Before The Boy was born, I was pretty sure I wanted to use cloth diapers. Using cloth seemed like a good fit, philosophically. As I've mentioned before, I couldn't stand the idea of creating tons of garbage with regular disposables, and cloth diapers are substantially less expensive. We found a local diaper service that was even cheaper than buying and laundering our own. We live in an apartment with coin-op washers/dryers - on top of the initial investment in supplies, it would have cost us $21/week to do a load every day. The diaper service, which includes drop-off, pick-up, and laundering with non-toxic cleaners, is only $18/week for 70 diapers. Regular newborn sized disposables at our local shops range from $14-$16/package for just 40 diapers. So it was an easy decision: save money and be an eco-warrior!
The only thing I was not looking forward to was a smelly diaper bag full of poopy cloth diapers whenever we were away from the house for any length of time. Ick. Then a co-worker, Rodney, asked me if I'd ever heard of gDiapers. (How he knew about them I don't know, as he has no children, but he's the kind of guy that just knows cool things.) I checked out their website, learned where they could be purchased in Vancouver, and decided to give them a try. I figured worst-case scenario I could always use regular disposables...
I loved them from the very beginning, and have been using them ever since! They are guilt-free disposables. Cute cloth outer cover, a snap-in reusable waterproof liner, and absorbent inserts that are biodegradable, compostable, and flushable. And no gaggingly cloying scent - smell is a big deal for me, so this is a huge plus. They're awesome! Even if I just wantonly throw them out, they don't clog up the landfill.
Eight months ago, when The Boy was first born, they were only available at specialty baby stores and health food stores, but they've grown in popularity so much since that they're now available at many drug stores.
It should be noted that we have also used regular disposable diapers, so I am able to do a direct comparison between regular disposables and the gDiapers. My son and I were lucky enough to vacation in Provence when he was two months old. Cloth was out of the question (who wants to do that much laundry on a holiday?) and gDiapers weren't available. For the first time in his life, The Boy was in Pampers. And for the first time in his life, he had diaper rash. And I was horrified at the amount of garbage we created in just two weeks. We've also used regular disposables on a couple of other trips, and for a while we used them overnight for their absorbency; we found that once The Boy was sleeping more than a couple of hours at a time, cloth diapers just weren't able to do the job. But we've now eliminated regular disposables entirely; we use cloth at home during the day, gDiapers when out and about, and gDiapers overnight.
gDiapers = no diaper rash (every baby's bum is different, but this is true for us)
"little g" cloth covers are so cute!
a little more expensive and not quite as convenient as regular disposables
not yet available everywhere
subject to the same blowouts/fit issues as any other diaper