Why cloth diapers?
There are countless reasons to use cloth diapers instead of single-use diapers. Among them are health and developmental, environmental, economic, convenience, and practicality reasons. Cloth diapering is a viable alternative to the short-sighted and wasteful practice of using single-use diapers. Cloth diapering holds clear and significant health and developmental, environmental, and economic advantages over single-use diapering. Additionally, the convenience of modern cloth diapering rivals the convenience of single-use diapers, especially when you use a professional diaper service like Tidee Didee.
Isn't It Inconvenient?
Not if you use a diaper service and the modern, no-pins cotton diapering system. With a service, all you do with a used diaper is put it -- without rinsing -- in your diaper hamper (which can be purchased for $20). The service comes by once a week to take the used diapers and leave a fresh supply of soft, sweet-smelling cotton. It also supplies a freshener that goes in your hamper and prevents your home from smelling "diapery."
How Does it Work?
Modern, no-pins cotton diapering combines a soft, three-panel diaper (the center panel is extra-thick and absorbent) with a velcro-fastening diaper cover. You just fold the diaper in thirds and trap it in place under the cover. Fold down any extra diaper onto itself (in front for boys, in back for girls) for extra absorption. That's all. No pins needed. For summer and other times when you might want your baby to wear a diaper with no outer cover, you can use either pins or diaper clips. The slight added effort for these few occasions is balanced by the fact that disposables don't ever allow you the option of shedding the outer plastic covering for your baby's summer comfort.
Babies Diapered with Cloth Generally Toilet Train a Year Earlier
You can probably expect your baby to toilet train a year earlier in cotton diapers than she or he would in disposables. This not only has obvious implications for your budget and convenience, but it is highly significant for your baby's development. Toilet training is an important step on the way to increased competence, confidence, and sense of self.
Cloth diapers have a clear advantage over single-use diapers when it comes to toilet training. We believe that babies diapered with cloth tend to toilet train more quickly because they know when they are wet. With the advent of single-use pull-ups, it's not uncommon to see four- and five-year-old children who still aren't completely potty trained. This late potty training has an obvious negative impact on a child's self-esteem.
In 1999, The New York Times reported that 92% of children in 1957 were toilet trained by 18 months of age.1
Maria Smith, Business Manager of Baby Fresh USA, maker of diaper wipes, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal saying "The products (wipes) are also benefiting from the fact that children now wear diapers until they are 36 to 42 months old, some six months longer than when Baby Fresh was introduced 16 years ago (1977)."2
Tidee Didee was started in 1954 by Norman and Barbara Wolfgram. They had called a cloth diaper service for their child and were told by the service that their location in the Sacramento area was too far. Sacramento, at that time was a very small town, the main thoroughfare was Stockton Boulevard.
The first Tidee Didee was at Fruitridge and Stockton Boulevard. We had one 50-pound washer and two 25-pound dryer machines. Due to the increase of service, we had to move our base to the Old Mormon Cannery in Oak Park. By this time, we had an 800-pound and two 400-pound machines. Again, we outgrew our location and moved to 153 Otto Circle, Sacramento, California, where we had two 600-pound, one 250-pound and one 75-pound washing machine as well as two 400-pound dryers.
Norman added a Portland location in 1970. Norman Wolfgram has finally retired at the ripe age of 93, and Tidee Didee is managed by Cindy Martin, Norman's daughter.
1 The New York Times, January 12, 1999
2 The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 1993