Make Your Own Compostable Diaper–Out of a Pumpkin!

It was my sister-in-law who came up with the idea: Why spend all that money on disposable diapers that just end up breaking down in a landfill for the next 500 years? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use nature’s bounty to diaper our babies? This fall is the perfect time to start carving your own diapers out of pumpkins. Simply choose an appropriately-sized pumpkin, carve out the top, scoop out the seeds, and cut out two leg holes. This DIY diaper requires no sewing.

Check out my niece sporting her all-natural homemade diaper:
baby wearing a compostable pumpkin diaper

While gDiapers claim to be compostable, they still contain SAP–a petroleum product that doesn’t really break down. A pumpkin may not have the wicking and absorbing powers of an ordinary diaper, but it is 100% natural and biodegradable!  No other diapers can compete with that.
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Beat the Cloth Diaper Bulk (Or Learn to Accept It)

One complaint we hear about cloth diapers is that they’re too bulky.  Babies sporting disposables boast a trim and lean figure, while cloth-wearing tots have what we may affectionately refer to as a “basketball butt.”  How can you avoid this dreaded condition?   Here are some ideas:

Embrace it.  If you have a skinny baby (as I did), you’re in luck, because you’ll find clothes will fit much better with the cloth diapers than without.  In fact, once my daughter potty trained, she couldn’t fit in most of her pants anymore!   Also, don’t babies look adorable sporting hu-u-ge diapers like this one?   You can’t get that look with a boring old fitted disposable diaper!
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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. 
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The Green Baby Guide’s Green Gift Repository

While here at the Green Baby Guide we approve of garage sale gifts, experience gifts, and even no gifts for your offspring this holiday season, sometimes you do want to buy a little something for the baby in your life.  We’ve personally worked with the eco-friendly companies listed below–some of you may have been lucky enough to win one of their great products in our past giveaways.

Pedoodles shoes are green because they’re made from recycled leather remnants.  Look for the “eco-friendly” label in the Next Steps Collection.   They’re very sturdy with a highly flexible sole and have become our favorite choice for shoes. 
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Flushable Diapers (gDiapers)–What Do You Think?

One of our readers wrote in to The Green Baby Guide asking us about flushable diapers.  Neither Joy nor I has ever used gDiapers, but we’re hoping our readers have.  Have you tried them out on your babies?  Why did you choose gDiapers over cloth diapers or regular disposables?  Did you love them?  Hate them?  Please post a comment and give us your honest opinions!

The Best Eco-friendly Diaper Websites

Diaper girlIn real life, it’s often hard–or even impossible–to find cloth diaper supplies.  Big box stores like Target or Babys-R-Us sell a few cloth diapers, but these are generally the flimsy varieties that are better used as burp cloths.  If you want to get started with cloth diapers, your best bet is to find a brick and mortar store in your town.  Here in Portland, I’ve had good luck at Mother Nature’s (for new supplies) and The Children’s Exchange (for used supplies).  Joy purchased all her cloth supplies at Bambini’s in Eugene, which carries both new and used items.  In your local shop, it’s possible to look at the diapers, ask the shopkeepers questions, and avoid shipping costs.  Many stores will offer starter kits so you can get everything you need for less than buying everything piecemeal. 
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Washable vs. Disposable—Environmental Debates to Ponder

Both Joy and I are committed to cloth diapering our offspring. First of all, we’re cheap, and our cloth diapers are much cheaper than standard disposables. We were also under the impression that cloth diapers were better for the environment than disposables. Well, we looked into it. It turns out that a major diaper study completed by the British Government in 2005 determined that the environmental impact of both diaper systems is more or less equal. How could this be? In a nutshell, disposable diapers harm the planet during their production and disposal while cloth diapers take a toll on the environment by sapping up water and energy.
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