Why Choose Cloth Diapers: Are Disposable Diapers That Bad?

While we are not disposable diaper experts, we have done a little reasearch – and thinking – on this topic.

No, disposable diapers aren’t the worst thing around. They’re convenient, easy to use and require no additional time or resources (i.e. water or detergent) to care for them. It’s a dream for today’s busy mama who doesn’t have time to think about diaper duty.

However, for the thoughtful mama caught in the middle of the great diaper dilemma, here are some thoughts to consider:

Waste: Babies create a lot of diaper waste – usually 12 or more diapers per day for the first six (6) months and then about eight (8) diapers or more until potty trained. Your trash cans will be filled over and over again. You will be taking trash out until the cows come home! Consider the wastes of an increase in trash: (1) Each load will waste another plastic bag that took oil and other natural resources to create; (2) The trash truck will use more gas and energy to haul away more trash because of you; (3) Repeat 1 and 2.

Natural Resources: Diapers not only require trees and other natural resources to manufacturer time and time again, but they also require new packaging with each purchase. This, in turn, means the use of more oil for shipping loads of diapers at a time to stores across the country. You then waste more natural resources (oil) to get to the store to buy those natural resource suckers.

Chemicals: While the chemicals in diapers may or may not be harmful to your baby’s health, if you’re not willing to take any chances, perhaps ditching disposables is best for your family. You eliminate exposure to chemicals like bleach, dioxins, tributyl-tin and sodium polyacrylate. Our philosophy, if you can’t say it and don’t know what it is, why would you let your baby sit in it for 24 hours a day, each and every day?

The truth is that you should pick the diaper option that suits you best and works for your family. While we prefer cloth, we know disposables are an option that suites many families just fine, if you don’t mind the waste, use of natural resources and chemicals, that is!

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3 Responses to Why Choose Cloth Diapers: Are Disposable Diapers That Bad?

  1. i love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always like new things coming up from it.

  2. Timmi says:

    I didn’t start using cloth until our 2nd was 6 months old. I hated to throw diapers away, but of course I had trouble convincing the husband. Our daughter started to get chemical rashes from disposable and after 3 brands and 2 prescriptions later (in one month) I had enough and ordered some cloth. I started with the flip system because I could get organic prefolds and disposables with it. I thought this would be the smoothest way to transition without a huge financial commitment. After having her in these for about 6 months we started getting rashes and yeast. I tried different creams and nothing. She needed prescription strength again and that meant disposables. I didn’t want to buy alot so I left her in panties during the day and just a disposable during naps and night time. She learned to hold it in for the most part while in panties. So now at 2 years we use cloth for out of the house and a disposable at night. This seems to be the right balance and I hope potty training will follow.

  3. Samantha S says:

    I can’t say I considered the amount of natural resources used when we decided to use cloth, but the chemicals was a big issue. I have very sensitive skin; a day or two using disposable pads (menstrual or nursing) will turn my skin into a cracked, oozing mess and I was worried that our daughter would have the same issues. She did. Two days in the hospital and she had a diaper rash that cleared up as soon as we switched her.

    I figure, even with splurging on a few cute, higher priced diapers, I’m still ahead of the game with what I haven’t spent in lotions, creams, ointment, and sposies.