any consistency. It’s kind of a hassle to either order online or drive all over the city when a diaper crisis hits.

Inside the Earths Best

Inside the Earths Best

Now, speaking of stock at Baby’s R Us, we decided to give Earth’s Best a shot when they were out of Babyganics one day. They also happened to be on sale. I wasn’t impressed with them right out of the package. For something I was supposed to be putting on the most delicate bit of my baby, they were rough! I was constantly on the look out for skin irritation the whole time we were using them, and sure enough, Finn got a rash. The only thing in his diapering routine to change was the diapers, so I can’t blame anything else. (We actually had to switch bum grease to get it to go away, but that’s a whole other post.)

Non-stretch tabs

Non-stretch tabs

The fit was average, but still not the best for a bigger baby, as the sides had no stretch. The tabs will refasten, and the absorbent material was mainly corn and plant based, so that was a plus, but there were so many other things I didn’t like that we never considered getting these again once they were gone. Even if I like everything else about the diapers, the fact that they gave my son a rash would have been a deal breaker.

To Summarize:

1/5 for softness

3/5 for Absorbency

3/5 for fit (a wider over all diaper slightly balanced out the lack of stretch tabs, giving these a higher fit score than Babyganics)

3/5 for availability

Inside the Seventh Generation

Inside the Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation are, by far, my favourite, which was kind of disappointing because they are not the best for the environment. While they do use chlorine free wood pulp as an absorbent, they also use absorbent gel. They also use synthetic rubber strands and plastic fabric and film. But hey, they’re better than all the major brand diapers and they market themselves as exactly what they are, so I can respect that.

The fit is perfect for Finn. They’re both wide and long, and they have the best side tabs of the three. They have a great amount of stretch and are nice and thick, so they can manage to contain any small leaks that are trying to escape. There is enough elastic and material at both the back and side to contain most messes, although Finn has managed to get poop out of every diaper he has had on. (He likes to hoard his poop and get it out all t once. This doesn’t help things at all.)

Super tabs on the Seventh Generation

Super tabs on the Seventh Generation

These are probably the ones we’re going to be sticking with for the foreseeable future. They fit well, absorb well, don’t cause any rash, and are easy to pick up at the local Save-On Foods.

To Summarize:

4/5 for softness

5/5 for absorbency

4.5/5 for fit

5/5 for availability

We did have a diaper crisis in which we used a few Pampers Swaddlers that a friend had given us. I hate them. They fit okay and they absorb just fine (the mess on the inside was good for containing poop), but I couldn’t stand the baby powder smell. Why does a diaper need a smell? I went from my regular diapers not smelling like anything when Finn loaded then with pee to smelling something like bad vinegar. It was horrid. His butt wasn’t a fan either. Nothing that I would call a rash, just some mild irritation that I nipped in the bud.

What are your fave diapers and why? How long did it take you to find something you really liked and that worked for you? Let me know in the comments.

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