Are You Ready for a Change?

Cloth diapers are the freshest look in the playpen

When Dr. Stanley Hellerstein's two-year-old granddaughter Toba came to visit him in Kansas City last summer, his household garbage doubled. The reason: Toba's disposable diapers. That set Hellerstein, the chief kidney specialist at Children's Mercy Hospital, thinking about the 300,000 disposable diapers the hospital was using every year. At Hellerstein's urging, the hospital now swaddles its babies in cloth diapers that are provided by Kansas City's General Diaper Service.

The garbage glut has prompted thousands of parents to toss their disposable diapers and turn back to cloth. Their environmental awareness has fueled a rebirth for diaper services in hospitals and homes,...