Get to know a cloth diaper… and you will be repaid

September 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Community, Starting out 

Diapers stink.  A veteran diaper changer knows how to settle a baby for a quick routine of changing the pad covering their bottom from dirty to clean.  But we do tire of it.  Diaper fatigue sets in and parents want to know how to get those little bottoms to clean up themselves!  Consider cloth.

Cloth diapers have snuck up under the radar of big box merchants as a fantastic cottage industry in the last decade.  The products available for cloth diapers and their accessories are numerous.  Technology has crept into the cloth diaper industry with amazing variety and results for style and leak protection.

Get to know the who, what, where, and why of cloth diapers for 2012 with 5 great benefits!

  1. Get to know your baby – count, look, predict
    When a baby is brand new, your doctor, doula, or midwife will direct you to count the dirty diapers and feeding times as it is the best tool to communicate how baby is doing.  Parents learn to watch for the signals baby gives when they are creating a messy diaper.  These signals connect parents with the baby and it can benefit right through to potty training! You can get repaid with less wasteful diaper changes!
  2. Get to know your community – shop, support, advocate, network
    Getting into cloth can help you figure out who sells diapers beyond the grocery store and pharmacy. There are diaper retailers and resellers in every community.  When you find someone to talk about cloth diapers with, you start building a support community and seek out others to share with. You can gift, give, ship (termed fluffy mail), and reuse cloth diapers for more than one baby! Encourage other parents to start with reusable swim diapers.  You can get repaid with new friends and a new hobby!
  3. Get to know what you spend – money: build, change, sell your stash, time: with baby/family
    Having children can cost a lot of money.  In diapers alone, you can spend $2,500 from newborn to potty training for 6,000 disposable diapers*. Let’s take $1000 of that diaper budget and trick your baby out with some great cloth diaper fluff for wash at home!  A cloth diaper stash will be made up of about 3 dozen diapers per baby, a pail, tote bags, and lotions.  The cost on this can run from $150 to $1000 – with you setting the budget!  Get repaid by putting good money into good gear.
  4. Get to know your laundry machine – detergent, stains, cycles for efficiency
    Cloth diaper manufacturers recommend using safer products to wash with which translates to, cleaner machines, and reduced wear & tear on machine.  You become a pro at knowing the best routine and when you stick to it you will have great success and enjoy your cloth diapering.
  5. Get to know healthy options – where does your diaper come from, what fabric works best for baby, what happens to a disposable, what other choices are healthy?  Ask these questions and more as a new parent.  It helps you learn what is best for baby and translates into other areas of your life – without you hardly noticing!  Get repaid – with dividends!

There is a place for disposables?

February 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, Experiences, Starting out 

As you see from some of the references to cloth diaper research online I have become a great follower of a Texan mom who enthusiastically writes about cloth diapers.  She has a killer sense of humour and an honest way of reviewing many topics related to cloth diapers and getting them clean.

One of her latest postings really caught my eye and I had a good read, so I invite you to do the same.  Are Disposable Diapers Really That Bad?

There is a short history of disposable diapers compared to cloth diapers in our society.  Yet cloth diapers have only been formally around for about 200 years.  Cloth like a linen or other available fabrics and even vegetation were the first recognized padding under baby’s clothing to absorb their pee and poops.  Baby was swaddled in these clothes and changed once a day as personal hygiene standards were lower than they are today.  (Reference to academic article here)  Toilet training was begun at very early ages to avoid having so much mess to clean.  Parents today can tell me stories about how young they were when toilet trained as their mothers would finish with diapers by 18 months as the next baby needed them!  Plastic or rubber pants were soon fashioned to fit over the cloth diaper and that is the image many grandparents still have of cloth diapers and then they remember the washing with inferior machines, let alone hard water and uneffective soaps!

Enter the modern day. Parents introduce baby to the world from a hospital bed with baby wearing a supplied disposable diapers.  I’m not saying all parents go this way, but my first two did and about 1,400 babies each year are born in the Peterborough hospital.  It’s fair to say disposable diapers are commonplace now.  Cloth diapers are still trying to escape their work intensive, smelly past with the advent of PUL fabrics in beautiful designs and patterns to make any new parent proud of their baby’s tush!  I have upgraded to a front loader HE washing machine when I moved to Peterborough and love it!  The detergents have been formulated now to produce less suds (lower phosphates) and use less water (which will show off the benefits when the water meter gets installed).  Detergents have very appealing scents or none at all.  Plus we now find many biodegradable products for the same cost or cheaper than good old Tide.  Oh, how technology and education has advanced the diaper industry!

Have you backed up your reasoning to a cloth diaper parent for why you use disposables? Have you snubbed you nose at a disposable diapered supporter?  Let’s try on each others shoes for a bit and recognize where they are both advantageous.

Changing Ways hosts a playgroup called Diapering Darlings and I do have a half bag of size 2 diapers on hand for parents who come over and may have gone through their last diaper in the bag.  A disposable will help get that family back home without the stress of an accident along the way.  Another time the disposables came out was when I hadn’t kept up with washing our diaper covers and I was sick of it – just stressed over the poop my daughter kept producing.  I put her in two disposables that day and when I finally had the time to think, those covers were ALL washed and ready again for use.

I am aware parents practice cloth diapering with exceptions.  Here’s a short list:

  • except at nighttime
  • except when we visit the doctor
  • except when we go over to Grandma’s
  • except when baby goes to daycare
  • except when baby is left with dad
  • except when baby has a rash
  • except when I know the biggest poop of the day is coming, etc.
  • I have even heard from parents who use disposable diapers except when they run out and so they pull out the cloth diapers until they can restock the disposables.  I love that one!

My previous post offered a challenge for using cloth diapers 3 times/day to cut down in some way on the waste.  Consider a newborn can burn through 10 diapers/day so in one week with a baby using 3 cloth diapers a day, 21 disposable diapers could be saved from waste while baby was in cloth.  Those numbers can add up and remember how cheap the investment was to get cloth diapers for 3 diaper changes?  Forty bucks.

As a cloth diaper user, what comments have you had to support your cloth diaper habit?  Are comments positive, admiring, negative, depressing?

As a disposable diaper user, what comments have you had to support your disposable diaper habit?  Does anyone ever question you?

Now we can pick from so many brands of disposable diapers (but even more with cloth diapers!) and there seem to only be three competitors out there – Huggies, Pampers, and store brand diapers.  Can I give you a fourth option?

Introducing Simply Kids. This a whole line up of baby products from disposable diapers to lotions and wipes!  They are special to me as it was the brand I was buying when I did use disposable diapers.  And then I met one of the owners last year: Pinball Clemens.  You know – the football guy from the Toronto Argonauts who was an amazing player for being such a little guy and then became the coach for the team he loved!  Pinball and his wife work together in this corporation and I want you to check out the Contact page too as you can see the address is Toronto!

Simply Kids Home

In Peterborough, Simply Kids is available at the Metro grocery store in the north end.  Why not support a Canadian entrepreneur for your baby care needs?  Try it out!

 

Change 3 Things – a cloth diaper revolution for 2011

February 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, Diapers, Experiences 

Change 3 Things

Here’s the challenge:  reduce our impact on the world by using 3 cloth diapers on your baby each day.  I found this Cause off of Facebook and the link to the blog to describe the cause.

The challenge does not ask parents to convert from disposable to cloth.  It does not offer any monetary incentives other than obvious savings for not using the disposable diaper.  Get some cloth diapers and use them 3 times a day on your baby – just 3 times.

Why take on this challenge?

With the disposable diapers today’s parents wore still stuck in landfill, we are adding to the waste created by our disposable society.  Reduce your consumption by 3 diapers a day.  It is a choice you can make.

With Changing Ways, you can start small and meet this challenge.  Set up with one dozen cloth diapers – either new or retired plus 2 diaper covers.  At the low end your investment is $40 and as high as $83 or more if you try more gear.  One purchase can last you until baby is out of diapers.  Hey, there’s a neat concept – paying for diapers once, at the beginning.

I have done cloth diapers part time, full time, and not at all.  I got into cloth because of the waste and my purchasing power.  I would have rather fixed my diaper cost each month and have someone else deal with the mess environmentally than have my own baby be responsible for all that landfill.

Cloth and disposable have their place.  Disposable diapers were originally intended for travel.  They took over the diaper marketplace only 30 years ago !  Since then, women have started a revival in cloth diapering just as they have gotten better stuff for periods (remember those yucky Kotex with the belt?), and for nursing (who can’t love an electric breast pump!).  We are putting ourselves first again in some parts of our lifes.  We want efficiency, tidiness, and a pretty factor!

How to make this challenge possible?

Research is a mom’s best friend.  We want to know the options, compare the reviews, test drive the products before we really commit.  Do you shop online?  Most Canadians do a lot of research online, but not as much shopping as those to our south.  So, check out the products listed under the Cloth Diaper Products tab above to see what Changing Ways offers locally.  Are you interested in more diapers out there?  Click on the link to the blog All About Cloth Diapers.com to see all the parent conversations over all kinds of cloth diapers!  Do you want to actually touch and feel the diapers before settling on a brand or diaper system?  Cover over to Diapering Darlings or Toddlers in Training cloth playgroups I host to see it all.  There are All in One diapers, Flip diapers, pocket diapers, and 2 part diapers.  All will support an absorbent liner with a waterproof cover.

Then decide what cloth diapers you want to test drive and order them in!  Or sign up for a month’s diaper service trial!  Taking away the washing aspect lets some parents continue to love using cloth diapers on baby.  I, for one, hate laundry of any kind.

There will be a minor learning curve as you figure out the snaps or aplix closures and how to get the laundry routine started.  You will not be alone though!  Peterboruogh and area have many households already using cloth and by asking questions you may find some new friends!

How would this challenge benefit my baby?

With cloth diapers, you know exactly what material you are exposing your baby too.  Many of their own clothing is made of the same/similar fibres already such as cotton, micro fleece, and waterproof polyesters.  With disposable diapers, there are some fancy chemical reactions going on underneath that protective padding.

In using cloth diapers, your child will know what the feeling of being wet is and the diaper can get changed when its soiled instead of when you believe its time for a change.  This small change will help prepare your child for earlier toilet training – even with using just 3 cloth diapers each day.

You can travel and overnight with cloth diapers on baby so you won’t be limiting your activities in choosing cloth.

Will you take the challenge?  Have you already been challenged?

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