Most of us are aware that cloth diapers are better for baby’s skin, and that babies who wear cloth diapers are less likely to have diaper rash. Most of us also know that cloth diapers are more economical than disposable diapers, saving parents between $600 and $1,600 per year in diapering costs, depending on whether they use a diaper service or launder their own diapers. Additionally, a good many of us are aware that cloth diapers are better for the environment, saving our landfills from literally tons of untreated solid waste that will be with us for many years to come. But there are a number of lesser known reasons for using cloth diapers instead of disposables, some of which have only recently been discovered. Following is a list of good reasons to choose cloth diapers over plastic that you may not have been aware of:
- Cloth diapered babies potty train an average of one year quicker than babies diapered with disposables. Before the introduction of disposable diapers, over 90% of all babies were potty trained by the age of eighteen months, as compared to 2 ½ to 3 years old for most babies with disposable diapers. One of the reasons suggested for this difference is that babies in cloth diapers can feel when they are wet. Obviously, there are a number of advantages to having your baby potty trained earlier, the least of which is the money it will save you on diapering.
- Disposable diapers use a gel that absorbs urine, causing baby to feel dry. While this sounds great on the surface, consider that the urine is still in contact with baby’s skin. Dry is simply not the same thing as clean. Babies need to be changed often. Regardless of what kind of diapers you use, babies should be changed every two hours or so. On top of the urine itself being in contact with baby’s skin, the urine breaks down over a relatively short period of time into ammonia, which affords an excellent breeding climate for a number of harmful bacteria.
- Recent research has shown that the chemicals and perfumes used in disposable diapers may trigger asthma and other respiratory problems.
- Disposable diapers are now widely believed to be a large part of the cause of the increase in male infertility rates. Single use disposable diapers retain heat to a much greater degree than cotton or cloth diapers, and also prevent air circulation. This increased heat on a baby boy’s t5estacles can cause infertility problems later in life.