Why use cloth diapers? Why would anyone choose to use cloth diapers when disposable diapers are so easy to just toss away? The obvious benefits of cloth diapers are saving money and benefiting the environment, but cloth diapers are good for your baby's skin too.
Disposable diapers are bleached white with chlorine. This creates dioxin. The EPA lists dioxin as one of the most potent carcinogens (cancer causing chemical). Dioxin can cause birth defects, infertility, neurotoxicity and diabetes - among other problems. While only traces remain in disposable diapers, that is still enough for many parents to say no to disposables.
Cloth diapers do not contain offgassing chemicals, which can also help your baby breathe easier. One study showed that disposable diapers can trigger asthma attacks just by being in the same room with an asthmatic - leading the study author to conclude that disposable diapers should be avoided by anyone with breathing difficulty.
In fact, the creator of Happy Heiny's diapers got started when she was trying to find a cloth diaper that fit her premie daughter. She was able to document that her daughter needed fewer breathing treatments when she was in cloth diapers.
Because disposable diapers absorb so much liquid, parents tend to leave them on the baby for much longer than recommended. Diapers of any kind should be changed about every 1 ½ to 2 hours during the day.
No matter which diapers you choose, frequent diaper changing is recommended by pediatricians to baby’s skin dry and comfortable as well as to prevent the conditions that cause diaper rash.
The temperature inside disposable diapers can be 3-4 degrees hotter than cloth diapers. This increased temperature, combined with the longer interval between changes creates the perfect Petri dish for diaper rash causing bacteria: warm and moist with a continuing supply of nutrients.
Cloth diapers are easier to use than ever. These days, you don't need to use pins unless you prefer them. There are dozens of choices of diapers and waterproof covers so you can find the combination that fits your baby best and works best for you lifestyle.
Using cloth diapers is great for your wallet too! Using disposables can cost between $2,000-3,000 from birth to potty training. Depending on the cloth diaper system you choose you will save $1,500-$2,500 diapering one child.
The best part is that you can either reuse your cloth diapers on a second, or even a third child to save even more. When you are done with them, you can sell them or give them to someone else, sharing the benefits of cloth with yet another child.