5,840. That is the number of disposable diapers that ONE of your children has put into your local landfill by the age of two. And that number is very conservative at only 8 diaper changes per day. Multiply that 5,840 by the number of kids you have in your family and let that sink in for a minute. According to an article on livestrong.com, “The Environmental Protection Agency reports that about 20 billion disposable diapers are dumped in landfills each year, accounting for more than 3.5 million tons of waste.”
250-500. That’s how many years it takes for a disposable diaper to completely decompose. At least 3 life times.
250,000. That’s approximately how many trees we cut down every year in America to manufacture disposable diapers alone.
Do I have your attention yet? Good! The environment matters and as I watch it deteriorate thanks to our “modern advances”, I find myself looking for as many ways as I can to lessen my environmental footprint so that people who are around long after I’m gone can still enjoy everything that nature gives me today. Cloth diapers are a great, easy way to do that. While I don’t have kids of my own, I’ve noticed a shift when it comes to diapers and it seems that the old ways of cloth are quickly coming back around. Maybe I’ll convert you as well
Age: You can get cloth diapers that fit a 5 lb preemie but generally speaking, cloth diapers are used on babies ranging from 8 lbs all the way to 35 lbs. There are also training undies that you can buy for potty training which, I think, would be a great transition into normal underwear!
Material: The best materials to look for seem to be good quality cotton, hemp, or bamboo for the diaper/liner itself. Depending what type of reuseable diaper you buy, you may also need to buy [super cute] covers. According to my research (Magic School Bus, anyone?), you should stay away from vinyl covers as they are not breathable and will crack/turn yellow over time. I can already see my future self going broke from buying too many cute covers and the dad rolling his eyes at me saying how unnecessary it all is. Sorry in advance!
Number: The recommended number to have on hand seems to be 18-24 diapers (as in liners, you shouldn’t go through quite as many covers) and washing them every 2 days.
Care: Dump any “solids” in the toilet and toss the diapers/covers in a dry pail until it’s time to do laundry. Soak them in cold water as a pre-wash before putting them on the hottest temperature for the regular wash. Use only about 1/4 the amount of detergent you would normally use. Detergent build-up in the diaper will cause them to smell when your baby pees as the ammonia will build up. You also shouldn’t bleach these diapers as it breaks down the material. Cold rinse cycle. Hang to dry. Sunshine will naturally disinfect your diapers
Pros to Using Cloth Diapers:
So, have I sold you? Is this something you’d consider? Great! If you’re living in Winnipeg (or Canada really), check out Kijiji but make sure to ask how they were taken care of. Poor care can result in leaks and other problems. AMP Diapers is a local business that sells cloth diapers and was recommended to me by a friend. Finally, www.bynature.ca is a great Canadian website that I came across that sells them. They have a TON of info relating to cloth diapers and I highly recommend you check them out, even if it’s just to read up on the subject in more detail.
Do you use cloth diapers and have some tips/tricks for newbies? Feel free to leave a comment! Have a great week!
Love, Ash XO