Monday, February 9, 2009

Cloth Diapers?

If you've been considering cloth diapers for environmental causes, skin sensitivites, cost savings or any other reason you've probably realized things have changed since your mother's and grandmother's day. Granted, there's a little more work involved but more and more moms are opting for the savings and other benefits of the new "old fashioned" way of diapering. I found it was one of many economic measures that allowed me to be a SAHM and it was worth it for me. Now it's the "green" thing to do as well. Click on the post for a site that discusses costs involved in using disposables. It's a complicated issue, just as most of our environmental problems are, but something to think about. You can read more here and here

"...No one can say definitively whether cloth or disposable diapers are better for the environment.

These are the facts: The average baby goes through 5,000 diapers before being potty-trained. Because 95 percent of these diaper changes are disposable diapers, most of them end up in landfills, said John A. Shiffert, executive director of the National Association of Diaper Services.

Diapers made up 3.4 million tons of waste, or 2.1 percent of U.S. garbage, in landfills in 1998 -- the last year this information was collected, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Diapers in landfills in underdeveloped countries are especially problematic because they often aren't properly disposed, and excrement leaks into the local water supply.
Moneysavingmom has shared some information online about diaper covers, miscellaneous diapers and closures. I'm sure you've noticed baby pins are "out."

I was able to buy a huge box of various cloth diapering sundries for an extremely reasonable price. This allowed me to try out several alternatives for far less than I would have paid otherwise. From the choices presented, I'm very satisfied with Pro-Raps over diaper service quality (dsq) prefolds. They are reasonably priced, durable, simple and effective. The Proraps keep a diaper firmly in place with no need for pins, and they have an extra fold on the legs to help prevent leaking. The dsq's dry quickly enough to satisfy our needs, while keeping things simpler than flats. I also have some inexpensive prefolds and there really is a difference in absorbency.

For special occasions and for going out, we have a set of Coolababy all-in-ones. Love, love, love them! These weren't cheap, but they did cost far less than comparable diapers like Fuzzi Bunz. Cute, fun and easy, and they get the job done. What more could I ask? They have removable inserts, so they dry quickly even on the line. They are truly one-size-fits-all with varying settings. They also work for nighttime in older children. It looks like they would adjust down enough to suit an average sized newborn. In spite of the versatility, they are not terribly bulky.

Finally, a Rita's Rump Pocket made from the free online pattern. It was very simple, and absolutely adorable. The elastic around the legs made it very practical and the pocket lets us add as much or as little extra padding as want to get the right absorbency. We didn't add any velcro or snaps since we'll use it in a waterproof cover. We will also be toying around with a reversible waterproof version of this - a very cute layer of flannel inside and out, with waterproof PUL in the middle.

One more thing we've tried is the wool soaker make from a thrifted wool sweater. I was rather pleased with the first, though it came out a bit too snug. I have 2 more 100% lambswool sweaters to use, so we'll stitch up a couple more and see how these work out. In that case, we'll have an excuse to try out our Snappi.

As I'm sure you can tell, I am sold on cloth diapers. I'm happy to report that most of the children are very enthusiastic too. The only ones still complaining are the ones that haven't changed a cloth diaper yet. I guess I just need to gently encourage them to do it.

Here's another variety - bumGenius

I'm adding a March of Dimes Blog posting on the same subject here. Consumer Reports has also studied this issue.

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