We first started out with pocket diapers and used those on my 1st, 2nd and also half way through the diapering phase of my 3rd daughter. Eventually I gave up on those pocket diapers since we had lots of problems (leaking, smelling, Velcro not working) and I was about to give up on the whole cloth diapering idea.
Then we found out we were expecting again and I just knew that I would really love to cloth diaper again but that I was not going the pocket route anymore. I researched quite a bit when one day I saw the word “workhorse” and was intrigued.
So today I’m doing a review about an organic workhorse from “Green Mountain Diapers” (GMD).
A workhorse is a fitted diaper made out of 100% organic cotton and only cotton. Until just a few weeks ago they only came in bleached cotton.
When you go to the Green Mountain Diapers website to order your workhorse you’ll see that they have different color stitching on the edge. There are 5 different colors and they indicate the 5 different sizes the workhorses are available in. They go from orange (newborn) through yellow (small), red (medium), brown (large) all the way to green (xl). Right now my son is in red as well as brown and my daughter is in the green ones.
All sizes except the newborn size come with an attached doubler inside for extra absorbency which is really nice during nights when baby can’t be changed as often as during the day due to (hopefully) sleeping a long time
You can also decide between workhorses with snaps and without snaps. For the workhorses without snaps you will have to use a fastener to keep them closed. The workhorse with snaps has a total of 8 snaps so the diaper can grow with your baby. If the width is getting too tight you just simply use a snap that is further from the middle which will give you a wider diaper.
Since my son doesn’t have chunky legs there is a gap at the legs right when he starts using the next size workhorse. He usually outgrows the rise of the workhorse first but could stay in a smaller size for a little longer leg-wise.
So when you receive your order you will have a very flat workhorse that isn’t fluffy at all and won’t absorb any liquids at that point. In order to be able to use it on your baby you have to prep it first (washing with detergent for approx. 3 times and drying it in the dryer in between).
After you are done with those washes you’ll have a very soft, thick, absorbable diaper that you can now use on your baby.
Once you’ve put on the workhorse onto your baby you just need a cover (PUL or wool, whatever you prefer) and you are good to go. Since this is a 100% cotton diaper you will have to change your little one pretty much right after he/she pees since it won’t wick away the urine like a pocket diaper does. The wetness will be right on babies skin so you want to put a new diaper on in order to prevent a diaper rash. Once you’ve changed your diaper you put your workhorse in a diaper pail until it is time to wash.
On washing day you just dump all your diapers in the washer and start your wash routine. To be honest though, finding the right washing routine was quite a learning curve for me. It took me about 2 weeks of washing every other day to finally find a routine that works for us. We dealt with a bad diaper rash on my sons skin and switching up the washing cycles, adding some rinses, and using baby powder did the trick.
After the wash I will hang my diapers outside on a clothes line to sun out all remaining stains. It is amazing what the sun can do. The stains are gone in no time and my diapers look like brand new. Since they get a bit crunchy from sunning I throw them in the dryer for about 15 minutes and they become super fluffy and soft again. If you don’t need to put them in the sun because they don’t have stains you just put them in the dryer. It usually takes 2 cycles in order to get them completely dry which sometimes seems very time consuming. Especially when you ran out of all your diapers and you really need a clean/dry diaper.
Here are the pros and cons for a quick comparison:
Organic = no added chemicals, just simply 100% cotton on babies skin
Come in different sizes so they have a much better fit than a one-size diaper
Due to the 8 snaps they are adjustable and can fit babies of all shapes
They are SO soft
Very absorbent due to the extra insert
Stains sun out fairly easy
Some people don’t like the task of prepping (it takes about a total of 10 hours including approx. 3 washes and 3 rounds in the dryer)
Even though they are adjustable sometimes there still is a gap at the legs encouraging leaks
It takes 2 full cycles in the dryer to totally dry them due to its thickness when not line drying
You will need quite a few in your stash since you have to change very frequently
I am in love with these workhorses and can’t imagine using any other diaper on my little ones anymore. Even though we had a few difficulties in the beginning it all worked out in the end and I’m glad I found this system and it’s working so well for us!