You have heard that cloth diapers are better for the environment and for your wallets, but what about the babies themselves?
Doctors recommend that babies be changed every 2-3 hours (except in the case of nap time and overnight) and even more frequently for newborns since they poop more often.
A baby sitting in any diaper for a prolonged amount of time will result in a rash, though this is not the only source of rashes by any means since rashes can also be caused from food allergies and teething among other sources. Unfortunately, our society has gotten to the point that if the package says a diaper can be worn for 12 hours, there are parents that without thinking, will leave their baby in that diaper for that long on a continual basis and just lather their baby with more rash cream when their skin reacts. The baby’s bottom may feel dry from the wicking properties of disposable diapers but it isn’t clean (urine breaks down into ammonia) and a wet diaper is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Also, in an age where chemical sensitivities and allergies are on the rise, it is no wonder many frustrated parents are switching to cloth out of necessity to help their baby’s bottom heal from bad reactions to disposable diapers.
The truth is there are a lot of chemicals used in many brands of disposable diapers. What are some of these substances? Dioxin -an extremely toxic by-product of the paper bleaching process, Tributyl-tin (TBT) –a toxic pollutant that is known to cause hormonal problems, and even sodium polyacrylate (those funky crystals that gel when wet) –has been linked to the increased risk of toxic shock syndrome when a similar substance was used in super absorbent tampons in the 80’s. More information on the facts can be found at: http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php
For me personally, I looked forward to putting that fresh new-to- the-planet baby of mine in soft cloth for his first diaper and clothing experience instead of wrapping him in paper, plastic, and chemicals. I wanted the only smell to be that “newborn baby” smell all mothers seem to crave rather than the scent of some perfumed disposable diaper.
If disposable diapers really were better and more “sanitary,” don’t you think we would all be disposable clothing by now? Cloth is perfectly sanitary. The world did function prior to the introduction to disposable diapers.
- Michelle is a mother of two active boys, 2.5 years old and 6 weeks old. She is so addicted to and passionate about cloth diapers that she has her own cloth diaper store, Green Diaper Demos. She is co-hosting the Great Cloth Diaper Change in Bellingham, WA.
About The Great Cloth Diaper Change Ambassadors
We are a team of writers who are all part of The Great Cloth Diaper Change, an international initiative organized with the help of the nonprofit Real Diaper Association. The event is designed to show the world that cloth diapers are a real option for today’s families. The Great Cloth Diaper Change is an exciting Guinness World Record breaking event, and in 2011, more than 5,000 babies were changed simultaneously. For more information visit www.GreatClothDiaperChange.com.