Baby Gear I Wish I’d Splurged On After All

If you’ve read The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, you know I got pretty hardcore about baby gear. That is, if it wasn’t going to last a long time or perform five functions at once, I didn’t want it. The pleasant side effects of this policy was that I didn’t have mountains of blinking plastic toys to wade through on my way to the kitchen. I saved money and the environment. Great!

But . . . in retrospect I have to wonder if I might have eased my restrictions just a bit to make my life with a new baby a little easier. In Baby Gear I Lived Without, I go over some of the common baby items I didn’t buy. Here are a few things I might have liked after all:
(more…)

Eco-confession: I bought regular diapers!

First the good news: In the 2.5 years my daughter wore diapers, I bought just six packs of disposables. I thought that was pretty impressive, though I’m sure some of the cloth diaper aficionados around here managed to do even better. We used cloth for nighttime and nap time and even managed to use cloth on a few vacations. The disposables came in handy for a few trips that involved plane travel and lack of laundry facilities.


Photographic evidence

Now, the bad news: None, and I mean zero, of those six packs were Seventh Generation diapers or Nature babycare or gDiapers. No, we used . . . the generic brand we found at Fred Meyer. How could I commit such an eco-atrocity? Well, I’ve got to say that I just couldn’t stand the idea of paying so much more for chlorine-free diapers. (The only difference between regular and “greener” disposables is that the eco-disposables are made from chlorine-free tree pulp. Check out our post on the anatomy of a disposable if you want to know what else is in those plastic diapers.)
(more…)

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…)

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. 
(more…)