Reusable diapers and potty training pants are not easy to find in natural materials. Artificial materials have been normalized in our daily lives, but there are still good reasons to avoid soft plastics like PUL and even relatively inert petrochem fibers like polyester.
Many parents still want natural fiber reusables.
This past week, I’ve had a conversation with a parent who is using reusable diapers for the first time with her 9-year old. Because our conversation brought up several questions (and answers) I know others understand, I am sharing most of our conversation with you. First, we started on the phone, then I sent her resources after I searched for wool trainers. That’s where you join me below.
Bonus: I know exactly how many parents are looking for all organic, all wool diapering products in the U.S. Look below for the numbers. You’ll be shocked.
If you make all-natural fiber trainers or bedwetting pants, please comment or contact me. I would be happy to pass along information about your product in the future.
I have been searching for someone who makes wool trainers or bedwetting pants. The only one I found is currently closed. The great thing about custom shops is they are often willing to create custom sizes. The downside is that they are often one-woman shops that close for family emergencies.
So, I didn’t find wool trainers, but I think I can help you get one step closer to natural than the Super Undies.
Danielle Gooding at Wunder Unders specializes in custom-sized trainers. She has organic bamboo for the inside, so you would at least have a natural-source fiber next to your son’s skin.
If you order, would you tell her I sent you? I don’t know her personally, but we are all connected through an extensive network.
Good luck. If you decide that you need a wool puddle pad, I can help you with that!
I am so glad I called you!
I do wish that there was more options for parents looking for safer materials. Being so involved with cloth diapering, is the topic of toxicity one that comes up amongst circles?
Also, I remember you saying on the phone that you used only natural fibers with all your children. If you are only using non toxic with your family, curious to why you are such a fan & recommend Super Undies.
Thank you again for taking time to help me!
I’m glad you called me, too.
Often over the past 18 years, I have often thought I was the only person concerned about the issues of toxicity and off-gassing from soft plastics. Some phthalates were banned in the new consumer product safety laws (newish, 2008), but there are still many soft plastics approved for wear and sleep. If the layer is hidden, there are fewer applicable regulations. A lot of the PUL (polyurethane laminate) used in cloth diapers has the soft plastic layer sandwiched between two layers of polyester (which does not off-gas); some have the plastic layer exposed on the inside of the diaper cover.
We have been concerned about toxicity for a long time. My husband, a materials scientist who has done a lot of research and writing for our business, wrote the article below on artificial materials and cloth diapering in 2000. Though it’s dated, it does outline the concerns. It’s worth noting that he’s asking questions here rather than making statements. The new regulations addressed some of the concerns.
I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan of any major brand of cloth diapers, but I do I recognize the company Super Undies as specialists in trainers. I especially like that they focus their message for the child, empowering the child to take the initiative in using the toilet rather than being the recipient of training. They stand apart as a reusable brand of trainers. Perhaps one of the smaller, all-natural-materials companies will grow and give them competition.
Having tried for a generation to sell only wool and organic cotton, I know exactly how few people are looking only for natural materials. Out of about 8 million children under 2 years old in the U.S., about 8% use cloth diapers at least part time (640,000). About 8% of cloth diapering parents use wool at least part time (51,200). About 1% of all U.S. parents choose organic, which means about 512 parents in the U.S. right now want all organic, all wool cloth diapers. That’s obviously not sustainable for any business, so it helps to know what the broader options are for anyone who wants to help diapering parents.
In the meantime, I’m very happy to help anyone looking for all-natural, reusable diapering options. I hope your son finds what he needs so camp is a positive experience.
All the best,