Wednesday, March 5, 2008


It's probably too early to start thinking of all this- but it has become sort of an obsession recently. I decided a while back that I would use cloth diapers for several reasons. So now that I'm preggo I've started researching what's out there. What's the best. What's the most convenient, what's the most economical- and holy COW I didn't know what was out there! I knew cloth diapers had come a long way since even our parent's generation- but I had no idea.
Seriously my head has been spinning!

So to address those of you who are already thinking: "what on earth is she thinking? seriously? cloth diapering? Eww!" Here are my top five reasons:

1-Environmental Impact

I got started thinking about cloth in the first place from working in a day care and seeing how many trash cans of diapers we filled up every day. If you look up the stats, they're scary:
*The average baby will use 6,000-10,000 'sposies before they're potty trained - each diaper takes 2-500 years to decompose. That's one Ton of garbage per baby. Literally.
*It takes a cup full of crude oil to produce the plastic for one disposable diaper.
*One billion trees per year are destroyed to make disposable diapers---approximately 4.5 for each baby who uses them.

*disposable diapers consume 70 percent more energy than the average reusable diaper per diaper change. The extra water required to wash cloth diapers is actually less than the amount of water it takes to produce disposable diapers.

2- Expenses!

Holy cow, save your moooola!
* the average family spends $2800-3000 in disposable diapers over 3 years for one child. (crap!)
*the average cloth diapering family spends $615 on diapers over a 2.5 year period (they potty train faster) $225 for enough diapers, covers, and fasteners to wash only two to three times per week, plus $390 in washing and drying cloth diapers (270 loads of 24 diapers at $1.45 per load).
That's a savings of over $2000. And then you can use them again on child number two. And three. And then as cleaning rags around the house. Yipee!

3- A Healthy Baby Bum!

These facts may scare the crap out of you. (haha)
*Disposable diapers contain many chemicals, poisons (TBT tributyl tin), dioxins (which has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, miscarriage, genetic damage, liver damage, and skin diseases) and even perfumes and dyes that are all harmful to your baby and lead to diaper rash. The gel that is used in disposables to absorb and hold in moisture is Sodium Polyacrylate. This substance has been found in the urinary tract of babies and may cause severe diaper rash, chemical burns, and bleeding in the perineum and scrotal tissue. Sodium Polyacrylate was removed from tampons because of its link to Toxic Shock Syndrome. There are also many studies that have been done to show a direct link between using disposable diapers and childhood asthma as well as an increase in infertility in boys.
*In 1955, 100 percent of American babies wore cloth diapers, and only seven percent experienced diaper rash. In 1991, 10 percent of American babies wore cloth diapers, 90 percent wore disposables, and 78 percent experienced diaper rash. Ouch.
*While the liner of disposable diapers is designed to keep moisture away from baby's skin, the bacteria and acids still hang around. The extended wear time allows the bacteria to multiply.
*Cloth diapers allow for the circulation of air, while disposables don't. This is important for baby's comfort and his or her developing reproductive organs-especially in boys, whose testicles are located outside their body for the precise reason of keeping them cool. A few studies have actually linked disposable diaper use with the recent worldwide decline in sperm count.
*Would you like to wear paper underwear all day? Why would you think your baby thinks any differently? Soft cotton next to a babies tender skin is much more comfortable than paper and plastic.

4- potty training!

*Babies who wear cloth feel the sensation of a wet diaper as soon as they pee, so they're more aware of their body functions. On average, a cloth-diapered baby potty trains one year sooner than her disposable-diapered counterpart, which is better for everyone!

5- look how cute they are!


Kristy said...

did you factor in the cost of laundry & the use of energy/natural resources to do such massive amounts of said laundry?!!!
just something else to think about! ahhh!!!


Anonymous said...

I have a friend who works for g diapers and I know a lot of people at work who use bum genius on their babies too. I think cloth diapers are a great thing and way to do your research. I think the last reason is the most important. They are sooooo cute! J/K

Brianne said...

Kristy- yup! Cost in my $$ section. I've seen lots of websites and they all have about the same price figured for laundry doing extra 2-3 loads per week, so I figure it's around accurate enough! Save $2000!!!!!
Natural resources- you've gotta be kidding, did you read it?? lol. the water used to MAKE ONE disposable is less than the water in a whole load!
But- of course- you have to be willing to put in the work- no one said it's more convenient! But I figure if I don't have to work anymore I suppose I can handle throwing in an extra load of laundry every couple of days. hahaha

Kristy said...

i was actually talking about the electricity mostly, not the water. by consuming electricity we are putting CO back in to the air & yes we do have hydro power here in the NW but most of the time we sell of our hydropower to the rest of the country and buy back coal power. and the diaper services have to at a minimum wash the diapers 6 times before they are considered "sterile"! there are such pros & cons for both!!! sorry about my rambling it's just that my crazy energy-sensitive engineer hubby would make me do a coast analysis of both & list out the pros/cons of each! lol.
i remember Zoe's parents used organic recycled material disposables. i don't remember what/where they got them you remember them?
ahhh, the joys of parenthood! huh?!?!?
but those cloth diapers are too cute though!!!

Kristy said...

sorry, i was just playing devil's advocate for ya! that's also something my hubby would do to me to get me thinking about each choice! (except he makes me fill out a spread sheet! AHHH!) hahaha. good times! :p

i wish you all the luck! staying home is HARD! but i know you will do wonderful!

& Carol why don't you ever comment on my blog! GOSH! hahaha!!! =)

Brianne said...

Don't feel bad that Carol hasn't commented on your blog- she's a friend of mine from college, not Carol Leonetti! ;)

Kristy said...

haha! ok good! now i feel silly! :p