Tinkle Belle Diaper Service has officially ended the cloth vs disposable diaper debate for me! Let’s be honest: changing diapers is gross. It smells, it’s messy, and is overall unpleasant. You parents out there know what I’m talking about! And for
The disposable vs. cloth debate is something I spent hours contemplating before having my daughter. Disposables are typically portrayed as being less fuss and more convenient. And cloth is often portrayed as being a gross, disgusting mess. So do we go the more environmentally-friendly and safe route? Or do we go with (what seemed like) the overwhelmingly easier option?
With Tinkle Belle Diaper Service it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Their service makes using cloth just as easy as using disposables. And as if that wasn’t enough, they are the same price as disposable diapers!
With Tinkle Belle Diaper Service, you get the best of both worlds — the convenience of disposables AND the environmentally-friendly benefits of cloth. Just toss the cloth in the diaper pail/bag and their service picks them up and drops off clean diapers. Soooo easy!!
After finding out about this wonderful service, I wished I had access to it while cloth diapering my daughter. I think it’s so important for parents to understand the benefits of cloth diapering, so I asked the owner of Tinkle Belle Diaper Service, Jessica Simon, some questions:
Tell me about your family and your connection to SLO county.
I live in Santa Barbara with my husband and our French Bulldog, Crickett. I also have a big Italian family back on the East Coast. I’ve been here for 10 years now & have always loved visiting the Santa Ynez Valley, SLO & everywhere in between. Believe it or not, those areas remind me so much of where I grew up in rural New Jersey.
When I initially opened my diaper service in Santa Barbara, there was already a service in SLO. We connected, talked diapers, and even explored working together. At the end of 2015, the owners decided to leave town for family reasons & encouraged me to expand north to continue offering service to their current clients. Since then, I have taken over their service area, which allows me to serve customers from Carpinteria to Atascadero. I’m partial to believing I service some of the most gorgeous parts of our country.
What inspired you to start Tinkle Belle Diaper Service?
I’m not going to lie, when a friend of mine first mentioned cloth diapers, I thought she was crazy. Weren’t cloth diapers a huge, gross pain in the butt, complete with pins? She explained to me how easy, adorable & affordable they were. We spoke about the waste issues with disposable diapers (an average of 80 diapers per week for 3 years!), but again, I had never thought of cloth as a viable option. When she started to talk about the chemicals in disposable diapers and the dangers they post, that’s when I really got ticked off! I considered myself fairly informed about issues regarding waste & chemical exposure in our society, but I was shocked! I wanted to help educate new parents & to offer them an option.
The concept of cloth diapering often seems so overwhelming to a family. I can make it easy for them to make the safest choice for their family.
What were you doing before starting Tinkle Belle?
I’ve always worked for causes that I am passionate about. My background is in nonprofit arts fundraising. I started as a college intern with stars in my eyes in New York City & made it to California on dreams of palm trees, so I’ve been very lucky to work to support the arts in both places! I actually still have an amazing job at the Lobero Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara. I am proud to give back to my community and to work with such an amazing & supportive team.
Why should families consider using cloth diapers?
Modern day cloth diapers are easy, adorable & affordable. These are not your grandma’s cloth diapers–no pins allowed!
Most important to me, though, is that they are safe. The standards for disposable diapers are not acceptable. Baby’s poorly developed outer skin layer absorbs 50 different chemicals if you use disposable diapers, wipes, and standard baby products. Disposable diapers contain Dioxin, a carcinogenic chemical, Tribytly-tin (TBT), a toxic pollutant, and sodium polyacrylate, which increases the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Since they were developed, there are higher rates of asthma, breathing problems, and skin issues. And don’t forget about diaper rash! That was not a common phenomenon until disposables came about.
Another incentive to use cloth is that babies in cloth potty train an average of one year sooner than babies in disposables. And cloth diaper babies have less blowouts! Cloth diapering is something that you can feel really good about AND it can make your life easier!
Are there any myths about cloth diapers you want to be sure families are aware of and know the truth about?
Myth: We shouldn’t cloth diaper because of the drought.
Truth: The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth. Additionally, using our service instead of washing at home will conserve even more water and energy.
Myth: I can’t afford a diaper service.
Truth: You can use a cloth diaper service for the same cost as disposables.
Myth: I don’t want to deal with the pins.
Truth: No pins! Fasteners are easy & won’t stick you or the baby.
Myth: You can’t cloth diaper until they are out of the newborn stage.
Truth: You can cloth diaper from day 1. Newborn diapers are adorable!
How can Tinkle Belle help a cloth diapering family?
If you are interested in cloth, but feeling overwhelmed, I’m here. Let me do the dirty work for you! Some families use my service from newborn to potty training, while others will sign up for the service to get them through the newborn stage. This allows them to adjust to their new lifestyle as well as figure out which kinds of diapers they want to invest in.
My belief is always: the more babies in cloth, the better. Please use me as a community resource, even if you don’t use my service. I know way too much about cloth diapers, so please reach out if you have questions about your diapering process.
Do you offer educational/training services for those thinking about cloth diapering?
Yes! Before a family starts cloth diapering, I come to them for an in-home set-up and training appointment. All diapering parties are invited–parents, grandparents, baby-sitters, etc. We go over everything they need to know and I am always available to help my families with any issues they are having.
I also carry all of the cloth diapering supplies, so there is no need to do research beforehand, which saves families time and energy.
I’m also willing to hold workshops for interested groups. I often hold them for PEP groups & Birth Center classes. If you have an interested group, please reach out.
What is your favorite part about owning Tinkle Belle?
I LOVE working with families during such an important time. This is definitely a passion project. It feels good to support families, to educate about how amazing cloth is & of course to cuddle as many babies as possible.
What challenges did you encounter when getting the business started?
There are a lot of myths about cloth that I am working to dispel. Disposables have come to be accepted as the norm. The education process is long and slow.
Running your own business means that you get to do the parts that you like, plus all of the parts that you don’t! (I’m more scared of numbers than I am of dirty diapers). Because of the rate that Tinkle Belle has grown over the past year, I’m always looking for good people to learn from, partner with and employ. If you aren’t afraid of a dirty diaper, please get in touch!
Who inspires you and what keeps you motivated?
My families inspire me. The genuine relief & gratitude that they show me for offering this service is very affirming. Getting emails with cute baby pictures always makes my day. Learning how many diapers each week that I kept out of landfills is awesome motivation. Meeting with new families during such a special time is also very energizing!
What do you hope the future holds for Tinkle Belle?
I look forward to the day when cloth is the default and disposables are the exception to the rule!
What is your favorite thing you’ve found in a diaper bag?
A Star Wars sock. My clients are so cute!
What is the strangest thing you’ve found in a diaper bag?
A tooth! Not a baby tooth, maybe a dog tooth???
Are you offering any sales to new customers?
New customers who sign up ge 10% off their first full month of service!
Learn more about cloth, stay up-to-date on upcoming events in your area, and be the first to hear about specials by joining the Tinkle Belle Diaper Service email list!
Tinkle Belle Diaper Service makes using cloth diapers just as easy and cost-effective as using disposables! Please consider cloth and learning more about the benefits of cloth if you’re currently pregnant or diapering. I wish I would have known about Jessica’s service while diapering my daughter and hope the information Jessica offered above helps you with the decision on how to diaper your kiddos!
Thank you to Jessica for sharing her knowledge with us and her service with SLO County!