Why not use disposables?

So really, why I am going to spend more time washing and line drying and sunning diapers when I can just replace and toss in the garbage? Well, my answer is tri-fold….essentially I am doing this so we can:

1. Save money

Saving money is a key component in our decision to cloth diaper.  With my first, we were spending (on average) about $30 a month on diapers.  Multiply that times 24 and you get a whopping $720.  Maybe you are thinking that doesn’t sound so bad because after 2, your child will be potty trained right? Maybe they will, if they are ready.  But my little man just isn’t ready yet so let us recalculate. Jack will turn 3 in March so let’s add 7 more months to that total and thus far we have spent at least $930 on diapers since he has been around.  And we use the Up & Up brand from Target!  So far, I have spent about $115 on cloth diapers thus far and plan on spending about $150 more and then I plan on spending nothing.  So that’s a total of less than $300 all in all.

2.   Keep unnecessary chemicals away from my baby’s skin

I know there are some of you coupon ladies out there who can spend about $5 a month on diapers by driving all over town and clipping and saving and etc… but how does that keep the nasty chemicals that are in diapers away from your kids? Is it worth it just because you aren’t spending much?  Read this information I found below about the chemicals found in disposable diapers and you may rethink your decision:


Most disposable diapers are bleached white with chlorine, resulting in a byproduct called dioxins that leach into the environment and the diapers. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals known to science and are listed by the EPA as highly carcinogenic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions.

Sodium Polyacrylate
Sodium polycarbonate is a super absorbent chemical compound that is used in the fillers of many disposable diapers. It is composed of cellulose processed from trees that is mixed with crystals of polyacrylate. This chemical absorbs fluids and creates surface tension in the lining of the diaper to bind fluids and prevent leakage. Sodium polyacrylate is often visible as small gel-like crystals on the skin of babies and is thought to be linked to skin irritations and respiratory problems. This chemical was removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns. As it has only been used in diapers for the last two decades, there is not yet research on the long-term health effects of sodium polyacrylate on babies.

Tributyl-tin (TBT)
Many disposable diapers contain a chemical called tributyl-tin (TBT). According to the EPA, this toxic pollutant is extremely harmful to aquatic (water) life and causes endocrine (hormonal) disruptions in aquatic organisms. TBT is a polluting chemical that does not degrade but remains in the environment and in our food chain. TBT is also an ingredient used in biocides to kill infecting organisms. Additionally, according to research published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, tributyl-tin can trigger genes that promote the growth of fat cells, causing obesity in humans.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Disposable diapers frequently contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These include chemicals such as ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system as well as cancers.

Other Chemicals
Other chemicals often used in disposable diapers include dyes, fragrances, plastics and petrolatums. Adhesive chemicals are used in the sticky tabs to close the diapers and dyes are used to color and make the patterns and labels that mark diapers. Perfumes and fragrances are used in some disposable diapers to help mask odors.

All the above information came from http://www.livestrong.com/article/111348-chemicals-disposable-diapers/

3. Seriously reduce the amount of waste my family produces

Why do I care about reducing our waste? I am not one to harp on someone else about throwing things away instead of recycling. But it is common sense that when you look at the facts about disposable diapers, it is plain to see that we can intervene and actually save some space in the landfills for things other than diapers.  I mean, if every child uses on average around 5000 diapers before they are potty trained then I am saving a lot of space in the landfills and I am saving resources used to make the diapers (i.e.  trees)  when I choose to cloth diaper.

I hope this gives everyone a basic understanding of our reasons for making this change and hopefully can encourage and influence others to rethink their own decisions about diapering.



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