Some common reasons that cloth diapering parents use disposable diapers include:
- Sickness – diarrhea, yeast infection, or severe diaper rash
- Childcare provider not willing to use or accept cloth diapers
- Relatives or friends not willing to use or accept cloth diapers
ENVIRONMENT: Are hybrid systems any better for the environment compared to disposables?
- Both the Flip and GroVia disposable inserts are much smaller in size than disposables creating less waste by volume than disposable diapers.
- Both Flip and GroVia disposable inserts contain only 3 grams of SAP compared to 10-20 in traditional disposable diapers which makes them a healthier option for your baby compared to disposable diapers.
- Since the Flip and GroVia are meant to be used inside a diaper cover or shell they don’t need any ink to decorate the outside of the diapers like with disposables.
- They also don’t need Velcro on each disposable insert since they are placed inside a reusable shell or cover.
- Flip inserts are made using a bamboo viscose, wood pulp filler, and starch-based glues (all better than plastic based products used in other disposable diapers)
- GroVia are both biodegradable and compostable (see notes below).
- GroVia are fragrance free, dye free, plastic free and chlorine free.
- Both are made by cloth diaper companies whose primary mission is to get more babies in cloth diapers.
SPACE: If you are traveling and space is limited the hybrid systems are hands down the best option. You can see here the difference between the sizes of each insert. The GroVia Biosoakers are actually the smallest of them all.
FIT: Using disposable diapers for a week made me realize how badly they fit a baby. Disposables fit poorly around the legs and waists and are more likely to leak than a cloth diaper. The GroVia BioSoakers are a much better fitting insert and include an inner leg gusset and protective layer unlike the Flip. However, both the Flip and GroVia liners are used with an outer shell or cover which will actually add an extra layer of protection from leaks. Since they both use an outer shell they are truly a better fit than disposable diapers.
COMPOSTING AND BIODEGRADABILITY: GroVia markets their disposable inserts to be compostable and biodegradable (under certain conditions). Be sure to educate yourself on the conditions that would be required to compost and degrade naturally.
My final thoughts on hybrids and disposables: I think that parents (especially mothers) have enough stresses in their lives that if they choose to use a disposable diaper or disposable insert they shouldn’t feel like a bad parent. With that being said I also think that if a parent feels strongly about using cloth diapers 100% of the time that there is a way to use cloth diapers in every situation. Only you know your boundaries and limits.
If you are faced with deciding between a hybrid system (like the Flip and GroVia) and a disposable diaper the hybrid systems are better for the environment, better for your babies health, and better for your wallet. The differences may not be as significant as when you use cloth diapers but every little bit helps. I also think that hybrid systems are a great option for those parents who are unsure if they are ready to make the commitment to cloth diapers.
What are your thoughts on hybrids? Have you used them? Do you like them better than disposable diapers?
By Calley Pate – owner and editor of The Eco Chic blog and Eco Chic Parties.