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(Health Secrets Newsletter) Few things could be better for busy new parents that the modern conveniences today’s living offers. But sometimes there is conflict between the those conveniences and what’s best for overall health and well being. One of parents’ primary concerns is keeping their baby clean, dry and free from rashes of all kinds, especially the dreaded diaper rash. The best way to do this by putting aside modern convenience and going back to the way our parents and grandparents did it.
Rash in the diaper area occurs because of prolonged wetness, lack of air circulation, soap, chemical and dye allergies, ammonia formed by bacteria interacting with urine, and the growth of microbes such as yeast and bacteria in the diaper area. Plastic disposable diapers exacerbate most of these conditions.
Seven reasons to stop using plastic disposable diapers
- Sodium polyacrylate: This super absorbent gel has been linked to toxic shock syndrome, allergic reactions and is lethal to pets.
- Dioxins: Known to cause damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver.
- Dyes: Known to cause allergic reactions. Some are systemically toxic.
- Fragrances: The FDA has received reports that fragrances in disposables caused headaches, dizziness and rashes.
- Other reported problems: Babies choking on pieces of the plastic they’ve torn off, tabs tearing the baby’s skin, noxious chemical odors and chemical burns.
- Most disposable diapers are not biodegradable: Twelve years ago, disposable diapers were found to make up over 2% of landfill waste. Can you imagine what the number is now?
- Expense: Although the initial cost of purchasing enough cloth diaper supplies may be relatively high, it is miniscule compared to the cost of disposable diapers even when laundry services or laundry products are considered.
Cloth diapers have changed since our mothers or grandmothers used them, and the change has been for the better. Cloth diapers now have double or triple layers and a fiber-filled strip in the center, making them more absorbent than older styles. Some styles of cloth diapers now come with Velcro strips, eliminating the need for those large and often hazardous safety pins. Cloth diapers can be economically laundered at home, or sent out to a diaper service. Although using cloth diapers and having them washed by a laundry service is cheaper overall than buying disposable diapers, the benefits to your baby are what really add up.
Cotton is one of the crops most consistently sprayed with insecticides, so if possible, get organic cotton diapers. They can be found online or in most stores catering to babies. If organic diapers are not an option, conventional cloth diapers are still less toxic than disposables. Just wash them several times before using.
Benefits of cotton diapers
- Purer, softer and more comfortable than plastic diapers.
- Fewer rashes when changed as needed.
- Leads to earlier potty training because children can sense when they are wet.
- Environmentally friendly even when the cost of utilities and supplies is considered.
- Cost effective even when using a laundry service.
- MORE convenient because you don’t have to drop what you’re doing and run to the store to pick up another box of disposables almost daily.
Make the switch, your baby with thank you for it!
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