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Cloth V.S. Disposable . . . It's not just about the environment

So here I was again, pregnant with my son and trying to wade through the virtual piles of research I had compiled on diaper options. You would think this would be a super easy decision . . . but I was a Crunchy mom-to-be in a world full of Cashmere and Silk. As a matter of fact, before I joined my Bradley Group, I only knew one person cloth diapering . . . and she is over 500 miles away.
Thank you 'neighbor'. You know who you are, and you know I love ya!

This is what I knew

*Cloth is better for the environment - Less waste in the landfills
*I really wanted to make cloth work, long before I found out I was pregnant
*My son is worth all the hard work. 'Wait . . . how hard will it be?"
*Baby butts wearing a cloth diaper are simply ADORABLE! 

This is what I was told

*"Cloth diapers smell so bad, even when they are just wet"
*"It is so much easier to use disposables"
*"You are such a hippie"
*"You are braver than I am" 
*"I could never do it. It's so gross"
*"You wouldn't actually wash them in YOUR machine, right?"

This is what I learned

*There are CRAZY toxins in disposables (more about this below)
*It would cost more to invest in cloth, but over time it would save a me bundle
*There are so many options in cloth diapering
*There are alternative disposable options
*There are even some that combine disposable inserts with cloth covers
*There is a fantastic diaper sprayer, so nobody has to touch poop
*If you run out of clean diapers, you simply have to do a load of laundry
*They are even cuter in person
(I am now addicted to cloth diapers (receiving "fluff mail" is so much fun!)

When shopping for yourself or your children, I assume seeing 'non-toxic' is an important deciding factor in the brands that you choose. When an item previously thought to be safe, is later found to be dangerous to you or your child . . . there is a Nationwide ban, it's removed from the shelves and a recall is issued. 

Next time you see a box of Pampers or Huggies, please try to find this description on the package. I don't want to alarm you, but you won't find it anywhere. Because labeling their diapers as such would be a flat out lie. But where is the recall?

Natural cotton is a light ivory tone, but as you can see, it's CLEARLYnot white enough . . . 
Enter Dioxin. One of the most toxic chemicals known to science. Dioxin is a byproduct of chlorine that accumulates in our bodies and inhibits the function of our immune system forever. It is linked to reproductive and developmental issues, hormonal imbalances, birth defects, inability to maintain pregnancy, decreased fertility, reduced sperm counts, Endometriosis, Diabetes, learning disabilities, immune system suppression, lung problems, skin disorders, lowered testosterone levels and even Cancer

This EPA report confirms that Dioxin is a known human carcinogen. 

Okay. So we KNOW it causes Cancer, but we put it in all mainstream diapers, and feminine hygiene products (This is a whole different issue that I will cover in a future post). Dioxin does not just invade our lives through disposable diapers, but if you consider that most babies have constant contact with this toxin for 2-4 years of their life, it's likely one of the most dangerous exposures.

If only Dioxin was the only nasty toxin here . . .
May I introduce you to Sodium Polyacrylate? This is the chemical responsible for absorbing moisture. While it is MUCH less of a concern than Dioxin, it has been tied to contributing to staph infections and a known skin irritant that absorbs oils from the skin, causing extreme dryness. The effects of Sodium Polyacrylate have only been minimally studied, so long term damage is not yet known. 

Chemical burns from a Pampers diaper. Poor Baby!!!
If you are as disgusted as I am about these chemicals being exposed to our babies, have no fear! There are so many other HEALTHY options you can choose. 

You can purchase your own stash of cloth diapers. They come in a huge variety of brands, styles and sizing options. These are my favorite. . . Blueberry
You can use a cloth diaper service that comes to your house, and picks up your soiled diapers, while dropping off fresh clean ones. 
You can look into these bleach free disposable diapers
                              Seventh Generation (I use these when we travel)
You can try a 'ecogradable' combo diaper like gdiapers

A Baby Naturally offers classes and parties to learn more about cloth diapering (Chicago Area), and has several different packages to get you started with cloth. 

So whatever it is that you choose to do with this information, do SOMETHING. Make some changes. I know I can't learn something like this, and ignore it. Remember, do your own research. Don't just take my word for it. These are not opinions . . . they are facts. Proven. 

Oh and guess what? If you get any stains on your cloth diapers, lay them out in the sun to dry, and you will have whiter, brighter fluff . . . no bleach needed!

Finally, there is something super gratifying about seeing your stash go from this. . . 

To this. :)


  1. Wow, what beautiful (?) diapers! :)

  2. Thanks! I am rather proud of my stash. I know it's weird to use beautiful and diapers in the same sentence (I assume that's the reason for the ?)... But they really are!

  3. How great is this! A giveaway, what a great idea!!

  4. Boy Cloth sure has come a long way since the olden days. No pins either!

  5. We switched to cloth when my daughter Kay was 4 months. We met an awesome crunchy mom who introduced us to all the benefits, and showed us the ropes, even loaning us some of her stash to try out. :) dove in head first and became an obsession. We strayed for a bit when I went back to work and went back to sposies until she got an oh so wonderful STAPH infection on her bum!!! Right back to cloth we went. Havent had an issue since. my daughter now 2, just pottytrained so we put em away for her baby brother due in may. This print would be adorbs on him. :)

  6. Poor baby with that horrible burn!
    I think sposies should be outlawed!
    angela_heffner at yahoo dot com

  7. Love this monsters diapers! Great info here!! Thanks for sharing

  8. My child just got a polyacrylate burn, he is in so much pain.... totally switching. THAT STUFF IS TOXIC!!!!!!!!! WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN. THANKS CDC......FTG

    1. I am so sorry to hear that! Poor kiddo. Let me know if you have any questions


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