Mar 28, 2011

What's the Deal With Bamboo??

Since I began cloth diapering, I have heard a lot of mention of bamboo diapers & bamboo inserts - and didn't really know what the big deal was... I knew it was a natural fiber - and that it's what Panda's eat, but that was about it!  A few weeks back I purchased a PeaPods pocket diaper, and when it arrived it turned out the insert was actually bamboo - although bamboo wasn't something I was terribly fussed on trying, I figured it was a good chance to see what the big deal was!

Well - the big deal turned out to be that it is extremely absorbent!  the 6 layers of bamboo were a lot thinner than my regular 6 layers of microfiber, and I was sure that the diaper would end up leaking in a big way - so you can imagine my surprise when I took it off her after a particularly big sleep, to find that it was nowhere near as wet as my usual microfiber inserts would be.  It was a very nice surprise, but again not something I was terribly fussed with.

Fast forward to about 10 days ago - and Emersyn suddenly starts wetting through her diapers overnight, seems that she suddenly became a heavy wetter, and my faithful old microfiber inserts just weren't doing the trick.  I use pockets overnight & the thought of having to use THREE microfiber inserts didn't appeal - because it would make for one heck of a bulky combination, however my usual 2 microfiber + 1 microfiber or cotton booster combination was no longer doing the trick.  What to do, what to do.  It was then that I suddenly remembered how impressive that bamboo insert had been, and wondered if perhaps switching my microfiber or cotton booster, for one of the bamboo trifold inserts would be a possible solution to the problem.

So that night before bed, I stuffed Emersyn's usual pocket diaper with 2 microfiber inserts and 1 bamboo insert - I put her to bed & then had to just wait and see.

The next morning when I picked her up I wasn't met by the familiar feeling of a wet sleeper - it was completely dry!  On further inspection it turned out that the nappy it self was still relatively dry!  The microfiber inserts were of course wet through, however the bamboo insert was still dry toward the back of it.  Miraculous.  I did wonder if it was just a fluke, so that night I did the same thing - and the following morning was met by the same result!

So what issssss so great about bamboo??  Obviously after my success with it, I did some research to find out a bit more about bamboo (beyond the fact Panda Bears eat it!), and I found out that...
  • bamboo is hypoallergenic, meaning it's great for babies with sensitive skin
  • it's softer than cotton, lightweight & durable
  • it's naturally organic, antimicrobal & antibacterial
  • it's able to absorb three times its weight in water & absorbs 70% more moisture than cotton
  • bamboo is breathable 
  • it's also good for the environment - grows without the need for pesticides etc, it's 100% biodegradable & sustainable, it generates up to 30% more oxygen than trees, it enriches soil & can be harvested every year.

It is more expensive than microfiber, but I think it is worth it - particularly if you have a heavy wetter, or prefer havnig something a little more natural as part of your diaper system.  You can purchase bamboo inserts, but most brands also have a bamboo option for their diapers - again, they may be a little more expensive, but in my (limited!) experience with bamboo, I think the extra price is worth it!

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