It’s exciting to see the iconic Gerber logo on a cloth diaper, isn’t it? Their recent unveiling of an All-in-One (AIO) on social media, sporting the popular #makeclothmainstream hashtag, caused quite a stir. I purchased one for Ingrid to try out so you can see how the AIO looks, fits and functions. Ingrid is 10 months old and about 17 pounds so I chose medium.
Gerber Childrenswear (referred to as Gerber hereafter, for the sake of brevity) also sent a complimentary (yellow) tester diaper in size large for my toddler, Erik, who is about 27 pounds.
Here are the size ranges. Each diaper retails for $12.99, the 4 colors available right now are Blue, Orange, Pink and Sage (Light Green).
Small (8 to 18 lbs)
Medium (16 to 28 lbs)
Large (22 to 37 lbs)
A quick look at the outside front and back:
Each AIO is made up of a waterproof outer shell with a sewn-in absorbent core. One extra insert is also included. The insert can be laid in the diaper or tucked under the sewn-in liner.
Comparing it to other AIO diapers we have tried, there is more exposed PUL on the inside of the Gerber diaper, which you can see from the picture below. This may or may not bother you (or your baby’s skin).
The inner lining is open at the front and the back. The absorbent layers inside are sewn into an elasticized channel which basically functions as a second or “double” gusset.
The Gerber AIO is made in El Salvador. Here are the fabric components:
Outer waterproof shell: 100% poly interlock with PUL backing
Inner core: 65% poly/35% rayon with a 100% cotton TransDRY top
Extra insert: 100% cotton with a TransDRY (cotton) top layer
What is TRANSDry? This is a cotton fabric which is specially treated to make it water-repellent. It is often used in athletic wear and is designed to pull moisture away from the body and thus keep the cotton fibers from becoming saturated.
One side of the cotton insert is beige-colored and is very smooth; this is the side which goes up against your baby’s skin. The underside is white and feels a bit rough and fleecy.
Fit: One of the greatest things the Gerber AIO has going for it is the cute and trim fit. Sized diapers definitely have the edge in that regard because there is no snap-down rise to add bulk. If you were planning to use AIO diapers from birth until potty training, you’d spend a lot going from size to size. However, if you just want a few for certain ages or stages, $12.99 is a very reasonable price. For instance, you might purchase just mediums or larges for an older baby and be able to use just that size until you’re at or near the potty training stage.
To keep costs down for their debut diaper, Gerber opted to begin with a sized system.
The medium fits great on Ingrid, but with just a little room to spare in the rise, which tells me it runs small (Ingrid is 17 pounds and short and is supposed to be able to wear this until about 28 pounds). So I would recommend sizing up if you’re uncertain. I think Gerber will probably need to add an extra-large diaper at some point.
Here is the Gerber size medium next to a one-size diaper on the medium setting. They are close, with the one-size being slightly larger overall. The Gerber AIO is narrower through the crotch.
Here are the medium and large side by side. The extra inserts are the same size but the inner lining is longer as you go up in sizes and the crotch is slightly wider.
This side view helps to illustrate the slim profile of the diaper:
Performance: This is a true AIO diaper that can be worn as is. I tested it with the extra soaker pad in place. Ingrid wore it during a 3 hour nap the first day. It was completely soaked, but no leaks escaped, so it passed the absorbency test. The double gussets are good at keeping the wetness inside the elasticized channels; after Ingrid had worn the diaper for several hours the outer gussets were completely dry to the touch.
The hook and loop closure at the waist holds but is not strong enough. The tabs at the waistband curl back at the ends, so the entire area doesn’t stay closed. Oddly enough, the laundry tabs are very sticky and stayed fastened while washing and drying.
I was curious to see if the TransDRY cotton fabric would wick moisture away and have a “stay dry” effect similar to microfleece, but it didn’t. The cotton top was wet to the touch, and Ingrid’s skin was a bit damp. This is not a concern for me personally since we use a lot of cotton flats and prefolds which aren’t “stay dry”, but if your baby needs that feature or a fabric that quickly wicks away moisture, the TransDRY may not function as effectively as a true stay-dry synthetic fabric.
I did not test the diaper overnight since it’s an AIO, but since it’s easy to add absorbency under the sewn-in liner, that’s certainly something you could try.
At this point, I can’t comment on durability. However, because of the weak hook and loop closure at the waistband, I’m concerned about how long that particular feature will perform.
Something else I would change is the placement of the laundry tabs. When fastening the diaper onto her, the receiver rubbed up against Ingrid’s hip.
Care: You really do only need to wash this diaper once before using, as recommended by Gerber, even though it does contain cotton and rayon. It took a full cycle to dry after washing with our HE machine.
Here are a couple of pictures to show how the medium fits on 10-month-old Ingrid, who has a short and chubby build:
Here is the large on both Erik and Ingrid. He is a very skinny and short toddler, and the large fits him fine. However, Ingrid can wear it, too, and she’s short for her age as well (which illustrates once again how the diaper runs small). The leg openings of the size larger are looser on her, however.
Quality: Overall, the quality of Gerber’s new AIO is ok, but could be much better. The hook and loop is already starting to weaken and curl back. I’ve also noticed pilling on the “fleecy” side of the insert. There were some loose threads at the back opening, but nothing has come apart. Also, in the photo above you can see the uneven sewing on the wings of the yellow diaper. These are all signs that improvements in quality and consistency are needed. Thankfully, Gerber appears to be listening to customers and taking all comments and feedback into consideration to help improve their AIO.
Final Thoughts: I think it’s great to have an easy-to-use, absorbent and affordable cloth diaper available at mainstream stores like Wal-Mart, Target and BabiesRUs. While I’m a huge supporter of small businesses (and regularly shop online at my favorite boutiques) there is nothing local to me and I know a lot of cloth diapering mothers are in the same boat. It’s nice to be able to actually see and feel the diapers at the store where you shop; offering the Gerber AIO (and other brands) at “big box” stores allows more families to be exposed to cloth diapering. That’s a win-win for everyone, because most mothers don’t limit themselves to just one brand or style.
You can also buy the new Gerber AIO online now on Amazon (aff).
In summary, Gerber has done a fair job with its starter diaper. I am looking forward to more features and improvements, namely:
- Strong/better hook and loop closure
- Snap option
- One-size option
- No-pill fabric
I’m glad that Gerber has something else besides their prefolds for those interested in cloth diapering. I personally would love to see Gerber release an affordable snapping diaper cover and some cotton, bamboo or hemp flats to replace their cotton/poly prefolds.
Gerber is such a household name that this new diaper will help bring some greatly-needed attention to the money-saving and waste-reducing benefits of cloth diapering. Families who may not be interested in other cloth brands they’ve seen at big box stores may try this AIO simply because Gerber is a name they love and trust.
When the new AIO arrives at your local store is largely up to the store. The Gerber AIO is not available in Canada at this time, but that may change.
What are your impressions of Gerber’s newest cloth diaper? Have you tried this style yet?