Mabu Naturals was founded in 1997 as a family business with the intent of inventing eco-friendly cloth products made with new and innovative fabrics. The first product they introduced to the market was the Mabu Cloth (known in some U.S. reatilers as the Duzi Cloth), a reusable, bacteria-absorbing cleaning cloth.
Shortly thereafter, Mabu came out with their line of reusable, cloth/hybrid diapers called the Mabu Baby Eco-Diaper System.
Mabu Baby Eco-Diaper System Key Feature
The Mabu Baby Eco-Diaper System is a versatile cloth or hybrid diaper system. You have the choice of using washable pads or disposable pads.
Mabu Baby generously sent us one of their Starter Kits in a size 2, some disposable pads, a box of 48 bio-liners, a pair of Duzi Cloths, an Eco Baby diaper in size 3-4, and an Odor Gator to review.
Since the first thing I do when receiving cloth diapers is toss them in the wash, I decided to review the Duzi Cloths first while the diapers were in the laundry. The Duzi Cloths came ready-to-use. They were a little stiff at first because Mabu sprays them with edible starch for visual appeal in the package. Once I rinsed them the first time, they softened and were ready to use.
The Duzi cloths have sturdy baby lock stitching around the edges and equally as strong straight stitching just inside the edges, plus several straight-stitched lines along the cloth for durability. The cloths are constructed with 8 layers of fabric that trap bacteria, but not food particles. I used our Duzi cloths for several things including wiping off the Little Mister's face and hands after eating, washing dishes, and wiping off the countertops. The cloths are absorbent and work very well. They are like really well-made reusable paper towels.
The next item I put to immediate use was the Odor Gator deodorizing cloth patch. This patch works by catching bad odors and converting them into natural salts. I placed this handy patch on the inside of our cloth diaper pail. It did its job very well–equally as well, if not better, than the baking powder discs or baking powder itself that we regularly add to the pail to neutralize odors.
Once the Mabu Baby diapers were clean, it was time to focus on them. The Starter Kit I received came with the following: 2 diaper outers, 2 snap-in pad holders, 2 washable diaper pads, 2 disposable diaper pads, and 5 liners.
Each cloth diaper is sewn with a combination of sturdy baby lock and straight stitching. The leg gussets and the back waist have elastic. The closures are hook-and-loop.
Here is one of the outers and one of the pad holders. Both are constructed of an eco-polyester, waterproof, breathable fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. The outer has an interior lining constructed of EcoWix, a soft, moisture-wicking, Mabu Baby-created polyester fabric made from natural white bamboo charcoal.
The hook-and-loop closures do, in fact, have laundry tabs to keep the hook portion from snagging other articles in the wash.
The pad holder is quick and easy to attach to the outer utilizing small snaps. It's also simple to attach it in the right direction because there are three snaps on the front and two on the back.
Each diaper has a small, convenient, color-coded tag and a little symbol on the front that clearly indicates what size the diaper is. This is very handy especially in a home where more than one child is in diapers.
The cloth pads (or inserts) are constructed of terry cloth and of the same EcoWix polyester material that the inner lining of the outer is made of. Each insert folds easily in half, making it double-thick and technically like two pads.
Related Side Note: NEVER place terry cloth directly against your child's skin. It is super-absorbent and can dry the skin out. Always place another kind of cloth in between the terry layer and the skin. In the case of this diaper system, always remember to fold the terry to the inside.
On the side of the cloth pad that folds inward (the terry side), there is the same color-coded tag that the outer has which easily indicates the pad's size.
Here's how the outer looks with the pad holder attached.
Here's how to stuff the pad holder with a cloth pad. Notice the elastic around the pad holder's edges. This keeps the pad tucked in.
In this picture, I've laid one of the bio-liners on top. The Mabu Baby website does suggest stuffing the liner inside the pad holder as well. However, with the design of the pad holder, I find stuffing the liner inside inconvenient because poo gets trapped underneath the back end of the pad holder, making it difficult to spray off. Instead, I prefer to lay it over the top. The liner, unlike some other brands of liners I have used in the past, is conveniently wide and long enough to span the width and length of the diaper. Keep in mind, when you lay the liner over the interior of the diaper rather than within the pad holder, you will need to ensure the liner is not "peaking" out around the waste or the leg gussets once the diaper is on your baby (just tuck it in; not tucking it in can cause leaks).
Related Money-saving Tip: I was able to successfully wash the liners and reuse them. Obviously, if baby goes #2 on the liner, throw it away or flush it; however, if he only goes #1 on it, you can wash the liner and reuse it. I'll do this with liners until either baby poos on it resulting in its immediate disposal or until the liner eventually disintegrates beyond usefulness.
The Mabu Baby diaper can be used as a hybrid diaper as well. This simply means that it can be part cloth and part disposable. In this image, I have illustrated the cloth diaper with a disposable pad stuffed in the pad holder. The disposable pads are excellent for parents who don't want to deal with all cloth or for use when out and about so you can throw away the dirtied disposable pad rather than carry around a dirty cloth one.
And just in case you're wondering what the back looks like, here it is!
Now for the Little Mister's ultimate test!!! This picture makes me sad–just look how long he is! Where did my baby go!!! *Sniff.* Oh, and the Little Guy sneaked in the picture a little bit (notice the partial baby bump to the left behind the food-splattered pink polka-dotted shirt).
The diapers–both the size 2 and the size 3-4 since the Little Mister is awkwardly somewhere in between the two–all fit his little bum perfectly. The diapers did their job adequately–they kept #1 and #2 contained with no leaks. They were also successful at surviving the night (with a doubler in addition to the cloth pad for extra absorbency).
Overall, I honestly really enjoy this system. It's very simple and obvious to use. I love the versatility of being able to use either cloth pads or disposable pads (although I will very rarely use disposable ones because I'm too cheap; it's still nice to have the option, though). I also like the fact that, if the Little Mister only pees on the pad, you can simply change the pad and continue to use the same outer and pad holder with a new pad.
My only complaint is a silly one. It's kinda boring that the diapers are only white (though the tiny splash of color with the color-coded tag is nice). On the positive side, this does make it easy for my son to wear ANY color of shirt and just the diaper. However, it would be fun if Mabu Baby came out with various colors and perhaps some prints.
And it would be nice if Mabu Baby came out with snap closures for their diapers as well since, in my experience (and many other cloth-diapering families), hook and loop closures wear out before the diaper does.
You can purchase a Mabu Baby Eco-Diaper System and accessories locally and inexpensively at Wal-Mart. If your Wal-Mart does not carry them, Mabu Baby provides a form you can fill out to send to your local Wal-Mart to request that they start selling them!
One Mabu Baby Eco-Diaper Starter Kit
Kit consists of the following in winner's size choice:
– 2 Diaper Outers –
– 2 Snap-in Pad Holders –
– 2 Washable Pads –
– 2 Disposable Diaper Pads –
– 5 Liners –
– PLUS some bonus Mabu products –
How to Enter
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Friday, January 27, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST
Open to U.S. Residents Only