Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Monday, March 28, 2011

On the Fence About Cloth Diapers?

Let's talk about reasons to use cloth diapers.

Cloth diapers are better for the environment. The Real Diaper Association reports that:
  • Disposable diapers are the third most common consumer product in landfills today.
  • A disposable diaper may take up to 500 years to decompose.
  • One baby in disposable diapers will contribute at least 1 ton of waste to your local landfill.
Cloth diapers are a more economical choice than disposables.
  • You could easily spend $2500.00 on 2 1/2 years of disposable diapers.
  • So far, my total investment (excluding washing costs - but my water and energy costs haven't increased) has only been about $400.00 (and I have way more cloth diapers than one needs).
Cloth diapers don't contain the chemicals that disposables do.
  • Unless you buy chlorine free diapers, they contain a byproduct of the bleaching process called dioxins. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals known to science and are listed by the EPA as highly carcinogenic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions.
  • Disposable diapers also contain sodium polyacrylate which was removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns. As it has only been used in diapers for the last two decades, there is not yet research on the long-term health effects of sodium polyacrylate on babies.
  • Additional chemicals found in disposable diapers are: tributyl-tin (TBT), VOCs, and more
Children in cloth diapers often potty train sooner than children in disposables.
  • Since the introduction of disposable diapers, the average age of potty training has jumped from 18 months to 36 months!
  • A child in a cloth diaper can feel that they are wet where they often can't tell the difference in a disposable diaper because it pulls the moisture away from the skin.
I posted a poll on facebook asking parents to list reasons why they were hesitant to use cloth diapers. These are some of the answers I got.

Reasons parents don't want to use cloth diapers:

Poop in the washing machine & all the other laundry issues (frequency, time, etc).
  • Poop is not that big of a deal! Go here to see what Cotton Babies recommends. 
  • Most people wash their diapers every 2 - 3 days. That is 3 extra loads of laundry each week. But honestly, one of my favorite things to do is wash diapers. There is no folding and that's the worst part about laundry!
Cloth diapers are inconvenient.
  • I have traveled to Chicago from DFW, changing planes twice and still used cloth.
  • I purchased a wet bag from Target for $9. It stays in my diaper bag and if I have to change a diaper when we're out and about I throw it in the (waterproof, stink proof) wet bag until we get home.
  • I store my dirty diapers in a trash can with a lid like this one. I line it with a plastic trash bag (same one for 5 months!) but some people use a washable bag. Every 3 - 4 days I just dump it in the washing machine.
Expensive start up costs.
  • Go here. Purchase 3 day packs at $49.95 each. For less than $150 you now have enough diapers to diaper your baby from birth through potty training. You will only have to wash your diapers every 2 - 3 days.
  • Go here. Purchase one 12 pack. For about $200 you now have enough diapers to diaper your baby from birth through potty training. You will have to wash your diapers every other day.
  • Go here. Purchase one 12 pack. For about $225 you now have enough diapers to diaper your baby from birth through potty training. You will have to wash your diapers every other day.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get diapering!

Lori is a blogger and mommy of a 5 1/2 month old son known around the 'net as "the gnome." She has been buying fluff since she was pregnant and cloth diapering the gnome almost since birth. You can read more about the gnome at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Started

It's hard to believe that I have been using cloth diapers for a little over a year.  My oldest was 2.5 years, and my youngest was 2 months when a friend sent me a message asking if I had considered using cloth diapers.  My initial thought was Heck no!  But with 2 in diapers, it was getting very expensive buying 2 boxes of diapers every week.  So out of curiousity, I checked out the link she sent me.  I was amazed at how far cloth diapers have come!  I still thought they were the old prefolds and plastic pants that my mom used on me.  I was way off.

I talked it over with my hubby.  I decided to order just a few, since I still was very skeptical.  I bought a Flip single pack, a BumGenius (3.0, since the 4.0's weren't out yet) pocket, and a gDiaper.  I was so excited to actually see them once they arrived in the mail.  I was unaware of any local CD shops, so I had to order everything online.  If only I had known....

Eli (3 months old) wearing a Flip.
 Flip was the very first CD Eli wore.  I loved it!  I wasn't crazy about the BG, but later it became his night time diaper and I ordered more.  I did not like the gDiaper, and soon sold it online.  I bought more Flips, and found Smartipants.  The appeal to Smartipants was that I didn't need to remove the insert prior to washing, since the sleeve design allows it to agitate out in the wash.  I quickly fell in love with the whole idea of cloth diapering.  As soon as we got our tax refund, we bought a full stash.

Riley was only in CD's at home, and in disposables while out of the house.  Soon, it was time for potty training, so I bought 2 cloth trainers (for out of the house, he was in undies at home).  But Eli was in cloth full time as soon as we had a full stash. 

Eli and Riley wearing Doodle Dypes.
The laundry was so much easier than I expected.  I decided to go with Tide original powder, since that is what was recommended to me on the Cloth Diaper board on BabyCenter (which is where I spent a lot of time when we started using CD's, trying to absorb as much information as I could).  I explained that I wanted something I could pick up while grocery shopping, that I didn't have to order online, and many people recommended Tide.  So I tried it, and it worked great.  The most difficult part of CDing was not a problem for me.  My husband was unsure at first, since I hate laundry.  He was concerned that I would fall behind on diaper laundry, like I tend to do with regular laundry.  But I have found that I actually enjoy doing the cloth diaper laundry.

I have since tried many different types and brands of cloth diapers.  I sell the ones I'm not crazy about, or that just aren't used much.  In keeping with the saving money idea, I try very hard to stick to my self imposed "buy one sell one" policy.

My family and friends are pretty supportive of our choice to use cloth diapers.  My mom and mother in law will change them, no problem.  Even our church nursery is fine with them.  I do get a lot of "What do you do with the poop?" and related questions.  But I just explain the benefits of cloth diapers, and no one says anything else (even if I can tell they still think they're gross).

I wish I had known about the modern cloth diapers when Riley was born, but I didn't.  We are hoping for another LO sometime in the next couple of years, and I am already trying to decide what newborn fluff to use!   

Eli showing his American spirit in a Little Flower Minkie OS pocket.
We started CDing to save money.  I honestly thought (at first) that everything else was just a bonus.  I did like that we dealt with fewer diaper rashes.  And of course, no more dirty diapers stinking up the house, or diaper trash to take out.  And then I started reading about all of the chemicals in disposables.  We may have started to save money, but we continue to cloth diaper for so many reasons. 

Brenda is mommy to 2 boys, ages 3.5 years & 16 months.  She started using cloth diapers when her youngest was 2 months and her oldest was 2.5 years.  She founded the DFW Cloth Diaper Group in August 2010 to meet local CDing families, and to help those interested in CD's get started. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

DFW Cloth Diaper Group

Welcome to our new blog! 

As some of you may know, I started this group in August 2010.  I was mostly interested in meeting a few local families who also use cloth diapers.  I started a page on Facebook, and set up our first meeting. 

Only one mama showed up with her little one.  I was just happy someone showed up!  Over the next couple of months, it was just me and my boys at the meet-ups.  I was slightly disappointed, since the Facebook group was slowly growing, but the monthly meet ups were not.  But in January, we hit 100 members (yay!).  I changed the day to a Friday, instead of Saturday.  We had about 15 show up!!  I was thrilled, and a bit overwhelmed. 

February, we hit 200 members, only a few weeks after reaching 100.  And now, in March, we have 344 members!!!  The Facebook page has become very active, with members helping each other out and sharing their CD experience.  We also now have our own website, with general CD information, and also our local group info.

The DFW Cloth Diaper Group is also co-hosting the Great Cloth Diaper Change (with Baby Rear Gear of Arlington).  We are participating in a world-wide event to set the Guinness World Record(tm) for the most simultaneous cloth diaper changes!  The event will take place on April 23, at 10am (CDT).  Details for our local event can be found here.

All that leads us here, to this blog.  I decided a blog would be a great way to hear local moms experience in cloth diapers.  We may occassionally stray from CD's and discuss other natural parenting topics, but it will be mostly about CD's.  We already have the first few contributers lined up!  Our first topic will be Getting Started, which I thought was appropriate as we start this blog.

Brenda is mommy to 2 boys, ages 3.5 years & 16 months.  She started using cloth diapers when her youngest was 2 months and her oldest was 2.5 years.  She founded the DFW Cloth Diaper Group in August 2010 to meet local CDing families, and to help those interested in CD's get started.