Cloth Diapers Making A Come Back

One of the most exciting days for a parent is the day they no longer need to buy diapers. But for those who aren’t quite there yet, an old idea is new again.

Have you heard of the pre-fold? How about degree of saturation? Reporter and new daddy John Lauritsen went back to school to learn why cloth diapers are making a comeback.

Harlow Grace Lauritsen is my 5-month-old squirmy and smiley baby daughter. For the first time in her life she’s about to make a bit of a fashion change.

“Do you think these are easier to change than disposable diapers?” I asked.

“I don’t think they’re easier or harder,” said Hennepin County Medical Center’s child birth educator, Veronica Jacobsen.

Jacobsen is introducing Harlow to the world of cloth diapers beginning with the “pre-fold.”

“One of the simplest cloth diapers you can get,” she said.

It’s also one of the most popular. Throw a cover on the pre-fold and you are good to go. There’s also the contour that comes with a safety pin substitute.

“This is a fastener called the snappy,” said Jacobsen.

Another option, the pocket diaper, is pretty much how it sounds.

“You do have to stuff it,” said Jacobsen.

For those of you who thought cloth diapers had gone the way of the dinosaur, this is proof they haven’t. In fact, their popularity is on the up-swing.

“I would say probably in the last 5 to 10 years the number of kinds has exploded,” said Jacobson.

Brittney Cubrinsky is a parent who’s a believer in cloth diapers. She uses them on her 11-month-old daughter Amelia because, she said, they can be recycled and are better for the environment than disposables.

She also believes they help with Amelia’s potty training.

“With disposables, it sucks the moisture away from their skin so they can’t feel when they’re wet. So with cloth diapers, they can immediately feel when they are wet and she doesn’t like it,” said Cubrinsky.

Another reason this alternative is becoming more appealing is because parents don’t have to wash these diapers anymore.

Peter Allen left corporate America a few years ago to start “Do Good Diapers.” For $20 a week, parents can get about 60 diapers delivered to their home.

Do Good picks up their dirty ones to be washed back at their facility. Thousands go through the washer each week, but before that happens they are sorted based on their “degree of saturation.”

“Who gets that job?” I asked.

“We have a couple of great employees,” said Allen.

His reason for starting this also has to do with environment.

“Later on this year we will be hitting our one-millionth diaper. We track all the diapers that come in, we count them and that’s what we return to our customers. So we have a running tally of how many diapers we are keeping out of landfills,” said Allen.

Above all, it may be cost that’s got parents going old school.

If a child wears diapers for 3 years, it’s estimated that cloth diaper users can save as much $2,000 more than disposable users.

Not bad, when college tuition is just 17 short years away.

Allen, who started Do Good Diapers, said his business has increased every year since he opened in 2008. His cloth diaper service is one of two in the Twin Cities.

Hennepin County Medical Center also offers a class to parents on how to use cloth diapers.

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