Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable
When my husband and I were born, our parents couldnít afford disposable diapers. Itís pretty hard to imagine a world without pampers or huggies, right? Our parents toiled over loads of cloth diapers, scrubbing them with bar soap against wash boards. But since the 1950ís, disposable diapers made lives easier.
But one thing Iíve learned is that convenience is not the healthiest route. In the past decade, governments and environmentalists are more and more concerned about the negative effects of disposable diapers on babiesí health and the environment. Disposable diapers are made with chemicals like bleaches, lotions, plastics, and perfumes. And most of them have a super-absorbent gel. Unfortunately, as many of us have probably experienced, these gel beads tend to escape and come in contact with a babyís skin and may even get into their mouth. This is not something we as parents want to end up in our babyís tummy.
Why disposable diapers are not the better choice
In addition, disposables are non-biodegradable. In the UK, diapers make up 4% of household garbage and cannot be flushed or composted. They end up in landfills and can take 200 years to decompose. Thatís a very, very long time. And during one babyís lifetime, they will wear about 5,000 diapers. Not only will it cost you about $1,500, but it will cost the environment 2,700 lbs of nonbiodegradable waste sitting in landfills.
Of course cloth diapers are available in stores like buy buy baby. And youíre definitely looking at a lot more laundry, but if you check online, you will find organizations and companies providing laundry services for a flat weekly rate (usually about the same price it costs for a weekís supply of disposable diapers). They will pick up your dirty ones and give you a supply of diapers. Many companies will even use eco-friendly laundry detergents. You can check with local pharmacies that specialize in rentals of breast pumps and other specialty baby items. They often will provide this service too.
If you still prefer disposable diapers, choose the organic brands that are most healthy for baby and the environment. They can be found in specialty markets like whole foods and fairway market. Many healthier choices can be found online as well. Tushies disposable are made in the US and are free of chemical gels, latex, dyes, and perfumes. Weenees (Australian brand) have a reusable outer pant with a disposable inner pad. The pads are free of plastic, but still have the chemical gel which absorbs more liquid. Another company called Moltex Oko is made in Germany from recycled paper and is unbleached, but contains the chemical absorbent gel as well.
As a parent, you want the best for your babyís health. If your baby is getting diaper rash often consider buying cloth diapers or the organic brands mentioned above. Since the demand for organic baby products are on the rise, the prices for them are dropping, and thatís good news for us parents.
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