Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Cloth Diaper Debate (Part 5)--What's in it for me?

Remember when I said that if there wasn't something in it for me, I wouldn't cloth diaper my son? I meant it. Let me tell you something else--even if it was better for the environment to use disposable diapers (which it isn't), I wouldn't. This, because I know that cloth is more comfortable for Morris.

So what's in it for me?
1 to 2 years less diaper changing, for starters.

Studies show that children that are cloth diapered and changed quickly, toilet train up to 24 months earlier. Did you know that 80% of the children in our world TODAY are completely toilet trained between 12 – 24 months with 18 months as the average? It is only in the U.S. and other "disposable diaper" countries where toileting is pushed back so late and completed as late as 36 – 48 months. Also, this is the way it WAS in the United States prior to the mid 50's which directly coincided with the introduction of disposable diapers.

Although there are no hard statistics, pediatricians say they are seeing more children with toilet-training problems. The problems include withholding of urine and stool, chronic constipation and wetting and soiling by older children.

These developments combined have fed a multi billion dollar diaper industry, which last year racked up $545 million in training pant sales ALONE, and spurred the introduction of the giant-sized diaper, designed for toddlers.

I will talk about the practice of infant potty learning on Wednesday (also known as elimination communication--EC) which can go hand in hand with using cloth diapers if you desire. Our family has loved doing EC and will share about that on Wednesday. This practice is made so much easier by the use of cloth.

What else do I love about Cloth Diapering?
I love that it becomes part of his wardrobe. Cloth diapers and covers can be ridiculously cute. A few pairs of baby legs with a simple T and the wardrobe for summer is complete! I could go on and on about this--but the truth is cloth diapers are ADORABLE. That is fact.
Now, I've been kind of bratty, saying I would cloth diaper even if it were worse for the environment. This is probably true, because who of us isn't going to do what it best for our kids, when it comes right down to it? However, I do really care about the earth because it will be the earth for my kids, grand kids, great grand kids, etc. I saw this picture and it made my stomach turn.
Is this the future we are leaving our posterity?
11 Billion pounds of untreated body excrement, which may carry over 100 intestinal viruses, is brought to landfills via disposable diapers each year.
18 Billion Diapers are used and thrown into landfills each year (enough to stretch to the moon and back 9 times).
It takes between 300-500 years for disposable diapers to decompose when exposed to direct sunlight and air. Since the diapers are dumped into landfills, covered and not exposed to the sun or air, who knows how many hundreds of years they will be around.
So that's the deal with diapers. Tomorrow we will wrap it up with info on starting your own cloth diaper stash, and some tips & tricks from cloth diapering Mama's I love and respect greatly. Stick around!
Part 1 HERE-Exposing the Myths (sanitation)
Part 2 HERE- Exposing the Myths (ease of use)
Part 3 HERE- Exposing the Myths (cost)
Part 4 HERE- Cloth Diaper Benefits (health, environment)
Part 5 HERE- More Benefits (potty training, and more)
Part 6 HERE -Basic info and terminology
Part 7 HERE- Building your cloth diaper stash
Part 8 HERE- Diaper Needs Questionnaire


Beth said...

now there is NO excuse! Great post, once again!

Kara said...

It's true. I was a cloth diaper baby and was fully potty trained before I was 2!