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But the new cloth diapers are different from the ones that your grandma struggled to get around her baby’s bottom. While approximately half of cloth users still rely on fold-and-pin diapers provided by laundry services, new designs with cutesy names like Fuzzi Bunz, bumGenius, Kissaluvs and Happy Heinys that are made to be washed at home have developed cult followings. Velcro, buttons and snaps have replaced pins, and the diapers are fitted with elastic around the openings to hold tight around flailing legs. In place of old-fashioned rubber panties, the new cloths use water-resistant covers made of merino wool, nylon or polyurethane laminate. “They don’t leak or sag or get stinky,” says Jenn Labit [founder of BumGenius].
And though cloth diapers cost from $6 to $18 each, parents can take care of their baby’s needs straight through toilet training for a total cost of less than $300, whereas disposables may run up to $3,000.