FAQs

Why should I cloth diaper my baby? 
Three reasons you should use cloth diapers on your baby:
1. They will save you money.
2. They are good for your baby's health.
3. They are good for the environment.
Cloth Diapers will save you money! Let’s talk dollars and cents by using an example. On average, a baby goes through 8 diapers a day. Newborns use about 10-12 diapers a day and older babies/toddlers may use less than 8. But for this example let’s average out a 8 diapers a day, and say that the baby potty trains at 36 months. So that’s 8 diapers x 1,095 days which equals 8,760 diapers from birth through potty training. On average let’s assume disposables cost $0.30 each. So that’s 8,760 diapers x $0.30 which totals to $2,628. You’re spending over $2,500 on something you are going to throw away. Depending on the cloth diapering system or systems you purchase, you can spend anywhere from $400 to $1000 for your baby from birth to potty training. Plus, cloth diapers may be used for more than one baby depending on the wear and tear of your stash. Also, when you are done with your diapers, selling them can help to recoup your cost. Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m thrifty, use coupons, and wait for sales.” I love coupons and a good sale as much as the next mom, but remember that time is money. You are spending a good chunk of time pouring over the ads, cutting coupons, waiting for a sale, loading up the kid(s) in the car, shopping with your kid(s), and loading everything and everyone back in the car to go back home. ~whew~ Plus, if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up buying other sale items that are irresistible and quite possibly not on your shopping list while you’re on a diaper buying mission. Think about the time, money, and stress you’ll save by having all of your diapers at home with you. All you need to do is throw them in the wash. After all, what’s one more load of laundry? It’s easier than you think! Maybe saving money isn’t your thing. Lucky duck! Using cloth diapers are highly beneficial to your baby’s health. Harmful chemicals are used in the process of making disposable diapers. Some of the chemicals used in disposable diapers are thought to cause early incidents of asthma.  Also, because disposable diapers are essentially plastic pants, your baby’s skin can’t breathe. Researchers have looked at the correlation between male infertility and disposable diapers. While there is still research being done in that area, it does make sense. It can get very hot wearing plastic pants, which can cause a higher than normal temperature for a boy’s scrotum. There is a lower rate of diaper rash when using cloth diapers. Less chance of diaper rash also means less chemicals used on baby’s skin to clear up or prevent rashes. This is because skin can breathe while wearing cloth diapers. Think about it. You wouldn’t wear plastic underwear. It doesn’t feel good. Period. Last but not least, the environment would thank you for using cloth diapers if it could. Looking back at the example of a baby using 8 diapers a day for 3 years in the money saving segment, we found that 8,760 diapers would be thrown away. Multiply that by all the families that have ever and will ever use disposable diapers and that's a HUGE number of disposable diapers in our landfills. It’s ironic to think that we are throwing away something that will never really go away. Disposable diapers don’t biodegrade. Don’t be fooled by thinking out of sight, out of mind. We are creating a problem that is going to last for generations to come. The chemical process in producing disposable diapers does nothing to help reduce our dependency on oil. According to the American Petroleum Institute, a study in 1991 showed that the 18 million disposable diapers that are made each year use 3.5 billion gallons of oil. Today it is thought that 7 billion gallons of oil are needed to make disposable diapers. Maybe you’re thinking how it can be environmentally sound to wash cloth diapers. It is almost always better to reuse an item instead of throwing it away. We reuse our clothes, dishes, towels, and many other items. With today’s high-efficiency washing machines and dishwashers, much less water is needed. You may also be thinking that you are using energy to wash and dry the diapers. Yes, but again with high-efficiency machines, energy saving also comes into play. Air drying your cloth diapers also saves on energy costs. If that still doesn’t convince you, it is easy to find other ways to make up the difference for energy and water saving measures around the house. Unplug appliances when not in use, turn off lights when no one is in the room, don’t run the water while brushing your teeth are just a few energy and water saving ways to offset washing and drying diapers. Overall, you are investing in a product that has the possibility of being reused for years to come. And that is always a good thing for the planet.

What do I need to cloth diaper my baby?
 You will need enough cloth diapers to make it 2-3 days. Newborns average 10-15 diapers a day. Older babies average 8 diapers and day and toddlers need slightly less. It is recommended to multiply the number of diapers you need a day by 3. This will give you a good amount to allow 2-3 days between washing. Having a good sized stash also helps to reduce the wear and tear on your diapers, especially if you are using a one-size system that you want to hold up to years of use. Wetbags and pail liners are needed to store dirty diapers. Pail liners are used in garbage pails with a lid. These are meant to hold a large amount of dirty diapers. Wetbags come in a variety of sizes. The largest ones may be used in place of a pail liner. Small to medium sizes are good when away from home. The size you need will depend on how long your baby will be away from home. A small one for a few hours away from home or medium one for a day at grandma’s house may be what you need. It is recommended to have 2 of whatever size you have, so when one is in the wash the other is clean. If you plan to use cloth wipes a minimum of 36 is recommended. Plan for one for each change. For extra dirty diapers, 2-3 may be needed. Cloth wipes are easy to use. They eliminate the need for a trash can nearby when changing baby. You can wash them right with the dirty diapers. You can use your wipes with a solution from our store, a homemade solution, or plain water. While not required, a diaper sprayer is a useful tool when cleaning poopy diapers. They rinse off dirty diapers into the toilet. Sprayers help keep diapers from staining and make washing diapers in the machine much easier. In addition, they make swishing diapers in the toilet a thing of the past.

How many diapers do I need?
The number of diapers you need depend on the age of your child and how often you want to wash. A good rule of thumb is to multiply the number of diapers you will need per day and multiple it by 3. A newborn uses approximately 10-15 diapers a day. The newborn stage is a much shorter phase, so fewer diapers may be needed if you are willing to wash more frequently. An older baby, 6 months and up, may go through 8 diapers a day. A toddler will use slightly less than an older baby. It all depends on the baby. For example, I have  36+ diapers and I wash every other day. At this point in time I have 2 in diapers. One son that wears diapers full time, and another son that wears diapers when he sleeps. A good size stash helps to keep my wash load at a good size so they all get nice and clean. I then have a good amount available so while the diapers are washing and drying, clean diapers are available. Having a good sized stash helps to minimize the wear and tear of the diapers. Remember this is an investment that you would like to last over the course of several years and quite possibly for more than one child. Do keep in mind that diapers can and will wear out over time as any article of clothing will.

How do I store the dirty diapers? 
Dirty diapers are stored dry. Gone are the days of having them soak in a wet pail. Those are stinky as well as a drowning hazard for babies and children. A trash can with a lid lined with a pail liner is a good way to keep the dirty diapers until wash day. While away from home a wet bag can be used to keep dirty diapers separate from the clean ones. Wet bags also do a good job of keeping odors locked inside. They come in a variety of sizes. Both pail liners and wetbags can be washed with the diapers. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions.

What do I do with the poopy diapers?
Poopy diapers aren’t so bad. Trust me. Breastfed baby poop is by far the easiest to manage. Just throw the diaper in the wetbag or pail and wash with the rest of the diapers. Breastfed baby poo washes and rinses right off. Formula baby poo should be rinsed before washed. A diaper sprayer makes the job so much easier. Once your baby starts solids, a diaper sprayer comes in handy in cleaning off the poo before storing in the wetbag or pail while waiting for wash day. After you make it through the stage when your baby begins solids, the poo issue becomes even easier. All you have to do is flick it in the toilet and flush. You may be thinking, “EEWWW! I could never clean up baby poo off a diaper.” You should know that it is illegal to put human waste in the garbage. Even when using disposable diapers, human waste should be put in the toilet and sent off to the sewer. Maybe all this poo talk is still making you queasy. Diaper liners may help you in this department. Diaper liners are a cellulose and flushable liner that lies on top of the diaper. They help to keep the diaper clean and little to no rinsing may be needed. Just take the liner filled with poo and flush. Easy peasy.

What type of detergent should I use?
 Different diapering systems can call for different types of detergent. All diaper manufacturers ask that you use a detergent that is clean rinsing, which means that no residue is left behind. The detergent you use should be free of dyes, perfumes, and optical brighteners. Also, fabric softener may not be used. We carry different brands of detergents that will help get your diapers squeaky clean.

How do I wash the diapers? 
Washing your diapers follows a basic routine. First, you do a cold wash/rinse cycle without detergent. Next you do a hot wash with detergent. Then you finish the routine by doing another cold wash/rinse cycle. This is just a general guideline. Your wash routine will be determined by the manufacturer’s directions, the detergent you use, the type of machine you have, and how hard or soft the water is at your house. Green Baby Elephant is more than willing to help all customers troubleshoot any wash routine. Send us an email at tonya @ greenbabyelephant dot com or call 520-591-0689.

How do I get rid of stains? 
Sun! Use the sun to naturally bleach out any stains that may be on your diapers. Here in sunny Arizona, it’s easy to sun diapers. I use a drying rack and move it outside to follow the sun. Sunning diapers are a free and natural way to dry your diapers as well. If it’s too cold to sun your diapers outside, placing them in a window will do the same job. Rinsing poo off the diapers before putting in the pail/wetbag also helps to minimize any staining that can occur.

What should I use to diaper my baby overnight?
I recommend using hemp. Hemp is much more absorbent than microfiber inserts. Fitted diapers are also a good bet. This is because all of a fitted diaper is absorbent. Just be sure to put a waterproof cover over a fitted diaper since they are not waterproof. Wool covers are another nighttime diapering option. Wool can be used over prefolds that are fastened with a Snappi or with a fitted diaper. The type of diaper that works for your baby will depend on how heavy a wetter they are.

I don't think I can cloth diaper full time. Is it worth cloth diapering part time? 
YES! Your wallet, baby’s health, and the environment will all benefit.

I'm ready to cloth diaper. Where is Green Baby Elephant located?
Green Baby Elephant is a home-based, online store. We are located at www.greenbabyelephant.com. On occasion, we do set up our store in different locations in Tucson for our customers to shop. It's best to follow us on Facebook to keep up on our most current events at www.facebook.com/greenbabyelephant. We also do consultations. You can read more about our consultation service here.