In recent years, having a baby has become an entirely new experience from having a whole world of products available at our fingertips on the internet. There have been SO many inventions and innovations that making decisions about what you may or may not truly need and then which brands are best is absolutely overwhelming.
This was not the case with the diapers I selected.
Lydia modeling her Gooseberry Purple G.
Because I was going to be staying at home once the baby came, I knew I wanted to use some sort of cloth diaper. There are many reasons, #1 being that by the time your baby is out of diapers, around 2 years of age, you will spend around $1500 on disposable diapers. $1500?!?!? That’s a brand new, top of the line washer and dryer!!!! That fact alone got me looking into the cloth diaper thing a little more, to say the least. On one income, that’s more than we could afford (it averages to be about $65 a month.)
Then there’s diaper rash. The sources I’ve found on the internet say that there’s no difference between cloth and disposables as far as diaper rash goes, but I disagree. When we came home from the hospital, we had been given a stack of Pampers, and we figured why waste? We used them up, and Lydia got diaper rash. (Lydia also has very sensitive skin.) We put her in her G’s and it went away! She hasn’t gotten diaper rash since we discovered her dairy allergy and I eliminated it from my diet.
Disposable diapers fill up our landfills and don’t go away. It is said that a disposable diaper takes around 250-500 years to decompose. WOW.
Disposables also contain harmful chemicals (Dioxin & Tributyl-tin (TBT)), said in boys to inhibit sperm production. The substance in them that absorbs wetness and becomes a gel? Yeah, that was used at one time (the 80’s) in super-absorbency tampons until they found that it increased the risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) in women.
And here’s an interesting and eye-opening tidbit I pulled from the Real Diaper Association (http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php):
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 19 million children under four in 2000. We could probably assume that there are about 9.5 million children under two and therefore in diapers at any one time. Based on previous studies, we estimate that 5-10% of babies wear cloth diapers at least part time. We will average these figures to 7.5% of babies in cloth diapers and 92.5% in disposables. This means that about 8.8 million babies in the U.S. are using 27.4 billion disposable diapers every year13.
Based on these calculations, if we multiply the 8.8 million babies in disposable diapers by an average cost of $800 a year, we find that Americans spend about 7 billion dollars on disposable diapers every year. If every one of those families switched to home-laundered cloth prefold diapers, they would save more than $6 billion14, enough to feed about 2.5 million American children for an entire year15. Coincidentally, the 2002 U.S. Census reveals that 2.3 million children under 6 live in poverty16.
My friend, Jenn, the fabulous wellspring of knowledge and information and chiropractor extraordinaire, was the one who told me about gDiapers. She showed them to me, and they were SO cute! I told James about them, and he was on board when I relayed all the information I just have told you.
James with Lydia modeling her Good Fortune Red G.
Here’s how they work: they have 3 components. First is the 100% cotton cloth diaper. It comes in a wide array of colors and even some cute patterns, and has sturdy (though comfortable) velcro tabs to keep them on. Then there’s the snap-in liner, which holds the absorbent part and is itself breathable. Then you have 2 options for absorbency, the biodegradable refill or the cloth refill. We use a combination of both. For nights and outings, we use the biodegradables (which are flushable, or if you toss them in the trash they biodegrade in 50 days or so, or if you’re into it, you can compost the pee ones and the super absorber is AWESOME at keeping moisture at the roots of your plants!) For days when I am home (which is most of the time), I use the cloth inserts. The top layer is soft microfiber and the bottom layer is hemp, which becomes more absorbent each time you wash it.
They’re user-friendly. The cloth part and liners only really need to be washed when they get really wet or dirty. If Lydia has a blowout and she’s wearing a cloth insert, I just toss the whole thing in my diaper “pail” (a medium-sized Tupperware lined with a trash bag) and let the wash do the rest. If your baby is solely breastfed, there’s no need to rinse b/c the poo is water-soluble. The pee ones I just put the insert into the same pail. I requisitioned a pair of long metal tongs from the kitchen that we weren’t using and use those to load everything into the wash. I do laundry about every 3 days or so, and I just wash the diapers with the whites on hot.
Shopping: James’ granny gave us $100 to put toward our cloth diapers, and so we got online and went to market! The best deal I found was on diapers.com. They give you 20% off for your first 3 months, and so we did our initial order through them. For $137, we got 1 dozen tiny gDiapers (for brand new babies and fit up to 9 pounds, I think, but Lydia grew out of them more quickly than that. The tiny G’s also have a snap-down part in the front to keep the diaper out of the way while the umbilicus is healing.), 8 small G’s (for up to 14 pounds, Lydia is still in these, and they give you 4 colors and 2 whites, plus we added on 2 more, one pink, one purple), and 80 biodegradable refills. (If you think that a newborn goes through about 10 diapers a day, that’s enough for 8 days. Don’t worry, new mamas, their diaper consumption goes way down after the first couple weeks.) We also had added on 6 extra snap-in liners. Then my Aunt Sue sent us $50. For $47 (or something like that), we got 1 dozen cloth inserts. (BTW, don’t use cloth in the tiny G’s. They leak, but that’s why they send you the 80 biodegradables.)
Then we signed up on Amazon Moms via amazon.com and opted to have the biodegradable refills auto-shipped to us every month (which saves you about 30%), and now we pay roughly $36 a case (160 refills) which last us about 30 days.
There is nothing I don’t like about my G’s. They are a well-made product, based in Australia, and they sure do make for a cute little butt! The colors provide coordination for every outfit, and they’re very easy to use. They fit better than any disposable I’ve come across, and though you pay a little more up front, in the end the monthly cost is doable. I’d recommend them to any parent and any baby, and even if you don’t get to start them out in cloth it’ll still make a difference in their little lives.
Again, here’s the link to gDiapers: http://www.gdiapers.com/shop-diapers/
And here’s where I got my references from: http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php
Have fun, my lovely Mamas!!