Cloth Diapers: Are They More Flintstones or Jetsons?
Do you have a need to feel like you are helping save the earth by not purchasing Pampers? Do you believe that people who use cloth diapers for their baby is being a bit “over the top” trying to making a statement of some sort? Well, we will address some of the points that both sides of the fence may feel with respect to this debate.
Full disclosure: The author utilizes manufactured cloth diapers for the little one during the day, but disposables at night. Find out why this strange relationship is allowed to exist later!
Lettuce Begin!! For starters, when anyone thinks of cloth diapers, my bet is they are thinking back to the days when all mothers had was a trifolded cloth that they secured with safety pins. Today’s reusable diapers are not being carried down to a local river and beaten against a rock in the stream to clean them. Technology has come a loooong way from that, my friend. However, modern society is all about putting waste outside as quickly as possible and a disposable diaper gets that job done as well as any product out there.
However, some people fear that those same one-and-dones will still be around taking up space long (and I mean LONG) after there useful life has passed. In fact, some people believe that it takes anywhere from 200 to 500 years for the typical disposable diaper to decompose, which means our kids’ grandkids quite possibly may be up to their necks in poopy filler from the last 5 decades or so.
250-500 years: That’s how long it takes a “disposable” diaper to decompose in a landfill. 1-2 tons: That’s how much waste each child in “disposable” diapers sends to the landfill in two years. 4,000,000: How many diapers are tossed into landfills every day in Canada. H/T Cheerful Cheeks
Still, the thought of fussing with disposing of poop via other means just really is not a pleasant idea for today’s harried, hurried, busy-as-heck parent.
For some of the more adventurous however, the feeling is that today’s man-made reusable cloth diapers are as easy to use as their disposable counterparts. Their flushable liners and high-tech comfort fabrics makes them an increasingly attractive choice for many parents appalled by the landfill nightmare that currently manufactured diapers are.
In general cloth diapers are made of waterproof covers to lock in moisture, and include diaper inserts (cloth pads inserted into the outer cover to increase absorbency), and flushable bio-degradable liners that helps to contain the waste.
Cloth diapers are easy to wash, especially if you want to wash them yourself (there also exist diaper services, which pick up dirty diapers and deliver clean ones). By doing so cloth diapers can be reused again and again for more than one baby making them eco-friendly.
Safety of Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are built to last long and their liners are useful in order to keep your diapers cleaner. The liners are be made of paper or cellulose which is degradable, or polyester fleece which is washable and being nonabsorbent will dry out as your baby’s body heat evaporates any moisture through to the diaper so it dries out and acts as a stay dry layer in the diaper. For diaper rash, silk or silver liners have a soothing and antibacterial action.
Most brands can be used with a baby weighing from 3 to 35 pounds by adjusting the rise of the diaper using the front snaps. The use of the hour glass shape materials separate moisture from the skin and the use of inner elastic band for better fit and containment of waste material follows the recent innovations made on cloth diapers.
Fully washable diapers tend to be less expensive to maintain than those that need disposable inserts. But over 2 or 3 years, disposable diapers become the most expensive choice. Some cloth diapering systems can be used with a variety of inserts—ones you can wash, ones you can flush, and some you can compost helping us save our environment. Not forgetting they can also be used on sensitive skins as they do not contain dangerous chemicals used in making disposable absorbent.
Easy To Clean
Cloth diapers are the easiest to clean on the market making them the order of the day. Washing them is very easy, as you don’t have to soak, rinse or flush a diaper. First you simply shake the solid waste into the toilette and put the diaper into a plastic-lined bucket each time you change your baby. The diapers can later be put into a washing machine and washed with detergent. I advise you wash them twice adding plenty of detergent each time. Rinse twice to completely remove all detergent residue from your laundry and dry on hot.
Not As Bad As You Might Think!
Cloth Diapers are sustainable and can be a significant money saver, buy enough so you won’t have to wash them more frequently than every two to three days. Pay close attention to washing instructions until you come up with your own system. “People are often afraid of the washing, but once they do it they realize that it’s no big deal”.
Cloth diapers are made from the highest quality of materials helping reduce our environmental impact. It has durable snaps, hook & loop and double layer of waterproof PUL creating a perfect no leak sturdy shell with a wipe able inside lasting for many washes.
Saving The Earth
Saving the world by implementing a green lifestyle is something that more and more people are aiming to do, and should you decide to join the movement, using reusable cloth diapers is a great and cost effective way to start. Purchasing only all organic, chemical free products is another way that we can go green, and is considered a very effective method at trying to save our environment and all of its resources making it healthier.
Reusable cloth diapers create less waste as compared to the disposables. Add this to the effect it has on our environment and the comfort these give and maybe give cloth-diapering a try.
Some parents think their children get fewer or no rashes with cloth diapers, this is true due to the fact that if baby is wet, no materials pressing against their tender skin will help this condition.
Also, be prepared for a significant amount of work when you wash em, dry em, and put em away. First off, we do not wash the diapers in anything less than scalding hot water because otherwise they will carry a smell going forward. At first we thought we could just use detergent to make it better, but we soon found out that detergent residue allows moisture to escape the diaper before absorption could take place.
Next, we had to learn to put two absorbent pads into each cloth diaper in order to allow it to absorb more urine which cut down on the amount of times you’d need change the diaper. However, stuffing the absorbing pads into the diapers we are using is a huge PITA. So we do the stuffing as part of dry laundry folding process because it is way too difficult to do when you have a baby that needs changing who is not interested in sitting still while you assemble a diaper!
Lastly, we determined that our baby’s skin just couldn’t handle being left in the cloth diaper for an extra long period overnight. Rashes were a constant until we finally decided that a super absorbent disposable diaper was the best move for sleep time. This solved the rash problem, and allowed us not to have to worry about changing a urine only situation at night. This was helped by the fact that my son fell into a urine only habit during nighttime sleep early in his third or fourth month.
In conclusion, if you want to practice a green(er) lifestyle, then you can make your contribution to saving the world by purchasing organic and chemical free products where possible. Using reusable cloth diaper is a step towards more sustainable living, but make no mistake, it is real work added onto an already tough job of parenting.