The Benefits and Advantages of Using Cloth Diapers
In the past, diapering was such a hassle; mothers had no choice but to use cloth diapers, clumsy pins, and annoying covers. Then they invented disposable diapers and most mothers thought it was a miracle. Now, about 80% of diapered babies use disposable diapers. But are plastic diapers really better? Before you go grab a pack of Pampers, catch up on some of the benefits of cloth diapers.
Figure out about how many diapers you use in a week and multiply it by the 52 weeks in the year. Next time you go to buy diapers, look at how much they cost. You'll find that it's a lot of diapers which translates to a lot of money. The average parent spends two to three thousand dollars diapering their child up to age three. Now go look at the cost of cloth diapers. Sure, they're a little more expensive up front, but you don't have to buy them every week at the grocery store. Cloth diapers have the added expense of doing extra laundry every week, but it still doesn't compare to the cost of disposable diapers.
Now, go back to the number of diapers you calculated earlier and multiply that by how many other people in the world use disposable diapers every year. Pretty big number isn't it? In the U.S. alone, 18 billion diapers are thrown into landfills every year. Not only do they take up tons of space, they don't biodegrade. Plus, they're just sitting there full of hazardous waste. Urine and feces can contain harmful bacteria which can work their way into the environment and even your water supply. Sure, animals go to the bathroom in the wild, but all the animals in an area don't go in one place like used diapers.
When I was a baby, my mom used cloth diapers; not because they were cheaper or environmentally friendly, but because whenever she used disposables, I'd break out in a horrible rash. If you switch to cloth diapers, you may find that some of your child's diaper rash is actually caused by the irritation from the disposable diapers. Even if your kids aren't allergic, diapers contain toxic chemicals including Dioxin, which can cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, skin diseases, and genetic disorders. And you know those absorbent crystals you see when you rip open a diaper? Those are the same chemicals removed from tampons because they were linked with toxic shock syndrome in women. Sure, the chances these chemicals might harm your child is low, but why risk it?
Most moms choose disposables because they think cloth diapers are annoying and inconvenient. What they don't realize is that cloth diapers have changed since we were kids. Diaper pins have been replaced with convenient snappies and Velcro-like materials (Velcro itself isn't flexible enough). You can also get fitted diapers to help stop leaks. If you don't like those annoying plastic covers, you can get wool ones; these are especially fun because you can find them in great colors and patterns. Wool is also more comfortable than plastic covers, but works just as well. If you just like the convenience of disposable diapers, there are now all-in-one cloth diapers that require no folding, no liners and can be thrown straight in the wash. Pocket diapers are also an excellent bridge from disposables to cloth. Stuff something absorbent into the diaper's pocket and it's ready for service. When you take it off your child, just shake the absorbent material into your diaper pail and your diapers are ready to go into the washer when it's laundry time.
So, why not save the environment, save some cash, and help your kids stay healthy by using good old, dependable cloth diapers.