by Parenting By Nature
Let’s face it; we all know cloth diapers are better for the environment. In our disposable society anything that can be reused again and again is a clear winner. We are also a society that strongly appreciates 'value' and 'convenience'. Cloth diapers come out on top for these requirements, but did you know there are many reasons why more and more parents are choosing cloth diapers today (yes, in the year 2009)? Here are some of the top reasons why cloth diapers are being considered by parents worldwide for their babies. Once you actually give cloth diapers a try, you will discover many more.
1) Cloth diapers have come a long way
Chances are you wouldn’t even recognize cloth diapers today. Reusable diapers have evolved to such an extent over the last decade that many rival throwaway diapers. Modern cloth diapers are just as easy to use, change and wash as disposable diapers. In fact, if you were to put an all-in-one cloth diaper next to a disposable, you would find very little difference in bulk, size and function.
2) Baby is healthier in cloth diapers
Disposable diapers contain many chemicals, poisons (TBT tributyl tin), dioxins (which are highly carcinogenic) and even perfumes and dyes that may all be harmful to your baby and lead to diaper rash. The majority of babies in cloth diapers tend to have less diaper rash as cloth diapers are more breathable and have none of the chemicals or bleaches found in disposables. The gel that is used in disposable diapers to absorb and hold in moisture is known as Sodium Polyacrylate. A quick look at the Material Safety Data Sheet for this substance is not reassuring.
3) Throwaway diapers may aggravate baby's skin or respiratory system
From A Tale of Two Diapers, "the OSHA "Material Safety Data Sheet on Superabsorbent Polymer" states, pre-existing skin or breathing disorders may become aggravated through prolonged exposure. A study in the September 1999 issue of Archives of Environmental Health found that laboratory mice exposed to various brands of throwaway diapers suffered eye, nose, and throat irritation, including broncho-constriction similar to that resulting from an asthma attack. The lead author of the study advised asthmatic mothers to avoid exposure to the chemicals found in most throwaway diapers. There are also many studies that have been done to show a direct link between using disposable diapers and the increase in childhood asthma as well as an increase in infertility in boys. Considering we have alternatives that are so easy to use today, why take the risk?
A few things to consider when planning what to purchase
Extending the life of cloth diapers
- You will go through more diapers with a newborn than with an older baby or child.
- The average newborn will need to be changed every two hours. You should expect to change at least 10-12 diapers a day.
- If you plan to run laundry daily, you can get away with fewer diapers, although it never hurts to have a few extra on hand. For washing every other day, you should have at least 24 diapers.
- If you exclusively breast-feed, solids are water soluble and no rinsing or soaking of your diapers is necessary.
- A cloth diaper “stash” is not complete without at least 4-6 prefolds. These are so multi-functional you will find many, many uses for them outside of diapering. They are always handy to have on hand.
- One-size diapers generally do not fit well on infants or toddlers. While we think it’s a wonderful concept, we have not found a one-size diaper that will actually serve this purpose. They should fit quite well during the time in-between these two stages but you should really expect to use something a little different for the newborn stage and the toddler stage.
- If you are trying to save money, or on a very tight budget, you can get by with 3 dozen regular size prefolds and 4 covers in each size for the entire time your child will be in diapers. This is the most economical route, as well as being dependable and reliable!
- If you want convenience, and ease of use and you don’t mind spending a little more (or at least what you would have spent of disposables!) go for 2-3 dozen Pocket Diapers with Inserts or All-In-One diapers and be done with it!
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The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is the opinion of the author.