Why Cloth Diaper Your Baby ?

Meghan @ 7mths

Welcome to the wonderful world of easy-to-use modern cloth diapers and take a look at the many benefits of cloth diapers

Cloth diapered babies have less diaper rash

Surprised ? It's true. Cloth diapers have been proven time and again to reduce incidence of diaper rash. This is even verified by diaper moguls Procter & Gamble whose own studies have show that the occurence of diaper rash increases from 7.1 percent to 61 percent with the increased use of disposable diapers.

Disposable diapers are increasingly absorbent nowadays (thanks to chemicals such as Sodium Polyacrylate, see below) that many parents are changing their babies' diapers less frequently than they really should.

Diaper rash is caused by prolonged exposure to moisture combined with friction, bacteria and ammonia build up. The super absorbent gel in disposables facilitates less changing from parents, and 'pulls' natural moisture from baby's skin, encouraging irritation.

The best way to prevent rash is to change diapers, cloth or disposable, frequently. Despite the highly absorbent quality of disposable diapers, urine and bacteria are still present in

Meghan @ 9mths

the diaper and hence laying against your baby's bottom. Even though a disposable diaper can hold a day's worth of urine and probably more, disposables should also be changed frequently.


No chemicals in cloth diapers

Have you given a thought on what makes "superabsorbent" diapers so absorbent? If you've ever used disposable diapers, you've probably noticed beads of clear gel on your baby's genitals after a diaper change. Superabsorbent diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, which absorbs up to 100 times its weight in water. Sodium polyacrylate is the same substance that was removed from tampons in 1985 because of its link to toxic shock syndrome . No studies have been done on the long-term effects of this chemical being in contact with a baby's reproductive organs 24 hours a day for upwards of two years.

What should be of serious concern to all parents are the toxic chemicals present in disposable diapers. Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases, genetic damage, is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers, and trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves. Dioxin is listed by the EPA as the most toxic of cancer related chemicals. Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.

Cloth diapers, on the other hand, are free of the many chemicals contained in disposable diapers


Health of the Environment

Disposable diapers make up the third largest source of solid waste in landfills, after newspapers and food and beverage containers--a significant fact, considering they are a single product, used by a limited portion of the population.

The average disposable wearing baby will create two tons of bio-hazardous waste that will sit in a landfill for hundreds of years. In order for these diapers to decompose, they must be exposed to air and sun. How likely is this? It has been estimated that it will take at least 500 years for this decomposition to take place. The plastic components of disposables may never decompose.So, when you throw away that disposable diaper, it may be worth remembering that it will still be sitting in the landfill long, long after you and I and our babies have gone :-)

The production of disposable diapers consumes an inordinate amount of resources and energy adding 2.8 billion tons of urine, feces, plastic and paper to landfills annually. Besides filling dwindling landfill space, disposable diapers endanger health and the environment, especially the health of sanitation workers.


Early Potty Training

It's a little-known fact that cloth-diapered children potty train earlier, and with less effort on their parent's part. This has mostly to do with the fact that when a cloth diaper is wet, they can feel the sensation. Chemical- laden disposable diapers can feel so dry, your baby never gets a chance to understand what their body is doing until they are older.

Cloth diapers cost a LOT less.

Hands up who doesn't like the idea of saving a bundle ?

By the time an average baby is toilet trained, he or she would have gone through almost 7000 diapers. Pricing each diaper VERY conservatively at S$0.25, that's a whooping S$1750 per child. Cloth diaper is a fraction of that PLUS they will probably last through all your baby's future siblings, if taken care of properly.

The cost of disposables is mostly hidden under groceries bills whereas the upfront costs of cloth diapers may seem daunting at first. But if you take your time and do your sums properly, you'll realise how much money you're literally dumping into the landfills by buying disposable diapers.


Cloth Diapers are easy to put on

In our mothers' time you needed pins, rubber pants, and time to fold a napkin cloth into a diaper. Now with Bumwear diapers, cloth diapering is really as easy as using disposable diapers. Click here to see for yourself how very easy it is.

Better cushioning for baby's little bum

We all know that babies and toddlers have their fair share of bumps and spills! Cushy cloth diapers provides a much softer "landing pad" than a flat paper diaper.


Cloth diapers are more comfortable for our babies

Cloth diapers stay cool and breathable in the hottest of weather. There are many anecdotal reports of toddlers who have grown up in cloth diapers refusing to wear disposables. My own babies are good examples of this. Cloth is softer than paper - that's the end of the story. Otherwise wouldn't we all be wearing paper underwear?.


Cloth diapers are easy to wash

I know for a fact that moms new to cloth diapering shudder at the thought of cleaning soiled diapers. With such modern diapers as Bumwear, cleaning is a breeze. Baby's poo is contained by the nappy liner which is either thrown or flushed away. Give the diaper and insert a rinse (and I do add a squirt of handsoap when I'm rinsing them). You can either accumulate about a washing machine load of soiled diapers to be washed together or you can just dump the rinsed diaper with your normal laundry. No sweat - really !


Stand out from the crowd !

Be different. Show that you care to give your babies by giving them the best in everything including the way you diaper them. Love your baby and save the earth too !

It's a whole lot more thrilling shopping for cloth diapers than boring disposables that come in one standard colours -- white. It's also lots of fun sharing the wonders of cloth diapering to other usually very curious mums.


References

(1) "Everything you ever wanted to know about cloth diapering" (www.earthbaby.com)
(2) Sanders, Heather " Diaper Drama" (www.diapershop.com)
(3) McConnell, Jane.  "The Joy of Cloth Diapers."
(4) Caldwell, Ginny.  "Diapers.  Disposable or Cotton?," Eco-Baby Catalogue (www.ecobaby.com).
(5) Allison, Cathy.  "Disposable Diapers: Potential Health Hazards.," referring to: Hicks, R et al.  "Characterization of toxicity involving hemorrhage and cardiovascular failure, caused by parenteral administration of a soluble polyacrylate in the rat," J Appl. Toxicol.  1989 June; 9(3): 191-8.
(6) Peggy's Diapers, Slings N' Things, (www.peggysdiapers.com).
(7) "Why Cloth Diapers?," (www.diapersafari.com).
(8) EPA documents: "Positive Steps Towards Waste Reduction", and "Integrated Risk Assessment for Dioxins and Furans from Chlorine Bleaching in Pulp and Paper Mills"
(9) The Top Ten Reasons To Cloth Diaper by Susan K. Dodge-Doak
(10) The top ten myths about cloth nappies (http://www.snazzipants.co.nz)

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