Reflecting on 18 Months of Environmentally Friendly Diapers

I first came across the idea of a more environmentally friendly diaper when I was living in Seattle and saw them in the aisle while going grocery shopping at the local market. There wasn’t much that I could do with the information at the time although I did buy a starter set for a friend of mine who was having a baby — that was the flushable gDiaper system, the one that my wife Elizabeth and I started using a little after we brought Chaim Yosef home from the hospital.

From the very beginning of our using environmentally friendly diapers, we encountered resistance from friends and family. Why they felt the need to lay such strong words of critique on us, I am not sure — perhaps they were concerned that we would suffer unnecessarily if we used the environmentally friendly diapers. A few people even told us that they were certain that we would only last a short amount of time with the environmentally diapers before reverting to so-called normal diapers. That always rubbed us the wrong way — these normal diapers have only become the norm for maybe the last thirty years or so. Before that, cloth diapers were more normal.

We realized that we were spending upward of one hundred dollars every single month on diapers that were being flushed down the toilet and decided to give cloth inserts for our gDiapers. We found that the little amount of irritation that Chaim was having from the flushable inserts was entirely eliminated when we started using the cloth inserts. Moreover, the cost of using the cloth inserts was a little higher up front but as soon as we reached a desired number of inserts (about thirty-two) it became considerably cheaper to use them, wash them, and then dry them.

It was soon evident that the same cloth diapers that worked so well for us during the day were not as good at night as Chaim would wake up in the morning in pajamas that were wet, having been soaked from a diaper that just could not put up with a night time worth of wear. Elizabeth looked into the matter and found a few different companies that made overnight cloth diapers. They contained considerably more cloth than the day counterparts.

The most recent find was a more old-fashioned diaper that looks remarkably like a large piece of cloth that must be folded and fashioned in a particular way over the baby’s bottom and then tied together with a special plastic gripping hook set. The whole thing is then covered in a plastic cover that is rather attractive.

At first, the newest diapers (called pre-folds) were the best for Chaim as far as sleeping through the night without having a super wet diaper in the morning however he seems to be now venturing into the territory of a toddler who is increasingly interested in toilet training and has been a lot more sensitive to moisture in his diaper. He has been faithfully waking me up at about two thirty in the morning every morning to get a new diaper and indicates this by tugging on his diaper as I try to rock him back to sleep.

In the long run should we have future children they too will benefit from the same diapers — they will work perfectly well for them as well and will compound the savings we have already established over the life of the diapers. I have noticed that some of the people who were certain we would give up on the diapers are now somewhat impressed that we have stuck with them this long.

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