Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Choosing Cloth Diapers

With the “Going Green” trend being bigger than ever, most new parents have probably considered, or at least heard about, the idea of using cloth diapers.

Although I have always known I’d like to use cloth diapers on my babies, I knew I’d need to convince my husband if it was going to work. I began reading articles on why cloth was better so as to be armed with plenty of information should he decide to argue on the side of disposable. He never did argue (lucky me!), but I gained a wealth of information on the topic.

After hours of reading, I discovered that parents who use cloth seem to do so for one (or all) of three leading reasons. They are as follows:

  • It is better for the environment (just think of all those landfills full of disposable diapers!).
  • It is cheaper (it is AMAZING how many diapers a baby can go through in one day!).
  • It is healthier for the baby (what’s that stuff called that turns the pee into gel?).

My husband and I care about the environment, and we like to save a buck as well as the next couple, but the deciding factor in using cloth was the fact that cloth would be healthier for our baby.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a disposable-hater. We use them for convenience when necessary. For example, when we flew to visit my family, we used disposable. The thought of lugging poopy cloth diapers around the airport for hours didn’t exactly appeal to me. Neither did paying for another checked bag so that we could bring all of our bumGenius diapers and diaper sprayer along. However, there are several alarming ingredients that go into most disposable diapers that make me not want to consistently put them on our baby.

Many disposable diapers are bleached and contain dyes and perfumes. These can be irritating and harmful to a baby’s sensitive system. The scariest ingredients to me are two things called dioxin (a byproduct of bleaching diapers) and sodium polyacrylate (the stuff that turns all the pee into gel, the reason a baby can wear the same disposable diaper after peeing many times in it without ever leaking on her clothes). Type those words into Google, and you’ll find phrases like “cancer-causing,” “birth defects,” “banned in other countries,” even “death.” Put that on my baby’s soft, bare little butt? No way!

To be perfectly honest, if I knew cloth was better for my child but was worse for the environment than disposables, I’d still use cloth. If I knew cloth was better for my child but cost more than disposables, I’d still use cloth! My number one priority is the health of my child.

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