Green Disposable Diapers?

I’m feeling crummy today from overdoing it yesterday walking all over UCLA and the La Brea Tar Pits.  So this post may be short.  And not particularly well researched.

I think I’ve mentioned before that we do not cloth diaper.  I’d like to talk a little more about that and share my thoughts with you on reducing our diaper footprint.

Let me start by saying that I love cloth diapers.  The fabrics are not only beautiful, but they’re so incredibly soft.  The thought of that cushy organic bamboo velour cradling my baby’s tiny, delicate rump just makes my heart go pitter pat.  Cloth diapering is very, very doable, even for families where both parents work outside the home.  It just means a little extra laundry.  But here’s the deal:  I don’t do the laundry.  My husband does the laundry in our house (God bless him), and this means that ultimately the decision is his.

You know, we all have our hills that we are willing to die on:  Those aspects of life that are so important that they must be done the way you want.  For me, those hills include breastfeeding, solids, and child sleep.  I will breastfeed my children, I will make their own food and delay solids, and I will not leave them alone to cry it out.

That’s a whole lot of hills.

Mr. Grasshopper doesn’t have as many hills.  He’s just a lot bit more laid back than I am.  But cloth diapering is where he draws the line.  And quite honestly, as much as I fantasize about those beautiful and soft cloth diapers on my babies’ bottoms, I recognize that I need to be okay with this.  This is something that wouldn’t affect me in a huge way, but would have a terrific impact on the amount of work he has to do.  Considering how much hard work he does around the house anyway (the guy is a housework machine!), I respect his choice.

That leaves me wondering, though, what I can do to help “green up” diaper time for the newest member of our family.

Thankfully, environmentally friendly diaper options have started to become more and more available.  There are a couple of hybrid cloth/disposable options like the gDiaper, but having had friends who tried and didn’t like them, I think these might not be the best option for us.  Plus, these would still leave Mr. Grasshopper doing diaper laundry.

At this point, I’m looking at three possible choices for us:

Now here’s the thing:  Natural and Eco-friendly is great and all, but these puppies have to perform.

We used the 7th Gen diapers a few times with the Grasshopper when she got a bad diaper rash. They were pretty good, but they were a little stiff.  My husband did not like them.  I’ve never used the other kinds, but with the packaging it’s really impossible to tell much about the diapers.

I’ve emailed each of the three diaper companies to request that they send me a sample diaper.  I just want one of each.  I want to get the feel of it.  I want to see how stiff or how soft they are.  I want to pour some water into them to see how they react and absorb the fluid.  I do not expect any diaper to contain an honest-to-goodness poopsplosion, but I do expect them not to completely disintegrate when pee hits them.

I haven’t heard back from the companies as of yet on my request, so please stay tuned.  I’ll let you know if they’re willing to send me a sample or not.  I’d rather not have to shell out for packs of each.  These puppies aren’t cheap.

In the meantime, have any of you, dear readers used these natural disposable diapering options?  Does anyone out there in cyberspace have anything they can share with me about how these work out?

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10 thoughts on “Green Disposable Diapers?

  1. Have you considered one of the cloth alternatives? You know I live and breathe cloth, but they have some great options. Grovia and Flip both have a disposable insert combination that can be used with their covers. Both have held up pretty well for everyone whose tried them. Plus grovia makes a biosafe diaper….i’ll send you the info tonight.

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    1. Hi Jess! I have considered the hybrid cloth/disposable options, but, like I said, they would still require Mr. Grasshopper to do diaper laundry, so I don’t think they’ll be a good option for us.

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  2. I am pretty sure I tried the Nature Baby Care (they had little hearts all over the diaper) and they were awful! They were shaped like a brick, didn’t fit my baby well at all, leaked pee and poop like crazy. I didn’t even bother to finish using the pack they were so bad.

    I know I tired Earth Best once, but for some reason I can’t remember how they were (sleep depravation is really getting to me).

    I found 7 Gen to work really well. They weren’t too stiff (maybe they have gotten softer since you last used them?) and held in the pee and poop.

    PS My SIL’s baby got an awful diaper rash from Papmers! Personally I have always hated the smell of pampers because of all the frangrance.

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    1. Oh, good to know. Thanks for the info. The smell was something else that bothered me about Pampers. They performed really, really well, but I would prefer something more natural against my baby’s skin.

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      1. I’ve been using the Huggies Pure and Natural and really like them (cheaper than 7Gen) . They say they are organic cotton and let me tell you they are VERY soft. They hardly have any ink on their prints. But they still have something in them that will sometimes leave that little gel residue on my baby’s bottom. So I’m thinking they are not as “green” as the other brands.
        Up to a size 2 diaper, the back waistband is a “poop catcher” and I can’t tell you how many up the back breastfed poops this caught.

        Hope you figure out what will work best for your family.

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      2. I’m interested that you mention the huggies. We used Huggies a couple of times with Gabi and hated them. They felt so plastic-y, like we were wrapping a garbage back around her bottom. Do the natural huggies still have that plastic-y feeling?

        If you’re curious about trying the 7th Gen, I found them on Amazon for $0.17 per diaper. Cheaper than Pampers. I couldn’t believe it!

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      3. **sorry this reply isn’t under the correct comment, for some reason there was not a reply link under that comment**

        I can remember back when I was teenager and babysitting that all diapers were plastic and once the tape was on you could not get it off without runining the diaper. Huggies was the first to go to the fabric.
        When I was cloth diapering my first baby, I would still use a disposie at night and the huggies were the soft cloth (they only had the surpreme and normal and neither were plastic and I used both kinds). Baby #2 only used huggies and I never had problems with perfumey smells. I loved Huggies. The Pure and Natural are even better because they are softer then their regular ones.
        I know that everyone has their reasons for prefering one brand over another, but honestly I think Huggies are far better than Pampers.

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      4. Hey, don’t worry! I don’t get enough commentary for things to get confusing about which conversation thread goes where. 🙂

        Good info on the Huggies. Maybe I’ll contact them and ask for a sample as well. They’re a big enough company that I bet they’d send me one for sure!

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  3. We’re planning on using cloth nappies as I really want to and DH agreed seeing as though I’m the one who does the laundry in our house! Our washing machine is often on as DH works in healthcare and needs uniforms washing daily, plus he’s a messy so-and-so! We don’t have a drier though so we’re planning on using mostly microfibre for fast drying and having a few bamboo and cotton ones for extra softness and absorbancy overnight. However, we know we won’t manage it all the time and are accepting that sometimes we’ll have to use disposables (for example I’m looking to have to return to part-time work from baby being 3 months and although my mum will be looking after little one I think we may use disposables on those days as I’ll have to commute to another town for both work and to leave him with my mum and I know I will get behind on laundry at those times!)

    If we had more money I might have considered nappy laundry services in our area where they collect them once a week and wash them for you, but we’re working on a budget. So I’ve been looking at eco-friend disposable options too. The thing I have found out though is that although they are more eco-friendly as they don’t use harsh chemicals and plastic, they still often don’t decompose much quicker than normal disposables if they end up on a landfill site (I wish I could remember the link to the video that showed this but I can’t). Composting the nappies yourself seems to work better but you do need quite a lot of space in your compost bin. There are still benefits like the products they are made from being more eco-friendly, but what I’ve found is that they don’t decompose as quickly as I thought they would.

    Do let us know if you get any samples. I’m not sure which of those nappies you mentioned are available in the UK, but it will be interesting to hear how they look to be performing for you!

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