I knew before I was pregnant that I would want to use cloth diapers on my children. Why? Was it because I want to Save The Earth and be Super Crunchy, Eco-Friendly and Green? Maybe if I were a better person. But if I’m honest, my main motivation is that whole financial prioritization thing. There’s other stuff I’d rather spend that money on. Not to mention, going to the store week after week to load up on disposable diapers and trash bags (or diaper genie refills) would get old REALLY quickly for me. Plus, I hate taking out the trash. Oh, and they’re way cuter than disposables.
As I researched cloth diapering, I found out there is a whole huge range of fluffy options! There are pocket diapers, fitted diapers with covers, prefolds with covers, all-in-ones, all-in-twos (weird name), one size fits all types, other kinds with incremental sizing, etc.
I thought I’d go with prefolds (with snappis instead of pins) and Thirsties covers. That arrangement appealed to me for several reasons. First, it’s relatively cheap. Prefolds run about a $1-2 each. I’d only need a few snappis, and the Thirsties covers are relatively inexpensive. Other things I REALLY liked about the idea of that diapering system? Thirsties covers are CUTE, and the whole shebang results in a pretty slim diaper, as compared to other puffy/fluffy systems.
When you use prefolds and covers, you don’t have to wash the whole thing every time the kid pees (like you have to with all-in-ones). You just throw the prefold in the diaper pail and reuse the cover. If the cover gets poo on it (which doesn’t happen every time the kid poos), then you need a new one obviously. Because of that, you might only need 6 or so covers if you’re doing laundry every other day. With other types of diapers, you need a couple DOZEN full diapers to last a couple days. And at $20-30 a pop, that adds up!
There was one big problem with the Thirsties/prefolds combo in my mind though. It would be like putting on TWO diapers every time my girl needed a change. First the prefold secured with a snappi, then the cover over it. And since I’ve had experience changing young kids’ diapers all day long (as a nanny) I knew I was going to be spending a significant amount of time on it already. Doubling that time didn’t sound awesome to me. Also, a small factor was that I don’t particularly like the way the Thirsties covers feel (compared to soft cotton fabric).
Edited to add: I discovered you can actually just lay a tri-folded prefold or other insert in the Thirsties cover, and that you do not HAVE to put the prefold around the baby with a Snappi or pins. That makes it a lot more attractive to me, but I still think gDiapers are cuter and feel better.
Enter the gDiaper.
- It’s cute – there are lots of colors, and you can find prints and ruffled ones, though their current line is only solid colors.
- It’s relatively inexpensive – you can get 1 gPant for about $18 on their website. If you buy a 2-pack at Babies R Us or Walmart.com, they end up about $15 each, or even cheaper if you have a BRU coupon. Or if you don’t care about the colors as much and just want functionality, you can get a set of 6 (in orange and green), which is really all you need in each size, for only $70. There are also frequently used gDiapers in good condition on eBay at pretty good savings. It’s probably not THE CHEAPEST diapering option out there, but it’s low enough for me (and the cuteness factor weighs heavily when I decide how much to spend on something like this).
- It’s convenient – the absorbent insert just lays in the vinyl liner; there’s nothing to “stuff” like pockets, and you don’t have to put on what amounts to 2 diapers like with prefolds + covers.
- It gives you options – you can choose the inserts that fit with your lifestyle. There are cloth inserts (gCloth) and “flushies” (gRefills) which are biodegradable. Some families flush the gRefills; others compost the pee ones; and still others just throw them away (still less waste than regular disposable diapers, and they will break down very quickly if you put them in a biodegradable trash bag). For *cough*cheap*cough* people like me, you can use prefolds in them, which is the least expensive option. Some crafty ladies buy fabric and make their own inserts! And of course, you can use a combination. I’ll probably use the flushies when we travel, but continue to use cloth exclusively at home.
- There’s less laundry – if baby pees, you only have to wash the absorbent insert. If baby poos, sometimes it will get on the liner (often, and that’s normal) and you’ll just un-snap it and wash that too. Because of this, most people like to have 1.5 to 2 liners per gPant. Usually you can get through a day using only a couple gPants (I have 2 in rotation at any given time, to make diaper changes more streamlined. Occasionally a gPant will get a tiny bit of poo on it, and then it goes into the wash too (or it goes in the wash after a couple days of use if nothing got on it). Because you’re only washing what actually got dirty, there’s a lot less laundry than if you had to wash an entire big diaper for every tiny pee.
Since so many of my friends have expressed curiosity about the gDiapers, I’m going to do a series of gWhiz – gDiapers 101 posts. I’m really excited to share about gDiapers, so if you have any questions about them, feel free to leave them in a comment here and I’ll try to address those curiosities in further posts.