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.
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).