More diaper delivery services and innovations like disposable diaper inserts have given parents new options in diapering. Cloth diapering and biodegradable disposables can be good choices for families who wish to reduce their plastic waste. For families who might not want to commit to cloth, disposable inserts may be the way to go! While there is some debate about whether cloth or disposable diapers are ethically and environentally better for the Earth overall, cloth diapers do typically save money and reduce plastic waste.
For parents considering diaper choices, our Amazon shop has all your options in one place, and below is a breakdown of the basics of diapering beyond disposables. Happy Earth Day!
How Exactly Do I Cloth Diaper?
Cloth diapering simply means that instead of a plastic disposable diaper, baby's diaper is a reusable outer shell-covering and then a towel-like insert, that can be washed and reused again and again.
The shell protects baby's skin from waste and holds the insert. The insert actually absorbs and holds the urine/poo. After the insert is used you can place it in your diaper pail, but if it's a "poo diaper" you'll want to dispose of the actual waste in a toilet first. If you're out and about or not near your home diaper pail, you can use a plastic diaper bag to hold the wet diaper until you get home to dispose of the waste and wash the insert.
What's a Hybrid Diaper?
A hybrid diaper has a reusable shell just like a traditional cloth diaper system but uses disposable inserts, usually made of cotton. So you keep the shell but flush, throw away, or compost the inserts. Unless you are composting, there is no need to "scrape" the diaper of its contents, you simply throw away the insert with the waste inside, just as you would a plastic diaper. G Diapers are one example of this type of hybrid diaper, but any cloth diapers can use the disposable inserts.
Where can I research diapering options?
Resources like the free e-book, 50 Things to Know About Cloth Diapers or a simple YouTube video search can help you understand how exactly to cloth diaper. You may prefer to use a diaper cleaning and delivery service in your area that whisks away the dirty diapers and leaves you with clean ones, or you might prefer a "hybrid" which means having a reusable outer shell but disposable inserts. There are also all-in-one kits which include everything you need to get started cloth diapering. You may want a newborn kit to start but there are also kits that grow with baby, where the outer shell is velcro or uses different snaps to get bigger as baby grows.
I have twins...can I really cloth diaper?
Sure! Like anything, cloth diapering takes a little practice but many twin parents find the cost savings of cloth diapering to be completely worth it. Think about it - twins use a minimum of 5,000 diapers per year! According to one mom of 5 including a set of twins on Twiniversity, "The upfront cost is more, so I would suggest purchasing a small “stash” and trying it out for the period of time it would take to recoup the cost."
What about Grandparents or Babysitters that Don't Want to use the Cloth Diapers? And what if I change my mind?
If baby is going to stay with a caregiver who isn't confident using cloth diapers, that's okay! It's also fine if you try it and *don't* want to cloth diaper forever. You can still be green by using biodegradable diapers, or other planet friendly products such as organic diaper creams or reusable DIY wipes if you want!
Diapering is just like any other parenting choice. Cost, convenience, comfort and social and environmental responsibility can be taken into consideration and whatever decision you make will be the right one for your family.
For more info, or to check out what options work best for you, our Amazon Shop contains everything you'll need to make cloth diapering easy...and cute! Amazon.com/Shop/LetMommySleep