Broussard woman invents reusable snap-on diaper
By: Judy Bastien
Cloth diapers. It’s a term that makes many new mothers cringe. The idea of dealing with washing and folding dozens of diapers and the risk of stabbing their own fingers while protecting their child’s mid-section from the business end of a safety pin doesn’t appeal to most.
Even those who look for environmentally-friendly ways of doing things hesitate to venture into the routine of their grandmother’s day.
But, a Tereson Dupuy, Broussard woman has brought cloth diapers into the 21st century with the addition of a polar fleece dryness liner, a built-in waterproof exterior and adjustable snaps to make diapering quick, easy and pain-free.
Her FuzziBunz® diapers appeal to many parents, including high-profile moms and dads in Hollywood and Nashville.
And her budding international business came about because of personal necessity.
When Dupuy’s son was a baby, disposable diapers weren’t an option.
“He has a skin condition – atopic dermatitis and eczema,” she said. “Putting disposable diapers on him caused so many problems – rashes and bleeding.”
She was obligated to use cloth diapers, but she didn’t like the hassle of safety pins and separate vinyl pants.
So, she invented something that combines the baby-friendly and environmentally-friendly characteristics of cloth diapers with the convenience of disposables.
Her invention, now about 10 years old, is known worldwide as FuzziBunz®.
“It’s a three-stage system,” Dupuy said.
The polar fleece, which is next to the baby’s skin, draws moisture away from the baby and into an absorbent cloth pad, which is inserted into a pocket inside the diaper. The stay-dry feature is accomplished without using chemicals or gels, Dupuy said.
The inner fleece lining and pad are contained within a waterproof outer lining.
“Everything separates to be washed,” Dupuy said, “so it gets really clean.”
Tanya Domingue, a pediatric nurse and Scott resident, began using FuzziBunz® four months ago, when her son, Jack, was born.
She had previously used disposable diapers on her two older children.
Domingue said there is no comparison between the two.
“These FuzziBunz® win hands down,” she said. “It has a soft feel.”
Domingue said the reusable diapers are actually easier to deal with once they’re soiled than disposables.
“And, I like the idea we’re not putting more into the landfills with these diapers.”
At first, Dupuy made the diapers herself, just for personal use, but word soon got around in some of the parenting forums and chat rooms she belonged to.
A cottage industry developed, and in 2000, Dupuy’s business, which operates under the name, Mother of Eden, took off.
“I got out of the house; I stopped sewing, myself, rented a building, got employees and have been increasing ever since,” she said.
Now, her product is being sold nationwide on the Internet.
“I also have a large distributor in the UK, Finland, Australia – places where they’re a little more green than the United States.”
Celebrity parents have been heard to say they use FuzziBunz® on their babies, including 90210 star Tori Spelling and country music star Brad Paisley and his wife, actress and model Kimberly Williams Paisley.
Although FuzziBunz® are available on the Internet, Dupuy would like local parents to know that they can be purchased directly from her.
For those who don’t have a celebrity income, the cost of each diaper is a bit of a stumbling block. They sell for about $20 each.
But, they’re much cheaper in the long run, Dupuy said.
Domingue estimates that at seven diapers a day, she had already spent about $240 on disposables for her older children by the time they were 4 months old – Jack’s age.
Dupuy said most people get enough FuzziBunz® to last about a day and a half, so they don’t have to wash every day. The snaps allow for an adjustable fit, so the diapers grow with the baby.
“A full (set) of FuzziBunz® is $200- to $300, compared to $2,500 for disposables,” she said, assuming that disposable diapers are used for about three years.