A better BUM?

  • Article by: B y SARAH MORAN
  • Updated: May 5, 2009 - 11:39 AM

Cloth diapers are back. Parents say it's because cloth is cheaper, kinder on the Earth and better for baby.

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a1batrossMay. 4, 09 8:48 AM

We raised twins on cloth diapers, and just washed them in the washing machine with lots of disinfecting bleach. Why does everything need to be accomplished with a "service?"

mackroeMay. 4, 09 8:49 AM

Many daycare providers will not accept children using cloth diapers, and I was told that it is not recommended to be switching from one type of diaper at daycare and another at home.

burnunit0May. 4, 09 9:10 AM

mackroe, I don't know who recommended that, but our experience with two kids has been that switching diapers is no problem whatsoever. We use three different kinds - cloth, disposable, and G diapers - and nobody (least of all the kids) have had any trouble between types. It's true, daycare requests disposable, and we've been fine switching our children back to cloth when they come home. It's not like changing cat foods, you don't have to ease 'em into it. I also don't understand the whole appeal of the diaper service. I mean, I understand the appeal of convenience, but it's quite easy to do at home and so much cheaper. We learned a great trick: you can store the soiled diapers dry, no need to have a giant wet stinky pail full of diapers (that The Little Angels can spill!). Put them in one of those diaper champs (like the genie, but a little different) in a garbage bag, and when the time comes, do the soaking in the washing machine itself. Four hours soaking (or overnight) in the wash with borax followed by heavy duty wash and they're fine. No stink, no worries. It's just part of the cycle of washing clothes.

julie823May. 4, 0910:01 AM

We use cloth diapers and our 16-month-old has never had diaper rash while in cloth. (We use Seventh Generation disposables when we're out of the house or on vacation... so yes, switching between two kinds of diapers is no big deal at all.) At first we used a diaper service but now we wash our own. There is hardly a difference in our energy costs, especially when we are able to dry the diapers on the clothesline. (We use Purex with a bit of Tea Tree Oil, on the sanitary cycle, no soaking necessary.) Another benefit is that our little girl is incredibly aware of her "potty habits" and can already go on her potty chair. They're not your grandma's cloth diapers these days - give them a try!!

BBFmailMay. 4, 0910:07 AM

One of the best gifts I got at my baby shower...many, many years ago was 3 months of diaper service. Tried switching to the non-cloth after 3 months...and baby came down w/diaper rash. Went back to Diaper service...and paid for it ourselves. Very worthwhile.

SpideyoMay. 4, 0910:25 AM

When our youngest was born, my mom paid for us to have a diaper service for several months. It was awesome. Just fill the bucket, and once a week you put it out on your step, and literally before you know, it's been replaced by a huge stack of fresh diapers. For first time parents (like myself) you have enough to worry about with a newborn without trying to rinse out and scrape and soak every dirty diaper. We eventually stopped using the diaper service because we couldn't afford it, and eventually stopped using cloth diapers at all, because it got very difficult, for several reasons: We have only one toilet. It was not an option to let diapers soak to loosen up particularly bad poop. We have a shared pay washer/dry in the basement of our duplex. You can't let diapers soak in washing machine with a pay machine. Also, for about four months we didn't have a working dryer. Hauling a sack of poopy diapers on the bus to the laundromat is NOT fun. It's also difficult at the laundromat to soak and wash diapers in the way they need to be. Cloth diaper services are a great thing, and there are a lot of people who without the service would not be able to handle cloth diapers. And they are not new. Cloth diaper services have been around for decades. And you should NEVER be using bleach on cloth diapers. If any of the bleach doesn't get completely rinsed off, it could cause severe chemical irritation for the child

OpheliaMay. 4, 0910:38 AM

Cloth diapers have many advantages over disposable. But how about something in addition to cloth diapers that may help you avoid 'potty training' struggles later on AND save on laundry? A practice called Elimination Communication (EC) is becoming more popular in the U.S. It has been practiced for thousands of years all over the world. The fact is that newborns are actually aware of elimination, and communicate their needs through various vocal and bodily signals. Within the first few months of life, babies have the ability to consciously release their bladders and bowels. By taking them to appropriate elimination places during infancy, we enable them to maintain a connection with their bodily sensations and learn from an early age what to do when they experience those sensations. ______________ EC can be practiced with or without diapers. Many parents do use diapers as backup and it can be practiced full time or part time. As the article states, babies do feel the wetness with cloth diapers, and therefore are more likely to stay aware of their elimination. Disposables gradually take away that awareness so the body has to be re-trained later, hence all the 'potty training' struggles. ______________ We are lucky to have a local and free DiaperFreeBaby support group in the Twin Cities area. See http://diaperfreebaby.org for more information and help on getting started.

cham0037May. 4, 0911:16 AM

Dear Ophelia, As a pediatric nurse, I must respond to your post. Infants are unable to control their bowel and bladder functions until myelination of the nerve endings that supply the anal and bladder sphincter muscles is complete - usually not until after the age of 2. The people being "trained" in this practice are the parents, not the children. It is just physically not possible for them and expecting something that is developmentally inappropriate for infants leads to frustration and disappointment among parents. I suggest parents read the following medical articles on the subject: Toilet training started during the first year of life: a report on elimination signals, stool toileting refusal and completion age. Rugolotto S. Sun M. Boucke L. Calo DG. Tato L. Toilet training: methods, parental expectations and associated dysfunctions Mota DM, Barros AJ Voiding pattern and acquisition of bladder control from birth to age 6 years--a longitudinal study. Jansson UB, Hanson M, Sillen U, Hellstrom AL

janelleamMay. 4, 0912:17 PM

We've used a combo of cloth and disposables on our 18 month old since birth. Modern cloth styles and brands like Fuzzi Bunz, Bum Genius, Happy Heinys and the new Gro Baby diapers make it very easy, and we have noticed the cost savings. They talked about knocking poop into the toilet, but didn't mention that breastmilk poo can go straight into the wash, so we didn't have to deal with the toilet at all until our daughter was 6 months old and started solids. They also make flushable liners which make dealing with poop easier. We use disposables when we will be out and about just for our own ease of not carring around dirty diapers. We are lucky to go to a daycare that is happy to use cloth (the pocket and all in one diapers are just as easy to put on as disposables). We get most of our diapers from Jillian's Drawers, a great website where you can try lots of the best diapers our in a 21 day trial for $10. http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/

julyjenniferMay. 4, 0912:28 PM

No problems switching between cloth and disposables here. We use mostly cloth with our 19-month old but use disposables for vacations and when she goes to drop-in childcare. She has no problem with us switching it up. But she'll almost always tell us right after she's gone when she's wearing cloth, not always when she's wearing the disposables. To cham0037 the Pediatric Nurse: just to clarify, I don't think Ophelia is saying that EC is about potty-training your infant, as suggested by your comment "The people being "trained" in this practice are the parents, not the children." If parents who practice EC are "trained" in the sense that they are tuned in to their infant enough to learn his or her pottying cues, then more power to them! As the name suggests, Elimination Communication about learning how to communicate with children about their elimination needs. This is not at all developmentally inappropriate under age 2, as illustrated by human experience the world over, including at my house.


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