06 February 2013

Review: Bio-Baba OSFA Nappy

Bio-Baba OSFA nappy

Description: Bio-Baba is a one-size AIO diaper featuring a two-snap rise adjustment and Velcro closures. The outer is a peachy soft fabric, backed with TPU which acts as a waterproof layer. The diaper has a hidden microfiber insert sandwiched in between the cover and the interior cotton flannel lining. It comes with an additional hemp booster pad for extra absorbency as well as a flip 'n flush flap which according to their website make it easier to dispose of solids.

First impressions: The outside of this diaper feels soft and smooth, different to PUL exteriors I'm used to and the little logo on the back is super cute. The diaper seems well-made and I love the soft green colour of the one I tried - their other colours are very pretty too, eg that orange sunset colour is to-die for! Bio-Baba looks pretty big compared to my other one-size diapers and the velcro tabs are extra long and narrow, which I found a bit odd. At first glance the diaper seems fairly bulky and also quite stiff compared to other diapers I have tried.  [Rating: 3.5/5] 

Bio-Baba OSFA nappy

Ease of use: I found the extra-long velcro tabs at the waist quite awkward to use and the whole flip 'n flush flap confused me at first - I initially thought you should stuff the hemp booster in there, but according to their website you have to lay the hemp booster inside the diaper seperately and with a v-fold - a lot to remember for a first time cloth user! Since there are only two rise snaps it is either snapped or unsnapped, so no confusion there.  [Rating: 3/5] 
Fit: There is no elastic around the waist which made it impossible for us to get a good fit - even after repeated tries and overlapping the skinny velcro tabs. The fact that the diaper is also quite stiff contributed to this problem. The diaper comes up quite high in the back and seems droopy between the legs and baggy around the waist - not the best look. Now granted A's waist is quite small, but she is over a year old and the diaper is marketed as a birth-to-potty solution - I cannot see the waist fitting on a small baby and the back will come up even higher on a young baby (A is average height for her age). [Rating: 1/5]  

Bio-Baba OSFA nappy

Value for money: This diaper is one of the more expensive SA brands and given our fit and leak issues I don't think it is good value for money at all. There are many other locally available brands that are more affordable, fits better and effectively prevents leaks. Yes, it is designed and made in South Africa (unlike other brands where at least some of the design/manufacturing/sourcing is imported), but in my opinion that is not a good enough reason to buy what is essentially a sub-standard diaper.  [Rating: 1/5] 

Performance: This diaper either leaked or wicked on more than one occasion - and this was even *with* using the hemp booster and during daytime use where I usually change every two hours or more frequently. I didn't even try it for overnight as I simply did not trust it to keep A dry. [Rating: 1/5] 

Bio-Baba OSFA nappy

Overall impression: I love that this diaper is locally designed and made (though... I have to say, the design looks a *lot* like the US brand Kushies), in fact it is one of the oldest brands in South Africa. Unfortunately with a wonky fit and hit-and-miss leak protection, I just cannot justify supporting a brand simply based on the fact that it is a local one, even though I would love to do it. [Rating: 2/5] 

Bio-Baba OSFA nappies are available directly via their website or through one of their various resellers.  Like them on Facebook to be the first to hear of new products and prints. 

Disclaimer: All image credits belong to Hippie Safari. Please do not use or distribute without my permission.  I was not compensated for this review and while I did not pay for this diaper, I won it in a competition open to all South African residents.  While I aim to provide detailed, objective reviews of all the diapers that I've used, please bear in mind that this is my opinion and that every mom has her own preferences and every baby is built differently. So what works well for me and A, might not necessarily work well for you and your baby. A the time that these photos were taken, A was 15 months old and weighed 9.5 kg.


  1. As someone who will hopefully end up going the cloth nappy route (gotta have a baby first...!), I'd love to read a post on your 'ideal starter kit' for cloth nappies. Also a summary of all your reviews & rating would be awesome!

    1. That's a good suggestion! I am working on a post about prefolds (which I used exclusively for the newborn stage) and also have a post in the pipeline about cloth diapering with newborns and another one with my favourite brands and types - which nappies works best for us. In the meantime - you can find a list of all the cloth diaper related posts and reviews if you click on the cloth diaper tab at the top of the blog. http://hippiesafari.blogspot.com/p/cloth-diapers.html

  2. I had the same problem with my Bio baba... nappy, it is too bulky and i couldn't get a good fit, so I think I gave mine away...

  3. Bio-Babas are made a little bigger than other OSFA diapers as we found that many people who bought smaller OSFA complained that they did not fit their kids through to potty training and they were then forced to buy additional products. Considering babies grow so quickly, we thought it more important to provide for the 'heavy duty' years of toddlers. The velcro tabs are long so that you can fold them in on themselves to protect the velcro – it also means that you can still get a good fit on a bigger baby. The reason that our nappy is little stiff is that we use a medical grade waterproofing which is made specifically for durability - other light -weight laminates deteriorate over time and you will not be able to use them effectively on baby number 2.

    Ease of use: The flip and flush feature is one of our best loved features of the nappy and we are sorry you got confused. The reason that our hemp booster is removable is specifically so that you CAN put it where your baby wees the most. If you were putting this in a V for a girl you would not have had a good fit = it should have been inside the flap = you could then place a flushable liner on top of the flap to make it easy to flush down the loo. There are clear diagrams on the instructions that came with the nappy that explain the different placement for the pads for boys and girls...
    Fit: Yes = we did find that the velcro on the front was a bit awkward to get a good fit = the band is now wider which makes it much easier to stick and adjust the velcro. Also – now 3 rows of poppers so can be effectively used on 6kg baby; think that some of the droopiness you describe would have been caused by wrong placement of pad for your little girl.

    Value for money: The reason that our diaper is more expensive is that we use only 100% natural fabrics against babies skin which is A LOT more expensive than using synthetic fabrics...also the sustainable hemp that we use is very expensive – but ethically we feel that it better than chemically manufactured fabrics. I feel that your description of our nappy as sub-standard is unjustified considering the above.(In the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ruled that unless a yarn is made directly with bamboo fiber — often called “mechanically processed bamboo” — it must be called "rayon" or "rayon made from bamboo) http://business.ftc.gov/documents/alt172-how-avoid-bamboozling-your-customers

    Performance:  Please do wash the hemp booster as much as possible and use it inside the flap = please be aware that because hemp is a natural fabric, it does take a bit of time to get up to its peak absorbency since it has to felt itself in the wash...the natural fibres break down; in a synthetic nappy, this is already done mechanically and with chemicals in the manufacturing process..not so eco-friendly. Our nappies have been used effectively as night nappies with 2 hemp pads in EXTREMELY successfully over the years – I personally had a 16kg baby who slept through the night in his Bio-Baba with no leaks.

    Thanks for the intention to support local – we hope that with the positive fit changes and making it clearer how to use the nappy for both boys and girls we will have less confusion and add to the thousands of happy Bio-Baba customers over the years.

  4. Is 'A' the cover girl for Cherub Tree?


I'd love to hear your thoughts! Drop me a line and I'll make sure to answer any questions or comments you might have.