Welcome to Real Diaper week, Day 4

During Real Diaper Week I will be joining others to help raise awareness about cloth diapering and the Great Cloth Diaper Change of 2012. Stay tuned for the Cloth Diapering Giveaway and a week of education, personal cloth diapering posts by Eco-friendly, cloth diapering MOMS.


Kate here, from Tidy Tots™  Diapers

I am a disposable convert and a big cloth fan – so much so that I recently joined a new start up diaper company  – Tidy Tots™.  I’ll tell you more about Tidy Tots™ later. For now, let’s just say that I care about this issue, so working for a new diaper company isn’t just a job, it’s a cause.

I didn’t start out using cloth. Having my first baby involved many confusing and stressful choices.  I really wanted to do the right thing, but every choice seemed to involve an overwhelming number of information sources. Then there’s that tricky inner voice. Are they really better? What will my mother-in-law say? There’s no way I can handle more laundry. Sadly, I was not confident enough to take the plunge with number one. Of course, today there is pressure to use cloth – from friends, family, and the blogosphere. Ignore your friends and family and there’s still the inside pressure – what about the planet? Disposables have a double environmental impact.  They make a HUGE amount of trash. A baby easily goes through 5500 diapers by the age of 2 ½.  Four million babies born in the USA each year – that makes over 2 Billion diapers, full of poop and pee, going into our landfills and dumps each year. Can you picture that? Year after year? OK, that is bad.

When sweet baby boy number two came along, I began looking at cloth more closely, I looked into the health effects.  The ingredients are well known: bleached paper pulp, plastics, glues, dyes, perfumes and the “gel”, sodium polyacrylate.  Are disposable diapers harmful to babies? Maybe, maybe not. There’s no solid evidence that wearing disposable diapers is harmful to children. On the other hand, the manufacture and distribution of 2 Billion disposable diapers each year (just in the US), including the waste water and air pollution is definitely not good for the environment,  and those pollutants are not good for me or my children. That’s what got me. I can buy 5000 – 6000 disposable diapers for each of my two boys (seriously – 12,000 diapers?!!! Oh my!!!), or I can buy a few dozen cloth diapers. As for health benefits, my son is now diapered everyday in comfortable, soft, breathable diapers, and diaper rash is no longer an issue. Lucky boy, this number two.

Should you try to use cloth in the hospital? What will those sweet motherly nurses who clean the goop off your precious newborn think? It’s hard to say. They’ll probably accommodate you. But I also advise you to think about what you will be up for.  Some things to consider: meconium stains, dealing with the umbilical stump, teeny tiny wiggly baby, and sending your partner (also a new parent) home with dirty nappies to wash, all while you are resting and recovering. These are factors that cause many of even the most die-hard cloth diapering mums to go ahead and use disposables for a few days. Newborns are a physical and emotional brain drain, so my suggestion is if you’re worried about cloth being an issue, do as I did, grab some organic diapers, like Seventh Generation to use during your stay. They aren’t cloth, but they’re better than your other options!

Another common concern (and mis-perception) is that your care provider will flip out over cloth. They probably won’t. Cloth is becoming fairly common today, and most systems out there are simple to use. There are just a few changes your provider will have to accept, like not tossing your favorite print in the garbage, and instead tossing it into a wetbag. In my personal experience, a quick chat will suffice to put your provider’s mind at ease. Quite possibly, she or he may already be familiar with it. Even the baby sitters at my gym are on board.

That sort of brings the topic back to me, and the choices I made. I’ll admit, the pressure affected me – it made me take a closer look at cloth, and weigh my fear of inconvenience against the additional 6000 diapers baby B would use, because that was really what it boiled down to. I was going to be changing those diapers anyway. I went ahead and took a confident leap to save the planet, save some money, and have a healthier baby bottom. I am not at all overwhelmed with laundry. It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. I (and hubby) am quite happy with my choice; I feel good and so does baby B.

I told you I am now working with a brand new diaper company: Tidy Tots™ . I had recently become a SAHM, but was interested in finding a part-time, flexible job. Then one day, I met Sandy Beck, the company founder and inventor. She was working on a new type of cloth system (to launch in May), we hit it off, and voila! here I am.

Let me say that Tidy Tots™  is not about dissing other brands. We’d rather see a baby in a competitor’s brand than in a disposable. But the Tidy Tots™  diaper system has several features that make it stand out.

The diaper consists of an outer cover (like many other systems, waterproof, breathable PUL), an absorbent insert, and a liner. Sounds familiar. So why was I intrigued enough to work there? There are already A LOT of cloth companies that offer similar sounding products. This blog is not the place for me to make a huge sales pitch, so how about a small one.

Here are a few highlights:
- The Tidy Tots™  system uses hemp, not cotton. Hemp is an amazing material for diapering. (No snickering! Hemp is not Mary Jane, although it is in the same family, minus the loopy sensations.) Hemp IS a brilliant plant that grows easily without the need for pesticides or bleaching, and it is much more absorbent than cotton. Did I mention how soft it is? Oh yes, it’s a lovely feeling for wee baby bottoms. And hemp is not only more durable than cotton, it gets softer and nicer with age, without losing absorbency. It “wears in”, not out. A big plus, is it gets that great absorption without the bulk of cotton, so no giant baby butts ruining the line of their cootey patootey outfits.

- Some of you may use diaper liners. Tidy Tots™   Flushies (our diaper liners) are made out of cornstarch, a natural product that soothes and protects skin. They help the baby feel dry while protecting that delicate skin.

- Finally, let’s talk poo. I know that lots of parents (and grandparents and providers) are not too keen on scraping off a poopy diaper. Tidy Tots™  has an extra innovation: the liner doesn’t just sit on the diaper. It snaps in, with the insert, so it won’t shift or bunch. When it’s time to change, you just gather up the Flushies™ liner and flush it down the toilet. (It is safe for most septic systems.) No scraping. No spraying. No hail Marys in your washing machine. The poo goes where it really belongs.

We launch our product in May, but visit us at the Natural Family Festival on April 21st and check us out. I, myself, will be changing one of our own in the world record making Great Cloth Diaper Change. Our web page goes live in June – until then, you can keep posted on our progress and news via our Facebook page.
Happy changing!

Kate M Cross


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6 Responses to Day 4: Real Diapers Made Easy

  1. I agree about the post delivery disposables. I started off with a box of newborn diapers, which was very helpful those first few weeks of pain and no sleep.

  2. Ericka P says:

    I Love cding….I used G Diapers with my daughter, ‘spouses with my middle son until last year and then with the help of friends decided to take the plunge! Life has never been easier!

    • Debra says:

      At Learning to Know we were one of those uninformed providers (daycare) and a parent came to us who used cloth diapers. We did some research and thought at the very least we could give it a try. I informed our teachers on how cloth diapers “really” work and they were quickly on board too. I can say after over six months we have no regrets and would welcome a baby with them again!

    • Janelle says:

      I saw G diapers a while back. They are super cute too.

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