The average baby goes through 5,000 diapers before being potty trained. Some claim cloth diapers are gentler on the environment than disposables and healthier for babies; others say there’s no clear winner because both deplete natural resources and cause pollution. What to do? These potty pointers can help you decide.
• Super-absorbent disposables hold more moisture and wick it away from skin better than cloth.
• Chlorine-free brands don’t contribute to dioxin pollution.
• Contain dioxins (unless they’re chlorine free).
• Manufacturing causes pollution.
• Most aren’t biodegradable; even “biodegradable” styles don’t readily break down in landfills.
• May contain sodium polyacrylate (super-absorbent gel), which is banned from tampons because it’s linked to toxic shock syndrome.
• Chlorine-free disposables: Seventh Generation; Tushies
• Reusable, so fewer diapers are needed.
• Can be used for more than one child or recycled as rags
• Less likely to end up in landfill
• Cotton production uses energy, water and pesticides (unless grown organically).
• Contain dioxins (unless unbleached); manufacturing causes pollution.
• Laundering uses water, energy and detergents.
• Organic cotton: Under the Nile
• Insert can be flushed down most standard toilets.
• Don’t clog landfills
• Wet (not poopy) ones can be composted.
• Not for use in non-standard, root-infested or faulty plumbing.
• May not be appropriate for all septic systems.
• Limited availability
• Flushable diapers: gDiapers.com
• Flushable liners: Green Mountain Diapers, Kushies