Green Days: Day 2 Tips & Giveaway
Itâ€™s Day Two of Green Days â€“ 3 days of green tips and giveaways on Mom365 (see yesterdayâ€™s tips and giveaway here). Today, weâ€™re giving away 3 ultra-light starter packs of Kushies diapers. If youâ€™re thinking, â€śCloth? Not for me!â€ť read on to learn more about todayâ€™s cloth diapers. Then scroll to the end to enter. And check back tomorrow for our grand green giveaway.
For our green guidance, we asked Honey Berk, a freelance writer whoâ€™s been specializing in sustainable living and green building for more than 10 years, to offer her advice.
Day 1: The New Cloth Diaper
Youâ€™ve probably heard it before: Cloth diapers are better for babies and their planet â€“ and theyâ€™re money-savers, too (check out this cool diaper cost calculator). Theyâ€™re free of chemicals, donâ€™t clog landfills and require no petroleum products to produce. They might even lead to earlier potty training â€“ many parents whoâ€™ve used cloth report that their children were trained significantly earlier than their disposable diaper-wearing peers
If youâ€™ve thought about switching to cloth for half a second and then thought better of it, think again. The cloth diapers on the market today are so far from your motherâ€™s reusables, they really should be renamed. Â In fact, with more and more companies offering an ever widening range of cloth options featuring a host of enhancements, navigating the territory can be overwhelming. Â Hereâ€™s the scoop on choosing and transitioning to cloth â€“ and trying cloth risk-free.
There are four basic types of cloth diapersÂ
- All-in-one diapers (AIOs) This diaper functions as a complete system without extra pads or other accessories and usually includes a waterproof outer layer. In fact, it functions just like a disposable diaper and fastens with snaps or velcro, but you wash it instead of throwing it away. They do, however, require a longer drying time than other types. AI2 diapers are similar, but add a separate doubler layer for extra protection.
- Fitted diapers Outer and inner layers are not waterproof and do require a diaper cover; however, they dry faster than AIOs so you may be able to use a smaller quantity. These usually fasten with snaps or velcro.
- Pocket diapers These are similar in design to AIOs but instead of having a sewn-in absorbent layer, they contain a pocket that holds a removable absorbent insert coupled with an inner layer that wicks away moisture. This keeps little bottoms drier and allows you to tailor the level of absorbency to your babyâ€™s needs at any stage.
- Flat and pre-fold diapers These are the classic cotton squares most of us think of when we think of cloth diapers, though the pre-fold includes extra layering in the center. They require a waterproof outer cover and are typically fastened with diaper pins or an alternative fastener like the Snappi; the least expensive system, they are very absorbent and quick-drying.
Transitioning to cloth
When switching to cloth diapers from disposables, either all-in-ones or pocket diapers provide for the smoothest transition. However, pocket diapers allow you to customize the absorbency with the inserts you use; and they can also make for easier rinsing and faster drying, because the inner layer doesnâ€™t absorb water during the rinsing process.
If cost is your primary concern, flat or pre-fold diapers are a more economical choice, even with the addition of waterproof covers. However, there are a number of cloth diaper suppliers, like Diaper Junctionand The Diaper Jungle â€“ that offer 30-day trial periods for initial cloth diaper purchases, which allow you to try any system risk-free.
To enter to win one of 3 starter packs of ultra-light Kushies all-in-one diapers, tell us your thoughts on cloth diapering orÂ comment on Honeyâ€™s tips in the comments box below. Weâ€™ll pick a winner on May 7.