Friday, September 21, 2012

2012 Great Cloth Diaper Survey

Are you a current cloth diapering family? You should totally fill out the 2012 Great Cloth Diaper Survey, which is put on by the Real Diaper Association. It will only take about 15 minutes.Be sure to put me down as a referral!

The RDA is also responsible for putting on the annual Great Cloth Diaper Change - which was started last year in 2011 and both years won a Guinness World Record (and guess what? Penny and I took part in that this year too!).

What do surveys like this accomplish? Well, for one - cloth diapering is making a comeback. It's cool to cloth diaper! Who can resist some of the super cute prints that you can find on a fluffy butt these days? And in the current economy, cloth diapers are a reliable, economical and environmental way to diaper your baby (and you never have to worry about running out of diapers!). So it is important to track how families use cloth diapers and what their habits are. Change 3 Things Challenge by Cotton Babies and events by the RDA are one of the few "legitimate" forms of tracking cloth diaper usage. There are tons of bloggers and retail stores that put on their own surveys, but to my knowledge none of those results are ever reported.

These statistics are important for a couple reasons:
-We can track changes over time.  Virtually every baby in the US was cloth diapered until Pampers was introduced in 1956 (although, Marion Donovan is credited for creating the first disposable diaper in 1947). By the 1990's, nearly every baby was in disposables. In less than 50 years, there was a complete and total flip in usage, where more kids were in 'sposies than cloth. A lot has changed culturally in that amount of time, and it's interesting to see families' reasons behind their choices.
-Information gained from surveys could lead to an increase in support for low income families as an inexpensive way to diaper their children. There have been recent articles depicting low income families who will reuse disposable diapers (sometimes by drying them out with a hair dryer) because they won't have the funds or the ability to get new ones. This is a huge health concern. It may not even occur to some of these families that cloth is an option. Even in a pinch, it's better to use an old tshirt as a diaper than reuse a disposable. Some areas provide assistance with offering free disposables for families in need, and there are very few cloth diaper banks throughout the country as well (Cotton Babies is responsible for the one that I know of, in St Louis).

Are you interested in cloth diapering, but don't know where to start? I'll admit, at first it was a little intimidating.  There are tons of resources out there, and I'd love to help you if you have any questions!

Interesting follow up reads:
Real Diaper Association: Cloth Diaper User Guide
Diaper Jungle's History of Diapering
Cotton Babies - Grants for cloth diapers to missions
Cotton Babies - Donate to Support for Needy families, outlet to send diapers to donate 2011 Cloth Diapering Survey , 2012 Cloth Diapering Survey

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