Babies spend 99% of their time in diapers, so choosing organic diapers is a very important part of organic baby care. When is comes to organic diapers, there are both cloth and disposable varieties. Personally, I use cloth diapers most of the time, although I have used some organic or natural disposable diapers as well.
There are many great reasons to cloth diaper. I have three children and converted to cloth when my second was about one year old. I had never seriously considered the idea but I started looking into it on the suggestion of some friends, and decided to give it a try! I love putting lovely soft cloth diapers on my babies instead of paper/plastic diapers. I could just kick myself for waiting so long to make the switch and I try to spread the word about how well cloth has worked for me and encourage others to give it a try. There are several reasons why cloth diapers are the best choice for me:
1. Environment. Cloth diapers are much better for the environment. Disposables make up a high percentage of solid waste going into landfills and probably take literally hundreds of years to decompose (though nobody can say for sure because they have only really been around for about 50 years or so). The environmental impact of their production and distribution, particularly in terms of oil usage, is also daunting.
2. Baby’s health. Cloth diapers are better for babies’ health. Babies in cloth have fewer diaper rashes and are not exposed to the super-aborbent chemicals in most of today’s disposable diapers, one of which was banned from tampons after it was suspected to be a cause of toxic shock syndrome.
3. Finances. Cloth diapers can save you a lot of money, especially if you have or plan to have more than one child.
4. Potty training/learning. Cloth diapers can help your child potty train earlier because certain types of cloth diapers allow your child to feel the wetness more than in a disposable. My older daughter started potty learning of her own initiative when she was only 18 months old!
5. Comfort. Cloth diapers seem so much more comfy for baby! Would you rather wear cloth or plastic undies?
6. Cuteness. Cloth diapers are so much cuter than disposables, in my opinion. Cloth diapers are available in a large variety of fun and gorgeous colors and designs or clean, basic white, if you prefer.
7. Effectiveness. In my experience, it was very common for a bowel movement in a disposable diaper to end up squished up my baby’s back and all over his clothes! I call these messy incidents “blowouts.” I actually had to cut a turtleneck off my son after a particularly terrible one. I can count on one hand the number of blowouts I have had using cloth. Most cloth diapers have soft binding along the lower back and thighs to keep messes in. The ironic thing is that many people don’t want to use cloth because of squeamishness about washing their own diapers, but don’t realize that cloth will save them from having to wash out poopy clothing!
I find that many of these benefits resonate with parents who believe in the ideals behind organic baby care, particularly baby’s health and environmental concerns. It feels pretty wonderful to diaper my baby in soft, natural cloth, and to tote a less than half-full bin to the curb on garbage day rather than a bin full of stinky disposables that will sit in the landfill for 500 years. I encourage anyone interested in organic baby care to give cloth diapers a try! Even if you only cloth diaper part-time, you and your baby will still benefit.