Green Carbon Living is a WAHM business from Canada that make gorgeous cloth nappies and Baby Bum Boutique has started to stock them. When I first heard about them there was a bit of excitement on a cloth nappy board with a lot of people eager to try them out. And of course it being ‘new’ I had to put my preorder in quick and get one!
They are an AI2 system where the outer shell is waterproof and you snap in an insert to use, and when wet you can simply snap out the wet insert, give the inside of the shell a wipe if needed and then pop in a new insert. Much like a Flip or Weehugger, in fact these do remind me a lot of Weehuggers, cotton outer/PUL inner but GCL have gusseting all around the inside of the nappy and are a one size. Well an ‘almost one size’ as they go from 10lbs to 35lbs +, so not perfect for an average newborn. But they are very very trim, and quite low in the rise, despite having the normal 4 rise settings, so I’m not sure how long they would last a chunkier baby.
So onto the outside first where all the prettiness is, they cost £15 which is quite a high price but it’s always the way with gorgeous imported WAHM goodies and the inserts are bought separately . They only come in snaps (no problem for me), they have a cotton outer and come in a dazzling range of really funky prints, totally gorgeous and a great mix of girl and boy friendly. The snaps on the front do look confusing at first glance, they have 2 rows of snaps across the waist and four snaps on each wing to stop the dreading wing droop. But there is also a crossover snap setting which of course is always great and needed for smaller babies.
So onto the inside, it’s wipeable PUL and there are gussets all around the back, front and legs so they have great containment – especially needed for newborns! I did actually find the side gussets a bit annoying sometimes as they are quite wide so I seemed to be forever tucking them in. I personally wouldnt really call the top and bottom bits gussets, more like just covers to keep the insert in place and to make sure it doesnt stick out the top and cause wicking but they do their job great!
There are two different inserts to choose from, one is just a plain regular insert, £3.95 and the other has gussets sewn into it and is £6. They’re both made from the same material, with a top layer of super soft terry bamboo, a core of zorb and a bottom layer of organic sherpa. They have snaps at the back to attach to the back of the shell, but oddly enough the snaps on all the inserts I had were more spaced apart then the corresponding ones in the shell. They still snapped in okay but it just meant the insert was bunched up a little at the back, adding a bit of bulk where there didnt need to be. The inserts are much longer then the shell and you’re meant to fold them in on themselves, so there’s a bit more padding towards the middle/front, depending on if you have a boy or a girl.
So how did we find it? Well despite being super super trim they just aren’t working well for Chloe. She seems to hold in her wee’s now and then do big mega ones which the inserts (both types) cant seem to soak up quickly enough and then it instantly starts to wick and leak around the legs. And this is with folding the inserts so the tails are in the middle and we’ve also tried it at the front but neither seems to make a difference. Also having tried both kinds, I’m not sure the extra money for the gusseted one is really worth it, I didnt notice any difference containment wise between them. You could try something else if need be, most of our spare inserts were a little too wide to fit inside the shell gusseting so it might take a bit of trial and error. Or you could just use this as a wrap over a fitted nappy but if your toddler is at the upper end of the weight range then I’m not sure how well it would cover a large nappy, being that it’s so trim.
Ease of use: AI2’s are always super easy to use, snap in the insert and off you go, I did however struggle sometimes getting the insert in between the gussets and then get it on Chloe and have to tuck the gussets in around the legs a bit. As it seems the inserts push the gusseting on the shell out a little or maybe the gusseting itself is just a smidge too wide/long. It wasnt a huge hassle, just a quick check once on.
Performance: The leg bindings are lovely and soft and unlike some wraps it didnt leave any red marks on Chloe’s legs. As for how long we get out of it with one of the inserts in, it’s as soon as Chloe wee’s we get leaks. So depending on when she wee’s depends on how long we get out of it – which isnt really ideal as I’m always checking it to see if it’s wet! The fit is lovely and trim when on and it did contain a rather nasty ‘Chloe special’ brilliantly, the gussets did take a hit but nothing escaped! Drying time for the shell is super quick as expected and the inserts didnt take too long either, quicker then a full bamboo or hemp insert.
Design: Cant fault the cute and quirky prints they come in, there’s sure to be something for everyone. But I do feel the inserts let it down a bit, I think they’re probably fine for smaller babies or not so heavy wetters but for bigger toddlers or heavy wetters I just dont think they can cope. The gussets work fabby though and they are just so darn trim!
Overall: These are a little more expensive than say a Weehugger shell but the prints are a big selling point, really quirky and different, plus the GCL is a nearly (from 10lbs) birth to potty so should save you money in the long run compared to a Weehugger which come in 2 sizes. I really wanted this to work for Chloe as the fit is just so perfect but it’s just not meant to be. It’s still a pretty wrap but I must admit I dont think I’ll use it much as I’m not sure how reliable we’d find it before wicking would start – even with a really absorbent nappy underneath. I should have known better really as all cotton outer wraps and pockets I’ve tried do always end up wicking with Chloe unless I’m pretty quick on checking her and changing, but it’s just so gorgeous!!
If I had a newborn I’d be snapping up a few of these to use over small fitteds and prefolds but for Chloe they just dont work. I’m sure before she starting doing big power toddler wee’s it would have stood a better chance and I think with a lighter wetter then again it would probably be fine. So if you’re a fan of AI2’s like Flips and Weehuggers or just want to try something new and funky then definitely give these a go, but if you have a heavy wetter then possibly they arent for you.
I bought the nappy/inserts mentioned in this post and did this review because I wanted
to, no compensation was received for doing it.