Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Musing on Honest Company Diapers

Last month, a mama in one of my facebook parenting groups posted a picture of her daughter in a particularly cute disposable diaper, along with a note that it was from a free sample. Free? I'm interested! I'll admit it--I love samples. Even those that aren't totally free, like the little ones in the bins at the store.

I looked up The Honest Company, which was the maker of the cute diaper. I quickly signed up, quite interested in the 'free' sample (quotes because you have to pay a shipping charge of $4.95). I had to wait until I thought we could afford the bundle ($80, approximately, before shipping) 7 days from receipt of the sample. Doing the math on how many disposable diapers we use versus what comes in the bundle, I estimated that one month's supply would last us the rest of Kat's first year, give or take.

Kat is allergic to Huggies and pretty much all generics (I won't buy Pampers due to their refusal to take their Dry Max products off the market, compensate the injured babies' families or put a warning on the package that it can cause burns--but we did get a package of Luvs when she was tiny and it left terrible burn-like rashes everywhere the diaper touched her skin). We have to buy Huggies Naturals or Seventh Generation (or did, until I discovered Earth's Best at Babies R Us in my desperate search for either of the brands that don't hurt her--they are hard to find around here--and added a third brand).

She would rather wear nothing at all
I'll be honest: I hate Seventh Generation only because they're brown. It looks like I'm sticking a paper bag on her butt and knowing that it's dye just makes it all the worse. I love the little Pooh Bears on the Huggies Naturals, but I can only occasionally get them at our recovery outlet store because I can't find any stores in the area that carry them. The Earth's Best are barely better than the Seventh Generation in that they're white, not dyed to look more natural.

Despite my complaints about the external of the diapers, functionally, they are all three the same, in my experience. They are good diapers that hold basically everything except a big poop. Contrary to other cloth diapering moms out there, I don't have a different experience with cloth--I get blowouts in those, too (the least with my Sunbaby diapers). The Earth's Best have a soft little bit in the back that is somewhat like a fuzzy Styrofoam or something. They're also great for drawing on when bored.

Fun for drawing!

So, the first thing you do on the website is design your "Nursery." This bugged me a tiny bit in that I don't have a nursery as part of being a natural parent, but hey, I've always thought that was a little sad in that they are freaking adorable and I have always wanted to design one. Well, this mostly involves giving some info about your baby and picking your favorite patterns for the diapers (there are six, divided into 'boy' and 'girl' colors--which I, of course, totally ignored). My favorites were the Pink Stars, Skulls, Bloom and Gingham, in that order.

I came back later when we'd be able to do the bundle and ordered the free trial. The deal was that I got seven days to decide to cancel if they didn't work for us. This was perfect for me to be able to test Kat's sensitive skin and how well the diapers worked. I eagerly awaited my free sample pack and stalked the UPS tracking until it stalled on a Friday, mere miles from my house, not to be delivered until Monday. Darn you, UPS!

Once they came, I tossed them with the other disposables so I wouldn't be tempted to use them immediately (I do cloth when at home during the day). I got what was clearly the 'girl' packet, which included two Sweets, Pink Stars, Bloom and one White. I wasn't crazy about the Sweets pattern on the website, but it was pretty cute in person.

That night, I eagerly slapped one on her bum. It was as adorable as could be and I posted pictures on FB each night of each diaper before we went to bed.

Well, during the trial, I found out that we couldn't afford to do the bundle this month. I was quite unhappy, because I had fallen in love with these diapers and couldn't get over how cute they are. I looked at individual packages, but after shipping, they would end up costing more than the Earth's Best and I couldn't justify the cost when they felt very much the same, worked the same and the only real difference was just how darn cute these are. With the bundle, the price difference was definitely worth it.

The Honest Company diapers are $14*/package before shipping (you cannot buy them retail). Earth's Best are $12* a package at Babies R Us. So, individually, Earth's Best are cheaper, but you get one less diaper. Seventh Generation costs $17* at my store for the same number of diapers as Earth's Best.

Earth's Best, Honest Compant, Seventh Generation
visual comparison, size 3 diaper

To compare the diapers, Seventh Generation are my least favorite. They aren't as soft in back and the elastic bunches more, so it's not as padded as the other two.

Seventh Generation back--soft bit is there, but it bunches up a bit

Honest Company back: loose padding is super soft to the touch

Earth's Best: the back bunches, but the padding doesn't, leaving it very soft to the touch

The tabs are all the psuedo velcro that recloses, just like any other premium disposable diaper. The Earth's best is the only one where I've had a tab rip off so far and only one. They all have gusseted leg elastics that fit snug, but not too tight. I don't recall if I had a blowout in the Honest Company diapers, but I don't see them holding up any differently than the other two. They are all wonderfully absorbent and stand up to nighttime wetness with ease, ending up squishy in the morning.

Kat has had no rashes in these diapers and they hold wetness away at just the right level. When it came time to make the sad call to cancel my subscription (you cannot do it online, you have to call and only M-F 7-5 PST, so 9-7 my time--this meant it took me longer to cancel and I worried about ending up getting an automatic shipment) I dreaded customer service (don't we all?). It turns out my fears were unfounded.

They were incredibly nice! There was no pressure to continue and when I explained how the diapers would last me a while, they said they would be happy to vary the sizes in the bundle when I'm ready to pick up the subscription, if I feel that will be needed. I'll be getting 10% off my order, too and that just makes me want to order them even more (it will negate the shipping cost entirely)!

Of all the luck, I found a package of Honest Company diapers at that recovery outlet store I mentioned earlier! Not only were they size 3, but they were the gingham print that I had liked. I snatched them up immediately. They were likely a UPS break open stock (when packages break open and can't be returned or shipped, they go to this store).

Hooray! I barely hesitated in grabbing these

While I was super duper excited to get the package (and at a steal!), I'm sad that I can't regularly use these diapers yet. I do highly recommend them from my trial and the package I found by total accident (I was there for vitamins, can't resist seeing what random baby items they have and if they have any good, affordable carriers or cloth diapers). I would totally be buying them exclusively if they were available at a local retailer, but there are no current plans from the company (which is just starting out) to move from their online only business.

Pink Stars, Bloom, Gingham
They are trim, cute, effective and about as natural as disposable diapers can get. From the website:
  • Naturally biodegradable & pure plant-based PLA in the inner & outer sheet (NO petrochemicals/oil)
  • Bio-based wheat / corn super-absorbent materials blended with reduced SAP gel
  • Choose from a growing selection of modern & fashionable design options for your girl or boy
  • Secure moisture barrier cuffs to prevent leakage or blowouts
  • Comfortable stretchy, re-fastenable grip tabs
  • Contoured fit & non-irritating feel for the most sensitive skin
  • Premium fit & performance, completely safe, and super-cute designs
    Chlorine-free fluff (paper from CERTIFIED sustainably managed forests – no optical brighteners), BIO-core (wheat/corn starch blended with SAP), plant-based PLA (in outer layer, inner layer, & moisture barrier layer), Non-Toxic adhesives (in seams & joints), polymer spandex and polyurethane (in fastening system & leg/waist elastic) & ink (no heavy metals).
     Designed in California.
    Responsibly Made in Mexico.

     No Animal Testing or By-products.
    We guarantee your complete satisfaction.
I am not being paid or in any way compensated for this review, I just really liked these diapers and wanted to share my experiences. I'll be sticking to Earth's Best as my second best (functionality without the cute factor). As for those diapers: Chlorine and dioxin free, made partly from renewable resources, latex-free, perfume-free, dye-free, comfortable and made from corn and wheat (so parents with kids with Celiac disease, beware!).

I hope to get that bundle in the next couple months, although Kat has already stepped up her Elimination Communication to the point where she's diaperless the first half of the day, letting me know when she wants to use the potty.

*All prices are rounded up/approximate.


  1. Hello - I just started using the honest diapers. I wonder if you've ever tried the Nature Babycare diapers for a comparison. We find them cheaper than 7th generation - and almost cheaper than honest, but they aren't as cute. Just wondered your thoughts!

    1. I have not tried them! I looked them up and have never seen them before. They are about the same price as Earth's Best, but are more natural, from what I'm reading. There was a slew of complaints in 2009 on Amazon about a "redesign" leaving them in poor condition, but the newer reviews didn't seem to agree. I can't find any pictures of the actual diaper. I assume they are just plain white?

  2. How many diapers come in the "free" sample??

    1. 7 :) You get two of each "gender-specific" pattern and one white.

  3. I have used Honest Diapers and had a VERY bad experience. My daughter from the get go had a rash every single day caused by the diapers. It wasn't until I switched back to 7th generation diapers after trying everything else did it go away. I never thought in a million years it was the diapers. But,,,,after 3 months and my husband demanding me to switch back to the brown ones did I admit it was the Honest Diapers after seeing for my own eyes my daughters rash disappear within 2 days. They are cute BUT, something causes the rash, and the diapers are rough on the babies back, my daughter kept getting scratch marks where it gathers as well. Not only that, in the morning my daughters bed would be soaked from a leak through. I was changing her at 9:00 at night to try to prevent the leak through and not giving her anything to drink after 7. But it still did not work. Sorry, but I gave Honest Diapers 3 months! No thumbs up.

    1. Oh, wow, that SUCKS! I've seen people complain about 7th Generation leaking, etc., too, but have not experienced that myself. In fact, I've seen it from basically every disposable diaper company out there, along with claims that cloth doesn't leak (it does). Anything can potentially cause an allergic reaction :( Did you know that most disposable diapers contain wheat? So babies with a gluten intolerance can have chronic diaper rash with no obvious cause! We mostly still use the Huggies Naturals because they're the easiest for us to find locally, but I know plenty of babies are allergic to those, too.

  4. The Nature Baby Care are plain white I think (I have a pile of 5s upstairs, left from the great stacking Amazon baby coupons extravaganza of '10) They are good too.
    Look on Amazon and for diapers. You should be able to get them for far less than you are paying retail.

    But I have to say, cloth is still cuter.

    1. It really is, but I DO love the prints on the Honest Company diapers :D

  5. Yeah honest diaper are organic and also best cleaning product for babies. It really solves my problem as previously my baby is facing diaper rashes.

  6. I have a three week old daughter who has had a rash since I started using the Honest Company diapers....I switched to Huggies Pure and Natural and can't believe the rash went away. I switched back to the Honest Company diapers just to see if it was their product causing this rash and the rash came right back after using just one diaper. I really wanted to like the Honest Company diapers as I like so many of their other products, but will be canceling my diaper enrollment.

    1. I don't think there's a perfect diaper for everyone. The Huggies P&N worked great for us, but were really hard to find. Each of my babies had reactions to different diapers :-/

    2. I know honest diapers contain corn and the ink is plant based. So an allergy to there diapers can be a sign of a corn allergy or a sensitivity to the plants used in the inks. I've read of other people mentioning their kids being unable to use them due to a corn allergy. I agree that not product works for everyone though. Babies vary so much and every kid reacts differently to things. My daughter for example has horrible reactions at worst and no change at all at best to all the diaper rash creams everyone recommended to use for her rash.

  7. We tried Honest Company diapers and my baby had a skin reaction. We switched to Seventh Generation and her skin reaction cleared up.

  8. I love the designs with the Honest Co diapers but am thinking they might be slightly too expensive. We've tried the 7th Gen ones without any issues but we're using Earth's Best now (they seem "greener").
    Did you have any issues with the Velcro straps on the Earth's Best being super long?

    1. I don't remember having that issue, no!

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