I’m thinking about cloth diapers. Is there a service available in RI? Where do I begin? What if I want to use disposable too?
Cloth diapering is easy, inexpensive, and a great way to cut down on the ton of disposable diaper garbage that is clogging our landfills. Unfortunately, there is not a diaper service currently available in Rhode Island. It’s all right, though, because you can wash them yourself with very little extra effort. With the water-conserving washing machines that most people use, we can take care of it quite economically as well.
There are several kinds of cloth diapering systems available. One of the easiest to use is prefold diapers (what women often use as burp cloths) with a nylon cover. The covers keep the little ones’ clothes dry. For this kind of diaper, you place the prefold in the cover and Velcro it on just like you would with a disposable. The prefold absorbs the urine. You can reuse the covers until they are soiled and just wash the prefolds.
The other variety is called a pocket diaper. A pocket diaper is a nylon cover that also has a piece of material that will go against your baby’s skin. Typically the material is a kind of microfleece to wick the moisture from baby’s bottom. You then insert either a prefold or an insert (essentially a sewed prefold) into the space between the nylon and the fleece for absorbency. You would separate the two and then wash.
A great way to begin is to get two to three dozen prefolds, several nylon covers, and maybe one or two pocket diapers. This way you can use the prefolds with either the nylon cover or the pocket diapers and figure out what will work best for you. Remember, you will be able to use the prefolds throughout your diapering days, so they are long-lasting. If you want to use disposables as well, that’s easy. You can also use a disposable with a nylon cover on the outside to prevent the disposable from leaking through clothing.Great local shops that offer cloth diapers include Bellani Maternity in Warwick, Rhode Island and Papaya Patch in West Hartford, Connecticut. In addition, Bummis.com is a huge resource of information on cloth diapering.
Kelly LaChance-Guertin BA, CCE, CD (DONA), CLC, has been a birth and postpartum doula for the past five years. She is currently a certified birth doula through DONA (Doulas of North America) and a certified childbirth educator. As the co-owner of Bellani Maternity and the mother of two, she experiences first-hand the struggle of balancing work and family, as well as the realities of raising children. Visit to learn more about Kelly’s one-stop resource for pregnancy and parenting.