The Bottom Line
There is a tremendous amount of information available to those considering cloth diapers. Honestly, some of that information is not supported by fact, on both sides of the issue. We strongly encourage you to do your own research to determine what is best for you and your baby, and we welcome your questions.
Peace of Mind
We live in an increasingly complex world--one in which the health of tap water can be questioned, one in which BPA was unheard of only a few years back, one in which Popeye would think twice about eating a can of Spinach, one in whichchildren's jewelry is painted with toxic paints, and one in which choosy moms were wise to choose Jif. With doubts about so many things we used to trust, why would you want to leave something as fundamental as a diaper to chance?Comfort
Adults love the softness and breathability of cotton clothing, so why wouldn't your baby prefer a cotton diaper to a diaper made with chemicals, dyes, bleach, paper and petroleum products?
- True, disposable diapers do not need to be changed as often as cloth diapers, but that does not mean the baby is relieving himself less. This may represent a convenience to the parents, but what does it represent to the child?
- Disposable diapers rarely magically appear on your doorstep. With CottonTails Diaper Service, cloth diapers will.
- Disposable diapers have unquestionably improved tremendously in the past several decades, but the cloth diaper industry has also seen tremendous advancements. Snappi Fasteners, for instance, have eliminated the need for diaper pins.
- No diaper, whether cloth or disposable, can prevent leaks or blowouts. The keys to preventing accidents are choosing the diaper and wrap that are right for your baby, and putting them on him or her correctly.
- With a price of $18-25 weekly for disposables, disposables represent no net savings over cloth.
- Many believe that babies diapered in cloth potty-train more quickly and easily than babies who wear disposables. Clearly, potty-training results vary from one baby to the next; but if a baby wets himself and needs his diaper to turn blue before REALIZING that he wet himself, what is the motivation to go potty? Assuming cloth-diapered babies really do potty-train several months earlier, as many professionals suggest, the savings add up quickly.
- Disposable diapers contain potentially harmful chemicals. Since the 1990’s, disposable diapers have been known to contain the toxic pollutant Tributyl-tin, dioxins (a carcinogenic chemical banned in many countries) and Sodium Polyacralate, a polymer that had been used in tampons until it was linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome and subsequently banned in the 1970s. The use of these chemicals has not been definitively linked to adverse health effects, but for years weren’t similar arguments made for second-hand smoke? Given that your baby will spend 95% of his or her first two to three years in diapers, how much hard evidence do you need before looking for alternatives?
- “Superabsorbent” diapers absorb moisture. A baby who does not feel wetness will not alert his parents that a change is needed, and there is a reason that even disposable diapers need to be changed every 3-4 hours. Remember a baby’s skin is 1/5 the thickness of an adult’s.
- In addition to the chemicals mentioned above, many diapers contain dyes or oils to which babies are often allergic.
- Because disposable diapers do not “breathe,” unlike cloth diapers, heat can build up. While there is no clear correlation, the use of disposables has been linked by some to the rise in male infertility.
- Whether it is due to the heat, the chemicals, the dyes or other allergens, there has been a clear rise in the incidence of diaper rash since the rise in popularity of disposable diapers.
- Annually, over 18 billion disposable diapers wind up in landfills, where they will remain for upwards of 500 years.
- Disposable diapers represent 4% of all disposable waste, and they are the third largest consumer product in landfills after newspapers and food and beverage containers.
- In addition to the problem of the sheer volume of diapers in landfills,according to the World Health Organization, diapers in landfills pose a significant risk because most people immediately drop dirty diapers in trash cans without first disposing of solid waste--a step even the Pampers website urges. Because the waste is not properly treated, it can eventually infiltrate our ground water and water supply.
- According to researchers, it takes twice as much water to make a disposable diaper than a cloth diaper.
- To diaper a single baby for one year, you need 300 pounds of wood pulp, you need 20 pounds of chlorine, and you need 50 pounds of petroleum products. That is just for the raw materials and doesn't take into account the materials consumed in the production and transportation of disposables.
- A disposable diaper can be used once. A cloth diaper can be used as many as 150 times, after which it can be repurposed as a quality, absorbent, lint-free rag.