So… are gDiapers really that incredible?

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Photo by jen_rab, used under Creative Commons license.
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

Comments on So… are gDiapers really that incredible?

  1. We actually got a trial size of gdiapers from someone we had bought them for as a babyshower present. They didn’t work for them, they said they leaked. They worked fine with our baby but we had them as addition to several other cloth diapers and disposables. The first few weeks we were testing different diapers to figure out which worked best. Although gdiapers worked well with us they did not flush well so we ended up trashing the liners. You don’t have to wash the covers as often unless they leak so we got by with 2 covers and liners but like I mentioned we were using several other diapers too. We ended up using cloth diapers during the day time and at night disposables as we thought the cloth diapers got too wet at night and would wake up the baby. We are using hemp cloth liners, they work the best. For the covers what worked best for us and are handy as they expand are the Thirsties wraps with snaps. I would recommend experimenting. Maybe ask for the starter kits for different sets as your baby shower gifts and then see what works the best.

  2. Oh dear. I would NOT recommend gDiapers. We have twin boys, and prior to them being born, we were 100% sold on gDiapers. In fact, we had purchased 10 cases of inserts plus 12 covers or so.

    The first time we put them on the boys, we found the inserts to be clumsy, and not particularly absorbent. Then after wearing them for less than 2 hours, both of the boys pooped which resulted in two .blow-outs

    Maybe if you’re a full time mommy, they may work, but with two working parents we opted to go with Seventh Generation diapers instead.

  3. I want to add that when researching cloth diapers myself (going with GroVia, Flips with prefolds, and Prowraps for newborn), I tried to buy a lot of used diapers. When I would see a used gDiaper it seemed like it did not hold up well over time. I talked to a lady at the consignments shop and she explained that several of the gDipes I was looking at had only been used by one child for about a month before the mom gave up on the complicated system and switched to prefolds and generic covers. The gDipe covers looked like they has been run through the gauntlet whereas the other covers (all brands) didn’t look nearly as haggard. Just my observation and just one reason I ended up going with a different hybrid system.

    • buying used totally worked for us! i agree, it’s been a great way to save money AND see what holds up over time.

      • Yea, I found it amazing to see which diapers were in shreds without a single stain and which ones looked brand new but with much more staining. I really didn’t care about the stains on a few I bought because it just ment they were used more and still looked that good! The used Flips I bought looked brand new!

  4. I started out with the gdiapers when my baby was about four months old. I thought they were great for awhile but they did leak for us more and more often.

    We eventually discovered Econobums! They are the best I’ve used! $50and you get twelve prefolds and three covers! I’ve sinced used fuzzibunz, bum genius and happy heinys and they’re great too. But nothing compared to my Econobums.

    The biggest thing is being able to mix and match when you’re in a bind. You cannot mix and match with gdiapers like nearly every other brand.

    • I picked up a bunch of econobums to try this time too–baby girl will be here any day and I can’t wait to try them out! They were buy 1 get 1 for $9.95, so I ended up getting 4 covers and 8 diapers for $20, figured it couldn’t hurt to try them. Thus far, I’m impressed with the quality, we’ll see how they work on the munchkin. My favorite covers have been Gen Y Universals, but I can’t justify buying them except when they have 2nds–they’re expensive. But they work with hybrid systems, fitteds, prefolds (no snappi/pins needed), etc.

  5. I LOVE our fuzzibunz diapers. They’re supposed to fit from birth to pottytraining, and are super adjustable with moveable elastic bands and lots of different snaps. My daughter seems quite happy with them. I don’t think it’s any more work to wash the inserts with the diapers than to flush them, and this way it’s cheaper and there’s less waste.

    • Love my Fuzzibunz. Sunbaby is a good and way, way cheaper alternative, but Fuzzibunz are worth it. I never looked into g-diapers because they aren’t one size and I’m not down with having to buy inserts. If I wanted to keep buying something that is going to get thrown away, I would use disposable diapers.

  6. We researched all the options, and for those of you that care about the environmental impact of your diaper choice, you should know that gDiapers are NOT environmentally friendly in the least. The city we live in, Vancouver Washington, conducted and posted a study about the negative impact gDiapers have on the sewage system and the water that eventually reaches the Columbia River. The diaper materials get caught up at practically all stages of sewage treatment, requiring excess water to move the sludge along and causing dangerous clogs. More seriously, the cellulose clouds the water, preventing the UV process used to kill pathogens from being effective. This water then goes directly into our rivers. Just FYI.

    • Living in Portland (and therefore in the same small ecosystem) I’m curious whether the study was just on gDiapers, or on all flushable diaper liners. Do you know? I’ve been thinking of adding a liner now that my kiddo is doing solids, but if they’re that problematic, I’ll just stick do what I’ve been doing. (Rinse with attachable toilet hose thing.)

      • The study was specifically gDiapers, because of the multi layers of rayon fibers and cellulose. I’m not sure about the flushable liners. I suppose it would depend on the brand and composition. In my own experience though, the flannel washable liners we used would just get bunched up and give the babe a wedgie, they never seem to stay in place. I think they’re basically useless.

  7. For what it’s worth, I really love my bumGenius One Size Pockets. They come with two sizes of liners, so you I don’t see that you would need to buy extras. They start around $18 for a pocket with liners, and are cheaper the more you buy.

    I tried both the All in Ones as well as the pockets, and I much prefer the latter. I think 15 or 16 is a good number, and I do a load every day and a half or so. I used (they have a diaper registry). I also use Planet Wise wet bags. They work great for keeping smells out in between washes. I use two large for the house, and one medium for the diaper bag.

  8. I’d highly recommend finding a cloth diapering class locally if you can. The class we took answered a LOT of our questions & turned my hubs from wanting disposables to cloth. Some diaper services and online shops offer trial packs where you can try out different kinds to see what works best.

    The biggest thing I got from the class was that your baby will choose the diaper. So don’t go overboard with any one brand or type.

  9. we use pre-folds with the Econobum One-Size Diapers from They are only $8.95 and grow with your baby. I am fortunate to be able to use a diaper service so< I don't have to wash my diapers, but even if I didn't have the diaper service, washing them wouldn't be a problem. My baby went through an average of 8-10 diapers a day when breast feeding, but she has always been a big pee-er as well. At 8 months, we are using about 40 cloth diapers a week. I was also overwhelmed by all the choices out there so, I just chose to stick with the good old fashion prefolds. We love them and my baby has never had diaper rash! Which is awesome!

  10. I haven’t used gDiapers, so I can’t comment directly on them. I can give my cloth diaper recommendations though. For pockets I like Rumparooz, they are very soft inside, and the gussets are fantastic for holding breast fed messes. For all in twos, I like the Grovia (I haven’t tried their disposable inserts, just the cloth), and weehuggers covers with old fashioned flats.

  11. I really like gdiapers, but I don’t use the disposable liners often – only if we spend a full day out of the house. I stuff a pre-fold in the pouch and it works great. As a matter of fact, it was only yesterday that I said to my baby “There’s just no way that a disposable diaper would have held all that poo!”

    I use all different types of diapers, but when she moves up to the next size I’m investing in g’s exclusively.

    To answer your question: Love them.
    I do a load of laundry every day anyway. I just throw the dirty diapers in a pre-wash with the lowest water setting, then throw the rest of my clothes on top for the real wash, so I’m not really using that much more water. Also, I have the washer pre-filled with water for the pre-wash and just toss dirty diapers in throughout the day. No stinky pail!

    Start your inventory small, and try a few different brands. Baby grows so fast. By the time you need the next size up you’ll know what you prefer.

    Oh! And there’s a trick with gdiapers that maybe some don’t know: You don’t just slap it on. Take the stuffed plastic pouch and fit it in the creases between baby’s thighs and vagina/scrotum like how your underwear would sit. That’s how you prevent leaks.

  12. I love the concept of gDiapers. However, if you are using them exclusively as hybrid diapers (with the flushable insert, not a cloth insert) they come out more expensive than traditional diapers. We cloth diaper for money reasons, so we could to afford to exclusively use hybrids.
    Out of the hybrid options out there (groVia, flip and gDiaper) the gDiaper inserts are my favorite. However they are sized diapers so when they grow out of the small you need to invest in more covers and snap in liners in medium, then again when they hit large.

    We used g’s in small (she fit as soon as her umbilical cord fell off) as our out and about diapers and full cloth at home, then when my daughter grew out of the smalls (about 3 months) we moved to flip and groVia as our out and about diapers while still using full cloth at home. I missed the flushable aspect of the gDiapers so I found I can use gDiaper inserts into flip covers.

    Very few stores carry the inserts so you’d be better off buying online and getting an auto refill option so you don’t run out.

  13. Everyone’s already said what I have to say, and honestly, there are entire blogs and websites dedicated to just cloth diapers, so the dispute could go on forever. Basically, I hated gDiapers. The liner always clogged the toilet, and bunched in weird places, so at changing time, you had this sodden, possibly poop-infested mess. Then you had t touch it and rip up the insert so it flushed properly. It was horrible. But we also loved them for traveling, because you can carry one or two covers, a few extra insert pockets, then a ton of just inexpensive, Gerber flat fold diapers (those old fashioned kinds your parents probably used). It took up way less space than packing our pocket diapers, and because they were relatively inexpensive, we weren’t as paranoid about losing them. Also, my son grew out of the largest size when he was 18 mo, so they aren’t nearly as universally sized as Grovia or Flip diapers. My opinion-get a pack and see how you like them. You can always sell them. But for full-time diaper, stick with the fancy pocket diapers or all-in-ones.

  14. I’ve been using gDiapers with my 15 month old since he was 4 months old. I received a bunch of different cloth diaper hand me downs, and we liked gDiapers best. I use the gDiaper cloth inserts with their liners most of the time, and the disposable inserts when we travel. And we use a regular disposable at night (I like Earths Best)- the gDiapers just aren’t as absorbent and my kid sleeps through the night.

    Because I received most of my gpants and plastic liners as hand me downs, our initial cost was low. There is some ongoing costs- the plastic liners have to be replaced when they get stretched out and the liners that go on top of the cloth inserts (these are awesome BTW, so much easier than dunking!). But overall, I’m sure we save tons of money by cloth diapering. Not to mention the environmental savings of not putting diapers in a landfill.

    I live in a rural area, so I order all my diapering stuff from They carry all the gDiapers supplies and ship for free at $49.

    Good luck!

  15. after reading these comments, I’m thinking it’d be a good idea to use sunbaby diaper covers (just because they’re cuter) with the grovia disposable liners, whenever those are needed, and using cloth prefolds the rest of the time. Does anyone mix and match like that? Does it work well?

  16. I had a kid who ended up being in diapers for four years (he is on the autism spectrum) AND who had horrible allergies to disposable diapers.

    We cloth diapered from the beginning, but there were a few times when we traveled when we needed/ preferred to use sposies (it was particularly bad when we went to Europe for a month, which was the first time he really had ever worn sposies, so the burn was particularly bad).

    Towards the end of his diapering, he had almost outgrown every single large/ XL diaper I had. And I wasn’t buying more cloth at that point, we were so close to potty learning! It was then that I found Tushies, which were the only sposies that didn’t burn him. I had to buy them on amazon.

    We did try G-diapers and they burned him a lot less than even Seventh Generation, but the Tushies were better. For a non-sensitive/ allergic child they might be fine.

    I didn’t try gro-via’s disposable option (though if my memory serves, I think I got a few covers and they ended up being too short in the rise. But that may have been another diaper. And my kid had a ridiculously long rise.)

  17. I could only use gDiapers for the first weeks when my son peed in high frequency but low volume. I had a ton of different types of diapers and gDiapers were definitely my least favorite. But every time I say that, I come across people who loved them, so it is a pretty individual thing. I bought different styles of diapers off of Craigslist and Ebay and tried them all, and then bought more of what worked best, and that is what I would suggest!

  18. I, too, really wanted to do some kind of cloth diapering with my son but I wasn’t a fan of all the laundry (and hot water and detergent use) that would be a bi-product of full-on cloth, so after much research I settled on gDiapers. After many months of use, I can say that they were hit or miss. There were plenty of leaks and my in-laws, who watch my son during the day, hated them and refused to use them at all. But diapers are one of those things where there is literally no one right answer – cloth, disposable, whatever, some brands works perfectly for some kids and not at all for others. If you do decide you’d like to try a few gDiapers, I’s suggest “liking” them on facebook and posting a request to see if anyone has some gently used covers they’d sell to you – I’ve seen people do that and someone almost always replies. Then you can make an educated decision before shelling out the big bucks for the starter kit.

  19. Just tried gDiapers out this last two weeks on my 19 week old son. A few thoughts:

    1. How does your baby eat, and what are they eating? My son is exclusively breastfeeding, and eats a ton (every 1.5 to 2 hours). Depending on what your baby does in this category will determine your best cloth diaper choice at that particular time. It could change! My son pees and poops so frequently I change his diaper every time I feed him, and sometimes in between. He would instantly fill a gDiaper, even if I used a more absorbant insert, like the bumGenius ones I have. He gets rash if there is any dampness next to his skin, so I’m considering sewing fleece or something else to cloth liners to get it away from his skin.

    2. How much do you care about the environment? Someone else mentioned above (Vancouver, WA mama) that the flushable inserts are a dangerous tax on the sewer system. The gDiapers liners and covers don’t seem to last as long either (stretching, fraying, etc), especially if you got some used like I did, which means they go in the dump quicker. All the ones I have tried so far have been borrowed or given to me at clothing exchanges. Where they are manufactured, materials, processing, and shipping all matter to me, which is why I haven’t bought any yet with my own money. Gdiapers are well marketed, and better than mainstream disposables, but to me not by a lot compared to other cloth diapers.

    3. How long will you use them? I plan on having multiple kids. GDiapers would never be able to do it for me, just with the trouble I’ve had now with gently used ones. I’ve tried bumGenius pockets, used, and their PUL layer has been ruined (waterproof polyurethane layer) just by someone accidentally drying them. Even with a rewaterproofing spray you can’t save PUL completely. I will have to take apart and resew them! I’m trying wool covers and prefolds next, I don’t mind doing wash every day, I just need something that will last. GDiapers fail in this category.

    I guess I’m picky, but as a final thought I don’t want a cloth diaper that leaves red indents on my baby. I know I’m not comfortable when that happens to me. GDiapers liners snap in at the waist area back and front and leave little marks on the baby’s skin, as well as the thick waist band. The bumGenius ones I had left marks around his legs/waist because the gussets were pretty thick/hard-rolled cloth (they did hold in messes well though). I’ve fallen back to seventh gen disposables for now…

  20. Something I’ve read (though cannot verify completely) is that disposable diapers claiming to be biodegradable are only so when exposed to the proper elements. That means diapers that end up in landfills won’t break down if not exposed to air, sun etc because they’re buried under other stuff. So unless you’re planning to compost the liners I think that’s something to consider when looking at gdiapers. Since it seems you’re concerned with the environmental aspect of cloth diapering I think you’d be happy going for full on washables. The ladies posting have given some excellent recommendations. (I’d give you my own but I still have a few more weeks until I have real experience as a cloth diapering parent)

    • Totally true! Compostable diapers won’t compost properly in a landfill.

      We use compostable diapers, and the dirty diapers are picked up from our apartment and professionally composted by a local company called Earth Baby. They are only in the San Francisco Bay Area, but there may be similar services elsewhere.

  21. I think your best bet would be to check out a trial from one of the cloth diaper store sites. That’s what we did and it was a great way to check out a bunch of different diapers to see which we liked best. All the different brands work differently on kids depending on size, weight, etc, so what works for one might not for another.

  22. Another parent gave us g-diapers and some covers when our child was about 6 weeks old. At that time we were using cloth diapers but when I went back to work we knew we would switch to something that required less laundry.

    She is now 2.5 we are woking on potty training and I love g-diapers. Here is why:

    -Cloth diapers weren’t even an option for our laundry situation. But disposable made us feel like we were doing a MAJOR disservice to our environment. We live in Seattle the Company is based in Portland- it felt local-ish for diapers.

    -Our daycare was willing to work with them.

    -We didn’t flush all of them them but composted the Liquid waste diapers in our yard waste bin. It wasn’t hard to flush them correctly.

    -You can fill the liner with other diapering things. No big deal. In fact, I once didn’t have any diapers with us and couldn’t find another parent anywhere to ask for something from and I put a sock in her g-diaper. It worked great.

    -They have not broken down fast at all. I know that we have 1 liner that lost its elastic. Just 1. But we were hard on them, washing them a lot, not on gentle- and I did have to sew down the velcro a on a couple of them. It took a total of 5 minutes.

    -We would buy a bunch of them at once since a lot of stores didn’t carry them.

    -She would pee out of them at night- we had to do two in the diaper at once for awhile then we just switched to night diapers at like 18 months.

    -The startup costs can a be a lot- and buying covers but my parentners mom likes to buy us stuff so I just made that her thing, “can you get us some diapers- oh and a couple more covers” – so we were very fortunate that way.

    -People could figure them out. Sometimes babysitters and aunts and uncles didn’t “get” our cloth diapers. G-diapers are very self explainatory.

    -I really really liked them. But there is no such thing as a magical diaper.

    -And, we didnt’ really try a lot of other kinds.

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