Search Results for: diaper

Anatomy of a Disposable Diaper

Ever wonder what a disposable diaper is made out of?

The “breathable” outer layer is typically made of polyethylene, a thermoplastic.  Inside that you’ll find a blend of cellulose pulp (in most brands, wood pulp is bleached with chlorine) and absorbent polymers.  You may also find Velcro or adhesive tabs, chemical “wetness indicators” that change colors to show when the diaper is wet, and scents or lotions.


Check out this website for more detail on how a disposable diaper is made.

Most diaper companies do not use recycled materials to make their diapers, so the wood pulp is derived from freshly-harvested trees.  The polymers that keep disposables dry on the outside and absorbent on the inside are petroleum products, but in the future manufacturers could try making these layers out of recycled milk jugs.  (I am not a chemical engineer, so someone correct me if this idea isn’t feasible.)  Even Seventh Generation, who makes a chlorine-free disposable diaper, does not use any recycled materials for the poly-wraps on their diapers and training pants.  Their website says they plan to “upgrade this to 50% recycled content” in 2008.  We’re not sure if they accomplished this goal or not!
(more…)

Cloth Diaper Addiction Confessed

At a book signing awhile ago, a pregnant friend of a friend approached me with a few cloth diapering questions.  With glee, I launched from my chair and flew to the diapering section of the baby boutique that was hosting the event.  While holding up striped diaper covers, flowered pocket diapers and hemp pre-folds I described the pros and cons of each, outlined care instructions and summarized costs.  I think I may have also been gesturing wildly and possibly jumping up and down.

I get a little high on cloth diapering.

Thankfully, I realized that the poor woman’s eyes were glazing over.  My cloth diapering manifesto was a bit overwhelming for someone who was just starting. Luckily, she had just bought a copy of our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, which is packed full of cloth diapering info (and even pictures!) that she can process at her own pace.
(more…)

Using Baking Soda for Baby’s Bath, Diaper Pail, Cradle Cap, and More!

Discovering new ways to use natural, inexpensive products gives me a slightly bizarre thrill—like winning the lottery, fully reversing global warming, or seeing my toddler son first thing in the morning. 

You can imagine my euphoria when I found out that a fifty cent box of baking soda could replace diaper cream, eco-friendly cleaners, and baby bath without any artificial ingredients or phthalates.  For those of you that didn’t catch last week’s post, you might want to read up on how baking soda can also replace deodorant, shampoo and even toothpaste!

Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought of” offers a plethora of ideas using for baking soda with babies and throughout your house.  The book is chock full of ways to replace potentially toxic mainstream products and expensive green cleaners with simple baking soda solutions. The list below is compiled from the book’s section on caring for babies and children. 

(more…)

Nighttime Cloth Diapering Problem Solving–Using Cloth Diaper History!

If you read last week’s post on A Short History of Diapering in America, you know that I’m both a history nerd and a cloth diapering geek–which make me wonder about obscure subjects.  Like diaper rash in colonial times, Native American treatments for mastitis, and midwives in the wild west.  I’m pretty sure no one else does that!

I’ve struggled with cloth diapering at night with my children, but then wondered how all those moms dealt with it when there weren’t any other options.  My son had a massive bladder that couldn’t be stopped by even the thickest diaper.  Both he and my daughter both had recurrent yeast infections or night wakings that I attributed to cloth.  Sure enough, when we switched to disposables, the problems cleared up.  Still, I hate buying disposables and feel so sad tossing them into the trash.
(more…)

What is the ONE Cloth Diaper You’d Take with You on a Desert Island?

Let’s say you’re stranded on a desert island. You have nothing—nothing except your baby, a high-efficiency washing machine that magically appears to work without electricity, and one type of cloth diaper. That’s right! You can’t have your Fuzzibunz diapers and your bumGenius diapers and your beloved Chinese prefolds with Velcro diaper covers. You have to choose one kind—so what will it be?

Ode to the Humble Prefold (Or, Why Prefolds Could Beat Pocket Diapers in a Diaper Duel)

Don’t get me wrong–I think pocket diapers (like these pictured from BumGenius) are adorable.  They come in a variety of prints and colors, look cute flapping in the breeze on the clothesline, and go on just like disposables.  That last reason is why I see many parents recommending pocket diapers to new parents or cloth diaper novices.  Joy went on and on about pocket diapers here and herePocket diapers are advertised as “daddy and daycare approved;” meaning, I suppose, that once they are stuffed with an absorbent liner, they go on just as easily as a disposable.

Before my daughter was born, I stocked up on three dozen prefold diapers (like these pictured) and about six Velcro covers (like these basic Prorap covers Audrey is wearing).  I chose this system because they were the more economical choice.  Prefolds run about $1.25 each, whereas a Fuzzibunz costs about $17 new and $7 used. 
(more…)

Pocket Diaper Leakage Problems

For their adorable design, their convenience, and those clever snaps, I love my pocket diapers.  For leaks, I don’t.  It may be that my baby is too small for her large sized pocket diapers, but even when we double stuff them with liners, they seem to have major leakage issues.  The only way we can stop the leaks is to treat them like a diaper cover and line them with a prefold diaper.  I loved them with my older son but he wore then when he was a bit bigger, which may explain our leakage problem.  Does anyone else have these issues?  Are you partial to your pocket diapers or do you prefer prefolds?

How to Choose an Eco-friendly Diaper System

Chinese prefolds, diaper covers, all-in-ones, pocket diapers, hybrid diapers—agh! If you are expecting a baby and looking into cloth diapers, you may have noticed just how many kinds of diapers there are. The abundance of options may have some parents running to disposables. But don’t worry. The Green Baby Guide is here to sort everything out.

What kinds of diapers do we like best? Well, Joy prefers pocket diapers. I stand by the old-fashioned prefolds with covers.

Okay, so what should I get? Remember that you don’t have to have the next 2.5 years of diapering all mapped out. Go ahead, buy a newborn pack of disposables (Seventh Generation makes them chlorine-free!) for the first week or two. Then think about it: What do you want out of your diapers?
(more…)

Charlie Banana Diaper Giveaway

Your life as a semi-professional diaper changer may be about to change in the next week if you’re lucky enough to win this week’s Charlie Banana giveaway! In my cloth diapering conversations, whenever a mother has mentioned Charlie Banana Diapers it seems to be followed by a long list of adorations: They fit so wonderfully, are so flexible, and have such lovely designs….Yadda, Yadda, Yadda…

After trying the diaper for myself, I have to say that I have joined the (sometimes fervent) ranks of the Charlie Banana fan club. The Charlie Banana Cloth Diaper itself is adorable but I also love how their pocket diapers are built to work with a cloth or disposable insert. The washable liner fits inside the pocket, just as it would on a standard cloth diaper, but the disposable insert sits on top of the fleece, close to the baby’s skin. It is secured by simply tucking it into a fold in the fabric. (Which means you don’t have to worry about securing it with complicated snaps or elastics.) When you’re traveling or taking baby to daycare, you can still use your cloth diapers along with the disposable inserts.
(more…)

Eco-friendly Diaper Bags

So you read What’s in your diaper bag? and learned that I survived those early days of motherhood without a diaper bag. Then you stuck around for Retiring the Diaper Bag and Diaper Bag Alternatives and decided you really don’t feel like spending years substituting a Ziploc bag for something, well, nicer. What is a fashion-conscious, eco-conscious new parent to do? Here are some of the most popular eco-diaper bags on the market:

Petunia Pickle Bottom organic cotton diaper bag ($115)

ErgoBaby Organic backpack ($64.55)

OiOi Baby Ikate Diaper bag ($139), made with 100% organic cotton.

Diaper Dude diaper bag ($88)

Amy Butler diaper bag ($250)

DadGear diaper bags (from $78)
(more…)