Wednesday, July 7, 2010

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New Moms Working To Save The Environment And Some Money

Diapers. They are a way of life for new parents. But how many parents really think about their diapering decision? Chicago mom, Rachel Shaw Callahan, admits she didn't give it much more than a passing thought when she was pregnant.

"I knew cloth diapers were an option, but none of my friends were using them so I had no one to get firsthand experience from," says the mom of an 8-month-old baby. "When you're getting ready to have a baby there are so many other things to consider from the stroller to the crib bedding, that diapers were sort of a given."

But in these tough economic times, more budget-strapped parents are considering making the switch to cloth diapers to save money. A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive for DiaperShops.com, a leading online cloth diapering boutique, found one-third of parents who use disposable diapers say they would be "extremely" or "very likely" to switch to cloth diapers after learning that cloth diapers could save them $2,000 over the course of their baby's diapering years.

However, just because parents say they are willing to switch doesn't mean many of them have done it. The survey found that only about one in 10 parents with children in diapers use cloth diapers. This number represents a substantial minority of the parenting population.

Kelly Wels, the founder of DiaperShops.com, says this study exposes a knowledge gap among American parents. "It is true that cloth diapers can save a family a lot of money over the course of their baby's diapering years. That said, it's evident from this survey that parents don't know just how much is at stake by switching to cloth diapers," she says. "A little research will lead parents to find out all about the easy-to-use and oh-so-cute cloth diapering brands like FuzziBunz, Happy Heinys, GroVia, Kissaluvs, BabyKicks and bumGenius."

Top concerns for parents
A third of disposable diapering parents say they would be "extremely" or "very likely" to switch to cloth diapers after they learned how disposable diapers negatively impact the environment. Experts say disposable diapers take 250-500 years to decompose in a landfill and more than 27 billion diapers end up in landfills each year.

Moms also appear to be more concerned about diaper rash. Almost 30 percent of moms say they would be "extremely" or "very likely" to switch to cloth diapers if it could ease or eliminate diaper rash.

"Cloth diapering has been a growing phenomenon among today's modern parents, especially as we become more aware of just how fragile our eco-system is and how it's not immune to excessive landfill waste and environmental disasters like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico," says Wels. "Every little bit helps in making our world a better place for our children."

Tereson Dupuy, the founder of FuzziBunz and mother of the modern cloth diaper, agrees. "To solve this knowledge gap, we need conscientious parents to take an active role in learning about their diapering options and finding what truly works best for them by taking into account cost, health of baby, convenience and style. Cloth diapers have come a long way and are nothing like the diapers of yesteryear," she says.

7 comments:

Sabrina said...

It was a little scary to switch over. Then having to figure out the washing and leaks. But it is a decision I am glad we made. Beside she has the cutes bum with out the chemical smell I hate.

Rita said...

I am a recent "convert" to cloth. Like the lady from the beginning of this article, I considered them an option, but I knew no one who used them. I considered them while I was pregnant, but made the switch when my daughter was 10 months old. I feel so much better about cloth diapering: Her diaper rash has decreased, our environmental impact is decreased, our expenses haven't yet decreased (we're still building our stash) but I know they will. And the "work" is NOT that bad. (And yes, people do look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them we've made the switch!)

nic and krista said...

I have just switched to cloth and I love talking about cloth to anyone who will listen. But I don't have any friends who use cloth so I'm glad there is so much info online!

Amanda Sikes said...

While I can see that the switch would be a little intimidating I commend the cloth diapering industry for making products that are easy to use and fun to look at.

Ashley Toth said...

I switched to cloth a few months ago and it definitely was intimidating at first, because I don't know anyone using them. Figuring out where to start became a rather intense process. Now I'm quite obsessed and frequent several different cloth diaper blogs daily to connect with others on the topic, keeps me excited. I really wish that Cloth Diapering was a class listed right alongside Lamaze, Baby Care, and Breastfeeding. I think the majority of moms aren't well enough informed. I wish I knew when I was pregnant what I know now!

Laura said...

I recently "switched" to cloth, however not entirely Full Time but pretty close. I was very scared to while my baby girl was strictly breastfed. But after hours online learning/researching I gradually prepared us for transitioning to cloth. My baby girl is in Cloth when we are home which is much of the time and use disposables when we travel around town (which for us is 30+ miles in Arizona = hot in summer). I love having my girl in cloth & it is really easy for us. I had my husband install a DIY diaper sprayer (wish I had it months before for those massive diaper blowouts). I would have to say the expenses have not yet decreased as I build the stash up but my focus is One-Size diapers that we can use longer & perhaps for the next baby.

Bao said...

This perfectly describes me!