Many remember when diapering babies, cloth was the only choice. The white, rectangular wrap held together by safety pins and covered with hard-to-clean rubber pants that your grandmother used. Then, in 1961, disposable diapers were introduced. Simple, effective and easy to use, they revolutionized the baby world, and presently account for 80 percent of all diapers used in the U.S. So, you might ask, with the convenience of disposables, do people really still use cloth diapers? The answer is a resounding "Yes." They are the vogue today, especially among environmentally conscious, "go green" parents.

Many remember when diapering babies, cloth was the only choice. The white, rectangular wrap held together by safety pins and covered with hard-to-clean rubber pants that your grandmother used. Then, in 1961, disposable diapers were introduced. Simple, effective and easy to use, they revolutionized the baby world, and presently account for 80 percent of all diapers used in the U.S. So, you might ask, with the convenience of disposables, do people really still use cloth diapers? The answer is a resounding "Yes." They are the vogue today, especially among environmentally conscious, "go green" parents.

Nationwide, only about 5 percent of all babies are in cloth. The number is growing as a result of increased awareness, but the choices can be confusing, and require a bit of education. There are flat and pre-folds, all-in-ones, pocket diapers, fitted and one-size, to name a few. Each has its own pros and cons and special characteristics.

A baby's health is always a parent's first concern. Cloth proponents point out that babies wearing cloth have only a 7 percent incidence of diaper rash compared to 78 percent of babies in disposables. This is attributed to the breathable quality of cotton fiber.

There are also environmental concerns. Switching to cloth diapers is an excellent start for altering your impact on the environment. Eighteen billion disposables are thrown into landfills each year and can take up to 500 years to decompose. They are the third largest source of solid waste. With landfills reaching capacity, this is a critical issue.

"The choices in the cloth world can be confusing", says Kristina Wenzl-Figueroa, owner of Eco Tots Diaper Service in Medford and Grants Pass. "It requires some effort and education to determine which product is right for both mother and baby. As a former teacher, I love to consult with new moms to give them the information they need to make an informed decision."

Eco Tots provides weekly pickup and delivery of cloth prefold diapers. Although the easiest way to use cloth is with a service, there is a startup cost of $25, which includes two waterproof covers and two duffle bags for soiled diapers. Eco Tots has literally "got you covered," Kristina says. "We supply both newborn (7-15 pounds) and toddler (up to 30 pounds). The cost for the service is $25 to $35 per week depending on where you live. We also carry preemie sizes (4-7 pounds), diapering accessories, gift certificates, baby shower gifts and organic baby products like rash creams and lotions."

Mary Pool, owner of Puddle's Place in Grants Pass has been in business five years as an organic resource. "My love affair with cloth started when I was given a gift of cloth diapers at the birth of my son in 2003," says Mary. "There was no local supplier so I took a break as a math instructor at Rogue Community College and started a business to fill the need."

Mary sells a variety of top brand cloth diapers and accessories such as diaper pail liners, cloth wipes, changing pads, baby carriers and ointments. She also offers a consultation service for new moms and a baby registry.

Using cloth diapers is a wonderful way to have both a healthy baby and participate in a more eco-friendly lifestyle. And isn't that what it's all about?