Cloth diapers are by no means a new thing, but they have evolved fantastically over just the past decade. I remember watching my mom swish dirty diapers in the toilet and thinking, "Yuck. I never want to do that." If your mom used cloth diapers, you might remember the big diaper pins, bulky prefolds and plastic pants and want to run the other way. But wait! Before you default to disposable diapers, take a look at the new and improved world of cloth diapers. They are adorably fashionable, simple to use and drastically lighten your carbon footprint on the planet!

BUT DISPOSABLES ARE SO CONVENIENT. ...Are they really? There's much more to disposable diapers than buying a plastic package off the store shelf, using once and tossing. What goes on behind the scenes? To start with, an astounding 300+ pounds of wood, 55 pounds of plastic, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks, and 20 pounds of chlorine is consumed in a one year supply of disposables for only one baby. Talk about depleting our natural resources! Most disposables also contain dioxin and other chemicals that are considered carcinogenic and are actually banned in some countries outside America. There are studies showing a link from increased scrotal temperature caused by disposables to a higher risk of adult infertility and testicular cancer.

EVER WONDER WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE DISPOSABLE IS THROWN AWAY? A staggering 27.4 billion diapers are casually dumped into our US landfills every year. Consider the fact that they will still be there 500 years later. An even more sobering reality is the immediate health hazard created by the solid human waste slowly leaching into the Earth. Disposable packaging recommends dumping feces in the toilet prior to tossing the diaper, but honestly, who does that? As a result, underground water supplies and groundwater are at real isk of contamination, and airborne viruses (including live vaccines from routine childhood immunizations) can be carried by flies and other insects.

CLOTH DIAPERING IS A BETTER CHOICE FOR BABY AND THE EARTH. Each cloth diaper can be used 250 times or more compared to a single use disposable. Over the average 2.5 years a baby is in diapers, up to 6,000 diapers will be consumed. That's a total cost of $1750 or more! Cloth diapering is notably less expensive. With the use of One Size cloth diapers, the cost drops down to as little as $393 (the current Maui Diaper One Fit pricing). By purchasing diapers made from organic cotton, hemp and wool, and eco-consciously made fabrics like bamboo and some PUL, even less of a mark is left on our planet. These natural fibers are also gentle on baby's soft skin.

WHAT DO I NEED TO CLOTH DIAPER? Believe it or not, newborns go through an average of 18 diapers EACH day. Yeah, that's a lot of pee and poop from those tiny sweet bundles! After the first 3 months, your baby will regulate to about 12 changes a day. From 9 months on, you probably will just go through 6-9 diapers a day. You'll want to buy a minimum of 18 diapers to do cloth diapering full time.

THERE ARE SO MANY KINDS OF DIAPERS! WHAT WORKS BEST? The options and designs are practically endless. So, before you get overwhelmed with all the variations, hop over to our Getting Started With Cloth page for a step by step guide.

WHAT ABOUT WASHING THEM? Isn't it gross? Washing cloth diapers can be as simple or as complicated as you make it, in my experience. I know moms who have a multi-step system involving bucket soaking, etc. They like their method, and it works well for them. I don't have much memory or patience for complicated routines. Plus, the thought of a bucket full of soaking dirty diapers makes me shudder. So, here's what I do: Dump solids in the toilet. Use toilet paper for wiping most of it off the diaper. Store the dirty diapers in a dry pail. Every 2-3 days, do a load of wash. First, cold rinse with 1C white vinegar. (strips the uric acid - pee smell - from the diapers) Next, Normal wash with hot water and eco-friendly soap. Finally, an extra rinse or a second wash with 1/2 the amount of soap. Sun dry or throw 'em in the dryer. Every 3rd wash, I insert step 2-B. Soak diapers in warm/hot water with BioKleen.

HOW DO I STORE DIRTY DIAPERS WHILE AWAY FROM HOME? A wet bag is a bag especially made to safely and discreetly carry damp, smelly things. They come in many sizes and colors to make them fun. We offer a travel size with a zippered opening to "lock in" smells, while others just have a drawstring.


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