Diapers [was Washers & Dryers
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Tue, 21 May 2019 12:03:13 -0700 (PDT)
On May 21, 2019, at 1:54 PM, Janet Murphy <janetmusicrn [at] gmail.com> wrote:

> I recall were a neighbor who used cloth diapers (frequent, *very* long
> loads), 

Finally, a chance to talk diapers. Diapers used to be very thin. A large square 
or rectangle that was folded in different ways for boys and girls and as the 
babies grew. Many people had their own fold. Folding was a nice activity for 
relaxing. Or you could fold one at a time as you used them.

They dried fast, were adjustable to size, and they fit babies comfortably. One 
kind was large and thin as gauze. Birdseye were a bit heavier. The cloth 
diapers used today with the thick center look very uncomfortable and put 
outward pressure on the legs and hips. In the end they are more expensive and 
inconvenient because they take so long to dry, and are not as adjustable as the 
single layer. They had many other uses because they weren’t stitched into one 

The comparative costs of using disposables and cloth diapers misses one factor. 
When babies wore cloth diapers they were also in regular underwear at ~12 
months. As soon as they could walk and began wanting to be like mommy and daddy 
or older siblings. In parts of Africa, babies are toilet trained at 3-4 
months—they were actually bush trained. The floors to the huts are earth so 
peeing on it was not welcome. And diapers as well as washing machines and 
dryers were scarce. In China there are pictures of 4-5 months old all sitting 
on their potties together at the same time.

The pull ups were explicitly designed to lengthen the market for disposables by 
keeping children in them for another 2 years. Using disposables for 12 months 
would be much cheaper environmentally than the figures show because the 
environmentalists often use ~3 years for calculations.

A friend's daycare center used to toilet train children at school as soon they 
were ready. Parents often didn’t want to bother. When parents said "oh my child 
isn’t ready" the director would say "well they do just fine here." And it 
helped the parents because it was half done.

Shorter laundry times in the laundry room.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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