Green + big box store = not

We received a gift card to Babies R Us for Kiddo#4. Some of our small diaper covers are shot by now, so I figured I’d pick up a few more to tide us over until K4 fits into the larger sizes.

Yes, I’m one of those cloth diaper fanatics. I switched over so I could see what our washing machine could really do, and I’ve never looked back. I think cloth diapering is awesome.

All the employees at Babies R Us looked bored out of their minds and stared right through me whenever I had occasion to talk to them. I wasn’t entirely sure they were alive at all. But the upshot was, when I asked where they kept their cloth diaper covers, one was able to show me where the cloth diapers (prefolds) were located, but no covers.

(Incidentally, when I talk about diaper covers, I mean something like the Bummis Super Brite Diaper Cover and when I say “prefolds” these were what they had: Gerber Diaper Service Cloth Diapers (6-pk.).)

They had nothing like a cloth diaper cover, and no pins. Only those lame rubber pants like your great-grandmother used to curse whenever the baby leaked all over her lap.

In other words, Babies R Us sells cloth diapers that you have no effective means of putting on your baby.

The employee tried to convince me that rubber pants were the same thing as diaper covers. She also seemed to think that training pants were the same thing as diaper covers. They aren’t.

I’m a hit-and-run shopper: I don’t browse a store, particularly not with a baby in a sling and a four year old who wants to stop in front of every item in a big box store and say, “And what is that?” When we’d determined Babies R Us no longer sells cloth diaper covers, I decided to leave.

On the way out of the store, I passed an ad saying they were having a “green mothering” day in May, where they’ll showcase their most environmentally friendly products.

I wonder if they’ll hold that in the disposable diaper aisle, surrounded by boxes of diapers stacked higher than the Great Wall of China, while they demonstrate to mothers of infants their selection of precisely two kinds of cloth prefolds that they can’t then change a baby into?

About philangelus

Mom, freelance writer, novelist, angelphile, Catholic, know-it-all.
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11 Responses to Green + big box store = not

  1. CricketB says:

    Dad couldn’t wait till we got out of diapers. They make very good workshop rags, for the obvious reasons. After 40 years, they’re still more absorbent than the pack I got as Sears. (Never did get past disposables for my kids, but admired the good stuff the experienced moms had found.)

    They now have bamboo-cloth diapers. Mom has bamboo bed sheets. They’re wonderful when dry, and very absorbent, but very stiff when wet. Makes me wonder if the people who invented them had to be talked out of dying them mustard-green.

  2. Kit says:

    I think they sell cloth diapers as glorified burp cloths these days – we received some as a gift (Gerber) and they came in lovely blue and assorted patterns. Wal-Mart carries the real covers and pins.

    I admit I’m a disposable fan – although my eldest had several rounds of rash that required using cloth for a week or so each time.

  3. philangelus says:

    Bamboo cloth? Okay, that’s strange to me. I’ll have to look into that. “Stiff when wet” doesn’t seem to be a feature I’d want in a diaper, though. 🙂

    Kit, there are some higher-quality Gerber prefolds out there, and I own a few of those, but they’ll have to pry my generic cotton prefolds out of my cold dead fingers. I bought mine from Granitesmith Diapers on ebay. I’ve stopped shopping at WalMart, but the last time I was there, they didn’t have anything cloth-diaperish, so I’m glad to hear they’ve got them now.

  4. CricketB says:

    I’m guessing the marketing folks consider new parents to be really conscious about their environmental choices and suckers. I’ve seen too many products like this. Junk, with a green label, so they can say, “See, we made enviro, and no one wanted it.” Organic veggies shipped from California to Ontario. Clothespins that degrade in the sun. Flimsy push mowers. But preying on new parents has got to be the worst. Grrrrr!!!!

  5. CricketB says:

    Out of date, but shows that not all bamboo is good bamboo. (Surprised?)

  6. Xdpaul says:

    I avoid green diapers at all costs.

    Oh. THAT kind of green.

  7. philangelus says:

    Thank you. That was NOT the mental image I needed right before bed. :-b

    Actually, when we use disposables, we use Seventh Generation chlorine-free diapers. They’re brown. We call them “whole wheat diapers.” You should see the double-takes I get with those!

  8. philangelus says:

    Cricket, thanks for the link.

    I’d also had the thought that maybe they’re sabotaging attempts to go to cloth, since they make a good deal of money on disposables. That thought makes me unhappy, though, so I’d rather think it’s ignorance than greed.

    I’m looking at things now and I may actually have enough covers for the newborn period. I’m doing diapers every other day, but it’s working fine.

  9. knit_tgz says:

    I do not have babies. But I am seriously considering getting cloth menstrual pads, because I hate the perfume they put on the disposable ones nowadays.

  10. philangelus says:

    Check out Spyderink over at ebay. Hers have been the best cloth pads I’ve found so far. She’s at

    Lunapads are really awesome too, but they’re $$$.

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