The idea of using washable diapers as an alternative to disposable diapers is a great way of reducing your carbon footprint. In addition to taking care of your baby and the environment, cloth diapers have proven to be less expensive than single-use diapers. In this article, you will learn all the characteristics and benefits of reusable diapers!
What's the deal with disposable diapers?
The environmental impact of disposable diapers is one of the main sources of waste on the planet. More than 77 billion diapers are thrown away in the world each year, adding tons of non-recyclable waste. This is a fairly considerable figure if you take into account that they take hundreds of years to decompose.
Switching from disposable diapers to cloth diapers
Cloth diapers are a great alternative to disposable diapers. They can be reused indefinitely as long as they are taken care of, as they are made of fabrics and materials that are easily washed in the washing machine.
Modern-day parents are more conscientious of their environmental impact, and it makes no sense for them to soil the earth while taking care of their little ones. In addition, transitioning to cloth diapers has proven to be eco-friendly and just as economical in the long run. It must be said that reusable diapers have adorable patterns that conventional disposable diapers don’t
Characteristics of reusable diapers
Although there are different types of reusable diapers, all of them naturally have the characteristic of being washable, which allows them to be reusable. Reusable diapers are made from natural fabrics (cotton, gauze, bamboo fiber, etc.), absorbent synthetic fabrics (microfiber), and waterproof fabrics.
Washable or reusable diapers are also available in different sizes and formats. You can find them for newborn babies and older babies, as well as one-size-fits-all. Although no parents want to be reminded that their little one will soon be of age, reusable potty training pants are great to minimize the small accidents that can occur when transitioning to the potty,
6 benefits of using cloth diapers
Here are key benefits of using cloth diapers:
Better for the health of your baby
Appropriate urine absorption
Easier potty training
Good airflow and perspiration
1. Better for the health of your baby
Diaper dermatitis is one of the dermatological diseases that appear during the first year of life. This inflammation of the skin is due to moistness, microbes, and constant friction which causes worrying symptoms. Unlike disposable diapers who contain dyes, sodium polyacrylate, and dioxin, cloth diapers are made of pure fabrics that won’t cause harm to your baby’s skin or nervous system.
Sodium polyacrylate (“super absorbent gel” often bragged about in commercials) is linked to toxic shock syndrome and allergic reactions, while dioxin and dyes are causally linked to damage to the kidney, liver, and central nervous system. Small amounts of dioxin cause immune system suppression, liver disease, and are known to exacerbate genetic problems in lab animals.
Did you know that during the first three years of life, each child produces about a ton’s worth of disposable diapers? Taking into consideration that it takes diapers 200-400 years to decompose, it quickly becomes ludicrous to wrap in plastic something so natural. According to industry data, 3.5 billion gallons of oil are employed each year to manufacture 18 million disposable diapers (source).
3. Economically sound
As you well know, cloth diapers must always be washed and that will take you approximately 60 minutes a week, frequently using the washing machine and a little more effort than disposable ones. However, the financial savings you will make are an advantage that cannot be stressed enough.
A one-size-fits-all washable diaper can cost between $5 and $30, depending on which style you prefer. For a set of 20-25 diapers, perhaps associating washable wipes and a few rolls of absorbent poop pads, you can spend between $ 200 and $ 700.
As for disposable diapers, even if you buy the cheapest ones on the market, you will hardly spend less than $ 1,000 per year, to which you have to add the cost of wipes. The comparison becomes even more unbalanced when you consider that reusable diapers can serve a new baby brother or sister!
4. Appropriate urine absorption
The absorption in reusable diapers varies depending on the model and the fabric. Therefore, its absorbency can be lower, comparable, or even higher than that of a disposable diaper. The absorbency of all washable diapers is adjustable and can be increased, with the addition of special absorbent inserts.
These adsorbents must be changed regularly to limit the chances of diaper rash, just as with disposable diapers. You must determine what is the right setting for your child depending on the time of the day. This is not possible with disposable diapers, as absorbency is constant and uncontrollable.
5. Easier potty training
The "dry bottom" feeling, which is constantly promoted by disposable diaper manufacturers, is actually somewhat unnatural and is often the cause of diaper rash. If a child uses reusable diapers, the feeling of wetness will be associated with urine, hence favoring the control of physiological functions and abandoning diapers early.
Since conventional disposable diapers are crazy absorbent and give the appearance of dryness, babies won’t alert their soiled state to their parents until their bottoms have been trapped in moistness for some time.
6. Good airflow and perspiration
Disposable diapers, being covered with a plasticized film, prevent the skin from perspiring normally. In fact, it has been identified that there is a temperature increase of 1° C in babies who use disposable diapers, compared to babies who use cloth diapers. Cloth diapers allow normal perspiration and maintain the correct temperature in the genital area, protecting against any damage or health risk due to overheating.
Shop for reusable diapers
Before shopping for reusable diapers we recommend that future parents consider all the different models of reusable diapers on the market. These are different types of cloth diapers:
Flat cloth diapers
Fitted cloth diapers
Parents must note that newborns may need to be changed more than 10 times a day, so a good arsenal of cloth diapers is needed to fully transition from disposable diapers to eco-friendly cloth diapers.