when lily was a few months old, we decided to use cloth diapers.
we decided to do it basically for two reasons.
initially, i was appalled by how much trash we were producing in diaper waste alone. i knew that cloth would be better for the environment and would significantly cut down on our waste.
and secondly, i was even more appalled by how much money we were spending on diapers. even though cloth diapers are an investment up front, i knew that we would see the financial reward in the long run.
and now that i am well into using cloth diapers on our second child and feel that i have a handle on them, i am still amazed by how much i am learning and how many benefits there are to cloth.
i truly did not know how many benefits there were for the baby until i read the most recent issue of mothering magazine. i am well versed in the environmental and economical benefits, but really hadn't thought too much about it from the perspective of the baby... until now.
in this issue, the author explains how traditional disposable diapers contain high levels of dioxin in them due to the chlorine bleaching process. "the world health organization hypothesizes that dioxin exposure has the most serious consequences on developing fetuses and newborn babies." dioxin is cancer causing and can also lead to severe reproductive and developmental problems. it has been linked to birth defects, decreased fertility, diabetes, learning disabilities, immune system suppression, lung problems, skin disorders and much more.
they also explained that the plastic in disposables and the absorbent nature of them, the diaper region is hotter than that of children in cloth diapers. it has been hypothesized that the "overuse of disposable diapers may be one of the reasons for the decline in male reproductive health, and concluded that the disposable diapers keep a boy's body too hot." being the wife of a urologist, you better know that got noted!
and recent studies have been linking plastic diapers to asthma. "chemicals, including toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, styrene, and isopropyl-benzene, were off-gassing from the diapers, and were thought to be the cause of respiratory distress."
and every time we have put our kids in disposable diapers for travel or babysitters, we have found they get rashes. we certainly have had diaper rashes with cloth diapers, as well, but we have seen our kids break out each time we've used disposables.
all this to be said, we are not so hard core and my kids have certainly spent time in disposables while traveling or under various circumstances. i do not write all of this to be judgmental, but only to put this information out there. i wish i had known all of this prior to lily's birth. i would have put her in cloth diapers a lot sooner! but, i did find all of this information very interesting and gave me more stamina to stick with cloth!