Monthly Archives: January 2011

Top 5 Reasons to Switch to Cloth Diapers

Most of the parents we see at the Punkernoodle Baby showroom are expectant parents, researching cloth diapers and setting up their stash before baby arrives.

Still, every week or two we do help a parent who wants to make the big leap, the switch to cloth for their already disposable-diapered baby. Because we’re on the cusp of a new year, and it’s as good a time as any for resolutions, we thought it would be a great time to revisit the Top 5 Reasons to Switch to cloth. Because really, it’s never too late to change how you diaper.

1. It’s cheaper! The average week in disposables for an infant costs $21.00! About $85 per month, $1,000 a year and about $2,500 for 2 1/2 years of diapering! Setting up a cloth diaper system with one-size diapers, All-in-Ones or prefolds and covers can cost as little as $500.00 and can diaper two or more babies for a lifetime! Even if you’ve spent a few months, a year or more buying disposables, you still stand to gain a ton of savings with cloth.

2. Baby’s health. Disposable diapers contain chemicals such as Dioxin that most parents would not want up against their babies’ most sensitive areas 24-7. I know I didn’t. As a new mother I had enough environmental pollution and chemical-laced products to worry about. Using cloth means choosing a natural or safe fabric in place of chemical-laden plastic. It’s a logical extension of choosing healthy food for your family and making a marketplace choice to say no to dangerous products.

3. The planet. Would you throw away your clothes every day? One baby will go through 8,000 disposable diapers during their babyhood. It all goes into a landfill where it sits for hundreds of years before breaking down. We shouldn’t be a throwaway society. We have no reason to be, and it’s not what we should teach our kids.

4. It’s easy. Putting a cloth diaper on your child is just as easy as fastening a disposable — really! Modern cloth diapers have Velcro or snaps and are easy enough for freaked-out mother-in-laws and the most skeptical dads to put on in the dark. Can you change it in the rain? Can you change it on a train? Yes!

5. All the cool kids are doing it. Ha. No, really. Cloth diapering is going mainstream. No one is going to look at you askance when you pull out a super soft, super cute Watermelon-colored FuzziBunz instead of a crumply, chemical-smelling “Snuggies.” In fact, you’ll likely just get a lot of ooohs and ahhhs and “Where can I get me some of them hot-to-trot heiny hiders?”

 So there you have it. Our Top 5. Don’t be scared — it’s smart, it’s easy, it’s cool. Switch!!!!!

SUN! Get Those Problem Diapers Out

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get true sun about, oh, maybe 3 or 4 times all winter (or so it seems). So it’s hard when parents ask me how to deal with funky problems that come up in their diapers during the darker months (smell, repelling, staining, even yeast) and all I want to say is “sun them.”

Well today, as if to ring in the New Year, it is bright and gorgeously sunny in Seattle. So I will use this incredible weather as a reminder: Go sun your diapers! Sunning is a natural, effective way to bleach out problems. It is also good maintenance so sun them even if they are in good shape.

If your diapers are funky, I suggest this basic recipe:

  • First, run your dirty diapers in a regular wash with detergent to get soil out.
  • The mix a cup of warm water and a few drops of Dawn dishwashing Liquid (the blue kind) and add that to a new wash cycle. Wash diapers on Hot. (If diapers are particularly leaky or downright repelling, use a scrub brush ti scrub the surface of each with the Dawn solution before putting them in the Hot wash).*
  • Run a warm rinse.
  • Hang your wet, clean diapers outside in the sun.

*If you have confirmed yeast problems and believe you have yeast in your diapers, washing with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil can help, or on occasion a little bleach must be used. Then sun bleach. Be sure you treat yeast effectively on your baby and yourself if you are breastfeeding or the cycle will continue. Yeast rash is common in babies regardless of diaper style, and breastfeeding mothers are susceptible to thrush. 

If your diapers are stiff or cold after sun-drying, pop in the dryer for 5 minutes. And always remember to use a cloth-safe detergent, cloth-diaper-safe diaper creams and NEVER any dryer sheets at all to maintain top diaper performance.