Second Life For Cloth Diapers
I promise I’ve looked through the archives and I either I missed this entirely or I have a new! exciting! cloth diaper question….
What the heck am I supposed to do with them now that my preshus babe has up and potty trained? He’s the only one who has ever used them, and I imagine they’ve got a lot of life left in them than the 20 months they were used (they’re the FuzziBunz one size adjustable ones). I feel like tossing them would negate that crunchy-hippie- goodness I’d envisioned with my CD use, but is it weird to donate cloth diapers somewhere? Can you even do that, for sanitary reasons?
I’m in the DC-ish area, if that helps at all.
Potty Trained, HOORAY
One of the awesome — or completely weird, depending on your opinion of it — things about cloth diapers is that yes, there is life for them after their original owner potty trains. There’s a huuuuuge market and community out there for used cloth diapers. Some people are just trying to be as frugal as possible. Some want to try out a bunch of different systems without laying out a ton of cash, particularly for the more “high-end” diapers like FuzziBunz or bumGenius. And some, like you, just want to make sure that perfectly usable, cared-for garments don’t end up in the landfill prematurely.
Now, obviously, I have not personally come to that point in my cloth diapering career, because I am still using (or plan to use) every diaper in our stash, save for a small handful of newborn/preemie-sized PUL covers. I had Ezra’s bumGenius refurbished, replacing the velcro with snaps. (Run a search on Etsy for “cloth diaper conversion” and there’s usually a handful of shops that offer the service. I personally used Marion Hill.) And I might replace some of the elastic myself in a few of the hand-me-down diapers. So, I figure our pocket diapers will probably need to be completely retired after Ike potty trains, and our prefolds will be used as rags, but we will end up with a bunch of perfectly usable, perfectly awesome fitteds, covers and soakers that I’ll either selfishly hoard “just in case”…or pass along to someone else.
A bunch of my online friends are actively involved at DiaperSwappers.com, where you can buy, sell or trade cloth diapers. Or give them away for free, provided the recipient pays for the shipping costs. There’s also MyUsedDiapers.com, which is an auction site. (eBay used to allow you to sell diapers, but not anymore, so a lot of former eBay sellers list there instead.)
Personally, I’ll probably opt for DiaperSwappers since I “know” people who have had good experiences there, both trading and buying. I do NOT recommend just donating the diapers anywhere unless you confirm ahead of time that they’ll be used — most places will probably have a knee-jerk EW GROSS WHAT IS THIS reaction and toss them. (Likewise, none of the local maternity/kids clothing consignment stores I know of accept diapers.) Best to find another cloth-diapering mama online who genuinely wants them and understands that cared-for (i.e. proper detergent), gently-used diapers are not disgusting rags of ick. If you’ve ever used hand-me-down baby clothing, chances are it was also peed, pooped and barfed on. You give it a good wash and no big deal, right? Diapers really aren’t that different, and passing them on while there’s still life in them, instead of sending them to the landfill to decompose next to all the disposables you didn’t use, just makes good Earth sense.