Why should you choose re-usable cloth diapers instead of disposable ones? Whether you are going cloth full time or part time, let us give some examples of how you and your baby (and our planet) can benefit from using re-usable cloth diapers.
Cloth Diapers are Cheaper than Disposable Diapers
Most families go through 6 to 8 thousand diapers per child, from birth to potty trained. If you were using disposable diapers, that’s at least $2000 per baby. Once the disposable diapers are used, they are trash, they are done! You might as well just throw your money away.
On the other hand, cloth diapers can be re-used! To get a stash of cloth diapers to last your baby till potty trained will usually cost between $300 to $700. That’s at least $1300 in savings compare to using disposables. But that’s not all! Cloth diapers often will last for one, two or even three more children. So… I’d say that $3900 in savings (or going to the spa or vacation ) sounds pretty good, right? (well, that’s if you decide to have three cloth diaper wearing munchkins.)
Cloth Diapers are Better for your Baby’s Health
Disposable diapers ARE made of toxic materials and ingredients. Among them is a super-absorbent gelling material (AGM) called Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP). AGM is linked to an increase in childhood asthma and a decrease in sperm count among boys. Sodium Polyacrylat was discontinued from use in tampons due to concern over a link with toxic shock syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal illness caused by a bacterial toxin.
Dioxin has also been found in disposable diapers, it is a carcinogen, causes liver disease, immune system suppression and genetic damage.
Cloth Diapers are Better for the Planet
Facts about Disposable Diapers:
- Roughly 5 million tons of untreated waste and a total of 2 billion tons of urine, feces, plastic and paper are added to landfills annually.
- It takes around 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to manufacture the disposable diapers for American babies alone.
- Chemicals used in making disposable diapers are dangerous to us and to the environment (e.g. chlorine bleach which release dioxins).
- Most parents do not dump the solid wastes into the toilet before throwing away the diapers. The untreated waste placed in landfills by dirty disposable diapers is a danger to contaminating ground water and possibly spread disease.
- Although some disposables are said to be biodegradable, in order for these diapers to decompose, they must be exposed to air (oxygen) and sun. Since this is highly unlikely, it can take several hundred years for the decomposition of disposables to take place, with some of the plastic material never decomposing.
Facts about Cloth Diapers:
- The amount of water used per week to wash cloth diapers at home is about the same amount consumed by an adult flushing the toilet four or five times daily for a week. Also, the greater amount of water and energy being used by diaper service companies to wash large amounts of cloth diapers multiple times, the per diaper impact on energy and water supplies is actually less than home washing.
- When flushing solids from cloth diapers down the toilet and washing the diapers in a washing machine, the contaminated, dirty water from both toilet and washing machine go into the sewer systems where they are properly treated at wastewater plants.
- You can lessen the environmental impacts even more by choosing organic cloth diapering products.
- Cloth diapering products can be used until their diapering life is over then, for example, you can make flats and prefolds into rags.
Cloth Diapers are as Convenient as Disposable Diapers
We tend to associate cloth diapers with pieces of fabrics and pins, but cloth diapers nowadays are not like that. They come in different styles, colors and sizes to fit families’ needs. They now have elastics and velcro/snap closures for easier fit, breathable and waterproof materials for your baby’s comfort. They don’t tear, leave weird chemical jellies on your baby and you know what they are made of.