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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why Cloth Diapers Make Sense (and cents!)

By Guest Blogger, Andrea M

I could go on all day about why I chose cloth diapers, how I bought mine, why I use the ones I do and how I then figured out how to sell the ones I don’t need anymore. But since you are all busy moms I’ll keep this short and hope that you give it some thought and do some research yourself. And if you don’t want to read the whole story, jump to the end of this blog where I invite you to come see what other local moms have been using and will be selling on January 28.

Cloth diapers are generally made of cotton and a thin layer of waterproof material. Disposables are made of pulp, chemicals and plastics. Although I don’t have a degree in chemistry or biology, I am pretty sure that chemicals and plastics aren’t great for developing baby’s bodies or brains. (Think about the BPA issues that have gotten a lot of press lately – BPA is ingested through food, but we all know that we absorb stuff through our skin and the air we breathe, too.)

Cloth diapers can be washed in your home machine every 2-3 days, used for years and then re-sold to other moms. Disposables can be thrown away and then sit in a landfill for hundreds of years (landfills aren’t actual composting facilities – they are more like sealed storage that doesn’t circulate the water, sunlight or air necessary to actually break down the diaper).

Cloth diapers can be bought in cute colors and fabrics and can be worn “on the outside." Disposable diapers just aren’t that attractive!

Cloth diapers can be re-sold so you can recoup a lot of your original investment. Disposable diapers are like throwing money straight into the landfill 6-12 times a day for years on end.

Cloth diapers are not simple. I’ll give that one to the disposables. It takes some time to learn the washing routine, figure out which ones will fit your baby best (and which ones your spouses and other caregivers will use without giving you a hard time). But you probably invest time in researching the best and safest high chairs, car seats, toys, foods, etc. for your child. So why not do the same for diapers, and then you can see the logic of thinking through the cloth vs. disposables options before just following the trend of disposables.

As for how to buy them locally…you have three options:

1. Visit O Baby Organics in Winston Salem or Peaceful Beginnings in Greensboro. They have a limited assortment of brands and sizes but are fabulous for getting started and are a priceless local resource. I really value their missions in and commitment to the baby community, so I definitely recomment checking them out for cloth diapers, sustainable toys, clothes, and other baby items. And they both have classes of all types (breastfeeding, food prep, massage, story time, nutrition, mothering advice).

2. Use the Internet. There are hundreds of corporate and mompreneur brands to try. You can pick your styles, colors, etc., but the drawback is that you can’t touch and feel them or compare sizes and materials side by side.

3. Swap diapers with other local moms. This is, of course, my favorite option. You can talk to other moms about what has worked for them, you get to touch and feel the diapers before committing to buy, you can save money vs. buying them retail, you can even keep cloth diapers out of the landfills for a little while longer, and you can meet some of the people who may buy your diapers when you are done with them.

If #3 above makes sense to you, then come join us for Winston-Salem's first Cloth Diaper Swap on Wednesday, January 29, at 10 am, at 721 Luxbury Road, Winston-Salem, 27104 (driveway is on the corner of Horns Way and Luxbury).

This swap is for those who are interested in - or who are new t0 - cloth diapers, as well as veteran CD users. Come see what other people have been using and pick up a few options! See if you can increase your stock, trade up in sizes, or sell some of the ones you don't use anymore! And for those done with diapers, come sell your stock and earn back some of your investment while helping others!

I am opening my home the morning of January 28th to anyone who wants to come sell, learn about or buy cloth diapers. Most diapers will be gently used, though some may be new. Can't say for sure what brands and sizes will be available since I don't know what anyone will bring - but you can expect to see a variety of cloth diapers, liners, boosters, trainers, wraps, covers, woolies, snappis, wipes, and diaper pail liners.

Please limit items to Cloth Diaper-related items only. No clothing (other than covers) or toys please - my house just "ain't" that big! We'll see how this goes and it may become a quarterly event!

If you're an interested seller: Use labels or safety pins and tags to put prices and your name on each of your individual items (don't use sticky notes - they aren't sticky enough). Bring cash/change. Arrive between 9:30 and 9:45 am so we can get your items onto the tables.

If you're an interested buyer: Bring cash (don't forget small bills) - again, this is at my home so I don't have a credit card machine or ATM or the ability to verify checks. Arrive at 10:00am - I plan to wrap things up by 11:15am.

Feel free to email me here with questions or suggestions about the event.

Thanks, Andrea, for sharing your insight and event with other Smarty Moms! Andrea has also asked for all Triad Smarty Moms to please pass the word along to other potential sellers and buyers throughout the Triad. You can easily copy and paste today's direct link (from your browser above) into an email, or just tell them to visit This blog will always be here!

Please share your thoughts below about cloth diapers. We at TriadSmartyPants would love to hear them!

Don’t forget to register to win a FREE 3-month membership at Rush Fitness Complex near you. Just click on this link to be entered into this Smarty Give-Away designed exclusively for our loyal newsletter subscribers. The lucky winner will be announced on January 29.

Additionally, EVERY TriadSmartyPants' newsletter subscriber is eligible to receive a FREE 30-day membership as well. All you have to do is
email us here anytime between now and 5 AM January 28 to say you are interested. We will check to be sure you are a subscriber, and then we'll send you back an email confirming your eligibility for the FREE 30-day membership. You can then take that confirmation email from TriadSmartyPants into any of the seven Triad locations to redeem.


KellyC said...

Andrea, that's great info! I've heard people switch from disposable to cloth for potty you have any experience with this?

Anonymous said...

I don't have any personal experience since my baby is younger than potty training age, but I know that many people do make that switch. I have heard that O Baby Organics has a great "trainer" for sale (the cloth helps the child feel the wetness better than disposables do). Sorry I can't be of more help.

Anonymous said...

We'll be doing another Cloth Diaper Swap/Sale on July 16 at 9:30am. Contact me if you need the details.

Anonymous said...

The Fall Diaper Swap will be Thursday, November 19 from 6:45pm-7:45pm. Email for more information.

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