Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cloth vs. Disposable

What to do? When you think of "cloth" diapers do you think folding up rectangle pieces of cotton and pinning our baby in the middle of night? Do you think $$$$ and lots of it? Do you think I would rather just use disposable and once you put them in the trash never think of them again? 

I have put some thought into this. So much so that my 10 month old just starting using "cloth" diapers. My thoughts were of the money I had to invest to get the diapers I wanted but also I guess I was OK with the fact that the current disposables diapers take 100's of years to biodegrade. I guess I was OK with that since once I put them in the diaper bin, I did not have to think about what they were doing to the environment.

Well now I am thinking. Why? Because these days "cloth" diapers have come a long way! There are many sources for you to look at to make up your own mind. I just read a great article out of Mothering Magazine (May/June) issue which goes through the different kinds of cloth diapers. The diapers I have come to love are called "hybrid" cloth diapers and the maker is GroVia ( These diapers are so great because they grow with the baby. You buy their cute little shells and you can do 3 things. Purchase their soaker pad (snaps in shells), biosoaker (diaper like, sticks in shells) or get both. I have found so far I like the biosoakers since I just peal and stick in the shell. They are easy to use and cute to show off. Plus, I have found I wash my shells about every 3 days. Not because a blow out or they got peed on but just to keep them clean. Not much laundry for these cloth diapers.

What about leaks? What about the cost? What about the landfills? 

Well my 10 month old boy has been using these diapers for 2 weeks with a total of 2 leaks. I personally think it was because we, the parents,  put it on wrong.  This little man is a mover when changing!!!

As for the cost, I have spent very little, about $100. How? Because GroVia used to be named GroBaby and the GroBaby brand is on sale, so I have got some amazing deals from other online stores like,, and Plus since our baby was born we have invested over $700 in diapers which are made with gels which could cause rashes plus stay in landfills for 100's of years!!!

The investment is well worth it. The diapers are well made and the quality is just perfect for little buns. Don't forget that that the biosoakers take around 90-100 days to decompose!!! DAYS!!!! You can even flush them or use them as part of your compost. What a great way to do your part and help make sure this Earth is going to be around for your kids or the kids you know. Check out GroVia and learn for yourself. 

Also, I will be posting other reviews on other diapers later on. 

So to cloth or not to cloth?

The Helpful Sister,


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1 comment:

  1. Linda, this is something I put a lot of thought and research into as I have prepared for my arrival as well. I learned that the environmental impact may end up being the same between disposable v cloth diapers when you look at sitting in a landfill for 500 years v all the extra water/energy used in washing cloth diapers BUT ended up deciding to go with cloth for several reasons: 1) despite all my research, I just can't be convinced that something you re-use is not better than something that basically will be in a landfill forever, 2) with a high efficiency washer I think the water/energy used is probably less than what is reflected in the studies, and 3) I calculated the money saved in using cloth diapers (and washing them at home) over the diapering life of 2 kids, and even using very conservative estimates for how many disposable diapers I'd have to buy, I figured the savings to be in the neighborhood of $4000. That's a lot!!

    So, I ended up buying Fuzzi Bunz and Rumparooz pocket diapers for the ease, and got hemp inserts for them. (An additional benefit of Fuzzi Bunz is that they were specifically made to prevent diaper rash so this is said to be much less of an issue when using them.) Obviously I'm still pregnant so I haven't used them yet to know how they work, but this is a brand that is pretty universally well-reviewed. I also purchased some hemp wipes and plan not to use disposable wipes either, since I'll already be washing diapers I thought I might as well do the same with wipes. Everything I bought is on the expensive side, so it was a lot of money up front, but as I said it was all reviewed very well in my research and my cost savings above were based on these purchases.

    I like the idea of GroVia diapers and G diapers, both of which use cloth shells and either cloth or disposable inserts. (I don't know about GroVia inserts, but the G diaper ones are biodegradable, flushable, or compostable.) I think that these are probably the best for the environment since there is less laundry, and also they biodegrade. I was sure I'd use G diapers for a long time (especially because it is a Portland company and I liked the idea of supporting the local economy . . . GroVia is a Bozeman company, right? So I like the idea of supporting them too), but just read a lot of reviews about how they leak and figured out that the cost of them is roughly equal to the cost of disposables. That being said, I have friends who use G diapers (mostly during the day because they do tend to leak at night) and love them.

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents, and I'm sure I'll have many more opinions once I have actually used my diapers!!