Flushable Diapers (gDiapers)–What Do You Think?

One of our readers wrote in to The Green Baby Guide asking us about flushable diapers.  Neither Joy nor I has ever used gDiapers, but we’re hoping our readers have.  Have you tried them out on your babies?  Why did you choose gDiapers over cloth diapers or regular disposables?  Did you love them?  Hate them?  Please post a comment and give us your honest opinions!


  1. I received two gdiapers from a friend who was not using them and I love to put folded flat cloth diapers in them instead of the flushables. They are pretty trim and super cute. I love that they are cloth and sooo soft, with a detachable waterproof liner that is really easy to clean. A folded prefold or flat fits in it perfectly, but I prefer the flats. These are what I use when I am out and about because I can pre-stuff them and they are really easy to take off and put on a squirmy baby. I just wish they were cheaper so I could buy all the cute colors!!!

  2. I have used gdiapers with my newborn. Great concept, but we have had problems with leaks and poopy blowouts. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I have not loved these diapers.

  3. I wanted to love the G-diapers, but they leaked every time. We changed his pants alot, waited for him to outgrow them, and switched to cloth.

  4. Thanks for the comments so far! Amber, I have seen a lot of the gDiaper covers for sale at consignment shops. It sounds like many people try them and give up, so you should be able to find all the colors.

    Kara, I don’t know how you could be using them wrong. From what I’ve seen, the absorbent area (just a pad) is quite small compared to a cloth or regular disposable. That would make it hard for everything to stay contained in the diaper.

    Nicole, that’s good to hear that you transitioned to cloth! At least you had some cute covers to use!

    I’m looking forward to hearing from more gDiaper-users. As Kara said, the concept is good. . . .

  5. I love my gDiapers. I use them with flushables and with cloth prefolds. In the beginning, we had lots of leaks but once we got passed the learning curve they have been great. I use them a lot with caregivers, I can preload them, roll them and I know they will have no problems. Part of our initial problem was being slightly between sizes, as my son has grown into his mediums our leaks have decreased.

    My advice- have faith, keep using the g’s and if you have any questions call the gDiapers company, they are very helpful from what I hear.

  6. I used G diapers and I had the same thing happen, they would leak almost every time. I wanted them to work so bad because I love the idea. But I have also givin up and gone to cloth.

    ps. I have read that a lot of people who do use g diapers and like them say they use prefolds or flat fits in them.

  7. Ultimately, it should be said that gDiapers actually INCREASE the amount of energy and waste in the end of the product. It will be “safely” flushed down the toilet, where it will go to the treatment facility. All the paper and other soild waste will then be filtered out, dried, and then taken to a landfill. In the end, you will have used more energy to reach the same destination as your other diapers would have been: the landfill.

    On the up side, there are cloth diapers, which will allow you to have roughly 37% (treehugger.com) the footprint of the conventional diaper (which takes 200-500 years to degrade in a landfill). I can’t say for certain how long it takes a gDiaper to degrade in a landfill, but just that fact that it ends up there is disturbing.

    Another route is compostable diapers, but you must not throw them in a landfill, because they only compost under normal compost conditions, not landfill conditions. Use a compost service, which can turn through large batchs of compost, as the average home compost pile cannot support all those diapers (around 6,000 on average from birth to toilet training).

    Hope that helps!

  8. Joshua, thanks for the information about gDiapers ending up in the landfills; that’s good to know. An environmental advantage gDiapers have over regular disposables is that the waste gets processed by the sewer system. Many people (probably most people) who use disposables do not flush the waste down the toilet as per the instructions on the package. This contributes hazardous waste to our landfills, which then seeps into our water supply.

    Also, gDiapers ARE compostable diapers. The unsoiled inserts can be home composted. Unlike regular disposables, they are not coated with plastic. So I think that environmentally, they are certainly better than normal disposbles.

  9. i have used gdiapers for a few months now (1 year old) and i only have leaks if i let them go too long. once the insert is saturated then it kind of bunches up and the pee has no where to go and then just runs down the leg. they have to be changed as often as cloth (more often than disposable). I started using them b/c my husband was not all about the cloth but was willing to compromise with these. the company is very helpful and propmt if you have any problems. overall i personally prefer an AIO cloth diaper (fuzzi bunz are our favorite!) but this is a good alternative to the traditional disposable for dads or caregivers who aren’t comfortable with cloth or for travelling. they are kind of expensive but you can reuse the outside and liners for other children.

  10. I have been using g-diapers with cloth prefolds (we use the disposable inserts on trips and double up prefolds at night) on my 10 month old son for 9 months and we love them. The trick, change often, then there are no leaks. Yes we have had blowouts, but what’s that saying….oh yea, poo happens! I see that happening with both cloth and disposable.
    My son gets around good in them and has never had diaper rash.
    They get an A+ in our book!

  11. I have been using g-diapers for several months. I agree, you do need to change them more often than disposable diapers. When we’re home I use a cloth prefold in place of the liner. The liners are only used when we’re out and about. The best part is that when we are out shopping or at a friends or traveling anywhere, we never have to worry about leaving a stink in someones garbage! Its WONDERFUL to never have to be embarrassed about the stink your baby leaves behind!

  12. I tried gDiapers and like so many people, experienced a lot of leaks. I then started putting some prefolds in that I had be using for burpies and they worked great and rarely leaked. I figured since I was using them so often that I might as well pick up some real cloth diaper covers (that way I can wash larger loads, I had only 2 gDiaper covers). I bought a few different cloth covers, but I don’t like any of them as much as I do the gDiaper covers. They are easier and have way less leaks.

  13. I just bought my first starter kit of g-diapers for my 17 month old. I have used disposable up until now, and my conscience has felt so guilty! I’m kinda pre-trialing these for some of my friends and sister who is pregnant with her first.
    I really like them so far. They are easier to clean up than my cloth diaper experience 8 years ago. My daughter seems comfortable in them. Her bowel movements are very routine, so it is easy for me to change her before there is a problem, and my husband is fine with using them if I preload them.
    I think I will use the cloth insert idea I read here for mornings when I know there should be no poo to clean up. I’m definitely going to buy some for my sister, and recommend them to my friends as a great alternative to disposable. Thanks for the tip on covers at consignment shops. I will check some next time I am in the city.

  14. My son is now four months old and we have been using G-diapers while he is at home, and chlorine-free for caregivers. I preload for my hubby, too- we both think the covers are super cute.
    I must say that I did have some issues in the beginning since my son was a little small for them at first. Once I got the hang of it and he bulked up a little, it was pretty easy to do. I bought the starter and one extra cover- I would just rinse out the liners and dry them in the sun for next time. It held most of his breastmilk blowouts, but occasionally leak on the inside of the covers. I have only had them really leak once. I will now be getting a the mediums as he is getting bigger. They work really well for night-time, too- I just fold a second insert as suggested and he stays dry through the night.
    The company is pretty cool, too. They send tons of coupons and info for you to give to other moms, and just sent me a cute canvas grocery bag. If you shop at Whole Foods they give 10% off if you buy four packs of the liners at a time.

  15. Ugh! G Diapers! Gross! Politically, the company is not being up front, and is in the ‘green busiiness’ (so sad how it’s a catch phrase now) to make a buck! At the emotional expense of families. They are made in Vietnam, and the same factory that makes Nikes in China. How is that for eco friendly? Why can’t they pay local people in Oregon to make their diapers? Do people not need jobs there?
    Then, sure, they are cute, but what does that matter when they do not compost, I’ve tested them, at 5 months they are still the same in my composter, they do not flush (in my toilets, sorry, my house is 100 years old)
    Then, on top of that, the leaks were incredible! My daughter was waking up, and thereby everyone in the house up because she was waking up with a soaking, exploded diaper. And, based on all of the accounts of so many many people experiencing the flooded, exploded g’s, did they not test them? Can they not improve them? My daughter also had terrible rashes with g’s that she did not have with cloth or disposables. After 5 months, and a lot of money, we gave up on g and donated them. P.S I WAS TOLD BY G DIAPERS CUSTOMER SERVICE TO USE A DISPOSABLE DIAPER AT NIGHT, OR TO DOUBLE UP THE INSERTS! ECO FRIENDLY? Disappointed all around!

  16. Jessica, that is interesting to hear that the gDiaper inserts are not properly composting, as that seemed to be one of the main environmental advantages of gDiapers. I find it interesting that gDiapers use superabsorbent polymers (SAP) just like conventional diapers. This is a petroleum product–yet supposedly it is harmless in your home garden compost. This sounds suspicious to me, but perhaps someone with a background in chemistry can explain how this works.

    Thanks to everyone who has commented on the effectiveness and putative eco-friendliness of gDiapers so far! Keep the comments coming!

  17. I love the gdiapers covers, but we are using them with cloth. I have used the gdiaper inserts and have not had any trouble with leaks, but at the medium size. We experienced leaks in the beginning (sz sm) and with the older style of pants. Now, the only cloth setup I have used that does not leak is the prefold/flat stuffed in the gdiaper.

    Rebecca – to comment on the SAP (I;m a chemistry teacher)
    diapers are made up of sodium polyacrylate as the SAP. Currently, sodium polyacrylate is being used and is approved to be used in the soils surrounding plants grown commercially(it is huge in agriculture, I have even used it in my home gardens in the past). The SAP absorbs water in the soils and holds it in place around plants. It has greatly reduced the amount of irrigation necessary in drier areas, as water is much better retained in the soils rather than evaporating or flowing through soil to the groundwater table. Thus, it does have some environmental benefits in terms of reducing water consumption. However, some environmental chemists/biologists are skeptical about how safe the compound is, due to the fact as with all chemicals, it does enter the water supply. It is unclear if the polymer is filtered/processed out by water treatment centers. It is known that even the teeniest grains of polymer do expand significantly when placed in water (I’ve observed 20-50 times their size in the pure form, the novelty kids toys made of this stuff tend not to grow as much). So, for this green mom, jury is out. I will say, that I have reconsidered putting this in my garden. Unfortunately, I had the best vegetables the year that I used it.

  18. Wow, Rebecca, that is excellent information about SAP. I had no idea that it was used for agricultural purposes. I wonder if gDiaper-composters are finding that they need less water on their gardens with their SAP-enriched compost. This would actually be a problem in the Pacific NW–I wouldn’t want to flood my crops!

  19. I started using gDiapers last spring with my then- 15 month old daughter and enjoyed them immensely at first for all the obvious reasons–they’re super cute, and I felt like I was doing something good. I bought some microfiber cloth inserts from BumGenius which fit well inside the liners and made it sort-of cloth diaper. It got to be annoying to assemble the whole package, though–find a clean liner, snap in all four snaps, fit in a microfiber cloth, and top with rice paper (since microfiber shouldn’t go directly against baby’s skin). Too much work. A cousin gave me a set of Fuzzi Bunz which are much simpler. Last week I brought the gDiapers out again to give them a try (I’ve had them for 8 months now) and have noticed that the liners leak like a sieve. Not leaking out the side of the leg, but they are simply not waterproof anymore. The minute she pees or poops, the whole pant is soaked. So disappointing! I checked the website and it states under FAQs that the liner is coated with waterproofing, like a jacket, and this waterproofing only lasts 6 months. I wish I would have known this before I invested in 6 additional diapers! I emailed customer service to see if there is anyway to restore the waterproofing, and they suggested I buy more liners ($5 for 2), which will again only last for 6 months. My recommendation is to just go for cloth (Fuzzi Bunz or Bum Genius)–much easier and less maintenance.

  20. I think the gDiaper is a great invention. I mean think about how many diapers are used everyday, then thrown into the trash. Think about how much trash that is going into our landfills. The fact that the gDiaper is biodegradable makes these a great option for those that care about the environment.

  21. We got a starter kit as a shower gift. They are super cute, and fit well, but they are a disaster with poops (we have a 3 month old, breastfed baby). My cloth diapers don’t ever leak out the top/sides like these do. The liners and the pants get dirty, and the liners aren’t washing clean either. We’ll retire them once we go through the starter pack. Wished they worked better—they’re a great idea for traveling with a cloth diaper babe.

  22. Love your blog. I know this is an older post but I just found you today and have been reading it backwards 🙂

    Some friends of my parents used gDiapers until the second time they ended up paying a plumber to fix someone’s toilet – incidentally, my parent’s. They were here for a large party and the half bath used for the guests (about 70 of them) was clogged up when they tried to flush it. My parents ended up with toilet water everywhere in the middle of a party for their friends and clients. They had to send people upstairs to a different bathroom that hadn’t been stocked with extra supplies and it caused a huge amount of stress for both of them. The friends couldn’t applogize enough and when they came back the next year for the party, they were still embarassed and had switched entirely to cloth for their son and newborn daughter.

    Not a personal experience, but I thought if someone came across this it would pay to know that flushing them at a friend’s house may not be a great idea!

  23. Here is a great site that compares out of pocket, how “green” the options are, and much more info. Hope it helps!!


  24. I love gDiapers and have been using them for years. I discovered them when my oldest son was about a year and will admit that in the beginning I had some problems with leaks. I watched the how to use video on the gDiapers website and once I got them on him the right way, I never had a problem again. I have also used them with my now two-year-old from birth and recommend them to anyone I know. They are so great because it is so much more environmentally friendly than disposable and cloth diapers. And I feel they give a much better fit too.

    I also want to respond to Joshua’s comments and say that the paper may get filtered out and sent to the landfill when the diapers are flushed, but it breaks down very quickly much unlike regular disposables. Disposables are made of plastic which is what causes them to stay intact in landfills for hundreds of years. gDiapers are plastic free so they breakdown in a matter of weeks.

  25. Great info! I will be starting after March and will let you know how it goes!

  26. I have been using these since my son was about a month old. We tried them when he was smaller than the recommended wieght and therefor a few leaks occurred. After that, there is NO OTHER product that I’ve found that works better! LOVE them!

  27. We have been using them since our baby came home from the hospital. At first there were a few leaks while we got used to it but after about the fifth day straight of using them we haven’t had a leak unless he goes too long with a single insert. Our breastfed baby has only had one poop blowout and he is, as my husband says, a champion pooper. We’re currently using the inserts but are going to go to experiment stuffing with prefolds. I recommend them.

  28. I have been using them since my baby was 1 month old. I was unable to sell the idea of paying a higher price than disposables to my dh so I made a compromise. I use the disposable liners when I am out and about and I use cloth liners when at home. I found a site that sells cloth liners specifically for the gdiaper, http://www.nappyshoppe.com They are great and really easy to use. I highly recommend the gdiaper and who can resist how cute they are!

  29. Joshua is wrong (no offense), but I worked at a treatment facility and things like that do not get dried and taken to landfills. Solid waste is broken down by a very strong cocktail of various bacteria (each with a valuable job), UV, and filtering. Products like this are specially made to easily break-down in these environments. Even if you personally threw them away they would compost in the landfill, unlike other diapers. In fact, if your cloth diapers get thrown out they would take much longer to break down.
    I think these are worth a try, even if it takes some time to get them right! You could really help the earth by using products that lower your own families carbon footprint 🙂

  30. Joshua must have not been thinking clearly when he wrote that considering, how do we use the bathroom? and dont we use toilet paper? and flush our feces down the toilet? with gdiapers you are only flushing down the liner, and if you go onto their website you can see for yourself that its basically as much waste as one would use going to the bathroom.
    As far as i’m concerned, i think the idea is to help the environment and what a great way to start. 1, you are using less water than it takes to wash a cloth diaper by flushing the toilet. 2, they ARE biodegradeable! if you go onto their website, you can also watch the process of it breaking down compared to disposables and said to be biodegradeable diapers. 3, theres no chemicals on your babies skin.
    Another thing to consider with all these people writing in about leaks, maybe change your babies diapers more often. Diapers shouldnt be used as a toilet, or holding tank. once your baby wets, it should be discarded promptly, not left to sit in its waste.


  32. Keep all these comments coming! Tara, a normal low-flow toilet uses just 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Nothing really biodegrades in a landfill; I believe gDiapers are meant to break down in 50 days in a compost bin. Probably the eco-friendliest way to deal with the inserts is to compost the wet ones and flush the dirty ones.


  34. What size prefold/flat works in the Large Gdiapers? Premium?

  35. I’ve been using these with my daughter for almost a year now. After my husband and I got the hang of them we got hooked! We double them up at night, or any other time I know they could leak and it works just fine. They’re super easy to wash and my daughter never gets rashes.

  36. RE: Jeanette’s quote: “1, you are using less water than it takes to wash a cloth diaper by flushing the toilet. ” : You’re flushing the toilet for EVERY dirty diaper, using 1.6 gallons vs using (in the most inefficient model washing machines) 40 gallons for an entire load. How many diapers can you fit into a load? If it’s around 25, then that point is a wash (no pun intended). But then if you’re using a diaper service, that would definitely be less water used per diaper. I haven’t used gdiapers, but just learned about them and found this site specifically to find out more about them.

  37. Lauren, your comment got me thinking. . . .

    I wash 36 prefold diapers at a time in a front loader. = 12.4 gallons
    Flushing 36 gDiapers in a low-flow toilet = 57.6 gallons

    However, if you home composted the wet diapers and flushed just one dirty gDiaper a day, you’d use much less water on gDiapers.

    And of course, if you are washing cloth diapers every other day in a top-loader, doing double rinses, etc., you’d use MUCH more water than gDiapers.

  38. I just want to say we LOVE g diapers and have been using it for about a month now. I found that they are even selling at Babies R Us and am really excited that it is taking off. After doing many blog readings online, I have found a lot of parents on the fence about this product.
    I understand that g diapers were made with the intent to have a flushable liner but we use the product with a basic trifold cloth insert.
    With this said, I really know and understand that the product was not made for cloth in mind-but I think it is an amazing product for such a use!
    I have told everyone about the cost effectiveness and about the lack of bulk compared to the other cloth diapers out their (due to the elasticity). As well as the lack of washing both the inside and outside every time! So there is less washing, but still no leaking…yeah!
    My husband and I found over 2 years:
    disposable -$2,000 + and NEVER green
    “modern” cloth diaper-$500+ and GREEN
    g diapers with cloth inserts-$150+ and GREEN

  39. Mrs Mahoney says

    I have been using bum genius diapers for 9 months, and i love them. However you have to wash the cover and insert and stuff them after washing…a lot of work compared to the g diaper. I just got them last week and LOVE THEM! I use the cloth diaper insert instead of the throw away part. I haven’t had any leaks so far. And with the velcroe in back, my son cannot take his diaper off anymore. I am so happy with the g diaper. They are so worth the extra cost.

  40. I have been using gDiapers on my son since he was born in July. I love them! There is a bit of a learning curve though and it takes a couple of days of practice to get a perfect fit. They contained running BF poops MUCH better than any disposable we tried–which were constantly blowing out. They cost a little extra, but you can re-use all parts (except the flushie) for future kids–or pass them down to friends/family. I passed several of the smalls my son had outgrown to a friend who wanted to try them… she’ll return them for my next kid. While I forked up all the $$, I know they are getting well used! The solution for nighttime leaks… cut a flushie in half (I often cut off the back half of a wet only diaper to use for this purpose…waste not!) and put it underneath the full flushie at night where baby leaks most: for boys, up front, girls in the center. It pretty much stopped nighttime leaks in their tracks. Do they leak sometimes, yes… but what diaper doesn’t. BUT, explosive poops rarely leak to the gPant more or less my son’s cloths… unlike disposables that will get literally all over him! If you have tried them and are struggling a bit–head over to the gdiapers group on Yahoo! Tons of great advice from some great gDiapers advocates!

  41. Using cloth w/frontloading washer most of the time but g diapers at night and when out and about or traveling. If it’s a strong system I flush the poopies if I think it’ll stop up I don’t.

    I love the g diapers…no real leaks to speak of and we’ve been using them since the beginning on our daugter now one year old. We used to double up at night but now we just make sure our daughter drinks her last liquid at least one hour before bed.

    The gel sounds concerning however. I would be interested to hear more about that in terms of the baby’s health w/it next to their skin. Overnight one might be on for 10-11 hours.

  42. Phoebe, I don’t think there are any known health risks associated with SAP in diapers for girl babies. There is some concern, however, with boy babies who wear disposable diapers (including gDiapers). Wearing disposable diapers increases their scrotal temperature, which may affect fertility. In fact, disposable diapers have been linked to the rise in male infertility over the years. Here’s an article about it on the Dr. Spock website. (If you Google “scrotal temperature disposable diapers” you’ll find dozens of articles about it.)

  43. I used a gDiaper cover+cloth pre-fold combo too, as many other moms did. I won’t bore you with more details on that, as it worked just fine and I have nothing new to report that hasn’t already been said here.

    What I did want to share, though, was about the composting! We tossed the whole pad into the compost if it wasn’t poopy, and if it was, we flushed it. He doesn’t even poop daily, so it was <1/day for flushing. They composted ones really did biodegrade, and I guess it’s all part of our garden today. 🙂

  44. We’ve primarily been using the g diapers for going “out and about.” The rest of the time my daughter is in cloth.
    Overall, I haven’t been that impressed— the insert tends to bunch up in the center and my daughter’s a heavy wetter, so we have to change very frequently, or we end up toting around a nekkid baby:)
    I loved the concept of the diaper, but at twice the price of disposables and four times the price of cloth, I just don’t think they’re worth it for full-time use. I may give it a try with a prefold or flat, but my AIO cloths work so well, they’d be hard to top.

  45. I just started using g diapers on my 15 month old and so far so good I had a leak or two but I experienced leaks with regular disposables as well. I find that they are so easy to use and I also feel better that they won’t forever sit in a landfill. My son also loves the fit as they don’t pinch his legs as pampers did. I would recommend these as they are also easy for my daycare provider to get use to.

  46. My son is three months old now and we’ve been trying the G’s, alternating with disposables. There is no question that disposables are easier but the G’s are great. We love them and are planning to switch to the G’s full-time as soon as they arrive this week. They do leak on occasion but so do the disposables. Most of the time they are fine. The liners also stain but that doesn’t bother me. We do have to use two of the inserts because he pees a bunch even with frequent changes. I think many of the people writing here are comparing the G’s to cloth which for me is missing the point. Cloth are clearly a good option but a lot of folks who choose G’s do so because they don’t want to deal with cloth. In my opinion, no matter the drawbacks, G’s are WAY better than all the throw-a-ways!!

  47. JEnniFer says

    Just wanted to say that i use the covers with prefolds as well, and they work great! I’ve tried many cloth covers and the gDiaper covers seem to work the best for us, i love the snap in liner. I had purchased a pack of the inserts that you are supposed to use at a consignment sale recently just to try it out..i figured at $5 that i spent on a whole pack it was worth it. However, i did not like using the gDiaper insert, it seemed to bunch up alot and there was a leaking problem. I didnt flush them, just tossed them in the garbage (we have septic and i wasnt going to risk it). I only wish that the gDiapers came in a larger size than just large, my 20month old is about to outgrow them, she is 32lbs and wide.

  48. Have used gdiapers with both of my sons and rarely have leaks. I love these diapers. I read the gdiapers website extensively and am careful about putting them on correctly. We rarely have leaks and have had no problems flushing or composting. They just came out with cloth inserts specifically for the gdiaper and I love those as well.

  49. wow… quite a lot has been said.

    I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone really considered that for anything to biodegrade it must be exposed to the elements, particularly oxygen and water, but also warmth, direct sunlight being the best. So… while the company claims faster biodegradability even if these things end up in the landfill, that only stands if the landfill is not a sanitary closed system like most are these days.

    Also, if they are being flushed properly, the chemicals used to treat the water have a footprint all their own. AND not all biosolids, the stuff skimmed off the top of the water being treated, are used as fertilizer. In fact, most of it is carted to a dump rather than put through the permit process to spread.

    I am a cloth diaper fan, leaks are minimal once you find the right cover for your baby’s shape. I do however, find myself using more and more disposables now that I am diapering a fifth child. I am interested in getting my hands on some gdiapers, covers only, just to test fit and durability with my cloth.

    to any and all, be as eco-conscious as you can, conserving water where necessary, composting if you can, landfilling if you must. There is not right answer for one… just like the babies themselves, diapering will be a different experience for everyone.

  50. I just started using gDiapers today actually. Thanks for all the great post shown here. I am going to use some cloth inserts at night to prevent leaks. I wouldn’t have know that without all this info!!!

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