Why would anyone choose to use cloth diapers when disposables are so easy to just toss away? The obvious reasons are saving money and benefiting the environment. The best reason though is that cloth diapers are safer for your baby’s skin.
Disposable diapers are bleached white with chlorine. This creates dioxin—one of the most potent carcinogens. Dioxin and other toxic chemicals in diapers are readily absorbed through the skin. No one has done research on what happens when babies are exposed to these toxic chemicals for an average of 2 ½ years. We do know that dioxin can cause birth defects, infertility, neurotoxicity and diabetes among other problems.
The temperature inside disposable diapers is generally 3-4 degrees hotter than cloth. This can increase the growth of bacteria and may have as yet unknown effects on a baby boy’s developing testicles. Some studies indicate that this extended temperature increase can harm the baby's future fertility. This increased temperature, combined with the longer interval between changes creates the perfect Petri dish for bacteria: warm and moist with a continuing supply of nutrients.
Disposable diapers are shown to create rashes more often than properly cleaned cloth diapers. One reason for this is that because disposable diapers absorb so much liquid, parents tend to leave them on the baby for much longer, allowing ammonia and bacteria to build up. Cloth diapers do need to be changed more frequently than disposables. This more frequent changing keeps your baby dryer and helps prevent the conditions that cause diaper rash.
You'll also save money when you use cloth diapers. You can cloth diaper your baby from birth to potty training for $300-1,000. Prefold or flat cloth diapers with soft breathable wool diaper covers or waterproof diaper covers are on the low end of the cost scale. Pocket diapers with hemp inserts are on the higher end. In either case you will save hundreds or thousands over the cost of disposables - estimated to be about $2,000 per child. Even better, your cloth diapers will last through more than one baby if they are properly cared for. Cloth diapering two babies can save you an additional $2,000 dollars.
Cloth diapered babies potty train faster than babies in disposables because the baby can feel when they are wet. If you are using a stay-dry type of cloth diaper such as a pocket diaper, you may want to add a cloth wipe or other layer of absorbent cloth when you are ready to think about potty training because it will allow the baby to feel moisture.
Washing cloth diapers is not the heinous task most people imagine. Better washing machines and modern cloth diaper materials make washing diapers easy. For most diapers you can just dump the solids into the toilet and then store the cloth diapers in a dry pail until washing. Just pour them in the washer and do a cold rinse, hot wash, then double rinse to remove any traces of detergent. Most cloth diapers are safe to machine dry or you can line dry for even more savings. You don't even have to scrub the diaper pail if you use a cloth diaper pail liner.
Cloth diapers are easier to use than ever. You can buy cloth diapers and covers that close with snaps or hook and loop tape (like Velcro so you don't need to mess with pins. Even regular prefold cloth diapers can be used without pins if you use a snug fitting cover or use a stretchy Snappi style closure.
There are dozens of choices of diapers and waterproof diaper covers so you can find the combination that fits your baby best and works best for you lifestyle. To see some examples of easy, adorable, modern cloth diapers, visit Little for Now baby and kids store.
Bum Genius 3.0 One Size Cloth Diapers