Does Cloth Diapering (well, gDiapering) Save Money?

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This is one of the questions I see frequently asked in gDiapers conversations.  Do you save money using gDiapers?  My baby (sigh, she’s not really all that little anymore) is fully potty trained.  We took her out of daytime diapers back in October when she was 19 Months old and haven’t been putting a nighttime diaper on her for the last 6-8 weeks (she’s now 26 months old).  So we’re officially done.  I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile now but my cost analysis couldn’t be completed until I sold off the very last of my diapers, and I shipped them off today (one of the many benefits of cloth diapering – you can actually make some money back!).  So here we are.  A quick background:

I have two kids; I started using gDiapers with my older daughter at around 3-4 months old and came home from the hospital in gDiapers with my second daughter.  For DD1, I used disposables, gDiapers disposable inserts and cloth inserts.  With my second, we used gDiapers disposable inserts and cloth inserts (no disposables).  I was able to use many of the gDiapers and diaper supplies from my first daughter for my second daughter.  And because they’re cloth diapers, I was able to sell most of the reusable pieces and recoup some of my costs.  Side note: I bought and sold over 120 diapers.  It was fun to collect these but seriously, it’s really not necessary.  So let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  Here’s what it cost me:

DD1:
gDiapers disposable inserts:   $267.12 ($.25 per insert)
gPants: -$122.88
Cloth Inserts: $39.97
Other Cloth related expenses: $130.96 (diaper sprayer, wet bag, diaper pail)
Wipes: $65.27 ($.02/wipe)
Cost of diapering DD1: $376.37
Note: We did use disposable diapers as well and spent $183.41 ($.26 per diaper)

DD2:
gDiapers disposable inserts:   $192.71 ($.22 per insert)
gPants: -$26.53
Cloth Inserts: $44.34
Other Cloth related expenses: $-25.51 (pouches)
Disposable Diapers: $0
Flips Diapers: $33.76
Wipes: $55.37 ($.03/wipe)
Cost of diapering DD2: $388.83

Estimated energy/water costs: $375

TOTAL COST OF DIAPERING: $1140.20

Alrighty, for you skeptics, there are a few things missing from this estimation. I didn’t include the cost of laundry detergent because I used the same detergent for my diapers as I did the rest of my laundry.  I DID include the cost of the special laundering products that I bought solely for the use of my diapers.  This includes hard water softener, Biokleen bac-out, RLR, and Ammonia Assassin.  I also included the cost of shipping/supplies/ebay/paypal fees to sell the items.  It doesn’t include the cost of my time spent doing laundry or (gulp) online in the gDiapers groups or shopping for gDiapers.  Let’s just say that was an expensive but fun use of my time.

I had trouble figuring out how much it would cost per load of laundry.  Online estimates were anywhere from $.55 to $.85 cents.  I erred on the side of conservative and estimated $375 total (3 loads of laundry per week  x 4 weeks per month x 37 months of diapering).

Sooooo because my mind works this way, I wanted to compare this to what it would have cost us if we used disposable diapers.  I applied a cost of $.26 per diaper because this was the actual amount we spent for diapers for my older daughter.  Then I multiplied an average of 7 changes per day and 30 days per month times 37 months of gDiapering.  Holy smokes.  That’s a lot of diapers.  We’ll assume the cost of wipes would be double since I used cloth wipes along with the disposable wipes we bought.  So if we had used disposables for both, we would have spent $2261.48.  This doesn’t take into account diaper pails or refills that would be required for disposable diapers, so the cost would be slightly higher (around another $100).

We saved $1121.28!  That’s exciting, right?  But there were a whole bunch of other benefits.  Like saving over 7500 disposables from sitting in landfills.  Like not putting chemicals next to my daughters’ most delicate parts.  Like using the product as a gateway to greener habits.  Like finding a community of really great parents.  Like seeing my kids on marketing materials for a company I believe in.  And hell, like seeing my daughters in some ridiculously CUTE diapers.

Your mileage may vary.  My kids potty trained on the early side (about a year earlier than the US average).  So if you’re in diapers for longer, you’ll save even more.  And I was lucky with the gPants.  I was lucky enough to be able to afford as many as I wanted and I bought pretty much at least one of everything I liked when they came out so I didn’t buy at crazy high prices like other moms.   sent out stuff to other gMums for free and gave some pretty awesome deals but ya, there were others that I got at a discount and sold at a premium.  You can’t make any money back on a disposable.

If you take a look at the expenses above, you’ll also notice that a good chunk of the expense is related to disposable items like the disposable inserts and wipes.  I used a lot of those while traveling and I’d say we travel more than most.  So I know we would have saved a few extra hundred dollars there.  And I experimented with inserts – bought the expensive gDiapers brand cloth inserts but in the end found that cheapie, $1 per insert flour sack towels worked best for us.  There are definitely ways to save even more money.

So my conclusion is YES, gDiapering DOES SAVE MONEY.  What do you think?  Did you have a similar experience?  How’s my analysis?  Did I leave anything out?

It’s a Good Natured gDiaper Giveaway!

Be Kind Week continues here on mycrunchylife.  Talking about kindness has really made me aware of how easy it is to be nice and how much more I can do.  From a selfish perspective, being kind to others just makes me feel good.  It’s a little ego boost that serves everyone.

One way to be kind that I haven’t talked about this week is being kind to the earth.  We try to be green in our home by driving an electric car, recycling whenever possible, using earth friendly products, reusing all kinds of stuff, and reducing the amount of trash we produce.  I was REALLY happy when I looked in the trash can on the curb this week and saw such little trash in there.  One of the most tangible ways we reduce our trash is by not using typical disposable diapers.  We use gDiapers instead.  gDiapers are hybrid diapers that allow you to choose what type of insert fits your lifestyle best.  We primarily use cloth inserts and wash them at home.  When we are traveling, I use gDiapers’ disposable inserts.  They’re wonderful – super absorbent, biodegradable (!!!), and even flushable (!!!!!!!!).  Don’t try that with a typical disposable; it’ll sadly just need to sit in a landfill for hundreds of years.

Raise your hand if you’re interested in a giveaway!

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Sia is!  Hmmm…what should the giveaway be???

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gDiapers!  The kind folks at gDiapers are generously sponsoring a giveaway!  Hooray!

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The latest release from gDiapers is the Good Natured gPant.

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I love the colors on this one and for whatever reason, I like the way the g tag looks.  Even Sia’s booty agrees that being kind is the way to go.  Kind to each other, kind to our children, kind to strangers, and kind to our mother earth.  Love it!  I’ve decided that this gPant is the official uniform when we commit random acts of kindness!

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Do ya want your baby’s bottom to look this adorable?  Do ya wanna be kind to the Earth?  Do ya?  I know you do.

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It’s easy to win a free pair of Good Natured gPants in your baby’s size.  Just fill out the entry  below with something kind that someone has done for you OR something kind you’ve done for someone else.  And for a bonus entry, like gDiapers’ facebook page.  We’ll randomly pick one winner; entries are open now and will close on Thursday, March 27th at 11:59 PST.  The winner will be announced on Friday, March 28th.  Thank you gDiapers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In case you don’t win, you can get yours here.  Good luck!

gDiapers – The Cloth Insert Edition

One of the things I love about the cloth/hybrid diapers I use is that they’re versatile and I can use a number of different inserts to fit my needs.  Now that I’ve used them for almost three years and two babies, I’ve tried a few different cloth inserts and I thought I’d share what has worked well for us (and what hasn’t).

gDiapers Cloth Inserts

These come directly from gDiapers.  They retail for $32.99 for 6 inserts or about $5.50 ClothInsertseach.  They’re made of 2 layers of baby-soft microfleece and 2 layers of hemp/cotton.
Pros:

  • Trim.  Oh so trim.
  • Top layer is really good at wicking moisture away
  • Soft against baby’s skin

Cons:

  • Don’t hold up well for heavy wetters or nighttime use, so you end up having to double up.  Even that doesn’t work for some.
  • Pricy
  • I had a really tough time with ammonia smells and burns with my older daughter.  Part of the problem was that I was still figuring out my wash routine.

I really liked these for when baby was in smalls.  I did not use these in mediums for my second daughter because I felt some of the other inserts were better.

Flour Sack Towels

FlourSackTowelI bought a four pack of these towels from Target for $4 or $1 each.  They’re 100% cotton.  Basically you fold the towel in half in one direction, again in half in the other direction, and then in thirds.  This ends up giving you 12 layers of protection

 

 

Pros:

  • Very absorbent
  • Inexpensive
  • Dry quickly
  • 100% cotton means easy maintenance.  It’s more forgiving of an imperfect wash routine

Cons:

  • You have to fold them
  • Since it’s plain ol’ cotton, the top layer does not stay dry
  • Bulkier than gCloth

I’ve used these with both daughters and while they felt bulky at first, now I think they’re fine.  I actually picked up a four pack of these to use in my second daughter’s small gDiapers also.  I just cut them in half and then folded it in thirds.  These are currently my favorite insert.

Homemade Microfiber Inserts

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My mom and I made these a few years back (here’s a link to the tutorial) and I really liked them for a long time.  They ended up costing us about $1 each since we upcycled some fleece receiving blankets we had lying around.  They are made from microfiber towels covered in fleece (cotton).

Pros:

  • Absorbent
  • Inexpensive
  • Trim

Cons:

  • Top layer is wet against baby’s skin
  • You have to make them
  • Take a long time to dry since they have five layers sewn together
  • They might look a little funny if someone else changes your baby’s diaper

I used these the most out of all my inserts.  They’re pretty ragged now but they were my go-to insert of choice for my older daughter.  I didn’t need to double up and I didn’t need to fold these.  Some of them will be retired soon now that they’re starting to fall apart after over two years of use/washing/stripping/drying.  These are near and dear to my heart 🙂

CoCaLo Perfect Bum Trifold Inserts with booster

CocaloI just bought these and don’t have a ton of experience with them but so far they’ve been okay.  They’re made of polyester and cotton and oddly enough I found them at the dollar store so they were only $.17 each.

Pros

  • Inexpensive.  Hell.  They were super duper cheap.
  • Trifold design allows for fast drying
  • Top layer does a GREAT job pulling  liquid away from baby’s bottom.  It usually feels dry on top but wet below
  • Absorbent

Cons

  • The polyester has me worried about stink issues.  Time will tell.  It seems like the diaper pail has been stinkier since I started using these.
  • Seems to be a little more finicky with the wash routine; baby had a bit of diaper rash after using these.

I had high hopes for these but the rash and stinkies have me worried.  I still reach for the homemade inserts and the flour sack towels before these.  I have been using some of their doublers successfully, though.

All babies are different so you have to figure out what works best for you.  If your baby has sensitive skin, I would stick to the flour sack towels.  If your baby is a heavy wetter, the homemade or CoCaLo inserts would be a better fit than the gDiapers inserts.  If your bub gets uncomfortable with wetness, use the gDiapers inserts or CoCaLo inserts on top.  If you’re strapped for cash, go with the flour sack towels.  Like most things in the cloth diaper world, there is a lot of trial and error involved.

 

An Interview with gDiapers’ Social Media Master

As I’ve mentioned before, I really like gDiapers.  And a big reason why is because they do a great job of reaching out online and creating a community.  In my former professional life, I was responsible for Online Marketing and you always strive to engage your audience – This is social media at its best.  I’ve been super impressed and over the last couple years, I’ve been privileged to get to know the mastermind behind gDiapers’ online presence.  Her name is Kelli Martinelli and she has been gDiapers’ Communication Manager (and from all accounts, she’s awesome).  She’s moving on to new ventures but before she left, I wanted to ask her a few questions about her life as the online personality of a wonderful company.  Forgive the poor formatting.  Wordpress hates me.

1.  What part of being gDiapers’ online personality will you miss the most?

I have a feeling that what I anticipate and what the reality will be will differ. But what I am anticipating is missing simply the engagement. The “gDiapers’ online personality” is really just a more PG version of myself. I truly love engaging with the g community. Of finding new bloggers or partner companies to work with and new stories to share. Of asking questions and gauging responses. Of coming up with new ways to play together. It’s been a steady drumbeat to my day, my evening, my weekends,  and it’s been my long-term strategy and my on-the-fly and off-the-cuff itch that I get to scratch. We’re all here cause we want to be, really, and I have been so honored to guide that conversation. And you know, Zuckerberg nailed it with that thumbs up thing. When I post something like “Your baby is your happy place.” and it gets liked and shared hundreds of times over, my inner thumbs up smiles a bit bigger. No lie.

2.  What would you say were the hardest parts of your job?

Watching the competition slide right in and acquire fans through cheap tricks is maddening. The gDiapers community has been built organically, through friends and customers who really want to be hanging out with us on that page, not just to score some “free trial” offer or to rub theoretical elbows with a shiny celeb. Ugh. Ruiners. Also, it’s been hard to wear so many hats. My head isn’t really very big, and my ears sit a tad high which makes some hats kinda awkward. When you wear a lot of hats not everyone truly knows what it is that you do, exactly (even your own colleagues). Integrated social media strategy and execution, email marketing, creative project planning, customer service management, blogging, copywriting, they all take time and are inter-woven. But in most companies, they’re separate positions, not one job. It has been a balancing act, and I have longed to be able to trim away some of the hats so that I could give more focus to one or two and be able to do them to their greater potential. But when you’re in a little company there simply isn’t the resources to hire a new body for every detail, so you end up doing them all, which can be taxing and can allow some details to take a backseat to others.

3.  Be honest.  Does it ever get old – liking pictures of babies?

No. In fact as I get older, and my own babies begin asking questions like “Are the Greek gods more real than the Roman ones?” I’m becoming more of a moth to a flame when it comes to babies. I WILL HOLD ALL THE BABIES!

4. How often do you “sympathy like” people’s babies? Let’s be honest – not all pictures are awesome.  HAVE YOU DONE THIS WITH PICTURES OF MY BABIES???  🙂

It  makes me pretty sad that 99% of all the babies I like across the interwebs I’ll never get to meet in person. The babies that I’ve blogged about, the profile pic lovelies, the babies that turn into toddlers and then hug their younger sibling babies in photos, GAH. Kills me. Just when I’m getting ready to wrap up a little something special in a size small for Sia, BAM, she’s gone and grown. I need a time delay remote and a really fast private jet.

I do not give sympathy likes on facebook, just like I don’t give chest bumps at hockey games . But there have been times where I have liked photos so that fans know that I (gDiapers) has seen them (for a contest, perhaps). And there may be an errant chest bump in my past somewhere ….
5.  What are you most of proud of when you look back at your accomplishments from your 7+ years at gDiapers?
It’s hard to think of “proud” so selfishly. gDiapers is a team. A tiny team of 18, though so many think g is a huge corporation (which is a huge challenge in and of itself!). And tiny teams don’t put the pride all on one player. Our marketing team kicks ass, and without Dodge and his kitten calendar, and Doe and the gMums, and Michelle and her partner relationships, and Heather and her slick new postage machine (along with so many others!), “my” accomplishments would be no more than hot air in a porous balloon.
6.  Did you have any surprising complete flops while in this role?  What did you learn from it?
I did early on. It was when social media was just starting to get underway and the bulk of my day to day revolved around customer service. There was a customer with an issue. And I responded with a solution, which the customer appreciated. But then I second guessed my solution and ran it by someone on the g management team, and I was then pressed to give an alternate solution to the customer, which did NOT go over well. And it shouldn’t have. It wasn’t the right solution for this customer.  My gut was right the first time. But not listening to it meant the issue turned into a problem. And if you’ve ever been in customer service, you’ll know that these problems can sit with you. You wear them in your heart and they sit like a grease-trap in your stomach. I went home that day and bawled. It wasn’t the only time that a customer service issue or a social media interaction messed with my emotions pretty strongly, but it was the day that it occurred to me that my instinct was pretty damn spot on. I knew what the customer needed, and that was more important than what the protocol dictated. I had empathy, and empathy is to be trusted.
7.  What skillset/path led you to be the social media master that you are today?  Did you always have an interest in this space or did you stumble across it?
Early on in my life I squatted down, wrapped my purple coat around my knees, buttoned it up, then waddled around the playground pretending to be a purple oompa loompa. I wrote poetry about litter in the 2nd grade. I was a cheerleader, twice. I was spirit commissioner for my high school, bringing spotlights to the Arcata Invitational Basketball Tournament for the first time EVAH. I was a camp counselor on multiple occasions and one time, at an outdoor school gig, I got a bad review from the “head counselor” but got a standing ovation from my campers. I’ve always had a knack for being myself when others were trying to be a “kins” (this was a thing, “Jennykins” “Donnakins” “Tarakins”, it was like Heathers for Humboldt County middle schoolers). My colleague and dear friend, Karen, made me cry into my egg nog the other day at my “farewell roast”, when she spoke to how I’ve demonstrated how to really be yourself at gDiapers. She said it eloquently, and I’m messing up her words. But before then, I had never thought about how being myself was much of a career strategy or skillset, but now I see it.
I sought out a job with gDiapers because I loved the company and the product. They gave me the customer service department (which at the time was just me). And I grew into new roles, ultimately driving the online communications strategy for this itty bitty company with a groovy diaper. Social media master I’m not, but I am master at being myself, which (most of the time) tends to play well with others. And that play is happening on the social media playground. Ergo, there I yam. It’s where storytelling, personal connectivity and revolutionary change is given permission to occupy the dance floor and go nuts.
8.  Any advice for your successor(s)?

Anticipate the most negative or contrary reaction you can think of before you post something publicly.

Be a magic wand, not a cookie cutter.
And don’t lose yourself. You are not a brand.

So humble, so real, so smart, so grammatically correct.  Awesome, amirite?  I feel connected to her because I wore a pillow case with a face drawn on it over my body and made a hat with cutouts for my eyes in the second grade.  I was a munchkin in our school’s production of The Wizard of Oz.  I’m not going to lie.  The performance wasn’t the only time I wore that getup.

I kept her questions mostly contained to her job at gDiapers but she’s doing some amazing things.  She is producing the Portland Listen To Your Mother show this coming Mother’s Day.  Listen To Your Mother is a national series of live readings performed on local stages, by local writers and in support of local communities. This will be the first year that LTYM has a presence in Portland.  Here’s the link to the LTYM website: http://listentoyourmothershow.com/portland/.  It really makes me wish I lived in Portland.  If you do live in the area, go see the show! It promises to be a great time!

Thank you Kelli for keeping all us gDiaper fanatics entertained and engaged.  You are going to do big BIG things.

Fall 2013 gStyles are out!

It’s that time of year again!  gDiapers just released their fall gStyles and this year’s release falls right into step with their history of super cute diaper and coordinated clothing sets.  The two sets are the gVeggie and the gLotus.  Is it weird that I love that the shirt on the gVeggie says “Love me some veggies?”

gLotus gLotus-dress-and-gPants

I was so very excited when the fine folks at gDiapers sent me a gLotus set for Sia to evaluate and review.  When it arrived, I couldn’t wait to put it on her.  I really like the colors on this set.  The pants are a rich plum color and I think the combination of the grey and magenta in the dress really go well together and look great for the fall season.  I even like the way the green g tag looks on the back of the dress. Let’s be honest.  If you have a girl, you most likely have too many pink clothes.  These colors are a welcome break from carnation pink.  The set’s colors are bold but the dress is delicate and beautiful, just like a lotus.  Looks like Sia’s excited to wear the new gStyle!

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The fabric itself is super soft; the dress and gPants are both 92% cotton and 8% spandex so they’re breathable but give a little, which is especially nice, given how active my kiddo is.  The sleeves are gently ribbed and I love that it says “Live simply” because babies do!  gStyles before this have been well constructed with quality materials and the gLotus is no exception.  My other sets have held up remarkably well through both my daughters; my older daughter still picks to wear her gTweet dress even though she’s been out of diapers for almost a year now.

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Sia is 7 months and is wearing a size 6M-12M dress and medium gPants in these photos.  She’s on the smaller end of the spectrum and right now I’d say the dress is a little on the large side so I’m happy that this will definitely last through the winter this year (unlike many of her other clothes, unfortunately).

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The stamped lotus on the gPants contrast in shape with the simple lotus on the dress but are all tied together nicely with the shades of pink and magenta.  The product pictures I’ve seen online don’t do it justice; the lotuses on the pants are brighter and the color is bolder and deeper than the pictures can portray.  How sweet is Super S in this diaper and dress?!?!?

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I especially like that the gLotus is out in the fall because Diwali is coming up.  Diwali is the Hindu New Year and it’s the most important holiday of the year.  The goddess Parvati, who is the wife of Shiva and the mother of Ganesha, is always depicted with a lotus.  She embodies the balance of womanly strength and gentleness and is associated with motherhood.  That and I just love lotus flowers!

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All in all, I’m a fan of this outfit (and am anxiously awaiting an event to attend where I can show it off).  The dress is $34.99 and the matching gPants are $21.99, available at gdiapers.com.  AND they have matching gLegs ohm to keep your little lady warm in the colder months.  Oh so cute.

Get yourself a gLotus set.  SERIOUSLY.

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*Disclosure: gDiapers sent me a gLotus set, but this review was not sponsored in any other way, and all text, photos, babies displayed, messes in the background, and opinions are my own.

gDiapers gPants Collectors Guide – A list of all gPants

I’ve been wanting to put together a collector’s guide that included a full list of all gPants that gDiapers has put out for a while now but hadn’t gotten around to it. The following isn’t complete but I think it’s a good start.  I did my best to get high quality, official pictures but had a hard time finding a few.  If you have any info or pictures that would help fill in some blanks, let me know in the comments section.  Or if you don’t have any info, just tell me your top 3 favorite gDiapers of all time.  Cuz I’m nosy and want to know. I’ll do my best to keep this up-to-date.  And don’t ask me why the spacing is weird on some of this…I can only conclude it’s because wordpress hates tables.  Please, wordpress.  Don’t hate the table.  Hate the game html.  Or something like that.  I’m tired.  And I hate the game, the table and the html.  And possibly wordpress.  No, that’s not true.  Thanks!

Updated as of 5/31/2014

Name Image Original Release Date Sizes
Earth Day 2008  earthday2008 2008  M,L
Fair Dinkum  fairdinkum  Spring 2012  S, M, L
Gaga  gaga  S, M, L
Galactic Blue  galactic  2012  S, M, L
Gallant Stripe  gallant2  Fall 2012  S, M, L
Galley Blue  galley Spring 2011  S, M, L
Gamma Stripe  gamma-stripe-1 Summer 2014 S, M, L
Game Day  gameday2  Fall 2011 S, M, L
Garden Lavender  gardenlavender M, L
Garden Party  gardenparty  Fall 2011 S, M, L
Gauze White  gauze-white-1 Spring 2014 S, M, L
gB  gb  Summer 2012 (UK only)
gBloom (that’s my baby, Miss K in the picture!)  gBloom Spring 2012 S, M, L
gCamper  gcamper2  Spring 2011 S, M, L
gCycle  gcycle  2010  M, L
gDarling  gdarling2  2010  M, L
Genius Blue  gpant_genius_blue_on_baby_thumb  Fall 2012  S, M, L, XL
Gentle Taupe  gentletaupe  Fall 2012 S, M, L
Genuine Vanilla Bean – Green g  genuinevanillag  Fall 2012  S, M, L
Genuine Vanilla Bean – Orange g  genuinevanilla S, M, L
gFleur  gfleur1  Spring 2013 S, M, L
gFlutter  gfluttter  Spring 2011 S, M, L
Giddy Up  giddyup  Spring 2011 S, M, L
Gift of Love  giftoflove  Winter 2012  S, M, L
Giggle Pink giggle
Gingham Girl  gingham-girl-1  Spring 2014 S, M, L
Girls Rock  girlsrock  Fall 2013  S, M
Girly girl Ruffle  girlygirlruffle  S, M, L
Girly Girl without Ruffle  Image not found  S
Girly Swirl  girlyswirl
Girly Twirly  girlytwirly_large_circle  Spring 2012 S, M, L
gJingle  gjingle  Fall 2013  S, M, L
gJoy  gjoy2  Winter 2012 S, M, L
Glacier Blue  glacier2  2010  S, M, L
Glam Black  glam2  S, M, L
Global Blue  globalblue
Global Love  globallove2 2013  S, M, L
Globetrotter Blue  globetrotter  Fall 2011  S, M, L
Glory g  Glory  2009  S, M, L
gLotus  glotus-pant-1 Fall 2013  S, M, L
Go Aloha  goaloha Spring 2013 S, M, L
Go Big  go-big-2 Summer 2014 S, M, L, XL
Go Fish  gpant_go_fish_on_baby_thumb S, M, L
Go Hawaiian  gohawaiian S, M, L
Goddess Pink  girlygirlnoruffle  S, M, L, XL
Going to Grandma’s  goingtograndmas  Spring 2013  S, M, L
Golden Orange  golden  S, M, L
Golly Molly Pink  golly_molly_pink_gpant_on_baby_thumb  S, M, L
Goo Goo  googoo S, M, L
Good Earth  goodearth
Good Fortune Red  gpant_goodfortune_red_on_baby_thumb  Fall 2011  S, M, L, XL
Good Lovin’  goodlovin2 Spring 2012  S, M, L
Good Morning Sunshine  good_morning_sunshine_on_baby_thumb  Spring 2011 S, M, L
Good Natured  good-natured-1  Spring 2014 S, M, L
Good Vibes Boy  goodvibesboy  S, M, L
Good Vibes Girl  goodvibesgirl S, M, L
Goodnight Blue  goodnight  S, M, L
Goodwill Green  goodwill  S, M, L
Gooseberry Purple  gooseberry  Fall 2011  S, M, L
Goosey Grey  goosey  Spring 2012  S, M, L
Got Chocolate  gotchocolate S, M, L
Grab A Wave  grabwave_large_circle  Spring 2012  S, M, L
Graceful Rose  gracefulrose  Fall 2012  S, M, L
Grad Plaid  grad-plaid  Fall 2013  S, M, L
Grandstand  grandstand  Summer 2013  S, M, L
Grass Green  grass  S, M, L
Grasshopper Green  grasshopper  S, M, L
Grassroots Green  grassroots S, M, L
Grateful Red  grateful  S, M, L
Great Orange  gpant_great_orange_on_baby_thumb S, M, L
Great White Shark  great-white-shark-1 Spring 2014 S, M, L
grecian fig  grecian-4 Fall 2013  S,M,L
gRegal  gregal  Summer 2013  S, M, L
greyhound grey  greyhound-2 Fall 2013  S,M,L
Groovy Grape  groovy  Spring 2012  S, M, L
Groundhog Brown  groundhog-brown-1  Spring 2014 S, M, L
Grubby Knees Gray  grubbyknees  S, M, L
gStreet  gstreet2 Fall 2011  S, M, L
gSweet  gsweet  Fall 2012  S, M, L
gTweet  gtweet  Fall 2011 S, M, L
Gulfstream Green  gulfstream-green-1 Spring 2014 S, M, L
Gumdrop  Image not yet found S, M, L
gUniversity  gUniversity  Fall 2012 S, M, L
Guppy Green  gpant_guppy_green_on_baby_thumb  S, M, L, XL
Gurple  gurple Fall 2012 S, M, L
gVeggie  gveggie-pant-1 Fall 2013  S,M,L
gWhat  gwhat2  Spring 2013  S, M, L
Love Me  loveme  Winter 2014  S, M, L
gWords  tinyg_thumb  Newborn, S

And because I’m crazy obsessed with numbers awesome, here’s a link to a spreadsheet that you can use to track how many g’s you have and which ones you need: gDiapersList

gDiapers Wash Routine v2.0

A while back, I wrote a post about how I stored and cared for my gDiapers and it looks like it was helpful to a few people so now that we have a new baby, a different home and a different washing machine, I thought I’d do an update post on how we care for our g’s now.  I don’t think one is better than the other; just different now that I’m in a different place.  That’s the weird part about cloth diapering.  There’s no one size fits all solution.  Every situation is a little different and you have to tweak until you get it right for you and your family.  I’m going to use some pictures from the last time I did this because some of it’s the same and the pictures still apply.  Here goes!

I store my gDiapers folded with the velcro attached, lined up in one of these bins from Ikea.  In a second bin, I keep a bunch of pouches.  I put both bins in a drawer underneath the changing pad where I change my daughter in her room.

DresserInsideI stack my gCloth and other cloth inserts in another drawer along with some disposable inserts for nighttime use.  I also have disposable wipes, and a spray bottle on top of the dresser and cloth wipes in a drawer underneath.  All together, it looks like this:

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When it’s time to change my little one, I grab a new pant, snap in a pouch, and lay in a cloth insert while she either smiles at me or screams at me to hurry the heck up.  Since they’re in the drawer below where she is, I can safely assemble the diaper because my body blocks her from rolling off the dresser and changing pad.  I’d definitely recommend keeping the diapers within arms reach of where you change.

Once the diaper is assembled, I grab a cloth wipe (also in a drawer below her changing pad) and spray it with water to wet it.  I’m trying to cut back on how much we send to the landfill so I’ve been trying to avoid using disposable wipes at home.  So I just bought about 15 of these simple washcloths (cost between $.16-$.25 each) and a spray bottle ($.99).  With my older daughter, I used to make a solution of 1 TBSP baby wash, 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 cup water and store that in the spray bottle.  But for Super S, I’ve just been using water and it’s worked just fine.

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After wiping baby, I replace her diaper and clean up.  If the diaper is just wet, I drop the cloth insert into my diaper pail.  I use a cheap-o plastic swing top garbage can with a Planet Wise pail liner inside.  I have two pail liners that I alternate between so there’s always one available while the other’s in the wash.  The diaper pail is next to the dresser so I can reach it while she’s on the changing pad.  I “vandalized” it with my gMum stickers. My favorite one says “No Landfill Required,” which I like because it’s a garbage can but I don’t use it for garbage – see how that works?  😉  I also have a step top lid garbage next to that so I can trash disposable inserts or disposable wipes when I use those.

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If the diaper is a dirty diaper, I unsnap the pouch and after putting the baby down somewhere safe (like her crib), I take the pouch with the cloth insert and wipe inside to the bathroom sink and rinse them all out.  Because my baby is currently EBF, the mess can safely go down the drain.  When she gets older, I’ll use my diaper sprayer to drop the mess into the toilet bowl.  The insert and wipe then get dropped into the diaper pail and the gpants and pouch go into the dirty clothes basket in baby’s room.  I like to fasten the gpants as if they were on the baby and turn it inside out.

On wash day, I just take the pail liner out of the can and turn it inside out into the washer.  We now have an LG front loading high efficiency washer, which means it conserves water when compared to a traditional top loading washer.  While it’s a great washing machine, it’s not ideal for diapers, unfortunately.  A traditional top loading machine allows more water into the wash, which cleans the diapers better.  To further complicate things, we have hard water here in Southern California.  I battle the hard water with Calgon Water Softener.  Really important is to find a good cloth diaper safe detergent that works with your water type and machine.  This chart is really helpful.  So here’s what I do (and this is going to sound a bit complicated but once you start, it’s no big deal):

  • Prewash: Cold with a squirt of Bac-Out
  • Wash: Hot with Ecos Free and Clear and Calgon water softener, along with the “Water Plus” setting.  I use half the amount recommended on the Ecos and Calgon bottles. The Water Plus feature allows more water in the wash,.
  • Extra Rinse and Spin on cold.

And here’s a totally not helpful picture of what my washing machine looks like when I press all the buttons to accomplish this.  I just noticed you can see me holding my little one in the reflection on the rim of the washer.  Ha!

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To help ensure that all the detergent is out, when the wash is done, I do an extra rinse and spin cycle.  Now this might be overkill but I do want to make sure that the diapers are clean and we’ve been using the cloth inserts for over three months now with no signs of build up or needing to strip.  So it’s working for us.  The drawback?  This super routine takes about an hour and a half in the washer.  That doesn’t seem terribly earth friendly but I won’t compromise on sanitizing when it comes to baby.

The load then goes into the dryer on high for 35 minutes.  No dryer or sheets or anything else to two-step with.  Just cloth inserts and wipes.  Dryer sheets will deposit junk onto your inserts so don’t use them.

The pouches and gpants get washed with the rest of baby’s laundry.  I throw all the gPants into a undergarment wash bag, zip it up and start the wash.  You can either just fasten the laundry tabs to prevent the velcro from sticking to everything else in your laundry (as seen on the right below) or fasten them as if they were on the baby (as seen on the left).  I also like to turn them inside out.

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I used to put all the pouches into a separate undergarment wash bag so that they would be easy to fish out but I’ve found that they aren’t getting as clean as they should when they’re in the bag in our new washer.  gPants and pouches are washed on either warm or cold (not hot – it will deteriorate the waterproof lining on the pouches over time).

When the wash is done, I sort out the pouches (inevitably one will get past me and end up in the dryer) and grab the bag of gPants.  I throw all the pouches on top of the washer to dry and hang up all the gPants using this octopus garment hanger from Ikea.

Octopus

Just like the hot water, the dryer will eat at the waterproof liner of the pouch over time so laying flat to dry is recommended. My older daughter sings an octopus song to it whenever she sees it – we both think it’s cute.

When the pants are dry, I fold ’em and put ’em back into the drawer.  It sounds complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes routine.  I usually do two to three washes of inserts a week and currently have (more than) enough pants and pouches to get me through about a week.  Hope this helps!  What’s your routine?

gDiapers While Out and About

One thing I love about gDiapers is how versatile they are.  I can still use them easily while away from home.  A reader asked if I could do a post on how I do that so here goes!

Out and About for a few hours
What to pack:

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I take my gDiapers with me everywhere.  With baby #2, I actually haven’t bought any disposable diapers at all and she’s almost four months (I’m kinda proud of that).  With my first daughter, I always kept a regular disposable or two in my diaper bag to be on the safe side.  I tend to overpack so take that into consideration!  Usually when I leave the house, I put two fully assembled gDiapers and an extra pouch into my diaper bag, along with disposable wipes (I prefer the gDiapers brand wipes as well), small wet bag, and a changing pad all in my diaper bag.  I also usually have two disposable inserts in my bag at all times, in case I’m in a rush and don’t pack everything I need.  If I’m going to be out for a long while,  I will take additional cloth as well.  I have this

wetbag drawstring wet bag.  I like it because it has a nice wide top so i don’t have to worry about getting my hands dirty and I can easily shake out the contents.

Sometimes I stuff the gDiapers with cloth inserts and sometimes I just stuff them with the disposable inserts.  Usually I just take into account how long we’re going to be out and how far we’re going.  For longer drives or occasions where I won’t have an easy way to change her, I prefer using the disposable inserts because they hold more than the cloth inserts do.  If I’m just heading out to the market, then cloth works great and is my preference.  The important part is that they’re assembled ahead of time so the diaper change is as easy and quick as possible.

The change (cloth insert):
Usually I just swap out the diaper.  If I’m using cloth, and it’s a wet diaper, I throw the cloth insert into the wet bag and drop it into my dry pail when I get home.  If it’s a dirty diaper, I unsnap the pouch with the insert inside, roll it up and throw it in the wet bag.  Some people swish the insert in the toilet but I’m not comfortable doing that in a public bathroom.  Right now I’m only dealing with EBF poo so it’s no big deal.  When she starts solids, I will shake out as much of the mess as I can into the toilet and then put it into the wet bag.  Or to make things even easier, you can use disposable/flushable liners on top of your cloth.

After swapping the diaper out, I then assemble the diaper for the next change, toss any wipes I used in the trash, and throw the wetbag into my diaper bag.  If there’s a leak, I toss the pants into the wet bag too.  I’ve never had stink issues.  I have, however, forgotten to bring my wet bag.  In those instances, I use a plastic bag if I have one or wrap the insert in a pouch and paper towels and hope it doesn’t get things around it wet.  One of my diaper bags has a plastic pouch built in so I use that.

The Change (Disposable Insert):
If I’m using a disposable insert and I’m using a changing table within a bathroom stall, I will rip up the insert and flush it.  If the changing table is outside the stall, then I just roll it up and toss it.  If it’s a dirty diaper, I take the pouch and put it in my wet bag.  If I’m at someone’s house, I usually put the insert into my wet bag and dispose of it when I come home.  You never know who has a septic tank and the refills aren’t recommended for septic tanks.  Since my baby is exclusively breastfed, I sometimes will rinse out the pouch before putting it in the wet bag.

The Aftermath (or the Afterparty if you please):
When I come home, I just dispose of the disposable inserts like I normally would, drop the pouches and wet bag into the dirty laundry and the cloth inserts into the dry pail.  That’s it!

Traveling with gDiapers
Usually when I travel, I use the disposable inserts.  It just makes life much easier.  The only exception is if I’m going for an overnight trip or if I’m staying with my in-laws who have a washing machine and usually have cloth diaper safe detergent at their house.  It’s like our second home so it’s fine.  In general, you don’t want to wash the diapers in public washing machines because they may have detergent build up, which may transfer to the inserts and then you have to strip them.  If you do plan on washing while traveling, I’d suggest taking Soap Nuts so you can take just what you need without worrying about spills or measuring like you would with liquid detergent.  When I go up to my in-laws’,  I take a regular pail liner/wet bag with me to store the inserts between washes and just keep it on the floor of the bathroom (we usually don’t share a bathroom with anyone else).  If I’m just going for an overnight trip, then I just take a wet bag and do what I would do while out and about for the day.

Usually while travelling, I pack 2.5 gPants per day and 1.5 pouches per pant.  The nice part about the pants and pouches is that you can wash those without any concerns about detergent build up.  In an all-in-one cloth diaper, you would have to be more careful.  I also take the usual number of diaper changes per day and add an extra two per day to calculate the number of inserts I’ll need.  If you’re going to be gone for a while, you might want to consider ordering disposable inserts online and having them delivered so you don’t have to take up so much space in your suitcase.  I’m never sure about how good the toilets are at hotels so I usually just throw them away instead of flushing and rinse the pouches so that they’re not too gross when I get home.

I try to balance convenience with greenliness (how do ya like THAT word???).  If you’re comfortable using only cloth inserts and cloth wipes, great!  If it’s too much hassle, you can use the disposable inserts and wipes – gDiapers are flexible!

gDiapers Newborn gPants Product Review

Since I have such a love affair with gDiapers, naturally I planned on using them for our second little one.  With Miss K., I started using them at around 3-4 months old so I never had the chance to use the newborn size of gDiapers and was excited to give them a go this time around.

Newborn gpants are for babies 6-10 lbs.  Super S was 7 lbs 3 oz so sizewise they were perfect.  These diapers have a built-in nylon liner and gDiapers recommends that you use their biodegradable/flushable/tossable disposable inserts inside the diapers and not cloth (although many gMums say they’ve had great success with the cloth inserts as well).  And they’re cute.tinygs_shop_large_square

In comparison to your typical disposable, they (like all cloth diapers) do require some extra work.  You have to stuff them with an insert, you have to store them until wash day, and you have to wash them.  Since we cloth diapered our first daughter, this wasn’t a big deal but I have to say – in the middle of the night, I’m not really thrilled to have to stuff a diaper.  So i got around this by prestuffing all the diapers and stacking them within easy reach of the changing table.  You do also need to keep track of how many clean diapers you have left before you need to start the next load of diaper laundry.  I washed frequently enough to where I never had a smelly situation but I suppose that would be another consideration.

I debated on whether or not I wanted to take the newborn pants to the hospital so our little one could be free of typical disposables but decided there would be too much going on and that it wasn’t worth it.  BUT I started using them as soon as we got home.  I wanted to try a combination of the disposable inserts and cloth inserts so I did.  For me, there are several goals for cloth diapering:

  • Less waste ending up in landfills/Environmental benefit
  • Less chemicals on my baby
  • Saving money
  • Keeping my bub dry and leak-free

So let’s break these apart and see how good of a fit the Newborn gPants were for us.

1.  Less waste ending up in landfills/Environmental Benefit: C
As I mentioned earlier, I used a combination of disposable inserts and cloth inserts.  Every time I used cloth instead of a disposable diaper, I was saving trash from going to the landfill.  Score!  Every time I used a gDiapers disposable insert, I should have been saving trash from the landfill but I wasn’t unfortunately.  The disposable inserts are biodegradable so you can compost them, but you probably don’t want to do that at home if you have poop on them.  As anyone with a newborn who’s breastfeeding knows, pretty much every diaper is a dirty diaper.  And moreover (my father-in-law is the only person I know who actually uses this word in conversation), I currently have no means to compost so the point is moot anyway.  The other option is to flush them down the toilet.  This also would have a better environmental impact than a disposable.  But we had plumbing issues with the inserts and weren’t able to flush them either.  BOO.  I was really disappointed about this because I successfully flushed their inserts for 18 months in our other home.  But I couldn’t at this new place with crummy plumbing so I had to toss them.  And I don’t have the full story on this but my surface-level understanding is that most landfills are so packed that trash can’t really biodegrade.  Sigh.  So even the inserts that would be better than the plastic/petroleum based typical diaper didn’t have the benefit I wanted.  BUT I still think there was some benefit to the environment because I did use the cloth inserts some of the time.  AND if I were able to flush or compost, then this would have been an A.

2.  Less chemicals on my baby: A
Yay.  The composition of the inserts are all natural and are “certified cradle-to-cradle, which means that everything that goes into them will go back to the earth in a neutral or positive way. They are made of cellulose rayon, fluffed wood pulp, and super absorber. That’s it. They’re elemental chlorine free, latex free, perfume free and dye free. The cellulose rayon and fluffed wood pulp comes from sustainably grown and harvested softwood. Super absorber is sodium polyacrylate (SAP) and is a green and non-toxic water absorbing polymer.  gDiapers Cloth inserts are made of 2 layers of polyester microfleece and 2 layers of hemp/cotton.”  If you were to look up the composition of a typical diaper, my guess is that you’d see a lot more chemicals.

3.  Saving Money – A
The good news – Newborn gPants have awesome resale value.  I had bought 24 newborn gPants and then realized I could probably get by with just 12.  Luckily I had gotten a killer deal on all 24 and was able to resell the 12 new gPants that I didn’t use as well as recoup my costs on the 12 that I did use.  I also had picked up the disposable inserts for a great price so I was stocked up on those at a price that was comparable or better than the typical disposables I would have otherwise bought.  gDiapers’ cloth inserts are pricy at $5 each retail.  But I’d be able to use those in my small gDiapers and will likely be able to recoup some costs if I can find a buyer for those as well.  We used these newborns for about three and a half weeks.  So yep, I’d say we saved money!

4.  Keeping my bub dry and leak free: B
When using the gDiapers disposable refills as recommended, we were by and large leak free.  And definitely no up-the-back poopsplosions.  The diapers did a great job of keeping it all contained.  When I used the cloth inserts, I wasn’t as successful.  I found that she quickly wet through them and sometimes the moisture made it all the way out to her clothes.  BUT again, that was almost by choice since I chose to go against the company’s recommendation.  After about a week, I resolved to only use the gcloth for quick changes – for example, she would often pee and/or poop while I fed her.  So I would change her before a feeding and again during or after.  This worked out fine for the most part.

So would I recommend these?  I really think it depends.  If you’re a first time parent, I think you have enough on your plate without having to do extra work to diaper your infant and figure out how it all works.  I’d recommend skipping the newborn size and starting with smalls instead.  OR if you typically have big babies or know (based on ultrasound estimates) that you’re going to have a large baby, then you could probably skip them as small gPants are for babies starting at around 8 pounds.  On the other hand, if you are having a small baby, then these are great, especially if you can meet your goals.  Looking back, I’m not sorry I used these but maybe the ease of a typical disposable would have been nice so it’s not a resounding “I’d definitely use them again!”  I will say it feels good to say that, for the first month of her life, we only sent 20 disposable diapers to the landfill (the 20 that the hospital provided).

OMG – I’m a guest blogger!

How crazy!  The fab folks at gDiapers just posted an article that I wrote about Miss K. and our breastfeeding journey together!  I’m so excited.  I love those guys and I’m honored that they would even consider my writing worthy.  Here’s the link-edy-do to the article:

http://www.gdiapers.com/diaper-therapy/breastfeeding-journey/

Yippee!!!  And definitely check out their other articles when you’re over there – they have some great stories about some fabulous moms.  Spend a little time there and you’ll understand why I’m hooked!  Thanks gDiapers!