Would you rather flush money down the toilet, wrap your baby in toxic chemicals, and destroy our environment, or save money and the environment while dressing your baby in soft, stylish diapers? Modern cloth diapers aren't your grandma's old wrap and pin diapers. They're easy to use, wash, and even expand in size to grow with your child. They come in many different styles, materials, and brands to fit every family's needs. Our planet is being destroyed with trash and pollution. Recycling is more important than ever and everyone should do their part to help this problem. Single use items like disposable diapers should be used minimally if we want to leave a healthy earth to our children.
Going green with cloth diapers can help save the environment. Disposable diapers are the third largest single use consumer item in landfills. 27.4 billion single use diapers are used each year in the United States alone and 92% of those end up in landfills. It takes 250-500 years for each diaper to decompose. Instructions for disposables are to dump human waste in the toilet, but only less than .5% of waste ends up in the sewer system and landfills become a collection of feces. Disposables are also filled with toxic chemicals. Dioxin is a toxic by product of a paper bleaching process and is listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the United States. “According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions” (livestrong.com). Sodium Polyacrylate is in the gel crystals of disposables and has been linked to skin irritations and respiratory issues. It was removed from tampons due to Toxic Shock Syndrome, but there isn't research on long term effects on babies. Babies' sensitive skin is prone to rashes and burns due to these chemicals in disposable diapers. My son had terrible chemical burns to the point of open sores on his bum. The burns were completely gone within 3 days of switching to cloth. Some babies aren't changed nearly enough because of the high cost of disposables. Hygiene becomes a cause for concern. Bodily waste is mixed with toxic chemicals, then sits on babies' skin for hours at a time causing irritation. Cloth diapers are made with natural fibers, so babies are able to feel moisture from waste easier causing the need for regular timed diaper changes. Toddlers usually potty train sooner because of this, too! Worried about hygiene when it comes to washing diapers? No need! It only takes one pre-wash, one heavy duty wash, and an extra rinse. You can dry on low or hang dry to conserve energy.
One in three families struggle to buy disposable diapers. The average cost for disposables for one child from birth to two years old is $1600- $2000 depending on the brand. Unlike disposables, you can reuse cloth diapers for multiple children and they last for years. Cloth diapers are inexpensive. Depending on the style of diaper, you could spend as little as $20 to use cloth on all of your children until they potty train. What could you do with an extra thousand dollars a year? Maybe take that family vacation you can't afford or start a college fund. Cloth comes in many different styles, colors, and patterns and are made with different fibers, so families can customize the perfect solution that works best for them. The three most popular styles are the tradition cover with flats, Pocket, and All-in-One diapers. Kellyscloset.com is a great resource to see different styles and brands. These diapers expand in size to grow with the child. The most popular fibers used for cloth are cotton, hemp, bamboo, and microfiber. The stylish colors and patterns make diapering fun! My son loves picking out which diaper he will wear next.
Disposable diapers are a fairly new invention, serving the purpose of convenience, but they have taken it's toll on the earth and babies' skin. Cloth diapers have evolved to be as convenient as disposables, but are leaps and bounds the better solution. Cloth is cheaper, reusable, nontoxic, and doesn't damage our environment. The scenario of an emergency run to the store in the middle of the night or during a snow storm doesn't exist with cloth. They are always there. What could be more convenient than that? If we keep using disposables at this rate, there won't be a livable earth for our children in generations to come. President Lyndon Johnson once said, “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”
Both diapers pictured are made by work-at-home-mom Anna, owner and operator of Crunchy Love Co.