For many families cloth diapers are shadowed in vague visions of messy dunk and swirl sessions over the toilet and sharp pins too close to their precious new baby. However this is one category of products that definitely deserves a second look and an updated vision. Not only have cloth diapers come a long way since our parents used them but they offer easy, realistic solutions to many parenting challenges.
Challenge #1: Our babies will grow up to inherit this earth and we would like to live a life of less environmental impact.
The Real Diaper Association estimates that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed in the USA every year with over 92% of these ending up in land fills. They also state, “No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years.”
These are big numbers that are easy for parents to gloss over especially when they typically see just one or two disposable diapers at a time. Let’s make these numbers a bit more personal. If your baby wears just six diapers each day to his third birthday, he will use 6,570 diapers. Most babies use closer to nine diapers each day and figuring that usage to his third birthday is 9,855 diapers.
Challenge #2: Money is tight and we need to cut costs from our daily routine.
Using the example above, the cost for 6,570 disposable diapers is $1,643 and the price tag on 9,855 disposable diapers is $2,464. You can outfit your baby for life in cloth diapers for under $500 including all the neat accessories that make cloth diapering fun and easy.
Cloth diapers make great gift registry items so family and friends can help build your cloth diaper stash. Cloth diapers can also be passed along to future siblings, cutting costs for years to come.
Challenge #3: We want to protect our children from exposure to harmful chemicals.
The Real Diaper Association reports that disposable diapers may contain traces of Dioxin. Dioxin has been banned in most countries and is listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. They also state that some disposable diapers “contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP). A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome.”
Cloth diapers offer parents a safe alternative to disposable diapers and potential exposure to unknown chemicals.
Challenge #4: We want the best for our baby but any parenting solution has to be quick, easy and cute.
Cloth diapers come in a wide variety of styles to fit babies of all sizes and any parenting routine. One particular style, pocket diapers, offers a stay-dry effect that virtually eliminates diaper rash. Another style, fitted diapers, is constructed in an array of fabric choices offering adorable prints and luxurious options like organic bamboo velour. With leak-proof gussets around the legs and stretchy Velcro tabs, today’s cloth diapers are just as easy to put on as disposable diapers and perform wonderfully at containing messes. Then, instead of throwing them in the trash, cloth diapers simply go through the regular washer and dryer and are ready to be used again.
KristyDeGregory is the Web Editor/Publisher of Cloth Diaper News and created this site as a way to share information between the cloth diaper market and the families that use them. Her adventure into cloth diapering started in 2005 with the birth of her son.