Photo: Having a green baby

Do you know about all of the diapering options out there? (Credit: Allan Paquette via Flickr)

A fellow once asked me, "Do staff at the David Suzuki Foundation have children?"

Yes. And, I'm about to join them!

I've plans to "green" this life-altering bundle of joy and curb its added impact on the planet, starting with diapers.

How to go diaper-free

New parents could change thousands of diapers by the time a child is two or three years old. Or, go diaper-free.

Ingrid Bauer coined "elimination communication" after traveling throughout India and Africa where diaper-less babies are the norm. EC uses a combination of signals, timing, intuition and body language. It's not toilet training in the traditional sense—like the "potty dance" and bribing your toddler with M&Ms. The process begins during early infancy (0 to 4 months).

Sound impossible? You know when your baby needs to eat and burp, right, what with the flushed cheeks, grunts and cries? We've all known a toddler who holed up in the corner while filling his or her pants, too.

The benefits are obvious—fewer diapers will save money, prevent a rash and stop clogging landfills. Online you'll find books, how-to videos, and even support groups. (I've personally seen the proof: my niece and nephew.)

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Choose cloth diapers

Cloth diapers aren't what they were 30 years ago. Today they're stylish, eco-friendly, 100 per cent organic cotton, and made in Canada. Metro Vancouver estimates diapers and other disposables make up about eight per cent of total household waste.

Apply "reuse" when it comes to diapering your baby and you'll reduce your family's household waste and save money. They're the ultimate "green" baby gift (hint, hint). You can even buy them second-hand. Check out product reviews by real moms online. Some are even manufactured with wind power.

Make your own baby powder

Most store bought baby powder is made of talc and fragrance. This recipe takes less than 10 minutes:

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (found at any grocery store)
1 tablespoon white clay (found at any health food store)

Mix ingredients together, then add essential oils (optional): three drops sweet orange, two drops ylang ylang and one drop geranium.

Store in a jar and apply to babies' bums or in their bedding to absorb moisture. It's a great body or foot powder for adults, too! Caution: avoid inhalation by using sparingly.

What steps are you taking to "green" your baby?

Congrats to Michelle of Ontario who commented on this blog to win a prize package donated by gDiapers .

Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green

May 7, 2012

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May 11, 2016
5:32 AM

Yes, it is possible to go diaper-free and parents can only make it. I agree with how you have justified about knowing when your baby need to go toilet. Really impressive and a good challenge for newly parents. Also I appreciate the idea of choosing cloth diaper that will keep your baby away from nappy rashes. I would like to share how to get rid of nappy rashes: Though it is a bit difficult to prepare your own baby powder but we can make a try. Thanks for posting the recipe with guidance.

Jan 01, 2014
5:55 PM

Hi Lindsay!

I have been endlessly researching Elimination Communication lately after hearing about it from a friend. I also read that there could be negative effects…blah blah blah. It was written by some doctor, but I could not find any proof from any other site to back that up. My friend recommended I check out so I did. I pretty much found out everything I needed to get a really good understanding of what elimination communication is all about.

I still had questions though about the negative side effects. What are your thoughts?

Also — LOVE the baby powder bit! Does cornstarch cake though? Just wondering before I get into the kitchen and mix up some crazy concoction.


Jun 13, 2012
10:57 PM

I would like to congratulate you on expecting your first child.This baby ..I am sure will be raised up like mine many ways. They (all five) were brought up on a farm..I made all my own diapers.I had 3 babies all wearing them at the same time..85 washed by hand using homemade soap and were hung out in all weather every week. None were fed store bought food. All my children were and are today,healthy and with good teeth.I just want to say I took your test on what was in our house today re. cleaning products and although most of my product is environly friendly..I/we have a few things left to get rid of. I have become a label reader .. Its a scary place our world today.. I am now in the process of making my own clothes softener ..all due to your articles. I am stocking up on vinegars, lemon juice,and soda among other Niece is expecting her first child as well and for her shower i am making baby powder,have informed her on making her own baby food and warning her about many dangerous things. I no longer use shampoos or skin creams I am using castile soap for my body and hair. and have lots of beef tallow to make my own soap again. I have to thank you for all your useful information. I also try warning as many people to read product lables as possible. I am trying to live the rest of my life doing good things and homemade as i used to do on the farm. My thanks to you. Keep up the great work!

Jun 10, 2012
5:34 PM

Never even thought about being diaper free for a baby. I do plan to get my daughter to use the potty once she starts walking tho. Also, I have never used baby powder for my daughter…don't see the need…I use cloth diapers and only use cream if she has a rash. Interesting article. For my next child, I will try a diaperless baby — beats having to scoop number 2 into the toilet from the cloth diaper!

Jun 09, 2012
12:20 PM

What I did over 10 years ago was subscribed to a service that picked up used diapers on a bi-weekly basis and they recycled them. They had a process that separated the "contents" from the liner etc and it was made into other products.

I'm not sure if the company is still around or even what its name was.

Also not sure if you realize this or not, but baby powder is flammable.

Congrats and enjoy!

Jun 09, 2012
11:48 AM

I certainly recognize when my youngest (10 months) is going to the bathroom and usually get her to the change table to let her get the big stuff out… so thanks for the link! We use cloth diapers so avoid sending diapers to the landfill that way, but diaper free is a new challenge :)

Jun 07, 2012
10:59 PM

I would love to see more diaperless babies = less household waste. Great recipe for the homemade talc, sans the essential oils on baby's tender bottom. I will add the oils for my own use though… Congratulations on the new little one and thank you for all the tips…keep them coming!

Jun 07, 2012
8:20 PM

Great ways to reduce the waste! I love your tips on making your own cleaning products and think it's especially important for babies to be protected from all the toxins in daily cleaners and baby products — from lotions, sunscreen, plastics, etc. People need to know that plastics are bad for babies — no plastic toys/gifts, etc.

Thanks for doing what you do to educate us all!

Jun 07, 2012
7:11 PM

Just a comment on the baby powder. Not sure why baby powder is a necessity for babies.
I always advise patients not to use it as it is hazardous if baby breathes it in. As well, cornstarch can promote the growth of yeast in warm moist areas. A good barrier cream is sufficient.

Jun 07, 2012
6:55 PM

Just about everything you need for kids can be gotten used for cheap or free. Garage sales, second hand shops, swap meets, and hand me downs are awesome! My daughter is almost 1 and the only thing we had to buy new was her car seat.

Jun 07, 2012
6:51 PM

Congratulations Lindsay! I am expecting my first this fall as well and have been reading up on reusable diapers. I have a couple of friends who have done it with their children and have been very successful. There also seem to be lots of used diapers available in my community, which is a bonus for getting started. My husband is on board, the only challenge now is getting my landlords to agree to the extra washing machine use (as we share). They are pretty eco conscious so hopefully they will support our decision!

Jun 07, 2012
6:41 PM

Congrats on the baby Lindsey! You are going to make a great green-mama!

I just had a "green" baby 6 weeks ago. I Love G-diapers concept and I like that they have the washable inserts, not just the flushable kind. Best green baby tip I have is coconut oil. It works for diaper rashes, scalp massages and lotion and it makes them smell yummy! Who invented that fake baby smell they use in conventional products anyways?? I just blogged about coconut oils uses the other day!

I am so happy for you! Congrats again! Cheers! Shelly

Jun 07, 2012
6:37 PM

Don't use baby powder. It can end up in little lungs and there is controversy about whether it can travel up a vagina and end up in ovarian tumours (some sources say powder has been found in ovarian tumours).

Jun 07, 2012
6:15 PM

Congratulations! We're hoping to start a family very soon and are planning to use a combination of cloth diapers and diaper free. I'm looking forward to any baby eco DIY tutorials you may have in store for us!

Jun 07, 2012
5:44 PM

I am not greening MY baby — been there, done that, three times! Now I am a grandma and number 2 is on his way. My son and daughter-n-law are very environmentally conscientious and I encourage that as much as I can. They just moved to Sudbury from Thunder Bay and I am trying to find a diaper service for them as a gift for no. 2. I used cloth diapers (no service) for my three children. Then I used the diapers as rags for years and years. I have a hard time picturing diaperless, as I see it more as "training" mom and dad than anything else. However, I do wish you good luck!

Jun 07, 2012
5:27 PM

Congratulations! And this couldn't have come at a better time. I'm just over three months and really want to have a green baby :) I'll look forward to reading in the months to come!

Jun 07, 2012
5:04 PM

Congrats on your impending motherhood! My husband and I will also be first time parents at some point next month. We have decided to cloth diaper and are excited that Canada's Diaper Ladies are made right in our home province of Manitoba. We know it's a smart eco-friendly choice.
I look forward to following your journey and exploring more eco-friendly options for young families. Some examples I already do/plan to do: consignment shops, accepting/donating hand-me-downs and making our own baby food.

Jun 07, 2012
4:40 PM

Congrats! My sister and I both do EC and cloth dipes with our kids. Both are really manageable on once you get into the routine of it. My youngest is only a few months old and will be wearing the same prefolds that the cousins and older sibling wore — they're getting pretty thin! I'd love to win a new set!

Jun 07, 2012
2:45 PM

Welcome to the adventure QoG! there is nothing more life changing than a little being that you grown yourself- Have fun discovering ways to do the baby thing Green and I look forward to following your progress cause I'm sure you will share:)

Jun 07, 2012
12:09 PM

Congratulations QoG! I am expecting my first little bundle of joy in October and can't wait. I really want to use cloth diapers but my husband thinks it is gross and won

Jun 07, 2012
11:52 AM

We've used cloth diapers with both our children. I even bought cloth training pants for my pre-schooler earlier this year, because he's not quite ready for underwear yet and I was tired of diaper garbage. Now that my youngest has started solid food (which means poop has to get dumped in the toilet), I've moved all of the diapering supplies into the bathrom, which means I can now used cloths

Jun 07, 2012
11:31 AM

green babys in the works, always trying to go with cloth, chemical free ways of soaps etc, safe sun blocks, There are many more things in time we will try to adapt in to our lives, This morning i picked up some new born prefolds and covers for cloth diapering a new baby, and second hand so they were an amazing price and reusing!

Jun 07, 2012
11:22 AM

BABY WEAR! don't get an expensive stroller. Invest in the carseat (for car trips) and wear a woven wrap, a soft structured carrier, or ring sling. learn all about how it helps the bonds between caregiver and baby (mom's, dads' grandparents, etc can all babywear!)

Jun 07, 2012
11:07 AM

Great suggestions! I've been using gDiapers for almost 4 years now with my two children and LOVE them! Do you have any recepies for making your own wipes? I use rags dampened w water for pee and enviromently friendly for poop but think I'm ready to try to go wipe-free.

Jun 07, 2012
10:32 AM

I love your recipe for Baby powder, but please do not add the essential oils. Just imaging having a tiny cut and that being put on it, it would sting to high heaven. Scented products, including essential oils, can dry out sensitive areas and cause rashes and irritation in the perineal area. I love your recipe, minus the essential oils. Just like the old days of douches, scented products "down there" are just not a good idea. Now if you wanted to add those oils and use it as a foot powder then I am all for it!

Rebecca UCP/Health Care

Jun 07, 2012
10:07 AM


Jun 07, 2012
9:57 AM

Greening up baby stuff is really important. It's so great to make good informed choices for the baby and the planet. I've been washing my three month old grandson's diapers every other day and drying them on the line. I actually enjoy the act and look forward to it.

Jun 07, 2012
9:47 AM

I know someone who has incontinence. When he first used disposable incontinence pads, he discovered that they literally drew the urine out of him — which the cloth pads (that he had to make himself, did not). Disposable diapers are just one more way that we expose our children to a way of life that makes then ignore their natural selves. (And I wonder what it does to slow down potty training and, thus, increase the disposable diaper companies profits. I also wonder if the companies designed the feature on purpose — like the cigarette manufacturers who put additives in their cigarettes to increase their addictive properties.)

I lived and worked in Asia — and observed the awesome way that parents interacted with their babies' need to void. Responding to their child's signals was second nature to them — it didn't even interrupt a conversation.

Toddlers in China have a slit in their pants — in every single layer that they are wearing, which can be very, very many in winter. They just squat and void. In the cities they have been trained to do it in the gutters.

Next up — no toilet paper. I remember the first time I bought some in Asia more than 30 years ago. I looked high and low for a store that sold it and I finally found it high on the dusty back shelf of a store. The young sales clerk couldn't believe what it was used for. And as we didn't have a common language, she asked me by miming the action. She was absolutely incredulous when I nodded yes. She had every right to be so, as we have cut down much of the world's old growth forests to wipe our bums, when most of the world does fine without it.

Jun 07, 2012
9:45 AM

I've purchased tons of flannel and can't wait to start sewing up my own 100% cotton diapers and wool covers. My family is already (good-naturedly!) teasing me that my baby is going to be a little hippy. :P

Jun 07, 2012
9:44 AM

Good for you! Congrats on the baby. I just had a baby (my second) 9 days ago and am using my trustee stash of reusable homemade cotton duapers. This is the 4th kid using them and I could use a new stash :)


Jun 07, 2012
9:39 AM

I seen your baby announcement in the email title and I thought "I must recommend g-Diapers!" When I read the email and it said the prize was from g-Diapers, I laughed. That company is amazing. I received my g-Diapers starter pack at my baby shower and they were amazing for my daughter. So, I passed them on to my friend to use for her new baby and then when my other friend (in a different city) found out she was pregnant, I bought her a g-diapers starter pack and printed out a map to all the stores in her city that sold g-Diapers. It's been a year and she loves them as well for her son.
I'm going to stop now because I sound like a paid advertisement for g-Diapers. I would've loved to have tried this "no diaper" plan with my daughter but I only heard about it after she was 2 and she was already potty training. Much too late but if I ever have another child, I will definitely try this method.

Jun 07, 2012
9:30 AM

I am very happy to see the whole diaper-free, EC becoming more and more popular (like it is in many other cultures) I plan to do my very best to keep my baby diaper free while supplementing with cloth diapers when needed. I love your emails and tips Queen of Green! I now have switched all my household cleaners over to your sweet recipes :)

May 30, 2012
9:03 AM

We did diaper free for two out of our three children, and it was the most amazing, rewarding, and sometimes frustrating experience of our life. If I had a choice I would do it over again. It was a way to communicate with our babies from day one. I also found that they had a much better understanding of their body functions. It goes hand in had with everything else involved with having a baby, and took our relationship to a deeper level. I was very against the idea at first, thinking it would be too difficult, messy, and all around lame, but after my babe used the bucket for the first time I was hooked! I think it's worth a try for anyone having a baby.

May 27, 2012
8:58 PM

I'm due in December and I started going green before I got pregnant by eliminating the "dirty dozen" chemicals out of my beauty routine and cleaning out my cleaning products. I want to remove the chemicals my baby is exposed too. I'm going to make my own baby food and I'm also going to use cloth diapers and I'll be getting baby clothes second-hand since new clothes are so expensive and babies grow so fast!

May 27, 2012
5:27 PM

Ive always wanted to try gDiapers! Although I love my cloth diapers

May 27, 2012
3:34 PM

I'll be a first time mom but am super excited with my decision to cloth diaper, its just all around the best option for me. Financially and enviromentally, and socially, well, it's going to be different since there arent many people who practice this where I'm from, but I'm definitely going to introduce it! and maybe even start a support group for any moms who might be interested! thanks for the baby powder recipe! I've been collecting all kinds including home made laundry soap and some other home made stuff… great article!

May 27, 2012
10:33 AM

I used disposables on my first child, but have cloth diapered my baby (who is 15 months old now). I much prefer the cloth diapers!

May 27, 2012
10:13 AM

I LOVE cloth diapering! It was only once my daughter was 4 months old and had terrible diaper rash that I convinced my husband that we should do cloth…She has not had a rash since AND my hubby says they are easier to put on than disposables :) I plan on reusing them for my second baby who is on the way (those that I can that is…about half of my stash is velcro and the tabs have not held up very well :( The ones with snaps are still like new and I have been using them for a little over a year and a half now!) Thanks for the inspiring blog!!

May 27, 2012
8:34 AM

I am using cloth diapers and love them! My friends talk about diaper rashes and blowouts that require a bath and a total outfit change, but I haven't had an issue with either of those things! I also use washcloths instead of diaper wipes, and hang them out to dry whenever possible.

May 26, 2012
7:52 PM

I'm just starting to get into cloth diapering. My second child seems to be sensitive one way or another with disposables, so it seems to give me the perfect reason to go for it!

May 26, 2012
7:00 PM

I went with cloth diapers for my child. I loved them! Never a rash, and a much happier baby! only when travelling on long road trips (8 hours from Regina to Calgary) did I switch to disposable. Now that my child is in daycare full time, I am really happy my provider has agreed to continue the cloth use! It is great, and the amount of money that we have saved is rediculous!

May 26, 2012
5:26 PM

I just bought a two pack of gDiapers and I love them. I only use them overnight because my daughter is potty trained but still has accidents. We didn't cloth diaper her from the beginning but I really wish that we had. Now that I have done my research on cloth diapering it is so sad to see not only how much money we threw in the trash but I can only imagine the heaping amount of waste we put in our landfills from all the sposies we used. We are now pregnant with baby #2 and will definately be using cloth from here on out.

May 26, 2012
5:22 PM

I applaud you, Queen of Green! I'm a 60 yr old grandmother and great aunt. I've been teaching young mothers in my family to use plain cornstarch as a baby powder, especially on the hot summer days. It is wonderful to smooth a little in the little chubby creases of baby's legs, arms and neck to help keep them dry and comfortable. As a seamstress, I am now sewing diapers for our new babies out of old flannelette sheets, that the family has donated for the cause. There are wonderful directions on the internet for various patterns. My own babies just had plain old rectangular diapers that had to be folded to fit, now I can custom make them for the baby! My mother taught me to watch for cues and timings to train my children. All four were potty trained by the time they were a year old. It's too bad, today's generation are taking their cues from manufacturers who convince them that diapers are needed, right up until the time they go to school or beyond! Parents put a lot of effort into teaching their children to walk and talk as early as possible. Why not spend as much energy on potty training? Isn't that just as basic a need? Thanks for your efforts. You are helping to preserve the world for my future grandchildren. the Bonnie Lady

May 26, 2012
4:09 PM

Looking forwarding to cloth diapering our first baby in July. My husband is from a part of the world where diapering is not common, so we'll probably be doing a combination of cloth when we're out of the house and diaper-free at home when we have the time to devote to it.

May 26, 2012
3:59 PM

Cloth diapered my son, and am now using cotton training pants. Corn starch as "baby powder" for bum rashes. Teaching him about the environment/not littering and instilling a love of nature. We live in the country, so he lives and breathes nature every day. :)

May 26, 2012
3:58 PM

My daughter is due to have her baby in August and want to go with cloth diapers. However the initial cost is high for her so winning this giveaway would be a great start for her and help her avoid using disposables at first. Thank you for offering this opportunity to win and help the environment!

May 26, 2012
3:47 PM

Used cloth and gDiapers with my first and now gearing up for our second. I love cloth diapering and can't wait to get going with it again!

May 26, 2012
3:39 PM

Having my first baby this fall. Planning on going with cloth diapers, hoping to make the majority of its food once breastfeeding is done. Buying only second hand clothes, furniture, and toys. Redoing the entire nursery with as environmentally friendly materials as we can find. Like the idea of having a "reduce and reuse" shower like one of the other posters mentioned. Good luck to everyone with their green baby ventures!

May 26, 2012
3:01 PM

We've been using cloth diapers on our 2 month old since birth. The idea first came from my "greener" husband who wanted to reduce our carbon footprint by NOT using disposables. At first I was apprehensive but after doing the research and realizing that on top of it being environmentally friendly, we would be saving tons of money and the ease and variety of cloth diapers these days (so many cute prints!) I am now fully pro cloth diapers and addicted. I wouldn't have it any other way :D

May 26, 2012
2:28 PM

First of all — great article !
I have a 2 year old son and we are planning to take of diapers and I also have a 5 month old girl and we use pampers …. It's too much waste of money …. After reading your blog I can see how much it cost me all together… Thank you for your giveaway and I am glad that we have chance to win it !

May 26, 2012
2:02 PM

Great article! I am 32 weeks along with my first pregnancy and have done a lot of reading about the various diapering options.

May 26, 2012
1:48 PM

I just had my baby 4 months ago. We tried the cloths diapers from a diaper service and they smelt horribly like Cl and irritated our little guys bum. We researched the best option to be green and I just want others to be aware of what green (using cloth) entails (usually NOT a diaper service!). The heat used to dry cloth diapers is equal in terms of energy consumption to that of disposables… that being said you would have to hand dry them to make a change in impact. According to some research, Cloth diapers (washed and dried in the dryer) are only reduced in impact if you are planning to have a second child. Depending on where you live, disposables can also be a green option: Some places allow you to dispose of them in the compost waste instead of going to a landfill (Green bin), there are companies that make disposable diapers that are biodegradable. Just with disposables, you are suppose to put liners in cloth diapers and flush number "two's" down the toilet, but not alot of people know this or do it. This has to do with bacteria that can pass through the babies digestive system, the waste should go through water treatment. It also helps with cleaning the diaper after. Also, to reduce your impact even more, babies don't naturally need a bunch of lotions, wash, (you name it) on their skin, but for bum rashes I use Earth mama, Angel Baby diaper rash cream and it works amazing. Being green is the best choice you can make but you really have to think ahead, some things labelled green have an impact and its up to the consumer to do the research. Good luck all =)

May 26, 2012
1:38 PM

I am cloth diapering my baby, using cloth wipes and I love it. It's easy and much less expensive and detrimental to the environment. And no diaper packages to carry every week!

May 26, 2012
1:25 PM

I have two baby girls my oldest, who is potty trained now, was in cloth diapers, and her sister has been in cloth diapers too. Baby # 3 is on the way and will be cloth diapers too. We are growing a garden this year and very much looking foward to all the fresh fruits and veggies!! As well as starting a compost/worm farm. We hunt and fish for our meat.

May 26, 2012
12:59 PM


Thanks for the article and congrats on your soon to be new addition :). I am due to have my first child in 9 days :). My husband and I are planning in using cloth diapers with our little one and now we will also use your recope for baby powder. We have about 10 cloth diapers already but we need more and would love to win this contest!

May 26, 2012
12:40 PM

Im having my first baby at the end of this summer and we plan on using cloth diapers, I don't think people realize all of the benefits! Great article

May 26, 2012
12:37 PM

We are cloth diapering our daughter (including gdiapers in our stash), choosing some green toys and dishes made of recycled materials, cloth wipes, natural laundry detergent, reusable bags for snacks.(Stephanie I love the idea of the reuse/recycle shower. I wish i had thought of it.)

May 26, 2012
12:35 PM

We love cloth diapers. G diapers with cloth inserts are a great product.

May 26, 2012
12:34 PM

We are having our first in July and going cloth! Moving inner city into an energy efficient infill we built (including geothermal heating and cooling and icf) next to great schools that we can walk to are some of the things we are doing. Driving hybrids and buying used are also some of the small things we try to do! Hard to do when living in Calgary sometimes.

May 26, 2012
12:29 PM

I am getting ready to start a family and have been looking in to cloth diapers. I currently use reusable pads and they are so much more comfy than disposables, I would assume that for a baby cloth would be way better on their bums too! I would love to win to help save on some of the costs that go along with a new baby.

May 26, 2012
12:21 PM

Congratulations! What a wonderful announcement. I love your blog and can't wait to hear all of the 'green baby' things you will write about. My son is currently a year old and in cloth — it's been a great experience. I have not tried gDiapers — but have heard great things about them.

May 26, 2012
12:12 PM

I use all cloth everything. Im only 20 but being a young mom doesnt mean im stupid. My grandchildren will thank me. And my son is safer and more comfy wearing cloth! Plus he looks cute as a button!

May 26, 2012
11:54 AM

Both of my babies were "green babies!". My baby is also allergic to disposables making cloth a must. The best diapers I've found for my baby now are GroVia Hybrid. We use the organic cotton soaker pads.

May 26, 2012
11:47 AM

I started cloth diapering my first and i'm currently cloth diapering my 2nd. I also try and reuse as much as possible, like washing and reusing plastic bags, and using cloth ones for groceries

May 26, 2012
11:41 AM

If we started using disposable diapers hundreds of years ago, we'd be swimming in them today. We really need to change something, otherwise our children will be paying for the mess we've made, just for the sake of our convenience. I've started using gDiapers with my daughter, and I love them! Such a smart design, and so easy to use. I think allot of people are intimidated by them, but they really have come a long way!

May 26, 2012
11:40 AM

I am currently 24 weeks pregnant with my first child and I am intending on using cloth diapers. I cannot believe the waste produced by disposable diapers each year by a single child. I feel that the least we can do is reduce this huge amount of waste by using cloth diapers!!!

I have also been trying to convince all my family and friends to follow my lead and use cloth diapers with their children!!!

May 26, 2012
1:27 AM

We have been using g diapers almost the whole two years of my daughters life and we love them! Bought them second hand too so they have seen a lot of use. Can't even fathom how much money we have saved ourselves and how much garbage we have saved the planet from. Could always use some more gDiapers for baby number two though (hint hint

May 25, 2012
11:52 PM

I tried elimination communication with my first child without success but will be trying with my second child soon

May 25, 2012
10:37 PM

I have 2 kids and have done cloth-diapers and part-time EC with both. With my first, I think early potty-training was made possible by EC. With my second babe, yes — EC is more work so I don't do it as much. (Way easier in warmer weather). My aim is to do enough EC that baby builds and maintains awareness so we can potty-train early again — we'll see if that plan works.

As for the accumulation of toys, our biggest issue is some family members giving mountains of plastic stuff, ugh. A couple strategies I am going to try that have been successful for others: 1) 'guidelines' for the shopaholics (what you are trying to encourage/ discourage — no toys with batteries, yes to wooden toys, yes to homeade things from craft fairs, no to stoys with many small plastic parts). 2) ask for experiences rather than stuff. ie a 'date' with auntie would be sooo amazing (to a movie, swimming, ice cream, etc).

May 25, 2012
10:34 PM

I have not had kids myself but I do look after children. I have long wanted to promote not using paper nappies. the only thing I find that might be more likely with cloth is the rashing. But I bet they have improved the cloth now. If so, I would really love to recommend this to any of my employers, they might even listen this time. The powder you make may help with the rash too. Just so glad to hear, at long last, a non paper advocate. It was like everybody was, and is, just cutting so many trees to supply this endless craze. Its harm was greater than its good.

May 25, 2012
8:49 PM

I'm a grandmother now. I used cloth diapers with my first child, and cloth wipes. I got REALLY good at rinsing out diapers in the toilet (yeah, I know). I lived in an apartment and had one of those old washer spin dryers. Most of you likely have never seen one. I was running it every other day. And I had three of those folding clothes dryers and diapers and baby clothes hanging all over my apartment! Oh, and this was pre terry no folds too. So it was rinsing, washing, hang to dry and then folding. And of course all the pin pokes in my hands when my daughter got old enough to be wiggly during changes. It's a lot of work. My family got me a diaper service with my second child. I still used cloth wipes. But the service sure cut down on the laundry! And no more folding! I'm not sure if they have green diaper services, it's something on my list to research before the next grandchild.

May 25, 2012
8:33 PM

In 1931 My mother noticed a regular occurrence and anticipated it, saving many diaper changes. She told me about it and urged me to watch for signals. I thought I had been a flook and didn't bother — wish I had now. She would loved to have read your item.

May 25, 2012
8:09 PM

We have been cloth diapering our little one since birth and love it! We use bumGenius and Flip. The laundry is very little, compared to what we were expecting. We will definitely be using the same cloth diapers for our next little one. We use Nature Clean detergent on her clothes and switched all of her bath products to all natural ones, that has made a huge difference on her skin! As much as possible we try to buy second hand, and I have a friend who is expecting so I am passing on everything I don't need any more! I love the idea of a reuse/ recycle baby shower, I wish I would have thought of that before.

May 25, 2012
7:41 PM

This post rocks! I think everyone should use cloth dipes and disposables should be banned. It makes me sick to think of the waste and the biological hazard disposables create…

May 25, 2012
7:14 PM

Great article. Cloth diapering is definitely even trendy these days, not to mention, enviro friendly and easier on your pocket. It also eliminates pants/shorts in the summer when you have ones as stylish as we do — Green Line Diapers located in Vancouver, Canada. Great recipe for baby powder!

May 25, 2012
7:08 PM

Buying used clothing and using cloth diapers. Its our first girl, but theres tons of cute stuff. And i'm gonna try to make some onesies out of old tshirts. Among other things. I didnt have to use powder on my son, or any products really.

May 25, 2012
6:30 PM

Another great idea is to make your own wipes. Cut up old material and find a solution on line.

May 25, 2012
6:23 PM

My husband and I have been ECing our 9 month old since he was a week old. People still think we're nuts, but I don't since I haven't had to change a poopy diaper in…gosh, I can't even remember! I also use cloth diapers, and recommend making your own baby wipe solution and baby washcloths instead of baby wipes. You'll save so much money, and have zero waste!
Congrats on your baby! Exciting times!

May 25, 2012
5:45 PM

I love green babies! I am cloth diapering and nursing, and it's wonderful! There is little chance of diaper rash, so no need for bum creams and powders- one less mass produced item to buy… "baby bullet" to make my own baby food and use local produce! Second hand clothing and repair small tears for more use! I've already got another mom-to be lined up to use the cloth diapers I do not need (covers he will not fit by then).

May 25, 2012
5:40 PM

I also am using cloth diapers — in fact my Mum has found a wonderful second hand site in the UK and is bringing me a bunch with her when she comes to visit for baby's arrival in June.
My sister also threw my baby shower on Earth day and as best we could requested people bring Earth friendly gifts. As a thank you we gave away Blue Spruce Seedlings so as to better green our planet. :) Best of luck to all those new Mums and Dads out there trying to be green!

May 25, 2012
5:04 PM

Great article! With my first we used cloth diapers and cloth wipes and were able to use the clothes line for drying them. We didn't use powder though as I had always that it wasn't good for little peoples lungs. It's so great to see so many people using cloth!

May 25, 2012
4:57 PM

Breastfeeding until self weaning (baby is 15 months old — but is eating solids) and cloth diapering. Expecting my 2nd child in October and will be breastfeeding and likely needing a few more cloth diapers for my 2nd baby!

May 25, 2012
4:52 PM

I'm using cloth diapers and about half my stash is second hand. I'm washing them in environmentally friendly detergent and line drying. I'm also exclusively breastfeeding, which reduces waste from formula packaging and is healthy for baby. I outfitted his nursery primarily from hand-me-down furniture or items off of Craigslist and he's dressed primarily in hand-me-down clothes. I've acquired most of his toys the same way and am trying t stay away from battery operated and lots of plastic. Now that he's starting to eat solids, I'm making all of his food and using recycled glass bottles to store his food in. We also walk as many places as we can instead of driving. He finds it much more interesting and it's helping me lose the baby weight!

May 25, 2012
4:50 PM

I am expecting my first baby in September, and look forward to cloth diapering. We got lots of hand me down cloth diapers from friends, which makes it even greener. I'd also like to try EC as much as possible. My aunt did this for her 4th child with lots of success (and a few mishaps), and found the experience to be really rewarding.

May 25, 2012
4:44 PM

Our first just turned 3 months old. We're exclusively breastfeeding, using a ton of hand-me-downs and are going to try cloth diapering in the next few weeks. We also live in a city that composts disposables as part of their 'green bin' program if you do use them.

May 25, 2012
4:13 PM

I don't really have any tips yet for moms out there as I'm just waiting on my little angel to arrive in the next month.

We do plan to use some cloth diapers. We got some gently used hand me downs, so we're definitely going to give er a go. We already try to generate as little waste as possible, so I'd hate to see that go out the door because we have a baby!

Some other green things would be just basic things like diet (vegetarian and no store bought food — hopefully we can freeze a bunch of stuff from the garden this summer), green chemical-free products (homemade where possible) … just the usual stuff!

May 25, 2012
4:11 PM

We are full time cloth diaper users and it's easier than I thought, despite having two other children and my own consulting business! Cloth diaper use has eliminated diaper rash for our little one and we line dry every sunny day we can to save energy! I encourage anyone to give it a try, now we also need to cone up wot a better reusable wipes system in my house. Along with going meatless, eating local and making our cleaning products we are doing everything we can to lessen our household footprint and it feels great!!

May 25, 2012
4:09 PM

I love my reusable diapers! We have an assortment of them and they all work well. Instead of using wipes which are usually loaded with 'perfumes' or toxins I cut up some receiving blankets (we were gifted many when our son was born) and use a spray bottle of water with some aloe vera juice, a couple drops of lavender and about 2 drops of tea tree. I know a lot of people who think that doing the laundry all of the time will get annoying but I would imagine it is just as time consuming to take out the garbage as it is to put diapers in the laundry.

May 21, 2012
5:29 PM

I'm having my first baby in July and planning on using cloth diapers also. I'm also having a 'reuse, recycle' baby shower. I'm asking that no one brings anything brand new, but instead recycles some of their own stuff or finds it from a second hand store!

May 18, 2012
5:13 PM

Im about halfway through my 1st pregnancy. I attended a cloth diapering workshop last week and I've been convinced. None of my friends have used cloth diapers, so I'll have to convince them next! Also, thanks for all the tips everyone, I've learned a few more things today.

May 17, 2012
4:33 PM

I am cloth diapering my 3rd child with diapers made by Motherease in St. Catherines, Ontario. I shudder to think of how much money I would have spent and how much waste we would have produced if not for our cloth diapers and wipes! I used to line-dry them almost exclusively, but I have been busier with three kids use the dryer more than I would like. The recent sunshine inspires me, however, to get out there! The sun bleaches the stains away!

May 17, 2012
3:49 PM

Last week I challenged myself to reduce disposable use by 50%. I'm happy to report that by end of day yesterday I was down 40% so I'm well on my way. Getting back to cloth diapering is not exactly like riding a bike, but it's just as good for the environment! And the best part is that my 14-month-old hasn't batted an eye (and my hope is that switching over to cloth will ease toilet training!) Thanks again for providing the motivation to get back on the cloth bandwagon! My goal for next week: cloth, 80%.

May 14, 2012
8:33 AM

I have been using cloth (and if a disposable insert in my cloth pants are used its 100% biodegradable) and I love it! I try to use as little water, energy and soap as possible. I try to keep my baby and our habits with her very green. We are making her baby food, I use cloth wipes (and a wipe warmer :|…she's a very pampered girl) My mom has even made her pants and dresses and other shirts from our old clothes we can't fit in to! But to me the biggest saver has to be the cloth diapers. We haven't spent money on diapers in over a month because our daughter is currently in the same size she was before! We are all stocked up on supplies for the next size too! And since she's our first, we are all ready if and when #2 shows up! All of our bigger baby stuff is gender neutral so we can reuse it with the next kids and not have to keep buying a high chair or swing or crib! Our car seat goes from 5-65 lbs! One and done for my baby! I definitely reduce, reuse, recycle! As often as possible!

May 13, 2012
6:57 PM

When I found out I was pregnant I didn't even THINK about what I would do as far as diapers etc. But after a few months decided that I would have as green a baby as possible!

We use cloth diapers, and whipes, and have never used paper towels so that wasn't something to cut out, We also do our own baby food (organic of course) and she's vegan (I'm almost there :P) And little by little over time I'm finding more ways to make life greener around here.

What a great place to live (BC) for inspiration, I cringe to think that one day this beautiful place could look bleak and unlivable. I hope it never happens and hope to do my own part in helping mother earth <3

May 12, 2012
10:08 AM

Great post! I wish my friends with children were more open minded. What a difference it would make.

May 12, 2012
8:03 AM

Great article!!
We are using organic, plant-derived baby wash, lotion, diaper cream and sunscreen for our lil one. Once we introduce solid foods, we will be offering organic cereal from Sprout.
AND…thanks to the Queen of Green…I'll be making her DIY Laundry detergent and household cleaners once I get my hands on some of the ingredients I am still searching for!! Thanks QoG :)

May 10, 2012
5:33 PM

We used cloth diapers (Bummis, prefolds)with both our boys. if I remember right, we used washed in cold water and an extra rinse. just remember whatever type you choose to go with, if any, not to use fabric softener or too much detergent as they make the cloth less absorbable. We also didn't use powder. wipes we used were Seventh Generation which we LOVED (still have some in the truck for those "sticky" situations that two boys ALWAYS get into). when we used disposable diapers we used Seventh Generation. One of the great things about prefold cloth is that once your child is out of diapers… they make GREAT window cleaners and everyday rags around the house. I have used the 3 dozen cloth prefolds that I purchased 6 years ago for so many other things…… they are AWESOME! now I am turning the ones I haven't converted to rags into menstral pad liners.

May 09, 2012
9:41 PM

I have had trouble with cloth diapers. My son (and husband) hated the first type I tried which were made from microfiber. Then I tried a snapping cover with a microfiber insert and got the same response. Not daunted, I bought two Kushies diapers from Sears and they seem to be ok. To offset the diapers that we do dispose of, I try to put to use the two Kushies every day and I never use disposable wipes. I also try to give him a little "air time" on a receiving blanket on the floor each day and if he pees there, then it saves one more diaper. It's not much, but at least it's a drop in the bucket.

May 09, 2012
8:06 PM

We keep a water bottle at our change table, fill it with water and use it to wet our reusable cloth wipes. No wipes warmer is necessary. Checkout kijiji or craigslist for used goods and diapers. I've already picked up a change table and a diaper pail in the past 3 weeks.

May 08, 2012
5:42 PM

We have cloth diapered our son since his birth and loved it! The extra laundry really wasn't noticeable and I have loved knowing his skin wasn't irritated by aweful chemicals. We also experimented with elimination communication once he was four months old. He quickly caught on, knowing he could pee or poop on the potty when I put him on it. We kept using diapers, but would put him on the potty at diaper change times. He rarely pooped in his diapers from age five to seventeen months. He's regressed since then, but does really well when diaper free at age two. It's great that he is so aware of his body at this age. I recommend both practices to anyone willing to give them a try!

May 08, 2012
4:52 PM

We used cloth diapers and it was fine. I liked having a variety of styles to mix it up. I still wonder, however, what about all of the hot water we used to wash them? Is that a trade off?

I would pass on the powder. It's not necessary and the baby will breathe it in which doesn't seem right. Thanks!

May 08, 2012
1:53 PM

Wr are "greening" out baby by using cloth diapers (applecheeks and gdiapers) and so far we're loving it.

May 08, 2012
12:08 PM

Congratulations! I am looking forward to all the green mommy tips!

May 08, 2012
11:09 AM

We're planning on using organic cloth diapers. There are so many ways to go green with a baby, but diapers are one of the biggest and most expensive. I thought they would be an easy eco swap, but I'm starting to learn about the effects of non-organic cotton farming and worry the non-organic cotton/disposable diaper rebate may be a wash. Now if only there were a way to steer friends and family towards green presents as well…

May 08, 2012
11:00 AM


How have we "greened" our baby? Here is some of the list… - hand me downs — we have been lucky enough to procure almost all of our 'baby gear' and clothes from friends and family who have finished having kids and we will pass everything on to others once we are done without. A small step perhaps but a step none the less - cloth diapers and cloth wipes with water to moisten them — best decision by far! For Canadian options check out Applecheeks, AMP, Bummis. Baby number 2 is arriving in September and we will be able to diaper a newborn and our toddler without any additional impact (other than maybe one extra laundry load per week). And we can use them on any future kids, or pass them on, or sell them when we are done - diaper rashes are few and far between but some good old fresh air solves them quickly, no creams or yucky stuff required - skin care, sweet almond oil, enough said - food, breastmilk, baby led weaning, and as many whole and organic foods as possible, all homemade meals - walking and biking whenever we can

Good luck!!!

May 08, 2012
10:34 AM

I use cloth diapers and love them! If I have to use disposables I buy ones from the health food store so that atleast there are less toxins to affect my son's health and they are biodegradable. I also use natural products on his skin and make my own laundry detergent to wash all of his clothes and bedding in!

May 08, 2012
9:42 AM

I have a few friends who have had success with EC but for me it seems like too much work. Taking care of my baby's emotional and other needs was enough to think about in the beginning, nevermind watching his every move in case we should need to run to the sink for a tinkle. Poops would be easier to catch since it's pretty obvious when babies are about to do that! So EC wasn't for me. But I've cloth diapered since my baby was about 6 weeks and he's now 17 months. I use a combo of used and new diapers, along with cloth wipes and a water squirt bottle. I wash them all together in eco detergent. I don't use home made laundry soap though because I've heard that soap can cause diapers to repel or worse. I wash them all together and dry them on a rack in winter or on the line outside the rest of the year. I use natural bath and body products and aim for organic and home grown food. Possibly the greenest thing I do though is breastfeed my son. That's as local a beverage as it gets and he loves it. Best of luck to you QoG.

May 08, 2012
9:41 AM

Interesting information about elimination communication- I'll have to keep that in mind.

May 08, 2012
9:40 AM

As a new mom I embraced cloth diapers. That was with my first, and now, three kids later, I'm sad to say that my cloth diaper use decreased with each new child. My third has yet to feel cloth against his little bottom, but that's about to change. I've found great motivation to green other aspects of my life thanks to the QofG and all the great resources, and I'm ready to put one more big dent in the garbage we send out every every week. Goal number one: reduce disposables by 50% next week. So this week I've been tallying the disposables used, so I can measure my success. Anyone with me?

May 08, 2012
9:16 AM

We are using the same cloth diapers for our second child that we used for our first! We also recycle our rinse water from washing the diapers and use soap nuts for our laundry soap.

May 08, 2012
8:58 AM

I've also been researching patterns to make your own cloth diapers, by reusing materials that are found around the house. Its exciting that there seems to be a movement of people who are looking at alternatives to disposable diapers. One challenge that I am curious about when it comes to green children, is how to limit consumption when it comes to toys. It seems like plastic toys end up in landfills. While reusing toys and passing them on to other families is great, I wonder how other parents have tried to teach kids about limiting what they buy.

May 08, 2012
8:57 AM

Wow, congratulations! Our son is 3 months old and we love cloth diapering! I've also made my own cloth wipes, and we just use plain old water to wet them. A bonus to cloth is little to no diaper rash/irritation— so we don't use any powders, and if he looks a bit red we use Weleda diaper cream and a diaper liner (I swear that tube should last until our next child is potty trained…). We're fortunate to have lots of little boys in our extended family, so our son is set for clothes until at least 2 years old (love hand me downs!). As I use up our store-bought "green" household cleaners, I'm making my own. :)

May 08, 2012
8:49 AM

I have not yet entered the realm of parenthood, but more and more friends of mine are having babies, and quite a few are trying out an array of Green methods to raise their child. Personally, I love to read about the diaper-less method. One of my friends has tried and succeeded with EC ( cloth diapers for night time) and I find it fascinating. It may require more parental involvement, but I think it's worth it. It's awesome to see that communication truly exists between mother and child… and a long time before speech even occurs.

May 08, 2012
8:48 AM

We have been cloth diapering for over a year and love it! We use cloth diapers and cloth wipes for an easy, cost effective and green diapering system. I use homemade detergent and make my own wipes solution

May 08, 2012
8:40 AM

Great blog! I have made a lot of my baby's toys which she loves and I am so proud of! I've also started making my own soaps and cleaners. Definitely trying to rid as many. Chemicals from my baby's life as well as my families' life as I can. Cloth diapers are great but I am still struggling to find a brand that I like (there are so many!). I am new to the 'green scene' but I am doing my best to try and reduce my imprint on the world!

May 08, 2012
8:19 AM

I have not yet entered the realm of parenthood, but more and more friends of mine are having babies, and quite a few are trying out an array of Green methods to raise their child. Personally, I love to read about the diaper-less method. One of my friends has tried and succeeded with EC ( cloth diapers for night time) and I find it fascinating. It may require more parental involvement, but I think it's worth it. It's awesome to see that communication truly exists between mother and child… and a long time before speech even occurs.

Thank you for your continued tips and wisdom!

May 08, 2012
8:05 AM

We have been cloth diapering for over a year and love it! We use cloth diapers and cloth wipes for an easy, cost effective and green diapering system. I use homemade detergent and make my own wipes solution.

May 07, 2012
9:16 PM

Congratulations Lindsay! I'm so looking forward to all of your green mummy tips, and I'm thrilled for you :)

May 07, 2012
6:13 PM

I am using cloth diapers for the second time passing them on to my brother as my 2nd child out grows them, they are same cloth diapers I got for my first child. That will be 3 babies who is getting to use them. I live in a small rural community and pampers are expensive along with limited stock. Many parents comments to me are eww that is just gross! It isn't, it is soo much better for your baby's bottom, your wallet, and not to mention the environment. At home I also use facecloths and water dedicated to changing diapers that is washed sight the diapers. I hate the though of all the things people throw out that can be reused or recycled, so I try really hard to produce a lot less waste that go i to the landfill such as using cloth diapers, using home made cleaning products, drying clothes on the line, and composting to name a few. I love your blogs. Keep them coming

May 07, 2012
4:32 PM

Great blog QoG. This is a topic close to my heart. I usually use cloth wipes with water when changing my baby's diapers but occasionally I use disposable wipes when we're on the road or I'm out of clean cloth wipes. After I use the disposable wipes, I wash them with my cloth diapers and wipes and then make my own wipe solution and use them again! They come out of the washer perfectly with no rips or tears.

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