History of Cloth Diapers Timeline

History of Cloth Diapers timeline

Year Event
2000 BC Ancient people used moss, wood shavings, grasses, or no diapers at all.
1000 Medieval babies wore swaddling bands, left unswaddled on bottom to change fresh cloth.
1800 Infant potty training- holding babies over bowls or a potty- was popular.
1849 Walter Hunt invents the safety pin. It makes securing diapers safer for babies and caregivers.
1887 Maria Allen Invents first mass produced diaper.
1910 Rubber baby pants are made but used infrequently as they gave babies rashes and chafed.
1910 Poor families used flour sacks as cloth diapers.
1930 Hand knit wool soakers a popular diaper cover.
1935 Diaper services become popular during the war years.
1938 The National Association of Diaper Services (NADS) is established.
1940 First “pin less” diaper invented by Joseph LaKritz, uses a buckle instead.
1942 Hourglass shaped diaper invented.
1942 WWII responsible for cloth diaper shortage.
1942 Sweden’s first paper diaper by PauliStróm.
1947 Dritz brings Dot Snappers to market- metal snaps. Sold in kits.
1947 Paddi, UK’s first disposable diaper, invented by Valerie Gordon-Hunter in the UK.
1949 Marion Donovan invents “The Boater,” credited as first modern cloth diaper.
1949 Chux, early disposable diaper brand, introduced by Chicopee.
1950 Prefold diaper is invented by a diaper service owner.
1950 Safe-T Di-Dee, another pinless diaper, invented.
1951 Playtex releases their two-piece diaper with flushable inserts.
1959 Cloth diaper brand Riegel uses Velcro on their diaper.
1960 Gerber acquires a bib and vinyl pants manufacturer and enters the diaper industry.
1961 P&G comes out Pampers, invented by Vic Mills.
1967 Disposable diapers get fastenable tape, first with Combinett diapers.
1969 Disana, a German cloth diaper brand, is created with their tie on nappy.
1974 Kimbies brand disposables create “baby shaped” diapers for better fit.
1976 Luvs brand disposable diapers introduced.
1982 SAP (Super absorbent polymers) added to diapers.
1982 Born to Love launches their catalog selling carriers, cloth diapers, and other natural parenting goods in Canada.
1984 First designer disposable diapers, made by Riegel, feature Cabbage Patch Dolls.
1984 Pampers begins using refastenable tape and hourglass shape.
1987 The Snappi, a diaper pin alternative, invented by Henni Visser, in South Africa.
1987 Bummis, Canadian makers of reusable diaper wraps with velcro, introduced.
1987 Kooshies enters the diapering business with a modern All in One diaper.
1989 Kimberly Clark introduces Pull-Up Goodnites.
1990 Eenee Designs creates first modern Hybrid flushable diapers with reusable cotton pant and plastic liner.
1990 Changing times : Cloth Diapering Today, a book about modern cloth diapers by Pat Bowerman, is published.
1990 Catalogs make it possible for parents to find and buy more modern cloth diapers.
1989 Compostable disposable diapers are brought to market by various brands.
1992 KangaWrap, made in Brazil, introduces a diaper cover with a pouch (pocket.)
1997 Diaper Changes: The Complete Diapering Book and Resource Guide, written by Theresa Rodriguez Farrisi, is published.
2000 Diaperpin.com, a cloth diaper resource website, is launched.
2000 Fuzzibunz debuts their patented pocket diaper.
2001 Kelly’s Closet begins selling cloth diapers online.
2002 Wonderoos changes the game with their One Size adjustable fit cloth diaper.
2002 Happy Heiny, designed by Lisa Byerline, enters the market with their pocket diaper.
2003 WAHM diapers are popular, now moms can sew patterns and sell from home. Cottage industry grows.
2004 The Real Diaper Association forms, begun by Lori Taylor, to advocate for cloth in the US.
2004 Diaper sprayers are sold in online diaper stores, make poop removal easier.
2004 HyenaCart.com is created by Karen Fegelman, an online marketplace for WAHM diapers.
2004 China exports “cheapie” diapers through Ebay and other sources. Coolababy is found online, other brands follow.
2005 gDiapers hybrid pants and flushable pads debut.
2005 Jenn Labit creates the One Size microfiber insert, then shortly after, the bumGenius One Size pocket.
2008 The RDIA (Real Diaper Industry Association) is formed to bring members of the cloth diapering industry together
2008 Kim Ormsby creates her “All in Two” diaper, Gro Baby, and creates a new diaper category.
2008 Pampers releases “Change ‘n Go” with replaceable inserts online only. Quickly kills off concept.
2008 KAMsnaps.com, distributor of resin snaps popular with diaper makers, is created.
2009 NADS folds into the RDIA.
2010 GroBaby rebrands as GroVia.
2010 Pampers Dry Max, less pulp diapers, cause outrage when parents report burns and rashes.
2011 In April the first Great Cloth Diaper Change took place. 5,026 babies set the first record.
2011 Changing Diapers – A Hip Mom’s Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering, a how-to book written by Kelly Wels is published.
2011 Giving Diapers, Giving Hope (GDGH) begins a non-profit cloth diaper lending service for families in the US.
2011 Dirty Diaper Laundry holds the first Flats and Handwashing Challenge, a 7 day awareness event.
2011 Babyville Boutique cloth diaper sewing supplies and kits hit shelves at Joanns.
2011 Spray Pal debuts their splatter sheild to make spraying cloth diapers less messy.
2012 Amy and Ilana, owners of AppleCheeks, appear on Dragon’s Den (Canadian version of Shark Tank) in January and leave with an investment.
2012 Tereson Dupuy appears on Shark Tank in September and asks for a $500k investment for 15% of her company Fuzzibunz. She leaves without a deal.
2012 Honest Co. unveils their designer disposable subscription service. Jessica Alba is the company founder.
2013 The #MakeClothMainstream hashtag is born. Spray Pal coined the term that started the movement.
2013 USPTO on April 23, 2013 for “Double gusset cloth diaper along with method for making the same” – US Pat. 8,425,483 by Kanga Care
2014 In February a WAHM diaper made by Sweet Southern Bums sells at auction for $2,025.
2014 GroVia funds the O.N.E. via Kickstarter and raises over 60k for the new diaper.
2015 bumGenius begins selling in Babies ‘r Us with an exclusive print for store locations.
2015 Blueberry and Me launches
2015 Gerber Childrenswear introduces their modern All in One, the first big brand to make a modern cloth diaper.
2015 Early July Bummis announces the merger of their company with Quebec based Mini Kiwi.

See a more interactive timeline with expanded information on chosen events on the History of Cloth Diapers Resource.