Diapers: Cloth, Disposable, Stinky Pails & More

by Janelle Sorensen, Chief Communications Officer, Healthy Child Healthy World

I find it intriguing that diapers are such a hot topic of conversation among moms. But, I do remember when I was in the throes of the diapering years – you spend so much time diapering, wondering if it’s time to change a diaper, choosing diapers, disposing of/cleaning diapers, that it’s almost always on your mind.

I must admit, that while I don’t miss changing diapers, I’m envious of new parents today. There are so many more choices available and with the advent of social media, so many more conversations about diapers to tap into. So, if you’re dealing with dirty diapers, consider yourself lucky. (Easy for me to say, right?)

Still, oftentimes, extra choices and information only adds to the confusion about what you should do. We asked our Blogger Network for advice and here are some excerpts from their great submissions to us – I think you’ll definitely want to click-through each one to learn more. Enjoy!

Quiz: Are Cloth Diapers Right For You?  

by Betsy of Eco-Novice

Betsy made a great quiz to help you figure out what kind of diaper is right for you. Here are two of the questions she asked with answers I really identified with.

Do you feel like you are flushing money down the toilet every time you change a diaper?

Cloth diapers are cheaper than disposables and can be significantly cheaper depending on what kind of cloth diapering system you use and how many children you diaper. Financial considerations were not enough to get me to switch to cloth, but I can remember days that I had to change my baby’s diaper so many times that I was calculating the money lost in my head as I changed his diaper.

Are you daunted and confused by the choices out there for cloth diapers?

In many ways, the bewildering number of cloth diapering options is the biggest obstacle to using cloth diapers. Once I found a system that worked for me, I found that using cloth diapers was no more difficult or time-consuming than using disposable diapers. I also found there were many advantages to using cloth, so much so that when we travel (and use disposables for a week or so), my husband and I are both anxious to get back to using cloth. If you are thinking of switching to cloth diapers, I recommend asking a cloth-diapering friend or a local baby store to show you in person a few of your cloth diapering options, or you can use one of the many cloth diapering trials offered by online diapering stores to help you decide which styles fit your baby and your lifestyle. For a brief introduction to your cloth diapering choices described in terms any disposable-diaper-using parent can understand, read this post.

Making Cloth Diapers Work In A Busy Life

by Michelle of Simplify, Live, Love

Michelle wrote about cloth diapers, too – with a great, picture-loaded tutorial. Here’s a little about why she chose cloth diapers and then click-through for her tutorial!

Did you know that 28 BILLION disposable diapers are buried in landfills each year in the United States?! That’s a staggering number. I knew before I had my first child that I did not want to add to the trash heap. I was glad when my knowledgeable midwife was able to give me the low-down on cloth diapers and I used them from the get-go. As far as I can tell, the benefits of cloth diapers are many. They can be reused (over and over as I’ve proven by using the same diapers on 4 babies), they save money, and they are non-toxic.

Smelly Diaper Pail Solutions

by Jessica Anne, Adventures With Three Girls

Jessica points out that whether you use cloth or disposable, many people choose to keep a diaper pail, which inevitably gets a little (or a lot) stinky. Check out her awesome tips for naturally eliminating odors.

1. Flush the Poop

This is the simplest way to decrease diaper pail odor. If you’re using cloth diapers, you’re probably already doing that. It helps decrease the staining on cloth diapers as well. If you’re using disposables, maybe you’re just throwing it all in the diaper pail. Flushing helps two ways. First, no poop in the pail means no poopy diaper pail smell. Second, if we flush it goes through the sewage treatment system instead of just going into a landfill. That’s better for the environment.

2. Use Baking Soda

It naturally absorbs odor. You can take one of those refrigerator/freezer boxes and stick it right in the bottom of the pail.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar also neutralizes odors. Keep a spray bottle of white vinegar and spray it into the pail every time you empty it. Once the vinegar dries, there will be no more vinegar smell, and no more diaper pail smell. You can even add a few drops of an essential oil to provide a scent if you wanted, although I’m all for unscented.

4. Half A Lemon

This is my personal favorite. Take a used half lemon, scrape out all the flesh and fill it with sea salt. Place it in the bottom of the diaper pail. The salt absorbs the odors. It needs to be changed when the salt gets all dry and cakey. Mine last a couple months. It’s a great way to use the leftovers after juicing a lemon for cooking.

5. Don’t Get a Diaper Pail

Just use the regular trash can and empty it for disposables or get a zippered wet bag to collect cloth diapers. The diaper pail is extra plastic that really isn’t that necessary when it gets right down to it. It’s just convenient. I’m not saying throw out your diaper pail if you already have one, but if you don’t have one yet, think about not getting one. If you’re like me, and you have a diaper pail, when your children are potty trained, find someone who can use your diaper pail or donate it to a charity that could use it. It’s one way to help reduce plastic production.

What kind of diapers did you use? What are your tips for new moms?


Ready for more? This was just a sampling of submissions we received for this week’s Blog of the Week (a series where we feature posts from the Healthy Child blogger network). Here are some other awesome submissions about all things diapering:

Great submissions everyone! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and advice! Interested in being a part of this program? Sign-up here!

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of Healthy Child Healthy World.