Posts Tagged ‘cloth diaper benefits’
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
One of my besties visited me over the weekend. She is one of those friends with whom I can pick up like no time has passed even though we rarely talk on the phone and it’s been more than a year since we’ve seen each other.
Maybe it’s because the two of us can still finish each other’s sentences after spending six weeks together backpacking through Europe when we graduated from college and before we moved to the big city to start real jobs. Maybe it’s because she was friends with my husband before I was, saw some similarities and insisted that we go out on a date. Or maybe it’s just because since the minute we met during freshman year in college, our souls have connected. Whatever it is, visits with my old pal are never often enough and always leave us crying and saying “we HAVE to do this more often” and “why did we wait so long?”
There is really something special about good girlfriends, isn’t there? Yet so many of us don’t make time for those friends who restore us and uplift us. Anyway… that’s beside the point. Back to my smart friend…
We spent most of our day together catching up, watching our kids play and wondering where the last 15 years have gone. My friend is a relatively new mommy, her firstborn is 8 months old, so the conversation – as it almost always does with moms – eventually turned to parenting topics.
For hours we discussed and debated everything from balancing career and family (she will be going back to work in a few weeks) to sleeping training to inspiring our girls to be confident but not mean to others to how we suddenly have short fuses with our own mothers. I had mentioned cloth diapering briefly in past conversations, but we finally had a chance for her to ask me questions about it. And questions she asked.
I answered each one dutifully and honestly. Went through my weekly routine. The ups and downs. Differences between cloth and disposable diapering.
And then my astute friend said: “So, you mentioned all these reasons why cloth is so great. But why do you really do it?” What was my one reason for cloth diapering above all others? I had never thought of it like that. There are so many benefits, so many different reasons that a group of five cloth mamas might have five different answers.
My one thing is the environment. I just feel good when we only fill our trash can up halfway. When I don’t have to buy diapers that have been trucked to the store and are filled with chemicals that will eventually end up in a landfill after one use.
That’s it. My one thing. The reason over all others that I use cloth diapers. What’s yours?
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday.
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
I read last week that Earth Day is one of most important holidays on many school calendars. While Earth Day was Sunday, April 22, it is important to keep Earth Day in mind every day – not just once a year. At the very least, Earth Day is a good reminder for all of us to up our own personal commitment to the environment, revisit our everyday habits and look for ways to further “green” our lives. In short, this day should inspire action. In kids and adults alike.
Last year on this blog, I made a few Earth Day resolutions hoping that you, my fellow cloth diaperers, would join me. This year, I thought I would recap my resolutions and my progress in the past year. And I’m adding some new ones for the coming year, hoping you’ll do the same. I mean, we are already on the right track by using cloth diapers…from here it’s easy to add green practices to your everyday life.
To recap my 2011 resolutions:
- Compost. Done. Since August, we’ve been faithfully collecting our kitchen scraps in an old coffee canister under the sink and adding it to the composter along with dry leaves and yard waste, even through the winter. No useable compost yet, but we’re getting there and the rising temperature can only help. Grade: A
- Join a CSA. I’m on the right track. I’ve done the research, but haven’t signed up quite yet. Grade: C
- Eliminate paper napkins and reduce paper towels by half. The paper napkins are still in the cupboard. BUT, we’ve invested in several sets of cloth napkins that we use almost every day. I moved the paper towels under the sink where they are not as easy to grab and started dating the inside of the new tube when open it and it’s been taking us anywhere from 3-4 weeks to use an entire roll, which is a significant reduction. Grade: B+
- Run at least one errand on foot per week. This is a work in progress. I probably do this once every two weeks on average. Some weeks, I run three errands on foot and other weeks I drive everywhere. Grade: C
- Reduce trash-to-curb. Apparently we had been using the wrong size trash can for two years, so even with a smaller one, we are only filling it about half full. This week, we’ll be putting out two kitchen-sized bags of trash. Not bad for a family of four. Grade: B
Now, for the new Earth Day Resolutions. In addition to continuing to work on the above, my Earth Day Resolutions for 2012:
- Garden. We recently bought a large raised bed for the backyard and filled it with a mix of soil and compost (purchased, ours wasn’t ready yet). The goal is to grow a kid-friendly garden full of vegetables that are organic and ready to eat from our back yard like carrots, corn, peas, lettuce, tomatoes….and hopefully a couple of pumpkins!
- Shop and eat local. I’m resolving to buy local whenever it makes sense both to support local businesses and reduce our carbon footprint. Frequent the hardware store in my town, farmers markets, my garden and local restaurants, especially those with a locavore attitude.
- Reduce wrapping paper waste. The amount of paper we threw away after Christmas was sickening. Multiply that by every house on our block and every block in the country. I do love a beautifully wrapped gift (probably more than the next gal), but I need to do better. I’ve started to recycle wrapping paper and bags, use old book pages or newspapers – or better yet a scarf or something cool – to wrap gifts. My friend has been making cute gift bags from scrap fabric for her gifts, they are beautiful and reusable!
- Adjust the temperature. Our standard indoor temperature is 69 in the winter and about 75 in the summer. I’m thinking we can go definitely dress warmer in the winter and get by with 68, possibly even increase to 76 in the summer (though my sweaty husband may disagree on that one!).
- Keep talking about cloth diapers. As my girl gets older and cloth diapering is just a part of daily life, I don’t talk about it quite as much as I once did (to anyone who would listen!). I’m making it a goal to continue to be a champion for cloth diapers and talk to the new and expectant moms I meet about the benefits of going green and using cloth!
So that’s it. Nothing drastic. Totally doable, right? Here’s to Earth Day 2012 and inspiring action in our own families and communities. What are your Earth Day resolutions? Join us on Facebook and tell us yours!
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday. Learn more about Sarah here.
Thursday, July 7th, 2011
Cloth diapers are so useful. There are the obvious reasons, like they contain the messes our little monkeys make and keep their bottoms looking cute as can be. Cloth diapers are also great for the environment and can be cost saving.
But did you know that you can use cloth diapers to teach your children all about colors and even numbers?
Think about it, cloth diapers come in every color of the rainbow and then some. You can teach your little one all about colors using the stacks of folded diapers right in the changing station as the example.
Don’t forget counting and numbers too. How many diapers are in your stash? You can teach your tot to count to 10, 20, 30 (maybe even 50?!) by sorting diapers into piles and counting along together.
Every diaper change and laundry folding session can be a lesson. You’ll have baby identifying colors and numbers in no time.
Have you used cloth diapers to teach your children new skills?
Friday, May 21st, 2010
View the original post here: http://styleberryblog.com/2010/05/21/an-accidental-passion-cloth-diapering-for-the-modern-mom/comment-page-1
I want to preface this post with some information. I am not a crunchy granola kind of person. Yes, I recycle as much as humanly possible, I make all my own baby food, I am a huge advocate for nursing & I bring my own bags to the grocery store. However, I drive an SUV so I can’t claim to be all that green. But I try as best I can.
A recent conversation at Target:
cashier: [holds up baby gadget I was about to purchase] “they sure make the neatest things for babies these days!”
me: I know! So much fun stuff!
my mom: “How did we ever raise babies without all this cool stuff?!?”
cashier: “I know! Would you believe that with ALL this great stuff my daughter in law is using CLOTH DIAPERS on my grandchild??” [scrunches nose in disgust]
me: “well, actually I use cloth diapers on my daughter and I love them. Look, aren’t they cute??”
This is the conversation I seem to find myself in on a regular basis. When people hear or see that I have chosen this unconventional way of diapering my child, I get everything from blank stares to looks of disgust. I wish I had the ability to open people’s minds about the subject, so I thought why not bring it here! So here it goes, Cloth Diapering for the MODERN MOM!!
I don’t remember exactly when I decided that cloth diapering was for me. It was somewhere during my stint with pregnancy brain (which I swear, is absolutely positively real) that I made this decision. I picked the brains of the four people I knew who cloth diapered (CD’d, for the remainder of this post) their children. I learned their process, their systems & their raves & gripes. I visited a local baby shop that had a bunch of different brands to look at. I touched them & opened/closed them. I fell in love with the soft material that my unborn child would have close to them for the next two years. Seemed a lot better than crunchy, scented, chemical laden materials. CD’s have come a LONG WAY baby!!!
WHY WOULD YOU CLOTH DIAPER?
There are many answers to this question! If you want a very intelligent, fact checked answer, go to The Real Diaper Association Facts Page. I cannot post the info here due to copyrights, so please, give that a look. It’s a fantastic, informative resource.
If you want a regular mom’s answer, here it goes: I thought about how uncomfortable maxipads are & the thought of crunchy, chemical filled material like that up next to my daughter’s most sensitive areas 24/7 for two years just didn’t feel right. I also loved that I would not create waste. I also really loved that my cost of diapers would be about $300 vs the couple thousand dollars it would cost to use disposables. I love how they look. I love how they feel. I don’t mind the extra laundry. I think they are really cute & colorful!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE BRAND THAT YOU DID?
I was lucky enough to be able to touch & feel about 10 different brands of diapers before settling on Fuzzi Bunz as my diaper of choice. I looked at all the methods, and the FB just looked like the simplest to use. I liked the snaps vs. velcro for a couple of reasons. One, they are tougher for the child to take off themselves. Two, they will wear better than velcro. Three, a pet peeve of mine is velcro that sticks to everything in the dryer…so no pulling stuff apart.
I use the Fuzzi Bunz One Size diapers. These diapers, with the proper sizing adjustments, will be the only diapers I ever need for my children. They will fit a newborn & a two year old. Very cool! They are lined with the softest fleece, that wicks moisture from the baby’s bottom & are called “pocket” diapers because you stuff them with a cotton pad insert. I double stuff overnight. Very easy. They adjust using a maternity pant-like button & elastic system around each leg, as well as the waist. You can also custom fit the snaps for the perfect fit. Perfect fit=NO LEAKS! You will need to change your baby after a couple of hours, because if the pad insert is full, the diaper will leak. Good rule of thumb is change every 2-3 hours, except during the overnight hours. You want to change your baby that often anyway to prevent diaper rash whether you use cloth or disposable diapers. My daughter has never had a diaper rash.
HOW DO YOU WASH THEM?
The biggest “nose scrunch” I get from people has to do with how to handle dirty diapers. I hear “I don’t want to touch poop” almost every time I talk about it! For some reason people think you rinse them in the toilet. To that, I say GROSS! I certainly wouldn’t want to do that either! But you don’t do that. You don’t have to touch poop any more than with disposables. I have never had a blowout with my Fuzzi Bunz–so I bet disposable diaper-ers have handled more poop than I have with as frequently as I see disposables unable to contain poop! But let’s be honest here…we’re moms & we’re going to touch it at some point. I just don’t think that is a good excuse not to CD because it comes from a lack of understanding how CDs work.
Before solids were introduced, all I did to wash the diapers was unstuff them (grab the pad insert & pull it out) & throw the entire thing in the wash. If poop gets into the cinched part of the diaper on the side, I would loosen the elastic using the button sizing feature, just to be sure it could be rinsed out. I can only speak from my experience, which has been exclusively breastfeeding, but I have never had a problem with stains then & I don’t now. My wash/dry regimen on an LG front loader is the following:
Wash setting: NORMAL/COTTON
Water Temp: HOT/COLD
on the side “extra” buttons, I use the PREWASH, EXTRA RINSE & WATER PLUS options
To dry: SPEED DRY set to LOW heat for 50 minutes. I try to dry them outside when I can. The sun bleaches the diapers better than any chemicals can!
A few notes on the above…you always want to wash hot & rinse cold. I do a prewash to rinse the diapers of urine & poop. I do an extra rinse to be sure nothing is left in them after the wash cycle has run with soap, as it is the soap that causes unpleasant odors if it builds up. I use the water plus option because if you do the math, you need a lot of water to counter the amount of pee that is in there. Most front loaders do not use enough water to effectively wash your diapers in clean liquid.
I follow with a TUBCLEAN with bleach when I feel the washer is smelling funky. Which is every couple of weeks or so.
Once we began solids, I began using flushable liners. These resemble a dryer sheet & get placed between the baby & the diaper. THESE ARE AWESOME. I will use them sooner next time. Following a poop, I simply lift (or dump) out the mess & flush it down the toilet. I unstuff the diaper & throw it in the bag to be washed. Solid foods actually made cloth diapering easier, as the output from solids is easier to dispose of. I have no experience with jarred baby food output, but since I am making all my own baby food, I can directly alter the consistency of her stools by choosing what to feed her at each meal. This certainly makes it easier on me. I still haven’t switched to cloth wipes and don’t intend to. If anything missed the liner, I just wipe it with the used wipes & throw them away, or use toilet paper & flush it. Check this video out for the full visual: FuzziBunz Diapers + Flushable Liners.
WHAT DO YOU WASH THEM WITH?
CDs cannot be washed with “regular” laundry detergent. Many leave behind buildup that causes the diapers to stink, as they do not rinse clean. What you’ve got to watch out for are enzymes, fabric softeners, brighteners, scents & dyes. The soap you use should not contain any of these. I began using Country Save, which can be found at any military commissary for dirt cheap, and also at some grocery stores. I have also used Charlie’s with so-so results. My diapers seemed to not get as clean with Charlies, but this may be user error, as I don’t think I was using enough soap during my short stint with Charlie’s. Following a stink problem using Country Save, I have recently switched to Rockin’ Green & have been VERY VERY pleased with the results. For a wonderful resource on diapering detergents, see this chart. However, they do not review Rockin’ Green, which is my favorite so far. Rockin’ Green sells samples for 75¢ so you can try before you commit to a whole bag, since diaper detergent lasts forever! I took one of the samples & “rocked a soak” which means I put every diaper I owned in the bathtub with a packet of soap & hot water & soaked overnight. After a full wash, my diapers had never been softer, whiter or smelled better. I adore this stuff, so check them out!! Questions are answered directly by the owner, Kim, on their Facebook Page. Added bonus for San Antonians, their store front is in the Alamo Ranch area, so literally, she is right up the street!! I love supporting local business!
Also important to note, is the use of diaper rash creams or powder. Hopefully, you will never experience a diaper rash, which is one major perk of using cloth diapers. Fuzzi Bunz claims that babies who wear their brand experience fewer diaper rashes, and I have to agree, as we have never experienced it in our house. Creams should not come in contact directly with the fleece as it can cause repelling and problems with absorption. What I have done when my daughter has looked a little red, is spread a little Aquaphor on the affected area which is covered by the flushable liner, which acts as a barrier from the fleece. This has treated the problem overnight everytime. Powders are just unnecessary. For more FAQs, head to the FuzziBunz FAQ Page.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR “SYSTEM”
This was my biggest question before I started. I couldn’t wrap my head around how to store them until I washed them. So here is my system:
I have two locations for dirty diapers because I have a two story house. Downstairs in my laundry room I have a plastic bin on a shelf above my w/d to catch any dirties from downstairs changes or from when we were out & about. I also use it if one happens not to wash totally clean & I have to wash it again. Upstairs in my daughter’s room I have rigged my system to be hidden in a woven wood hamper. I use the FB In and Out Mess Free Diaper Bag to store the dirty diapers. I have two of these, as one is usually dirty and one is clean. I love it because it zips open at the bottom & all I have to do is unzip it & throw it in the wash–no touching of dirty diapers necessary. My plastic bin allows for the same thing–dump & wash, keeping my hands clean.
When I am out & about, I always carry a FB Zippered Diaper Tote in my diaper bag for the dirties. Before I throw a dirty diaper in it, I always unstuff it, so all I have to do is fold the bag inside out for washing. Easy as pie.
Wipes get thrown in the trash. Liners get flushed. Poop is where it should be…down the toilet not sitting in the landfills.
HOW MANY DO YOU NEED?
Honestly, it depends on how often you want to do diapers. I could get by on 12. If I wanted to. But I don’t want to do laundry that often. Until recently, I had been just fine with 19. I bought one to try before I committed, then FB ran a promotion that gave me $40 of free merchandise with the purchase of 9 diapers. I then bought two sets & used the $80 in free product to get the bags & totes for my system. I recently purchased three more. Only reason: NEW COLORS! They were super cute. Not a very good reason, but I bought them anyway. (bought the new colors locally @ Bloom Maternity) So now, I have 22. I do laundry every other or every third day.
And now, for some eye candy…I opted to leave them all large, because I think it is important that you see as much detail as possible if you have never seen one in real life!
[this is the FuzziBunz One Size in the brand new 2010 color Crushed Berry]
[these are the snaps you use to achieve the perfect fit. you are looking at the front of the diaper. there are waist snaps on the top row & hip snaps on the bottom row, assuming you are viewing the diaper right side up]
[each diaper comes with a small pad insert & a large pad insert plus an extra set of elastics. I have yet to need the replacement elastics.]
[this is the tush end of the diaper]
[cotton pads, large & small. I used the small when my daughter was a newborn. now I only use the small size when I double stuff her at night.]
[this is the button & elastic sizing system that makes these "one size" so you can adjust them with the growth of your child. I love that you can get them to fit perfectly with the proper adjustments. this is very similar to many maternity pants sizing systems that grow with you.]
[soft as can be!!!]
[the sizing system is numbered so you achieve consistency through out your entire set of diapers. I have only re-sized mine twice, so it's not like you have to do it all the time.]
[this is the waist button & elastic, so you can get the perfect waist fit, on newborns through toddlers. if you are having problems with leaking, before blaming the diapers, be sure your sizing is right. It does need to be pretty snug. I credit this waist sizer for my zero blowout record.]
[this is how you "stuff" the diapers. Cotton pad goes in & you tuck the fleece under the pad, under the cinched waist. If you experience leaks in the waist, be sure the fleece is tucked. more in the video on that. you can also see the coating on the diaper in this shot. be sure to watch the video for tips on easy stuffing technique, since it is kind of sticky.]
[I also put together a tutorial video so you could see the diapers in action. please use the comments section if you have any questions about cloth diapering, or anything else discussed here. I will follow this post up with Q&A if there is enough interest!! I would also love any tidbits of wisdom, if you happen to be a CDer yourself! there are all sorts of tricks out there & I'd love to know yours! do tell!]
Friday, August 8th, 2008
By: Jenn (The Green Parent)
Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am a LAZY green mama. That’s not to say that I don’t do my part to protect the planet. But when I do make an effort to go green, I need to know that it is not in vain. And I’m the last person on Earth who would want to make extra work for herself. So when I tell you that I have used cloth diapers for both of my daughters, I hope you’ll understand that this was not an undertaking that I accepted lightly. I looked at the facts, I talked to the experts, I tried it myself, and I concluded that cloth diapers were the best thing for both my children and the planet.
Now if there’s one thing that I can’t stand it’s a guilt trip. So you won’t get any of that here. Yes, I think cloth diapers are fantastic (Fuzzi Bunz are my favorite!) but I know they’re not for everyone. Still, I think it’s time to “clear the air” about the common cloth diaper misconceptions…
The Ick Factor. This is probably the #1 reason that most parents turn their noses up at cloth diapers. It’s easy to imagine that with cloth diapers you’ll be up to your armpits in toilet water trying to wring out some nasty, poppy rag. If you’re concerned about the ick factor of cloth diapers, I have a little advice, but be warned, you may not want to hear it. Here it is…
Poop. Is. Icky. And cloth or disposable, as a parent, you are going to come in contact with it. Get over it. Oh, and one more thing, did you know that you are required to remove poop from disposable diapers and toss it in the toilet? It’s true, it says so right on the package. Even the disposable manufacturers know that it’s nasty to put human poop (even if it came from your sweet little baby’s bottom) in a landfill.
The Time Factor. This is the second reason that most parents want to forgo cloth diapers. To this I reply, have you looked at cloth diapers lately? Back in the day, cloth diapering meant pins and plastic pants, and the procedure did add a bit of time (albeit probably just a few seconds) to the average diaper change. But today’s selection of Velcro or button fasteners and all-in-one cloth diapers are an absolute cinch to put on and take off. The only difference in the whole procedure is that you take cloth diapers off and throw them in the washing machine as compared to the trash can for disposables. The time factor no longer exists.
The Water Consumption Factor. From the beginning, disposable diaper companies have contended that the water consumed to wash cloth diapers negates any environmental benefit that could be gained by keeping disposables out of the landfill. Their theories were somewhat backed up by a flawed study in 2005 that concluded that there is no environmental difference between using cloth diapers and using disposables. Now, when I say that this study is flawed, I say it not as a raving “save the Earth” lunatic (although I am) that can’t imagine that cloth diapers could be environmentally equivalent to disposables. Rather, I say that this study is flawed as a scientist (because I am) and it is. Here’s why.
- The study surveyed 2,000 parents who use disposables, but included only 183 parents who use cloth diapers in their research. The results are therefore neither balanced nor conclusive.
- The study did NOT take in to account the possibilities that some (if not most) cloth diapering parents use Energy-Star rated washing machines, wash full loads of laundry, line-dry their diapers or use moderate temperatures to wash their diapers.
- The study did NOT take in to account that most (if not ALL) cloth diapering parents pass their cloth diapers on, either to their subsequent children, or to their friends, thereby dramatically reducing the environmental impact caused by the creation of the diaper.
- The study only analyzed one type of diaper…a terry cloth diaper… that takes significantly longer to dry than other cotton diapers. And again, they made no mention that these diapers could be dried on a clothes line rather than in a dryer.
The Cost Factor. Last but not least, there is the cost factor. Undeniably, cloth diapers require a greater initial investment than disposables. But study after study after study after study has concluded that using cloth diapers can save you thousands of dollars over the course of your child’s diapering career. (If you’re not convinced, you can use this handy-dandy comparison calculator to see for yourself.) Now who couldn’t use a few extra thousand dollars in their pocket?
So there you have it. A straight-up, no-guilt, fresh look at cloth diapers. Take it or leave it. But at least now you know the facts.
Verybaby.com: Cloth vs. Disposable Cost Comparison
DiaperDecisions.com: The cost of cloth diapers
NaturalFamilyOnline: Alternative to the Usual Checklist
RealDiaperAssociation.com: Diaper Facts
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008
Simple Strategies to Help You Sell More Diapers and Convert More Moms to Cloth
As new parents are bombarded with various baby gear options – from strollers to bottles and crib bumpers – the one task that every thought to is diapering. Good or bad, most new parents still opt for the convenience of disposable diapers because they are unaware that there are practical and easy-to-use cloth diapering options. Plus, many mainstream baby stores don’t offer a wide variety of reusable diapering brands for parents to choose from.
What might surprise many of today’s new parents is that there are many reusable diapering options. In fact, most of the clunky cloth diapers of yesteryear have given way to what is now coined the “modern cloth diaper.” Most new-age cloth diapers are made with high tech materials that are easy to clean and are super absorbent, leak-proof and trim fitting. No more pins that poke, Velcro that scratches, and plastic pants that crunch.
As a baby products retailer, you probably know just how far cloth diapering has come. But the real question is: Do your customers know, too? The answer is “probably not,” simply because not enough major baby products retailers have caught on to the cloth diapering trend. While this may soon change, especially as environmental issues peak and as selling cloth diapers becomes more financially lucrative for a retailer, for now, it is mainly up to the specialty baby boutiques – both on- and off-line – to set the tone that today’s cloth diapers are a worthy choice to throw-away diapers. To help you make the case for cloth (and thus help you sell more diapers), we have compiled some simple strategies to help you make your customer’s cloth diapering experience a little more successful.
Create the Right Mood for Cloth Diapering
For physical retailers, be sure to create a colorful and modern-looking cloth diapering section in your store. A nice display of diapers, rather than diapers strewn about, will likely attract the attention of a new mom; this is an important first step to changing any negative preconceived notions she holds about cloth diapering.
Offer Accessory Suggestions
Many new parents are unsure of how many diapers they will need and what accessories they should purchase to make their cloth diapering experience a little easier. To simplify the process, suggest that a new parent purchase anywhere between 12-20 diapers (encourage them to try one on their baby before washing the lot), and then suggest they also purchase a washable diaper pail, a travel tote bag and the proper detergent needed to clean their diapers – all before leaving your store. Having these accessories on hand will ensure a more successful experience with their new purchase and may deter returns.
Create a Hotline
Be sure to offer your customers a phone number where they can reach you to discuss any questions or problems they’re having. While you can’t offer the caliber call center that the Butterball Thanksgiving Turkey Hotline offers, you can provide a simple and personal way to have an ongoing dialogue with your customers.
Provide Educational Materials
Because few moms are aware of their cloth diapering options, it’s important that you offer educational materials, if possible. Materials could include brochures about cloth diapering or simple print-outs that list different diapering options, pros and cons of each brand, etc.
Highlight Positive Customer Experiences
If one of your customers is raving about her cloth diapering experience, ask her if you can feature her story on your website or on a sign in your store. Many moms get most of their “baby” information from their friends and neighbors (many who have been there and done that) and if someone sees a friendly face in their neighborhood having a positive experience with a cloth diaper they bought in your store, it’s likely others will follow in their footsteps.
Host Seminars and Chat Sessions
Physical retailers can host regular cloth diapering seminars and online retailers can host chat-session to discuss all things cloth. Invite customers to your store (or chat session) and then take them step-by-step through the cloth diapering process and address any lingering questions they have about cloth. This strategy not only brings moms to your store, but also enables you to become their authoritative and trusted source on cloth diapering.
Become the Expert
While it’s easy to talk the talk, it’s just as important that you walk the walk. Use cloth diapers on your baby (or a friend’s baby) so that you understand what these moms are feeling and what kind of experiences they’re having. This exercise will help you relate to your customers on a personal level so they view you as a legitimate source.
Offer Words of Encouragement
As with any new venture, cloth diapering gets easier with time. Reinforce this message to your customers; reassure them that they’re “doing the right thing,” and encourage them to check-in with you if they need any assistance. Your customers will appreciate that you want to go the extra mile to ensure a positive experience.
Make Cost a Non-Issue
Reassure customers about any upfront costs they may be concerned about. While many customers balk at what they perceive is a high price to pay for diapers, be prepared to reassure them that the upfront investment may result in savings of thousands of dollars over time. Do the math yourself so you’re prepared to make a strong case for cloth diapering. Also, offer expecting moms the opportunity to register for cloth diapers and accessories at your store. Remind her that if she receives the diapers as a gift, she may never spend a dime on diapers – ever!
While navigating the world of cloth diapering can be difficult for first-time parents, these simple strategies can help you can make their experiences a little easier. And best of all, such strategies can help you create a world filled not only with happy baby bottoms but also happy bottom lines.
Sunday, June 1st, 2008
Reusable diapers are big business for this Lafayette-based company
By: Eve Kidd Crawford
Ben Franklin famously said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. He’s mostly right, but he forgot one other thing—dirty diapers. But just because they’re a necessary evil doesn’t mean that they can’t also be fun, cute and even trendy.
Tereson Dupuy, founder and chief executive officer of Lafayette-based Mother of Eden and the inventor of FuzziBunz® reusable pocket diapers, has based an empire around this concept.
“I knew they’d be big,” she says of her diapers. “I knew that eventually the green boom would hit, and it’s only just starting. It’s going up from here.”
Dupuy invented the diapers in January 1999 when her then-4-month-old son, Eden, for whom the company is named, developed a chronic diaper rash. The chemicals in disposable diapers worsened the rash, as did traditional cotton cloth diapers, which got soggy and held wetness next to his skin. After playing around with fabrics and styles, Dupuy came up with the now-popular pocket-style diaper that kept her son dry and comfortable, didn’t leak and was easy to launder at home. She began sewing diapers at home and selling them on the Internet.
As word of mouth grew, Dupuy decided to patent her invention in 2003. Five years later, Dupuy and her invention have won numerous awards –– including a 2007 Outstanding Product award from iParenting Media and the prestigious 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year award given by the Stevie Awards for Women in Business –– and annual sales in 2007 exceeded $3 million. FuzziBunz® has received media attention from Parents, American Baby and Time magazines, among others, and amassed a celebrity following that includes Tori Spelling and Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams.
Even as her business took off, Dupuy never considered moving headquarters out of Louisiana. “I live here,” she says simply. “I grew up in New Orleans, came to school in southwest Louisiana, fell in love with the area and stayed. We have the best people in the world, best food in the world, best culture in the world. It’s a culture-rich area. I don’t plan on moving.”
Keeping her business in Louisiana has had some challenges, however. “It’s not the greenest place in the world,” she acknowledges. “When I was starting out, I went into an ad agency, and they said, ‘You mean you have to wash it at home? We can’t market this!’ So I just moved on. It can be a struggle to find people who understand a green industry, who understand a reusable product.”
But Sydney French of Opelousas, mother of 19-month-old Carson, fully understands the benefits of cloth diapering. “When my baby was 10 months old, I decided to switch from disposables to cloth,” she says. “I felt horrible every time I threw a sack full of disposables away. All I could think of was the chemicals that would be sitting in a landfill for 500 years. I am thrilled with cloth. I really wish I would have started from the beginning.”
Some have argued that cloth diapers aren’t any better for the environment because of the water needed to wash them. Dupuy scoffs at that idea, at least where her diapers are concerned: “These aren’t traditional cloth diapers. They’re pocket diapers and made of materials that wash quickly and dry quickly. You only need to use one-fourth on the normal amount of detergent, and because they wash and dry so quickly, you save water and energy. We didn’t really make them that way on purpose; it was lagniappe.”
And Dupuy is constantly striving to make the diapers themselves greener. “We’re using companies that are more environmentally sound,” she says. “We’re looking into using recycled eco-fleece, and we’re now manufacturing some of our diapers in Boston, Arkansas and Los Angeles because that way it requires less fuel to get to the end user. We’re making a green product in that you reuse it, but on a grander scale, we are a green company, too.”
Dupuy says a large part of her customer base is on the West Coast, but she would love to see more Louisianians using her product and thinks that might happen soon. “It’s all changing,” she says. “We’re realizing that we have to be more responsible.”
She urges anyone curious to give FuzziBunz® a chance. “Just buy one or two,” she says. “Try them out. See how your baby feels. See how they wash. See the rash reduction –– because you’ll see a reduction even with just two. And of the people I know who’ve opened their mind and given them a chance, no one has said, ‘Oh, this just isn’t for me.’ They all say, ‘I was skeptical, but I fell in love. There’s no reason to go back to disposables.’”
French certainly counts herself as a convert. “I encourage everyone to try it out,” she says. “I like it because it’s not wasteful. And I feel it’s healthier for my child to put cloth next to his skin instead of chemicals. We’re bombarded enough with chemicals. This is one thing I can do to protect him a little more.”
Monday, April 14th, 2008
LAFAYETTE, La. – FuzziBunz® has partnered with The Green Parent author, Jenn Savedge, to highlight the important role parents play in raising environmentally conscious children.
In her book, The Green Parent – A Kid-Friendly Guide to Earth-Friendly Living, released on April 1, Savedge tackles every topic, from the diaper debate to how to take eco-friendly family vacations.
Tereson Dupuy, the inventor of FuzziBunz® diapers, says that Savedge’s book is a public service to the parents of the world. “Jenn is teaching parents how to establish eco-friendly parenting practices early-on in hopes that future generations will imitate those practices later in life to become thoughtful stewards of the world.”
Savedge says that even children as young as two years old can learn what it means to take care of our planet. Parents should look for teachable moments, she advises.
“A baby may wonder why she wears that FuzziBunz® diaper that her parents wash. These are moments that parents can teach their children that their diapers help keep the earth green,” says Savedge.
She adds, “As parents, we know that reusable diapers help reduce landfill waste, pollution, resource consumption, and the dangerous greenhouse gases that cause global warming. And while this may be a bit much for a little one to understand, even the youngest children will appreciate that her diapers help the grass grow better and the air stay cleaner.”
Dupuy says, “We are excited to partner with Jenn because, at the core, our message is the same: Take care of our planet to ensure that future generations have access to the same nature we enjoy each and every day.”
And the best part, for every purchase of The Green Parent, the book’s publisher will plant a tree on the buyer’s behalf.