Top Ten Cloth Diaper Myths Revealed (continued)
Top 10 Cloth Diaper Myths Revealed (continued)
2. Diaper rash is more troublesome with cloth diapers.
Truth: The percentage of (American) babies who experienced diaper rash in 1955 (before disposable diapers) was 7.1%. In 1991 it was 78%! The American Academy of Pediatrics states that regardless of which type of diaper you use, diaper rash occurs less often and is less severe when you change diapers often. Cloth diapers allow your baby’s skin to breathe and heal more quickly. This helps prevent and treat diaper rash. Cloth diapers are also free of the many skin-irritating chemicals that are found in disposables. Andrews also says that “due to their natural absorbency, cloth diapers need to be changed more frequently and therefore prevent prolonged exposure to urine, one of the main causes of diaper rash. The natural absorption provided by cloth also allows baby to sense when they are wet, a scenario that helps to accelerate potty training.” If your baby does experience diaper rash, Ganim says the important thing to remember is when using a diaper rash remedy you have to put a barrier between the baby and the diaper. “The reason it is so critical to keep the diaper rash cream off the diaper is that these creams will cause the diapers to loose some or all of their absorbent quality. You will also want to wash the barrier separate from your diapers to ensure that during the wash the rash cream does not transfer to the diapers.
If your baby has sensitive skin, it’s all the more reason to use a cloth diaper. “Babies naturally have sensitive skin,” says Natural Family Online. “Many mothers have found that chemicals, dyes and perfumes in disposables irritate their baby’s bottom. An especially sensitive baby would benefit from an organic diaper with a wool cover.”
3. A dry baby is a clean baby and leaks and accidents are more common with cloth.
Truth: Cloth diapers have come a long way in the last few years and are now constructed to fit better, much more like a disposable. They fit closer no the legs and there are great diaper covers that help contain the leaking. If you’ve ever felt a squishy ‘gel’ inside the inner panels of a disposable diaper, it’s because they use a super-absorbing chemical called polyacrylate, which makes the diaper like a wearable toilet. Parents are supposed to change their baby’s diaper when they soil themselves, however with the advent of these super-absorbent and many times dry feeling chemical-laden disposable diapers, they get changed, typically, much less frequently.
“Cloth diapers use only natural absorbency from fabric” says Andrews. “They do keep baby dry, but cloth diapers require more frequent changes than disposables. Leaks are not more common, as modern cloth diaper designs feature elastic gussets that properly protect against leakage. It is true that disposable diapers can absorb more urine than cloth diapers because they contain a chemical component inside the layers of paper pulp that enhances absorption. This chemical powder, sodium polyacrylate, converts into a gel once it is in contact with urine. Disposables get heavier from the gelatinous chemical and urine combination when full, rather than overflow. They may not show signs of leakage, leaving parents unaware that their child is staying in a urine-filled, chemical laden diaper for longer than is healthy or hygienic.”
With cloth, not only is it easy to tell when your baby is due for a change, they also potty train much sooner because toddlers can actually feel when they wet themselves. The gel in disposables also will draw moisture from your baby’s skin. Additional absorbency can be gained with the use of Bumkins inserts, ideal for heavy wetters or longer periods of time, which can further prevent leakage issues.
4. Poopy diapers are a mess to clean up. Plus you have to toilet-dunk.
Truth: This disgusting idea is usually the first reason a mom turns to disposables. The belief that you must dunk your diapers in the toilet and flush repeatedly to clean them is simply not true. Poopy diapers can be unpleasant to deal with, but luckily there are tools to help cloth diapering moms and dads handle this necessary situation. Most of these can be emptied into the toilet and the residual dispatched by your washer’s rinse cycle. If there’s an extreme case of poop, the situation can easily be fixed with an item like the bumGenius diaper sprayer. This diaper sprayer is easily installed to your toilet and allows you to simply spray the poo into the toilet without the mess of dunking. Diaper sprayers connect to your toilet, sink or shower head and create a pressurized water stream that effectively moves runny newborn or breast fed poop from the diaper into the toilet without a big mess. Once babies transition to solid food, their poop becomes more solid and at this point the waste can just be shaken into the toilet and the diaper can be given a quick rinse before going into the diaper pail.