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Why Cloth Diapers? 

When you first hear about Cloth Diapers, you imagine thin sheets of fabric, cloth, material, probably padded but definitely now absorbent or practical! You think this is 'old school', this is not what urban, modern mothers opt for in this journey of poop and pee, three years before baby can confidently asked to be taken to the washroom! The truth is so far from this perception that you will be shocked to realize what you and your baby have missed out on so far! Cloth diapers are not just 'nappies' or 'diapers', they are a system, a way of life and a choice that not only effects your baby, but effects you, your budgets and the environment too. Find out how?

Cloth Diapers are healthier
 
The first two years are very sensitive for every baby. They are difficult to comprehend and their needs remain paramount, so how do you keep your baby comfortable and yourself too? Create a balance! Keep your baby relaxed and comfortable with cloth diapers that give them more space, more comfort and a sense of lightness. Cloth diapers are a natural choice because the fabric is, with cloth diapers your baby's sensitive skin is exposed to material that is less reactive in every way. 

What should be of serious concern to all parents are the toxic chemicals present in disposable diapers. Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, skin diseases, and genetic damage, is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers. Trace quantities may even exist in the diapers themselves! Dioxin is listed by the EPA as the most toxic of cancer related chemicals. Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals. Disposable diapers also contain sodium polyacrylate. If you have ever seen the gel-like, super absorbant crystals in a disposable, then you have seen this first hand. Sodium polyacrylate is the same substance that was removed from tampons because of its link to toxic shock syndrome. No studies have been done on the long-term effects of this chemical being in contact with a baby's reproductive organs 24 hours a day for upwards of two years. Studies have also been done to show that the chemical emissions from disposable diapers can cause respiratory problems in children. Cloth diapers, on the other hand, are free of the many chemicals contained in disposable diapers. 

From Kimberly Clark's 2005 Annual Report: 
"Superabsorbent materials are important components in disposable diapers, training and youth pants and incontinence care products. Polypropylene and other synthetics and chemicals are the primary raw materials for manufacturing nonwoven fabrics, which are used in disposable diapers, training and youth pants, wet wipes, feminine pads, incontinence and health care products, and away-from-home wipers."
 
Cloth diapers are more convenient:
 
Mainly because cloth diapers work just like disposable diapers! Yes they do, except for the ultimate convenience of being able to reuse cloth diapers which you obviously cannot do with disposables. Cloth diapers have the same system to put on, clasp/close and done as disposable diapers do. They are double lined for super absorbency and that too with natural, untreated fabric, allowing the baby's skin to breath in a non chemical environment. 

Cloth diapers have been developed by parents struggling to find natural, comfortable and sustainable solutions for diapering. The main focus has always been on these three factors – comfortable, natural and sustainable. Because the fabrics used are natural and not chemically treated, there are fewer chances of diaper rash, skin irritability and intolerance. 

With cloth diapers, you will never ‘run out' of diapers. A quick spin cycle and you have the same cosy, dry comfort ready for baby all over again. Cloth diaper parents are known to keep the entire set for the next baby, since the diaper remains soft and fluffy after months of washing too. 
Cloth diapers are excellent for travel too. Regular users swear by their stock of cloth diapers when they plan a holiday or vacation. Your diaper pail will take care of the messy ones and baby will travel in the comfort of wearing natural fabric and experience absorbency that allows you to change them as you would with disposable diapers.
 
Cloth diapers save money:
 
When you buy disposable diapers, you are throwing away money with each diaper you throw away with. So many parents sit and calculate the expense they will incur for something as basic as a diaper or nappy. 

When you chose Cloth, you chose a system that allows you to reuse the product you have invested in. Making is more viable economically! Exactly how much you'll save will vary depending on which brand of cloth diapers you choose and also on which disposable diapers you discontinue using. Whichever way; there will be an immediate and significant change in your baby related financial planning. 

According to a recent report about Disposable Diapers from Consumer Reports, "You can expect to spend $1,500 to $2,000 or more on disposables by the time your baby is out of them." Budget can play a large role in determining what kind of cloth diapering system to purchase. In 2005, Kimberly Clark, the makers of Huggies, reported sales of $15.9 billion. Proctor and Gamble disclosed in their 2005 Annual Report that Baby Care is one of their core businesses "with a global share of approximately 37% of the market behind the strength of Pampers, with annual sales in excess of $6 billion." 

In India, if you use disposables you will end up spending Rs. 80 on diapers every day, Rs. 2,400 in a month, Rs. 28,800 in a year and a whopping Rs. 57,600 in two years which is usually when your baby is likely to be out of diapers.   By using cloth diapers, you can pay yourself back in just 3 months. 
By using cloth diapers, you save money with each diaper change. The money saved on diapers can support another area of your family's finances or could go towards helping someone else less fortunate. Cloth diaper users have gone on to save enough to start college funds, plan family events and holidays and better their standard of living by making one sound choice.
 
Cloth Diapers preserve the environment
 
Every baby who uses disposable diapers can generate as much as one ton of landfill waste before the age of two. Huge figure isn't it? Yes it is! Given the ‘garbage' situation all developed nations are dealing with, a necessity like diapers cannot afford to create this level of eco-imbalance. The solutions for this issue don't lie with governments and corporate's but with individuals, parents, every day people. Everyday people who can make one wise decision and change the world. 
The instructions on a disposable diaper package advice that all fecal matter should be deposited in the toilet before discarding, yet less than one half of one percent of all waste from single-use diapers goes into the sewage system. Yet, over 92% of all single-use diapers end up in a landfill. No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone. 
Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste. Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp.3 

The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth. And, over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby every year. 

To compound matters, based on a report from the Women's Environmental Network, The Real Diaper Association reports: 
  • Disposable diapers are the third most common consumer product in landfills today.
  • A disposable diaper may take over 500 years to decompose.
  • One baby in disposable diapers will contribute at least 1 ton of waste to your local landfill.

Some questions you may have about cloth diapering:

Do people really still use cloth diapers?
 
Traditional nappies or cloth nappies have been a staple for mothers in India for generations and even now it is probably the convenience factor that drives an Indian mother's decision of buying disposable diapers. Modernization and a paucity of time along with more mothers out working has made women move on from cloth diapers and choose disposable. It is understandable but maybe not a complete solution. 

Internationally, cloth diapering has become quite the in thing to do, especially among environmentally conscious parents. All of the new choices in cloth diapers have made it as easy to use cloth diapers as it is to use disposable diapers. This realization is now coming into India as well, where parents are determined to make wholesome choices that include comfort, convenience, budget and of course the environmental angle. 

Our bumGenius Elemental and Flip inserts are all organic while the rest of the diapers are made with natural cloth and are as easy and comforting for the baby's skin. 

 
I know how many disposables I will end up using but how many cloth diapers will my baby need?
 
Though a newborn can easily go through 8-12 cloth diapers in a day, an older baby doesn't need quite as many diapers, but you should still plan for 8 diaper changes and an overnight solution. Depending upon how heavy a wetter your baby is, you can purchase inserts as you experience the change your baby goes through in their toilet habits. Cloth diapers are easy to wash and easy to maintain, which means a standard stock can support your needs over 2 years and these can also be kept for your next baby. That's the real value of a product like cloth diapers. 

Our FLIP day pack gives you 6 diaper changes. The bumGenius 12 pack gives you 12 diaper changes and the Econobum Full Kit gives you 12 diapers changes. 
 
What does everyone else buy?
 
Our best selling diapers is the bumGenius 4.0, this is a one-size stay dry cloth diaper (this is a pocket diaper that comes with 2 microfiber inserts) and the bumGenius Elemental one-size cloth diaper (this is an all organic diaper that is an all in one piece). The simple yet functional design makes cloth diapering as easy as using disposables. The "no-stuff" system with semi-attached inserts is an ideal solution for families with a child in day-care or family members resistant to cloth diapers! By using the snaps on the front of the diaper, the size can be adjusted, all you do is put the diaper on your baby, wash, dry and re-use. No extra steps. No stuffing. No cover required. 
 
What do you recommend?
 
We usually recommend bumGenius Elemental as the best most absorbent diaper, this diaper has an absorbent layer integrated into the waterproof outer layer, it is a one step cloth diaper - no add-ons with snap closures to ensure a trim fit. And the soft leg elastic contains the mess! 

For day use we suggest Flip diapers, where you can choose from the Organic variant or the StayDry special. If you are looking for the most economical solution then we have Econobum diapers to get you started, our Full Kit gives you everything you need to cloth diaper with 12 diaper changes. 
 
My baby is in a day-care. Will I be able to use cloth diapers?
 
Most Day-care centres in India expect the parents to provide a stock of diapering solutions for their babies. Most parents keep a bag of disposable diapers with the hope that the centre will be vigilant and careful. In most cases the baby is either changed too frequently (at changing time for the whole lot) or too infrequently. Both of which are harmful for baby. Since modern cloth diapers are worn and removed just like disposable diapers and are padded to retain as much moisture, there is no difference in managing diaper changes. 

All you have to do is request the Day-care authorities to bag the used diapers for you to collect when you pick up baby. Given the health, budget and environmental advantages of cloth diapers, the Day-care Centre will be glad you made such an aware choice to begin with! 

We suggest the Flip Day Packs for day-care babies, since these are easy to use, easy to store and easy to carry. 
 
What do I do about the poop?
 
Good question! I think everybody asks us this question. It is important to note that it is EASY! 
First of all, your baby will go through different stages as they grow. Poop tends to change as your baby grows. 
  • Breastfed baby poop is water soluble. You do not need to remove breastfeed baby poop before washing.
  • Around 4-6 months of age, many babies start solids through cereal. At this point, stools transition to a thicker consistency. For best results, this should be removed (as much as possible) from your diapers prior to washing.
  • Formula fed and older babies typically have firmer stools. This should also be removed from your diapers prior to washing. It is easy to shake firmer stools off of the diaper into the toilet (no spray or liner required).
 
Are cloth diapers tough to keep clean?
 
No not at all. Considering that, we as Indians come from a history of cloth diapering, diapers are very much a part of a laundry load. Except now the convenience of washing machines has made this chore less cumbersome and time consuming. 

Basic Washing Routine: 
  • As you would with the rest of your laundry, separate your diapers into like materials. Wash natural fibres separately from synthetics.
  • Wash the entire load on cold with detergent. Washing once in cold water is important to remove leftover "poop" from your diapers.
  • Wash the entire load again on warm or hot - also with detergent.
  • Do a second rinse.
  • We recommend that you line dry your diaper covers, pocket diapers and anything made with hook & loop closures. Virtually everything else can be tumble tried on medium.

If you're having problems with diapers that stink after washing: 
  • Try an extra rinse. Sometimes detergent residue can cause diapers to smell.
  • Wash once with liquid Dawn (the blue formula). Use 1 teaspoon in a front loader and 1 tablespoon in a top loader. Rinse well.
  • If the previous solutions don't work, try 1/4 cup of bleach in the warm/hot wash cycle.
 
What detergents should I avoid?
 
Do not use detergents containing pure soap, enzymes, fabric whiteners or fabric brighteners. If your cloth diapers are made with hook and loop closures, do not wash them with natural fibers. Natural fibers produce lint that will build up in the diaper's closures. This will shorten the lifespan of your closures. 

Do not use rash creams without a barrier between your baby's bottom and the diaper. Do not boil your diapers 

 
My diapers are stained. Now what?
 
The best stain remover is the sun! Wash your diapers and then lay them out wet on the lawn with the stain facing the sun. It usually only takes a few hours before the stains are gone! If some remnants of the stain still linger, rinse the load again and repeat the process. 
 
What do you do with stinky diapers or covers?
 
Wash your diapers again! Most of the time, stinky diapers just aren't clean yet. Detergent residue or build up may also cause odours to be retained. Check the rinse water to make sure that you don't see suds. If you do, use less detergent. Or you could try 1/4 cup of bleach in a large hot wash load. 
 
My diapers smell like ammonia after being worn. What should I do to fix this problem?
 
The chief culprit for an ammonia smell is detergent scent or detergent residue. Make sure that you are using an extra rinse when washing your diapers and that you are using a detergent that does not contain any perfumes. A warm wash with 1/4 cup of bleach may be occasionally necessary to kill