Choosing between cloth or disposable diapers for baby has an ecological significance, but other aspects should also be considered.
An ecological decision
From birth to the toilet training stage, your baby will experience many diaper changes—about 6000 of them. If you use disposable diapers, this represents about a ton of waste that will take nearly 500 years to decompose!
Because cloth diapers are reusable, the amount of waste produced will be substantially reduced. Although a fair amount of water and detergent are necessary to wash them, their environmental footprint remains lower than that of disposable diapers. By choosing a detergent that is safe for the environment (phosphate-free), you can reduce their environmental impact and ensure a greener future for your child.
Benefits on health and your child's development
Disposable diapers contain a fair amount of chemicals and are made of less breathable material. These characteristics are likely to promote skin irritation and redness. Cloth diapers have the advantage of being made of natural fibers, usually cotton, hemp, bamboo or microfibers. They allow the skin to breathe better, which reduces skin irritation.
Some data indicates that cloth diapers could promote toilet training. This is due to the fact that they do not keep the skin as dry as disposable diapers when they are soiled—the increased discomfort that follows could motivate the child to become toilet trained more quickly. However, this claim remains to be proven by additional scientific research.
It is also important to note that more prolonged exposure to humidity which sometimes results from the use of cloth diapers can expose the child to diaper rash. For additional information, read the following text: Diaper rash—gentle preventive care. Speak to your pharmacist for advice about the prevention and treatment of diaper rash.
Cloth diapers undeniably have a cost benefit. Although they cost more than disposable diapers, the fact that they are reusable enables you to save money in the end. They are an even better investment if you plan to have more than one child, as they can be worn by each of your little angels.
It is interesting to note that several municipalities offer a financial contribution to families who purchase cloth diapers. Find out if you are eligible.
If you choose to use cloth diapers, here are some tips to help you make the most of them:
- Change the diaper as often as necessary, ideally at least every three hours.
- Clean your baby's bottom with warm water using a soft washcloth. You can add a small amount of gentle fragrance-free soap with a physiological pH. Rinse well. Try to avoid cleansing wipes, as they are often more irritating to the skin.
- Wait until your baby's skin is dry before putting on a clean diaper. You can gently tap the skin dry with a clean towel.
- When washing diapers, use a detergent that is appropriate to clean cloth diapers to avoid the accumulation of residue and the risk of irritation.
You can rely on your pharmacist for any questions concerning health issues! He/she is available to answer your questions and offer advice.