Friday, April 16, 2010

Just because everyone else is doing it...

I often wonder if other parents in general consider cloth diapering or if the majority just go with the "default" - disposables - and never really think twice about it.

I had a first-hand opportunity to see that cloth diapers are not what they were when, well, okay...when I was a baby.  And I'm not that old!  A family friend used them with her kids (now both well out of diapers - potty trained completely by age 2!).

So during my pregnancy I researched cloth diapers more than any other single baby item.  And we checked the reviews on everything that entered our house for our little bundle of joy.  We ended up buying the same diapers our friend used.  The price was right and they adjust to fit from about 10-12 lbs (that's when they fit Boogie) through...well, he's about 22lbs now and they have plenty of room.  For the record, we use Mother-Ease contour diapers (pictured).

But I imagine that many parents think of diapering choices as which brand to use (Pampers, Huggies, Luvs, generic...) or whether to use a wipes warmer or not.  What kind of plastic diaper pail system to buy is apparently a hot topic as well.

Anyway, I was a little bit shocked, and a little bit not-shocked-at-all, by this story. When I found it yesterday, I wanted to shout from the rooftops to all new parents and parents-to-be to PLEASE realize that disposable diapers as just as much a choice as cloth diapers are.  Think about what you are going to put on your child 24 hours a day for approximately 2 years.

There are plenty of arguments about whether or not cloth really is cheaper or better for the environment.  These seem to always be the key points in arguments against cloth, but I have also had countless women ask me about Boogie's diapers (usually in public restrooms while I'm changing him) and a lot of them ask me if he doesn't get more diaper rash.

I'm not sure why people ask this, but the fact is that diaper rash has not been an issue for us since we switched completely.  Before we were 24-7 cloth, Boogie did have a lot of diaper rash.  And we changed him quite frequently no matter what he was in.

Which is why I am 100% convinced that cloth is healthier. 

This is a great article (ironically, it shows up with an ad for pampers) that sums up the health costs of disposable diapers.

It all goes back to that old addage that all our parents quoted at one time or another.  If all your friends are jumping off a bridge, do you do it, too?

If you don't even have to stop and think about that one, ask yourself why many parents don't stop and think about why they are diapering with disposables.

I'm not saying that disposables are akin to throwing your kid off a bridge.  I'm just saying that parents should consider all of their options and weigh the benefits and the deficits for each one.  And, hopefully, if cloth isn't going to work for your family, you might just consider one of the healthier chlorine-free disposable diaper options out there.

Maybe, just maybe, if enough parents switch to chlorine-free, healthier diapers, the major brands will have no choice but to start manufacturing a better product.  I know Huggies has a new "pure and natural" diaper but compared to Earth's Best or Seventh Generation, it's just more green washing.

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