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Diapers: Cloth Vs Plastic

We have no reason to ignore the facts...

September 2005 (Alive Magazine) 
The Case for Cloth
by Michele Hagadorn, BASc (Nutr), RNCP, CFT
Today’s cloth diapers are revolutionized. They are easy to use, environmentally friendly, much healthier for your precious baby, and have the added bonus of saving you money.
Picture your baby snuggling in natural, soft cotton. Now imagine how it would feel to sit in a chemical-laden paper and plastic product. Where would you rather be?
Cotton Comfort
Cotton diapers are breathable, allowing free air flow and less bacterial growth. This feature has been shown to lower the incidence of diaper rash and help keep your baby cool. In fact, a German study published in 2000 linked disposable diaper use to male infertility. Researchers concluded that the use of plastic-lined diapers resulted in significantly higher scrotal skin temperatures in the 48 infants and children studied.
Super Convenient
Today, cotton diapers are fitted and formed to baby’s bum–no pins or folding–just durable Velcro or snaps.
They’re also easy to wash. By using biodegradable liners, made of 100 percent wood pulp fibres, we don’t have to scrub soiled diapers in the toilet like our moms had to. We can just flush the soiled liners down the toilet, or dispose of the wet ones in the garbage, and toss the diapers in the laundry. Biodegradable liners also have the added benefit of preventing stains on the diapers.
A great advantage of cloth over disposables is you will never run out of them and have to make an emergency dash to the store. They also make toilet training easier farther down the line. Children feel a wet sensation when they piddle in a cloth diaper, and will call a parent to help them to the toilet.
Cloth Diapers are Cost Effective
Let’s look at the numbers: a baby goes through about 8 to 12 diapers each day or about 6,000 to 7,000 diapers over a two-and-a-half year period. Add the cost of disposable wipes used during each change and you will spend $2,500 to $3,000 diapering each child in disposables.
According to Mary-Ann McMartin of My Lil’ Miracle (, distributor for a major line of cloth diapers, “You have spent $3,000 and all you have to show for it is an enormous mountain of garbage. When you compare this to 48 to 72 cloth diapers at an approximate cost of $1,063 to diaper your child for the full two-and-a-half years (including laundry costs), that’s quite a savings per child.”
Healthy for the Environment, Healthy for Baby
Let’s not forget about the environmental impact. Disposable diapers, used once and thrown away, take much longer to decompose than cloth diapers–used many times over several years by either one or more children.
Another serious environmental concern is the dioxin used in the manufacture of disposable diapers. Dioxin in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases.
In the end, when you look at all the advantages of using cotton diapers over disposables, there is no doubt about it. Happier, healthier babies use cloth diapers, and that leads to happier, healthier moms. I can certainly attest to that.
About the Author
Michele Hagadorn, BASc (Nutr), RNCP, CFT, owns Fit 'n' Healthy Consulting in Kelowna, BC, and is the mother of two sons:a three-year-old and an infant.

Babar Too Co Sweet Baby Balm 
in Lovely Lavender
Excellent for Nappy Rash


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