Believe me, I know the cost of selecting the wrong diapers. It’s not just about the money, it’s about the potential mess.
Organic and natural diapers are great, but all these new companies launching diaper lines means that there is some trial and error.
A few months before we gave birth to our first, we started thinking about diapers and diaper brands. We wanted something that balanced price with quality. There are some diapers that break the bank. We were okay paying a a bit more, but not beyond a certain point. This is what led us to Babyganics (I purchased our first pack here).
As the Dad, I’m the designated “Diaper Daddy”. Clearly, I needed to invest some time in testing the best diapers…
The following review is our after action report. I’ll examine all the key “selling points” and than match those up with our experience.
What Babyganics Says They Do
Here are the things Babyganics “positions” themselves in the market as:
- Ultra Absorbent: This is what every modern diaper strives for. Beyond the statement on the label, however, it’s unclear just what makes them so absorbent. This feature was clearly something I wanted to test (see “Leak Test” below).
- NeoNourish Seed Oil Blend): Many conventional diapers do not disclose the additives used up front. In particular, dioxin is a typical ingredient and chlorine. In many cases, “super absorbent polymers” gel to a babies skin if a diaper isn’t changed for a while (often appear in small clumps). NeoNourish is Babyganics answer to this, opting for a natural solution.
- Chlorine Free: As mentioned above, Babyganics is chlorine free.
- Latex Free: Latex allergies are fairly common these days. In our family, we do have a few cousins and a grandparent with latex allergies. This was definitely a nice feature to know about. Why take the chance?
- Plant-Based Ingredients: Babyganics says they only use plant-based ingredients. This is reassuring and definitely made me question what goes into “conventional” diapers… An all vegetable based diaper is a safe solution to mitigate a whole host of skin irritations.
- Wetness Indicator: Wetness indicators are “must haves” for most parents to check “at a glance” if a diaper needs changing. Babyganics uses colored flowers and little symbols. When the colors start to fade and become washed out, it means the diaper is wet. At the extreme, all of the symbols will fade completely.
- Comfortable Fit: Initially this was the main feature I found when reading reviews online. The company advertises a comfortable fit. Some diapers – particularly organic and environmentally friendly ones – can be a bit on the course side. I went with Babyganics because I didn’t want to sacrifice baby comfort while still getting the organic benefits.
- Cost Effective: If you are going to buy organic diapers, cost is usually the first concern. Diapers go quickly! I was very attracted to the relatively low cost I found vs some of the insanely priced “green” options out there.
The Leak Test
There were a few things I did to test out leakage. First, we tested the size 2 diapers out on our 4 month old for a few months to see how they worked “in use”. Below is an “action shot” of the post change for pee:
And here is a little “before” and “after”:
I also took the liberty of doing a few water tests with water, applying pressure to see if/where leaks developed.
Overall Observations: One of the main criticisms of Babyganics is that – while they are comfortable – they are more prone to leaking. After using for 3+ months, I’ve noticed two separate issues.
- Poop Leakage: These diapers – like many diapers – suffer from “up the back” explosive leakage with bowel movements. On the few occasions where this happened, it was always up the back, never down the leg or out the sides. Of course, this could be a bit of “operator error” i.e. I could be strapping tighter. However, it wasn’t any different than other diapers I’ve tested.
- Pee Leakage: For urine, the two times we had leakage was at night with an extremely full diaper. The key issues was when our baby rolled around excessively. From my analysis, moving the legs and bending the body up and around caused leakage up the back on one side (opposite of where baby rolled). Again, it appeared that the back snugness was less than optimal with movement.
In total, we’ve only had a “leak mess” about 5 times (in aprox. 90 days of use). There were 3 “poop explosions” and 2 “pee leaks” which required “total outfit change”.
The Eco Fine Print
Whenever I buy organic these days, I always read the fine print. Just because it says “organic” on the label, does not mean it’s “good” by default. Organic labeling has become pretty lax (IMHO), although it still is usually preferable over conventional options (whether its food or diapers, etc…). Furthermore, “organic corn syrup” is still corn syrup and not ideal (food example, I know…).
Here’s what I found:
- Compelling Story: First and foremost, the story behind Babyganics is pretty compelling. Founded by two dads on a mission to provide safe and healthy baby products. You can read more about it here. Why do I mention this? Because they aren’t a giant corporate brand offering “organic” to spruce up their product lineup. In short, they don’t play both sides of the fence.
- Transparency: In terms of testing and process, Babyganics has a pretty in depth process. They do test for a lot of things, including skin irritants, eye irritants, FDA compliance, OTC compliance, broad spectrum testing, toxicology, photo toxicology, etc… While other companies may have similar tests, it’s not listing up front like Babyganics.
Overall, I didn’t find any reports of inconsistency in terms of the quality of ingredients or any adverse reactions. Personally, we have not experienced any rashes or other issues while using Babyganics diapers for our babies.
Summary: What They Actually Do – Pros and Cons
So here’s a list of the “Pros” and “Cons”:
Pros of Babyganics
- Soft and Comfortable: Some diapers really are too rough in my opinion. Especially with organic diapers, I often find the coarser quality can leave deeper rashes. It’s great that there aren’t any chemicals, but babies still have very sensitive skin. Diaper rash can be super uncomfortable, so I continue to be very impressed by the comfort of the Babyganics diaper. This is likely due to the seed oil blend. In the end, this oil blend is probably the best selling point of Babyganics.
- Quality Ingredients: An organic, plant-based, hypoallergenic diaper that doesn’t feel like sandpaper is surprisingly hard to find. This is a big step up over some of the competition.
- Holds up Well When Wet: As you can see from my test, the diapers actually retain liquid fairly well. There were a few times where they leaked, but these were rare and mainly due to excessive movements by the baby girl.
- Amazing for Sensitive Skin: From reading the research and my own little guinea pigs, I’ve found these diapers to be THE best for eczema and other common skin irritations. If you have a little one struggling with skin issues due to diapers, you should definitely try this out.
- Won’t Break the Bank: Depending on where you get them, they range from $0.26-0.30 per diaper (better if you order in bulk). This is comparable or better then many alternatives like Seventh Generation.
Cons of Babyganics
- Not Completely Bio-Degradable: This is an environmental selling point for some new “green” diapers. While Babyganics has plant based ingredients, it wasn’t being advertised as bio-degradable. To be honest, I’m not too eager to test this out…
- Not the Cheapest: When I was evaluating other brands, I did find that Earth’s Best tended to be a few cents cheaper per diaper when ordered in the same quantities. For me, Earth’s Best was a close runner-up (in general).
- Some Leakage: Babyganics comes very close to conventional diapers in terms of leakage prevention, but they are still not quite there. We experience the infamous “up the back” explosions and leaks a few times. I was able to isolate it to the suction around the small of the baby’s back. We never experienced a flat out leak any other way.
Babyganics Alternatives to Consider?
Like any parent, I don’t evaluate baby products in a vacuum. I definitely tried and researched other alternatives to Babyganics. For the purposes of this review, I think it’s helpful to discuss a few other disposable diaper options:
Earth’s Best Chlorine Free: As mentioned previously, these are generally available for a slightly better price than Babyganics (check here for the latest pricing). They also offer many similar benefits to Babyganics. One area where I found they weren’t as good was comfort and fit. They have a more stiff mid section, leading to less flexibility. They are also rather ugly and drab looking (if that matters to you) with no easy color indicator for wetness. That aside, these are the most affordable organic diapers out there. I also found they do a good job repressing odors.
Bambo Nature: If you want to go high end and environmentally friendly and durable, Bambo Nature is the top of the heap. If you are looking for something with a small waste footprint, these definitely make you feel good. They are also based out of Denmark and have to live up to more stringent European standards. I was genuinely surprised by just how absorbent these diapers were! I found them to be comparable to the best conventional options (or better). If you want the perfect green organic diaper, this one has the edge over Babyganics. It’s definitely an issue of affordability. If you can stomach a slightly higher $0.31-35 per diaper, they are definitely worth trying. You can check the latest pricing here.
Nature Babycare: These flew a bit under the radar until my research online unearthed them as an option. They are fragrant and chlorine free (like the others), while also offering comparable absorption to Babyganics. While fragrance might not sounds like an amazing feature, it’s actually a refreshing touch (especially in some “situations”). They actually use wood pulp in their construction, making them more biodegradable. The main issue I had was that they had a wood-like paper texture. While they do their best to mitigate the comfort issues, I couldn’t help but notice a bit more stiffness to them. They will also run you more than Babyganics per diaper, but you should definitely check here first.
Final Wipe – A Good Value?
I was generally impressed with Babyganics. I don’t think you can go wrong trying them out. I found Bambo Nature to be better for controlling leaks, Earth’s Best for a better price, and Nature Babycare to be more environmentally friendly, but Babyganics had a happy medium between all three.
NOTE: Babyganics also has a nice line of baby wipes here that we have been using since our little one was born.