A More Excellent Elemental?

(Review of the new BumGenius Elemental.)

 

Most of my stash is BG Elementals from when my 2 year old son was born.  I loved that diaper.  Trim, organic natural fibers, super absorbent, simple to use… pretty much the only complaint I had were long drying times.  So how does it stack up against the new Elemental?  Let’s find out…

What’s Changed?

The old Elemental was made up of (as far as I can tell ) 9 layers of BumGenius’s signature buttery soft organic cotton knit.  There were 3 layers that made up the inner base layer of the diaper and then a “handbag style” soaker made up of 2 separate strips of 3 layers each.  A “handbag style” soaker is one that is sewn down at the front and back like the handle of a purse, not at just one end with the other end flapping free.  (Many thanks to Tiffany of Simple Baby for explaining that term to me.) The body layers were sewn in the front and back and sides of the diaper.  To add absorbency you had to just lay a doubler into the diaper unless you had a very small doubler (like the GroVia booster), then you could tuck it under the handbag-style soaker.

The new Elemental has made some changes to address specific issues with the old Elemental.

  1. No more full body layers.  The new design has gotten rid of the full body layer and simply expanded the handbag style soaker (both longer and wider) so that it covers the body of the diaper from front to back and side to side.  It is no longer sewn into the elastic at the sides. This will eliminate a common complaint from the old Elementals, which is that the cotton would wear holes near where it attached to the elastic and near where the soaker was attached due to increased stress on the fabric at those points.  Additionally, having the elastic in leg casings and not attached to the cotton means replacing the elastic on the new Elementals is as easy as replacing it on the Flip cover.
  2. Quicker drying times.  By eliminating 3 of the 9 layers of cotton but making those 6 remaining layers wider, BumGenius has made the new Elemental quicker drying which saves both time and energy.
  3. Easier to add additional layers.  The new Elemental’s soaker is sewn to the PUL in a way similar to if you sewed a Flip insert to the flaps of a Flip cover.  The result is that there is PLENTY of space under the handbag soaker to add a full-size insert.  Plus, you can now use microfiber because the cotton soaker is wide enough to cover it completely so the microfiber doesn’t touch your baby’s skin.
  4. Trimmer.  I can’t say that this is a huge selling point for me since I will always pick more absorbency over less bulk, this could be a big plus for people who are used to the trimness of disposables or who don’t want to have to size up in pant sizes for their baby.

Despite all these positive changes, I do have a few reservations about the diaper.

  1. Absorbency.  The new Elemental has 6 layers of cotton instead of 9.  These layers are much wider than 6 of the previous 9 layers, so perhaps total absorbency is the same.  I’m not sure.  I will say that I was pleasantly surprised that the new Elemental lasted through a nap on my 2 year old.
  2. Exposed PUL.  This is a big one.  Because the cotton layers are so trim, and not attached to the sides, the soakers do tend to bunch up and leave exposed PUL against my baby’s skin.  He is not allergic to PUL so this isn’t as big of an issue as it could be, but it was still annoying, especially when a couple pieces of poop got stuck under the cotton soaker and ended up bouncing around on the PUL while I tried to shake it into the toilet.  Exposed PUL is also the reason I prefer the (old) organic cotton flip inserts  to the stay dry or the new trimmer cotton flip inserts.  The bulk of the old organic insert (now renamed the Flip Overnight insert) meant the insert held it shape, laying flat and going to the edges of the diaper instead of bunching up.

 

 

Will I grow to love the new Elemental as much as the old one?  Maybe.  I plan on adding a few to my stash , but I’m also going to add a few Smart Bottoms AIO’s which are extremely similar to the old Elemental design with full body layers of organic cotton as well as an attached soaker.

Want to try it yourself?  Come into our store or shop our website, www.babiesbottomsandmore.com! (If the listing for the new Elemental is not live yet, give me a day or so to get it up.)

 

Questions I didn’t answer?  Comment below and I’ll try to answer for you!

Full disclosure: I am a BumGenius retailer.  However all opinions expressed are my own.  I did not receive any compensation for writing this review and purchased the diaper for review myself.

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Flip Organic Inserts: Old and New

So what’s up with the new Flip organic inserts?  Let’s go over the packaging changes first, then we’ll compare the actual inserts.

 

Flip Day Packs used to come with 2 covers and 6 inserts.  Stay-dry (microfiber topped with suedecloth) was one option for $49.95, and Organic (organic cotton inserts) was another option, for $59.95.  Each day pack would get you through 6 diaper changes (assuming you reuse each cover 3 times).  Other Flip insert options were the newborn stay-dry inserts and the disposable inserts (sold separately).

 

The NEW Flip Organic Day packs come with 2 covers and 8 (not 6) organic cotton inserts, still for $59.95.  So you get 2 more inserts for the same price, but the inserts are thinner.  Which means they’re trimmer, but also less absorbent.  Theoretically, the Organic day pack now has enough inserts for 8 changes, while the stay-dry still represents 6 changes, but to get all 8 changes you would have to reuse each cover FOUR times, which may or may not be realistic, depending on your baby.

bg flip org night 2pk

The OLD Organic Cotton inserts have been renamed the Flip Organic Night-time Inserts and are available in 2-packs for $22.95.  As well as being available in day packs, the new (daytime) organic inserts are available in 3-packs for $19.95, the same price that a 3-pack of the old Organic Inserts, now the new Night-time Inserts, used to be sold for.  Confused yet?  🙂

 

So, what ARE these inserts?  If you want to see them in person, please come visit Babies Bottoms and More in Farmers Branch, TX on a Tuesday from 10-2 or Saturday from 11-3.  Or you can keep reading… the new organic inserts are made of the same soft and squishy organic cotton as the old organic inserts (this cotton is also used in the Elementals.  It’s divine.)  Instead of being folded and sewn down into a 4 layer thick prefold-sized insert, it is simply one single layer that has been serged around the edges.  More like a flat diaper than a prefold.  Not exactly like a flat, because as you can see in the below photo, the dimensions are not quite the same as the Hemp Babies Flat, but are about twice the size of the old style organic insert.

bg flip old new hempbabies comp

To use the old style organic inserts, you tri-folded (folded it in thirds) and laid it inside the cover.  You’d trifold it one direction for smaller babies, the other direction for larger babies who needed a longer insert.  With the new organic insert, you do the same thing – but you first fold it in half crosswise.  In half, then in thirds.  The photo below shows an unfolded old-style insert next to a new insert that has been folded in half one time.

bg flip old new organic side by side

Because the new insert can unfold completely to a single layer, it will be easier to clean and will dry faster.  However since it also just uses less cotton (when trifolded the new insert has 6 layers of cotton, the old insert had 12) it will be trimmer/less absorbent.  Of course, if you need more absorbency one of the beauties of the Flip system is that you can simply stack two inserts on top of each other and use them BOTH inside the cover.  (I kind of wonder if that’s what they were going for when they bumped the day pack up to 8 inserts… it can be 4 diaper changes for a heavy wetter/older baby and 8 changes for a lighter wetter.) So I guess although I personally am almost always in favor of more absorbency even at the cost of trimness, I can see how the new insert is more versatile especially for moms who really want trimness.  The photo below shows a side view of the old vs new inserts so you can see how much trimmer the new one is.

Old on the left, New on the right

Old on the left, New on the right

 

So, what do you all think?  Do you like the versatility and trimness of the new insert?  Or do you prefer the simpler folding method of the old one?  Any other thoughts?

March Giveaway

Congratulations to Jaquelyn who commented on our February giveaway entry for winning the PlanetWise nursing cover!  March’s giveaway is ALSO a PlanetWise item having to do with feeding babies, but not a nursing cover.  It’s a Bag Your Snack Stuff gift set!  The winner will get a set of 2 reusable snack bags (1 large and 1 small), a reusable sandwich wrap, and a set of 4 cloth napkins, all in a fun owl print.

Snack bags are

  • FDA Food Safe Material
  • PVC, BPA, Phthalate, Latex and Lead Free
  • CPSIA Compliant

Napkins are

  • Sold in sets of four, two-sided napkins
  • Coordinating prints to match your favorite Snack Bags!
  • Unfolded Dimensions: 12″x12″

We love the PlanetWise napkins so much, they have replaced paper napkins in our house.  I just toss them in with whatever load of laundry I’m doing that day.  They’re small enough (and fun enough prints) that my kids ages 8, 6, and 3 will fold them while I’m folding the rest of the laundry.  We have also become entirely waste-free for packed lunches.  I got some plastic “bento boxes” (really just cheap tupperware thingys) from Ikea that are the perfect size for a sandwich and a little bit of trail mix or pretzels next to the sandwich.  This goes with a sippy cup or thermos, a piece of fruit, and/or other food in a reusable snack bag into our canvas lunch sacks.  I love the canvas sacks because they fold completely flat for easy storage (important when you have 6 people’s lunch bags to store!) and they are completely WASHABLE so even if the sippy cup spills milk, it’s not doomed to stink forever!  (Stay tuned… we hope to have these amazing bags in our store soon!)

 

To Enter:

1. Come by the store and fill out an entry slip.  You can enter each time you visit during the month of March.

2. Add the “Monthly Giveaway” (for 1 cent because I can’t make it charge $0) to your cart with any online purchase this month.

3. Comment here with one change either that you HAVE made in the past year or that you WILL make this year to reduce waste in your life.

 

We’ll pick the winner on or around April 1.  Have fun!

 

Photo Review: Flip Trainers

Several of you have been asking for a review and photos of the new Flip trainers.  Here you go!

For $34.95 you get 1 adjustable waterproof shell and 5 organic cotton inserts - enough for 5 accidents. If your toddler is still having poopy accidents, you might want to get 2 boxes (i.e., 2 shells) but if you're just working on the wet accidents, 1 box should do it.

The shell has waterproof PUL (blue) and stretchy side tabs (orange). It has a snap-down rise and adjustable waist snaps as well, to fit 18 mo - 2T

These side panels are on the largest setting right now. Plenty of snaps make sure they will not pop off when your child pulls them down.

The shell, unsnapped and opened up. See the flaps in front and back? The insert tucks under the flaps.

Inserts attach to the shell with hidden velcro under the flaps. This insert is attached with velcro on the under side. The velcro you see above it is a self-closing laundry tab, so the velcro doesn't pick up lint and get caught on stuff in the wash.

There is another velcro strip under the front flap. The insert has multiple velcro strips which you can fold different ways to fit S-M-L. Put the extra folded over part in the front for a boy, in the back for a girl.

In the last picture the insert was unfolded and on the Large setting. Here it is folded all the way down on the small setting.

Once attached, you can see how the insert makes a nice absorbent inner for the shell. It is not as thick as the Flip DIAPER insert, nor as absorbent as a full diaper.

When the sides are all snapped up, you can see how it makes a pull-up training pant with waterproof outer and soft, absorbent inner

Any questions you still have?  Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer.  You can get your Flip Training Pant from Babies Bottoms and More by following this link: http://babiesbottomsandmore.com/bufltrpa.html (It says they are currently out of stock as of 2.28.12 but I will change that tomorrow I hope. We do have a limited amount in stock – 3 boy, 4 neutral, 1 girl.)

 

February Giveaway

In my head I was thinking I would wait to post about our Feb. giveaway until the January giveaway had been claimed.  To wrap up the other one before starting a new one.  Well, getting in touch with a winner is becoming harder than I thought, and we’re already well into Feb. so I’ll go ahead and spill the beans. 

 

February’s giveaway is a PlanetWise Nursing Cover in the Espresso Bean print!  Planetwise, maker of the fabulous wet/dry bags and Best Bottom Diapers, now makes nursing covers as well.  They’re made in the style of Bebe au Lait covers with a stiff neckline that stands out from your chest so you can look down and see your baby while they are covered.  They also have a large pocket in the corner to store essentials like a burp cloth, pacifier, nipple cream, or bottle of water. 

My favorite feature of this cover though is the matching zippered pouch that comes with it.  It keeps the cover nice and neat and crumb-free in the bottom of your diaper bag. 

PlanetWise nursing cover in Espresso Bean

Three Ways To Enter:

1. Stop by the store and fill out an entry slip with your name and phone number or email address.

2. Add the “monthly giveaway” item to your cart with any online order.

3. Comment here:  If you’re feeling snarky tell me the best/funniest reponse you’ve ever heard or used to a negative comment about breastfeeding.  Or if you’re in a more positive mood you can share a positive comment you’ve gotten from someone about breastfeeding.  My favorite answer to the question, “How long will you be nursing you baby?” is “Oh, just about five more minutes now.”

PS: If you are entering by posting here, I highly recommend you click the box to be notified by email if anyone responds to your comment.  The winner will be announced on our Facebook page on or around March 1, but if the winner is a commenter here I will also respond to their comment to let them know they’ve won.  Several previous prizes have gone unclaimed because I never heard back from the winner – I’d hate for it to be you!

October Giveaway

I can’t believe it, I’m on time for posting this! First of all, congratulations to Bre Taylor who won the mama cloth giveaway, and LaDonna Elms who won the breastfeeding package. Please email us at admin@babiesbottomsandmore.com before Monday morning to claim your prize.

Now for the October Giveaway. Thanks to the work-at-home-DAD behind EcoSprout, we have an EcoSprout gift pack to give away. It includes a medium size bag of EcoSprout detergent plus 2 trial size bags, a bottle of Bottom Spray, a tube of Bottom Balm, and a small travel-size tin of Bottom Balm. I’ll be sad to see it go – it has been making our store smell WONDERFUL these past few weeks!

To enter, 3 ways:

1. Stop by the store and fill out an entry form

Place an online order from now through Oct. 31 and add the “Monthly Giveaway” to your bag

3. Am I the only one who LOVES folding my diaper laundry? Comment here and spill the beans, do you like diaper laundry or not? Why?

May Giveaway – Bravado Nursing Tank

Thank you to all who participated in last month’s giveaway of the hands-free pumping bustier.  I’m a little embarrassed to say that I have forgotten the winner’s name, so I can’t congratulate her personally here, but Winner, the bustier is on its way, along with the online order you placed. 

This month’s giveaway has been sponsored by the folks at Bravado.  As you may know, we carry two of their nursing bras in the store (the Original and the Body Silk Seamless).  This month, as the weather is heating up, we’ll be giving away a Bravado nursing tank in your choice of color and size!

 

 

Bravado Nursing Tank comes in several fabulous colors!

As a nursing mom, I love that this tank has a real, honest-to-goodness bra built in.  The problem I have with generic nursing tanks is that their sizing is just S-M-L.  So I can get a Small to get the correct band size, but then there is nowhere near enough fabric (or support).  Or I can get  a Large so I’m covered, but then the band size is much too big and again, there is no support.  The Bravado tank avoids these problems.  Not only do I wear them with skirts and shorts in the summer, but I had one that I matched with a swimsuit bottom and voila! I had a nursing tankini swimsuit. 

See more info and photos here: http://www.bravadodesigns.com/shop/the-essential-nursing-tank

There are three ways to enter:

1. Stop by our store during the month of May and fill out an entry slip.

2. Place an online order through May 31.

3. Comment here and let me know whether you would consider buying this tank if we carried it (or if you already own it), and what color you hope to win. 

Winner will be chosen during the first week of June.