Saturday, March 27, 2010

And the verdict is in!

What verdict, you ask? For the past few months, I have been debating whether or not to stock disposable inserts that can be used with cloth diaper covers to create a 'hybrid' diapering system -- part of the diaper is tossed, part of the diaper is reused.

In case you haven't picked up on it already, you should know I'm a *huge* cloth diapering advocate. Like, big time. Don't believe me? Check this. And this. And this. This is a good read, too. I firmly believe that using cloth diapers 24 hours a day, from day one, is a realistic goal for most parents. In debating whether or not I should stock a disposable option, I have worried that by doing so, new customers will interpret such a decision as an admission that using 100% cloth diapers, 100% of the time is not a feasible option (it is, it really is!). I have been thinking long and hard about this for months, and with a little prodding from one of our suppliers (in the form of free S&H), I have decided to take the plunge.

I will be the first to admit that I have terrible tunnel vision. If I don't like something, I assume that everyone else in the world must dislike it, I mean, how can they not? Case in point, I bought a new dip this week (babaganoush, if you care). My husband loves it. I think it tastes like vomit. Needless to say, babaganoush will never cross our threshold again. Sorry, husband, you know it's true. Never. Again. While I may be able to get away with this at home, as a store owner, I really should consider that not everyone may feel the same way about something as I do; I shouldn't turn a blind eye to the fact that some of our customers rely on a combination of cloth diapers and disposable diapers.

When I asked for feedback earlier this week on Facebook, I was presented for some reasons why some people may want to use an occassional disposable option:

  • travelling. Yes, travelling with cloth diapers is totally doable, but for various reasons, not everyone does it.

  • clearing up a diaper rash. There are lots of different ways to clear up diaper rash, but if you're using a cream that may potentially ruin your cloth diapers, I can dig your reasoning for using a disposable option in the interim.
  • clearing up a yeast infection. This particular problem can be tricky to deal with, not only do you have to clear up the yeast in your baby, you have to clear up the yeast in your cloth diapers. Using a disposable option while you rid your cloth diapers of yeast may speed up the process .
  • going 'out & about'. Not everyone likes to use cloth diapers while they're running errands, to each his own, right?
  • getting over the 'newborn' hump. Some parents don't want to deal with cloth diapers until they are settled with the new baby. The problem with that approach is you may get used to the 'convenience' of disposable diapers, and your once noble intention to use cloth diapers may fall by the wayside. A hybrid system offers you the best of both worlds until you're ready to make the switch.

We are stocking Biosoakers, brought to you by the fine folks who make GroBaby diapers. A Biosoaker is a single-use soaker that lies in a GroBaby shell (or any other wrap-style diaper cover, for that matter). When a soaker is soiled, you dispose of it, and reuse the cover with a new soaker. I have always considered the label 'environmentally friendly' as applied to any disposable item as a sort of misnomer -- using something once, then throwing it away is hardly in the environment's best interest.

Despite their single-use nature, Biosoakers differ from standard disposable diapers on a few counts:

  • they contain no dioxins
  • they contain no formaldehyde
  • they contain no petroleum-based plastic
  • they contain no fragrance, dye, and latex

Biosoakers are marketed as 'compostable' (to EU and USA composting standards) , peed-on biosoakers can be composted in your backyard composter. Pooped-on biosoakers are tossed like their disposable diaper counterparts, the manufacturer indicates they will break down faster than a standard disposable diaper, however, that's a matter of debate. Due to the nature of landfills (a bunch of garbage packed really tightly, buried under a lot of garbage packed tightly....), biodegradation is greatly impaired in any landfill.

Am I 100% comfortable with my decision to stock a disposable diapering option? Not really, but my secret hope is that it attracts people to the store who are looking for an alternative to standard disposable diapers. For those people, perhaps the Biosoakers will act as a gateway to the wonderful world of cloth diapers.


  1. If it makes you feel any more secure in your decision, I started my cloth diaper journey in a hybrid. I wasn't quite ready to commit to full-on cloth. But this baby step led me to try other diapers - ones that I didn't have to consistently buy inserts for. Soon enough - no more hybrids! So they can be environmentally friendly if they lead more sposie users into the realm of cloth!

  2. Can you compost them if you rinse the poop off? And Do you know if they can go in the green boxes?

    I tend to feel the same way you do about cloth but they seem like a decent compromise.