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