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The Quality Diapers and Cloth Diaper Debate

The Quality Diapers and Cloth Diaper Debate

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Published by: QualityDiapers on Jan 03, 2012
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01/03/2012

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 ==== ====For Great Quality Diapers Products and Tips Check Out This Sitewww.quality-diapers.com ==== ====It's true that for many of us diapers are not a critical aspect of daily life. Even parents of youngchildren only address dithering needs for a few short years. Interestingly, the impact of thedisposable diaper however affects each of us and is a long-lasting trouble. It is currently estimatedthat 10,000 tons of disposable diapers are tossed into landfills each day. Each of these 10,000diapers take up to 500 years to decompose, at best. Not to mention that the manufacture ofdisposables uses over 1 million metric tons of wood pulp and 75,000 metric tons of plastic eachyear. Disposable are the diaper of choice for over 80% of North American parents despite thesegrisly statistics. Why is this? As a cloth diapering mama, I am quite familiar with cloth diapers andtruly the only thing I can come up with is that the general public is simply unaware of their optionsand the ease of this economical and ecofriendly diapering option. Benefits of Cloth Diapers A Healthier Option for Baby: Disposables are laden with dangerouschemicals. These chemicals have long been associated with various physical issues and ailments.Furthermore, diaper rash also increases with disposable diaper use due to allergies to these nastychemicals, poor air flow and longer time spent in wet diapers which feel dry when actually wet. Advantageous to Our Earth: Cloth diapers are reusable. Quality cotton diapers will hold up for aminimum of 100 washings and can be saved for the next child. I, personally, was able to diaperboth my daughter and son in the same set. I cannot tell you how many washings those diapersheld together for. Although energy is required for washing diapers, it is a fraction of the energyused for production, manufacturing, transportation and disposal of disposable diapers. Clothdiapers are also recyclable; making excellent dust cloths and rags after baby grows out of them. Easy on the Purse-strings: Many studies have compared the costs of disposable diapers versuscloth washed at home and cloth diapers provided by commercial diaper services. The consensusis that cloth diapers, home laundered are considerably cheaper than busying disposables. Byusing cloth diapers your family will save approximately $2500 per child. Diaper services offer thesame health and environmental benefits. They are comparable in cost to disposable diapers.Frugal eco-mamas should note this. Not Your Mother's Diaper Today's diapers are not at all like yesterdays. My mother's diapers werehomemade flannel flat diapers, held together with pins and fitted with a hot sticky plastic pant. Thiswas the only option for parents at the time. Today's parents have plenty of choices: Flat: Flat diapers are the classic cotton square (mentioned above) which is folded to fit the babyand secured with diaper pins. These are the least expensive option currently available costingapproximately $10-20 per dozen. Prefolded diapers are similar to flat diapers however are alreadyfolded and offer added padding in the center. Contoured diapers are similar to prefolds but moreform-fitting. Contours are less bulky under clothing. Flat, prefolded and contoured diapers all
 
require waterproof outer covers which are available in many options discussed later on. Fitted diapers are similar to the contour diapers but also use elastic throughout the waistband andleg area to reduce leakage and provide a snug fit. Fitted diapers also have built-in closures suchas snaps or Velcro. No pins needed! Similar to the Flat designs fitted diapers require the additionof waterproof outer covers. These diapers are more expensive than flat designs rangingapproximately $60-$75 per dozen. All-in-ones: This style is the Gucci of diapers. It offers a waterproof cover built-in. They areincredibly convenient because only one item is needed for diaper changes. Most nervous Daddy's,in my experience, have even felt comfort in these diapers. All-in-ones have snap or Velcroclosures are adjustable for size. This style is the most suitable for babysitters, day care centersand quick on-the-go changes. It is also the most expensive with diapers ranging in price between$25-30 per diaper. Diapering Accessories Diaper covers: Waterproof covers are used over flat or fitted diapers.These are crucial. The most common cover is the plastic pull up which is inexpensive andlightweight but not breathable. They are also susceptible to tearing and cracking, especially if putthrough the dryer. Nylon diaper covers are another option. This is the option I personally preferand truly have fallen in love with my diaper covers. Nylon covers are a bit more expensive, arealso lightweight and not nearly as prone to tearing. Ensure that all nylon covers have brushed orcoated elastic around the leg and waist. Wool covers are yet another option. They are breathable,very comfortable and water-resistant. They are also pricey and not water-proof. Fleece covers area relatively new option. They are very similar to wool covers but are appropriate for those withwool sensitivities. Lastly, polyester covers are waterproof, breathable and very long-lasting. Theyare very soft and comfortable. They are also quite pricey. Polyester, wool, fleece and some nyloncovers come with snap or Velcro closures thereby eliminating the need to pull them up over thefeet and legs. This is handy in when baby has pants and shoes on and in very cold weather.These covers also come in a variety of colors and designs so the little one stays as stylish asalways, even in just diapers! Liners: Liners can be added to diaper, on the inside for extra absorbency. This is useful forovernights, naps and long car trips when diaper changes might be farther apart. Liners areavailable as re-usable or as disposables. Reusable liners sometimes offer a facing of polyesterwhich helps prevent diaper rash because they stay drier against the skin. Inserts: Inserts are pads which can double the absorbency of the diaper. They are bulkier thanliners and also very useful for longer periods between diaper changes. Cloth Diapering Care Diapers are simple to care for. First obtain a diaper pail with fitted lid. In myexperience, kitchen garbage bins work much better than the tiny wimpy diaper genies departmentstores market to parents. Keep your pail dry and away from heat sources or direct sunlight. Somemay disagree with this part. In times before, it was often recommended to have a solution insidethe diaper pail soaking at all times. Personally, I believe all this does is create a pail of filthy soup. Ihave been unable to see any difference in diaper cleanliness, appearance or texture. When babyneeds a diaper change simply take the cloth diaper out and put into the pail. The cover may behand washed, rinsed and hung up to dry. (my shower was a haven for diaper covers for a while). Ifthere is any solid contributions in the diaper, simply flip them into the toilet and then deposit soiled
 
diaper in pail. If you feel a burning desire to pre-treat or attempt stain removal, please do so. Inever have simply because they are diapers after all and are only going to immediately be poopedon. Literally. When your pail is full or you are ready to wash, put all the diapers in the washingmachine. The first load wash with a cup of vinegar. This is a natural way to rid the diapers of theurea and acid in the urine. Avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals. The second load washwith regular detergent. Do the same for the third and final wash although add on an extra rinseafter. It is recommended to line dry diapers if possible. Many moms will line dry them for most ofthe time and then pop them in the dryer for 15 minutes to soften them up. Do not use fabricsoftener or dryer sheets. Always hand wash and dry covers. They will last much, much longer.When unsure simply consult your diaper company's website for care advice. Top 10 Reasons to Convert to Cloth1. Cloth diapers equal big savings for your pocketbook and our planet2. By using cloth diapers your family will NOT contribute an additional 1 ton of landfill waste3. Less diaper rashes4. No exposure to sodium polyacralate5. Your family will not have to fuss with getting 1-2 bags of disposable diaper trash to the curb forthe garbage man6. Your baby may avoid asthma. The Archives of Environmental Health tested six leading clothdiapers and six leading disposable diapers and discovered the emissions from one disposablediaper were high enough to produce asthma-like symptoms in mice7. Your family will reduce your carbon footprint.8. Faster potty training. Children in cloth diapers recognize sooner when they are wet versusbabies in disposable diapers9. Cloth diapers are easy and adorable!10. No more late night runs to the store for diapers! Out of diapers? Simply throw a load in thewash. Cloth diapers are a great way to provide healthy, efficient, and adorable diapers to the benefit ofboth your baby but also your ecosystem. As you can see, cloth diapers are simply not asfrightening as their reputation would imply. Diapers have changed a lot and suddenly moms haveplenty of options. My suggestion to you is to buy a variety of different styles, types, and brands.Try eBay or Craigslist to keep the cost down. Then, you can see for yourself what you like, andwhat you don't before sinking a pile of money into this adventure. Also remember you don't haveto cloth diaper exclusively. While my family decided it was best for us, many others cloth diaperpart time and reserve disposables for travel and day cares. If you absolutely must usedisposables, try Seventh Generation, Broody, Nature or Earth's Best organic disposable diapers.As a reminder, check your Craigslist, eBay, and always watch the thrift stores as well. Then youwill have the satisfaction of reducing and reusing those precious cloth diapers. Judith is a freelance writer, aromatherapist and soap maker. You can visit her at Natural fromHome.  

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