The Fabric of Our Lives
The Syracuse area now has a new cloth-diaper delivery service, after going without since Cottontails folded at the end of 2004.
Casey Cecile, 24, started her cloth-diaper sales business, Bebe Wamu, in the spring of 2007, not long after her daughter, Anabella, was born that January. A year later she began Not Your Grandma’s Diaper Service, which now has 30 to 40 customers in Onondaga County, she said, with service also offered in Madison, Oneida and Jefferson counties, among other locations.
Cecile’s interest in cloth diapers started after she became frustrated by the leaks and rashes her daughter suffered in disposables during the early weeks. Before long she had researched and purchased cloth diapers for her baby and decided to spread the word that cloth diapers had come a long way since days of pins and stinky diaper pails. “People don’t know what real cloth diapers are.”
She started Bebe Wamu because “disposable diapers are expensive, there are the environmental factors, and (cloth is better for) your child’s health and well-being.” Infant skin is especially thin and sensitive, Cecile noted, and disposables’ absorbency relies on “a chemical experiment … in your child’s diaper.” Anabella’s rashes ended “immediately” once Cecile switched her to cloth diapers.
Cecile’s business carries some of the most well-known brands of diaper covers, fabric inserts and other accessories, including gDiapers, FuzziBunz and Bummis.
For cloth diapering at home, up-front expenses can range from $250 to $1,000 (excluding costs for additional loads of laundry). Though that sounds like a lot, Cecile estimated that disposable diapers cost roughly $1,000 a year. (Also, many mothers reuse cloth diapers for subsequent babies and then sell the clean but used diapers and accessories, recouping some of their costs.)
Proponents of cloth diapers also believe they lead to earlier potty training, since the sensation of wetness on the baby’s
skin cues the child to use the potty.
Not Your Grandma’s Diaper Service, for those parents who would rather outsource the laundry, costs $22 a week, plus a $30 security deposit. That pays for use of prefolds, covers, fasteners, cloth wipes, wet bags (for dirty diapers) and twice-a-week pickup and delivery.
Cecile, who gives cloth-diaper demonstrations by appointment in her home showroom, said her next goal is “to have a physical brick and mortar location. … I’d like to have all people know their options when they have a baby.”
More information about Bebe Wamu and Not Your Grandma’s Diaper Service can be found by calling 317-5048 or visiting www.bebewamu.com.