Sunday, July 27, 2008

Review: gDiapers

I had heard about gDiapers before The Boy was born, possibly before he was even conceived, because I was discussing the family history of sensitive skin on both sides and someone recommended them as an equally convenient alternative to disposable diapers. I tabled the idea because they looked to be too expensive and still a bit too difficult. I was also unsure of Musical Daddy's willingness to put up with the extra steps. I needn't have worried.

Fast-forward...past the first 2.5 months where The Boy was constantly breaking out from disposables and we made the switch to cloth diapers. Past month 7 or so when the poop started to look like poop and we needed a way to flush it (by the're really not supposed to throw poop in the trash). Here we are in cancer treatment land, and we are faced with the prospect of a baby who, every few weeks, will receive intravenous medication that will cause his urine to turn red or pink. We also noticed that for the brief time period before the surgery, when The Boy was in disposables, he was getting a rash from Pampers. So this sensitive skin stuff isn't in our head.

I purchased the starter kit for $25 at Whole Foods. The gDiapers starter kit includes 2 "little g pants", 4 snap-in liners, and 10 flushable inserts. Plus a swish stick and a little hook for hanging it. Not bad for $25, considering the cost of fancy cloth diapers. The instructions are pretty simple--shove the flushable insert into the liner (it is MUCH larger than the liner and is supposed to cause the liner to "bow" instead of being straight. Don't fold the liner.). Snap the liner/insert combo into the pants.

Put the diaper on the baby. Here's the first snag: these diapers velcro in the back instead of the front. Probably even more difficult on younger babies but not a picnic on The Boy either. I wasn't sure if I was getting a snug enough fit.

Change about as often as you would any other diaper. The insert is removed from the diaper. You tear the insert and let the insides fall out, and then you swish it a bit, and flush. The next snag: this may be gross especially if there's poo. You may want to rotate among covers to let them air-dry. Wash with normal laundry or with normal diaper laundry if you cloth-diaper. Since we were using gloves during toxic pee time, it was less gross to rip the insert. But babies are gross in general, so you get over it.

There was a poopy diaper, which was not contained very well. It didn't escape the whole diaper but it did get on the pant, rendering it unusable until the next washing. The rest of the diapering experience with these worked fine. No leaks, no other issues.

The whole process is more complicated than disposables and probably as difficult as cloth, minus laundry. However, price-wise it is somewhat expensive. The inserts run about 50¢ each, which is more than disposables, plus the cost of the pants and liners, which you'd have to buy in three sizes. That said, it costs only a little more overall and you neither have to do extra diaper laundry nor throw away a bunch of stuff that will take about a hundred years to decompose. If you throw away a gDiaper insert, it still breaks down relatively quickly.

There are also some options. Some people who use cloth diapers find it easier to use gDiapers when they travel.

Overall, I find gDiapers to be a good product for "sometimes" especially the times that we're using them. They are effective. They are cute. They are a bit difficult but not too bad...if you're looking for a part-time or full-time eco-friendly option, these work.


Sarah R said...

I read up on them before deciding on stricly BumGenius 3.0s (we have 24 of them). They were recommended by so many people so I figured if I liked them, why have 7 different kinds of dipes? Just makes sorting them more complicated. I love my BGs, by the way. I do have issues with the inserts stinking but I am trying different detergents (my hard water could be to blame but I think the Calgon helps).

GDipes are a nice hybrid for those who want to try cloth but not go all the way. :)

the mol said...

Gaby recommended soaking the inserts in vinegar once a month. I also use vinegar in the fabric softener place.

Sarah R said...

I have hard water. Is it still okay to use vinegar? I've read that if you use vinegar, you have to use baking soda to offset it or something? I'll definitely give it a try if it works!

Off to research...

the mol said...

I use vinegar in the place where the fabric softener goes. If you soak the inserts in vinegar and baking soda, you'll get some fun little fizzies.