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Wrap Your Baby in Cotton, Not Plastic

By Steve Carter-Novotni · August 8th, 2007 · The Road to Wellness
Cloth diapers are an easy-to-use, inexpensive and environmentally friendly alternative to landfill destined disposables.

My wife and I have used cloth diapers for our baby since he was 2 weeks old. Modern-fitted cotton diapers with Velcro and snap closures aren't the thin bits of cloth that your mom folded and pinned together. There are two layers: the cotton diaper, about a half-inch thick, and the waterproof nylon shell that goes over the outside and keeps all the waste inside.

The kind we use, Snug-to-Fit, fits babies of all sizes. The diapers' front portion folds down to fit newborns, and you unfold them for larger babies up to 35 lbs.

Over the two or so years that most babies spend in diapers, they can go through thousands of disposables, typically costing a couple of thousand dollars.

Except for the disposables we use for overnights because of their better absorbancy, our son will go through just 24. We wash them every other day, and I consider them more convenient than disposables since I don't need to add them to my grocery list. Our cost for a gently used set of high-quality diapers was $130 and an increased laundry bill.

Handling cloth diapers is a snap, too. When we change the diaper, any solid waste gets shaken out in the toilet. The rest goes in our diaper pail, a five-gallon bucket with a liner. We snap down the lid to keep the smell in and remove the bag with the dirty diapers when it's full. Two washes and a drying later, and the diapers are back in service.

I believe cloth diapers are healthier, too, because your baby has natural fibers against his skin instead of plastics and because they force you to change the baby's diaper more often. Disposables can hold more urine, so they're typically left on longer and are more likely to cause diaper rash.

Greening your baby is a way to help your child become environmentally conscious right from the start and a chance to live out your values in a practical way.



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