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Why Should You Cloth Diaper Your Baby?

Mar 20, 2008
Why go the extra step when diapering your baby? Don't parents have enough things to worry about?

Those are two excellent questions. But what if I changed them up a bit and asked them this way:

Would you take an extra step if it were healthier for your baby, the environment and your pocketbook? What if you never had to worry about running out of diapers and needing to make a middle of the night diaper run?

When first introduced to the idea of cloth diapering, I didn't rush right out and buy pins and prefolds. It took months before it wasn't about me and the "extra work" I imagined. I began to see the benefits cloth diapering had to offer my child. The proverbial "straw" was seeing those icky gel crystals from disposables on my son's private parts. After that I jumped right into cloth diapering and never looked back.

Further research into those gel crystals revealed that they had a name! Sodium Polyacrylate. Scientific journals reveal that those crystals could cause minor skin irritations and oozing blood from perineum and scrotal tissues (do a Google search and you will even learn that this chemical is also found in Sephora's Lift Fusion face lift product!!!). That is not something you want touching or possible entering your child's body. It's hard enough dealing with a little diaper rash!

If the health argument isn't a strong enough reason to make you run away from disposables maybe their impact on the environment will be.

Have you ever driven by what looked like a mountain only to discover that it is in fact a landfill?

I used to live close to a landfill just outside of Dallas. The landfill was as part of the skyline as skyscrapers are to Downtown Dallas. Next to this dump are some of the nicest shopping malls and brand name stores. When you left the shopping Mall area towards the highway you would see what appears to be a massive, barren mound that looks as if an atomic bomb was dropped on it. Contained in that monstrosity of a hole are BILLIONS of disposable diapers. Scientists aren't even sure if disposable diapers will ever fully breakdown while sitting in the landfill.

Besides the fact that this space to store our waste is encroaching upon our living quarters, there are real human feces floating around by the tons! Even the EPA has something to say about this: "a significant portion of the disposable diaper waste dumped in American's landfills every year is actually biodegradable human waste preserved forever." In order for anything to decompose air and water must be present. However, when landfills are constructed they are designed in such a way as to limit these 2 key components.

Therefore, even if you bought "green" disposables they would still sit unchanged for hundreds of years. On top of that, in 1998, the World Health Organization made it illegal to toss human waste into the trash. This law isn't something you will read on the back of that brand name diaper package. When I was using disposable diapers, I certainly didn't empty out the solids. Why take an extra step?

And of course, finally but certainly not least, is the financial impact diapers have on a family. You have heard it a million times, "Diapers are expensive!" And they're talking about disposable ones. You never hear a family that is actually "cloth diapers are expensive". When comparing the numbers, it's very clear which method is less expensive. Even a coupon-clipping, grocery-gaming mom who can get disposable diapers for free wouldn't come out the winner (or at least not their child).

A quick search on the internet for great diaper deals yields this "bargain": Huggies 40ct size 3 diapers 4-pack for $61.92. If you change your baby's diaper every 2 hours (as recommended) that pack will last 3 days and 8 hours. A year of these diapers would cost $6780.24 at this price. That is only for one year! Let's say we cut that in half for store brand and you still have $3390.12. You would have one rockin' cloth diaper stash if you spent that much money in one year. Buying conservatively and choosing to be frugal guarantees that cloth diapering will save you money (even when you factor in a little extra for washing).

You will love knowing that if all your diapers are dirty or if you are stranded (as were the survivors of Katrina), you can confidently and creatively diaper your child. You will no longer be dependant upon the diaper industry and a paycheck for diapers.

Cloth diapering is an amazing opportunity to lessen your footprint on this Earth. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that choosing to cloth diaper is the best choice biologically, environmentally, and financially.
About the Author
Autumn Beck invites those looking for the latest information on buying, using, washing and making cloth diapers to visit her blog "All About Cloth Diapers" Click Here for The Latest Cloth Diapering Strategies
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