Archive | Cloth Diapers RSS feed for this section

MY Cloth Diapers – Pics so you can see what they look like!

14 Oct

Omg so I’m a nerd I selflessly admit this to all friends and family. I LOVE my cloth diapers, and to be honest even if saving money wasn’t the reason, I’d still do them environmentally wise it’s fantastic! Anyhoo let me not go on about how happy cloth diapers make me (see told ya I’m a nerd)!

You all I’m sure think I use white cloths that are pinned and then I put on some plastic pants. Diapers have changed SO much so this is what a stash looks like!

This is a handmade cover that I got from a Mom on FB who runs Tiny Tukus Cloth Diapers so I got to choose the prints I wanted and they look FANTASTIC!

These I’ve singled out cause I think they’re so cute! They’re Grovia brand ones.

My cute diapers in different colours, I went with some more neutral stuff, I actually sold the old pink stuff I had to buy stuff that would be ‘neutral’ but I couldn’t resist the purple, purple flower and pink covers wayy too adorable to pass up!

And YUP you can sell your cloth diapers when you’re finished using them, it’s HUGE, there is a site dedicated to it called DiaperSwappers. Most of what’s in this pic I got off of it! Great deals!

Advertisements

Why I Chose Cloth Diapers – By Michelle Kennedy

12 Oct

Home Family Babies Clothing and Diapers Why I Choose Cloth Diapers

It was an ordinary afternoon at the basketball field. I was on the bleachers watching my oldest (again) play and was simultaneously wrestling my almost two-year-old (he arches his back and slams his head into my chest and I snuggle him to keep him from falling down a flight of bleacher stairs). I checked his diaper and proceeded to change him in a secluded spot. There was nothing unusual so far, but when I turned my head to retrieve his new diaper, I noticed several moms looking over my shoulder. I looked up from my spot on the floor and said, “Hi,” in an obviously-confused manner.

“What are you doing?” one of the ladies said.

“Changing Jack’s diaper,” I replied, trying not to “crack wise” as my grandmother would have said.

“What is that?” another lady said, pointing to Jack’s diaper.

“A diaper,” I said, wondering if I had to start speaking slowly and loudly too. And then it dawned on me why they were looking at me so strangely.

“Oh,” I said. “It’s a cloth diaper.”

“Really?” one of the mom’s asked. “You do that?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I have for years.”

“Gross,” was one mother’s reply. “I could never do that,” another said. “I wish I could,” said another, “but it’s just too much.”

Their reactions shouldn’t have surprised me, but they did a little. I mean, I understand thinking that cloth diapers can be a hassle, but to not even recognize one when they saw it?

After the initial shock wore off, I proceeded to give the other mothers a small class. I like to call it “Cloth Diapers 101.”

The first question is always, “Why do I use cloth diapers?” Why wouldn’t I?

Let’s first put aside the fact that cloth diapers are really soft and it’s the only thing I can imagine putting next to my baby’s even softer skin. Let’s look at a disposable diaper. A disposable diaper contains traces of dioxin, a very toxic chemical bi-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical and is classified by the EPA as being the most toxic of all the cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries.

Disposables also contain Tributyl-tin (TBT), a known toxic pollutant said to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.

Disposables have that lovely gel inside them, sodium polyacrylate, which is a super absorbent polymer that has been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome.

If I spend so much time making sure that my baby only tries one food at a time to prevent food allergies, how on Earth can I validate putting this stuff on an area of extreme sensitivity.

There is also that whole environmental issue that often comes up. According to Carl Lehrburger, author of Diapers in the Waste Stream: A review of waste management and public policy issues: “In 1988, over 18 billion diapers were sold and consumed in the United States that year. The instructions on a disposable diaper package advice that all fecal matter should be deposited in the toilet before discarding, yet less than one half of one percent of all waste from single-use diapers goes into the sewage system. Over 92% of all single-use diapers end up in a landfill. In 1988, nearly $300 million dollars were spent annually just to discard disposable diapers, whereas cotton diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags.”

Further, disposables generate 60 times more solid waste and use 20 times more raw materials like crude oil and wood pulp than cloth diapers.

In 1991, an attempt towards recycling disposable diapers was made in the city of Seattle, involving 800 families, 30 day care centers, a hospital and a Seattle-based recycler for a period of one year. The conclusion made by Procter & Gamble was that recycling disposable diapers was not an economically feasible task on any scale.

“But I can’t be responsible for the whole world,” one mom said.

“No,” I replied, “but we can be responsible for our part in it. Besides, cloth diapers are way cheaper than disposables.”

“No, they’re not, they are so expensive to buy,” she said.

“At first,” I replied. “But I purchased five dozen diapers for Matt 14 years ago and I am still using diapers that I used on him on Jack. I’ve bought a dozen or two for each kid in between, but that’s it.”

Cloth diapers are only around $20 a dozen. If one does the math out, for let’s say two children (I have five, and any math done for five children is daunting). Buy five dozen diapers at $20 a dozen off eBay. That’s $100. Buy 10 pairs of nylon cover pants with maximum price of $10 a piece, but again, you can always get them cheaper than that at thrift stores, yard sales or online. That’s another $100. Some diaper pins at $2. You get a total of $202.00. And both kids are diapered for as long as need be. And then you have to do the laundry, but you were going to do the laundry anyway. So adding a couple of loads a week (and small ones at that) shouldn’t add too much to the mix.

$200 compared to disposables, which cost approximately $20 a package or $10 if you buy cheap ones. A newborn baby will get at least 12 changes a day! And a toddler will take six to eight. So, let’s say 10 diapers a day on average for 28 months. That’s 8,540 diapers. Wow! I did a little comparison shopping at Amazon.com and found that one can get 140 diapers for approximately $35. That’s about 25 cents a piece for a diaper. Multiply that by 8,540 and that’s a whopping $2135 spent on disposables over a two year (ish) period. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot of ways to spend $2000. And that’s bargain shopping. That doesn’t count the $10 you have to spend on a quick package of 10 diapers at the convenience store because you ran out.

My new friends at the basketball game were shocked. They thought of themselves as being a pretty frugal bunch, but had never calculated the personal financial cost of using disposables.

“But what about diaper rash?” one of the moms asked.

For me personally, I have had five children in cloth diapers and not one has ever had a diaper rash problem. Once in a while, one will get a little redness, but it’s nothing that can’t be helped with a little Lansinoh or A&D Ointment. I have babysat for a lot of kids and the worse cases of diaper rash were on kids who were in disposables and usually those kids were left in their diapers a little too long. Further, I don’t put a cover on my baby’s diaper unless we are going out somewhere and we need to prevent leakage. Otherwise, my baby is in a pinned, organic cotton diaper, with air circulating and not a rash in sight.

My system for cloth diapering is almost as simple as disposable diapering. I keep a five-gallon bucket in the bathroom (which is also my laundry room) half-filled with water and a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda. When a diaper is wet, it comes off the baby and gets thrown in the bucket. A new diaper is put on the baby. Done. If the diaper is a little more, shall we say, involved, then it gets dunked in the toilet before being placed in the bucket.

If we are out and about, the offending diaper gets placed in a resealable bag and then placed in the bucket when we get home.

And that’s it. I do a load of diapers probably every two or three days. They are small loads with hot water and no bleach. In the winter, I use the dryer or hang by the woodstove. In the spring, summer and fall, I hang them outside.

Believe it or not, where I live, using cloth is actually more convenient than using disposables because I live very far from the nearest grocery store and our local stores do not always carry diapers. Being able to just run upstairs and run a load of laundry is much easier than strapping the kids in the car, buying gas, going to the grocery store, spending the money on the diapers, and then driving all the way home.

“But what about the poop?” a mom asked me again. Is it really so inconceivable that we must sometimes have to deal with poop? I know many women who clean out litter boxes and carry little bags around behind their dogs without so much as an “ick” but their own child’s poop? Blech! Poop is not that big a deal. Even with a disposable, you still have to look at it, smell it and clean it off a baby. You can’t get away from it. And with a disposable, you are supposed to put the offensive matter into a toilet before throwing it away. It’s just that no one ever does. If you can clean up after your dog, why not your child?

As it was once said (on a bumper sticker) “Poop Happens.”

Resources:

Ebay.com
The Real Diaper Association – realdiaperassociation.org
The Diaper Hyena – thediaperhyena.com
Ecobaby – ecobaby.com

Michelle Kennedy is the author of 11 books, the Founding Editor of Organically Inclined, http://www.organicallyinclined.org, and the mother of five (almost six) children. Please write to her at mailto:misha@mishakennedy.com.

Take the Next Step:

* Compare what you would shell out for disposables versus cloth diapers in the first year of your baby’s life, using the above calculations as a guideline. Then decide if cloth diapering is something you’d like to try.
* Discuss “Are Cloth Diapers Worth It?” with other Dollar Stretchers in The Dollar Stretcher Community

Original Post: Cloth Diapers

Cloth Diapers – Not so hard after all!

30 Sep

Part of my old cloth diaper articles 🙂

A little update (ok maybe a long one); one of the BIGGEST misconceptions, (or even what people love to say to you to say oh well you’re not saving money anyway you should just use disposables) is that you spend the money you save in your water and electric bill. I am telling you that this isn’t the case in my experience, I used disposables for an entire month recently and my bill came up to be the same exact amount as it was in the prior months. I’m sorry but I can’t say that the time and effort isn’t worth it for me, they’re cute, functional, work a million times better than a disposable and if you’ve never tried it, you can’t tell me, I’ve used both ;).

It’s hard that people are so apt on trying to convince me how great disposables are! I’ve used them, I’m not forcing you to use cloth diapers, it’s my decision, so then why are you trying to force me to use disposables? Whichever you choose it’s totally up to you! I made the green decision to save money, avoid chemical exposure, I can tell you when my sewn diapers didn’t work for the first 2 months I used the disposables and rejoiced in them! But when the bills started adding up, I changed focus and went back to my cloth diapers and I’ve never looked back! 🙂 I have to say, though disposables have chemical exposure, if someone buys them and gives them to me I will use them with no problem! 🙂

I just have to add in a special note – for how much people have tried to convince me to use disposables, I just have to say a special thank you to my husband, who used cloth diapers without complaint and actually enjoys using them and saving money and has even begun to have his own preferences in the different types and styles! He’s happy with them and that really was something special to me, to have his support regardless of the grandparents picking up a pack of disposables to use for when she’s visiting them! 🙂

And my article begins:
Everyone that hears I’m using cloth diapers typically starts with an ewww. You’re going to touch that! Hmm if only they knew. What you realise is when you have your own newborn you do plenty more than you ever expected and being peed and pooed on is one of those things! So inevitably if you’re avoiding it, it happens anyway! (E.g. we once had a diaper change that a poop was let out with such force it flew all over onto the floor hubs luckily jumped to the side and avoided being within range and my cousin stood there flabbergasted and what just occurred as poop was spread all over her floor luckily missing her bed! ;))

When it’s your child you’ll do anything! But not to mention it’s not ever as gross as anyone makes it seem. Naturally for us as adults we have an association with poop that isn’t too pleasant! Bearing that in mind breastfed poop is so clean you can’t imagine!

So get over your poop issues and jump on board the Cloth diaper wagon!

Next story – a little cloth diaper 101! (This will be a series of posts, from how many to buy, what you’ll need, types of diapers, diaper accessories, etc.)

My Cloth Diaper Decision

26 Sep

The following are the articles I wrote back in 2009 when I decided I was going to do cloth diapering! I have the diapers up in the cupboard as the covers I bought never fit her and I couldn’t put her in them alone otherwise we got wet with P, so I gave up on cloth diapering and for the first 2 months she was actually a disposable baby! Then my motivations changed, I got tired of always having to run out to spend $90 on a pack of only 42 diapers which would last a week and it was getting expensive! I started researching and came across Gdiapers, Grobaby (now called GroVia) and BumGenius.

Article starts here:
So after doing some extensive research I’ve decided that this is the way I want to go. I think disposables create wayy too much waste to even imagine, and since I’m going to be a stay at home mom (with assuming LOTS of time on my hands! Yes I laugh at myself also! 😛 ) I’ve taken the personal step towards being a little greener and making my own cloth diapers.

Now the biggest problem encountered is that we just don’t have as easy access to all of the ’supplies’ namely if I wanted to create an All-in-One diaper (aka the closest thing to a disposable!) I’m not able to purchase the necessary waterproofing fabrics. I find it amazing that we have such ‘good’ cloth stores but I’m telling you I don’t find a thing in there!

So my next post is going to be a couple pics of my finished cloth diapers in two sizes a preemie/doll size and a newborn size. Both very cute! You will see from the descriptions bellow the type of diaper I am sewing is a pocket fitted diaper, so I’ve combined two, as I want fast drying time and the ability to adjust the level of wetness protection. This type of diaper requires a cover.

Now I know we’re accustom to the typical thought of old time diapers with pins, but oh how things have changed! So I’m going to give a rundown of cloth diapers these days!

Take a look at the many different cloth diapers at DiaperJungle: diaperjungle