Ouch! When I was pregnant, I started doing a lot of research and one of the topics was cloth diapers. My husband, Dalmacio and I were trying to decide if we wanted to do cloth diapers or not. And then when I googled information on how long it takes for disposable diapers to decompose, I was horrified. WHAT? 500 years??!! And that was just for 1 single disposable diaper! Can you imagine all the disposable diapers decaying with the feces and leaching chemicals that are in our landfills from the millions of parents that use them for their children? That information alone helped us to make the decision to look further into purchasing cloth diapers.
And so the research craze began. I couldn’t stop - I had to know more information on cloth diapers and how to incorporate it into our lives. While perusing through the pages of my favorite magazine called “Mothering” (a very awesome magazine that highlights informative articles on breastfeeding to vaccines to heart-warming birth stories to eco-friendly stores and websites, etc.), I came across a cloth diaper online store called Mother Ease. After thoroughly reviewing the section "Info and Education" that’s when we decided to definitely purchase some cloth diapers and see how challenging it would be to incorporate it into our lives.
I have to admit though that it was a little overwhelming with the different choices of cloth diapers out there. The choices seemed endless - anywhere from fitted diapers to AOI’s (All in Ones) to pocket diapers to one size diapers to prefold diapers, etc. And then there are diaper covers made out of PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) and then of course there’s my favorite, the wool covers (which is another category of its own with a selection of soakers, longies, shorties, etc.). And then there’s the choice of snaps, Velcro, well, you get the picture. So yeah at first it took me some time getting cozy to the idea of cloth diapers but once we dove in, it wasn’t so bad at all.
For any of those considering going cloth, I actually did a search on the different style of diapers and there is actually a Cloth Diaper dictionary! A few helpful links are:
1. Babe Hause
2. Cloth Diaper Dictionary
Other great resources on cloth diapering are:
1. Cloth Diaper Blog
2. Diaper Pin FAQ
3. Clother Diapering - has alot of great articles on cloth diapering
4. All About Cloth Diapers - has posts on the top 10 diapers
After the overwhelm had somewhat subsided, we thought before investing too much money into one diaper company, we decided to try it out part time. Ya know, cloth diaper when we’re at home and then use gDiapers when we go out. In case you’re wondering, the gDiaper Starter Kit is a hybrid diaper system that has a biodegradable liner that decomposes within 50-150 days.
We decided to go with 12 One-Size diapers from Mother-Ease and well, let’s just say, after a couple of months of cloth diapering part time, we never looked back with disposables and soon went full time with it. We chose One-Size diapers because we felt it was the most cost effective for our money where Andrik could wear them from birth until toddler age (roughly 8 lbs to 40 lbs).
It really felt good knowing that not only was my son having less diaper rashes from all the icky chemicals that they put in disposable diapers but more importantly that we are making a big difference with our blueprint with Mama Gaia (Mother Earth). Not to mention the savings in our pockets! Sure it may seem a lot when you’re initially purchasing cloth diapers but realistically parents are spending wayyy more on disposables.
I know, I know…you’re probably thinking “Isn’t it tedious to have to wash the diapers?” Truthfully, no it actually isn’t. We thought it would be but once we got the hang of it, it became second nature to us. And it definitely helped purchasing the Bum Genius Diaper Sprayer that attaches to the toilet so you can rinse the soiled diapers before washing them. Just the reassurance knowing that we’re one less family that will be dumping approximately 5,300 disposable diapers into the landfill (that is how many parents will go through for each child from birth to toilet training) made us feel that we are definitely making a difference for our planet!
And then there’s also the debate of whether cloth diapers are really more planet-friendly than disposables because of the energy it takes to wash and dry the cloth diapers vs disposables. Trust me, I looked into that, as well. Here are a couple of links that can shed some light. 1. Environment and 2. The Cloth vs. Disposable Dilemma. Either way, we felt choosing cloth diapers over disposables was the right choice for our family and we feel good about this choice!
Although our introduction to cloth diapers started with Mother Ease diapers, it didn’t end there. I had remembered purchasing some bellydance costume items from an online store called Etsy. I remembered there being a plethora of hand-made items from various designers and thought heck, maybe there are designers that make cloth diapers. And man was there ever a variety of cloth diapers (and cheaper than other online stores). I soon discovered that I had become a cloth diaper geek. Yes there is such a thing and I am damn proud of it! :o)
I was like a kid in a candy store, viewing through the many etsy stores to choose from. I have to honestly say that Etsy is where I go now. And most of the WAHM’s (Work At Home Mom’s) are amazing and offer so much information and help. Just a little tip, there are also some great organic clothing stores and natural, non-toxic wood toy stores, as well.
But since we’re on the topic of cloth diapers, I figured it would be great to highlight a few of the etsy stores that I’ve purchased from.
For cloth diapers, I’ve gone to the following:
2. Twinkle Toes Diapers
For Swim Diapers (which I actually won a contest by naming part of the diaper “Snappy Swimz-ease – I came up with the SwimzEaze part and the short description):
1. Vilate's Nifty Nook
For Wool Longies/Shorties:
For cloth baby wipes:
1. Monkey Snuggles Diaper: Monkey Snuggles Diaper
2. Twinkle Toes Diapers
For Wet Diaper Bags:
1. Mommy Earth
2. Wee Ones by JaJoc - they not only make wet diaper bags but diapers, as well.
But to tell you the truth, our favorite cloth diapers that we use all the time are the ones my cousin donated to us called TotBots. Perhaps it was because they were more fitted than all the other ones that we purchased that were one size diapers. Although I believe the ones that we have are no longer made because it looks like the ones they have now are a bit different (but they actually look even better).
There were also a couple of other online stores that I found on one of my Mothering magazine issues that could be useful (although I didn't use them for ourselves). So check out the following:
1. Cloth Diaper Clearance
2. Jillian's Drawers - they have a very cool program call Changing Diapers, Changing Minds program that allows you to try several different styles of diapers to see what you and your baby like best.
3. Nicki's Diapers
4. Kelly's Closet
5. Green Mountain Diapers
So in case you and your family ever want to make the transition from disposables to cloth diapering, just know that there is a medley of information out there to help support you with your questions and transition. I hope my words of encouragement and the links I’ve given can give you some insight and peace of mind.