GDiapers and GCloth: The Good, the Bad, and the Flushable
Why gDiapers are Unusual
For about two generations, there has been only one pair of options in diapering. Moms had to choose between cloth diapers and disposable diapers. Along came secret option three, gDiapers: the hybrid diaper. GDiapers combine a reusable cover with a disposable, and flushable, insert. "Ingenious!" I thought as soon as I saw the ad. I was the proud mother of one four-month-old. I bought a starter kit, and there the journey began.
Let me begin by telling you what is wonderful about gDiapers:
- They do not have blowouts. While urine leaks can be relatively common with any cloth diapering system, BM leaks are nearly nonexistent with gDiapers.
- They are environmentally friendly. Whether you are choosing the flushable option, and allowing poop to go where poop should go (i.e. the sewage treatment plant), or using the cloth inserts, both options are preferable to filling up landfills with products that won't biodegrade until your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren are grandparents. Even if you do decide to throw away the inserts, they will biodegrade much more quickly than traditional disposable diapers (see video below). The inserts are also compostable (wet inserts only, not poopy).
- They are plastic-free. The system involves a cloth cover with a nylon snap-in-liner, and either wood-pulp-based flushable inserts, or cloth inserts.
- They do not encourage diaper rash. Unless you are leaving your child in a wet or poopy gDiaper for multiple hours, you should have less likelihood of diaper rash with these than with other diapering systems. I find the system to be very breathable.
- They fasten in back. This is great for older babies who have mastered the diaper removal.
- They provide you with options. You can switch back and forth between disposable and cloth inserts throughout the day: disposable/flushable when you are out, cloth at home!
- They are adorable. There are many more styles than pictured on this hub.
- They are reasonably priced compared to other cloth systems. I find that the average diaper or diaper cover for a cloth diapering system is about $20. GDiapers are about $18 when bought individually, and much cheaper when bought in packs~ about as low as $12.50 each.
- They are competitively priced compared to cloth diapering services. In my area, a cloth diapering service costs about $16.50 per week, or about $65 per month. In the first year, you would need to buy two sizes of little g's, size small and size medium, and if you were using strictly gCloth inserts, and doing laundry only once per week, you would want about 50 or 60 of the cloth inserts, amounting to a first-year cost of about $800 for gDiapers, comparable to the $855 cost of the diapering service. (Of course, you'd wash them yourself.) The second year, however, is when the gDiapers would save you money at about $100 for size large little g's, and about $855 for the diapering service. You would simply reuse your size medium/large gCloth inserts.
- A wet diaper is easier to change than other cloth systems. Most cloth diapering systems allow the cover to get wet along with the insert, meaning that it can't be used again until it is washed. Not so with gDiapers. You can get away with buying fewer gDiapers than other cloth diapers because you can keep using your little g throughout the day, replacing only the insert.
- They last forever. I am currently reusing all of my older son's little g's for my younger son.
There are, however, some drawbacks:
- They are not accepted by many daycare facilities. Check with your daycare facility.
- The flushable inserts are not suitable for septic systems or many low-flow toilets. Check the Instructions for Flushing for more information.
- They must be changed more frequently than standard disposables. In my experience, a disposable can last about 3-4 hours. A gDiaper should be changed about every 2 hours.
- Changing a #2 has a higher "ick" factor than standard disposables. Like other cloth-based systems, you need to touch the insert. Unlike pocket diapers, for example, however, the insert is sitting inside, not stuffed inside between two layers. Therefore a gDiaper change has a higher ick factor than disposables, and possibly a lower ick factor than pocket diapers.
- Using them only as hybrids (not using cloth inserts at all) is pricey. A pack of flushable inserts costs about as much as a premium diaper pack, and there is also the cost investment of the covers on the front-end.
- They are not reliable overnight. My boys are heavy night-wetters, so we have to use overnight-type diapers at night, and while the two-insert nighttime system suggested on the website has worked for us, we find it to be more expensive to use two inserts than to use one overnight-style diaper.
- Many children outgrow them long before potty training. My older son outgrew his size large gDiapers as he turned two, but he wasn't potty trained until age 3. You can see the gDiapers website for more information on sizing.
The "Bottom" Line
We have been night, weekend, and holiday users of gDiapers for both of our sons.
We do not use them for daycare, as our childcare provider requires disposables.
We also do not use gDiapers for overnight use, unless we use two disposable inserts together.
We use them because we like having the hybrid diaper option, and we use the gCloth inserts inside most of the time with our younger son. (They had not been introduced when my older son was in his little g's.)
After trying multiple diapering options with our older son, including every available type of disposable diapers and many that we had to order online, and trying the cloth options that a friend of ours was using, we prefer gDiapers over every other environmentally friendly diapering option.
We would recommend them to anyone, particularly as a cloth diapering solution with disposable options.
Watching Them Biodegrade
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