Wednesday, August 1, 2012
North Chattanooga friends Lee Gates and Jason Mitchell began talking one day about how no one in Chattanooga offers a cloth diaper service. Shortly after, they met Will Joseph of St. Elmo, who was looking for a cloth diaper service for his first baby, Quinn.
“We wanted to do cloth diapering because of the health benefits,” said Joseph, referring to his family. “It seemed like a lot of work, so we looked for a cloth diaper service and could not find one.”
He said after meeting Gates and Mitchell they agreed that Chattanooga needed a cloth diaper service and began planning it.
“We’ve been planning and researching to find the best way to bring cloth to Chattanooga,” said Joseph. “Our eventual goal is to be in North Chattanooga. Our Swaddle Swap site will be there. A lot will be handled out of St. Elmo as well.”
Beginning Aug. 4, Wee Care Diaper Service staff will pick up dirty cloth diapers in linen bags for washing and drop off clean ones each week. Patrons can opt to have staff come directly to their home or elect to make the switch themselves at the designated Swaddle Swap drop-off location.
Joseph said through research the Wee Care Diaper Service team learned of harmful chemicals inside plastic diapers that should not be absorbed into a baby’s skin. He said cloth diapers are known for helping a baby potty train six months earlier too.
“The cloth is pretty thick and absorbent,” said Joseph. “It has three layers and two wings that fold. The way you fold it makes it thick and it has a super thick cloth insert in the diaper.”
For infants, Wee Care Diaper Service recommends 70 cloth diapers weekly; 55 for pre-toddlers; and 45 for toddlers.
“Cloth diapers are very easy to use,” said Gates. “It’s a healthy option that’s more affordable and better for kids.”
A father of three with another baby on the way, Mitchell said he used disposable diapers before, but is changing over to cloth diapers for his son Caleb, age 1, and his baby that will be born in January.
“Wee Care would love to see one out of five babies in Chattanooga wearing cloth [diapers] within five years,” he said.
He acknowledged that is a big goal, but said Chattanooga has accomplished many other big goals in the past.