gDiaper Mania is a Lot Like Tulip Mania

I’m the first to claim my love for gDiapers.  I love ’em.  I do.  BUT lately things have been a little crazy with these diapers.  Mostly, it’s the consumers again and in particular it’s the resale of these diapers.  It’s kind of crazy.  Let me give you probably the most extreme case.  In 2009 (I think), gDiapers released a gStyle called the gCycle.  It was cute:

It has bikes all over it.  Well, from what I’ve read, gDiapers had a hard time selling this print back then and actually put this one on sale to move some inventory.  Fast forward three short years later and gmoms are getting crazy trying to get this diaper set.  If their prices are like they are now, the price would have been somewhere around $35; $15 for the shirt and $20 for the diaper.  Here’s a list of completed auctions on ebay in May for the same set or its pieces:

  • $169.29 + $5.53 shipping for an Excellent Used Condition (EUC) shirt only
  • $175.37 + $5.53 shipping for an EUC Large gCycle diaper only (btw, it looks a little faded to me)
  • $121 + $5.53 shipping for an EUC  Medium gCycle diaper only
  • $133.51 for a 12-18 month gCycle t-shirt
  • $92 + $4.80 shipping for a faded, pilly Medium gCycle diaper only
  • $132.50 + $5 for a brand new medium gcycle diaper
  • $316.57 + $8 shipping for a used (slightly faded and pilly) gCycle set
  • $150 + $4.80 for a Good Used Condition gCycle diaper
  • $142 + $3 for an EUC Medium gCycle diaper
  • $164.49 + $3 shipping for a 6-12 month gCycle shirt

Insane-o.  There was a shirt that was bid up to $132.50 but didn’t meet the reserve.  What on earth was this seller expecting to get???  Let me tell you why I think this is crazy…first, we’re talking about diapers here.  Diapers that babies POOP IN.  And buying these used means SOMEONE ELSE’S BABY POOPED IN THEM.  Why on earth would you pay that much for a diaper that someone else pooped in?

The other thing that I don’t get is that in the 15 days in May, there were ten listings that closed successfully.  So if that’s the case, are these really *that* rare?  Granted, a few months ago, it wasn’t like this.  I think the super duper high prices are encouraging people to sell these where they wouldn’t have otherwise.  If these are becoming more available, Econ 101 says that prices should come down.  But I don’t think they will.  Why won’t this bubble burst just like all the others (including tulips)?  Warning:  I’m going to be inflammatory with these remarks – it’s a rarity for me but I just can’t help myself.  Why?  Because bird brained moms who sadly feel their self worth heightened by stupid things like t-shirts and diapers will pay for them.  This will only go away when/if there’s a better product.

Now I can’t be a hypocrite.  I, too, get unreasonably excited by these diapers.  And I DID pine for a few when I first got started.  However, I would never EVER pay that much for a DIAPER.  I understand that there is a perceived value here.  I’m just struggling to understand what that value is.  Is it completing a collection of all g’s?  Maybe I can understand that.  Is it the thrill of the hunt?  These type of moms MUST feel buyers remorse.  OR is it more that the value is knowing that you have something that others desire?  Honestly, I think that’s what it is.  I know I shouldn’t care because, seriously, everyone has the right to spend their money how they see fit.  If someone really loves this print and wants it at all costs, I really shouldn’t judge.  And yet…

I guess based on what I see on the gdiapers boards, I get the feeling that some of these moms who hoard diapers and pay crazy amounts really can’t afford to be doing so.  I had one mom (who I know has a ridiculously large collection) contact me about a diaper I was selling and she said “but I won’t be able to pay you until Friday after I get paid.”  Now if you have to wait to get paid to pay for this, my guess is that you shouldn’t be making the diaper your priority.  It slays me when they so confidently say that they’ll be able to sell their $150 diapers for a profit.  It’s crazy that they *expect* to make money on gdiapers.  Let’s stop and think about that for a moment.  Have you EVER bought a piece of clothing with the hope that you’ll make money on it?  Have you ever even bought a piece of clothing with the thought that you might be able to recoup some of your costs?  Cloth diapers are weird that way.  Again, I shouldn’t judge but here I am.

So that’s the emotional WTF side of the argument.  On the other side, why not?  If there is so much demand for these diapers that people are willing to pay this much, then let consumerism and capitalism do their things.  What I find funny is that gMums accuse the company of withholding inventory on purpose.  That’s so ludicrous.  If they are confident that they can sell inventory, you bet they’re going to manufacture plenty to meet that demand.  I’m confident that it’s not them creating a mania.  It’s bird brains like me who can’t stop singing their praise.  And hell, they make a cute product.  Sigh.

Speaking of which, look at the new novelty prints they put out this week:

I actually didn’t care for the wave and thought the ruffle was a little busy when I saw them back in December but I’m picking up the ruffle for sure because I love seeing little ruffles on Miss K’s little bum.

gDiapers and The Peak

Since I’ve been home with my daughter (It’s been 14 months already!!!!!), I’ve found all kinds of stimulation – joy, learning with Miss K, seeing her develop, searching for the BEST everything for my babe, learning about natural alternatives, exploring with food and cooking…but I have to say that I haven’t been challenged much by the kind of stuff that I loved about my last job.  As one of the executive team members at a high growth company, we spent a lot of time in off-sites, reading philosophies and discussing how to apply them to our business to succeed.  Five years ago, I would have called it a bunch of mumbo-jumbo and asked why our executives were wasting 10-20 hours a quarter rather than dealing with all the daily pulls.  After seeing how well it worked for us as an integral part of our leadership, I would do the same if I had my own company.

Anyways, one of the things I find myself intrigued by (now that I don’t have a huge load of work responsibilities and problems to fix there) is how some of the small businesses I interact with work.  The company that has grabbed my attention (and won’t let go, sadly) is gDiapers.  I have no idea how large (or small) their market share is or what kind of growth they’re experiencing but I get the sense that they’re doing well and there are a lot of reasons for this.  They have a good product (not perfect but good), sure.  But from what I can tell, they’re nurturing all the right things.  Their corporate philosophy (which I’m hoping and assuming is genuine) appears to be about being genuine.  They clearly spend extra to do business with earth friendly vendors, they seem to do a great job with their employees and they VALUE their customers.  This all got me thinking about a book that we had read at one of our offsites:

I was a psych major in college and I’ve always liked concepts that help explain why people do what they do.  Maslow has a theory that says people have a hierarchy of needs.  Humans are motivated by fulfilling their unmet needs.  And lower needs must be fulfilled before the higher needs can be addressed.  At the base of the pyramid, people need their physiological needs met – they need shelter and food.  Next they have safety needs – protection from lions, fire and hurricanes.  Then they have social needs – interaction with others, followed by esteem needs – the need to feel good and confident about oneself.  At the top of the pyramid is self actualization – the understanding of one’s potential.

Chip Conley took this and applied it to business.  Basically a successful company will satisfy the needs of their customers, their employees, and their investors.  And each of these constituents have a hieirarchy of needs.  The pyramids look like this:

I don’t know about gDiapers’ employees or their Investors (the bottom two pyramids), but I’ve found that gDiapers has done an excellent job of meeting the needs of customers (top pyramid).  Here’s how:

Meets Expectations:  The way I see it, the basic things that a diaper company needs to do are:

  • Be easily accessible – I need to be able to get them when I need them.  gDiapers is available through more big box retailers than any other cloth brand that I’m aware of.  The fact that I can go into a Babies R Us and pick them up makes them convenient (oh and by the way, TOTALLY legitimizes them in comparison to some of the other smaller cloth brands).  Additionally, I can buy them online at Target.com, Walmart.com, Walgreens.com, gdiapers.com, diapers.com – the list goes on.  gdiapers.com and diapers.com can get them to me within two days.  I can get these when I need them.
  • Keep my baby free of leaks – So honestly, I’ve had more leaks with gDiapers than I care to admit.  But that’s because the diapers come with a learning curve.  And I had to adjust the way I use them to fit me and my baby.  BUT I have not had a single poop up the back instance with these, not even when Miss K. was on breast milk exclusively.  Poop rarely makes it outside the pouch.  And while I’ve had wet gPants, I seldom have wet clothes and admittedly, it’s usually because I’ve gone too long without changing her or didn’t put the diaper on right.
  • Manufactured in a way that does not harm my child.  With cloth, I feel secure that my child is free from chemicals.  Even gDiapers’ disposable option is fully discussed on their site.  I was a little apprehensive when I saw these weird gel beads come out of the flushable inserts but I read up on them and I am satisfied that they are safe for my child.
  • Must be affordable.  I’ll be saving hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars by using gDiapers instead of disposables.  I actually don’t see how disposables are affordable in comparison.

Meets Desires:  This category assumes that the diaper company is able to do the most basic things and focuses on the things that people would like a diaper company to do.  It’s the wish list.  Here are the things that I was hoping for that gDiapers actually is able to do:

  • Be good for the environment – one of the main reasons I cloth diaper.  When I read that a baby produces over a ton of trash in diapers alone and that a traditional plastic diaper takes over 500 years to biodegrade, I had a hard time accepting that I needed disposable diapers.  Both gCloth and gRefills are healthier for the environment.  I can flush away the refills and when I can’t, they’ll biodegrade!
  • Great Customer Service – these guys are awesome.  They write hand written notes.  They stand behind their products.  I had a velcro strip come off of one of my diapers and I contacted them.  All I had to do was mail in my diaper and they sent me a new one.  I’ve met a few of their employees and they’re genuinely nice people.  They smile.  And say please and thank you.  And they tell me my baby is cute.  That makes me feel good.

Meets Unrecognized Needs:  These are the needs that you don’t even know you have.  Basically it’s the stuff that you don’t expect from a diaper company (but are so glad they do).

  • Being part of a community – One of the things that keeps me fully engaged with this company is the community of moms that love this diaper.  I don’t know any of them in real life but I love how they rally behind this brand, are helpful to others, and are like-minded.  It’s flippin’ awesome.  I check their Facebook page more than once a day.  gDiapers fosters this community so well.  And I want to help others.  I write blog posts and share them with people who are looking for help.  It’s great to have this type of resource available.
  • Feeling like you’re on the inside – gDiapers also has a gMum program that is meant to help enthusiasts get the word out about gDiapers.  It can’t be cheap.  Their give-aways are generous and they have several thousand gMums.  But because they are arming us moms with marketing materials, I feel like I have a connection to the brand and I WANT to spread the word.  I WANT to help them succeed.
  • Pride in feeling like you’re doing the right thing.  It’s stupid but I am proud that we’ve cloth diapered our baby for a year now.  I am proud that she’s sitting on cloth and not chemicals.  I am proud that it’s a little more work but we’re doing less damage to the earth.  I didn’t know how good it would feel to use this product.  I did not expect that.  But I love it.

Again, this is only one component – the customer component – but my sense is that they’re doing well in the other two areas as well.  I just don’t know enough about them to say for sure.  So that’s why I think gDiapers has what it takes to be not just a successful company, but a GREAT company.

gDiapers 2012 Spring Lineup – Solids

gDiapers released their Spring Lineup last week.  Two new colors and the bringing back of some old faves.  The two new colors are (drum roll please) Goosey Gray and Groovy Grape:

Cute, right?  I wanted that purple after I saw it at the gPhotoshoot back in December but now that I see that gray again, I kinda loves it and will need that one too.  The other colors in the line up are Greatful Red, Great Orange, Good Morning Sunshine Yellow, Guppy Green, Glacier Blue, and Goddess Pink.  They look like this:

They still have the gStyles to release as well as some other special/print diapers to release.  I think the fans are going to like some of what they’re going to be releasing!

The other day I went to the gDiapers homepage and saw that they had added new images and was surprised (and thrilled!) to see that Miss K. are on the homepage!  How exciting!  We’re the second banner.  I’m super excited to represent a company we love and admire.  Here’s what the banner looks like:

Sqaweeeeeeelll!

gPhoto Shoot

We did it!  Baby, Grandma, and I flew out to Portland and took some pictures for gDiapers.  I was concerned that Miss K would have a hard time or would be tired or cranky but all in all, she did pretty well!  We got to the photo studio in the morning and I was nervous!  I just wanted my baby to be happy and I really wanted her to be in an ad.  I know.  It’s selfish.  But I love this child and I can’t help but want her to represent a product that I believe in.  My husband also made me feel good – he said maybe one day she’ll think it’s really cool that her mom took her to be in a photo shoot for a diaper company.  I hope so.  I’m not trying to pimp out my kid (trust me, the compensation was not a motivator).

Anyways, we got to the photo shoot and I met three gals from gDiapers – all were FANTASTICALLY nice.  Really, just friendly and professional and I just can’t say enough good things.  One of the people I met was Kim Graham-Nye, one of the founders of the company.  She was really cool.  I couldn’t help but tell her how much I admired what she’s doing with the company.  It’s really really impressive and I hope she has nothing but success.  Back to the photo shoot.  We dressed Miss K in one of the spring line’s new items and she looked AH.  DOR.  AH.  BLE.  She did great!  She smiled and crawled and played and it seemed like they got plenty of good shots.  I hope that they end up using some of the shots in their marketing materials. They also had me change my shirt and they took some pictures of me with Miss K.

I got to preview the new spring line – as usual, gDiapers continues to put out great products.  But that’s all I’ll say about that!  You’re just going to have to wait til they’re released to fall in love.  🙂 I wish I could have taken one of each home with me – but alas.  It was not destined to be.

I was a little disappointed in the other gmums.  They were kind of cold; maybe they all knew each other or they’ve done this before.  Most of them just weren’t very friendly but that’s ok.  Karen, Gillian, Heather and Kim more than made up for it.  The ladies in the afternoon were a little better.

Miss K did do one wardrobe change and she was a trooper – poor thing tumbled a little when she was climbing on a prop and cried a little but settled down pretty quickly.  She did great.  I’m so proud of her.  So was her grandma.

In the afternoon, they called back to see if we could sit in on some more pictures.  I thought we were really far away but then we passed the exit for the photo studio on the freeway so I called them back and asked if they still needed us and they said yes so we stopped by again.  Unfortunately we weren’t planning on this second shoot so she wasn’t fed and rested.  The second one didn’t go as well; poor baby started crying some and was just tired.  I felt bad about that so I pulled her out of the shots a couple times and did my best to make her happy.  This time instead of dDiapers employee Gillian helping out, Heather was there and she was just delightful.  So so friendly and warm.

The funny part was that K. wore three different things and two of those things came out of my diaper bag.  The first time they were doing pictures with an existing color and when they put theirs on her, it looked a little saggy because it hadn’t been washed.  I happened to have that same color in good condition in my bag so we used that!  The second time they were in a rush and liked the color she was wearing when we came in for the afternoon shoot so they took pictures of her in that color.  Funny, huh?

I’m seriously impressed with both the photographer and the gDiapers folks.  They were still going – all day of taking pictures with unpredictable babies and still upbeat.  Awesome.  I know it’s a little crazy but I’m glad we did it.  The pictures won’t be published until the spring but that’s ok.  It was a good experience for us.

The travel itself for the most part went well also.  First time traveling without my husband and I was a bit nervous but it was ok.  My mom went with us and she’s really a piece of cake to travel with.  She is on board with whatever plan I come up with, genuinely wants to help, and isn’t picky about where we stay or what we eat.  Really, I am blessed.  She was fantastic the entire trip.  She sat in the back seat with Miss K when we drove places and fed her and watched her so that I could run out and get food and gas and whatever else.  Miss K did good on the flights, too.  She was a little fussy on the last leg of the trip but otherwise was a trooper.  They almost routed us back to Oakland halfway through our flight from San Jose to Orange County but then ended up landing at LAX.  Phew.  I was really dreading flying all the way back to Oakland and extending our travel day.  We could have waited a while and taken a flight from LAX to Orange County Airport (it’s about a 45 minute drive) but we just had our ride pick us up from LAX instead.  I didn’t want the poor thing to have to go up and down in the air any more than she needed to.  All in all, a great trip.  Thank you Mom, and thank you gDiapers!

Ohhhh. Emmmm. Geeee…

Guess where we’re going next week.  Come on, guess.  Did you guess?  We’re going to Portland, Oregon because Miss K is going to be in a gDiapers photoshoot!!!!!  Squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

A few weeks ago, gDiapers posted on their facebook page that they were looking for babies to be in the next set of marketing materials.  They were looking for babies between the age of two weeks and 1 year, who were not yet walking.  Miss K fits that bill!  So I sent in about seven pictures of her and right when I was about to give up on the dream of having my pretty girl in a gDiapers ad, I received an email saying that they were interested in taking her picture!  So exciting.

I don’t know exactly where they’ll use the images.  From what I’ve seen, they’ll probably use them on their website, possibly as product pictures on other sites that sell gDiapers (like ecomom.com, diapers,com, etc.).  I’m not sure if they use these images for baby expos or brochures/pamphlets also.  I’m just so happy that my baby will be representing a company that we so firmly believe in.

I’m a little nervous because you just can’t predict what a baby will do on any given day.  Miss K. is a happy little butterfly; in general she has no cranky times.  But sometimes, if she’s not feeling well or if she’s tired, things can get a little tough.  I’m hoping I can manipulate her schedule enough that she has enough rest and food that she’ll be in good spirits.  You never know.  The pictures may  not come out right and they may not end up using any of them.  Babies are unpredictable.  But I’m really hoping that’s not the case.  It would be a thrill to log on to their site or onto facebook and see her little face.

Remember how I said that maybe I was in gAddict Remission?  Ya, strike that.  We’re back with some serious fervor.

By the way, they also asked if I’d be willing to have my picture taken with her.  I’m not nearly as photogenic as she is but I’m game.  The chances that they’ll use my face aren’t huge, so I’m good with that.  Wish us luck!  I’ll report back once we return.  So excited!

Ammonia Smell – Erradicated?

A few weeks ago, I told you of my woes with ammonia stinkies in cloth inserts we use in our gDiapers.  I washed and washed and washed.  Then I washed and washed again.  Since then I’ve made two modifications to my wash routine and I think things are going well so far.

First, instead of just tossing the cloths into the dry pail, I give them a quick rinse in the sink so that there’s less urine sitting in the cloth. After talking to the diaper therapists at gHQ, i realized that the ammonia might be just her pee so I started rinsing it out.  Not fabulous because it’s one extra step but at least it’s an easy one.  We pass the sink on the way to the dry pail anyway.

Second, I’ve been adding water softener to each wash load of gDiapers.  The box says to use half a cup (HALF A CUP!) in each load, but the loads I do are small and that stuff isn’t cheap.  So I’ve been doing a quarter cup and it seems to be working fine.

I’m so relieved.  I occasionally smell a little ammonia but it’s not like it was before and I can’t smell it wafting through the air in her room.  Nor do I smell ammonia when I open up her diaper.  Phew.  I was really worried it would cause a problem for her.

I don’t know if we’ve fixed the problem or if maybe this is just a temporary thing but for now I’m just glad we’re back in business.

Fall gStyles are Out!

The new fall gStyles are out and they are oh so adorable!  I’m impressed.  I like both styles better than the ones from the spring and I liked those quite a bit – they were great!  I wasn’t too impressed with the fall colors that came out.  They were cute but I didn’t feel like I really wanted any of them.  They were Gentle Taupe, Good Fortune Red, and Globetrotter Blue:

The prints were nice, though.  I bought both the game day and the garden party but haven’t opened the maroon and blue game day.

Last night, gdiapers released the gStreet and the gTweet.  Holy crap – soooo cute.

I like the way their outfits are made to match a bunch of different gdiapers, not just the official print.  This helps with babies like mine who like to poop and leak on their fanciest, most expensive gdiapers.  It lets you still wear the outfit without feeling like you’re doing it an injustice by not matching.

I love that gstreet and even though I don’t have a boy, I’m buyin’ it.  Just in case one day.  Ya, I know that’s a little nutso.  Whatev.  Turns out gdiapers still make me weak.  If I don’t have a boy, I’ll sell it or give it as a gift.  I just really like it, especially that argyle-y gStreet dipe.  Cute cute cute.

At any rate, nicely done, gDiapers!  Love it!

Ammonia, You Make Me Groan-ya

When they’re not clean, my daughter’s cloth diaper inserts smell like ammonia.  Like burn your nose hair ammonia.  So I started researching and got lost in the millions of suggestions about what does and doesn’t work.  I’m not sure if I have detergent build-up or if it’s because we have hard water or if I’m using too much detergent or not enough detergent…All I know is that I want the ammonia smell gone.  I’ve tried so many things!  Here’s what I’ve tried so far (in no particular order):

  1. Stripped them once by boiling them on the stove for 30 minutes in a crowded pot
  2. Stripped them again by boiling them on the stove for 1 hour in three not-so-crowded pots and made the house into a swampy place
  3. Squirted Blue Dawn (yes, the dish washing detergent) into a hot wash and rinse, rinse, rinse.  Actually it was more like wash and then rinse cycle, rinse cycle, rinse cycle, rinse cycle,rinse cycle,rinse cycle,rinse cycle,rinse cycle,rinse cycle
  4. Soaked in ammonia assassin overnight then washed and rinsed, rinsed, rinsed – did this twice
  5. Soaked in RLR for 30 minutes and washed then rinsed – did this twice
  6. Added vinegar to a rinse
  7. Added baking soda to the wash
  8. Washed in hot with no detergent, rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, wash in hot with no detergent, rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, washed in hot with no detergent, rinsed, rinsed
  9. Call the diaper therapists at gDiapers

After speaking to Gillian at gHQ, I feel better.  Apparently ammonia smell is to be expected with cloth diapers.  When pee sits for a while, it begins to break down and an ammonia smell is emitted from the diapers.  I want it to be omitted from MY diapers.  What Gillian said makes sense to me because it’s usually the overnight diapers that are the worst and the ammonia usually smells the worst on wash day (meaning a few of the diapers have been in the pail for about 36-48 hours).  We live in Orange County, CA where there is definitely hard water.  Apparently this makes the situation worse.  I’ve read that you shouldn’t use vinegar if you have hard water.  Others say you should use it but only during the rinse cycle.  Today I ordered some water softener; apparently that should help.  I like this packaging – it makes me smile and gives me hope.  Damn marketing worked again.  I may change detergents too. Lastly, I will rinse out the wet cloths before throwing them in the pail.

I guess what I’ve found frustrating about this is that there’s no clear answer on how to fix it.  Every water/washer/detergent/baby combination requires different care so there’s no one size fits all answer nor is there a definitive “here’s what you need to do.”  It seems like so many other things with parenting that this is a trial and error situation.  I’m just tired of trying and erring!


The good news is that they don’t smell when they’re clean.  Only when they are wet with urine.  Some people have it so bad that their cloths smell coming out of the dryer and their babies get rashes and sometimes blisters because of the build up.  Not good.  So I guess this is the ugly side of cloth diapering.  The other thing that bothers me about this whole thing is how much electricity and water I’ve used trying to fix our problem.  That’s not so earth friendly, which one of the reasons I cloth diaper to begin with.  Sigh.  Nothing’s perfect I guess but I’m going to stick with it.  I still love my baby’s big ol’ bum in these diapers!

Update posted here

 

Could it be? I might be in gAddict remission

I think my gDiaper obsession is finally starting to fizzle a little.  Wow!  It took long enough.  I never get this wrapped up in anything for this long.  I usually lose interest pretty quickly but not with these.  I think part of it is that my mind is not as occupied as it was when I was working.

I still love these diapers and would still highly recommend them.  But I find that nowadays I check the forums more out of habit than out of interest.  There isn’t too much going on; the chatter has definitely died down and I’m finding that too many of the moms who participate bring with them a bit of crazy and I don’t want to be THAT mom.  I don’t know.  I know that there are some really fab ladies in these groups but there are enough people in them that ruin it.  The ones I find most annoying are the ones who post what they’re in search of EVERY FLIPPIN’ DAY.  Yes, gMum #1, I know you want a large gcycle and you’re willing to pay up to $75 for it.  And yes, gMum #2 I know you too wanted a gcycle and now you want lavender or gumdrop g’s.  How do I know?  Because you post over and over again on EVERY group site, pleading and nagging.  Then you say things like “sorry, I know we’re not supposed to…” but then do it anyway.  The lack of self control is a little disturbing (and annoying).

This helped me realize that maybe I, too, (to a lesser degree) have had a lack of control with this stuff.  I check the facebook pages, the yahoo group, and baby center groups with my phone, my laptop and my ipad, which means I’m checking multiple times a day instead of thinking about productive stuff.  I love the company but they don’t have new stuff everyday.  I post often enough (not all the time) but usually I’m trying to be helpful or funny.  It’s nice being a part of a community and honestly, it’s fun having a target to collect as many of something as possible.  “The hunt” is kinda fun too.  What’s not fun is feeling disappointment when I don’t get the diaper I wanted.  Or feeling foolish when someone takes advantage of me.

Luckily I haven’t spent so much time on this that my baby has had to suffer.  I think my husband has a little, though.  If I’m online, I’m distracted if he’s talking to me.  Not cool.  And seriously, I’ve always had my limits on how much I’m willing to spend on this stuff.  I’m lucky to have enough money to be able to afford all the diapers that I want to buy but I’ve been shocked at the number of times I’ve seen these women say “I have to wait til I get paid” to buy these diapers.  If your money is THAT tight, you should not be buying the rare, hard to find, EXPENSIVE diapers.  You should be trying to figure out how to save the most money.  And really, I don’t understand why so many of these gals buy these diapers (used) for $17 when I’ve bought the same diapers new for closer to $10 (although I do have retailers near by who carry these diapers, whereas maybe not everyone does?).  It’s all a little crazy to me.  Hell, the fact that I’m writing yet another gdiaper post is a little crazy.

I’ve also been frustrated with an ammonia smell that my cloth inserts have been giving off.  I don’t know if it’s the hard water in our city or the detergent I use or if I’m doing something wrong but I’ve been battling the smell for a long time.  I’m most concerned that whatever is giving off that smell within the cloth will irritate my baby’s skin.  But I’m working on it.  I want to cloth diaper my baby.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  I’ll figure it out.  It has just helped me get over my obsession a bit.

Reality is that I’ll still probably check in on the forums frequently and I’ll probably still buy some more gdiapers (I already know I want the gStyle that’s coming out in November…ya, the boy one too and no, I don’t have a son.  I didn’t say I was letting go of the crazy completely).  But I think I want to break the habit of checking all the time and the mind space that is taken up by considering buying more gdiapers from gmoms.  I need to stop looking – there are only maybe three or four designs/colors that I would love to have and those are really rare, so chances are I’m not going to get them.  And when someone does post them, the gmoms are nuts and jump all over them.

Damn you, gDiapers, for being so gosh darn cute and for having such phenomenal social media pull.  It’s been a fun relationship but I think we need a break.  I still want my baby to be in one of your ads, though.  Don’t worry.  I’ll still call you and hang up and occasionally drive by your house.

Too far?  I was trying to be funny.  Did I step into creepy?  Damn it.

How to make homemade gDiaper Inserts

We use a few different inserts inside our beloved gDiapers (one of the reasons they are beloved – they are so versatile).  When traveling, we use flushies.  At night, we double up on gCloths with the hemp sides together.  During the day, we use either a gcloth boosted with a homemade insert or just a homemade insert.  I don’t really sew but my mom does and she has a sewing machine so we just went for it and made our own.  In a couple hours, we had eight lovely inserts.  The most time consuming part was figuring out the first one.  After that, it was pretty quick.  Because I don’t sew, I’ll do my best to describe in layman’s terms what we did but I don’t know how to correctly use terms like serge or zigzag stitch.  Oh and the inserts I made were for the medium/large/xl size gPants.  You could do the same thing for the smalls but I don’t know the dimensions.

Step 1: Select and collect your materials

Based on the limited research I did on what to make these inserts out of, I decided to keep it simple.  Something soft on the outside, something absorbent on the inside.  Mine are made out of microfiber towels stuffed into old flannel receiving blankets.  Others have used combinations of zorb, terry cloth, fleece, micro-fleece, hemp and bamboo.  I found the microfiber towels in the auto section at Wal-Mart, but you can also get them at Target or Costco.  You should not put the microfiber directly next to baby’s skin.  It will pull too much moisture away and will irritate your little one.  I wanted a natural fiber next to her skin and looked for a cotton/bamboo blend but couldn’t find one.  I had read that people used old receiving blankets so I gave it a try.  Mine were made of a flannel material; just a basic Carter’s receiving blanket.

If I make more, I may try out a fleece or super-fleece type of material to keep her a little drier.  That is one thing that my homemade inserts can’t stand up to in comparison with gCloths.  The top of gCloths feel almost dry to the touch after a wetting and are softer than the homemade inserts.  The homemade inserts seem to do a better job of absorbing moisture to prevent leaks.

Step 2:  Measure the gcloth to get the approximate size. 

The dimensions of my gCloth are approximately 13 inches by 5.5 inches.  Strangely, I bought my gcloth from two different places and they’re different sizes.  One set I bought new from BRU and the second I bought from someone who said they had not used them but had prepped them by washing and drying six times.  The second set is slightly smaller than the first.  There will be variations also due to the way you prep and use your cloth.  I decided that longer would be better so I went with the 13 inch size.

Step 3:  Prep the microfiber towels

First I washed the towels so that any shrinking would be done by the time I made the inserts.  If your outer cover is new, do the same with that material.  My receiving blankets were actually sitting a drawer clean, so they were ready to go.  The towels that I bought had a border stitched around them that I trimmed off because otherwise there would be a ridge that would jut out of the cloth.  No bueno.  Then I folded the cloths in a couple ways to see if I could get them to fold up to approximately the 13 x 5.5 inch size of the gCloth.  I was able to fold mine into thirds, which gave me three layers; they were pretty close to the right size but still needed to be trimmed on one side slightly.

So I trimmed them.  These particular towels were fuzzy and made a bit of a mess.

Step 4: Measure twice and cut the receiving blanket cover

The receiving blanket needed to be slightly bigger than the center so I gave it about an extra half inch in length and width.  The extra material will be needed because the microfiber inside will add height and also because we’ll be turning these inside out.  The receiving blanket I had was 36 in x 28 inches.  I figured out that I could make five inserts with each blanket.  Rather than cut ten pieces, I measured and cut five pieces that  could be fold in half along one axis.  So I cut five pieces, each about 7.2 inches wide and all the way across the blanket.

Step 5:  Create and Stuff pockets

With the non-printed side up, we folded the insert over to make the 13 x 5.5 inch shape and sewed up two more sides to make a pocket.  We flipped the pocket back out so now the printed side is facing outwards and stuffed the folded microfiber towel inside the pocket, making sure it was flat and even throughout the pocket.  I don’t have a picture of this because I’m not actually making inserts today.  I’ll add a picture the next time I make ’em.

Step 6: Sew it shut!

The open side was then sewn shut after folding the edges down.  The shape of the inserts we made are square while the gCloths have rounded edges.  I haven’t found this to be a problem but for those of you with better sewing skills, you might want to try that instead.  I just don’t know how.  Clearly, the inserts don’t have to be perfect to work 🙂Step 7: Reinforce and finish

To help ensure that the sides wouldn’t start coming open in the wash, we did an extra seam along the border.  Also sewed a line up the middle to prevent the microfiber towel from bunching up.

Voila!  Done and done.  Inserts that work great, aren’t too bulky and are very cost effective!