- why ?
- cloth diapers
- diaper inserts
- change mats
Q. Why should I choose cloth diapers as compared to disposables?
A. Glad you asked:
1) You want your kids to leave a better legacy than their dirty disposables: Until a North American baby is potty trained it contributes approximately 6000 disposables to the landfill which will remain there until your child’s great great great great great great great great grandchildren are born (500 years- just so that you don’t have to do the math). On the other hand most cloth diapers, as their name suggests, mainly consist of cloth which will completely disintegrate back into the ecosystem at the end of its life-cycle.
2) You don’t use candles to light your home: Imagine buying candles from a big box store to light up your home for an hour at a time and then lighting another one that will also need replacing. It is inefficient to use candles to light your home, apart from the fact that it could also be messy and expensive, dangerous at times- plus they wouldn’t do a good job anyways (can I make the analogy to disposables any more clear??). Using candles to light your home in a power outage would make sense because it is a temporary solution to the lack of electricity. That is how one should view disposable- as a temporary solution. As a long term solution cloth diapers are the sustainable choice and the more efficient one. In other words if you use a bulb instead of candles than switching to cloth diapers should be an obvious choice.
3) You are not a billionaire: Even the most luxurious and expensive cloth diapers will end up costing you far less than disposables, when you compare on a per diaper change basis. Most people go the extra mile to save some cash since “money does not grow on trees” but when it comes to diapering their kids they will not think twice about putting their hard-earned money on the side of the curb- wrapped in a garbage bag, of course.
4) You do things thinking about the long term: If you had to choose between a $100 car that will not last you more than a month compared to a $2000 car that will last you at least 4 years- which one would you choose? I am guessing the $2000 car unless you want an escape vehicle after robbing the bank. If you have or plan to buy a house as opposed to renting for the rest of your life, you have thought about the long term benefits and cost savings. Dropping a little bit more cash to buy cloth diapers will definitely save a you a lot more money in the long run because you will not be spending $50/week for the next 2 ½ years buying disposables.
5) You don’t like driving to your a big box retailer every week: Every parent that has used disposable will tell you that they are in constant fear of running out of disposables and if they are all out they dread doing the 2am round to get their next fix. It is how Jerry Seinfeld describes the fear of running out of milk, but at least milk is healthy, nutritious and it makes some ordinary cereal taste incredible; cannot say the same about disposables. Cloth diapers save you the time, energy and hassle of visiting your drug store (pun unintentional) every week. You will have enough things on your “buy-list” anyways, once your family starts growing.
6) You love your kid’s tush: Your lil one will definitely appreciate the fact that you are covering their most delicate parts with soft, natural cotton and not chemical ridden plastics and potentially harmful material. In return they might be less cranky and a tad bit happier. And when your kid grows up and refuses to put you in the better retirement home just because it’s a longer drive from where they live, tell them that you used cloth diapers since you wanted the very best for their well being... and now this is how they repay you. We’ll gladly accept a portion of your pension, if you want to say thanks.
7) You want to help the community: Admit it, if you had the time and the energy, you would be volunteering at your local soup kitchen or donating a part of your paycheck, be it just a tiny fraction, to a worthy cause. Well, we too are like that. We will give one brand new PUL cloth diaper to a family in need for every 3 diapers we sell. This gift will be made on behalf of our patrons, our customers, and will be done at the end of each month. The Baby Do Good section of our website is where we will hold ourselves accountable for our pledged diapers. By committing to this pledge we are contributing our drop in the ocean. To be fair, the credit still rests with our customers for making it possible.
Q. Why make cloth diapers and other baby stuff when you are "supposedly qualified" to design airplanes and spaceships?
A. When Sophie & I went to baby stores looking for cloth diapering options for our yet unborn child, we found good products, but they weren’t great & both of us being thrifty shoppers- found it expensive. My passion for saving my "hard-earned" money combined with the inherent geekiness drove me to design a more functional & affordable diaper that could be used on on our baby. Nader was sucked into it since he had his evenings free and is a faster CAD monkey than yours truly. We were trying to solve our own problem and realized that this quandary is probably being faced by other parents who want to do the right thing without selling their right kidney. When we build planes and spaceships- we know that the probability of ever owning a plane that we help build is slim to none. There was never a personal connection with what we were creating- no matter how much we enjoyed doing it. But with creating cloth diapers we knew that we were solving a real world problem and through that we could also help struggling parents with sustainable diapering options, through our Baby Do Good program.
Q. How do you sell your products for far less than other companies?
A. Apart from the known fact that we are terrible businessmen, there are several other reasons that have contributed to this seeming lack of judgement:
1) We don’t make our consumers pay our office rent, if you didn’t already know, we don’t have an office. We operate from a Starbucks / Second Cup/ Tim Hortons until asked to make room for paying customers. During my my daughter's nap time, I also pretend to do work at home.
2) Both Nader and I, live like monks: I eat twice a day and feed Nader once- only if he is nice.
3) Profits are not our only motivation to provide good products. We need profits to sustain, but we know that profitability will not be possible if we don’t give our products good value. By keeping costs low, we encourage more people to use our stuff & contribute to the cloth diapering movement.
4) Hoping that more people will subscribe to our message we will eventually make our money in volume sales/karma (winning a lottery!!!!) if not through high margins.
Q. Do you guys cut corners to make cheaper products?
A. Our products are not cheap- they are inexpensive/ affordable/ reasonably priced- not cheap. Cheap is the stuff you buy from your local Dollar Shop that comes apart in two uses. We keep our costs low by optimizing our resources like inventory, staff & logistics, buying and selling local products as much as possible, not having a brick and mortar shop or high initial start-up costs which would require us to invest in machinery that we don’t really need. Once we do all this- we pass the savings to our community rather that have ginormous profit margins. But in all honesty, we will not sell anything, not even a single item, that that we are not comfortable using on our own children. We aim to roll in cash one day and thus religiously buy lottery tickets.
Q. I am NOT in love with your cloth diapers, so I guess its disposables for me, unless you can convince me otherwise?
A. If we are in the same city, one of us could come outside your home and serenade you with our lovely sing-songs or do a little break dancing routine that we created to win over our customers. If that does not woo you, rather than losing you to the evil clutches of big diaper, may we suggest you give our other cloth diaper brethren a glance. All of them do a wonderful job of promoting the cause of sustainable diapering. Here are few of our favorites, in no particular order:
Even outside of this limited list you'll find other great cloth diapers that will suit your particular needs, so please don't give up on cloth diapers. Since, we will update our range of products on a continual basis, please do come back at a later time and hopefully we will be able to impress you.
Q. Where are your diapers and accessories made?
A. Canada and China.
Yes, that's right. We make some products here in Canada. Some in China. If you've been following us the last few years you'll notice the change as we have moved many of our products to Canadian manufacturing. All our wipes, blankets, swaddlers, wetbags, and crib mats are made here in Canada. Mostly in Toronto, actually. Everything except the diapers are now made in Canada.
Did you say China? Yes, we said China. Now here’s the long answer for folks who are a tad bit more curious about why we chose to make our diapers in China. Nader and I started the design process for our diaper in early 2009 with the intention of making the diapers in Canada. We made a few hundred diapers locally in Toronto, Canada. All the raw materials and supplies were bought locally and we got our diapers manufactured in front of us. The cost of production was too restrictive. The high cost of our initial product was also preventing us from donating one brand new cloth diaper to a family in need for every three diapers we sold- a mission that was more essential to our venture than the business plan itself.
We also realized that most of the materials and supplies that were being used were coming from overseas. Almost all the cotton that is used in any garment is coming either from India or China. Bamboo exclusively comes from Asia. The elastic and snaps are imported from China. So basically when you import a diaper from China, you are getting it at a later stage of production as opposed to importing the materials (cotton or bamboo). Even the guys who claim that their materials are Made in Canada/USA, could technically make the fabric here but the yarn still comes from Asia. Having said that, we would've still preferred to make the diapers in Canada but then we would not have been able to offer our diaper for a reasonable price and also have our 3 for 1 plan.
Hence, we started looking for other options. I went to China and stayed there for a month to find a workshop that will let me view its facilities to ascertain that our products are being made in a healthy environment. I visited 5 workshops mostly in Southern China. Some were dirty, some had bad quality control and others would not let me visit certain parts of their facilities. None of the workshops that were turned down by us were rejected on the basis of cost. There were always other things that did not sit well with us.
After vetting 5 workshops, we finally arrived to the workshop that is currently fulfilling our orders. According to lady who owned the facility I was the first foreigner to visit their workshop. Most buyers deal with them over the Internet as their office is located in a small town in Northern China and their factory is another 3 hours from their office. They didn’t understand why I was insistent in seeing where they manufacture their products.
That was October 2010. It took us a year to get the materials, workmanship and quality to a high standard where we would be comfortable to put our name against the product. Every step of the way we also sampled the products on my daughter and a bunch of other CD babes, incorporating their suggestions into our design.
We believe that there is a right way of doing business with China and then there is the fast and easy way. The right way is to go vet several workshops and be comfortable with the way your products are being made. During this grueling process both Nader & I were cognizant that my own daughter would be using the diaper along with every parents' most prized possession. The fast and easy way is to look up a company in China on the net that can make your product for the least amount of money in the fastest time without caring how and where its made. Frankly, we wouldn't be able to sleep at night if the latter option was exercised.
Q. How do we prep lil helper cloth diapers before use? or What are your washing instructions before use?
A. Before using any of our cloth diapers, we recommend you wash them at least once in hot or cold water to get rid of any external dirt and to increase absorbency of the liners. Please use half of the recommended detergent. Also, do a cold rinse cycle to get rid of any leftover detergent. Always remember, the more detergent that's leftover on the diaper the faster you'll have an ammonia build up and your diapers will become less absorbent. The more you wash the liners, the more fluffy and absorbent they'll become. Some diaper companies will ask you to wash the diapers 5 or 6 times before use to get the best absorbency, but we think it is wasteful for an eco-conscious parent like yourself to waste hundreds of liters of water to gain 10 or 20 ml extra absorbency out of diapers. You will wash the diapers with use anyways and you'll get your 5th and 6th wash through using them.
For those preferring the "graphic" version of washing and drying your dipes, check out our snazzy graphicical explanation!
A. Please make sure any solid "stuff" is already out of the diapers and liners before you throw it in the washer.
When it comes to detergent, we realize not one size fits all. You may need/want something other than Tide due to allergies/sensitivities or other personal reasons, but we want to make sure that whatever you choose to use is cloth diaper safe.
We use Fluff Love University's resources as they have compiled their vast knowledge of cloth diaper laundry in one place. They have a great detergent index which shows what is and is not cloth safe.
To see their full list of recommended (and not) detergents, and amounts to use, please check out their detergent index here > http://www.fluffloveuniversity.com/how-to-wash-cloth-diapers/detergent-index/
As ecophiles, we would recommend that you line or hang dry our cloth diapers after each wash. But we have families and tight schedules and amazing dryers, too. So if you put our liners in the dryer use the tumble dry setting with medium heat. We recommend that our diapers covers or diaper shells not be put in the dryer, if possible. This is to ensure that the PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) lining which is heat bonded on the inside of the outer layer of our shell (read it again if not clear) is not eroded. The PUL is what makes our diapers waterproof and the less heat it is exposed to the longer it will stay bonded to the fabric. If you absolutely have to put the diaper shells or diaper covers in the dryer do so at a low to medium heat. If you are drying the diapers shells and liners together, remove the diaper shells from the dryer after 10-20 minutes. From our experience, the diaper shells dry out far more quickly as compared to the liners.
Q. How many lil helper cloth diapers should I buy if I am going to use the diapers exclusively?
A. Here's a great infographic that explains how many diapers you need and why.
Our diaper shells or covers are designed to allow parents to use it multiple times during diaper changes, where only the soiled or wet insert is replaced with a fresh one. Hence, instead of buying more diapers, you would save money and reduce your laundry load by buying more inserts. You can interchange any diaper with any insert in our store.
So I assume you want to do a laundry load every 2-3 days. A newborn is expected to go through 8-12 diaper changes a day- lets average it out to 10 diaper changes a day. This is the maximum number of times you will change your child, hence this is the worst case scenario.
As your child gets older, you will need fewer diaper changes.
You can easily reuse the Lil Helper diaper cover at least twice before putting it for a wash. Thus, each day you would need 6 diaper covers with 10 pairs of inserts. We have conveniently set up a Day Pack for you which has enough diapers, extra inserts + accessories for 1 full day of cloth diapering needs.
After two days, you'll have 12 soiled diaper covers and 20 soiled insert sets. End of 2 days, you would have 2 dirty Day Packs.
While you are laundering the soiled diapers you'll still have 6 clean diaper covers and 10 sets of fresh inserts or 1 full day pack. For three days you would need 18 diapers (each diaper comes with a pair of charcoal inserts) and an additional 12 inserts, which is basically 3 Day Packs.
You could get a few more diapers just to give you a little bit of cushion. For the fourth day, assuming you've washed and dried the diapers on the third night you'll have your stash clean and ready for another round of (ab)use.
Q. How do I snap and unsnap cloth diapers? How do I ensure that the snaps on your cloth diapers don't come off?
A. Here's a video by Mohammed, Chief Doo-Doo Officer at Lil Helper explaining how to take care of the snaps. Enjoy.
Q. Can trial diapers be returned/refunded?
A. We are sorry we will not be able to issue a refund for any trial diapers purchased from our websites unless there is a manufacturing defect. If there is a manufacturing defect with our diaper contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will resolve it immediately. Our trial diapers are provided at a considerable discount + free shipping so that potential customers such as yourself are able to try our diapers with very little to lose. We actually lose money on each trial diaper that is sent out. Neither our product is cheap nor is the shipping. Regardless, we feel that it is necessary that our customers buy their entire stashes from us with the peace of mind that we are a good company to deal with and provide a fantastic product. The trial diaper is our “trial by fire”. We lose money on each individual transaction but hope to gain you as a customer. Unfortunately, for any reason if you are not completely satisfied with our product- I am sorry for letting you down.
Q. May I exchange the color/print that I received in my trial package?
A. We can understand that you were hoping your Trial Diaper would be a different color/print than you received. We DO have super cute prints and solids on our webpage! Our Trial Diaper Deal is packaged and shipped at an EXTREME discount so you can check out Lil Helper with minimal investment. Shipping the Trial back to us just to exchange the color/print would not be worth it for you from a shipping perspective because it would more than triple the cost of the Trial. We hope you use the coupon included with the Trial on your next order. If you let us know in the notes of your order that you would prefer a specific color/print, we will do our best to send your preference as your free diaper! Here is Mohammed, Captain Poopy-pants, with a bit more detail about this policy:
Q. Can we return diapers or any other accessories purchased from Lil Helper?
A. Within 30 days of receiving your package you may return your diapers/accessories for a full refund minus the shipping charges that were borne by us to send the package to you. Only products purchased directly from www.lilhelper.ca or www.lilhelperdiapers.com can be returned. Even if you paid us our nominal $5.99 charge for orders under $79, the shipping is always much more than that. We will subtract the actual shipping charges that were incurred by us and refund the rest of the amount as soon as we receive the package. For example: If your order amount is $140 (incl. tax) and the shipping fees that we paid to ship the product to you was $15. We will be issuing you a partial refund of $140-$15= $125. Our Delight team will let you know of the refund you should expect before you send back the package. The shipping charges to our warehouse will be at your expense. We suggest that you use a tracked shipping service so you can be sure that the package was received at our warehouse. Your refund will only be issued if: You can only return to us products that were bought from www.lilhelper.ca or www.lilhelperdiapers.com. We cannot accept any returns from product bought from any other resellers or vendors. The diapers and/or accessories are in brand new condition with the packaging still on. The diapers and/or accessories have never been worn or washed. Just as you would want to be sure that all the products received from us are brand new, we want to give that same peace of mind to all other customers. If you send back the package within 30 days of you receiving the package. We never sell returned goods again. These goods are either given away or sold as seconds, but never return back to our shelves or go back in normal circulation. Please don’t worry about sending back the teas or the chocolates. Speaking from experience, I look like war ravaged animal when there is a piece of chocolate in front of me. I barely breathe while eating chocolate. I hope you enjoyed them.
Q. Can any bundles/deals be returned for a refund?
A. We are sorry but all bundles and deals are considered final sale. No deals/bundles can be returned for a refund. If you would like to exchange anything that you’ve bought directly from www.lilhelper.ca or www.lilhelperdiapers.com, it can be done within 30 days of you receiving the package. Your exchange will only be allowed if: You can only exchange products that were bought from www.lilhelper.ca or www.lilhelperdiapers.com. We cannot do any exchanges for products bought from any other resellers or vendors. The diapers and/or accessories are in brand new condition with the packaging still on. The diapers and/or accessories have never been worn or washed. Just as you would want to be sure that all the products received from us are brand new, we want to give that same peace of mind to all other customers. If you send back the package within 30 days of you receiving the package. The shipping charges to our warehouse will be at your expense. We suggest that you use a tracked shipping service so you can be sure that the package was received at our warehouse. We will have to charge you a nominal fee of $13 for any package that is shipped back to you to carry out your exchange. We will be sending you an invoice for shipping back the product to you via PayPal.
Q. May I exchange a bundle (day pack etc)?
A. If you would like to exchange anything that you’ve bought directly from www.lilhelper.ca or www.lilhelperdiapers.com, it can be done within 30 days of you receiving the package. Your exchange will only be allowed if: You can only exchange products that were bought from www.lilhelper.ca or www.lilhelperdiapers.com. We cannot do any exchanges for products bought from any other resellers or vendors. The diapers and/or accessories are in brand new condition with the packaging still on. The diapers and/or accessories have never been worn or washed. Just as you would want to be sure that all the products received from us are brand new, we want to give that same peace of mind to all other customers. If you send back the package within 30 days of you receiving the package. The shipping charges to our warehouse will be at your expense. We suggest that you use a tracked shipping service so you can be sure that the package was received at our warehouse. We will have to charge you a nominal fee of $13 for any package that is shipped back to you to carry out your exchange. We will be sending you an invoice for shipping back the product to you via PayPal.
Q. What happens if my order was shipped to the wrong address?
A. Please let me say, I am sorry for the inconvenience. It’s a pain in the rear to deal with any of the shipping companies. Fret not, we have ways to get around it. So, this is how the shipping costs for an order shipped to the wrong address works: Say your order was shipped with Canada Post/USPS for $15. It goes to the wrong address and bounces back to the warehouse. The shipping company will charge us another $15 to bring it back. We have no control over the return, it will come back to us regardless of what we do. Now we pay another $15 to ship it back to you. So, in total, the costs of shipping the package becomes $45. ($15 initial shipping to wrong address + $15 return shipping to the warehouse + $15 shipping to the correct address = $45). If the order was shipped out to the wrong address and it was our fault, we will take full responsibility for it. You don’t have to worry about a thing. Just sit back, make yourself a mimosa or two and let us handle the dirty work. It is going to cost us a ton of money to fix the mistake but then, we should have been more careful to begin with. Once in a while, the incorrect address is given to us: Say your actual house number is 30 but because you’ve had a long day and placing the order at 3 am in the morning after getting up and feeding your baby, you mistakenly put house number 38. Or, you forgot to give us your apartment or suite number. Stuff like this happens all the time. If you catch the mistake before the order is shipped out and let us know about it, we will change your address and make sure it is delivered to the right address. However, once the package leaves our door we have no control. If that is the case, we beg and plead with you to help us out with the shipping costs. The best way we can deal with that, is if you help out with half of the shipping expenses. So, of the supposed $45, we’d humbly request you to bear 50% of the total cost. We will still be sharing the cost of the shipping with you, even though it's not our fault. Regardless of whose fault it is, if the order is shipped to a neighbour of yours, just go and tell them as quickly as you can that they will be getting a delivery in your name in a day or so and please save the package for you. If you live in a small town or community, you can also talk to your post office or postman/woman and let them know that you are expecting a package with the wrong address and they will gladly still deliver it to you. This will help save all of us a lot of time and cash.
Lil Helper will guarantee workmanship and materials in a properly cared for product for one year from the date of purchase. Our Warranty covers all components of our products including the snaps, lining, elastic and waterproofing. The warranty is extended to the original purchaser of the products only.
Proof of purchase from an authorized retailer is required if you have not purchased your product directly from this site.
To make a warranty claim, product must be sent at customer's expense to us for examination of workmanship and materials. After reviewing your issue, we may replace the diaper or provide you with simple instructions for resolving the problem you are having.
Except in cases of manufacturing or component defect, this guarantee does not cover leaking, diaper odor or normal wear/tear or inappropriate undoing of the snaps. We have provided a video explaining the correct procedure for undoing the snaps.
Warranty is void when:
No refunds are available on starter kits, trial diapers, day packs, or lite diaper kits.
Refunds and exchanges will only be issued for any unused and unwashed products that can be re-sold, except in the case of manufacturer defect. Lil Helper shipping costs for the original order will be deducted from the refund in cases where FREE shipping has applied. Shipping and handling costs are not refundable.
We require a proof of purchase for all exchanges and replacements, as well as a photograph of the item, if the item is not being returned. We will only accept products purchased from an approved Lil Helper retailer or from our website.
Refunds and exchanges do not include shipping costs and must be made within 30 days of purchase.
We require a proof of purchase for all exchanges and replacements, as well as a photograph of the item, if the item is not being returned. We will only accept products purchased from an approved Lil Helper retailer or from our website.