Saturday, June 19, 2010

10 Great Reasons to Cloth Diaper

Being in baby mode, I've been going through some of my son's old clothes and baby items.  Which made me think about the fact that we used cloth diapers with him and plan to do so again with our next baby, which made me think that I should share some important information regarding the benefits of cloth over disposables on this blog.  Some of you already know all the benefits, but then there are some probably furrowing their brows wondering why on earth anyone would use cloth diapers when we have the wonderful modern invention of disposable diapers.  Well...did you know that disposable diapers are one of the top three items overruning our landfills?  That's just the on...

10 Great Reasons to Cloth Diaper
(taken from )

1.  Safer for Baby

There are three chemicals found in disposable diapers that are disturbing and can potentially be harmful to baby – sodium polyacrylate, dioxin, and tributyl-tin.

Have you ever changed your baby only to find her sensitive bottom covered in crystals and gel? What you saw was sodium polyacrylate. It makes up the absorbent layer in most disposable diapers. The crystals become a gel when baby wets and that gel wicks the wetness away from baby. While it is pretty effective at its job by absorbing many times its own weight in fluids and keeping baby feeling dry, it also can cause allergic reactions in babies, skin irritations, and was banned for use in tampons in 1985 because of its association with toxic shock syndrome.

The use of chlorine to bleach the paper used in making disposable diapers creates dioxin, a cancer-causing chemical considered by the EPA to be the most toxic of all carcinogens. Traces of this toxic substance carry over to the finished diaper product. The World Health Organization claims that newborns are particularly susceptible to the effects of this chemical since their organs are developing so rapidly. Most countries, except for the United States, have banned dioxin. Long- term exposure can cause harmful effects on the immune, nervous, and reproductive systems.

Tributyl-tin (TBT) is a toxic chemical that can be absorbed through the skin and has been found to cause hormonal problems and harm the immune system.

2.  Better for the Environment

According to the Real Diaper Association (RDA), 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used in the U.S. each year, 92% of those end up in a landfill. Estimates say that disposables take between 250-500 years to decompose - that’s a very long time. There are some that say the water used in washing cloth diapers negates some of the positive effect gained by saving landfill space, but the RDA refutes that claim saying that the water used in manufacturing and consumption of disposables is 2.3 times greater than used on cloth.

3.  Cute Fashions and Style

Why settle for plain white paper? With all the variety of cloth styles and fabric available, your baby can be stylin’ and can have a diaper for every occasion. Match your outfits, show off your baby’s personality, be unique, whatever your taste – all the while, baby looks cute as can be.

4.  Feels Better to Baby

What baby wouldn’t want to feel soft fleece or cotton on their bottom over a harsh paper-like lining? With their stretchy designs and soft linings, cloth diapers are comfortable for baby and keep baby dry naturally.

5.  Save Money

You can find countless calculators and estimates that will compare the cost of cloth diapering with the use of disposables. While they all vary depending on prices and products used, they all pretty much agree that no matter how you look at it, cloth diapering is less expensive in the end. You do buy your products upfront which may make it appear more expensive, but many businesses selling cloth diapers will do layway or payments to help make it easier to start out. According to the RDA, using a basic cloth diaper setup of prefolds and covers, you could use cloth diapers for one-tenth of the cost it would cost you to use disposables.

6.  Next, Please!

Cloth diapers can be held onto and reused by your next baby. Usually a cloth diaper will last through use and washing for at least two kids, sometimes more. You have your next baby and you already own and have paid for their diapers. That adds up to a huge savings and makes for a great investment!

7.  Return on Investment

If you don’t plan on having any more kids of your own to use them on, you can resell or donate your cloth diapers. Sell them at a consignment store, on eBay, use a diaper swapping website. Regardless, used cloth diapers hold their value and can resell at a great price. If you would rather donate them, there are a few organizations out there like Miracle Diapers that will take your used diapers off your hands and get them into the hands of low-income families. You could also sell them yourself and donate the money to charity.

8.  Choices, Choices, Choices

You choose how much or how little you want to spend on diapers. You choose what kind of material graces your baby’s bottom. You choose the style and color. You choose how they’re made. With cloth diapers, you have the opportunity to decide what you want and what’s best for your baby. For more information on the choices available, read Cloth Diapering Basics.

9.  Easy to Use

Contrary to popular opinion, cloth is easy. Many of the styles available go on just like a disposable. Even getting rid of the poo is easy - before baby is on solids, you don’t have to do anything except throw it in the washer and it goes out with the water. When baby starts eating solids, you just dump it in the toilet or use a sprayer to spray it off – there’s no need to swish them around in the toilet anymore. And getting rid of the poo makes cloth diapering a lot less stinky than using disposables where the poo can sit around a few days before it gets taken out with the trash.

10.  Cleaning Rags for Years to Come

If you hang on to your prefolds, you never have to buy cleaning rags again.

Here's another great article well worth taking the time to read!

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