Though disposable diapers may be far more convenient, a growing number of parents these days are choosing cloth diapers not just to save money, but for the comfort of their babies.
A local mom has started a cloth diaper-lending program and Facebook support group, PoofyPantsDiaperLendingProgram. She also has an online support group called, “Poopsmiths Anonymous of Tahlequah.”
Nicki Scott started the lending program when one of her daughter’s therapists noticed Scott’s stash of diapers. The therapist said she uses cloth diapers on her son because he has severe allergic reactions to disposable diapers. She began borrowing a few different styles each week and trying them on her child before she bought that brand or style, Scott recalled.
“Soon, I was able to invest in two full lending kits that moms can borrow for two weeks to see if cloth diapers will work for their family,” Scott said.
Each kit includes 14 “no-pin” diapers, detergent, and a pail.
“Moms who are low-income borrow kits for free. Moms who are able usually pay a small fee [$20], which allows me to buy detergent and replace diapers or expand the kits over time,” Scott said.
The diapers are not the cotton rectangles of the past, but preformed or tri-folded to fit into colorful covers. Pads can also be added for more protection.
“They’ve developed fabrics, so when baby wet, they don’t feel it,” Scott said.
Covers come with the option of Velcro or snaps; pins are no longer necessary.
They’re not like your mother’s diapers
One of the first cloth diaper “converts,” as Scott calls them, was Camille Owen. With a 2-year-old son, Elijah, and 4-month-old baby Gabriel, Owen saves about $200 a month by using cloth diapers.
“I don’t have trouble with them leaking like disposables do,” Owen said. “Fabric diapers also help contain the horrible, runny newborn messes.”
She uses Velcro diapers on her baby and snap diapers on her 2-year-old.
“After borrowing the kit from Nicki, I was able to determine which brands I preferred and how many I needed,” Scott said. “The KaWaii Baby diapers are my favorite.”
Most of the cloth diaper kits are purchased online for between $35 and $65 each.
Scott carries a waterproof lunch bag with wet cloths for diaper changes on the go. She puts the cloth into the diaper to wash when she gets home.
Bum Genius is Scott’s preferred detergent for cleaning diapers, but she said it’s a little expensive. She also used Rockin’ Green and original powder Tide.
As with the diapers themselves, Scott’s local moms’ group grew from an acknowledged need. The group meets monthly for supper at local restaurants to enjoy the luxury of adult conversation, since many are stay-at-home moms.
Along with personal support, Scott uses the Internet to encourage and keep in touch with other women. That support includes all aspects of motherhood Scott herself has experienced.
“After I successfully nursed a very weak baby and eventually exclusively using a breast-pump and feeding tube to feed my daughter, it empowered me to help other moms through breast-feeding issues,” she said.
“And those same moms are so helpful to each other, and they are encouraging to me when I am down. It’s like we’re all in this motherhood thing together.”
The moms’ group is always looking for new members.
“Our group is a terrific resource for local moms to be encouraged. Raising babies is hard and sometimes lonely work,” Scott said.
The lending program could use diaper donations to build a network and help more families.
“I’d like to eventually be able to start a lending kit with volunteers in Muskogee and Tulsa, too,” said Scott.
Poopsmiths Anonymous of Tahlequah is at https://www.facebook.com/ groups/225444660924829. Cloth Diaper Lending Program is at https: //www.facebook.com/PoofyPants DiaperLendingProgram.