Cloth diapers are currently some of the hottest products in the infant and toddler market today. The question is: Is this a trend or are cloth diapers here to stay this time around?
Before the first disposable diapers were mass-produced and sold in the United States in the 1960s, everyone used cloth diapers. Who would have thought that when it came to diapering, moms, many of whom had few resources and less money, would have got it right the first time? Well, to many it looks like they did.
In the 18th century, cloth diapers were triangular–with one point going between the legs and the two sides being pinned or tied to it. In the 19th century, cloth diapers had evolved into the square or rectangular shape that are still seen today. These were pinned together on the sides. Diaper covers were often made of felted wool. Later, in the mid-twentieth century, plastic diaper covers were invented.
The cloth diapers on the market today are a far cry from the white cotton rectangles covered in plastic that my sister and I wore BUT the idea was the same. When my mother used cloth in the 1970s, her main reason was to save money. But without knowing it, she also kept harmful chemicals off of our skin and put less waste into the land. The green movement that is spreading across the U.S. only really took off over the past twenty years or so. I personally think that both technology and humans are evolving together. I think that the time of “wastefulness and irresponsible consumption” are yesterday’s trend.
Parents switching from disposables to cloth isn’t happening overnight. But it is happening. We’re seeing progress, one family at a time– as parents talk to each other, do their own research and become more educated about the problems that having too much non-biodegradable waste will cause generations in the future. We can change the world. One cloth diaper at a time.