Friday, August 7, 2009

Prefolds vs. GroBaby AI2 system: the nitty gritty!

We've been selling GroBaby diapers for a few weeks now, curious customers have been picking them up here and there, and some customers are starting to choose the GroBaby diapering system as the bulk of their diaper stash. We've already placed a reorder, so the diapers are moving well, but we field a lot of questions about the GroBaby system compared to prefolds, so here it is, a blow-by-blow comparison. Buckle up, people!

Before ordering GroBaby diapers, I polled members of our awesome Facebook group for feedback, I was on the fence about them, really, I thought they were just glorified prefolds. If you don't know already, I'm an avid prefold fan. They're cheap, and they work. I heart prefolds! I've never been one for snappi'ing prefolds, I have always (always!) just trifolded them and laid them in a cover. Yes, bulky, but the bulk never bothered me or the babies. I happen to believe the bulk does a great job of keeping poop where it belongs. Sometimes poop would leak onto the cover, but I would just spot-clean the cover in the sink, and air-dry between changes, so really, not a big deal. People always ask about the prefolds shifting in the diaper cover, as long as your baby is wearing a snug-fitting cover, this should not be an issue.

The GroBaby system is a similar concept to the trifolded prefold, with a couple of exceptions. It's a one-size-fits-most system, there is no folding involved, and the soaker pad snaps into the cover. It's a better design than a true all-in-one because the shell (waterproof cover) can be used multiple times before being washed; a true all-in-one is only used once before being washed. At a GroBaby diaper change, you simply unsnap the dirty soaker from the shell, and snap a clean soaker in.

When it comes to cost, at first glance, the GroBaby system seems the more expensive choice, but once you look at the bigger picture, the two systems are actually comparatively priced:
2 dozen infant prefolds: $66.00
5 Thirsties size 1 duo covers: $75.00
2 dozen large prefolds: $100.00
5 Thirsties size 2 duo covers: $75.00
3 bamboo/fleece doublers: $23.25
total: $339.25

5 GroBaby shell sets (includes one waterproof shell, one soaker pad, and one booster): $155
9 Soaker sets (18 soakers): $189
total: $344.00

When most people look at the shell set initially, it's easy to confuse that $31.00 price tag for the 'per diaper' price tag, but once you factor in that the shell is reused, the cost shrinks considerably.
So why would you choose one over the other? Some people come into the store and like the prefold price, but they might not like the perceived fussiness of prefolds. The GroBaby diapers are a little more finished, you can have it snapped and ready-to-go beforehand (let's face it, Dads like easy!). Since GroBaby diapers are a one-size-fits-most system, you will have to deal with more bulk on a newborn, however, infant prefolds can also be bulky on newborns. You also have to factor wear-and-tear into the equation, the GroBaby diapers will be used for an extended period, so they may not hold up as well as sized prefolds and covers, which are used for a shorter period, then set aside in favor of the next size. If you want to reuse your diapers or sell them when you're finished, this may be a consideration, however, if you replace each set of GroBaby diapers with every child, you're still saving at least $2,000/child in comparison to the cost of disposable diapers!
In a nutshell, I think GroBaby offers almost-pocket-diaper convenience at a prefold price; this sytem strikes a great balance between cost and ease-of-use. Still on the fence? For tomorrow only (Saturday, August 8th), save $5.00 on one soaker set when purchased in combination with a GroBaby shell set. Can't make it into the store? Use coupon code TRYGROBABY to receive a $5.00 discount on a purchase that includes one GroBaby shell set, and one soaker set. One discount/household, not valid with other offers.
Do you have an opinion on prefolds or GroBaby diapers? Share your feedback and win a GroBaby shell set. We'll randomly select one comment from this blog entry, and ship you a free GroBaby shell set (you've got until Monday, August 10th, speak now or forever hold your peace!).


  1. The added bonus of the Gro Baby shell is the "velcro" is one of a kind- super soft, will not leave marks on your baby's tummy. I have not seen any other diaper or cover with this type. Also, you will not be picking lint out of this type of hook and loop closure! :)

    For those who love pocket diapers but hate how they take up your entire diaper bag when you go anywhere- this diaper is perfect for that. Just throw in an extra shell and some boosters and soakers and youre good to go for the day.

  2. I would love to try the grobaby although, I have not purchased any as of yet, it does seem like a good idea, I'm not all that fussy with pees and poos plus thats what rubber gloves are for! lol seems easier to put on a wiggly baby than tackling them to put on a prefold hehe! :) and of course I can completely see this being so much less bulky than my pockets and as such I only use them at night. :( It would be nice to have something that would help my new "rolling" baby move! lol take care! Carol

  3. I have 2 grobaby shells & 4 soakers....I've been very pleased with them. I have my doubts about how well they would fit on a newborn, but I definitely prefer them over prefolds.

  4. susie, i know we talked about the bio soakers already but I wanted to share my comments on here too :) I think Bio soakers are a yay item. Those that use the G diaper system will gravitate towards this system im sure. also, maybe those that use disposables when they go out will switch to something like this for outtings. Lastly, its a greener choice for those who dont want to use a typical cloth diaper (ie a prefold, pocket) but who dont want to use disposables either.

  5. I bought a couple of grobaby diapers to try last week, and I can't wait to get more! The cover (shell) is really what makes the difference IMO.. it is like no other cover I have seen. That velcro is neat stuff! The inserts are soft and absorbent, and I like that I can have them snapped in and ready :D The only thing I don't like is that they take quite a long time to dry, much longer than my prefolds do.

  6. I think that with the company coming out with flushable/compostable inserts and new fun prints in the Fall, this could be the ultimate system. Already it's cheaper than G-Diaper, and the shells are much better quality. If you are sceptical about the aplix, they have a snap version. It's definitely a diaper I'd love to try when my new little one arrives in the Fall. But I do love the simplicity of prefolds (and the washability of cotton!), so it would take a great product to lure me away from my prefolds! Thanks Susie!

  7. I would love to give them a try! They sound so convenient and easy to use. I am using Fuzzybunz and little gdiapers right now and am thinking about trying something new. The system sounds similar to the little gdiapers and if they really bring out a biodegradable insert it would be the perfect solution for everyone. If just one of your shops would be closer to me. Everytime I read one of your newsletters on FB I am getting jealous of the moms living in Kitchener or Ottawa.
    I guess I will give them a try and if I like them I will buy a couple of shells and soakers.
    Thanks for that great review,

  8. I do have one question.. does it have a snap in the front AND the back (inserts) OR just the front? thanks again :)

  9. Carol: the insert snaps in both the front and back, so it doesn't move around.

    I bought a grobaby yesterday with your promotion to try out. I couldn't wait to get home and wash it. Im trying it out this morning and am loving it. The fit is amazing and i love the velcro. Im thinking of buying a stash of these so that when I am watching my sister's twins that I can use these on them.

  10. Holly Burkhardt, come on down! My daughter has chosen you to win the Grobaby shell set, please contact me at to arrange to receive the diaper. Thanks for your comments everyone!

  11. I use the beautiful GroBaby covers (love the nice velcro, and the fact that i only had to buy one size), with the very affordable prefolds. They work great together.

  12. We are trying to decide whether to use a diaper service or wash our own. I was overwhelmed with the number of choices of cloth diapers and it's so hard to know what to choose. I have read amazing reviews about the AIO Godiva. My questions are: how many do I need for our baby and do I need special ones for newborns? Thanks!

  13. "I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me,
    and I am completely satisfied with your website.
    All comments and articles are very useful and very good.
    Your blog is very attention-grabbing. I am loving all of the in
    turn you are sharing with each one!…