Green Days: Day 2 Tips & Giveaway

Green trees

It’s Day Two of Green Days – 3 days of green tips and giveaways on Mom365 (see yesterday’s tips and giveaway here). Today, we’re giving away 3 ultra-light starter packs of Kushies diapers. If you’re thinking, “Cloth? Not for me!” read on to learn more about today’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 who’s been specializing in sustainable living and green building for more than 10 years, to offer her advice.

Day 1: The New Cloth Diaper

You’ve probably heard it before: Cloth diapers are better for babies and their planet – and they’re money-savers, too (check out this cool diaper cost calculator). They’re free of chemicals, don’t clog landfills and require no petroleum products to produce. They might even lead to earlier potty training – many parents who’ve used cloth report that their children were trained significantly earlier than their disposable diaper-wearing peers

If you’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 mother’s reusables, they really should be renamed.  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.  Here’s the scoop on choosing and transitioning to cloth – and trying cloth risk-free.

There are four basic types of cloth diapers 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 baby’s needs at any stage.
  4. 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 doesn’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 – 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 or comment on Honey’s tips in the comments box below. We’ll pick a winner on May 7.