Earth Day 2017

The Great Diaper Change stock photo

(Totally not my diaper or my baby)

Do you celebrate Earth Day? Do you go on a walk outside or purchase some “green” items?

Before I became a mom who cloth diapers her baby, Earth Day was a flippant holiday to me. Images of tie-dye, dream-catchers, rawhide bracelets, and long walks in the woods filled my mind when I heard the words “Earth Day.” Those items and activities are just not of interest to me; therefore I paid no attention to this minor holiday.  And then, once pregnant, I discovered Earth Day sales. Game changer!

Last year, I bought the newborn bundle of gDiapers.

This year, I upped my game and I expanded my “celebrations” from just purchasing [a lot more] cloth diapers and accessories to also participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Change.

Full confession: I actually spent a lot of money because I had no idea that there would be so many great sales until a week or two before Earth Day! I also fully [yet tangentially] blame the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. It is because of this challenge that I browsed the online cloth retailers looking for flats and covers and found so many intriguing items beyond just my shopping list. And then, in order to be a good consumer, I researched the most interesting items and read all the blog reviews. Man, cloth diapering is a rabbit hole that I completely fell down! My first big purchase from Nicki’s Diapers was delivered yesterday, my little order from Abby’s Lane is out for delivery [totally stalking the mailman right now as I type this], and my completely unjustifiable order from Lil Tulips should arrive tomorrow. *gulp* I actually think my next purchase needs to be from IKEA. Now I need a far bigger place to organize, store, and/or display my stash!

But I digress…

The other part of my Earth Celebrations was the Great Cloth Diaper Change. I don’t even remember how I heard about this, but I eventually found a local event and signed up via Facebook. The idea of meeting up with other cloth diapering mamas seemed like a good idea and, as a stay-at-home mom, the idea of leaving the house and doing something social seemed splendid. Clearly, I need more hobbies. My husband – who is pretty much a saint – was willing to join me. We arrived at the event fairly early. The event was hosted by a local cloth diaper store; there were a few vendors and a goody bag for the first twenty-five attendees, plus the entire store was on sale. My husband and I browsed the diapers and checked out the other baby carriers (a Tula Free-to-Grow was spotted!). I wish I weren’t such an introvert, but I totally stuck next to my husband the entire time. All the mamas seemed to know each other and the hour between 10 am and 11 am passed slowly. The actual diaper change went really quickly – it was over in five minutes! Afterwards, there was a raffle with some really nice prizes. Overall, while the event itself was slightly underwhelming, it was a good experience and I am glad we went. Next time, I won’t show up quite so early though.

Did you ever participate in the Great Cloth Diaper Change? When you get together at a cloth diaper event, do you all really know each other?

Oh, and if you took advantage of the Earth Day sales, what was your favorite item you purchased? I am super curious for next year!

 

 

gDiapers – Why I Love Them

A Brief History

When gDiaper founders, Kim and Jason Graham-Nye, were pregnant with their first baby, they learned that the average disposable diaper takes 500 years to fully decompose in a landfill! Living in drought-stricken Australia at the time, they didn’t feel that cloth diapers were a viable option because of the precious water needed to wash the diapers. They needed a different option, one that would not contribute to landfills or excessive water usage during a drought. After their baby was born, Kim and Jason finally discovered their diapering solution. They moved to the US and founded gDiapers.

So just what is a gDiaper?

gDiapers are actually disposable diapers reconstructed to be more environmentally friendly.

A gDiaper is composed of three parts, making it a variation of the All-In-Two (AI2) system. This is a sized system so you need to buy a few different sizes to fit your growing baby.

Three Parts of a gDiaper

The outermost layer is the cotton gPant, available in many colors and styles. The gPant is unique because the velcro tabs fasten behind the baby. This closure placement is intended to prevent children from unfastening their diaper. The gPants come in four different sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large.

gDiaper Sizes

The second layer is the pouch, the waterproof barrier for the gDiaper. It is made of breathable nylon.  The pouch contains your insert of choice and snaps into the gPant. The pouch is easy to wipe clean and dries quickly. The pouch will eventually wear out after 9-12 months of use so keeping several pouches in rotation is highly recommended. Pouches come in two sizes: small and medium/large/extra-large. One pouch comes with each gPant and extra pouches are sold separately in packages of six.

Pouch Sizes

The final part of the gDiaper is your insert of choice. The original gDiaper insert is the disposable insert, available in two sizes: newborn/small and medium/large/extra-large  This insert can be carefully flushed down your toilet and “swish sticks” are helpful in getting your insert to begin disintegrating before flushing. An alternative to flushing is composting wet-only inserts (poop should always be properly disposed of in the toilet!). The flushable insert is one of many insert options for your gDiaper. Cloth inserts are an excellent insert and there are so many options! Picture below are the four used most frequently in my home.

gDiaper Inserts (1)

There is a newborn gDiaper that combines the gPant and pouch. This tiny gDiaper is only sold in one print and the flushable insert works best in it.

Newborn gDiapers

My Experience with gDiapers

How I was introduced to gDiapers

I was first introduced to gDiapers during college. I was a nanny to a sweet baby girl two afternoons a week, and her family exclusively used gDiapers and the flushable inserts. Initially, my favorite part was being able to pick which gPant she would wear. It was also really easy to use the gDiapers and I came to appreciate flushing the dirty inserts instead of tossing them in the trash. I knew when the time came for me to have children that this was the system I would choose.

While I was pregnant with Chocolate Chip I felt overwhelmed by all the different types of cloth diapers so I stuck with what I knew would be successful for me and my family. I spent lots of time reading reviews and reading about how people solved leakages, laundry routines, how to get a good fit, and absorbency issues. All my research has paid off and we are very happy with our choice to use gDiapers!

What I use in my gDiapers

When Chocolate Chip was in the newborn gDiapers, we exclusively used the flushable inserts.

For the small size, we used gCloth during the day and flushable inserts at night.

Chocolate Chip is currently in size medium and we now use a variety of inserts. Our favorite inserts are made by a WAHM (work at home mom), Wooly Booly Designs. We love the fleece-encased zorb inserts. We also use and love Geffen Baby Super Absorbers and Super Absorbers Plus, each with a gCloth on top. We no longer use flushable inserts due to their expense.

Why I like gDiapers

  • gDiapers were already familiar to me and made the idea of cloth diaper seem easy
  • Typical cloth diapering reasons: environmentally friendly, effective at containing poop, and cheaper than disposables long-term
  • Super easy for my husband to diaper Chocolate Chip
  • No diaper rash – the breathable pouch and cotton pants means she is rash-free!
  • Pretty prints and cute solid colors 🙂
  • Available from numerous places: gDiaper website, Amazon, Target, Babies’R’Us and more
  • Easy to clean, especially if using the flushable inserts (pants and pouch can be washed with regular laundry!)
  • Absorbency is easy to adjust by changing out inserts
  • Variety of inserts to use in gDiapers
  • I feel confident that my money is supporting a worthwhile company

What I don’t like about gDiapers

  • High learning curve – patience and persistence is required (and rewarded)
  • Having to buy multiple sizes – doesn’t help me save money
  • Super awkward fit between sizes small and medium
  • Hard to get adequate overnight absorption for a heavy wetter
  • Resale value has dropped recently

Final Thoughts

We love gDiapers and will continue to use them. Now that my husband and I know how to get a good fit, putting Chocolate Chip in her gDiapers is really easy. We have already invested in a pretty decent stash and I want to make sure we get our money’s worth. For the next child(ren), I will probably use a combination of gDiapers and other cloth diapers during the newborn phase because of the awkward fit between sizes small and medium.

Trading gDiapers in for flats

As far as I can tell, I am a rarity in the cloth diapering world. My family exclusively uses gDiapers and we love them! I was first exposed to this disposable diaper alternative while in college and when I got pregnant, I knew this was the system that I wanted to use for my baby. I researched gDiapers, learned all about the pros and cons of the system, read blogs and chat forums detailing others’ experiences, and lastly, I taught my willing husband all about them. We’ve had great success and my little addiction to cute fluffy bottoms was born.

However, aside from gDiaper-specific groups, it is very hard to find other cloth-diapering mamas who like the gDiaper product. I needed people with whom I could talk about my daughter’s cute cotton-covered butt! Therefore, I joined numerous cloth diapering groups on Facebook: general groups, brand specific groups, buy/sell/trade pages, laundry groups, etc. And my eyes were opened to a whole new world.

There was a new language to learn and so many acronyms. There were moms talking about all sorts of materials and how much they loved bamboo or CBIs or wool. There were pretty prints and cute solids. There was science to learn as I formulated my wash routine. There was conflicting advice and more research that needed to be done so I didn’t ruin my growing stash! It was all so exciting!

And then I stumbled on a hashtag: #flatschallenge.

“What’s this?” I asked, intrigued. The insatiable learner came racing to the forefront of myself. The history buff in me was fascinated. My childhood memories of reading “Little House on the Prairie” and visiting historical reenactments surfaced. My inner nerd geeked out majorly. Could *I* do this too?

There was no information yet about the 2017 Flats and Handwashing Challenge, but I hoped it would continue for another year. With my husband’s permission and blessing, I bought flats and covers (and a few prefolds too). And yesterday, the news came out: Cloth Diaper Revival will be hosting the 2017 Challenge! My flats are still on their way along with a few covers, but I cannot wait to begin practicing my Jo fold and my modified kite fold.

We will continue to use our beloved gDiapers, but now I will integrate flats and prefolds into our stash. I am hoping the flats challenge will give us a successful transition to overnight cloth diapering as well (we currently use horrid disposable diapers which I cannot wait to get rid of).

The countdown is on and the big switch to flats and covers begins (for a week at least) on May 15!