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Is it possible to minimize diaper usage for infants , are there any greener alternatives to diaper and diaper pads , one alternative is cloth diapers but for many its difficult to clean it , are there any innovative products / DIY stuff or strategies that helps in reducing or preferably eliminating diapers or the chores of cleaning cloth diaper?

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4 Answers 4

An alternative I've seen is gDiapers which are sort of a cross between disposable and cloth diapers. Basically, there is a reusable cover that go along with a disposable insert that fully dissolves in the toilet or go into the compost after use. On their website, there are many videos of the gDiapers in action including this one.

We tried them on our son while experimenting with what worked and didn't. We opted for full cloth diapers, but these would have been our second or third choice.

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In China, babies and toddlers wander around without diapers, only a flap in the back of their clothes, even in the coldest winter, in order to quickly do their business. Apparently, they can potty train from as early as two months (hearsay).

How could a nation of over a billion people be wrong?

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Well, most would still have diapers if they are on a plane, for example. But it is true that it works well, and is the greenest alternative. Kids get immediate feedback on their excretions, and don't get the nice "change my diaper and smile to me time", which could also help them being clean faster. –  Guillaume Jul 19 '13 at 10:47
    
Well, they're wrong when they overdo it. Some level of decorum in public would be appreciated. –  200_success Sep 9 '13 at 23:10

If you live in or near a major city, there are a lot of cloth diaper delivery services that will manage pickup/delivery/cleaning of cloth diapers, saving you a lot of the hassle. Dirty diapers go in a bin, get picked up and replaced with clean ones by the service once a week. We used Happy Nappy for our first child, and it was just as easy as disposables (easier since we didn't have to cart home the huge boxes of diapers from the store).

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Try Elimination Communication. Offer opportunities to use the bathroom

  • At opportunistic times (after naps, half an hour after bottle/breastfeeding, before meals, before and after car rides, etc.)
  • When your baby has a worried (deer-in-headlights) look on his/her face
  • When your baby is gassy, has low appetite, or is making grunting noises

You general technique is

  • At any age (birth and up), suspend your baby in a sitting position by holding him/her under the knees. You can do it over a sink, toilet (not an autoflush toilet!), or bathtub.
  • After age 3 months, you can try a Baby Björn Baby Potty (holding your baby upright, of course).
  • Graduate to a potty and training toilet seat.

If you're lucky, you'll be able to save a few diapers now and then. The main point, though, is to get them used to the idea that being wet is uncomfortable and abnormal, so that potty training isn't a fight to unlearn everything they ever knew about relieving themselves.

There will be some days when EC goes well, and you end up using just one diaper a day. There will also be days (or even weeks) when it just doesn't work. My advice is just to start early and keep a carefree attitude, and you will save a ton of diapers. You'll also get more in tune with your baby's digestion and appetite patterns. I can personally attest to having avoided some major diaper blowout disasters due to this awareness!

(You can do EC with any kind of diaper, or when you're adventurous, no diaper. I personally recommend FuzziBunz, which were much less disaster-prone than gDiapers.)

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Based on my personal experience, I believe that EC works. At two months, my baby girl knows how to pee when I make a pee-ing sound. I highly recommend trying EC. The major drawback is that it requires you to devote a lot of time and attention to read your baby's signals, but don't all parents want to give their baby time and attention? :-) –  I Like to Code Sep 19 '13 at 14:31

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