Converting back to a green life, one week (and nap time) at a time


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October/November 2015 – Updated February 2015

I have to say that LM is a better sleeper than MD, at least right now. Sure I’m up a couple of times in the night, but he usually sleeps a four or five-hour stretch before waking, then another couple of three hour stretches before waking for the day. He’s even slept a few six and seven hour stretches! (Would love to find a way to keep that up!) He also seems to be a better napper, so far. So while I’m not fully rested, I definitely don’t feel the same level of exhaustion that I did at this point with MD.  I’m a bit worried that I might still hit a wall, but my husband just says that we’re pacing ourselves better this time. I also find that getting up at about the same time every day (even if I’m tired), maintaining a semblance of routine, napping when he naps, and getting some regular exercise and eating well has done as much for my energy level as sleep.

In fact, I’ve even had the brainpower to think about this blog! Over the last couple of months we’ve been experimenting with the disposable diapers I described in a previous blog post (see The Home Stretch). Here’s what I’ve found:

PC Green (~24 cents ea.) – these were my favourite. These were the most absorbent day and night and best at containing blow-outs, easy to put on, and I just like the look of them better. The price point is the best as well.

Seventh Generation– (~37 cents ea.) – I liked these diapers. They were great for daytime usage, however did not contain blow-outs as well as some other diapers we tried, and were not as absorbent overnight.

Naty (~38 cents ea.) – these were by far my least favourite diaper. They were not very absorbent at all, day or night, number 1 or number 2, did not fit well, and to be honest I kept putting them on backwards because I could not easily tell front from pack (important for middle of the night changes).

I also tried another brand, BabyGanics from Babies R Us ($ 16.99 per pkg of 40 stage 1 (8-14lbs) or ~ 42 cents ea.). This brand also claims to be chlorine free and made from plant-based materials (which all paper or cotton diapers would inherently be). The company also makes a whole line of “eco-friendly” and “baby-friendly products”. These were the most expensive diapers I tried, which is unfortunate because they were a great diaper as well. Easy to put on, looked great and most importantly were very absorbent day and night.

babyganics (2)

For the record, a package of Pampers Swaddlers size 2 is ~44 cents each – making the “green” option less expensive for once!

For comparison’s sake, I would also like to try Huggies Pure and Natural. They claim to be made of organic cotton. I think I used them with MD, but I can’t find them locally at the moment.

Huggies is a division of Kimberly Clark . Interestingly, they’ve been working with a group in New Zealand to create a composting diaper. You can read all about it here. I wonder if they could do that in Canada?

The Honest Company also makes diapers, with the same green features as the diapers I’ve listed above, and are only available online as far as I can tell.

We also have a whole bunch of regular disposable diapers that my mother-in-law bought us. At first I was offended – like, doesn’t she know me well enough by now to know that I would be using cloth or at least an “eco-friendly” disposable diaper? Like couldn’t she just have bought us a package of those? Is she trying to get under my skin on purpose? But since then I’ve learned to follow MD’s idol’s advice and “let it go”. I think her heart is in the right place and she really was just trying to help us out. And to be honest, the diapers she bought us certainly come in handy when we’re running low on the ones we bought and I can’t get to the store, and don’t have time to do laundry! I also shouldn’t be a hypocrite. I mean, come on, we just put a whole other person on the planet with their own ecological footprint! And the way I’m going through granola bars in their shiny disposable wrappers, and the amount of paper MD brings home from daycare probably balances out anything we gain by using reusable diapers.

When LM was about eight weeks old we started experimenting with the cloth diapers again, a few days a week. They still don’t fit super well because his thighs are still small, but other than that so far so good. I picked up a few extra supplies, such as bioliners and Allen’s detergent, from Nurtured, but other than that I don’t feel like investing a whole lot into them when we don’t know how much longer they’ll last. I’ll let you know how it works out!


Update – February 2016

Well we’ve been using the cloth diapers for about four months, and I think they’ve just about reached their best before date. We were told by Nurtured that their life expectancy is about two years, and after using them on and off for about 18 months with MD and now four months with LM, we’re just about there.

We’ve been doubling up on the inserts to improve absorbency, but they’re really only good for short-term usage (a couple of hours). The microfiber liners have just worn out. I don’t really feel like investing in new ones, because once I go back to work (in six months time – yikes!) I know I’m not going to have time to do the extra laundry, and I don’t want to take the diapers to daycare again (they nearly ruined them the last time. While they were completely open minded and supportive of us using them, they kept using diaper cream with them which is a huge no-no in the cloth diapering world, because it makes the covers impermeable to water).

There are a few other reasons why we’re going to take a break from the cloth for a while:

  • Now that LM has started solids, his poop is really gross. Like, I know, poop is gross no matter what, and I don’t understand why I didn’t have this problem with MD (maybe I didn’t notice because my wonderful supportive husband was washing the diapers at that time, or maybe I’ve developed a weaker stomach with kidlet number 2).
    • We’re using bioliners, these just go in the garbage too (we don’t flush them – see Week # 6), and while it is less waste than a disposable diaper it’s still waste.
  • He seems to get a bad diaper rash whenever we use them.
  • It seems like they’re getting too small. There’s lots of room around and in the thighs, but in the rise they seem a bit short, like they’re crushing his “jewels”. He is the same size now as MD was at a year old!
  • Most importantly for us right now, while the water usage washing cloth is supposedly still less that the production of disposables, what we didn’t take into consideration was the wear and tear on our washing machine and dryer. Which both seem to be on the fritz lately, and I don’t want to be stuck with a pile of dirty diapers that we have to run to a laundromat!

We’ll hang on to them for a little while longer in case we change our minds again, but I suspect they will find another life for another baby via Kijiji. So at least someone will still be using them.

I’ll be disappointed and sad in some ways to see them go, as cloth diapers are something I really believe in, but at least I can say I tried them. For a short time at least, I practised what I preach. Some might say I’m not dedicated enough. But I’m going to try to not be too hard on myself. We all have to make choices and we all do our best. And like being the “good enough mom”, maybe I’ll have to learn to be ok with being a “good enough environmentalist”. Besides, there are probably some other areas of our lives where we can make changes that will have a greater, more lasting impact. And when I figure out what those are, I’ll write about them here. And speaking of poop, someone needs to be    changed . . .


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