I wrote this article to share with you the research I did when I was pregnant and weighing decisions for my baby when it comes to diapering. We decided to go with cloth diapering for my daughter and we don’t regret it one bit!
One baby can use up to 8,000 diapers from birth to potty train. According to the EPA, disposable diapers can last centuries in landfills! In other words, it takes a very long time to decompose. Why does it take so long? This is due to the materials it is made of. Plastic is one material disposable diapers are made of. Plastic-which comes from petroleum, takes 450 years to decompose. Resources like water and trees go into disposable diapers. Numerous toxic chemicals like toluene, xylene, chlorine, and dioxin are harmful to humans yet they are found in diapers. The article “Environmental Impact of Disposable Diapers” mentions more interesting facts of the harm disposable diapers are to landfills by the gasses they project into the air and the land.
I know the earth has been damaged and some effects are permanent, but we should strive to help the earth in whichever area we can.
(Picture of my daughter sleeping skin to skin on my belly after a yummy nursing session)
Babies have new and sensitive skin. Some with more sensitive skin than others may be prone to rashes. Parents will go through different diaper brands and diaper creams trying to find what’s best for their baby’s skin. Could it be that the perfumes and chemicals in disposable diapers trigger the diaper rash?
Babies shouldn’t sit in their diapers too long. It’s not safe and uncomfortable. The fillings used in disposable diapers make it harder to notice how wet your baby is. And, then you play the guessing game when you squishing up the diaper and feeling the “gel-like” texture of the fillings to see if your baby wet or dry or can go a bit longer.
As opposed to cloth diapers, it’s easier to feel the “wetness”, both you and your baby. Its comparable to when you feel a damp towel. You baby’s bottom would also feel wet or sticky especially when it is wet to its capacity. And, since your baby can feel his/ her “wetness”, this will train them to understanding when their little bodies release themselves. Which is a head start for potty training!
A side note: Bisphenol A also known as BPA is a common chemical that is used in many plastics. It has been used for years in many items like baby toy and bottles. Yet, just recently is has been banned by the FDA in its use for baby bottles (so it could probably still be in toys…baby toys which they love to put in their mouth. “BPA free” is a common label many Moms have been looking for when it comes to bottles and toys for their babies. It is still unknown the long-term affects of exposure do BPA because the research needs to be done. So, lets just keep our babies from toxic products as much as we can! Ok?
3- Cost Effective
It’s astonishing how expensive disposable diapers can get! And guess what, that’s not even counting how much you spend on wipes! Which can be another couple hundred dollars more!
NOW, in comparison to cloth diapers, the cost of using the “high end” cloth diapers, you can probably end up spending an average of $500 from newborn to potty training age! Plus if you care for it properly, you can re-use it for another child or sell it for second hand. Cloth diapers also come in different colors, patterns that you can coordinate with what your baby wears and they look so cute!
What about baby wipes? Cloth baby wipes! I’ll have a separate post about cloth wipes too. Save your money!
4- Save yourself the headache
Those days you realize your down to your last diaper and forgot to stock up and have to make a run to the store. You get there and they ran out the size you need or the brand you like (trust me this happens depending where you live)
Cloth diapers are reusable and some styles and brands offer “one size” diapers which adjust to the size of your baby-newborn to potty train age and with the proper care it can last you that long.
5- Potty train early
This is the most exciting reason-for me at least!
When I was pregnant and doing cloth diaper research, I read about several moms who cloth diapered their babies say their child learned to potty train at an earlier age. I was already sold about cloth diapering but this sent me head over heels! The reason why cloth diapered babies learn to use the potty at an early developmental stage is because cloth diapers make it easier for babies to notice when they release themselves and are wet. The same way babies learn how control and to move their hands, fingers, feet and later crawl and walk, cloth diapered babies with time, will learn how wet their diapers feel when they release themselves.
I will get into this topic in depth in a later post because as you may have read, my daughter Adelina first used the potty at 9 months and fully understands the purpose of the potty.
I just wanted to quote this 1999 article from The New York Times “Success of Toilet Training Techinique Still a Matter of Time” “In 1957, 92 percent of 18-month olds were toilet trained ; now just 2 percent are trained by age 2 and only 60 percent by age 3”. Back in 1952, disposable diapers weren’t invented yet. Cloth diapers were the only diaper families used back then. Could it be that disposable diapers have delayed the potty training abilities of babies?
So in summary: GIVE CLOTH DIAPERS A CHANCE!
There are so many benefits to cloth diapering. Many mom friends I’ve spoken to about cloth diapering were intrigued by it. They gave it a try then end up loving it and said they aren’t planning to go back and wished they did it sooner.
Even if you’re nervous or not sure about cloth diapering, try part-time cloth diapering with a few diapers. See how you like you like it. I will do more post about cloth diapers and hopefully answer all your questions about it. Post any questions and comments below and I’ll more than happy answer them!