Tag Archives: the future of cloth

Cloth Diapering

The future of Cloth, Part IV of ? Ease of Care and use

>This is part 4 of my ramblings on the future of cloth diapering!  See Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you missed them!

I want cloth to be easier.  I know that if I just gave away all of my cloth diapers when I was finished with them, I’d still be ahead financially.  However, I’d like for minor repairs on diapers to be easier for people like me.  I can sew a button and so forth, but I don’t have a sewing machine, and I’m really rather intimidated by the idea of diaper repair.

I have a post in the works to do a step by step Bumgenius refresher using just a needle, thread and scissors.  I am OK with the Velcro replacement, but I’m thanking my lucky stars that my elastic doesn’t need to be replaced!!  With the Bumgenius 4.0, Cottonbabies somewhat acknowledged this by making the elastic slightly more easy to replace.  It still scares me.  My Fuzzibunz “one size” diaper actually came with spare elastic and you can replace it with no sewing and no seam ripping!  I would love to see more diapers like that!!

When thinking about closure tab replacement, I’d love to see the tabs and Velcro strips of diapers (securely) snap or hook on and off.  This way you could swap them out for new as they became worn and swap Velcro for aplix as it suits you and your baby.  I wish I were skilled at photoshop so I could demonstrate exactly what I mean.  I’ve seen a WAHM diaper who had snaps applied through the Velcro strip on the front of the diaper, so you could secure the snaps or secure the Velcro, but that’s not quite what I mean.  I imagine the front of the diaper having say, male snaps.  The Velcro strip would have female snaps on the back, so you could snap it in place.  The snap closure tabs could be removed and replaced with Velcro tabs as you wished.  Then the Velcro could be removed and go back to snaps.

Lastly (I think) I want more diaper companies to recognize that washing needs to be easy.  The only reason I didn’t cloth diaper my son from birth was the detergent issue.  Not everyone has “safe” detergents readily available to them.  Shipping them becomes quite costly, and even if they were available locally, the first detergent you buy won’t necessarily work for you.  My max price for detergent stockpiling pre-cloth diapers was about $2.99 at most.  So going to $10-$15/bottle was a huge leap.  Not to mention then having $100 worth of detergent that didn’t work sitting in my cabinet, or having to “waste” it on regular clothes!

I would love for companies (or someone with lots of time and money) to put diapers to the test in many mainstream detergents.  Truly put them to the test, not just say they are a “no-no” because of some chart made based on ingredients. There are a few companies out there that specifically recommend “regular” detergents, but most say it will damage your diapers and/or void your warranty.  Who wants that?

I have spent a lot of time and money on detergents, followed by battling the stink that ensues.  I firmly believe that the right detergent is one that gets your diapers clean and stink free, doesn’t cause them to repel, and doesn’t give your baby a rash.  Obvious ingredients to stay away from are bleach, fabric softeners or anything that may eat away at the PUL or Elastic.

My other thought was that diaper manufacturers should offer a low cost “sampler” of detergents that they recommend, so you can try them before you purchase.  The problem is that it has taken me several weeks (sometimes months) of using a detergent before it became clear that it wasn’t the one for me.

If you didn’t cloth diaper all of your children, or didn’t start right away, what stopped you?

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Cloth Diapering

The future of Cloth, Part III of ? Types and sizing

>This is part 3 of my ramblings on the future of cloth.  See Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them!

As modern cloth evolves, I expect to see more “hybrid” diapers like the Amp Duo Diaper and the Softbums Omni.  Diapers that allow you to use them as a pocket diaper, all-in-two, or a cover with prefolds.  So you don’t necessarily have to choose and invest in just one type.  We’ve already seen a pretty big boom with the hybrid/all-in two styles with wipe-able shells like the Best Bottom Diapering System, the Flip and others.

I also hope/expect to see even more insert options, more natural fibers, trim inserts, perhaps combined with a soft, wicking fabric on top, like microfleece.  I think if there were even more disposable/flushable/compostable inserts available, it would help people test the waters with cloth, and realize that washing the inserts really isn’t a big leap!

One-size diapers have gained enormous popularity in the past few years.  When I researched cloth in 2004 for my daughter, I don’t recall seeing any pocket diapers with the “snap down” rise one-size feature that is so common today.  Bumgenius was founded in late 2005, but I don’t know who was the first to do this style.  I believe the “one size” fold down rise that’s common on fitted diapers today, was introduced by Mother-Ease.

While they are great, in the future I see more companies considering a two-size system like the Thirsties Duo Diaper.  I didn’t start cloth diapering my son until he was about 14 pounds at 4 months old, so I don’t have experience cloth diapering a newborn.  Many “one size” diapers claim to fit starting at 6 or 8 pounds, but I hear many say they didn’t fit well until about 10 pounds, and I don’t at all doubt that is truth.  This means that most people will need to purchase newborn/extra-small diapers, unless they plan to use disposables in the beginning.

On the other end of the spectrum, Moms with larger babies or late potty trainers (learners) say the “one-size” diapers didn’t fit through potty training.  Not only that, but you can’t necessarily expect a diaper that’s been in constant use for 2 1/2-3 years, to last through another child.

The two size diapers seem to be the perfect compromise between sized and one-size diapers.  No need to buy newborn, one-size and extra-large, or newborn, small, medium etc.  Two sizes truly cover the range from newborn to potty training.  it seems like such an ingenious idea to me, I’m surprised more companies haven’t caught on.  I am still hoping that Bumgenius will come out with a mini-one size pocket diaper!

I think I’m going to stop here since I’m trying not to make these posts tl;dr worthy (too long, didn’t read!)  I have more on my mind about the future of cloth, so stay tuned!

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Cloth Diapering

The future of Cloth, Part II of ? Cloth in Big Box Stores

This post is a continuation of my ramblings on the future of cloth diapering.  Check out The Future of Cloth Part I if you missed it.

My big hope for cloth is that it will become more widespread, more accepted, and more commonplace.  I think there are a lot of things that can help that happen, but the first would be to make cloth more readily available.

I do not have a cloth diaper store nearby, and I’ve never gotten to see a diaper before buying it.  That’s part of the reason why I take so many photos for my reviews, I’ve been surprised by items when I got them sometimes.

I noticed that online, Target sells Grandma El’s products and also a few cloth diapers.  I’ve seen Kushies at Wal-Mart online, Buy Buy Baby has a couple of cloth diapers, and my local Organic Market sells gDiapers.  Other than the gDiapers, the only “cloth” I’ve seen in a store near me is the Gerber prefolds people use as burp cloths.

So, what if Target sold cloth diapers?  What if they could be added to baby registries along with all the other necessities?  It sure would be great to see “Bumgenius 4.0 pocket diaper – Zinnia – Aisle A14” in black & white on a baby registry!  Not only would it get modern cloth in front of more mommy-to-be eyballs, but also the eyes of Grandparents, Aunts and friends.  I’d love for the choice of cloth to be as common as Huggies vs. Pampers.

I just don’t think it would work.  Stores don’t have the space for the huge selection that online cloth diaper retailers have.  Even if they carried just one or two brands, I don’t know if the demand would be high enough to justify keeping them in stock.

The other big problem is support.  If you call or email any one of my favorite online CD stores, you will be connected most likely to someone who has cloth diapered her own babies, knows the inventory inside and out, and can help you understand the differences between diapers.  They can help you choose the right brands and styles to start with, and help you troubleshoot, suggest detergents, diaper creams and help with wash routines.  Sure, I guess “big box” stores could put a few employees through a crash course in cloth diapering, but sometimes you need experience behind the advice.  From my own experience, cloth diapering can be overwhelming and frustrating at first, and you really need information and support to keep you from giving up.

So, in my dream world, there would be a successful brick and mortar cloth diaper store in the busiest shopping center of every town.  They would partner with hospitals to do cloth demos at new parenting classes, maybe host La Leche League meetings or baby wearing classes in their stores also.  Everyone would know about the cloth diaper store, and it would be the place to go for diapers, slings/wraps/carriers and safe toys.  Lots of online cloth diaper stores offer baby registries, but many people I know would be far more likely to shop at a local store than to order a gift online.

So should cloth diapers be in big box stores?  What do you think?  What do you think we can do to make cloth diapering more “oohh” and less “ewww” to others?

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Cloth Diapering

The future of Cloth, Part I of ? Cloth and Disposables

>When I asked for Mailbox Mondays submissions back in August, Hannah gave me the following idea for a post:

I think this would make an interesting blog post:

What do you think or hope cloth diapering will be like in the future (5-10 years)?


Interesting indeed, but as long winded as I am, even when I am trying to keep it short, I could never fit it all in one post.  I had thought about writing a post about what my “dream” diaper would be, but I think this is even better.
As I thought about this, it got me thinking…why haven’t disposable diaper companies gotten in on the action, instead of attacking cloth diaper users?  I don’t know if anyone followed the Pampers Dry Max debacle, but there were a lot of fingers pointed at the cloth diapering community, saying that we were making it up/instigating it to further our “agenda.”
With designer disposables actually selling at their crazy prices, people clearly want a cute diaper.  GroVia and gDiapers both make disposable inerts/soakers for their covers, so why aren’t the big names in disposables getting in on the act?
Now, if they did, I would expect it to be a marketing scheme; I wouldn’t expect inserts they manufactured to be compostable or flushable.  But really, why not?  They could sell their own covers, or even just make a durable disposable cover that could be reused several times.  They could make a thin soaker, maybe even work on making it compostable/flushable.
All of my thoughts on the future of cloth diapering are pretty intertwined, but maybe the baby step of getting disposable diaperers used to the concept would be a step in the right direction?
On a totally different tangent, I think another huge leap in the right direction would be getting the free disposables out of hospitals.  I know that even the biggest cloth diaper companies don’t have infinitely deep pockets, but what if we “practiced” diapering babies with cloth diapers in the classes at hospitals?  What if every hospital used prefolds and covers on newborns instead of disposables? 
I know that will happen at about the same time they start refusing the formula freebies but hey, even a choice would be huge!  In fact, if I had the money (or the sponsorship) I would LOVE to take some diapers over to my local hospitals, and offer a quick Q&A on cloth during all of the new parent classes!

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