TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A West Lafayette woman is using her knowledge of cloth diapering to help parents across Greater Lafayette.
Lafayette resident Ana Ruiz said she spent months trying to figure out what was causing her daughter's diaper rash.
"We couldn't figure out what was causing this really bad reaction on her skin," Ruiz explained.
Then she saw a Facebook post about a local cloth diaper loan program.
"I thought I'd give it a try, and within 24 hours her rash had just disappeared," Ruiz said.
Sarah Gotlund runs the free program, and applicants must live within 30 miles of West Lafayette.
If you qualify, Gotlund creates a wash routine and delivers a package of 24 cloth diapers, liners and a wash bag.
"The only thing they have to spend money on is detergent, which if you're washing clothing then you're already doing that anyway," Gotlund explained.
After a year, Gotlund picks up the diapers and sanitizes them for the next client, but there's another benefit to the program.
"One in three families struggle to afford diapers, and it's very expensive to be able to give disposable diapers to people continuously," Gotlund said.
Gotlund said without a local diaper bank, cloth diapers can make a big difference for families.
"That's one of the reasons why I have the program is for people who are finding it difficult and struggle to pay for disposable diapers," Gotlund added.
Gotlund said cloth diapers are also better for the environment.
"They estimate that it takes 500 years for [disposable diapers] to decompose in a landfill," she explained.
However, there are some misconceptions.
"I think that one of the biggest things that people think about with cloth diapers is that they're grandmothers or mothers cloth diapered," Gotlund said.
But these aren't your grandmother's cloth diapers.
"Now we have all-in-one diapers, pocket diapers, everything that you see on this table that's no different than a disposable diaper," explained Gotlund.
Ruiz said she had reservations about cloth diapers, but she's forever grateful for Gotlund and the program that helped her baby.
"Just try it," Ruiz said. "It's not as messy as you think. It's inexpensive and it's free. You have free diapers for a year to try and see if it works out for you."
Gotlund gets most of her diapers from donations, and there are no income requirements for the program.
Click here to register for the program.