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INTRODUCTION In this booklet we will introduce you to reusable diapers, covering the different types, the environmental and health impact of disposable one-time use diapers, myths surrounding cloth diapers, and use of cloth diapers in daycare facilities. The information within this booklet should be used personally, and shared with family, friends and those within your community. For starters, cloth diapers are made from all natural fabrics and fibers that are biodegradable and therefore reduce our carbon footprint. In comparison, disposable diapers are made from lab created chemicals and materials that are considered toxic to humans, do not break down in landfills, and are harmful to the environment. Reusable diapers are similar to disposable diapers in that both are diapers, of course, consisting of an absorbent inner layer and a waterproof outer layer. However, that is where the similarities end. The main differences between disposable diapers and cloth diapers include that many cloth diapering options today come in two parts where the absorbent inner layer is separate from the waterproof outer layer, and that these absorbent and waterproof parts are cleaned after use to be reused. Disposable diapers are single use self contained items that end up in the landfill. In addition, reusable cloth diapers allow you to customize the fit and absorbency to your child's needs, whereas disposable diapers are one size fit most with no custom features. If you are currently using disposable diapers, you can use this booklet to learn more about the world of reusable diapers so that you can make a personal choice about how you diaper your baby that works best for you and your family. If you are currently using cloth diapers, we hope that this booklet can be used as a tool to share with others and create a positive movement for change in your community that will allow cloth diapers to become as common as disposable diapers.
TYPES OF REUSABLE DIAPERS Style Insert
Waterproof material with elastic legs and back and velcro or snap closures. Comes in PUL (polyurethane laminated) cotton, fleece or wool. Waterproof nylon cover, elastic legs and waist, no closure
Flushable or reusable liner is a very thin layer placed on top of any diaper to catch solids. A fabric wipe that is reusable and washable.
Doublers Fitted Contour
2â€“4 layers of absorbent material made to fit into a pocket diaper.
May be sewn inside the diaper, partially sewn to form a flap, snapped in inside the diaper, or simply laid inside the diaper
Pad-like absorbent soakers that can be added to a diaper to increase absorbency. They are especially useful during times when you know extra protection is needed, perhaps at night time. Closely resemble disposable diapers. They are contoured and fitted with elastic around the legs and back. They fasten with Velcro or snaps, and a waterproof cover must be worn over them.
Hourglass shaped diapers with no elastic in the legs or back. They can be used with a Snappi, pins, or a diaper cover
One-size diapers are meant to fit babies from newborn size through potty training Are available in options including All-in-Ones, All-in-Twos, Pocket diapers & Covers.
Rectangular shaped material that can be folded into thirds or into a creative diaper fold and secured with Snappi or pins.
Two part system consisting of waterproof cover with pocket, which is covered by a wicking layer of fabric. Absorbent insert has no integrated wicking layer, and is stuffed into pocket.
Similar to an All-in-One, but absorbent part is removable. This makes the outer waterproof Shell reusable several times before washing. Absorbent inners generally have an integrated wicking layer.
Most similar to a disposable. Waterproof outer and absorbent inner are single piece. Elastic at legs and back with snap or velcro closures.
Similar to prefold diapers they are a large rectangle of cotton fabric that can be folded to a specific size or style. Can be secured with a Snappi, pins, or cover.
Hemp MATERIAL S
Little bungee cord with gripping plastic teeth that secures a prefold or flat diaper instead of pins.
Cover or Wrap
Very soft merino or other wool, is typically used to make waterproof wool covers, a natural alternative to PUL. Made from hemp plants & has anti-microbial/anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.
Cotton Sherpa, Fleece, Velour, Terry, Flannel, Microfiber or Birdseye
Variations of cotton fabrics. 100% Cotton being the most absorbent, any polyester blend will render the fabric less absorbent with more percentage.
Made from Bamboo plants & 4 times the absorbency of cotton.
ENVIROMENT AND HEALTH IMPACT 1. In 1988, over 18 billion diapers were sold and consumed in the United States. It's been estimated that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the U.S. 2. Instructions on a disposable diaper package advise that all solid waste should be deposited in the toilet before discarding, however less than one half of one percent of all waste from singleuse diapers goes into the sewage system. 3. Disposable diapers decompose in an estimated time of about 250–500 years. 4.
Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in Super-absorbency Tampons until the early 80's when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
5. 70% of babies develop a rash TODAY. In 1960, before disposable diapers were introduced, only 7% of babies had rashes.
Disposable■ diapers■contain■ concentrations■of■ dIoxIn,■an■extremely■ toxic■by-product■of■the■paper■ bleaching■process.■It■is■a■
cArcInogenIc cHeMIcAL, listed■by■the■EPA■as■the■most■ toxic■of■all■cancer■linked■ chemicals.■It■is■banned■in■ ■ most■countries,■but■ not■the■US.
“Compared to cloth diapers,
diapers use 20 times MORE RAW MATERIALS, 3 times MORE ENERGY, 2 times AS MUCH WATER, and generate 60 times MORE WASTE.”
COST COMPARISON Reusable diapers, even with the upfront cost, are far less expensive than the ongoing cost of one time use disposable diapers. Below we look at a "real" world cost compairson over the course of 30 months of diapering a child. Costs: Seventh Gen $.40 ea, Goodnights $.80 ea, Huggies $.34 ea, Pampers $.34 ea, Wal-Mart brand $.21ea (Costs vary due to size and brand. Larger babies may use fewer diapers/day, but each diaper costs more, about $.50 a piece.) BumGenuis $18 ea., Sunbaby $6 ea., Babykicks $16 ea., Rumparooz $12 ea. (cost varies due to brands use of material and cut)
Age of Baby in Each Size of Disposables
Disposable # of Total Cost for Diapers/Day Disposable Disposables Diapers Needed For That Period
Newborn – 3 mo
12 – 24
3 – 9 mo
9 mo–1 yr
12 – 18 mo 8
18 – 24 mo 8
24 – 36 mo 6 – 8 2520 Add $15/mo for diaper genie refills Add $14/mo for disposable wipes
Grand Total for Disposables = $ 4121.00
20 Pockets with Inserts
24–36 mo 6 – 8
Training pants/ $60 diapers for nighttime (optional)
Energy costs for Washing
Add $ for extra garbage
Newborn – 6 – 24 36 mo
Total Cost for Diapers
Add extras like:
Age of Baby Reusable # of Diapers in Each Size Diapers/Day Needed For That Period of Reusable Diapers
3 times/week Electric water for 30 months heater: approx. $0.34/load Gas water heater: approx. $0.10/ load
Grand Total for Reusable Diapers =
Total washing costs = $36.00 – $122.40 depending on your water heater
DID YOU KNOW.. $520=■4 MONTHS■of disposables OR $520■=■3■YEARS■of■ cloth■diapers
MYTHS!! CLOTH DIAPERS ARE UNSAINITARY Cloth diapers are actually more sanitary than disposable diapers. In most municipalities it is illegal to dump human waste into trash cans. However, most people do not adhere to or enforce this law. It is advised to dispose of fecal waste into the toilet on most disposable diaper packages. The waste from cloth diapers will enter the same sewage from the toilet and is treated in a sanitary process. However disposable diapers enters our landfills and pollutes our land for
system as waste waste left in generations to come.
Cloth diapers need to be clean and do not need to be absolutely sterile. Most adults probably do not find it necessary to sterilize their underpants, so laundering cloth diapers should be sufficient to ensure that they are clean and ready for use.
WASHING CLOTH DIAPERS IS DIFFICULT Cloth diapers only require an extra few loads of laundry a week. While you do the laundry, you can enjoy play time with your little one(s), read a book, or enjoy "ME" time, plus no need to run to the store to buy new diapers.
CLOTH DIAPERS ARE NOT AS EASY TO USE AS DISPOSABLE DIAPERS Modern cloth diapers are not like your Grandma's diapers. They are just as easy to change as a disposable and as easy to maintain as washing a load of laundry. With hook and loop or snap closures, adjustable sizing, and one or two piece designs, modern cloth diapers are convenient and versatile.Â They are arguably better at containing messes than disposable diapers, as they are designed with a more adjustable fit and stronger, thicker elastic at the legs and back. They also come in adorabe colors, prints, and designs making them "OH! So Cute". CLOTH DIAPERS SMELL & I HAVE TO TOUCH POOP Not true! They smell no more than a disposable diaper sitting in a trash can. With cloth diapers you would have no need for rinsing, soaking, or dunking! Just toss the soiled diaper into a pail or heavy lined wet bag and once your babies stool is formed use a flushable liner or shake the excess into the toiletÂ . There are even wonderful , cute "Dawg" shaped poop mitts to ensure you never get your hands dirty.
CLOTH DIAPERS IN DAYCARE Wish to cloth diaper your child full-time but are told repeatedly by daycare facilities that they do not accept them because the "State doesn't allow us to do it"? This unfortunatley is not true. In fact, only four states (plus the District of Columbia) place restrictions on the use of cloth diapers in daycare. Even so, those statutes still provide an exception if a child needs to use cloth diapers in daycare for medical reasons.
More and more daycare facilities across the country are accepting cloth diapers. Lets explore some of the ways that you can help make a positive movement within your community so that ALL daycare facilities accept reusable cloth diapers. Changing a diaper, approximately every hour and a half, can cause even a small daycare to create a HUGE mess. “It’s the easiest thing we did” said the Little Green Treehouse, Chicago’s greenest corporate daycare after they switched to using cloth diapers soley. It’s healthier and can save parents $30/week and the childcare facility a dumpster or two of landfill waste and the cost of disposal.
CLOTH DIAPERS IN DAYCARE CONT. If you want to use cloth diapers while your child is at a daycare facility, look for a daycare provider that is willing to work with you. In most cases, you will be able to find an open-minded caregiver, especially if you take the time to share your own passion and enthusiasm for cloth diapers with them. Follow the steps below to create a positive movement within your commiunity.
STEP 1 Speak with the decision maker of the daycare facility in person, never over the phone or via email.
STEP 3 Demonstrate how easy reusable diapers are to use. Show an adorable All-In-One or pre-stuffed Pocket
STEP 5 Listen carefully to their responses, answer positively when dealing with objections*, & be accomodating when possible
STEP 2 K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Sweetie). Be positive, enthusiastic, and DON'T over complicate it
STEP 4 Make it easy for the daycare to say YES. Bring a wet bag or pail to show where soiled "as-is" diapers will go. No poop handling necessary.
STEP 6 Share a list of other daycare facilities in your area that DO accept cloth diapers showing what thier competition is doing!
* Have your States Statue on cloth diapers in daycare available, just in case you are given incorrect information; use it to educate them.
RESOURCES Martin V. Photography Real Diaper Association Diaper Wrecker Blog The Little Green Tree House Daycare Chicago, IL. Manda Aufochs Gillespie : The Green Mama Blog Thinking About Cloth Diapers Blog Yeah Baby It's Cold Outside Blog Diaper Jungle
The Cloth Diaper Shop The Natural Baby Co. Diaper Dawgs Softbums Daddy Made Diapers Kanga Care Cloth Diapers
The resources listed above were used to gather the content & information contained within this booklet. We hope that you take a moment to utilize them as resources for your own personal research and to begin or continue your cloth diaper journey. If you find that beginning your cloth diaper journey has met financial road blocks, The Rebecca Foundation's Cloth Diaper Closet may be able to assist you. Please learn more about our loan program via our website. To donate items to The Rebecca Foundation please visit our website; or to send a financial donation, do so via PayPal here.
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