There is a place for disposables?

February 27, 2011 by
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!

 

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