What they do …

13. Hannah

It’s finally time for a new contribution to this category! Today I hand over the mic to Hannah, and she will tell you about a subject I (thankfully) do not need to worry about: diapers. She informs you about the environmentally friendly alternative that she used for her kids and her findings with that. All in all, it’s a very informative story, and a real eyeopener for all mothers and fathers with small children!

I got to know Hannah through my work as proofreader/editor at a publisher. Over the last few years, she hired me to work on a lot of awesome projects. I actually never met her in person, but after all those e-mails I kind of feel like I know her a little. Ok, and of course I stalked her on Facebook big time …

So, get blown away by the impact of the choice of diapers (for your kids), and put it to your advantage! Hannah, thanks for your awesome and positive contribution!

Note: Hannah wrote her story in Dutch, so if you can: please read the original story in Dutch!

“Reusable diapers
Hey there! It’s great to have the chance to write something on this website! I absolutely don’t feel like a ‘world changer’, but since the arrival of my sons (now 3 and 6) I’ve tried my best to live healthier and more responsibly. This led me to discover washable diapers.

Shortly after giving birth to my youngest son, I was fed up with the thought of all those disposable diapers. I could picture the mountains of waste that he would produce over the next three years. A child uses an average of 5,000 diapers until it’s potty trained, and thus produces 1,000 kilos of waste. So you can imagine what that mountain looks like: bad for the environment. Moreover, the production of disposable diapers uses up a lot of energy and raw materials.

Less waste
Fortunately, washable diapers are a very good alternative nowadays. Besides the fact that they generate less waste, there are more benefits: they are better for your baby’s skin, they’re cheaper and – very important – children will be potty trained sooner than kids using regular diapers.

Huge selection
After deciding I wanted to make the switch, I first clicked around the Internet for a while and quickly found a huge variety of washable diapers in the most fancy materials, styles and patterns. There is a style of reusable diapers for every preference and in every price range. It’s a matter of choosing and maybe trying some stuff before you find ‘your’ diaper.
I preferred second hand materials, which makes it even more affordable and more environmentally friendly. 🙂 On Marktplaats [a Dutch Craig’s List], I bought a package of Flip diapers and Bamboozles.

The Flip diapers are basically cotton cloths which you have to fold in three, which are worn with a waterproof cover. You can see that on the picture (left). It works just like a disposable diaper.
The diaper is absorbent and hardly ever leaks, because of the fitted waterproof cover. These Flip diapers are relatively inexpensive and very easy to use. All grandparents and babysitters had no problem using them, but there is quite a lot of cloth between the kid’s legs (middle picture)…
I used these ‘Flippies’ from the ages of 6 months to 2.5 years. Nearing the end, sometimes the diapers would soak through a little, because my son started peeing more at once.


The other brand I used, is Bamboozle Stretch. These are fitted bamboo diapers. Bamboo is very absorbent and gentle to the skin. Here, too, you use a diaper in combination with a waterproof cover. The picture (right) shows a diaper without cover. For a while, I dropped my son off at daycare with Bamboozle diapers, because they knew how to use this brand. However, in the end, I found it too much hassle having to haul dirty diapers.

Isn’t it really gross to wash those diapers?! Well, I’m lucky I don’t have to wash diapers by hand, as my parents used to. The ‘number two’ can be easily disposed of with the disposable insert, which is allowed to be flushed down the toilet. After that, I put the used diapers in a special diaper bin, which has a laundry net. When the bucket is full, the laundry net can be thrown into the washing machine directly.
The next day, the diapers are dry and ready to be reused. 🙂 It made me feel very good to take off those clean and dry diapers of the line. Also, I didn’t have to deal with the hassle of hauling big packages of diapers from the store to my home. Naturally, the washing and drying process does cost some time and needs careful planning.

Substantial savings
The diaper package and some other items I needed, costed me about 200 euros [292 CAD]. By comparison: disposable diapers cost us around 7 euros per week, with 2.5 years of being in diapers, which brings the costs to over 900 euros [1317 CAD]! Washing also costs a bit, but it’s definitely a significant amount of money saved.

Potty trained
And indeed my youngest son was potty trained six months sooner than his older brother. With these reusable diapers he could feel it when he was wet. After just a little over two and a half years, we were completely done with washable diapers.

All in all, reusable diapers are certainly worth trying. Sometimes I felt like a mother from another planet, because a lot of people had never heard of this idea, and rejected it from the outset. But now – three years later – a lot has changed and more mothers are taking care of the planet by using washable diapers.

For more information and products, you can look at Babybum or Kaatjekatoen. Used diapers can be found on Marktplaats and on Dragen & Voeden. Another good read (also on other topics) is Kiind[These are all Dutch sites though, check out Cozy Bums for some more info in English.]