Bear bums brings cloth diaper message to North Hasting parents 0
There's nothing cute about dirty diapers but local entrepreneur Leslie Cox is making the most of a messy situation. With three young children at home Cox is passionate about doing what she can to keep her kids healthy, save some cash and help the environment. And this is what has launched her into business as the owner of Bear Bums, an online green baby business.
"My idea was to make cloth diapering accessible to everyone," Cox says. "The hardest thing was to find the diapers."
Spend any time speaking to Cox about cloth diapers and you soon realize that there are many forms, techniques and styles but that they all have the same results, low cost and great benefit to the environment.
"I love cloth diapers because they keep garbage out of the landfill," Cox explains, "But I also love them because they save trees and cloth diapers are just something great to do for your baby."
Cox is quick to acknowledge that bums need to be changed and that with cloth diapers you will not get the "as seen on TV" 12 hours of dryness. She's not a fan of keeping a baby in a soiled diaper - absorbent or not.
"What is that sitting next to your kid?" Cox asks. "What is making that plastic diaper so absorbent and do you really not want to change your kid for 12 hours?"
Whatever reason parents use to make a decision to embrace cloth diapers, Cox says she just wants to make it easier for them.
"Cloth diapers are not cheap," says Cox. "I understand if someone is going to pay $20 on a diaper that they want to touch it and feel it."
And this is part of the service that she offers. Cox runs her business online but she gets out to local mom's groups and she's happy to consult with parents in the community. She carries a number of styles and diaper brands and bottom line; the best choice is the one the parents make for their baby.
"It doesn't matter why you do it," Cox says. "Just do it. It's easy."
And even though the upfront costs are high at around $20 per diaper, Cox says that during the diaper years the savings add up quickly and can deliver thousands of dollars in savings - especially if you have more then one child.
The diapers come in different styles and have different absorbent layers called boosters that can be inserted depending on how much your child wets and where they wet.
As for messier situations, Cox says that all diapers leak.
"If there's force behind it, it's going to leak," she laughs.
Clean-up for cloth includes dumping out anything that can be dumped out into the toilet. Cox says this should be done with disposables also but that mostly folks toss out the diaper with the bowel movement still attached. This is not good for our landfill sites.
A laundry sprayer can be used to loosen any stuck-on items and then the diapers can be laundered in hot water. There are certain detergents that should be used and when the diapers are washed and dried properly they will remain naturally absorbent and they will last for years.
Cox says a newborn will go through 10 diapers in a day and that cloth diapering does mean an extra load of laundry every few days. Line drying in the sun is also recommended because of the natural anti-bacterial benefits of the sun.
Cox even carries styles that will grow with your baby so you only ever need one size.
Fabrics range from good old-fashioned cotton to bamboo and the styles and colours on the bearbums.ca website are numerous.
Besides being passionate about the environment, Cox also has a desire to support Canadian products and while she does stock some American items on her website she prefers Canadian.
"These are quality products made with Canadian materials," Cox says. "They might be a bit more expensive but the support is there if there is ever a question or an issue with the product. I stand behind what I'm selling and I always see if it's made in Canada."
Cox says some of her favourite lines right now are the cloth diaper lines from Apple Cheeks and AMP. Canadian moms make both product lines and Cox says she's feeling good about the business choices she is making.
Cox says she's enjoying connecting with parents and helping them realize what a great thing it is to use cloth diapers. And when she speaks with older women often there is a discussion about why anyone ever stopped using cloth diapers in the first place.
"It's scary to think about where all the diapers are going and how long they will sit in landfill," says Cox. "I just hope I can help people see that this is easy to do and in the end what really hits home is the dollar signs. This is really a way to save some money for your family."
Cox says it's been a slow process getting her business up and running but that she's fine with the slow pace.
"I'm the tortoise," Cox says. "I'm thinking about what I'm doing and what I'm selling and I stand behind each of the products I sell."
In addition to cloth diapers Cox also sells lunch containers made of quality stainless steel, teething ring jewelry, organic art supplies and baby carriers. Cox offers gift certificates and is happy to consult with parents who are thinking about making the switch to cloth.
"From the moment your baby is born until 30 months of age, your baby will go through approximately 5,400 throwaway diapers," Cox says. "This can cost you anywhere from $1500 - $2500. By choosing to use cloth, you can expect to spend in the region of $400-$700 for the entire diapering experience on one child, add more kids into the mix and double, triple and if you are brave quadruple your savings."
You can find Leslie Cox and her products online at bearbums.ca