Why Cloth Diapers?
April 3, 2008
Why parents should chose cloth vs. disposable diapers
We as parents or parents-to-be need to look to our past for answers to today’s problems.
How did we get here?
What has happened in our lifetime that has made the world worse off and what can we do about it?
Every new baby needs diapers to tackle the job of collecting their messy waste. In the days of our grandmothers and our grandmother’s mothers you never needed to call reusable diapers “cloth diapers.” You’d just call them diapers. Introduced during my lifetime came disposable diapers and every year less and less parents opted for cloth while more and more endured the extra expenses lining the pockets of diaper-producing corporations for the sake of convenience. Was this a convenient choice for our Earth? No, it was so very harmful.
Today as I see in the faces of the many couples who take my cloth diapering classes that things are beginning to change for the better. More and more parents are taking the cloth diaper plunge despite the worries of their non environmentalist friends and families. They get asked ignorant questions like “How much work do you want when you have a new baby?” “Why add the extra work it takes to use cloth diapers?” “Won’t your house smell?”
Today there are cloth diapers for ever type of parent. Those on a budget, those easy and adorable cloth diapers many Hollywood stars are choosing for their babies. With special tools like a diaper sprayer or mini shower that attaches to the plumbing on your toilet, there are no more soaking of diapers and the “poop” can be sprayed directly into the toilet where it can join the sewer system instead of running off into the landfills making our wildlife sick.
Not your grandmother’s cloth diapers! Velcro or snaps make cloth diapers as quick and easy as disposable diapers
Did you know?
Every baby produces approximately 4,000+ pounds of disposable diaper waste that ends up in our landfills. That is about 6,500 disposable diapers per baby. This choice makes a very big impact on our earth.
It costs between $2,500 - $3,500 to use disposable diapers for one child based on three years vs. $1,000 or less for cloth diapers; and most can be reused on siblings. You can also purchase used cloth diapers for a substantial cost savings.
It can take 500+ years for a disposable diaper to biodegrade if it ever will. Some estimates show only 30% of the disposable diaper will biodegrade.
Dioxin, Tributyl-tin (TBT) & Sodium Polyacrylate are all toxic substances used in disposable diapers. Save Baby’s skin and health by choosing cloth diapers.
The impact of the chemicals in disposable diapers on our children is not known, but research indicates a link to asthma, infertility in boys, uterine tract infections in girls.
Washing cloth diapers uses the same amount of water as flushing the toilet 5 - 6 times per day.
These are not your grandmother’s cloth diapers! With Velcro or snaps cloth diapers can be as quick and easy as disposable diapers. No need for Pins. They are fast and easy to use.
Cloth diapers are more comfortable than disposable diapers. Disposable companies advertise their products “feel like cloth”. Ask yourself this question: Would you like to wear plastic and paper underwear for the next three years?
Cloth diapered kids’ potty train 6+ months earlier than kids in disposables because they feel wet.
Using cloth diapers is an easy way to make an impact on this earth moving us in the right direction. Reducing trash and reusing diapers on all of your children makes financial sense as well. And if you decide to practice Elimination Communication which is a very early form of potty training, you will further reduce the need for larger size cloth diapers. I personally didn’t practice EC, but know some families who have had tremendous success with this method.
Cloth diapering is only a small part of raising your children in an environmentally conscious way. Good for you if you do already or have done so in the past. And if you have mulled this idea over, have a child in diapers or plan to have another, remember it is never to late to make the transition. And did I mention cloth diapering is fun?
For more information on cloth diapers visit The Real Diaper Association
About the author
Guest blogger Lisa Joy Rosing teaches cloth diapering in Chicago and has helped hundreds of parents learn how and why to cloth diaper their child. She has presented at the Chicago Green Festival on raising green children in a disposable world as her environmental focus is on reducing trash, returning to the methods used before disposable products were invented, and diet.
Lisa has a background in the arts as well as social work and has co-founded the Chicago Vegan Family Network. She is building a consulting practice on green living with a focus on returning to cloth and other reusable products.
She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.