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Diapers, the Welfare of Tiny Tushies, and the Environment

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During the seventies, I raised my children on books that criticized the notions of rigid childcare, and if I remember correctly, one authority of those days warned that the mother could scar the child forever if she pushed a child’s toilet training. These books also alerted their readers to the fact that those mothers who boasted of their early successes were the ones who fooled themselves, because they were the ones aware of their babies’ elimination needs at their onset and reacted accordingly while their babies remained untrained.

In those times, Pampers became the way to go and they overtook their soft cloth counterparts like wildfire. Soon, a few more disposable diaper companies followed Pampers. Since the first one of my children developed a skin rash with the disposables, we used cloth diapers with diaper pins. Remember, we didn’t have Velcro in those days. With my second child, we graduated to disposables.

So much has changed since then. More mothers are pushing toilet training to a much earlier time, some as soon as the first couple of months of infancy. I bet they are not scarring anybody, since the generations before mine observed the same guidelines of these young mothers. It also seems like cloth diapers are proven to be better for the tiny tushies according to the most recent studies.

Yes, cloth diapers and diaper panties are in the vogue again, after the realization that disposables crowd the landfills the most and are not truly biodegradable; plus, more than two decades ago, a Canadian pediatrician advised that disposables, according to his studies, caused more frequent and severe diaper rashes. Companies that produced disposables have conducted their own studies and they claimed that disposables are safe and eco-friendly. The studies done by the environmental agencies and public health offices, however, have pointed to some very different conclusions compared to those studies done by the companies. Most parents, therefore, have become proponents of cloth diapers, today.

Opposed to the long rectangle or large square of the soft cloth diapers of the sixties and the seventies, cloth diapers of today come in different fabrics and styles.

First, there are pre-fold diapers that can be placed inside waterproof covers to hold the diaper in place. Then, there are contoured diapers that fold to a baby’s shape and fit inside a cover. There are also fitted diapers that are held in place at the waist with Velcro over which the baby wears a waterproof panty.

Then, the best option is probably those diapers with beautiful and entertaining designs where the diaper and the cover are sewn together. The soft cloth, printed diapers with matching waterproof fleece covers look very chic, especially when their print is the same as the receiving blanket and other clothing articles of the infant.

If you do not hesitate to use your washing machine at home for the baby’s diapers, probably cloth diapers are the best for your budget, your baby’s skin, and the environment. Ideally, all soil on the diaper should be rinsed off into the toilet first and the diapers should be stored in a covered pail with some mild detergent in warm water until the next wash. Then, you can put the diapers in the washing machine with no misgivings, and if you feel you need to take extra measures, you can run the washing machine empty after washing the baby’s diapers.

On the other hand, you might consider using a diaper service, which could be too costly for the typical family. On the average, a diaper service costs 40 to 70 dollars a month, based on two diapers a day. Yes, there is a count and an average baby will need to be changed a lot more often than twice a day.

While we are at the subject of the diapers, let’s not forget the importance of the diaper bag most mothers and baby care-givers would be lost without. Nowadays, the modern diaper bags can be attached to a stroller with clips and they are much fancier than their plastic predecessors of the seventies. Not only do they look trendy on the outside, but also they are functional inside with pockets for cell phones, wallets, and keys, plus changing pads, cases for wipes, and nylon linings to prevent spills.

Caring for a baby’s elimination needs may be deemed a selfless act, but it is still a chore. It can, however, be turned into a productive and loving task that is safe for the baby and is also environment friendly.

This article has been submitted by Joy Cagil in affiliation with http://www.BabyNameVote.Com/ which is a site for Baby Names.

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  • Posted On January 16, 2007
  • Published articles 283513

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