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Help save the planet with cloth diapers

Cloth diapers may bring certain visions to mind — swishing poopy diapers in the toilet, a sad leaky baby and an overworked mother. Thankfully, modern cloth diapers make those nappies of the past look like tissue paper and sandwich bags. They are convenient, easy to care for, absorbent, effective, comfortable and super cute. And the best part? Your baby’s bum is spared several years of constant chemical exposure and thousands of disposable diapers are kept out of the landfills. Read on to discover the marvels of today’s cloth diapers and why you should be using them.

Cloth diapersNot your granny’s diaper

Cloth diapers have come a long way, baby. While the squares of cloth that are similar to what your grandma used to diaper your parents still exist, there are so many different options available to parents today. There are even many that are as easy to use as disposable diapers. They come in a rainbow of colors and fun prints, so they can be quite fashionable too.

Caring for diapers is easy. You can clean off the brown stuff with a diaper sprayer or toss it into the toilet (exclusively breastfed poop does not need to be dealt with at all) and store the diapers in a dry pail until wash day. When you’re ready, pre-soak in cold water followed by a hot water wash and a double rinse. Once you get into a routine, you might find diaper laundry to be fun!

Why cloth diaper?

You may wonder why someone would go through the trouble of cloth diapering when disposables are so easy and available.

Brittney, mom to 1-year-old Bella, says, “It’s one of those things that’s great for emergencies or when there’s no other option, or small inconveniences like vacations, but people have let them become the norm and I think that’s really sad and irresponsible. Just because you throw something away doesn’t mean it’s gone — it’s just changed locations. Whether it’s leaving a mess in the kitchen for someone else to clean up or tossing a ‘sposie’ in the garbage, someone is going to have to clean up the mess eventually.”

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Other moms find that cloth diapers contain leaks and messes better than disposables. Ashley, mom of Aiden and Akaydia, notes, “I cloth diaper because they are so cute and because I always get leaks out of disposables over night … it’s a real pain to have to change pajamas and blankets in the middle of the night due to a leaky diaper.”

Still, more parents are concerned with the chemical-laden composition of the disposable diaper. Jessica, mother of Audrey, says, “I cloth because the thought of all those chemicals on her 24/7 is frightening.”

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The facts

  • One baby, diapered from birth to potty learning, will contribute approximately a ton of waste to our landfills.
  • Disposable diapers may take up to 500 years to decompose.
  • The third most common consumer product in our landfills is disposable diapers.
  • You can spend $2,000 on disposable diapers — or more.
  • Cloth diapers retain much of their value, making resale in a few years a viable option.
  • Disposable diapers contain chemicals, such as dioxin, that are known to be carcinogens as well as damaging to the immune system and reproductive health.

When making your decision, weigh the pros and cons: Do you have a washer and dryer at home? Will you need to utilize daycare and train them how to use your diapers? Even with such obstacles you might find the benefits of cloth outweigh the benefits of disposables. Give them a try!

Learn more about cloth diapering

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