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Changing Diapers

Changing Diapers

Arguments can be made for both sides of the cloth-versus-disposable diaper debate, but regardless of your preference, it’s easier now than ever to fall in step with eco-diapering. Thanks to innovative designs in reusable diapers, gone are the days of saggy cloth diapers that require pins.

Green disposables rival conventional disposables in performance, and they don’t contain health hazards such as dioxin (a highly toxic by-product of the pulp and paper’s chlorine bleaching process), tributyltin (or TBT, a hormone-disrupting chemical), and fragrances and latex (sources of allergies in some infants). Some of these diapers contain synthetic ingredients–a strike against them in some opinions, but we’ve included them here for a more comprehensive comparison.

The following eco-diapers passed the test on a healthy, active 7-month-old (all prices reflect this age group’s size).

Bummis Bamboozle ($20 per diaper, bummis.com)
Reusable, fitted bamboo diaper.
Pros: Eco-friendly, naturally antibacterial bamboo; snaps offer adaptable fit; sewn-in strip allows tailored absorbency; can also be used with Bummis flushable and biodegradable liners for easier cleanup.
Cons: Requires separate waterproof cover; no leakage, but wetness spreads throughout diaper.

bumGenius 3.0 ($18 per diaper, cottonbabies.com)
Reusable, one-size-fits-all pocket system with Velcro closure.
Pros: No need to size up as baby grows; absorbency customization; soft inner layer, waterproof outer layer; Velcro speeds up changing time.
Cons: Man-made fibers (Note: bumGenius offers bamboo styles as well).

Fuzzi Bunz
($20 per diaper, fuzzibunz.com)
Reusable pocket system with a microfleece inner layer and a waterproof outer layer.
Pros: Absorbency customization; variable snap closure for fit; soft on baby’s skin.
Cons: Man-made fibers.

gDiapers ($17 per diaper, $15 per 32-count package of refills, gdiapers.com)
Hybrid diaper with reusable outer cover and disposable inner lining.
Pros: Flush, toss or compost soiled linings; when tossed, lining biodegrades faster than other disposables; when flushed, waste goes through treatment facilities; bridges the gap between disposables and cloth; a certified cradle to cradle product.
Cons: Potential leakage around legs; can be tough on weak plumbing systems; petroleum-derived liner inside the cover; debatable safety of sodium polyacrylate gel.

Nature Babycare ($12 per 34-count package, diapers.com)
Disposable diaper made of at least 60 percent biodegradable materials.
Pros: Outer layer derived from GMO-free corn; no oil-based plastic touches baby’s skin; wood pulp from sustainable forests; compostable packaging.
Cons: Somewhat stiff; debatable safety of sodium polyacrylate gel.

Seventh Generation ($11 per 35-count package, babiesrus.com)
Natural, unbleached, disposable diaper.
Pros: Soft and cloth-like; conforming; stretchy leg gussets; hypoallergenic; widely available.
Cons: Debatable safety of sodium polyacrylate gel (studies have shown that sodium polyacrylate, an absorbent gel found in most disposables, is safe and non-toxic, yet the chemical makes many uneasy).

Tendercare Plus ($11 per 24-count package, drugstore.com)
White, chlorine-free, disposable diaper.
Pros: Wood pulp from sustainable forests; soft; GMO-free; hypoallergenic top sheet; conforming.
Cons: Debatable safety of sodium.

Kiwi magazine is ideal for families interested in a healthy lifestyle. They cover the latest in natural and organic products, nutrition and wellness. You’ll find information on social and environmental issues that touch your family as well as parenting advice from leading experts. And, of course, there’s fun stuff like kids’ fashions, reviews on kids’ media, toys and games. We’ve even thrown in some information for pampering parents, too. Subscribe now and Kiwi will make a donation to World Vision.

Read more: Babies, Family, , ,

By Jennifer Medley, Kiwi magazine

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12 comments

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3:05AM PDT on Oct 4, 2012

This is useful article for me as i have two kids. I never heard about disposable diaper. This is nice to see such type of diaper. I will use it for my babies.
http://www.emedoutlet.net/

12:54AM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

Thanks for the article.

3:50PM PDT on Mar 25, 2010

I never used disposable diapers when I had a baby. I'm glad now that I didn't. There were so many in the landfill, that I sometimes hike to. Those, along with plastic bags, just seem to use up so much of our landfill space, even if the diapers eventually degrade.

2:40AM PST on Mar 4, 2010

i was raised on cotton diapers and my son was babies stoll is not caustic or filthy as ppl make out sure it smells but families need to get off but and recycle diapers if they cant stand washing them there are diaper services chris

12:23PM PDT on Sep 10, 2009

g-diapers also has washable inserts if you want a greener option to the flushable ones. There is also a biodegradable/compostable disposable called "Nature Boy and Girl." It is available by the case at drugstore.com and in individual packages and by the case through their own website (which is not terribly stable, so I just go through drugstore, but went through them for my first package to make sure they worked for me).

8:22PM PDT on Mar 30, 2009

past member to motherease do you make them for older like for adultbabys too

7:58PM PST on Jan 30, 2009

I had twin babies 17 years ago. I started out with a diaper service and was very diligent about changing their diapers. They had bad diaper rash until I changed to disposable diapers. They never had rash again. That was worth it to me. It may not have been environmentally sound. Our community burns its trash and who knows what chemicals come out of the chimney due to diapers, but at least they are not in a landfill. The bad thing about disposable diapers is the people who are carelessly leaving them lying around on streets and roadways, in parks and restrooms. Yuck.

3:30PM PST on Jan 29, 2009

Convenience may be the reason for using plastic diapers, but it makes no sense to me. If we are washing clothes anyway, so I do not understand how washing is bad.
Does that mean we should wear disposable plastic clothes rather than wash them?
Use disposable diapers when on trips or other away from home times, but all the rest of the time I think cloth diapers are the better choice.

6:43PM PST on Nov 12, 2008

I love my BumGenius! Easy to use & super quick to dry. They also come in organic now. They are really absorbent & I've only ever had 1 or 2 leaks (in 6 months of use). They are one size (with 3 different sizings)... Love 'em!!!

9:50AM PST on Nov 12, 2008

We use Mother-ease also and really enjoy them

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