Our Favorite Hybrid Diapering System: Gdiapers

When I was pregnant, I started looking into various cloth diaper brands. It saddens me to read how many regular diapers go into landfills each year, and my husband and I just could not stand the thought of being a contributor to that problem. I was a little overwhelmed by all of the different options out there and wasn’t sure how the whole concept would work for us. All of the babies that I used to babysit used only disposables, so cloth diapering was totally new to me. When my dad said that he would not do cloth diapers if my parents were babysitting E, I started looking into a hybrid diaper system. I discovered Gdiapers, and am so pleased with how they have been working for us.

We initially started with the Gdiapers newborn bundle, and I figured we would see how things went with that and one package of the cloth inserts before we invested too much more in the whole system. My initial plan was to start off using the biodegradable inserts and the cloth inserts once we returned home from the hospital and see what worked best for us. When we returned home from the hospital and I could not walk for a while without my crutches, we decided to just buy a couple of packages of regular disposable diapers like we had been given in the hospital for the time being, putting off the cloth diapers for later.  One night when we realized we were down to our last few disposable diapers, and all of the grocery stores were closed, I told my husband that we were going to start using the Gdiapers instead, despite everything else that was going on. I love the freedom that cloth diapers provide…no panicking when you are running low on diapers and the stores are closed. All you have to do is start a load of laundry and you are all set.

We quickly realized that we much preferred the Gdiapers over the regular disposable diapers anyway. The disposables we were using were leaking everywhere and just did not seem to hold enough. They were also starting to irritate his skin, despite being from a “natural” line of diapers. The newborn diaper shells are a little different than the ones shown below; the snap in liner is sewn into the diaper shell. Our baby quickly outgrew those and moved into the size small, shown below.

When I was researching Gdiapers online, it all seemed a little confusing to me at first. It seemed like there were a lot of things we would need to purchase to use the system. I decided to put together a step-by-step breakdown of how we use them, hopefully helping anyone else considering trying out cloth diapering.

Below: The various components we use. You don’t have to go with cloth and biodegradable inserts. You could use one or the other, but I like having both as an option for different times. We use the biodegradable inserts when we are out running errands since they absorb more, are less bulky in the diaper bag, and can be thrown away in a trash can. We also use the biodegradable inserts before bedtime at night since they hold more and we don’t wake up with the baby in a puddle of wetness. We use the cloth inserts the rest of the time, with a paper liner over it. The paper liner catches any poop so it is easily discarded, and makes washing the cloth inserts easier. To use the paper liner, you stuff in a cloth insert first, and then put in the paper liner over it.

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With wet diapers, the snap-in liner can usually be reused for another round. For poopy diapers, the snap-in liner is usually best removed and replaced with a clean one. They come out very easily as seen below. Bonus…After you take out the paper liner or biodegradable insert, removing the snap-in liner like this keeps you from having to deal with touching any more of the mess.
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The dirty, reusable parts of the diaper are tossed in the dirty bag. The paper liners and the biodegradable inserts are tossed in the diaper bin. When it is time to wash diapers, I just empty the bag into the washing machine, and toss in the bag, eliminating the need to touch the dirty diapers again. We also have a travel bag for dirty parts that is kept in the diaper bag, shown here.

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Diaper shells that are damp but not dirty are hung up to dry between uses.
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One other important thing: the diaper shells must always be put on so that the “g” is facing the back. 🙂

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I end up doing laundry about every 2-3 days, which is not so bad. This is the list of supplies that seems to work best for us: 6 cloth shells, 18 snap-in liners, 24 cloth inserts, a box of the paper liners, a dirty laundry bag, and a smaller travel wet bag.

My Eco-Friendly Cleaning Guide

I am slightly obsessed with keeping our house clean, organized, and as healthy and toxin free as possible. The past several months were very difficult since I was on bed rest and not allowed to do any cleaning (you can read more about my pregnancy journey here). My husband cleaned as much as he had time for, but since his time is so limited (and he doesn’t know my normal routine), our house was never as clean as I usually keep it. We considered hiring a cleaning service, but things were in too much of a state of unpacked chaos, with a bunch of half finished projects all over the house.

Since I have been off bed rest, I have made it my main goal to get this place unpacked, cleaned and organized. We bought the house just a short time before I got pregnant, and then all the pregnancy complications brought much of the unpacking and organizing to a complete standstill. It has been just under two weeks, but we have finally been able to get pretty much everything unpacked, and I went on a crazy organizing spree. I also did a thorough seasonal deep cleaning of the entire house. It took me much longer than normal since I am just slowly regaining my strength, but it feels so nice to have a clean, organized house again! It has not felt like this at all the entire time we have lived in this house.

One of my favorite resources to make sure I do a thorough cleaning job on a regular basis is Martha Stewart’s collection of cleaning checklists. I have them all printed out and in sheet protectors in the floral binder shown above. I used to have the daily checklist posted on the fridge, but by now I have it memorized and it is part of my regular routine. The weekly cleaning checklist is great, as are the monthly and seasonal lists. I actually put in my weekly, monthly, and seasonal cleaning days in my organizer app (we use Cozi), scheduled to repeat regularly, so I never forget which list to use and when. Since I have really bad dust allergies, I usually add in another mid-week mini cleaning or two, to try to keep the dust at a minimum. That also helps with the crazy amount of pet hair that our family tends to generate. 🙂 You can find all of Martha’s cleaning checklists here. I also recently found a daily cleaning checklist that I love on A Bowl Full of Lemons (available here). This one is definitely going on the fridge and becoming part of my new routine! So far, it is really helping me keep things maintained and clean!

Many women get a strong nesting instinct while pregnant, and want to get their house really clean before the baby arrives. Since I have been doing so much cleaning lately, a number of people have asked me if that is from my nesting mode kicking in. I don’t think the baby is coming in the next couple of days, but I am just so happy to be able to catch up on my normal routines! I am a strong believer that your house is not actually clean if all you are doing is replacing the dirt with a bunch of toxic chemicals. I don’t use any “traditional” cleaning products in my house, and I can guarantee you that on a regular basis, our house is just as clean or cleaner than any house you can find that is cleaned with the “strong” cleaning products. I do not use products with bleach, ammonia, or other harsh ingredients for the safety of the environment and our own health.

When I was a kid, I started using Simple Green to do the cleaning for my chores since I was a very environmentally concerned kid. While I still use Simple Green on occasion for really deep cleaning jobs, the scent is honestly not my favorite. These days, I vary between using homemade natural cleansers and store bought natural cleansers. If I have the time, I love referencing the cleaning recipes detailed in the book shown above, Lemons & Lavender. I make good regular use out of homemade lavender oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda. Other times, I love using the products from Method. I seriously love the way they smell. 🙂 They have a wide range of products for a variety of needs. My favorite is the cucumber all purpose cleaner. I use that for almost everything. I also love the fact that they have naturally disinfecting products for the kitchen and bath…no harsh chemicals needed to sanitize things!

Also in my cleaning caddy is Bon Ami. I love this for scouring the sink, showers, really dirty pots and pans, etc. It has been around forever, is super cheap, and non-toxic. I always save the mesh bags from potatoes, garlic, and other produce since these make great (and free!) scouring pads. You can see my little stash in the caddy above (the red thing is a bundle of mesh bags).

If a particular pot or pan is dirty beyond the scrubbing point, and the Bon Ami is just not enough to get off some kind of burnt, caked in mess, I put a mixture of water, baking soda, and vinegar in the pot and boil it over low heat. This always gets the impossible to clean tough stains off my stainless steal cookware. It may take a little scrubbing after boiling for a while, but this method has never failed me. I never use anything that may scratch the surface of the pots and pans to get them clean (no scouring pads, etc.).

Instead of cleaning with paper towels, I keep stacks of rags on hand for dirty tasks. I also keep a microfiber cloth on hand for mirrors and windows. If I still have streaks after that, I use the tried and true method of a crumpled piece of newspaper to get rid of any remaining streaks.

My two favorite sponges are a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (great for so much!) and the Scotch-Brite Greener Clean Sponges. These are also great to use in place of paper towels as well since they are absorbent! Once a week, I wet all of my sponges and heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds to kill any lingering germs.

For dusting, I love using the pink microfiber mitt shown above. It fits on your hand like a big mitten, and makes it really easy to dust surfaces. I am very short though, and that limits my range of what I can reach easily. As a solution, I attached the mitt to an old Swiffer stick with a rubber band. I love the ease of use of using a Swiffer, but feel so wasteful using them since they have to be thrown out so often. For me, this is the perfect solution!

With so many pets shedding so much fur all the time, keeping our floors clean is a big task. I start by sweeping each room with a regular broom and dustpan to get rid of the dirt, pieces of cat litter, and whatever else has been tracked all over the house. Even though the floors may look clean at that point, I have come to realize that we still always seem to have even more pet hair lingering after that point. I then use the Mr. Clean microfiber dust broom shown above, which picks up the rest of the pet hair and any lingering dust bunnies. I am seriously obsessed with this dust broom/mop combo. It is one of the best things I have ever found. One side has a dust broom, and the other has a mop attachment. When I finish with the dust broom side, I go through and use the mop side. Since the mop is made out of detachable fabric, I love that I can take it off and give it a really good rinse in between each room. When I finish with the whole house, I can take off both attachments and throw them in the washing machine with all of my dirty rags and towels. It is so easy and so efficient!

The caddy shown above is my whole house caddy. I also have a second container of bathroom cleaning products that I keep under the bathroom sink in our master bath. One of my favorites for the bathroom is the Method Daily Shower Spray. We give a quick spray every day after our showers, and it helps keep the grime down between cleanings.

I hope my guide has inspired you to consider using some healthier, more environmentally friendly ways to keep your house clean! I am not going to go into detail about why the traditional cleaners are horrible…there are plenty of other resources online and in books about why those cleaners are bad for the environment and your health. None of the products or references listed above have requested to be listed or provided sponsorship…these are just my honest tips about what I have found to work best for me! 🙂

“Reusable Paper Towels” Drawer

This is my “reusable paper towels” drawer. 🙂  Our current house is so old that there is no spot for a dishwasher, so we have to wash all of our dishes by hand.  With limited counter space, I usually have to end up drying at least some of the dishes by hand since there is only so much space on the little dish drying rack.  To cut down on the amount of paper towels we go through, I organized this drawer with a towels for a couple of different purposes.  There are some nice fluffy towels for drying dishes, and then some smaller ones specifically for cleaning.  When I am cleaning the furniture, the kitchen counter, or the bathroom, I use one of the smaller towels instead of using paper towels.  When I am finished using one, I have a small basket in the laundry room where they all get placed until I am ready to wash towels.  I pre-soak the cleaning towels before I wash them, and it has turned out to be a pretty good system!

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