Monday, January 25, 2010

The Weekly Green - Tip #10

Tip #10 - The Mastery and Mystery of "Greener" Diapers... and my compromise:
I had every intention of going 100% cloth, but as it is with being a mom, you have to be ready for a change in plans... always. I think where the "slacking" came was when we had our house listed for sale, and it had to be spotless. We had to be ready at any moment to leave the house if we had a showing. This can be pretty tricky when you have an infant and a toddler running a muck! I soon realized it was a little bit too difficult for me to be on top of the laundry at all times, plus, make sure I had all of my diapering supplies with me as I whisked out of the house with two little ones in tow. I found that something had to give, so I struck a balance with disposable diapers for on-the-go, and cloth for home, and hybrids in between! That really worked for me, and I still do it this way, even though we are in the new (but old) house now, and that old (but new) one is gone! Here are some of my findings...

The better disposable
I tried several brands of disposables that are made with more gentle and more biodegradable materials and/or do not have chlorine - chlorine is bad for baby's bum, and bad for the landfill = chemicals seeping into the ground. Here is what I found about each brand:

Earth's Best - their diapers tend to run a little big, and didn't seem AS absorbent as Seventh Generation. They make that crunchy diaper sound when my son walks around (like if you crinkled a plastic bag, but not that bad). Overall, not a bad diaper, and you would get a bigger bang for your buck if you have a baby that's high on the growth chart curve since you get more diapers in the bag of smaller-size diapers. There are coupons HERE.

Seventh Generation - Their diapers were true to size, and absorbency is good. They sometimes can make the same crunchy sound as the Earth's Best. I liked their toddler training pants for my daughter as far as absorbency and pure function, but the sides are hard to rip if you need to remove a poopy pant in a jiffy (it is less messy to rip the pant off by the sides than to pull them off like underwear when there is a load in there!) and I wish they used a design more like the Huggies or Pampers pull-ups, where it is almost like velcro and you can re-attach it too if you need to. There are coupons HERE with signup.

Huggies Pure & Natural - I really, really like these - they are soft to the touch, not scratchy and none of the crunchy diaper sound (it would be great if they came out with a Pure & Natural training pant, but none so far!). They are really absorbent and use organic cotton. There is a high-value coupon for $2.50 off HERE!

The Hybrid - Disposable meets Cloth - a disposable inner portion, and a washable outer.
g-Diaper - This is the only "hybrid" I've tried and I really like their system (plus, they are a local company for us here in Portland, Oregon if you are interested in supporting local businesses!). I really like using these because my son can wear the same "outer" all day long, and we just throw out the "inner" part (well, sometimes the potty or poo-poos do leak out onto the outer). The removable "inner" is biodegradable and only takes a few weeks to fully biodegrade, rather than months, years, or even never! The other cool part is that you can flush the inner (requires swishing a bit with a swish stick though, so after a few times, I got kind of tired of doing it), and for the potty-diapers, you can even throw them in your compost! Don't throw the pooh ones in your compost, though! This is also a good option if your babe goes to a day school/day care, because some state laws will not allow a cloth diaper for sanitary reasons - these would be a good solution for that because the inner can be disposed of, and you can have peace of mind that you are adding something to the trash that is completely biodegradable.

The New Cloth Diaper
Nowdays, there are so many cool cloth diaper options that are shaped like, and function like a real diaper! It is so much easier to wrap your baby's bum up in one of these rather than trying to pin up one of the old fashioned cloths, and cover it with an uncomfortable waterproof outer like our moms used to do! I love the cool, funky fabrics most companies use for their new-style cloth diapers that baby can wear around the house like mini shorts, and even look fine wearing out of the house with just a shirt and the diaper (on warm days, that is!!!)

Bumkins - this is the only brand I've tried. The style I use is the "All in One", and I also bought some of their bamboo ones that I ended up using inside the "All in One" shell for extra absorbency (plus, the bamboo is SOOOO soft!). They use velcro to close it up, and are shaped just like a real diaper. There is an extra inner layer that you can add for extra absorbency and everything is fully washable! My only problem with this system is when you are out and about, you always have to bring along some sort of a water-proof bag or container to put the dirty diapers or inners in to bring back home to wash. You also will want to be on top of the laundry... no more leaving the whites in a pile on the laundryroom floor for a week! I never really got into the routine because of the whole selling our house thing, but I can see if I would have formed a good routine, that I probably could have stuck with it. For me, the hybrid option is easier, but it may be different for you, so give it a try at least!

I think that the older baby gets, the easier it is to use these diapers because the poohs are more solid and easier to plop out into the toilet... when baby is little, it's that really mushy poop and it is a lot messier using the cloth. In my opinion, use the hybrid or disposables when they are little, and then the cloth when they are older and more solid poopies.

Stay tuned next week for Tip #11!

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