After recovering from the shock of motherhood, Karin tries an eco-compromise by using washable diapers half of the time.
It’s been 4 months since I’ve given birth and I decided that I was fit enough to try washable, reusable diapers. My daughter is exclusively breastfed, an undertaking that completely overwhelmed me for the first few months of her life. But the benefits of breastfeeding are enormous. Call me a wimp, or call me out for not being green enough, but I couldn’t ever imagine during that period, finding the energy to wash diapers. Praise be to women before the invention of disposable diapers. But as the editor of Green Prophet, I know I need to walk the walk. It was time to try washables.
Where I live in the Middle East, the only options open to me are online ordering, and I found all the systems and options so expensive and really confusing – not to mention the sour behavior from my husband every time I brought the idea up. (He’s thinking smelly diapers all over the place). So back in Canada for a visit – I took a trip to the local BabiesRUs to see with my own eyes what washable diapers are available. Here’s my story.
I’d read a lot of good stuff about “G” diapers, Kushies, and many more that Green Prophet’s resident eco-mom Sophie had blogged about. But the only choice available to me at BabiesRUs in the small town where my parents live were Kushies. They were simple all-in-one diapers, with an outer plastic layer sewn into the diaper itself.
Kushies are made nearby in Canada, and I like the idea of supporting the local economy, so I bought 2 packs. Ten diapers in 2 packs (The Ultra), came to $100. I brought them home and my eco-thrifty dad was super excited about the cost savings. A 50 pack of disposables are about $15, so it doesn’t take long to see how adding washables into the cycle can start saving you money (and of course the environment too). They will fit my growing girl until she is about 25 pounds.
Here’s what I found with Kushies:
1. I like that they are all in one and I don’t have to think “diaper system”
2. I like that the internal liner is attached to the back end of the diaper and falls out to scoop out the number 2 – which isn’t that serious right now because girl child is still nursing exclusively.
3. I like the biodegradable washable liners you can buy to handle the more serious stuff
4. I worry about all the gels and plastics in disposables. I can smell the chemicals on them and am happy to know my kid will be exposed less to the stuff (that would be true for all reusables, I guess).
5. I like that they are cute.
1. My well-fed baby is already a little bottom heavy. The Kushies are really bulky making it harder for her to squeeze into her sit-up chair and onesies.
2. They don’t wick the liquids away like disposables causing more diaper rash. Forget about overnights. She is soaked half way through the night.
3. The washing business. The diapers can be dried on low in the dryer. In the Middle East sun they’d obviously dry out very fast. But in the winter in Canada they need a couple of hours in the dryer, or a day on the line near the furnace to dry. That’s a long time if you’ve bought only the minimum.
4. The outer layer is rough. I wonder how that feels on her skin which looks all crinkled when I take them off. There is the comfort factor here. The disposables just look more comfy.
Over all I am happy I tried Kushies and will keep them in the drawer for use. Until I find a better solution, I won’t use them for overnights or trips out of the house for more than a couple of hours. I plan on trying out some other diapers, Happy Heinys, G or Motherease. They look less stiff. Any advice most welcome.
Read more on washable diaper options: