About Organic Prefold Diapers

We all know about the booming organic industry, but it tends to be the most noticeable in our grocery shopping than anything else. Ever thought about organic fabrics? When reading about prefold diapers, you probably see lots of places selling both “normal” and organic materials in their prefolds. What’s the real difference?

Any fabrics labelled organic must be made with materials that were not grown with any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. When it comes to cotton, that’s a pretty big deal because it normally uses more pesticides than any other commercial crop in the world. Pesticide residue on the resulting fabric is fairly minimal, so it isn’t going to make a huge difference to you personally.

But if you have any interest or concern for the environment, choosing the pesticide-free varieties is the best choice. It saves the soil as well as the water, for areas covering many thousands of acres. That means going with the organic prefolds.

It’s the most significant option when buying cotton due to the way it’s normally grown. Other fabrics don’t have the same problems.

Hemp and bamboo are the two other main materials that prefold diapers are made of, and they are usually only available as organic. That’s because they are both crops that need no pesticides in the first place, making them organic anyway.  So if you are going with either of these, don’t be surprised if all your options are labelled organic.

And the last aspect you’ll want to know about prefold diapers that are organic, is that the cost is sometimes a little higher but not by much. Some manufacturers even have organic prefolds for the same price as conventionally-grown ones, which means you don’t have to break your diaper budget to get the more environmentally-friendly choice.

Don’t forget to check on the fabrics of your diaper covers either. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding them in organic materials as well.

Prefold Diapers Environmental Benefits

Everyone talks about the financial benefit of prefold diapers, and that is certainly a big reason why people choose them over disposables. But the next huge reason why they are a better choice is how they help the environment.

All the Garbage

First of all, how big a problem are disposable diapers anyway? Well, you will throw out between 6,000 and 8,000 diapers by the time your child is potty-trained. That means a lot of waste in the local landfill.

Using prefold diapers means you are saving all of that garbage, which is made up of all different sorts of plastic fibers and the sodium polyacrylate gel. None of this stuff will degrade well in a landfill, and every diaper you throw out will hang around underground for at least 500 years.

But if you use cloth, your supply of prefold diapers will probably total no more than 30 of them. That is clearly a whole lot less material being used up. And since they are still good after your are done with them, your diaper supply can be gifted or sold to someone else. So they really never end up in the garbage even after years of use.

Not only is there a lot of garbage produced, but a lot of resources are used in the making of disposable diapers. Trees are cut down to make the paper fiber components of the diapers, and a vast amount of water is used up when disposable diapers are made.

Organic or Not?

If you’re looking to be eco-conscious, then any cloth diaper is a huge improvement over disposables. But you can make additional choices to make your diaper use even less harmful to the environment.

The most common prefold diaper material is cotton, which does tend to be a really pesticide-heavy crop when grown conventionally. To take that extra step, try to get organic cotton instead. Or get diapers made from another material altogether.

Bamboo and hemp are two diaper fabrics that are much better, environmentally speaking, and they do just as good a job as cotton would. Both of these crops can be grown without all the chemicals, and they are typically a better renewable resource than cotton. They’ll cost a little more but since you are using your prefold diapers over the course of several years, the added price is fairly minimal.

So if you are considering the benefits of prefold diapers, don’t forget these significant environmental issues when making your decision.

Comparing Costs of Prefold Diapers

Everyone knows that there is a bit of an upfront investment with cloth prefold diapers, but that it’s still a lot cheaper than going with disposables. So what kinds of costs are you looking at, and what are the variations between different kinds of prefolds?

The Materials

The main place where you’re going to see variations in cost is in the material. Not all diapers are made from the same kinds of fabrics, and some are definitely cheaper than others.

So at the inexpensive end of the range, you will have cotton. A typical dozen prefolds can cost you between $20 and $30, with the cheaper ones tending to be a little thinner. You may pay a little extra if you choose the unbleached ones. They are light brown and work just as well as the bleached ones.

The less conventional materials will cost you more but they do have other benefits. Hemp and bamboo are the usual options. Both grow faster and require less resources to grow than cotton, so they re considered much more environmental options. Hemp prefold diapers are more absorbent than cotton also. For comparing costs, a dozen of them will set you back at least $100.

If you’re going to compare cotton diapers to bamboo, you’ll find the bamboo fabric to be softer to the touch. It’s cheaper than hemp, with a dozen going for about $50. Pure bamboo isn’t common, so expect to get a bamboo/cotton blend for that price.

Organic or Not

So far, we haven’t mentioned the additional costs of getting organic fabrics for your diapers yet. The fact is, the costs given for hemp and bamboo are already for organics because that’s just how the crops are naturally raised. Cotton is really the only one that is grown in either organic or non-organic ways. And for organic cotton prefolds, the cost goes up to $30 to $40 for a dozen though some brands will offer organic fabrics at the same cost as conventional. So with a little research, you may be able to get organic cotton diapers without spending anything extra.

So overall, plain cotton diapers are the cheapest with organic cotton coming in second (or even at an equal cost). The bamboo/cotton diapers aren’t much more expensive than that, and the hemp ones will require a bigger investment by far.

And you usually aren’t restricted to buying an entire dozen at a time. Many places offer 3 or 6 packs, so you can maybe mix up your supply and get a few of the higher-end diapers and then some in plain cotton.

Prefold Diaper Cleaning Tips

Everyone’s biggest fear with cloth prefold diapers is getting them clean. It’s actually not as hard (or messy) as you might think once you know some of the tricks.

Use Liners

This is probably the biggest and more helpful tip here. A diaper liner is a fine, soft, paper liner that you put inside the diaper between your baby and the fabric. They are like fabric softener sheets in texture. When changing a poopy diaper, you can just lift the liner and its contents out in one step. It saves a lot of mess on the fabric.

Yes, they are disposable but they are a far cry from actually using disposable diapers. Most liners are even washable themselves, so you can reuse them several times if they were just wet. Just toss them into the laundry with the diapers.

Keep Them Wet

Stains will set in much worse if you let the diapers dry right out once they are dirty. Keep a diaper pail in the baby’s room, or wherever you change the most diapers, with a little water in the bottom. Doesn’t have to be a lot. It will absorb up through the diapers as you add them to the pail, keeping everything damp until laundry day. Just have a pail with a tight-fitting lid because it can be smelly.

How to Wash Them

You don’t really need any special instructions for washing cloth prefold diapers, other than you should use the hot water setting to get them really clean and sanitized. Your detergent should be as natural as possible, with no added fragrances or softeners. If your diapers are particularly thick, you may need a second rinse cycle to make sure all the detergent is removed.

After that just hang them out on the line to dry or toss them in the dryer. Line drying adds another cleaning benefit, as you can see in the next point.

Hang Them in the Sun

The sunlight will naturally bleach your cloth diapers and help lighten up any stains or discolorations. Chemical stain removers or even bleach would work but they can be a little harsh on the fabric. The sun is gentle and free. Just remember, these are diapers, not your dining room table cloth. They don’t need to be sparkling white and spotless at all times.

These are all tips for washing your cloth prefold diapers, not necessarily any extra covers you are using with them. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for those. Generally a standard wash will do just fine, and they don’t require too much extra work because they don’t usually get that dirty.

Organic Prefold Diapers: What You Need To Know

We all know about the booming organic industry, but it tends to be the most noticeable in our grocery shopping than anything else. Ever thought about organic fabrics? When reading about prefold diapers, you probably see lots of places selling both “normal” and organic materials in their prefolds. What’s the real difference?

Any fabrics labelled organic must be made with materials that were not grown with any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. When it comes to cotton, that’s a pretty big deal because it normally uses more pesticides than any other commercial crop in the world. Pesticide residue on the resulting fabric is fairly minimal, so it isn’t going to make a huge difference to you personally.

But if you have any interest or concern for the environment, choosing the pesticide-free varieties is the best choice. It saves the soil as well as the water, for areas covering many thousands of acres. That means going with the organic prefolds.

It’s the most significant option when buying cotton due to the way it’s normally grown. Other fabrics don’t have the same problems.

Hemp and bamboo are the two other main materials that prefold diapers are made of, and they are usually only available as organic. That’s because they are both crops that need no pesticides in the first place, making them organic anyway. So if you are going with either of these, don’t be surprised if all your options are labelled organic.

And the last aspect you’ll want to know about prefold diapers that are organic, is that the cost is sometimes a little higher but not by much. Some manufacturers even have organic prefolds for the same price as conventionally-grown ones, which means you don’t have to break your diaper budget to get the more environmentally-friendly choice.

Don’t forget to check on the fabrics of your diaper covers either. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding them in organic materials as well.