One of the main issues a new parent will face when a child is born is the diapers. A single child will wear diapers for as long as 2.5 – 3 years. As a new parent, we shall distinguish which options to look for – disposable diapers or cloth diapers. Disposable diapers become so popular nowadays and most commonly use by most parent. But what is cloth diaper? For new parents, some of them may not familiar with it.
Cloth diapers have been in existence since long time ago before the disposable diapers were introduced. The traditional cloth diapers are just a piece of flat absorbent cloth, they are folded according to baby shape, wrap over baby bottom and secured it with a pin. Nowadays the cloth diapers have been evolved with better design and convenience. For the history of diapers, you can refer to Wikipedia link to read in more details.
Just to give you some thought which will benefit both the baby and you. Let’s find out more as i will be sharing some useful information to enable you make such decision.
Cloth diapers are made of waterproof plastic (outer layer) and inner absorbent material layer. This absorbent material can be made of synthetic microfiber or natural fiber like cotton, hemp or bamboo blends. This material can be rewash and reused multiple times. In long terms, you will only need 20-30 pieces of cloth diapers for your baby until he/she is reaching 2.5 – 3 years old.
The design of the cloth diapers nowadays is well suited baby shape and secured by either a velcro or a snap on the baby. An insert is placed in the middle of the diaper, to contain the feces or urine to prevent leak. It is believed babies with cloth diapers experience less irritation from nappy rash as to compared with babies who are using disposable diapers. Of course, the replacement of cloth diapers are more frequent than disposable one due to less ability in terms of absorbency.
Let me calculate how much you can save from cloth diapers.
Savings from cloth diapers (CD) vs disposable diaper(DD)
Estimate cost per piece = $5 (CD) & $0.50 (DD)
Estimate no of diapers need for a child per day = 15 pieces (CD) & 10 pieces (DD)
No of diaper used for 2.5 years (913 days). e.g 40 pieces (CD) (reusable) & 9125 pieces (DD)
Total expenses for a child in 2.5 years = $200 (CD) & $4,565 (DD)
Now, not only look at the costing, we shall consider the main health concern of the cloth diapers to your babies. Basically no chemicals which will be harmful to your baby’s skin ! That’s the reason why some parent opt for cloth diapers.
Before that, lets us see how disposable diapers are considered harmful to your babies as well as the environment.
A study published in the “Archives of Environmental Health” in 1999 states that disposable diapers should be considered to be a factor that may cause or worsen childhood asthma and respiratory problems. Babies are prone to skin irritation and allergies are mostly due to the chemicals in the disposable diapers.
The most common chemicals found in disposable diapers as a result of the byproduct of the process as well as the raw materials used.
One of them is known as dioxin. Due to the diapers are bleach with chlorine ( that’s why they looks white) the byproduct which contain dioxins is able to cause skin irritation and affecting our immune system if long term exposure.
There is a super absorbent chemical used in the filler called Sodium polyacrylate. They are found in the lining of the diaper to bind fluids and prevent leakage. This chemical can cause skin irritation and respiratory problem to the child too.
Most of the disposable diapers contain these chemicals which are not biodegradable and harmful to the aquatic system and our environment. Some disposable diapers are expensive if they are non-toxic diapers. There are some example of diaper brands in the market which are considered non-toxic diapers, maybe you can check them out.
In the nutshell, most disposable diapers are not environment friendly and they are not biodegradable. Disposal of these diapers will cause massive waste problem as the quantities are huge and they are not reusable.
For cloth diapers, you just need to brush off the solid into the toilet, soak, wash them with soft detergent and dry them under the sun. You can use them multiple time.See, cloth diapers can be reused and that’s is the wonderful thing that we can do to help conserve the environment.
Well, there are some negative factors which hold us back when comes to cloth diapers. These are the reasons why the cloth diapers are still not as popularly used by most parent. Here are the top 3:
- The cleaning of dirty cloth diapers usually have to be done within one day or two. Otherwise, you probably cannot stand the smell if you leave them too long in the pail. If you are a busy mom, cleaning of dirty cloth diapers are the least thing you wanna do.
- The frequency of wet diapers change cause inconveniences. If we are always on the run, travel by road or by other means of public transport for some reason, you need to keep lots of cloth diapers for change and dirty diapers too.
- The handling of the baby’s waste. As the cloth diapers are less absorbent, we need to change it more frequently. The handling of wet cloth diapers are messy and most of the people are reluctant to clean them. Just feel troublesome to handle the soiled diapers like every hourly or bi hourly because the cloth diapers cannot hold much urine or feces.
If you are a stay home mom, or you have someone to assist you for the housework, cloth diapers are still a better options to your kids. Not only the cost is much cheaper and help conserve the environment, the baby’s skin is not expose to hazardous chemical which can lead them with skin problem or other health effects.
How about you as a working mom, do you choose cloth diapers for your baby? You may share your experience using your cloth diapers here in the comment below, i wish to hear from you too.
Well, definitely depends on what is best fit to you and your baby. The choice is still yours.
Back to basics, guys!