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Nappy review: GroVia Hybrid

When a GroVia Hybrid made its way to me as a donation, I was excited to give it a try. Truth be told, I generally get excited about ANY nappy I’ve not tried before because I’m a bit of a nappy nerd. My first impression was “I like the cute owl print”. However, the general colourway of the brand lends itself to solid and banded colours over images. It’s a birth to potty (BTP) with poppers to adjust the front rise. The outer shell has a mesh inner liner and a pop-in soaker. The outer wrap is available in popper fastening (as I tried) and hook and loop. A nice difference with the hook and loop option is that it’s far more built-in as part of the wrap’s upper band rather than a sewn-on addition, which makes it look more polished than the standard hook and loop styles. It also sits well with the block or banded colourways previously mentioned. I suspect, however, this the top band will show wear and tear quite quickly. There are 2 soaker pad options: an organic cotton soaker and a no-prep terry/mircrofleece soaker that can be used after a single pre-wash. Most cloth nappy inserts recommend between 4-8 washes before they get up to “full absorption capacity”, but they can also be used after a single wash without being fully up to speed yet. Instead of the wrap being double-gusseted, the soakers feature a gusset frill to aid containment. They snap in and out quickly from a very sturdy popper set-up, meaning you could easily exchange soakers in the same wrap if it’s not soiled. While any AI2 (all-in-two) nappy boasts this, the reality on the ground is that you will want a whole new nappy prepped and ready at change time in case of unexpected pooplosions! When snapped together, the soaker is joined to the wrap sturdily, so would hold very well in a change bag or if sent to non-cloth savvy carers (grandparents/childminders etc).

As far as I’m aware, you can’t buy direct from Grovia, but through partner retailers. The price point for the wrap is about £14-15 including one snap-in organic cotton booster. Additional boosters are sold in packs of two at about £17 per pack (so £8.50 per soaker). There is a trial kit bundle of 2 wraps and 4 soakers for about £49. This comprises a soaker included with each wrap and two additional soakers, one Organic and one “no-prep” soaker. Assuming a wrap can usually be used 3-4 times (if unsoiled/wet) before needing to be changed, you’d really need to stump up some extra money to buy some more boosters if you were to really go for it.

The weight range suggested is 8-30lbs. While 8lbs is fairly common at the lower end of BTP size, 30lbs is a little low as other nappies do go up to 35lbs. My 17mo son is already 28lbs and the fit was quite snug, so they wouldn’t take him much further (note: he’s a chunky unit, on the big side for his age). I fear it would be too big for newborns and too small for toddlers on the bigger side as they approach potty training. The soakers themselves don’t extend, either. Still, in the name of nappy nerd-dom, I proceeded with trying it out.

I found the waist fit very generous for a seemingly small weight range nappy. This worked fine for my sumo child but might not suit very slender babies. More often than not, the outer wrap was quite wet after use, so wouldn’t be fit to re-use without washing. I didn’t find the frilled part of the soaker brilliant for breastfed poo containment, either. My son breastfeeds heartily at night so still has quite soft stools. Very helpfully for me, he has some dead give-away clues to when he’s unloading a full nappy. He obligingly gave his signals, so I knew to get in there and change the nappy right away. And it’s a good job I did. The nappy hadn’t leaked but without being too graphic, the outer elastic of the wrap was already… getting gloopy. Had I left it longer or not noticed he’d filled the nappy, I think it would have leaked a bit. For firmer, non-breastmilk poo, I reckon the performance would be much enhanced as the nappy would have an easier job. The soaker and wrap washed well and the soaker kept its shape very well after tumble drying.

All in all, I’d say this nappy has its good points, but also some hefty flaws. The weight range not fitting newborns or heavier babies approaching potty training is a downfall which limits its appeal. The price point is medium-high in the market. Being an AI2, they were super easy to use and, if being used on a non-breastfed baby, the containment would be good. The hook and loop integral top band fastening is sleek and stylish. This particular one didn’t really suit my son, and that happens. That doesn’t mean that it won’t work well for others. This is precisely the point of a nappy library – to allow you the opportunity to try nappies before investing!

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