Back when we had free time, working brain cells, but no baby I was chatting with my sis online about diapers. She’d tried cloth diapers way back when (15 years?) she had her first, but didn’t sound very enthusiastic in recommending them. “Hey, maybe they’ve improved?” she offered unconvincingly.
So I cruised the internet in search of diaper tech.
First off you’ll quickly run across the waring camps and studies on the two sides of the great diaper debate. Disposables are horrible and waste XX energy, are responsible for 2% of landfills, etc.. vs. cloth diapers being are expensive up front, messy, unsanitary, and you probably use as much (pick one or more: water, energy, soap) washing them as a disposable diaper wastes in manufacturing. There’s no winning here and I think most folks go with whatever works for them and avoid discussing it with anyone they don’t know.
I ran across gDiaper. This looked pretty cool, kind of a compromise between disposables and reusables. I put it on a mental list to check out some day and promptly forgot all about them.
Some time later our local co-op had an earth day sale display and one of the items featured were gDiapers. We picked up a starter kit (two pants, four liners, 10 inserts and a stir stick).
For my birthday a few weeks later Faith gave me two bags of inserts. Happy day! “:^)
And then we had a baby and everything was forgotten again!
When we first came home from the hospital, with a small supply of pamper newborn disposables that they use in the birthing center, we were pretty much on automatic zombie mode: repeat everything they did at the hospital. Do not deviate. As the days passed we started thinking a little bit and deviating slightly, but not too much. I tried some other diaper we had (seventh generation, non-bleached) but they were too big for a newborn. So I didn’t even bother with the gDiaper, assuming it wouldn’t work either. To be honest the pampers worked just fine and we were familiar with using them.
The garbage can outside starting filling up with old diapers and every few days I’d stop by the store and pick up another pack.
In general we are recycling household. All of our food scraps go into a mulch bin outside. We separate cans, bottles, and plastics. We have bins for cardboard and paper. About once a month we load the recycling containers into the car, a couple cans of real garbage, and head to the landfill to recycle and toss the rest. Really easy and not much real garbage all in all.
With the new baby and family room purchases and the flow of dirty diapers the garbage started filling up quicker.
A couple weeks ago I opened up the starter kit, assembled a gDiaper, and slipped it on to little Zane. Hey, it works!
And by working I mean it not only fit nicely, but he didn’t lose his mind while I messed around with the tabs and tried to fit it on him as he did with the other diapers. The gDiapers are form fit and it only takes a couple of seconds to pop a fresh one on.
This picture above is a fully assembled gDiaper. The outside shell is a very soft cloth with velcro closures and lots of elastic and flexible areas. You snap a waterproof liner into the shell and then stuff an insert into the liner. The component parts are shown in the photo below.
The insert is the only part that is disposable, the shell and liner are washed when needed and reused. You have a few choices on how to get rid of the used inserts (which are made from wood pulp). If it’s only wet, then you can toss it into your compost (or bury it I suppose). For the #2 messes split the diaper into the toilet, use the stir stick, and flush away. I suppose you could toss it in the garbage, but why make more garbage when they are so easy to flush and break down. I was going to bury a gDiaper and a disposable to show the difference over time, but they already have a video on their website, along with videos on how to load, fit, and flush.
So far we are very happy with them. The liners get dirty from time to time, but are easy to wash. Bigger “spills” may reach the outer shell, which is a little tougher to wash but not bad. Zane seems comfortable in the diaper and the inserts are easy to flush, even with our low flow toilet. They are a little more expensive than the disposables and there’s the up-front cost of buying the starter kit (we ended up buying two). So far I like them much more than the disposables, although we still have a few of those in our mobile diaper backpack for emergencies.