I’ve been struggling with the decision between using cloth diapers or disposable diapers for lil Lieb. I’m assuming most moms don’t put a lot of thought into the issue since it’s pretty standard to use Pampers or Huggies. However, I’m not most moms and I want to weigh all my options, just like I weighed out my birthing options before deciding on a home birth.
- Environmental Impact
Some concerns about disposable diapers have been about dyes, sodium polyacrylate (the super absorbent gel), and dioxin, which is a by-product of bleaching paper. Sodium polyacrylate has been linked in the past to toxic shock syndrome, allergic reactions and is very harmful and potentially lethal to pets. Some dyes and dioxin according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is known to cause damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. The (FDA) Food & Drug Administration has received reports that fragrances in disposables caused headaches, dizziness and rashes. Problems reported to the Consumer Protection Agency regarding disposables include, chemical burns, noxious chemical and insecticide odors, babies pulling disposables apart and putting pieces of plastic into their noses and mouth, choking on tab papers and linings, plastic melting onto the skin, and ink staining the skin. Plastic tabs can also tear skin if the diaper is not properly put on the baby. However, there are organic disposable diapers which a free of dyes, sodium polyacrylate and dioxin.
On the other hand cloth diapers can cause rashes by not being changed enough or properly cleaned and sanitized after becoming soiled.
Disposable diapers are more convenient when traveling because you can just throw the dirty diapers away without carrying them around for washing. Disposables also require fewer changes because of the super absorbent materials; but taking into consideration the increased risks of rash and the extra impact on the environment, your decision should be made with much thought.