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why choose cloth?

CLOTH DIAPERS ARE HEALTHIER FOR YOUR BABY

Did you know that there are toxic chemicals in disposable diapers?  No one really knows what effect these chemicals have on the long term health of your baby.

Dioxin is a by-product of the chlorine bleaching process and trace amounts can be found on disposable diapers. Dioxins are highly toxic carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. 

Tributyl-tin (TBT), which is a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals. It was removed from tampons in the 1980's, yet disposable diapers contain TBT, and it can sit against your baby's skin for up to 24 hours per day. 

Sodium Polyacrylate Gel, which absorbs 100 times its weight in liquid. Studies have shown that when these chemicals become wet they become even more absorbent and they pull the moisture from the baby's body, thereby diminishing the normal defences of the skin. You can see when this is happening as your baby's bottom will look a bit shrivelled. Additionally, and perhaps the most compelling reason to use cloth diapers, is that sodium polyacrylate gel is suspected of exacerbating, and even causing, asthma.

Newborn skin has an underdeveloped outer layer, chemicals more readily absorb through the skin and into the fat cells posing a health risk when compared to adult skin.

CLOTH DIAPERS ARE MORE COMFORTABLE FOR YOUR BABY

Babies are comfortable if they are changed when they need to be. Good hygiene can go a very long way to preventing diaper rash. A newborn if awake should be checked for wetness every 60-90 minutes. Cloth diapers are made of 100% natural soft absorbent cotton and are gentle on baby's skin. Cotton is a breathable material allowing fresh air to freely circulate, cooling and preventing diaper rash.

Cotton is kinder and more comfortable to baby's skin than paper or stiff plastic and contains no irritating perfumes or chemicals. The interior of single use disposable diapers do not breathe well and therefore can be at a much higher temperature. Parents tend to change single use disposable diapers less often than cloth diapers increasing the risk of diaper rash as heat and moisture provide an excellent medium for bacterial growth.

Innovative cloth diaper designs provide a slim, tailored fit. The fit, natural softness and dryness are all there for baby's cotton comfort.  Babies are comfortable if they are changed when they need to be.

THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS WHEN USING CLOTH DIAPERS

The average child with go through 5,000 to 6,000 diaper changes from birth to age two and a half. Based on the cost for disposable diapers, that's $2,000 to $2,500 per child! In comparison, you can cloth diaper a child from birth to potty-training anywhere from $500-$800 (depending on the type of diapers you choose).  That savings doubles and triples as you have more children because you can use the same cloth diapers on them.  No more running to the store every week for more diapers! Invest one time and your cloth diapers can carry you from birth to potty training!  Even better, cloth diapers and accessories have a resale value even after you're done with them! And babies in cloth are changed more regularly than in disposable diapers resulting in very few diaper rashes saving you from having to purchase expensive rash creams and treatments.

COST The costs calculated below for disposable, single use diapers are based on two of the most popular brands, using a store known for its value pricing.

PACKAGE
COST PER DIAPER
CHANGES PER DAY
WEARING FOR
TOTAL COST
Newborn
0.34
9-12
2 weeks
$47.60
Size 1
0.22
7-9
10 weeks
$123.20
Size 2
0.26
7-9
3 months
$187.20
Size 3
0.32
7-9
3 months
$230.40
Size 4
0.37
7-9
3 months
$266.40
Size 5
0.41
4-6
12 months
$748.25
Training
0.45
4
6 months
$327.60
TOTAL
 
5413 total changes
 
$2379.60

This calculation is a conservative one assuming your child will be potty trained and not require disposable diapers or training pants (even at night) by 2 ½ years old.  Your child's individual sleep pattern, body functions and their time frame for toilet training success will determine the number of actual diaper changes required.  It also does not take into account the disposable wipes that will likely be purchased.

Please keep in mind your child is in the large size single use disposable diaper for the longest stage of diapering and yes, they are the most expensive @ approximately $0.45 each.

Cloth diapering is relatively simple and financially rewarding for families who can save from a minimum of $1,600.00 and also pay for themselves within a six to nine month period.

A quick estimation of cost; Consumer Report estimates that the most inefficient washer and dryer system costs approximately $0.78 per load to launder whereas more efficient models will cost approximately $0.44 per load to launder. So wash your own, for less than $3.00/weekly including water, power and detergent or spend $15.00- $20.00/weekly for single use disposable diapers.

OUR ENVIRONMENT

It is shocking to learn just how bad disposable diapers are for our planet.  Did you know it takes around 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to manufacture the disposable diapers for American babies alone? Environment Canada estimates over 4 million disposable diapers are discarded in Canada alone per day (1.46 billion per year).  That is millions of tons of human waste sitting in our landfills potentially leaching into our ground water.  When solid waste is emptied into the toilet, it is treated in the waste treatment plant and does not end up in the landfill.

Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills and represent 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste!  Approximately 250,000 tonnes of disposable diapers are sent for disposal each year in Canada, according to 2004 figures. 

Effluents from the disposable diaper manufacturing process (plastic, pulp and bleached paper) are more damaging to the environment than the cotton and hemp growing and manufacturing process used for cloth diapers.

Cloth diapers are healthy for our environment. Consider the numbers: 24 cloth diapers, which are used over and over; most likely for more than one child, or on average 5413 single use diapers per child.  Throw away isn't go away, and what appears to be immediately advantageous also has long term consequences. It is agreed by many objective reports that so-called single use disposable diapers are the WORST environmental choice including; Environment Canada, The Recycling Councils of Ontario and BC, The BC Medical Association, The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC), The Worldwide Home Environmentalists Network (WHEN), and The David Suzuki Foundation.

Disposable diapers are not biodegradable and make up a significant amount of municipal waste. A landfill site does not provide the conditions necessary for the single use diaper to biodegrade. The containers that hold your dirty disposable diapers mummify the diapers into our landfill sites for eternity. Consider the cost to operate additional landfill sites and the depletion of our natural forests. Is this the legacy you want for future generations? What message are we teaching our children?

As of 2004, approximately 1.7 billion disposable diapers were used each year in Canada, accounting for 85 percent of the diaper market.  Before disposable diapers were introduced, all babies in North America were diapered in cloth. Within 10 years of the arrival of disposable diapers on the market, the number of cloth diaper users quickly dwindled to 10 per cent. 

This is our generation doing the damage - let’s make a difference by using cloth diapers again!  Save the extra money you would spend on disposables for your child’s RESP rather than put it in the landfill.

CONVENIENCE OF CLOTH DIAPERS

Do you imagine the clean-up involved with using cloth diapers will be tedious and messy involving dunking and swishing? NOT ANYMORE! Today's cloth diapers are just as easy to use as disposables.  The inside of the diaper is made with a soft wicking fabric so the moisture goes through to the insert and baby feels dry longer. Clean up is easy depending on the type of diaper you choose.  Shake the solids off into the toilet or install a diaper sprayer so that it can be sprayed off.  Shake or snap the liner off the diaper and toss into a dry diaper bag.  When you go to wash, simply empty the bag and include it with the diapers. 

Cloth diapers are less likely to leak because of a two stage containment system. Not only does a leak have to get past the elasticized leg of the diaper it has to escape out of the leg gusset of the cover as well. The diaper and cover work in tandem to prevent leaks.

Velcro or snap closings have done away with pins, making modern cloth diapers as easy to change as single use diapers. Today's cloth diapers require no folding Stay Dry Liners catch a child's bowel movements so you don't have to rinse the entire diaper.

Think about it...you are running low on diapers and the weather is less than great outside.  Dump your cloth diapers into the washer and turn it on and within two hours your clean fresh soft cloth diapers are available. Or, you could bundle up baby, warm up the car and trek to the store to spend $15.00 (or more) and carry the bulky disposables home.  How convenient is that?

You'll never have to hold your nose while emptying and re-bagging one of those complicated Diaper holder contraptions (which only take special bags which you have to purchase).  And you'll have approximately two bags less of garbage to haul to the curb every week!

STYLE

Are you thinking of flat diapers that need to be folded and fastened with diaper pins, and then covered with plastic pull on covers?  Not so!  Cloth diapers today come in tons of different colors, styles, and patterns. Photographers still traditionally photograph diapered babies in cloth diapers, simply because they are so much cuter!

OTHER ADVANTAGES OF CLOTH

POTTY TRAINING Think you have to wait to age 3 to potty-train? Not with cloth!  Babies in cloth diapers potty train sooner than babies in disposables!  Many believe this is because babies can feel the wetness much easier in cloth than in modern pull-ups and training pants.  This is a clear advantage in potty training.

BREAST FEEDING A simple indicator allowing a new mother to determine if her newborn is being breast fed successfully is the number of wet diapers her baby produces. Due to the super-absorbent padding found in today’s single use disposable diapers, it can be very difficult to know if your baby has a wet diaper. It can be a true confidence builder to readily detect that your child is producing 8-12 wet diapers a day. A new mother may decide incorrectly that her child is not feeding well and switch to a bottle because she is unaware of the wetness her child is producing in disposable single use diapers. Cloth diapers assist in detecting signs of illness and attaining prompt medical intervention.

References: Real Diaper Association www.realdiaperassociation.org

cloth diapering information for canadians why choose cloth diapers happy heinys cloth diapers
   
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