Even though I firmly believe that diaper choice will not 'make or break' my experience as a mother, I am so thankful that a) I had that 'no biggie' conversation with D. and b) I've started researching this pre-pregnancy. Cuz wow, this cloth diaper deal is pretty darn complicated. Think it's just about buying a couple of diapers made from organic cotton? Read on...
There are four basic different kinds of cloth diapers each with a zillion options:
1. All in One (or AIO) and All in Twos (AI2)
Basically a cloth version of a regular disposable diaper. There is a 'soaker' that's sewn into the diaper and they take longer to dry. All in Twos basically have a removable soaker-pad thingy that if your baby pees you can remove and still use the same diaper.
2. Pocket Diapers
These have little pockets that you can insert the 'soaker' of your choice into. Most of the time these don't require a cover. I don't think... Inserts can range from microfleece, bamboo to organic cotton. They're also supposed to dry better.
3. Fitted Diapers
These guys always require a cover and seem to be the popular choice. I think anyways, or maybe mom's just buy pocket diapers that require covers for some reason...
In any case, they are easy to make yourself from any cloth you might have lying around.
I don't really understand these- they are fabric with several layers depending on the sides. Apparently they are essential and have different types. (info from All About Cloth Diapers Review)
Another option to consider would be type of cloth- of course there are issues with bamboo and regular cotton takes quite a bit of pesticides... Check out this post on the different kinds of fabric for covers.
That being said, I'm pretty sure any fabric would be better than plastic... Which would be my suggestion, don't get caught up in the 'THIS fabric is the best for your baby and the environment' pitch. You're choosing cloth over plastic- that is something to celebrate all by itself :)
applecheeks cover- see the 'pocket'?Now we need to chat about cleaning this things. Apparently, according to my mom who, after reading my post yesterday, informed me that I was cloth diapered when they used safety pins and rubber covers (sigh) and it was no.big.deal. Alright.
Usually a bucket for the dirties with a washable cloth lining (two linings so that when you can wash the lining with the dirties and replace it with your spare). D. said she just washed everything with regular detergent in cold water. I've heard borax works very well on removing stains as well (borax also kills silverfish.. but more on magical borax later!). Hang to dry and voila! Clean diapers.
In this video, the mom has a bowl and cloth wipes at her change table. She just pours warm water into the bowl, dips the cloth wipes and cleans her baby. If you want a visual step-step explanation, this video is great.
I'm not going to discuss 'biodegradable' or 'compostable' diapers here, as they are filled with controversy as to whether they are a comparable choice... perhaps another eco-family post :)
What I think is interesting about the whole issue surrounding chemicals and babies is that we are so scared to death about germs. I've seen this in Andrew's mother, who cleans her cutting boards with rubber gloves and javax, and expects me to cut vegetables immediately after. As if I'd want to eat food that has been prepared on something treated with corrosive bleach.
Have you ever thought it would be alright to use a disposable wipe on your bottom? Not to overshare, but I don't even use soap, that area is so vulnerable and sensitive there is no way I put anything synthetic near it. Why would we assume that babies' bottoms are made of steel? Those wipes are full of synthetic fragrances and antibacterial chemicals. If I wouldn't use it on myself, there is no way I'd use it on a fragile baby.
Using harsh chemicals to clean up after babies at home is kinda a tricky situation. If you've ever spent time watching infants, they like to taste EVERYTHING. Trust me, each toy-object in my office got tasted. Including the table, chair legs, mats you name it. Using something like bleach to clean up icky vomit might sound tempting... but the chances are your child will probably lick that part of the floor again at some point.
If you require anti-bacterial peace of mind, tea tree oil is a great one (although I head pregnant women should stay away). Water+vinegar and a few drops of a tea tree and you're good to go. Another option would be to invest in some chemical-safe cleaners like Seventh Generation or Ecover. They will most certainly be milder and you can find them with no scent.
Here are some diaper companies in Canada:
Apple Cheeks (Made in Montreal)
Hankettes (Made in Vancouver BC)
Anne Marie Padorie (Made in Winnipeg Manitoba)
Banana Peels Diapers (store). Check out All About Cloth Diaper's post on her top ten sellers
Bottombumpers (Made in the USA)
Cotton Babies Flip (check out this review- no plastic!)
Weehuggers (made in USA)
Well that concludes the cloth diaper portion of EcoYogini... perhaps I'll still be blogging as a EcoYogini Mama in the (far) future... lol. Or perhaps not- I don't really type very well on little sleep!
article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com