I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant and ready to become a first-time mom to our baby. I thought I had everything figured out about our parenting needs/choices months ago… until I read an article about different diapering options. I never realized there were other options besides cloth or disposable, and now I’m interested in hybrid diapers. The brand that appears to be most readily available where I live is gDiapers, but I have a few questions.
I love that they’re biodegradable, and that there’s a flushable liner to catch solids. It’s also great that they’re latex-free, since I’m allergic. However I am wondering these things: are they versatile? If gDiapers isn’t in stock at the local store, can I get another brand? Also, are there ongoing costs — are the financial savings really worth it if I’m spending more on electricity and water to wash the diaper covers and inserts? And finally: how many covers and inserts do I need to start with? — Barbara
So… are gDiapers really that incredible?
Posted byOffbeat Editors
Comments on So… are gDiapers really that incredible?
I got a trial pack of G-Diapers and found them a little complicated. I ended up using Sunbaby diapers. I got them from E-bay. They were a great deal. They come with the diaper/cover that has adjustable snaps. They fit my daughter when she was a newborn and still fit her now at a 12 months. They come with liners, or you can purchase them separately. You just throw a couple of liners inside the cover and snap it on. I never had a big problem with leaks. Since the diapers and liners are separate, the smell washes out easily. I love them. http://sunbabydiapers.com/
I started CD with my DD and was using gdipes. they didnt fit her at all at first, until she got to be about 10lbs. then i used them exclusivly until she grew out of the smalls. I didnt have the money to buy medium covers (they are expensive comparitivly) and still wanted to cd without having to dread having to buy yet ANOTHER size when she grew out of the mediums. it was an expense I couldnt spare. that’s when I discovered Sunbabies. I LOVE sunbaby diapers. they were durable (dd is now 21 months and potty trained)and easy to care for, and so incredibly inexpensive. you can buy them from the site brand new or you can buy them on ebay (i have some for sale on there now!) or the two different auction pages on FB. the best part? instead of depreciating the resale value after use like conventional cloth dipes, they actually appreciate! new from the site they are $5 a diaper at their least expensive (no inserts, 6 shells) but generally resell for about double that because the patterns discontinue quickly. new patterns come out about every 3 months or so, and some people collect them! some more elusive patters go for much much more. therefore they are a great diapering investment. oh and they just came out with a bigger size too. size one will fit newborn (6 lbs) to whenever (my dd still fits them.) but if you happen to have a chunkier monkey, they make a slightly larger size 2!
What’s DD stand for? I’m pretty sure you’re not referring to a Designated Driver here! lol
Hehe… DD is dear daughter 🙂 I’ve gotten way too used to the mommy acronyms after frequenting CafeMom lol.
Sorry! Yeah, dear daughter. I forgot about the acronym rule! My bad. But does anyone here want to comment on my actual content?
And what is CD? Not compact disc, I guess. C… Diaper?
Cloth diaper I believe.
thanks for the heads up on sunbaby diapers!
I love gDiapers, but they’re too expensive for my family of 5. They are a little hard to get used to at first because they fasten in the back, but they are cute as can be. I just bought 2 Sunbaby’s (off ebay! Maybe from you, Angie, lol, I will have to check!) and JUST got them yesterday and have to admit I’m VERY impressed. There are SO many choices in cloth diapering and I really don’t suggest picking a brand and spending a fortune on them. My daughter is 5 months on Monday and I have some Bummis covers, Bumkin all in ones, gDiapers and now Sunbaby (and another brand that is slipping my mind, on it’s way, also from Ebay). Mix it up and you’ll find what’s right. Oh and Dreameze fitteds for overnights… they rock… seriously 🙂 Good luck in your cloth diapering endevor!
I don’t want to complicate your diaper search, but I did a lot of research on cloth diapers and especially hybrid diapers. It seems like everyone I know uses the Grovia All-in-Two (AI2) hybrids. In addition, they seem to be the highest rated on most of the sites I’ve found. These get great fit ratings and are some of the slimmest, yet most absorbant hybrids out there. With Grovia AI2 you can use either a washable snap-in insert or the disposible insert.
I also wanted to add that I think the recommendation is to have about 21 cloth diapers for newborns if you want to wash diapers every day (average is 7-10 diapers a day). If you get the Grovia All-in-Two diaper they grow with your baby from 8lbs to 35lbs so you only have to buy the covers and inserts once. There are no new sizes to buy.
My stash includes 7 covers ($16 each) and 22 snap-in inserts (they come in packs of 2 for about $17 for the pair) with a box of 50 disposible inserts.
If you exclusively breast feed you don’t even need to wash out the poo. They can go directly into the washing machine. If you use formula or your baby starts solid food you can use a disposible liner that you just pick up and flush. Or just rinse off the poo before washing.
I started using the GroVia All-in-Twos when my daughter was three months old. I really like that I have the option of using the disposable inserts or the snap-in cloth ones. They are great because they grow with your baby (fit most babies 8-35 lbs) so you don’t have to shell out for a new size whenever your baby has a growth spurt. The initial expense can be daunting, but once you have your set, you are set! In terms of washing, they aren’t especially complicated, as long as you use an appropriate detergent. There are lots of resources online to help you get started, and if need be, troubleshoot.
I run a daycare and had a baby with g diapers. I hated them. It’s basically just a cloth diaper cover with a menstrual pad in it. I found them messy and they never flushed properly unless you let them sit in the toilet forever first so they could fall apart.
Cloth diapers are awesome, but most people who use cloth diapers agree the gdiapers are kind of terrible! We borrowed some from a friend so we’re at least not out any money, but our then 2-week old baby peed right through them. Cloth diapers are way easier than I expected them to be, and I just feel really good not throwing away money on something our kid will use once and a small bag of trash our everyday. We don’t have our own washer and dryer, but two washes and dries in our building is 7.50. We would certainly be spending lots more than that a week on disposables! I don’t worry about the electricity or water–I think the energy used to make and transport each disposable way outweighs it.
Other brands, while harder to find and usually more pricy, are much more absorbent and less likely to leak. I’ve found the cloth diapering world to be confusing (which brand is best? How many to buy? How to care for them?). So far we have found prefolds and covers to be the most affordable, most adjustable (our tall skinny 8 lb 5 week old baby won’t fit in a lot of the other diapers we have yet), and easiest to care for. A prefold is basically a square of cloth in which the middle third is much thicker. You can fold the prefold in thirds and put it in a cover, wrap the prefold around the baby’s butt as if it were a regular disposable and attach with these cool things called Snappis, or do a fancy twist and attach with Snappis. We do the twist because it is trimmer and more layers of absorbency under her vagina.
For washing, hot wash, 2 or 3x/week for the prefolds. Throw the covers in with the other baby laundry whenever it gets done. We own I think 30something prefolds and 4 covers. We probably only need 3 covers, and the number of prefolds depends on how often you want to do laundry. We use disposables at night still, because our daughter stays asleep longer in them, so we have fewer prefolds than otherwise needed to go as long as we do between washings.
Hope this is helpful and not annoying overshare! Good luck.
We also use prefolds and covers, and don’t plan on switching (my son is almost 2). They’re easy, super cheap, very absorbant, and adjustable. And simple. Simple is key.
We also use prefolds and covers! Very simple.
We use prefolds and covers and love them! I have recently switched from PUL covers to wool, and like them much better. They are more expensive but you need fewer and they are breathable and durable. The PUL’s smell like ammonia when you open them up in the morning (my 5 month old is sleeping long stretches!) Lovey Bums are my favorite http://loveybums.com/ and so far worth it since the prefolds are only a few dollars or less a piece.
Meh. When I started cloth diapering, I bought/accepted hand-me-downs of a huge variety of different brands, so I could see what worked for us. The biggest downside of g-diapers? They’re the only kind that wouldn’t “mix and match” — you kind of have to go with the whole system. The easiest thing for me? Regular pre-folds, a good cover with gussets (I like bummis) and paper flushable liners like these. With paper lines, you have all the benefits of hybrids (which is essentially less/little poo scrubbing), and less trash, less cost, and more versatility. All the g-diapers I have are sitting in a box in my attic — I’ve tried to sell them & i can’t!
We tried really hard to like the gDiapers, but stopped using them when my daughter was about 5 months old. There was a 3 week period when the gDiapers fit perfectly, but the rest of the time we seemed to always be between sizes where they were too big or too small. This resulted in LOTS of leaking. Waking up to a mess in the bed and having to change the sheets in the middle of the night was no fun. I liked the idea of the disposable insert, but it was a hassle to flush them in my opinion so we ended up just throwing them away. Now we use GroVia pants with regular prefold diapers and they work great! We always keep some Seventh Generation disposables on hand too.
On several friends’ recommendations, we’ve stocked up on Thirsties covers and a few dozen washable pre-fold diapers. They grow with your baby, are very easy to care for, and (very importantly) are not so complicated or weird that daycares won’t deal with them. The parents I know who have tried gDiapers have been really frustrated with them, or found them to just not work as well as they had hoped. I say save your money and go with some kind of pre-folds with covers!
That’s exactly what we have used for 2 years now. Rock on.
SWEET! That’s awesome to hear from yet another satisfied parent.
I love my thirsties covers & prefolds! I also really like the Gen Y universal covers and bumgenius one size pockets. I have a fairly varied stash and I was pleasantly surprised on how easy cloth diapering was.
Hopefully we can break you of that acronym habit: http://offbeatmama.com/2010/09/why-i-hate-parenting-acronyms
Hehe, I rarely use them here, Ariel. Hell, I don’t even like using them on CafeMom or the other sites I frequent, but I am fluent now at translating when other people question them ;)”DH” “DD” etc comes across as…overly cutesy for me. I don’t call him “dear husband” when I talk about him anywhere else, why would I call him “dh” when posting about him on the internet?
I always translate DH to ‘dickhead’ because it makes the posts far more amusing!
Lol…I like that. I frequent an advice board where DH often gets turned into DuH, when husbands are having a hard time getting their heads out of their asses for certain situations.
While I’m all for washable diapers- you might make sure your daycare provider will accept them (if you will be using a daycare). Our daughter’s school doesn’t have a place to store soiled diapers and has health code issues with reusables, so financially it didn’t make sense to buy both. I still have a few cloth diapers that we use on the weekend, but I’m glad I didn’t invest in a whole cloth system.
I also highly recommend seeing if you can try several different types to see what works for you. I’ve heard that some are better for boys vs. girls. There are a few places that offer a trial system like this – http://www.JilliansDrawers.com is one site.
I work at the day care, so I don’t think the day care accepting them will be an issue, though I am leaning towards grovia’s AI2 after reading everyone’s responses to my question.
Licensing varies state by state, though, so not everyone’s will.
Not personal experience, but a good friend of mine has used gDiapers since birth for his now 8 month old and he loves them. He said they never had any trouble with leaking, except when transitioning to a new size. They use the cloth inserts at home and the disposable inserts on the go. Based on his experience, I’m planning on using them for my baby due in March. If they end up not working out, that’s cool, but I’m going to give them a try because I’m not fully committed to going totally cloth at this point.
I used G diapers to supplement our wool cover and pre fold diapering system. We mostly use them for traveling as they are easier to rinse of poop while on the road than our wool covers. I use my pre folds in them as opposed to the weird disposable liner or even their cloth liner. A regular pre fold fits right in. I got them as hand me downs. I personally love wool Loveybums covers with prefolds, but the G diapers have come in handy when rinsing wool is a bit of a pain in the butt. We also have a couple Thirsties covers that are awesome for traveling. My advice is go cloth and use G diapers covers if you can find some for free, but as a one and only diapering solution I would not recommend them. They are not good at night and the inserts both cloth and disposable do not have enough absorbency for a lot of babies. I love cloth diapering whether you go all in ones or prefolds with some kind of cover.
IMO- gdiapers are like the Hyndai of cloth diapers. Inexpensive, useful, but cheap with crappy resale value. Grovia is the BMW of the cloth diaper. I love their AIO, but if you’re looking for the hybrid option- the AI2 is great as well.
I have used gDiapers with my daughter since she was born and I have been very happy with them. My husband was not interested in doing cloth diapering, so this was our compromise.
I personally haven’t had issues with leaking, but I have also been doing elimination communication with my daughter since she was born, so I put her on the potty often and she didn’t go in her diaper all the time. My husband has had trouble flushing the diapers, but it is because he’s not as diligent about breaking them up in the toilet before flushing as I am (gDiapers include a swish stick that you use to break apart the flushable part and makes them safe to flush). We normally can flush 2 diapers at once, though.
I still do use some cloth inserts when we’re at home and I have some of the cloth liners that were purchased from gDiapers, but I also have a lot of prefolds that I will stick in there as well. They don’t fit perfectly, but I don’t find that they have to. The ends of the prefolds can stick out the top of the diaper and the inside still works just fine.
My daycare provider is fine using the diapers, but she chooses to put them in the garbage instead of flush them. Also, I purchase my refills from Amazon – they have a Subscribe and Save option that makes the price much more affordable for me. I get one case per month delivered to my door for about $36 and I have not yet had to run to the store to buy a pack of diapers in the middle of the night. It is a more expensive option than just buying a pack of diapers, but I feel better about this system (and they don’t smell like plastic which is one thing I can’t stand about regular diapers).
I’m not sure where you’re located, but I would recommend using Craigslist to find families who didn’t like their gDiapers and buy the gPants, gLiners and swish sticks from them. That’s how I got my stash and I saved a TON of money on them that way.
There really are so many different ways to go, and everyone seems to feel so passionately that their way is the best way. 🙂 I like my gDiapers and I’m not sure what other systems we would have been able to make work at my house, but it really is a personal preference. They do have starter kits (and maybe you can even find one of those gently used online), so you can see what you think for yourself.
I tried Flip brand when I wanted to try hybrids. I was confused because the disposable inserts were larger than disposable diapers. I would assume 7th Generation would be more eco-friendly than the Flip. If there are any Flip users out there, is there something I’m missing?
Most people I know who use Flips (including me) actually use them with cloth inserts of some kind, and reserve disposable inserts for travel or daycare.
I purchased the flips with cloth inserts and got a pack of disposables for when my husband has the baby out by himself (rarity). Granted the bambino is still in the womb but I LOVE these flips especially because you can easily use prefolds with them (cheaper)
G diapers you either love or hate them I’ve heard both.
Ah – the acronyms of cloth diapering. They almost made me stop researching it… almost.
We used Gro-Via, but don’t have a dryer and I didn’t like the way they ended up all crispy and scratchy. We use Bum Genius now, and have yet to have a problem with them – not even the dreaded crap-back (when it shoots up the chute in the back).
I have one friend who uses G’s, and she gets leaks constantly (like, every time the babe pees & most times he poos – he even plastered his great-grandmother at a wedding. Yes, plastered. Through clothes.) Unfortunately, she spent so much, she feels like she’s committed (she bought everything they’d need for the whole diapering lifetime of the kid, and then some), so she’s stubbornly refusing to admit it’s the diaper that’s gone wrong.
Oh, and just like the breast-pad post, I feel like I have to say this:
You’re probably going to run into so much advice that it’ll make your head spin. If you’re anything like me, you’ve done more research for this baby than for anything else in your whole life. The one thing that got me through was remembering that every body (and every baby’s body) is different. You might find that an array of things works for you. You might find a diaper company that allows you to buy, try, & return (Green Mountain Diaper does this, I think). Do what you feel good doing, and screw what everyone else says.
Also… diaperswappers.com and Spot’s Corner on hyenacart are great ways to get used diapers for a lower price and try a bunch of different kinds.
When I was researching cloth diapers I came upon this site: http://www.kellyscloset.com/ They have reviews on almost everything, not to mention coupons and great deals all the time. I never tried hybrids (just went straight for the full on cloth diapers), but I did hear good things about the Flip system. You can use liners or prefolds or even the microfiber inserts from pocket diapers (or hemp doublers…I could go on!) in them. Worth checking out! I love using cloth diapers and cloth wipes. A great site for cloth wipe solutions is http://www.divadiapers.com/pages/wipesolutions.php I use the castile soap one with tea tree oil. The best advice I heard was to try them out. Don’t buy a whole system and totally commit until you know they work for you. Good luck!
I didn’t care for them when we tried a friend’s–not as efficient as straight cloth and not as cost-effective. And really, I stopped liking BumGenius diapers and Thirsties covers as much after about 2.5 years too. The PUL does eventually break down so for multiple kids it isn’t ideal. If I had it to do again I would only buy prefolds and workhorse fitteds from Green Mountain Diapers (they are phenomenal) and wool covers from Loveybums and Etsy–we have had great success with those. Simple works best w/ cloth, I think, and it’s cheaper.
I totally agree! And glad to see another Loveybums lover! Their wool crepe covers have been the workhorses in my house. My daughter has used them everyday for almost two years now! I really think pre folds with a good wool cover ends up being cheapest. They last forever. We even did a bike trip of Nantucket for a wedding using our pre folds and wool covers. It was awesome! I always get snaps on everything….Velcro wears out to easy even with the Velcro savers.
Yup. The more I cloth diaper (my daughter is 13 months now) the more I love plain ol’ prefolds and woolies. I’ve tried every kind and you just can’t beat them.
We use a cloth diaper system from Kaiwaii baby (http://www.theluvyourbaby.com/) which we have found incredibly versatile and can easily mix and match with other brands when needed. We have 16 outer covers that have snap lock and are adjustable so grow with your baby. We have 32 cloth inserts, which are a standard size so you can choose different fabrics (many people love the bamboo cloth but you can always use an old towel you have cut up!). We discovered flushable liners (Kushies are popular but there are lots of brands) which help with the poop explosions. We found that if the flusable liners had only been peed on, you can easily wash them out and reuse them several times before they fall apart – so at less than $10 for 100, they are very cost effective and are definately easier than rinsing off poop each time (wish I had discovered them from the start!) I bought a bulk deal of diapers and inserts from Kaiwaii’s ebay sales and it was very cheap. We usually cope with the amount of diapers we have with a wash every 2-3 days, although there have been a few times where we have run out before the last wash is dry. The only problem I found is that I bought the covers for 8lb+ baby and when we brought our little one home he was just too small for them. We used compostable disposables for the first few weeks until he put on some weight, and we still use the compostable disposables at night because he sleeps longer in them. He is nearly 10 months now and the cloth diapers are still holding their own. The options are so good nowadays that in my opinion they are as easy to use as disposables, and the cost of washing is negated by the production, distribution and landfill costs that disposables have on our planet. Compostable diapers (if you can find some in your area) are a great middle ground, but it can be hard to find places that will compost them for you and not everyone has the space to compost them at home. As for cloth wipes, I just bought a bulk pack of baby washcloths (although cutting up old towels works just as well too) and I make my own wet wipe solution using baby shampoo, olive oil, tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil and water. Cheap, cheerful and very easy to do. And since ditching the shop bought wet wipes we have not seen any diaper rash…
i loved gdiapers! they always fit my daughter well, though it was a pain to wash them in the sink when leaks did happen (we didn’t have a washer and dryer in our apartment at the time). i will say i have not tried any other brand to compare.. but i enjoyed my g’s very much!
I’ve only been using gDiapers for a week with my 2-month-old, but so far they are working out great. It’s only been a week, though, so I’m not sure how helpful that is. We haven’t had any leaks or any difficulty with them, though. I’ve been able to use a regular pre-fold in them, as well as the disposable liner. I haven’t tried to flush the disposable, we just toss it since BabyRox is exclusively breastfed. The inserts are more expensive than regular disposables, but better for the environment…since cost is an issue for us, I am using cloth when we’re at home and just using the disposable inserts when we’re out and about.
I had BIG problems with gDiapers. They are a 3 piece system with cloth diaper, plastic liner, and whatever insert you use. For me the plastic liners were wearing out SUPER fast, like in a few weeks – the elastic would just be totally shot and they would leak. I was following proper washing instructions to the letter, they were just not well made.
I now use a variety of cloth diapers, but if you really want to try hybrids, GroVia are good, and I love Flips. They’re made by Bum Genius, high quality covers, and you can use cloth inserts, disposable inserts, or prefolds, or any combination of those. Very economical but well made.
I will add that once you start with a hybrid system, you might find it’s worth going all cloth since you might as well do full loads of laundry! But don’t get overwhelmed. Start with a few and don’t feel like you need a full supply. See what you like and build your stash over time. Another option some people use is a thin disposable liner inside a cloth diaper to make poop cleanups easier. Good luck!
(PS Not to be too self-promotional, but I have a lot of cloth diaper reviews on my blog!)
I might be in the minority here, but I didn’t like the gDiapers, which sucks because we found ourselves $100+ deep in them before we realized they didn’t fit our needs, and we’ve used Pampers since. They never felt like they were “right” on my son, and the washing the liners (we used cloth liners) was a PITA. LO got a nice rash on his thighs from the elastic, and that was that.
Hey Liz! Not to detract from your comment, but would you mind not using parenting acronyms on Offbeat Mama? We find they can be really confusing since there are plenty of people who don’t know what they mean. I know PITA isn’t parenting-specific, but I hadn’t read that in years and just spent a few minutes trying to figure out if that was new slang (Like, “That was such a pita to accomplish!”) and how pita=hard, and then realized it’s pain in the ass (right?). HA!
I knew what PITA was but still have no idea what LO means. I mean, I get that Liz was talking about her baby, but not sure about the specific acronym meaning.
Little one, I think.
We’re expecting our first baby in about a week (whoa!) and we’re planning to give g’s a try, so the timing of this post was awesome!
We have done a trial run of prepping the g’s with liner and disposable insert, as well as flushing one just to see how it works.
Has anyone had luck composting the disposable inserts for the g’s? I know that’s another option.
Here you get into composting human waste, which is more space- and time-consuming than regular composting for health/safety reasons. Unless you’re already doing it with your own (kudos for the self-sufficiency), I’d do a hell of a lot of research before trying.
Oh, definitely. You can’t compost the #2’s, just the #1s (essentially, it’s more “green matter” for the compost bin). The directions on the website seem pretty simple, but I wanted to know if anyone had experience with the g’s specifically.
For info on composting human waste if you did want to do the research, here is a really good place to start. I know it’s a bit off-topic, but I lived on a boat and we are all obsessed with toilets, hence my weird knowledge of poo composting systems…
There is a lot of room for user-error with gDiapers. The gPouch has to be situated just right or you get leaks like crazy. Personally I have a stash of about 50 flats, 15 gerber prefolds (not the kind with absorbent padding), 12 Sunbaby pockets that I use for covers, a couple pairs of wool longies that I’ve knitted, and three snappis. With a 2 year old who is daytime potty-trained and a four month old, I do laundry every other day just so it won’t get stinky or start growing stuff. My entire stash cost about $200 including wool but I went way overboard on flats. Half that would have been plenty.
G Diapers seem to be the most expensive route of cloth diapering. The covers are $15 and they are a basic shell. The inserts are 20 for $15. And you’re right, you still have to wash the covers AND you’re throwing things away. We did G diapers at first and I could never find a reliable retailer, even in Chicago, and would end up driving all over looking for inserts! Then, the “catch” area of the diaper is so small it never held the solids and was such a mess. We moved on to basic cotton prefolds and covers and love it. We love http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/
It may be a good idea to not get too many to start to see if you like them and how they fit. I started to use cloth diapers but our boy has nice chunky legs and has grown very fast (26lbs at 8 months) so he did not last in his cloth diapers long before outgrowing them.
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