Friday, June 15, 2007

The History of cloth diaper (by diaper jungle)

Track the evolution of the cloth diaper...

For more detailed information about the history of diapers visit

When: Ancient Times

What Was Happening In the Diapering World :Baby in swaddling bands

Parents of babies who lived during these times had to get creative and use what was available. Babies of ancient times may have used Milkweed leaf wraps, animal skins, and other natural resources. Babies were “wrapped in swaddling bands” in many European societies where strips of linen or wool were wrapped tightly around each limb and then crosswise around the body (see picture).

What was all the rage:

Seal Skin, rabbit skin, milkweed leaves, swaddling bands.

When: 1800s

What Was Happening In the Diapering World:Diaper secured with pins

A square of rectangle of linen, cotton flannel, or stockinet was folded into a rectangular shape and held in place with safety pins.

What was all the rage: Linen and cotton

When :Early 1900s

What Was Happening In the Diapering World:
Cloth diapers were the only option available generally. During World War II diaper services began being widely utilized.

What was all the rage:

Cotton flats from a diaper service, delivered clean and fresh to your door.

When:Mid 1900s

What Was Happening In the Diapering World :

The first disposable absorbent pad used as a diaper was made from unbleached creped cellulose tissue (held in rubber pants) in 1942. But cloth was still used of course and in 1946, a woman named Marion Donovan, invented the "Boater", a waterproof covering for cloth diapers. Her first model of the disposable diaper was made of shower curtain plastic into which a conventional cloth diaper was inserted. Also in 1950 the Safe-T Di-Dee diaper was invented. The diaper was preformed and was the first pinless, snap on diaper. (

What was all the rage:

Trying out the new option in diapering: the disposable.

When :1960s -1980s
What Was Happening In the Diapering World :

The disposable diaper evolves quickly. Instead of tissue, a pulp mill was introduced. Using cellulose fibers instead of paper, improved the performance of the diaper. In the 1980s Nikki brand cloth diaper covers are used by some and Curity brand flat diapers.

What was all the rage:

Disposable diapers.

When :1991-1995

What Was Happening In the Diapering World :

Recent years have brought many "improvements" to disposable diapers. However, in the early 90's cloth diaper users remerged with environmental issues, concerning the use of disposables. Cloth diapers start making a big comeback. The company Motherease opens and starts selling cloth diapers throughout Canada and the United States.
What was all the rage:

Disposable diapers are the norm but cloth diapers start to make a comeback.

When :1997

What Was Happening In the Diapering World:
Catherine McDiarmid starts, a Canadian site, which is recognized for its extensive articles on cloth diapers and is still a great resource to this day.

What was all the rage:

Simple fitteds and prefolds.

When :1999 & 2000
What Was Happening In the Diapering World :

In 1999 Poochies™ and HoneyBoy™, Cuddlebuns™ were developed and became quite popular. HoneyBoy diapers were so popular in fact that they could sell at auction for over $200.00 per diaper. Kissaluvs started an online business to sell fitted and contour diapers. These years also see a tremendous amount of growth in the amount of moms who begin sewing their own diapers.

What was all the rage:

Honeyboys, Cuddlebuns, SOS, Manyducks, Kissaluvs

When :2000-2003 What Was Happening In the Diapering World:

The year 2000 sees the opening of Fuzzi Bunz, Stacinator, and The Diaper Pin. Somewhere during this time the term hyena is coined to define moms who stalk the more coveted cloth diaper types. in 2002 we see the opening of Happy Heinys, another popular pocket diaper. In 2003 the first WAHM congos, "Wahm Boutique" and "Tuesday Bear" blaze a trail, wool soaker become the latest trend, DryBees pocket diapers opens, and the cloth diapering business community suffers some turmoil as larger diaper companies feel threatened by all the smaller ones opening up.

What was all the rage:

Fuzzi Bunz, Staccinator,Drybees Heavenly Heiny's, Luke's Drawers, Sugar Peas, Fuzbombs, El bees, Cloud 9, Kool Sheep Soakers

When :2004 & 2005

What Was Happening In the Diapering World

In 2004 Karen Fegelman, opens Hyena Cart. There is also an explosion of growth in the cloth diapering community. Many new cloth diaper sewing and retail businesses were started. The presence of WAHM congos also sees a tremendous amount of growth. Wool longies gain great popularity.

Designer diapers are the rage and some more sought after brands can be sold at auction for $200-300.00, online forums explode with cloth diapering communities.

Diaper sewing is a hot pastime and many online resources, and diaper fabric stores open.

What was all the rage:

Fluffymail, Little Caboose, El bees, Kiwi Pie, Very Baby, Fuzzi Bunz, hand knit wool longies


In 2006 a revolutionary new cloth diaper was introduced to the public...the bumGenius diaper by Cotton Babies. With their stretchy tabs and adaptability as a one size pocket diaper these were a sure fire hit. Another popular diaper was the Berry Plush diaper from JamTots which met the demand for much sought after minkee fabric. Form fitting Swaddlebees became a favorite among pocket diaper users. 2006 seemed to be the year of the pocket diaper!

Wool longies and soakers have not gone out of style for 2006. They are still in demand.

What was all the rage:

El bees, Luxe, bumGenius, Berry Plush, Superstars, wool longies