Why Should I Choose Cloth Diapers?

Why Should I Choose Cloth Diapers?
Why choose cloth diapers? Good for you:

Less mess- In our experience, good quality, properly sized fitted cloth diapers will prevent leaks much better than disposable diapers, especially when dealing with the runny stool produced by breast-fed babies. It is so much better to wash diapers than to be continually changing a baby's outfit due to explosive messes!


Yes, we are talking about cloth diapers! All-in-one diapers are similar in construction to disposable diapers and just as easy to get on and off. Fitted diapers and covers with snap or velcro take only a little more time. Even prefolds do not need diaper pins anymore!

Inexpensive flushable liners are now available which prevent soiling of cloth diapers. This eliminates the need for soaking or scraping a soiled diaper. Toss wet diapers in a washable waterproof bag when out of the house, then put the whole thing in the diaper pail when you return. If there is a clothes washer easily accessible, cloth diapers may be placed directly into the wash, eliminating the need for a diaper pail- much easier than taking disposables out in the trash or running to the grocery store to buy more disposables at -40 below!

Good for your pocket

Less Expensive- 3 year Disposable vs. Cloth Cost Comparison in Fairbanks, Alaska

6000 least expensive disposables & wipes available in Fairbanks 6000 Unbleached low impact disposables 10,000 most expensive disposables & wipes available in Fairbanks Prefold diapers (infant & premium), covers, fasteners, wipes, liners, home laundry + soap 3 years, 1.5 loads/week All in One Diapers( 3 sizes), wipes, liners, home laundry + soap, 3 years, 1.5 loads/week Kissaluvs colors (our most expensive) Bummi covers, wipes, liners, laundromat (wash & dry) for 3 years + soap, 2 loads/week Hidden costs- Children in disposables often take up to a year longer to potty train, leading to additional expense. Cloth diapers can be used for more than one child or resold on consignment, further reducing expenses, sometimes dramatically.

Good for the environment

Most disposable diapers contain about 1 cup of crude oil (each), bleached wood pulp, and the super absorbant polymer sodium polyacrylate,(banned from tampons due to link with Toxic Shock Syndrome) along with an asortment of dyes and perfumes. Dioxin, a by product of the manufacturing process which has been linked to infertility and some types of cancer, is also present.

Raw materials-

A study financed by the Women’s Environmental Network in the UK which considered statistics provided by disposable manufacturers reported that when manufacturing was considered, disposable diapers still use “20 times more raw material, 3 times more energy, 2 times more water and generate 60 times more solid waste” than cloth diapers, even when laundering is considered. Production of cotton, hemp and wool fibers is a more efficient use of land than the producton of wood pulp currently used in disposable diaper fill.

Waste disposal-

American disposable diaper use results in roughly 2 billion tons of urine, feces, paper and plastic deposited annually in landfills. Cloth diapers can be reused, eventually composted and human waste flushed into the local sewer system for proper treatment.

Good for Baby:

Healthy skin- Cloth diapers allow air to circulate, reducing heat rash. Some babies may have allergic reactions to the chemicals used in disposable diapers even when fragrances and dyes are not used.

A study by a major disposable diaper manufacturer shows that the incidence of diaper rash rose from 7.1% to 61% between 1970 & 1995, coinciding with the increase in disposable diaper use.

Fewer chemicals-

Sodium polyacrylate, the absorbant plymer found in disposables, was banned from use in tampons after being associated with toxic shock syndrome. It has been shown to be fatal to be pets when ingested. Dioxin, a byproduct of the bleaching process for the wood pulp in disposables, has been linked with cancer, infertility and other health problems.The effect of holding these chemicals and others next to baby’s skin for 3 years has not been tested.

Choking hazard-

Cloth diapers are harder to pull apart than plastic disposables, posing less of a choking risk. We do indeed know babies who have both choked on and ingested pieces of disposable diaper, along with all the chemicals they contain.

This information is presented by Blueberry Baby and is based on local Fairbanks prices gathered in March 2004 in an unofficial survey, and available information which is current, to the best of our knowledge as of February 21, 2004

Look for cloth diapers in "Making Your Baby Organic" section of Sunflower Lane baby Gifts.

References: http://enviro-baby.com/wclothvsdisp.html Retrieved February 6, 2004

Environmental concerns II: Looking at Both Sides of the Issue, retrieved October 13, 2003 from http://webhome.idirect.com/~born2luv/e-concerns2.html

The New Parents Guide (2004), Diapers...Diapers...Diapers...Cloth vs. Disposable, Retrieved February 5, 2004, from http://www.thenewparentsguide.com/diapers.htm

Diaper Dilemmas, retrieved February 5, 2004, from http://www.asac.ab.ca/BI_winter0304/diaperdilemmas.html

Kerstin Ruth Wolf, Don't Throw It All Away: Paper Products and the Environment, Retrieved February 5, 2004, from Grinell College Technology Concentration web site: http://web.grinnell.edu/techstudies/wolfk/ubp.html

Other resources: http://www.wen.org.uk/nappies http://www.diaperpin.com http://www.borntolove.com/d-list1y.shtml