When you have a baby, one of the choices you have to make is how to do the doodie; that is, how you will handle what comes out of your little one. There are many different choices available for everyone’s wants and needs and they each have their pros and cons. Here is the low down on several options:
For lack of a better description, what I consider “mainstream disposables” are the diaper brands you find in the grocery stores or stores such as Target or WalMart (i.e. Pampers, Huggies, Luvs, and generic store brand diapers). These types of diapers are convenient and one of the cheaper diapering options, but they do have their drawbacks. Besides the fact that disposable diapers are not good for the environment (that’s putting it lightly) they are made with absorbent gel and many other chemicals that can irritate baby’s skin (and that I personally don’t want touching my baby and being absorbed into his body).
Disposables: Chlorine-Free and Contain Gel
Our favorite diaper is Seventh Generation brand. They are chlorine-free, fragrance-free, and latex-free. And soft. Our son has always been very comfortable in them. As for the con list, they are still disposables, they also contain absorbent gel, and they are a bit more expensive than mainstream disposables.
You can read more about Seventh Generation diapers on their website: www.seventhgeneration.com
One time a friend mentioned that her grandson had a diaper rash and was wondering what kind of diapers I used. I told her Seventh Generation and she purchased some. The next time I saw her, she said his diaper rash went away as soon as they started using those diapers!
Disposables: Chlorine-Free and Gel-Free
In the early days, we alternated diapering our son with Seventh Generation and Tushies disposables. Tushies is a brand of disposables that in addition to being chlorine free, is also gel-free, fragrance-free, latex-free, dye-free, and GMO-free. They are also soft, but it is our experience that the diapers needed to be changed more frequently as they do not hold as much wetness as diapers with gel in them. On the con list is the fact that they are still disposables and are more expensive that mainstream disposables.
You can read more about Tushies diapers on their website: www.tushies.com
I also came across another brand of chlorine-free and gel-free diapers: TenderCare. I have not used them myself so I can’t give a personal review.
Yet another type of diaper we have used and liked is gDiapers. From their website (www.gdiapers.com), gDiapers are “the best of cloth and disposable in an earth-friendly diaper”. The diapers consist of a cotton, washable outer pant and a flushable inner refill. Yes, you can flush the inner absorbent refill! How cool is that! They have an awesome website explaining the whole process, including videos of how to flush the refill. If you can’t flush them, you can throw them away and feel less guilty about it because they are plastic-free. You can even garden compost the wet ones as they will break down in 50-150 days. Another pro is the cute designs of the outer pants!
On the con list might be the fact that you use more water since you are flushing the toilet after every diaper change. And they can be messy, especially with newborn babies and their many dirty diapers a day. I remember hand-washing the liner inserts often because they would get dirty all the time. You can purchase extra liner inserts. Also, the start-up cost is a bit higher and the refills are a bit more expensive than mainstream disposables. But in my opinion, it’s worth it!
The picture at the beginning of this article is our son wearing a gDiaper. A cute ‘pro’ for us was the fact that gDiapers have a ‘g’ on the back of them and our son’s name starts with ‘G’! It’s almost as if they were made for him!
Cloth diapers today are completely different than the cloth diapers my mom used on us 30+ years ago. I was surprised at the great diaper designs, colorful fabrics, and the many, many options available! Plus, with names like bumGenius, Bummis, Kissaluvs, Swaddlebees, Happy Heiny’s, Fuzzi Bunz, and Thirsties, you know they are something special!
Cloth diapering your baby is an absolutely wonderful way to be ‘green’. Disposable diapers are filling up our landfills and cloth diapers are reusable! (I do feel guilty for using disposables. I would love to cloth diaper my son, but I am too squeamish about shoveling poo off a diaper, and then washing them. I really admire anyone who cloth diapers their child.)
It does take a lot of water, detergent, energy, and time to wash cloth diapers; it is not a zero-impact solution, but a less-impact solution.
There are local cloth diapering stores around; I suggest talking to a cloth diaper expert who can tell you about all the options and help you get started. Here is one local to me in the Dallas area: Peppermint Baby Boutique
Elimination Communication (EC)
Elimination Communication (EC) is also known as diaper free, natural infant hygiene, and infant potty training. It is the practice of the caregiver using cues and timing to address the infant’s elimination needs, much like observing hunger cues, thus either partially or completely avoiding the use of diapers. The method uses communication so the baby becomes aware of their body and bodily functions. For example, when the caregiver notices the cues, he or she may give a verbal cue and hold the baby over the sink, toilet, or other container so the baby can go to the bathroom. EC can begin at birth although it can be practiced at any age.
This method is not for everyone, but if you have the time and patience it can save a lot of money for you and help save the environment as well.
I hope I’ve provided some helpful information to you as you search for a way to diaper your baby. I’m curious as to what my readers are doing so leave me a comment and let me know how you do the doodie!
Wendy – Parenting Tips 365