Sunday, February 20, 2011

WHAT kind of diapers ARE those???

What kind of diapers ARE those? This question was asked of us Friday evening by a friend of my sister in law. We had gone down to my father in law's house about an hour-ish away for an early birthday cook out for him and my sister in law ( they share a birthday) , and a friend of hers was there. Time came to change the baby and she had no clue what we were putting on our poor kid! So I told her " oh they are cloth diapers" she looked puzzled and replied with " but there are no pins and it looks like she wont leak through them?!"   Thats right cloth diapers are no longer what our parents and grandparents used. Actually they are rather easy to use , less expensive than disposable( in the long run) , better for baby and better for the planet ( if you are into that kind of thing) oh and they can also be really stinkin cute! ( see photo below!)

How did we first find out about cloth diapers? I'll tell you, Lucas was normally a very happy baby , however when he hit about 6 months old he started getting these really weird diaper rashes- we took him to the dr they said oh its just a little diaper rash keep the desitin and frequent changes up it should clear up , then it was yeast , then it was something else , we had countless dr appts and countless otc and rx diaper creams we went through until Lucas was about 15 months old. At that time we had switched doctors ( thankfully - we now have a WONDERFUL dr) and the first time we went in for an appointment about this never ending horrific rash our poor baby had he took one look and said " well its not really a rash as much as it is an allergic reaction and looks like chemical burns"  WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Dr did some labs that day in the office and recommended we switch to cloth diapers , at first I was confused about pins and plastic pants ( and scared I did have a rather active toddler!) and he explained that they had changed and ended up giving us our first 3 "pocket" diapers- I was in love found some online and got to ordering. Meanwhile within a week that rash had cleared up and NEVER came back- turns out our son was allergic to some of the ingredients used to make disposable diapers. So we made the switch to cloth.

Now some people may be freaked out at the idea of poop going in the washer - however it really doesn't I'm sure at one point or another any parent has dealt with a "diaper blow out" poop on the clothes yes its gross but hey poop happens! Well the thing with cloth is the poop gets dumped into the toilet- or rinsed before it goes to the wash. NOTHING different from disposables. Yes with disposable diapers you ARE in fact supposed to flush the "solid waste" in the toilet!  ( It says so on most packages!) So really its nothing worse than what goes in your washer anyway , and if you follow proper washing instructions the heat from the water and heat in the dryer sanitizes the diapers.

So when we found out we were expecting again ( surprise!!!) we made the choice early on - we were using cloth diapers no questions about it. Cost difference is amazing , and its healthier the reasons go on and on. Now I will say - cloth diapering is NOT for everyone , its a choice that one makes for themselves. Same thing can be said for breastfeeding , different parenting styles etc.

 Now types of cloth diapers out there - There are prefolds and flats ( similar to what most people think of when they hear cloth diaper) that can be pinned or "snappied" , used with various types of covers or that just lay in a cover.  There are also contours  again used with covers , fitteds that are used with covers, there are also pocket diapers - that come with a pocket in them that you stuff an insert in that basically have a built in cover ( love these!), there are also All In One ( or AIO) diapers that you just put on and go no stuffing , pinning or covers, and All In Two diapers , that are pretty much the same as AIO's but have an extra snap in or velcro in piece. Then you can get into sizes they make from preemie well into toddler or "trainers" (think pull ups) or you can get OS or one size diapers that generally fit from birth until potty training. The options are honestly endless - but that's an entirely different post.

Back to the main reason we chose cloth - our sons reactions to chemicals in the disposable diapers here are just a few with some brief descriptions.

  • VOCs - One oft-cited study, conducted by Anderson Laboratories in 1999 and published in the Archives of Environmental Health, found that conventional disposable diapers do release chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including toluene, ethyl benzene, xylene and dipentene. All of these VOCs have been shown to have toxic health effects with long-term or high level exposure.
The researchers also discovered that mice exposed to the chemicals emitted by disposable diapers were more likely to experience irritated airways than mice exposed to emissions from cloth diapers. The authors suggested that disposable diapers may cause "asthma-like" reactions and urged more study into a possible link between diaper emissions and asthma.

    *SAP - The main absorbent filler in disposable diapers, sodium polyacrylate (SAP), could cause respiratory, as well as skin, irritations in occupational settings where exposures are at much higher levels than occurs with diaper use.
Dioxins - Most diapers, whether or not disposable, are bleached white with chlorine. As a result, there have been claims that diapers may contain trace amounts of dioxin, a highly carcinogenic byproduct of chlorine bleaching.
Others? Without an ingredients list, products can vary. But, according to an article in the CBC News, “Diapers can also contain polyurethane, adhesives, inks used to create the cartoon images found on many disposable diapers, and lotions used to coat the diaper liner. These lotions often include petrolatum, essentially the same substance as Vaseline, which has the potential to be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), cancer-causing chemicals found in crude oil, according to the U.S. Environmental Working Group, an organization that devotes itself to educating consumers about health hazards posed by a variety of products. Other common diaper substances include lotions containing almond oil or Jojoba, which can also lead to skin reactions in allergic children. Many disposables also add fragrance to their diapers to mask fecal odors or chemical odors, which in many cases contain phthalates, the class of chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine system. That's the strong smell that diapers often give off when newly opened.”


  1. Hey, I bought that diaper! LOL
    I had forgotten what your blog was titled, I clicked over when I saw the picture of the diaper just because I remember buying it. And low and behold its your blog... I got a chuckle out of it.

  2. You did buy that diaper and we looooooooooooove it. Seriously its my favorite and its just so soft!!!