Social media is amazing. In January I saw something on Instagram from Bambo Nature (@BamboNature) that caught my eye, so I reached out to them and said I would love to try their diapers. Within a week we received a package of diapers, as well as a few very sweet emails from Christina at Bambo telling us how excited she was to hear how we liked the diapers. With this being the first time we had ever received free product to review, we were excited to write this diaper review as well!
There was one problem- Lela is a skinny little bean. Just to give you a sense of scale, here she is with her Uncle Jonny at the time that we received the diapers. The diapers were meant to be worn by babies who weigh 4-9 pounds, but at a mere 6 pounds and 19 inches long, they were huge on her. So we waited, and I performed some other tests to bide the time before the real diaper review.
I figured it would be helpful to compare these to big-name diapers, and at the time we were using Pampers. We really do love the Pampers, and today they are our second-favorite brand of diapers. But, like most other things in this world, modern conveniences come with chemical and environmental drawbacks, which I will discuss more near the end of this review.
The Bambo diapers are really cute. They have a simple print with bears and butterflies, whereas the Pampers (and Huggies, and probably most other major brands) feature characters from Sesame Street, Disney, and other familiar faces. And to be honest, I prefer the generic bear to the name-brand icons. Something about constant cross-promotions rubs me the wrong way. It’s like when you’re watching a basketball game and you catch the “AT&T Halftime Show presented by Doritos with promotional consideration provided by Pepsi in conjunction with Taco Bell with couches furnished by Ikea and clothing featured by Hypercolor“. When I’m paying to watch something and the advertisers are paying the advertisers to advertise their advertisements, I feel like I’m being used.
At this point I realized that I wasn’t sure how to write a diaper review. Once I had set the diapers next to each other, I had no idea what a diaper reviewer was supposed to do next. I tried to do a visual examination, and they both looked like something that would prevent poo from getting onto the baby’s clothes. That’s about all I could discern.
So I decided to see what they looked like with a beer can on them, because…honestly I don’t know why I did this. I was probably drinking.
(WE DO NOT PROMOTE THE CONGLOMERATE BREWERIES HERE, SO WE TURNED THE CANS SO THAT YOU COULD NOT TELL WHICH MACRO-BREWERY MAKES THESE).
Does this help you make up your mind? Me neither.
Looking back on it, this was a stupid idea. Who cares what beer looks like on the diaper; we all want to know what it looks like in the diaper.
I now recognize that this is a terrible way to review diapers. No baby could possibly urinate 12 ounces of beer, and if one could, people would drive thousands of miles to come see it. Just think for a second how much money you would save by having one. It would be the perfect scenario- you would give the mother water, she would use that to produce breastmilk which she would feed the baby, which the baby would convert into beer, which we could all enjoy. And you could add different hops and grains to the water you give the mother to change the type of beer the baby would make.
What a life.
But the point of this test is to determine how well the diapers hold waste, and how they compare environmentally to other products on the market.
So I waited for Lela to grow, and we finally got her into the Bambo Nature diapers.
Initial impression- Meg and Lela LOVED them!
This is one of the first shots we took of Lela wearing the new diapers. Look at her for a second. Just look at her face and ask yourself if this is the face of a baby who feels good about the diaper she is wearing, or one who regrets finding a diaper that could potentially lead to a happier and healthier baby, family, and planet.
Keep in mind that the diaper she is wearing is probably full of pee and/or poo at the moment I took this photo. To be this content while wallowing in your own pee is a testament to the absorbency of these diapers.
That’s the face of a happy baby.
Finally I found the inspiration I need to finish the review. It only took a week to figure out what we liked about these diapers, and what may prevent us from buying them in the future.
WHAT WE LIKE
THE FIT. For some reason I was worried that these diapers wouldn’t fit Lela’s little buns as well as the other brands we have tried; this couldn’t be further from the truth. They fit her perfectly, and they never leaked.
TEXTURE. These diapers are really soft, inside and out. We loved how they felt.
ABSORBENCY. Lela doesn’t always poo everyday, but when she does, she REALLY goes poo. Meghaan texted me when I was at work to tell me that Lela had just taken her biggest poo to date (what a new parent thing to do), and that the Bambo diapers held ALL of the poo, with none escaping out the back or sides. We had already experienced several blowouts, so this showed us how absorbent these diapers are.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. Abena, who manufactures these diapers, eliminates harmful chemicals from the production of these diapers, while adhering to strict requirements in the production and packaging of the diapers. Read more about this on the Bambo Nature website.
LACK OF FRAGRANCE. We love that these diapers don’t have a scent. Once again, this means our baby comes in contact with less chemicals.
WHAT WE DISLIKE
THE COST. Bambo Nature diapers (size 1) cost $13.99 for a pack of 28 at Diapers.com, whereas Pampers Swaddlers in the same size are $11.99 for a pack of 35. That makes Bambo 50 cents each, versus 34 cents for the Pampers. That doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but when you consider that an average infant goes through 2500 diapers a year, that is a $400 difference. But for us, and many of you as well, paying the higher cost in exchange for a diaper that is better for our baby and the planet is absolutely worth it.
I mentioned something about the environmental and chemical impact of these products. You have to think about this- the more absorbent a diaper is, the more additives and chemicals must go into it. Moisture isn’t absorbed by air; it’s absorbed by wood pulp and/or gels and polymers, and exterior wetness is prevented by a plastic film. Every diaper you put on your baby puts her in contact with these materials, and we need to be cognizant of that. And for us, that is one of the main reasons we love these Bambo Nature diapers; less chemicals and less waste.
One thing we love about the Pampers is the wetness indicator. But this is another added chemical that is on or near your baby. I don’t know if the convenience of a wetness indicator outweighs the list of chemicals you are putting on your baby and in the landfill.
The Bambo diapers do not have the indicator, but after a few weeks of baby ownership you don’t need it. A skilled parent can tell that the diaper needs to be changed by touch and smell. In fact, by the time we tested these diapers, Meghaan was checking them by sound alone. I could stand in the basement with Lela, lightly bounce her to rustle the diaper, and Meghaan could identify what the diaper held and how long until it needed to be changed. And she was NEVER wrong.
FINAL VERDICT- We LOVE these diapers. They are so soft, they fit really well, and they held the biggest poo of Lela’s life. I mean, this was a massive poo, and smaller poos have migrated out of her other diapers all the way to her neck and knees. Not this one, though; Bambo kept her limbs free of poo.
If given a choice, and if our budget allows, we will be using Bambo Nature diapers until we transition into cloth diapers as Lela gets older. The additional cost is well worth the reduction in the environmental impact and the chemicals we are putting on and around our child.
For a much more thorough (and scientific) evaluation of all major brands of diapers, please see the BabyGearLab test. I read their analysis after we finished our trial and we’re thrilled to see they love the Bambo diapers as much as we do.
Learn more about the production and environmental considerations that go into these diapers by visiting Bambo Nature’s website
Bambo Nature provided one pack of 28 diapers at no cost in exchange for our opinion. No other compensation was provided.