Discussing cloth diapering

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Discussing cloth diapering

by: By Rachel Roberts, Birth Doula Japan Birth Resource Network & The Birth Education Center of Okinawa | .
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: June 14, 2016
Why Cloth Diapers
 
When considering cloth, many people don’t fully understand the benefits of doing so. They are told by others about all the “extra work” that will be created for themselves. Honestly speaking, yes, it is a little extra work. The things that are best for your child, tend to be a little extra work. So if you are determined to cloth diaper, do it! Don’t let people scare you into the “convenient” disposables, because cloth can be convenient too!
 
Your baby
 
When it comes to your baby’s well-being, cloth diapers defeat the competition. 
 
Cloth diapers allow for the circulation of air, while disposables don’t. 
 
Babies who wear cloth feel the sensation of a wet diaper as soon as they pee, so they’re more aware of their body functions. On average, a cloth-diapered baby potty trains one year sooner than her disposable-diapered counterpart, which is better for everyone
 
There are a LOT of chemicals in traditional diapers
 
Your baby will have less diaper rash.
 
The Environment
 
Inthe era of disposable everything, eco-conscious parents may feel like they’re blazing a new trail by choosing reusable products like cloth diapers and cloth wipes for their babies. But interest in and demand for cloth-diapering products is on the rise, probably due in part to the realization of the impact our disposable culture has on the planet
 
Assuming your baby is in diapers for two-and-a-half years, using disposable diapers will generate at least two tons of waste.
 
Disposable diapers go straight to the landfills. Once there, it takes 500 years for one single-use disposable diaper to decompose. Currently, disposable diapers make up the third largest single consumer item in our landfills, and account for 30 percent of the non-biodegradable waste in landfills. On the other hand, cloth diapers are reusable. Not only can you wash them and reuse them on your baby, but you can also use them on your next baby, and then as household rags when they’re too tired for babies. This slows the pileup of our already overburdened landfills. When no longer usable, a cloth diaper will decompose within six months.
 
Disposable diapers are made of wood pulp, which eats up one billion trees per year at current manufacturing rates. But cloth diapers are made from a wide variety of natural and sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, wool and more.
 
Economical
 
Although cloth diapers are a large initial up front cost, the cost is spread out over continued use. Even with the added costs of washing, cloth diapers trump all but the very cheapest of disposable diapers. If you are planning on having more than one baby you can save the cloth diapers for future use.
 
$1,820 to $2,730: Total cost of disposable-diapering your baby for 2-1/2 years.
Things to remember when choosing cloth
 
You have the best carseat, best baby swing, best diaper bag, all the best gear. You have also decided to cloth diaper and start looking into it, and you are now overwhelmed with which ones to use.  Here are a few tips when deciding what diapers are best for your family:
 
1. Learn the Lingo-  Start reading and researching once you decide that you are going to CD (Cloth Diaper). There are several types of systems and not every one will work for your family. A few examples of things to know are:
 
All in Ones (AIO)- are one of the most convenient diaper options, particularly for non-CD savvy caregivers! These diapers are the most similar to disposables. There’s no stuffing, no folding, no messing around. Just wrap it around baby and snap or secure the aplix. Many parents like having at least a few AIOs in their stash, since they’re so easy to use
 
All in two/hybrid (AI2s) systems offer some great features…  
 
They come in two pieces – inserts and covers.  Most have offer either snap-in, lay-in, or disposable inserts.  The covers can be wiped and reused throughout the day (unless poo escapes!) with fresh inserts.  They are often trim and offer a variety of options within one system.
 
1. Decide on a budget-  The system that your family decides to use, may be determined by the budget. Up front, cloth diapers may not seem worth it, but they literally pay for themselves after only a few short months. Also, if you plan to have multiple children and plan to CD those, your costs for the second child are pretty much close to zero.  
 
2. Material- Modern cloth diapers come in many different fabrics made from different materials. Each material has it’s own pro’s and cons. Lets check them out!       
 
Cotton – One of the most popular materials used in cloth diapers. Long lasting and durable, cotton is very suitable for diaper use.
 
Polyester – Commonly used in cheaper diapers, polyester is not an ideal diaper material. It can be irritating to your baby’s skin and difficult to clean. Polyester is only suitable for diapers when sewn into the middle layers of a diaper that do not come into contact with your baby’s skin
 
Bamboo – Incredibly absorbent and naturally resistant to bacteria make bamboo fiber
 
Hemp – Hemp is absorbent and naturally resists bacterial growth. It is usually paired with other materials since it absorbs at a slow rate.
 
Wool – More commonly used in diaper covers than cloth diapers. Resistant to bacterial growth and can be lanolized to make it water resistant. Requires more maintenance than other materials.
 
Are you needing more detailed information?:
 
Each diaper system with the pros and cons to each.
 
Resources to help you to learn and become a cloth diaper boss!
 
What you need to and how get started on your Cloth Diaper journey.
 
Support and knowledge on helping you pick the system best suited for your family.
 
The ability to see, feel and try out several types of Cloth Diapers
 
Want more information? Then register online at Birth Education Center of Okinawa for the Intro to Cloth Diapering class taught by Rachel Roberts held Tuesday, June 28 at the BEC.
 
Connect with local Okinawa moms on Facebook in “Pregnancy & Birth Talk Okinawa”
 
Japan Birth Resource Network provides evidence based information and mother friendly support throughout Okinawa and Japan. To learn more visit: www.japanbirthresourcenetwork.com
 
BEC’s June Schedule:
 
Friday, June 17 - Pregnancy Fashion Event
 
Saturday, June 18 - Birth Talk featuring Dads
 
Wednesday, June 22 - La Leche League meeting
 
Saturday, June 25 - Cranial Sacral Therapy
 
Monday, June 27 - Breastfeeding Basics
 
Tuesday, June 28 - Intro to Cloth Diapering 
 
The BEC offers a Weekly Wednesday Weigh In every week for breastfeeding mothers & baby, IBCLC consultations, Hypnobirthing, Infant Massage, and more.