gdiapers: my two cents
The original post can be found here when I posted it in January 2010, less than three months into my cloth diapering journey. I have updated that post below and am leaving it as a page for easier access for those of you researching cloth diapers, specifically gdiapers.
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A couple of you have asked about the gdiapers. Others of you want some more information for your own baby's bums. Thus, I have put together this very lengthy post with my $0.02 (for what it is worth). If you don't have any babies and could care less about this, don't worry. I won't be posting about diapers frequently because that's why diaper blogs exist. I found others' experience to be the best teacher in my cloth diapering journey, so perhaps my experience will help one of you on your journey as well. =) Warning: this entry may contain mention of bodily fluids (mainly baby poo).
First off, if you're considering cloth diapering, you may want to look into this from Jillian's Drawers.
The full details are on the website, and since the program has changed since I did it, I'll leave you research the current details for yourself.
Nonetheless, I did not know about this program then, so this is what I did: gdiapers. (Of note, gdiapers are not included in the aforementioned program.)
A gdiaper consists of three parts:
insert. There are three I have used:
The liner snaps into the cover/gpant. The insert is placed in the liner. Put them all together, and they look like this.
This is what the gdiaper would look like on an invisible baby from the back. (The "g" fell off. Shucks. And Lydia is sleeping, so she can't model them for you right now, either.)
The gdiaper company sells a disposable insert (grefill) and a cloth insert (gcloth). Before Lydia was born, I invested in six covers/gpants, twelve liners, and 24 gcloths. I was also given a package of grefills which contained 40 disposable inserts. Exclusively breastfeed (EBF) babies tend to have more explosive number twos. Thus, the liners frequently soil with poo, but the covers/gpants often survive. The recommendation was twice the number of liners than covers/gpants for the newborn phase. That supply worked well for us doing laundry every other day. I have only experienced two blowouts, and both were due to error user (me not ensuring the insert was properly sealed by the liner). Otherwise, pee-only diapers rarely soil the cover, and the covers/gpants and liners can be reused with new inserts.
In my opinion, the glcoths' absorbency is weak. I joined the Yahoo gdiaper group to get some insight from other gdiaper users. There other gdiaper folks introduced me to gflappers, specifically the all-bamboo gflappers. Gflappers are a more absorbent insert made by a work-at-home-mom (WAHM), Sharni, whose online store and blog are really helpful with cloth diapering info. When Lydia was two months old, I had five small gflappers but wished I had purchased them instead of the gcloths. Since it was too expensive to toss out my gcloth stash to purchase more gflappers in the small size, I used the gcloths in pairs; I stuffed two gcloth inserts into the liner. This worked better than a single gcloth but not as well as the gflappers. When Lydia grew out of the smalls, I sold off my gcloth stash and invested in the the all-bamboo gflappers exclusively as my inserts. The disposable inserts (grefills) work great, too, but they do not save any money compared to disposable diapers. I only use them when traveling and overnight.
I do diaper laundry every other day or every three days. It is one load - a large load. I use Rockin' Green on my diapers (which is now also available on soap.com). Cold wash/rinse, no soap. Warm wash with soap (two and one half tablespoons for my load size and washer). Cold rinse. Cold rinse again. Toss the gdiaper covers/gpants and inserts into the dryer with the dryer balls.
(Dryer sheets can leave residual on inserts thus affecting their absorbency.) Line dry the liners.
I have two Planet Wise wet bags - size large. (I bought mine here.) They zipper close and have a strap that snaps if you'd like to hang it off a doorknob. I hang my wet bag off the chair next to the dresser/changing pad in the nursery. (I zipped it shut for the picture, but it is usually left open.)
I put the soiled diapers in this bag. On laundry day, I take the bag to the basement and dump it and its entire contents into the wash. I take out the second and clean wet bag to use until the next laundry day and continue this replacement cycle. It is a "dry pail" system unlike the "wet pail" system my mother used when we were in cloth diapers (i.e. prefolds with plastic pants where the prefolds soaked in some soap maybe bleach solution in a yellow pail until laundry day).
I have found that cloth wipes are so easy to use with my cloth diapers. You can buy them, but I made my own before Lydia was born. I received an abundance of flannel receiving blankets as gifts. I chopped a set of them up into eight or nine inch squares. I don't have a serger, so I zig-zag stitched around the edge. I have a pile of 36 and have never run out.
I toss them as I use them into the wet bag where they get dumped into the washer with the rest of the diapers. I store them dry and keep a spray bottle at the changing station. I made a cloth wipe solution of water, aloe, and tree tea oil that I found here and keep in the spray bottle.
I spray the wipe to dampen it and wipe. No diaper rashes to date for Lydia (and that's fourteen months and counting).
It is suggested that newborns do not fit into gdiapers very well. Fortunately, we successfully used the gdiaper on a newborn. However, after Lydia was born, gdiapers released their tiny gPants, designed specifically for newborns. While I cannot attest to their performance since I didn't use them, my friends have used them and loved them. You can also check out this gwhiz series that is a million times more thorough than mine (but I posted this original post before she even had her baby, or else I might not have bothered =). Anyway, Lydia was 6lbs 7oz at birth. We began using gdiapers at one week (and would have used them earlier but at the time I couldn't navigate the stairs to do the laundry). The new style (NS) of gdiapers are slightly larger than the old style (OS). Some people suggested the OS fit newborns better. I found some OS gdiapers for sale ($9 for a cover and liner) at the Yahoo gdiapers group and picked up three of them before Lydia was born.
Here is the OS compared to the NS. The OS waist is different (and the "g" hasn't fallen off either).
I have three NS and three OS small gdiapers. Both fit her well, but the OS settled below her umbilical cord stump nicely. I still used the NS; I just folded them under until her stump fell off. I had no issues with gdiapers not working on newborns. I was pleased with their performance.
gdiaper cost and GroVia (formerly Gro Baby)
Prior to any purchasing, I estimated that the gdiaper system (using cloth inserts, not disposable) would cost $400-500 for the lifetime of diapering a baby. (Yes, I have a spreadsheet if you'd like to see it.) The GroVia AI2 system is a one-size diaper which means the same cover is used for the lifetime of diapering a baby as it snaps to different sizes. The gdiaper covers are sized (three sizes: small, medium, and large) along with their inserts (two sizes: small and medium/large). This blog post outlines the low cost of the GroVia system and compares it to "their" system. (I assume "their" to be gdiapers.) I do not use the disposable inserts regularly during the day because they cost the same as disposables. I do use one every night. I also use them during trips where lugging around my laundry routine would be foolish. (We have used them at the beach for the week, at the cabin in the mountains, at the cabin by the lake, on our trips to Nashville, etc.) The post quotes "theirs" as higher than I've spent because of some volume discounts (i.e. one gpant = $17.99 or a six-pack = $79.99). Thus, the gdiaper and GroVia systems are rather similar in cost if using cloth inserts. Sometimes one-size diapers are very bulky on newborns. I didn't use GroVia myself, but my sister-in-law uses them on my nephew and my cousin uses them on her son.
I use a disposable insert (grefill - see below) in a gdiaper. No leaks. No burns. No stinky ammonia cloth smells. I love them.
The grefills (gdiapers disposable inserts) can be expensive, retailing $52 for a case. (A case contains four packs of grefills. Each pack of smalls contains 40 grefills. Each pack of medium/large contains 32 grefills.) I have never paid more than $45 for a case. The grefills are available on Amazon, almost always below retail. Plus, if you utilize the subscribe and save feature, the price is even lower. Subscribe and save is genius. I even get my toothpaste with subscribe and save. =) Or diapers.com also has the grefills where they frequently have sales.
There are only two sizes of grefills: small and medium/large. Lydia has been in mediums since she was about four-months-old. Thus, I have never felt the pressure of using up a pack of sized disposable diapers before Lydia grows out of them.
I chose the gdiapers for their versatility. I don't have to mess with various sizes of disposable diapers. Because the covers/gpants are sized and the inserts (both cloth and disposable) are trim, the gdiapers are not very bulky compared to other cloth diapers, especially one-size diapers. The gdiapers fit under pants easily.
I have also found cloth diapering to be quite easy. Getting started is the trickier part. I highly recommend cloth diapering. I'm not filling up as many landfills and also saving money in the long run. Plus, the options for cloth diapering are so diverse - and some are quite adorable, too. The diaper laundry has just become a part of my routine that I don't even notice it as "something else" to do. Just like I do the dishes and cook dinner, I wash the diapers.
I am glad I stuck with the gdiaper with gflappers, but the beauty of cloth diapering nowadays is you can choose whatever you want. There are all kinds of diapers: one-size, all-in-one, covers, prefolds . . . It's all very confusing at first, but eventually the lingo starts to make sense. I'm still very much a beginner in learning it all, and I have no intentions of being an expert with a ridiculously large diaper stash (nor could I afford it). Thus, I refer you to the following helpful sources, most of which have already been referenced in this blog entry.
Of course, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. And congratulations for making it to the end of this post!