I’ve been using cloth diapers for about a month now. Keep in mind however that I used disposable diapers for 6 years before I made the switch, so no judgement on my part for any disposable diaper users out there!
I remember I bought a pack of Pampers Swaddlers to take my 3rd baby home from the hospital in but he quickly broke out in a rash, that only healed when I switched diapers, it would come back anytime I put Pampers on his little butt.
I switched to a Presidents Choice brand and gave the others away. But what was in those diapers that gave him a rash?
Well Pampers do contain lotion and fragrance, as they state on their website. Other than that you really don’t get a full list of ingredients, although Pampers stated that there diapers don’t cause diaper rash, well what are you bleaching your diapers with? Is it Dioxin? Which is what numerous sources say they are using. Here is what World Health Organization had to say about Dioxin(among other things)” Dioxins are environmental pollutants. They have the dubious distinction of belonging to the “dirty dozen” – a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants. Dioxins are of concern because of their highly toxic potential. Experiments have shown they affect a number of organs and systems.” But they only “bleach” their diapers with that. What are the chances that any would be left to harm our babies? When added to the host of other chemicals that they are exposed to all day everyday, I’m just not going to take that risk anymore. Instead when cloth diapers will just not work (when my kids are at a baby sitter) I’ll choose Seventh Generation’s chlorine-free disposable diapers or PC green diapers at Superstore. They aren’t biodegradable yet but they’re working on it!
On the environmental side, a study by the National Association of Diaper Services (NADS) , showed that disposable diapers produce seven times more solid waste when discarded and three times more waste in the manufacturing process.
This does not mean that cloth diapers are an environmental save-all! In fact you can actually end up using more energy with cloth diapers by laundering them and putting chemicals back into the environment through non- eco friendly detergents.
If you’re going to use cloth diapers and wash them at home make sure to
- buy diapers and inserts made with organic cotton, bamboo or hemp
- use the most eco-friendly detergent you can get your hands on (and free of scent)
- hang dry (use dryer as little as possible)
- wash full loads
- when you’re done with your diapers, re-use them , sell them or give them away
- use warm not hot water
Personally I like an absorbent diaper at night that I can put an extra liner in just in case. In the day I prefer a cover and insert style like Flip Diaper cover with 100% Organic Cotton inserts. One thing about cloth diapers, they are so cute! Disposable diapers are nowhere near as stylish!