Cloth Diaper Guide

What are the benefits of cloth diapers? What are the downsides?

cloth diapers, clothing, sustainable, ethical sustainability, organic diapers, chemically sensitive, potty training, environmentally friendly

People may think that cloth diapers are a thing of the past, but they would be wrong. Cloth diapers have been growing in popularity again, and it is quite easy to see why. Many of our dear little ones have reactions to materials and chemicals used to make disposable diapers. Besides, who wants their new babies exposed to all those chemicals? Being a chemical sensitive person, I wouldn’t want that toxic stuff on my butt! What most people probably think about when the term cloth diapers is said is the messy cleaning, the smelliness between washes, and all the time and resources (water bill!) that go in to getting your cloth diapers clean. Fortunately, with modern-day technology these are worries of the past. In Ontario, cloth diaper delivery services are a growing business. 

There are many benefits to using cloth diapers. Chemical sensitivities and allergies are a big concern when using disposable diapers. Disposables may also lead to diaper rash. They are more absorbent which can lead to a delay in changing and not feeling wet. The feeling of being wet is important for potty training. If a child doesn’t feel the discomfort of being wet, there is less incentive to potty train (most parents hope that this will come sooner than later). But what about all the water used to clean and rinse? Luckily washing machines have become much more environmentally friendly than they were 40 years ago. But I don’t want to clean those poopy diapers myself! Lucky for you there are new businesses that will do it for you! They are popping up all over Southern Ontario, Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge all have cloth diaper services. I had used Bear Bottoms with my daughter and it was very simple and we never had any issues. 

cloth diapers, clothing, sustainable, ethical sustainability, organic diapers, chemically sensitive, potty training, environmentally friendly

Cloth diapers

Bear Bottoms

Bear Bottoms is one of the first cloth diaper services in the KW area. They have expanded across Southern Ontario. It is very easy to use this service. You rent a garbage pail for a one time fee of about $20. You tell them when your child is due, they send you diapers a week 2 weeks before the due date, and regular service starts when you call them to let them know the baby has arrived. Once you get to the down and dirty part, you take the soiled diaper and put it in the bin, no rinsing required. There is weekly pickup, the dirty diapers are picked up and new ones are dropped off. As the baby grows, just let them know you need a new size. The diapers themselves are easy to use and fitted with snaps. There are plenty of sizes and your choice of thick or thin. While cloth covers are not included, they can be purchased from Bear Bottom website or from other cloth diaper stores online.

Pros:

  • New washing technique uses less water than would have previously been used to to wash diapers.
  • No need to rinse at home, leads to less water used in addition to better washing machines.
  • Diapers are assembled in Southern Ontario.
  • Use of some cotton alternatives.
  • Able to reuse cloth diapers for new clients when child grows out of a size.
  • Very simple to use and great service (personal observation).
  • Uses oxy-bleach instead of chlorine.
  • Boasts “eco-friendly” detergent is used. 
  • Affordable.

Cons:

  • Far travel for cleaning depending on area you are in. 
  • Could use more ethically sourced fibers.
  • Search for replacement for cotton.
  • Need to buy diaper covers which can contain a lot plastics; be cautious of materials and suppliers.
  • Could use more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Wonderwear

cloth diapers, clothing, sustainable, ethical sustainability, organic diapers, chemically sensitive, potty training, environmentally friendly

Wonder wear cloth diapers

Wonderwear is a cloth diaper service that operates in Toronto and surrounding areas. They have a similar model to Bear Bottoms. The set up and pick up are pretty much the same. They will send out a starter package before the due date and have weekly pick-up. Wonderwear also uses fitted diapers with snaps, no folding required. There are, however, a few differences in the way the company is run.
Pros:
  • Again there is no need to rinse the diapers.
  • Diapers are reused for different clients.
  • Very easy to use this service.
  • Costs are low.
  • Seek to use energy efficient vehicles. 
  • Has two washing facilities to try and eliminate the amount of driving from consumer to washer.
  • Uses “eco-friendly” detergent.  
  • Uses the most eco-friendly washers and dryers available.

Cons:

  • Uses microflece in their diapers, not environmentally friendly.
  • No mention of where the diapers are made.
  • No mention of ethically sourced fabrics.
  • Need to buy covers, but choosing better materials is much easier than previously due to rise in demand.

Storkey’s 

cloth diapers, clothing, sustainable, ethical sustainability, organic diapers, chemically sensitive, potty training, environmentally friendly

This company also runs very similar to the previous two. This company offers twice a week pick up, unlike Wonderwear and Bear Bottoms. This company has three levels of service, bronze, silver, and gold. Each is priced differently and comes with different perks. Gold level allows you to use embroidered diapers with your child’s name on them so no other child uses them.

Pros: 

  • Some diapers are used for different clients.
  • Easy to use service. 
  • Just place the dirty diapers in the bin for pick up.
  • Uses bamboo in their diapers.
  • Diapers are made in Ontario.

Cons:

  • Fees for cancelling service/contract.
  • More costly than some other services.
  • Personally, I wonder what happens to the “gold” customers embroidered diapers when the child grows out of them.
  • Bi-weekly pick up seems unnecessary, uses more fuel.
  • How diapers are washed isn’t mentioned.

 

Comfy Cotton
cloth diapers, clothing, sustainable, ethical sustainability, organic diapers, chemically sensitive, potty training, environmentally friendly
Comfy cotton is a diaper service that has been around for awhile. The website sates that they started in 1988. This service differs from the rest as they use pre-fold diapers. Service is offered in Toronto, Hamilton, Mississauga and Brampton. 

Pros: 

  • Able to reuse the diapers.
  • Easy to use service with delivery and drop off.
  • Affordable.
  • No need for rinsing.

Cons:

  • Uses chlorine in washing.
  • Not fitted.
  • Made from 100% cotton, no mention of where the cotton came from. 
  • No mention of if the vehicles are environmentally friendly.

After taking a deeper look into a few of the different services in the area, each one has it`s own pros and cons. If you combined all of the best aspects of these companies, you would have one kick-ass environmental/socially conscious service. Maybe it`s possible to put their differences aside and work together for the better of the planet and the people working here. Cloth diapers are an alternative to disposable, but there is still some room to work on before we have that kick-ass environmental/socially conscious company. Still not sure about diaper service? Here`s a blog that lists eco-friendly alternatives. 

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One thought on “Cloth Diaper Guide

  1. Cloth diapers have come a long way in the past few generations. Modern Diapers make it easier than ever to use cloth, whether you pay a service to clean the dirty diapers or wash them yourself. While cloth diapering can save money in the long run, it does require an investment in supplies up front.

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