More about diapers

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A while ago I published a review of gDiapers, Seventh Generation diapers and Whole Food 365 diapers.

In the meantime I’ve received comments and questions from discerning and concerned readers, gained some more hands-on (hah!) experience with the gDiapers, and found some more questions on the net.

These are additional questions that I am now investigating:

  1. What is the “poly” in Seventh Generation? I assumed it was polyurethane, and left it at that, but a reader suggests: “It is still plastic; in fact, it’s the same polypropolene used to line landfills (that’s how water-tight and air-tight they are!).” I’ve written to Seventh Generation for clarification.
  2. Another concern is where that absorbant woodpulp comes from. Many (other) disposables get it straight from China, which raises many environmental  and health concerns (e.g., poisoned toothpaste, melamine in pet food, and antifreeze in medicines).
  3. After a couple more weeks of using gDiapers, Amie started complaining that they are “too tight” and “hurt”. So, as per her request, in the update I will also address the sizing issue of gDiapers, the scratchiness of their velcro, and the lack of an Extra Large size.
  4. There will also be some musing on the gDiaper leaking-issue, and the staining of the snap-in/out liners.

If you have any other questions you want me to investigate, email me or comment on this post. (I just realized readers can’t comment on “pages”, which is what my review is, only on “posts”: will try to do something about that soon!)

Join the Conversation

26 Comments

  1. I really appreciate the thought that you put in to this blog to help create awareness about how easy (and crucial) it is for moms and dads to “think green”.  It’s really beautifully done. I did want to make one clarification, if I may.  While Seventh Generation and Tushies are elemental chlorine free, which means that they don’t produce the noxious dioxins that other disposables do, they are not biodegradable.  They still have plastic in them. Maybe if you took a pair of scissors to each one and released the inside fluff they would break down, but thrown away as is they are not biodegradable.  Don’t let the brown diaper fool you!  It is still plastic; in fact, it’s the same polypropolene used to line landfills (that’s how water-tight and air-tight they are!).  They may be “green-er” disposables, but are not the “green-est” options out there. I’ve been using gDiapers (and cloth) for about 10 months now, and though they took some getting used to, I love them. You mentioned on your blog that they leak a lot. Mine never leak. They did a few times at first but I found tips on the website and with a yahoo group that made all my leaks go away. I’ve had more leaks with disposables than these. I was using 7th generation and Tushies before I learned that they sit around for 500 years, just like the Pampers do. I wish I’d been using g’s from the get go when I think about all the others I used that are still sitting in the trash somewhere, out there.

  2. Thanks Annika, for posting your comment here so others can read it too.

    I’ve written to Seventh Generation for clarification about the plastic and the “poly” and will let you know as soon as I hear from them.

    I’m happy the gDiapers are working out for you. Despite the poopie “leaks”, we are still using them rather happily.

  3. Thanks so much for your close examination of the diaper issue. It’s really enlightening to read such a balanced review of green diaper issues. I am land-partners with Zane of Lichenology and we decided to give g-diapers a try with our toddler because 1) we were creating alot of garbage with disposables and 2)we have no washing machine or even indoor plumbing with which to deal with cloth diapers. Composting seemed like an ideal answer for us as we already have a composting toilet system. I wasn’t prepared for the extensive leakage onto both the liner and the cloth cover. Without indoor plumbing it makes rinsing the liners a bit of a bummer. I was using a bucket system where I would put poopy liners and cloth covers until I could get around to getting hot water and soap from the outdoor kitchen, and then hand wash, rinse and dry them. Perhaps I could go back to the g-diaper website and reread the tips for stopping leakage, because with this amount of work, we might as well be using cloth. And then there’s the whole SAP in our foodchain issue, and the price of shipping to Canada, etc…
    Needless to say, I’ll be happy when our house is built and we have the systems in place to deal with cloth. For now I’m guitily returning to disposables, and, now that summer is coming, we’re encouraging a bare tush and the potty.

  4. Thanks Genevieve, for your special take on diapers. I admire your commitment to the health of our planet and the next generations (I’m a big fan of Lichenology and if circumstances would allow us, we’d be over there with you as WOOFERS in no time!).

    I also understand your feeling guilty. Amie still wears “green” disposables at daycare, where they just don’t want to deal with gDiapers, and each time I go buy a new bag of Seventh Generation, I have to take an extra breath. Even gDiapers, as you can gather from my review (perhaps), are not wholly satisfactory (the SAP, especially, bothers me, and the price).

    I’ll be so happy to have Amie out of diapers: soon, probably. If only we had a garden or some private, outdoor space, where she could run around bare-bottomed.

  5. I hope you find a way to manifest the perfect rural property soon! I’ll stay tuned to your blog to see what happens…

  6. thanks for that interesting article!
    Have you tried the Tushies diapers? they are supposed to be the less toxic disposable diapers available, and they don’t have the gel inside.
    I have bought some but haven’t got a chance to test them yet as baby hasn’t arrived.
    Reviews on amazon are mixed, but they seem to be a nice gel free alternative… but I will try to use cloth for the main part…

  7. Hi Sardinette,
    Strangely enough, I haven’t tried Tushies, simnply because they’re not so readily available. But I really should try some because I’m curious about how well they absorb, lacking the gel…
    My congratulations on the baby! Keep us posted.

  8. I can’t thank you enough for the time and effort you have put into this post.
    This has really helped me make an informed decision about which diapers to choose.

    best,
    Coco

  9. Thanks for a great source of information on diapers. I have been using Seventh Generation since my son was born 6 months ago. I tried Tushies for a few weeks. They worked fine as far as absorbancy goes, but I didn’t like the tape closures. I have been toying with the idea of cloth diapers. I really just don’t like perfumes and chemicals on my baby’s skin. My local health food store is the only place I can buy 7th Genereation, and the last 2 times I needed diapers they were out, so I had to buy Publix brand. Have you done anymore research on the Tushies claim to have no Gel or SAP? If you call them they will send you one to try, so you don’t have to buy a ton to try them out. Let us know what you find out about Tushies.

  10. Awesome job!!! I have used cloth diapers on all 3 of my kids but now with us moving back to Manhattan (and thus sharing laundry facilities) I have started to venture out into musings about gdiapers. My only concern is the SAP and so after reading the ingreds list I came home to research and found your blog. Really great info, thanks for researching….personally, I’m still undecided and will keep up the cloth for now.

  11. Hi and thank you so much for this incredibly useful information! I will have to change my first diaper ever in a few weeks… and I would like to minimize problems (at least until I become an expert diaper changer) and maximize eco-friendliness at the same time. I thought about starting with 365 (or Tushies) and then shift to g-diapers after a while, and see how it goes. Do you have a different suggestion? One question: how much additional time do g-diapers take to be disposed of compared to disposable ones? I am a working mom-to-be and time is golden! Thanks again

  12. This is a great review (and it’s follow-up). I’m linking to you in the post I just wrote this morning about my quest to go green on a budget. Also, I bought some hemp fleece outer with microfiber inner liners that are made for g’s by a woman on Etsy (I can get you her name, I think it’s Emily’s little miracles, but I may be wrong on the first name) and I LOVE them…they’re the specific shape and size of the g, so are much more trim than a pre-fold, but are super absorbent, dry against the skin and aren’t too expensive. Thanks again for a great review!

  13. That was a GREAT review! Thank you so much! I learned a lot! I’m a current cloth user wondering if I should make the switch to gDiapers, but you pretty much told me everything I needed to know… I’ll stick with cloth!

    I just thought I’d pass on a coupon that I found while looking up info on gdiapers in case it helps anyone. It works with cloth diapers, to as long as you have at least one package of disposables (including gDiapers) in your basket.

    SAVE $10 OFF AND GET FREE SHIPPING!

    1. Go to http://www.diapers.com

    2. Put $49+ worth of items in your cart including at least one pack of diapers.

    3. Enter coupon code TENOFF49 in the promotion box of the cart checkout.

    4. Enjoy $10 off your total plus free fast shipping. This is good for first time customers only.

  14. Just a note to draw your attention to the following study of gdiapers’ effect on municipal sewage systems, done by the City of Vancouver:
    http://www.cityofvancouver.us/upload/images/PublicWorks/Official_City%20of%20Vancouver%20gDiaper%20Study%20_FinalReport_20071109.pdf

    Two issues are noted:
    – the absorptive gel gums up pumps; and
    – the cellulose breaks down nicely, but doesn’t settle out in the settling ponds. This suspended cellulose blocks the UV rays used to kill bacteria prior to the water being returned to the water cycle.

  15. I was wondering if you have ever tried the cloth inserts for the gdiapers instead of the flushable ones. We are about to have baby #6 and for many reasons we are looking into cloth. I came across these today and thought that they looked great and worth trying. I really don’t mind having to rinse the cloth inserts out and washing them. I was just curious to see how they worked compared to the disposable liners. Thanks!

  16. I would really suggest trying BumGenius 3.0 One size diapers if you are thinking of going cloth but are used to disposables…They make an awesome Toilet attachment to spray the diapers down as well. We have used them with my son since birth and LOVE them for their simplicity! We also use Seventh Generation when we travel or are out and about. I found your blog since we are thinking of switching to gDiapers for our “disposable” option (we love Seventh Generation yet have been strugling with the fact that they sit in the landfill)… This blog has been so very helpful, thank you !

  17. Thanks for your post! My son has been wearing gDiapers for the last 9 months, and although the first couple months were tricky, the last 7 months have been great! Hardly any leaks and easy to use. Unfortunately, he’s been growing out of his size several pounds before the weight limit (now he’s 28 lbs!) and I was hoping to find a new compostable diaper system that goes larger than gDiapers, since it only goes up to 36 lbs. I haven’t found one yet.

    Jamie – I’ve heard that the gDiaper cloth inserts don’t work as well (and as long) as the compostable inserts, but I didn’t try them.

  18. I have been a loyal customer of gdiapers since my baby was born. We started with the newborn bundle, then moved on to the smalls and now we are on the mediums. I have been really happy until last month when three of my medium diapers I purchased had velcro that didn’t work. I wrote their online customer service and Deborah a “diaper specialist” contacted me. She said she would send me velcro that i could use to replace on their diapers. I never received the velcro. It had been a month since my first contact and I had to use disposables (not happy with that) to get us by while we waited. I wrote Deborah again saying at this point in time I think they should replace my diapers. She reminded me that the velcro that i didn’t receive was “FREE” and said she would mail out the velcro once again. I reminded her that the diapers I have been using while waiting weren’t free and that the diapers I had purchased from them weren’t free. The three diapers alone were 54 dollars and that doesn’t include tax and shipping! I am shocked. I hope that isn’t the way the want to do business and just a bad seed. It has been a week since my last email and I still have not received my FREE velcro. They were to ship from Oregon and I live in California….

  19. Thanks so much for your detailed review. My husband and I started shopping for diapers for our baby due in Jan. Today I stood in the diaper isle totally and utterly confused. Your “testing” and experience is really valuable! I saw the Gdiapers and think I will give them a try with the seventh generation or whole foods as a back up.

  20. i have just switched to traditional cloth diapers from g’s and they are so much easier!!! i really wanted to love g diapers but they are not all they’re hyped to be.
    i hate to admit that i totally fell for the flashy packaging and great colors, but as a cloth diaper, they suck.

    i really liked and had very few problems with the tiny g’s when i used the disposable inserts, but when i used the cloth insert each and every diaper leaked, so i decided to just use the disposable inserts for the tiny size and save the cloth inserts for when we moved up to the size small. once we moved up to the size small again, very few problems with the disposables but every cloth insert leaked (not just onto the liner, but onto the cloth pant and beyond). we cannot use them! we tirelessly trouble shot our use of the cloth inserts until two weeks ago when i realized that diapering should not be so difficult and made the switch to traditional cloth diapers, and to my surprise they are quicker to change (when using the snappis in place of pins) and way cheaper! and zero leaks! we are still using g’s with the disposable inserts when we travel, but at home we are loving the traditional cloth diapers!

    a great source is greenmountaindiapers.com
    amazing customer service, crazy fast shipping and they practically hold you hand in the switch to cloths! for the covers i’m really happy with the organic cotton imse vimsey and love love love the wool biobottoms.

  21. I would like to share a website with you. It was a “Marketplace” program about “natural” products. Some of them are scams, and what is worse is that some of these products are baby products. 7th generation diapers are no better than other diapers, except that they are dyed to look “natural”! Their “chlorine-free” claim is bogus as well, since all diapers are chlorine free. Check out the company responses to their “natural” labels claims!
    http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2011/lousylabels/

  22. Thank you for your opinion on these wonderful diapers. I started out with cloth gdiapers and went to seventh generation and am now using 365. I’ve liked all of them. Loved seventh generation and 365. However after reading this I am going to try to go back to the g cloth. I had a lot of leak problems in the beginning but maybe they wouldn’t be as bad now. I know (after talking in depth with the gdiapers customer service) the washing regimen can help out the absorbancy with the cloth.
    Thanks again!

  23. I started off w 7gen and using cloth 1 size fits all fuzzybunz. I love the fuzzybunz when her poops were small and not that stinky (I nursed till baby was 6m). Now we are on real food w bigger and smellier poops so I’m using 7gen again. My solution … Gdiapers w the fuzzybunz cloth inserts. It took a bit of working w 1 or 2 inserts, but we are figuring it out. Now I don’t have to deal w cleaning cloth poopies, which I like a lot!

  24. We use cloth diapers 90% of the time and really love the peace of mind we get from it. We do wash diapers about every other day and line dry time (usually inside). Bumgenius and Best Bottoms have worked really well for us. : )

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