There are many benefits to using cloth diapers, but the health of your baby is the most critical. Most disposable diapers contain dioxin, and the Environmental Protection Agency states high exposure to this chemical can cause cancer. Tributyl-tin (TBT), is also commonly found in disposable diapers and is known to cause hormonal problems in humans. Additionally, the government has banned the use of TBT in women's hygiene products. Finally, polyacrylate is used to absorb liquid and can cause skin irritation, severe allergic reaction, vomiting, staph infections and fever.
Money is another important factor when considering cloth diapers. Even if you only have one child, you can save approximately $1,800-$2,000! Check our calculations and see for yourself. If you have more children, you can reuse cloth diapers again and again.
Finally, cloth diapers are environmentally friendly. On average, disposables generate 60 times more solid waste, use 20 times more raw materials and take an estimated 250-500 years to decompose. For every child in disposable diapers, one ton of waste is deposited into a landfill.
With so many cloth diapers to choose from, many feel overwhelmed. We pulled together some of the basic terms and information to help guide you through this process.
Prefolds ~ Three panels of absorbent cloth of organic material. While you can use folding and fasteners, the easiest way to use a prefold is to use a hook and loop closing, tight fitting cover and just lay the prefold inside the cover. A diaper cover creates a water proofing barrier.
Fitted ~ Fitted diapers need an outer cover to provide waterproofing. However, the diaper is one tailored absorbent piece and does not require any folding or fasteners. Fitted diapers are secured with snaps or hook and loop material.
PUL Covers ~ A diaper cover is needed with prefolded and fitted diapers.
Shell Systems (All-in-Twos) ~ These systems have an outer waterproof shell and allows for snap-in absorbent liners. When changing, switch the inner liner for a fresh one and reuse the outer shell. Extra inserts can be purchased for more absorbancy. Most all-in-twos are one size that fit babies 7-35 pounds.
Pocket diapers ~ Have a waterproof outer with fleece interior. The diaper has a pocket where washable absorbent liners are inserted. You can easily customize the liners to match the absorbency that is required. They fasten with hook and loop or snaps. Most pockets are one-size and fit babies who weigh 7-35 pounds.
All-in-ones (AIO)~ Have the absorbent diaper and waterproof cover as one piece that is easily fastened on the baby with snaps or hook and loop. AIO diapers are available in sized or one-size varieties and fit babies who weigh 7-35 pounds.
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