Because Diapers Have Come a Long Way, Baby
"One of the biggest myths about cloth diapers is that they are too hard to deal with," says Linda Byerline, founder and CEO of Happy Heiny's, one of the world's largest manufacturers of modern cloth diapers and diaper covers. "What many moms don't realize is that the cloth diapers made today are not exactly like they were even 15 years ago."
The days of uncomfortable rubber pants and dangerous sharp pins are gone, says Byerline. "Most cloth diapers today are as easy to use as [any] disposable diaper."
Today cloth diapers come in two basic systems, although you can find endless styles and materials used—fabrics include cotton, wool, and even hemp, and organic versions are available.
- Diapers with separate waterproof covers are available in flats (the large rectangle you may remember from childhood), or fitted (which are shaped to fit around your child's body without folding).
- All-in-one diapers are fitted diapers with the waterproof cover sewn on. Many, if not most, of these diapers use Velcro, a tie, or snaps around the waist, eliminating the need for pins.
And that simplicity is what's attracting many moms to cloth."I was at the Green Festival [a fair put on across the country to promote socially responsible businesses, and environmental, social justice, and community organizations] in Washington, DC, last fall, and they had a lot of people who were surprised when they picked up fitted diapers, because they thought that diapers were what their grandmother had used—big, 36 inch fabric squares," says Lori Taylor, founder of the Real Diaper Association. "When people saw these diapers, they saw 'cute' and 'easy', and a lot of them said, 'I can make this choice!'"