The Poop on Cloth Diapers (part 1)
With a new baby in the house, of course we are changing a lot more diapers — and even with five children under the age of seven, with two in diapers full-time, I’ve been reminded why I love using cloth instead of disposables.
When I was pregnant with my first child, my environmentally-conscious husband approached me to consider using cloth diapers. I didn’t know anyone who used them, and didn’t know that “modern” cloth diapers had been designed. I was too overwhelmed with all that would come with being a first time mom and never looked into it. When my second son was born only 11 months after my first, I was once again too overwhelmed. Not until my third did I dare to enter what I was sure would be a complicated world…only to find that it wasn’t! I wish I’d started using them sooner.
The cloth diapers I use really are simple (ours have built in snaps to accommodate all sizes, so there is no pinning) and don’t take much time at all to rinse and wash. I love that I never need to worry about running out of diapers, like I used to with disposables.
The way I see it, there are 3 main reasons to choose to cloth diapers over disposables:
1. To avoid the toxins (and their negative effects on health) in disposable diapers
2. To reduce environmental waste
3. To save a bunch of money
In doing research for this post, I discovered that the many costs of disposable diapers were more than I realized:
Costs To Our Childrens’ Health
from an article on The Diaper Hyena; entire article here
SODIUM POLYACRYLATE – This is the chemical, added in powder form to the inner pad of a disposable, that makes it super-absorbent. When the powdered form becomes wet, it turns into a gel.
Can absorb up to 100X its weight in water.
Can stick to baby’s genitals, causing allergic reactions.
Reported to cause severe skin irritations, oozing blood from perineum and scrotal tissues, fever, vomiting and staph infections in babies.
When injected into rats it has caused hemorrhage, cardiovascular failure and death.
Banned from tampons in 1985 because of its link to Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Has killed children after ingesting as little as 5 grams of it.
Causes female organ problems, slows healing wounds, fatigue and weight loss to the employees in factories that manufacture it.
DIOXIN – This is the chemical by-product of the paper-bleaching process, using chlorine gas, in the manufacturing of diapers.
Carcinogenic (cancer-causing chemical)
The EPA lists it as the MOST TOXIC of all cancer-linked chemicals.
In small quantities it causes birth defects, skin/liver disease, immune system suppression & genetic damage in lab animals.
Banned in most countries, but not the United States.
If we really care about our babies’ health, isn’t this information alone enough to make natural-fiber cloth diapers the right choice?
(In my next post, I’ll cover the environmental and money-saving benefits of cloth diapers over disposables, as well as discuss basic cloth diaper care.)