Cloth Diapers Are Healthy For Kids, Not Just The Environment!
The latest information that I have gathered through my research on cloth diapers (as an alternative to synthetic landfiller varieties) has put a new light on the value of natural cloth diapering. Not only are disposables costly on the pocketbook, but the average child uses 5,000 disposables in its lifetime. How big of a space does that take up in the landfill? I don’t know but I would estimate about the size of a nice garden bed that could feed a entire family. The other damaging effects are those placed on your new bundle of joy. Infertility risks in males due to the chemicals used in disposables are the main concern of mine, as I have a young son. Once infertile, a male passes those altered genes onto his offspring, increasing the likelihood that his son’s won’t be able to reproduce either. I’m not too clear on the effects on females, but if those chemicals are affecting boys, I wouldn’t risk it with my daughter either. Among the list of chemicals found in disposable diapers is chlorine. It seems to me that keeping those chemicals so close the thinnest skin on baby’s body for two years or more would have some damaging effects. One thing to consider is that disposable diapers are a relatively new product in our culture. Very recent actually, as I, along with my four other siblings were all cloth diapered children. Since they are a recent invention it will take a few generations before the real effects will be able to be seen in research. I do not want my son to be part of that end of the research. I would much rather like him to be on the healthier end of statistics.
Another big advantage to cloth diapering is that when the child is wet, he knows he is wet. Disposables wick away wetness and the child cannot feel that he is wet. The cloth diaper as an alternative then makes toilet training easier because a child will learn when he needs to go so as not be wet and uncomfortable. This natural way of easing out of diapers accelerates the learning process instead of the learning lag that is created by the “convenience” of a disposable. In my extensive background in child care I have witnessed many parents who basically neglect changing a disposable diaper until it reaches maximum density. I have found this to be utterly foul and to put it quite frankly–bad parenting. I’ve even heard parents tell their children just to “go in your pants” instead of taking the time out to nurture the child’s bathroom skills. To choose cloth diapering takes a new kind of parent; one who is devoted to taking the extra time to learn a new skill and to pass that valued new skill on to the children. This source can assure you that you will learn a lesson in compassion when it’s time to roll up those sleeves to swish out your child’s poo into the pot! I only hope mine does the same for me in future years:O)
My PookaPants cloth diapers, with their velcro/ snap design offer the same on-and-off ease that disposables offer but with all the other advantages of a cloth diaper. I do not use plastics in my diapers so they require a diaper cover to keep wetness from reaching baby’s outer layers. Another part of the responsibility of sustainability, in my opinion, is to move away from those products that create harmful externalities; like toxins produced by creating plastics. I find that the same effect of wicking can be found in reclaiming fleece clothing and recycling them into my diaper covers, or by using wool which offers an even better wicking advantage; however wool is far more superior than fleeces in more ways than one; wool keeps one cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather, wool offers natural wetness protection when lanolized, and also, wool is a natural fiber–as opposed to fleece–allowing air to flow in and out of the fabric. Alpaca is even better, because it offers all those goodies as wool, except you don’t have to lanolize them!
Whatever style you choose is your own preference. I used to keep a pack of disposable diapers in the back seat of the car. They came in very handy at times, but I decided to quit cold turkey and just pack an extra couple of cloth and woolies in the diaper bag. I haven’t looked back since!
So in “going green”, supporting small businesses who have innovative sustainable products is a great start. Some may even offer alternatives to lighten your little one’s ecological foot print as well!!
*BULK DIAPER SET BARGAIN FOR SWITCHING TO CLOTH!! Just mention this blog in your email <firstname.lastname@example.org> and I will send you your options–a super incentive to make the switch!
CPSIA COMPLIANCE: Our metal snaps (excluding pearl snaps) comply to CPSIA lead and phthalates regulations. (Pearl snaps are not tested for lead or phthalates due to their very small volume being used on children’s products.)