TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — “I love that my life isn’t just about me anymore,” Jessica Abrams said as Ava, her 8-month-old daughter, stood on her mother’s knee and tugged at her hair.
As Jessica makes changes in her life being a new mom, she hopes to make changes on both a local and global scale with her new cloth diaper delivery service in Truckee.
Loads of Joy aims to help moms in the Truckee-Tahoe area save on the expense of disposable diapers and also cut back on environmental waste.
“Babies are loads of joy and we do loads of joyful diapers,” Jessica said.
Loads of Joy offers a premium and a standard service for clients, offering a bi-weekly pick up of dirty diapers and drop off of clean ones, based on client need.
When consulting new parents, Jessica offers an educational session on diapering, pails and liners, cloth diapers and cotton wipes, and starter amounts of flushable wipes, cloth wiping solution and safe rash ointment.
Nora Beauchamp is mom to 7-month-old Annabelle and recently signed up for Loads of Joy’s services because of its convenience, and her desire to be eco-friendly and more budget conscious.
“I love it because it’s just as easy as disposables,” Nora said. “It’s fast and I’m not the one doing the cleanup.”
Nora said she uses both cloth and disposable diapers and the convenience of Loads of Joy allows Nora to change Annabelle’s diaper every hour if needed.
“This is so convenient,” said Nora, who lives in Truckee. “It’s so much easier and it’s something that is desperately needed up here.”
A changing industry
Cloth diapers have come a long way since the days of bulky diaper pins. Plastic snaps allow for adjustable size and cloth inserts make for quick changes of the same cloth diaper.
Both the inserts and the outer part of the diaper are washable.
“It’s like using disposable plates and utensils,” Jessica said. “It’s okay to do it sometimes, but you don’t use them every single day for every single meal.”
The battle of cloth diapers versus disposable diapers is in its second decade after cloth saw a resurgence against the disposable diaper industry in the early 90s. Advocates for cloth argue against disposables’ environmental impact.
Diapers are one of the most abundant substances in landfills and are projected to last anywhere from 200-500 years.
“When [Ava’s] grandchildren are dead the diapers could still be here,” said Jessica.
On an individual basis, cloth diapers are suggested to be a source for quicker toilet training. According to an article in the New York Times, studies found that 60 percent of babies today are potty trained by 36 months, while 97 percent were out of diapers and using toilets by 18 months in 1957.
“You can see how the average age of potty training has skyrocketed since disposable diapers,” Jessica said.
It is thought disposables’ absorbent gel inhibits children from feeling “wet,” which then stalls the physical connection between their discomfort in a diaper and using the toilet.
Working hard to stay home
The passion Jessica has as a new mother is exactly how she came up with Loads of Joy.
“It’s not so much about a successful business, it’s about getting babies into cloth,” Jessica said. “It took some research and educating myself and then I became passionate about it.”
Being reared herself in cloth diapers, she was looking for a way to help other moms, while spending time with Ava.
“I thought, ‘what can I do to bring in an income and stay home with my baby?’” Jessica said.
Loads of Joy’s premium and standard service cover all of Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. More information can be found by calling Jessica at 530-214-8863.
“It’s not so much about a successful business, it’s about getting babies into cloth.”