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This Adventure, Our Life: Cloth Diapers

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cloth Diapers

We decided when I was pregnant to cloth diaper.  Not knowing really anything about cloth diapering at 2 months pregnant we started to do some mad researching.  We were both very committed to cloth diapering for many reasons.  First we started adding up how much disposables cost, we factored in about how many diapers Bailey would go through at each stadge, we also factored in the approximate cost of water and electricity (we used a higher amount because we line dry most of the time).  Our reasons for choosing cloth diapers were as follows:

Environmental Reasons:
  • Disposable diapers use 2x as much water as cotton diapers.
  • Disposable diapers use 3x as much energy as cotton diapers.
  • Disposable diapers generate 60x more solid waste than cotton diapers, Disposable diapers are the third most common consumer product in landfills today
  • Disposable diapers use 20x as much raw materials as cotton diapers
  • 1 billion trees per year are destroyed to make disposable diapers---approximately 4.5 for each baby who uses them
  •  It takes between 200-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose.
  • Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste
  • 1 ton of garbage is created for each baby who uses disposable diapers
  • 1 cup of crude oil is used for the plastic in 1 disposable diaper
  • 18 billion disposalbe diapers are used in the U.S. each year  enough to stretch to the moon and back 9 times
Other Reasons:
  • Disposables are laden with chemicals which have been associated with many physical problems. Diaper rash also increases with disposable diaper use due to allergies to chemicals, poor air flow and longer time spent in wet diapers which feel dry when wet.  The chemicals in disposables are linked to many problems (asthma).  
  • Disposable diapers also contain chemicals that should cause parents concern. One chemical used in manufacturing disposables is dioxin, “which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases”. The absorbent material in the diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, which can cause severe skin infections and is the “same substance that was removed from tampons in 1985 because of its link to toxic shock syndrome” .
  • Money, we are saving money, and even with the investment of the cloth diapers, within 3-6 months they will pay for themselves, and keep saving us through Bailey and another child.  
  • Using cloth diapers will help facilitate quicker potty training. During potty training time children who have been in cloth will recognize sooner when they are wet vs a baby in disposable diapers.
  • Cloth Diapers are surprisingly easy to use.
  • Not to mention they are totally cute.

We have been using bumGenius (, so far we are really happy with these diapers.  We are also using Grobaby (, these are really awesome also (you can use a safe disposable insert), you also can reuse the shell all day (which reduces laundry).  We wash Bailey's diapers every 2 days and dry them on the line or in the dryer (when the weather is bad).  I think that assembling them for the next use takes the longest.  

Tony and I are very happy with our choice to cloth diaper.  If anyone ever is interest and needs advice, I can tell you what I have learned.  I do not think CDing is for everyone (you have to want to do some work) but I really think once you have a system it is very easy.  

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At March 14, 2010 at 12:52 PM , Blogger My Life As Mom said...

I use disposables and if someone was to give me cloth diapers, I'd love to try them, but I just can't fork out the money to get started on my own, and the laundering involved, scares me.

At April 29, 2010 at 10:14 AM , Blogger rbenson said...

Your right cloth diapering is not for everybody but it is for more people than you think. The new diapers are much easier than what mom used to use. We really like for cloth diapers.


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