Why Choose Organic Cloth Diapers?
There is a lot of debate amongst parents about whether to use cloth or disposable diapers. There are pros and cons to each method, so you will need to decide which works best with your lifestyle. We’re not here today to convince you one way or another but to let you know some of the advantages of organic cloth diapers.
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What is the benefit of cloth diapers in general?
Most parents that use cloth diapers find that they use disposable in certain instances (including daycare and long car rides) because of the convenience factor, but in general, most people agree that cloth diapers beat out disposable because:
- They’re more eco-friendly. Each kid generates thousands of pounds of non-biodegradable waste when they use disposable diapers, so choosing the cloth route can create far less trash in the long run. That’s safer for the planet and puts less in the landfills.
- They’re easier on your wallet. It might not seem like it at the beginning when you’re shelling over a few hundred bucks for two dozen diapers, but in the long run, you could be saving money. With your first kid, after you factor in the water and electricity for all of the extra laundry, you will only be saving a little bit in comparison to disposable diapers. The real savings happen when you buy your diapers used or use them with multiple children within your household.
- Some believe that cloth diapers yield faster potty training. This isn’t scientifically backed, but many parents believe that children who feel like they’re wet will potty train earlier than kids who feel dry all the time (as is common for kids in disposable diapers).
- They’re cuter. This one is purely subjective, but there are so many colors and patterns and prints for cloth diapers nowadays, you’re sure to find some that tickle your fancy.
- They keep chemicals away from sensitive skin. This is probably the most common reason for choosing cloth diapers. Disposable diapers are made using all kinds of chemicals and absorbent polymers that can irritate your baby’s sensitive bottom. Cloth diapers – especially organic cloth diapers – put little to no chemicals on your baby’s skin.
What does “organic” mean in relation to cloth diapers?
If you’re already diapering using cloth diapers, you might be wondering what “organic diapers” offer and if it’s worth it to make the switch. “Organic” where diapers are concerned means that growers have to follow certain guidelines in order to list their product as organic.
Organic farming principles require farmers to take special precautions before planting even the first seed. It involves using non-GMO seeds, keeping to a strict crop rotation schedule that helps keep the soil healthy, and using natural means to control unwanted pests. Once the fiber is harvested, safe peroxide is used where bleaching is necessary and natural dyes – instead of synthetic dyes – are allowed to determine the final color. All other processing steps need to be done free of harsh chemicals or other materials. To know if your cloth diapers meet the organic standard, look for the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) logo or USDA Certified Organic on your product’s packaging.
Can cloth diapers really be 100% organic?
The answer to that is “it depends.” That may seem a little confusing, so let’s break it down further.
- Yes: There are several different styles of cloth diapers on the market right now, and two of the less popular (but 100% organic) varieties are called “flats” or “pre-folds.” These diapers look a lot like the old school ones that your mom or grandma might have used when diapering you. Flats are just a flat, thick piece of organic cotton that you wrap around that baby’s bum and pin into place. Pre-folds look exactly like flats except that they have two fold lines stitched into them for guidance on where to fold the diaper. You can also find fitted diapers, diaper inserts, and a few varieties of diaper covers in 100% organic options (such as bamboo, wool, hemp, and cotton).
- No: You might start running into non-organic components when you’re looking at hybrids and diaper covers. Again, there are 100% organic options out there, but they can be cost-prohibitive if you’re on a tight budget. Knowing that, manufacturers qualify their organic cloth diapers that have non-organic elements by saying that the areas that touch your baby’s bottom are 100% organic. This leaves them some wiggle room to have non-organic elements such as snaps and closures and PUL or TPU (polyester-based material) diaper covers. Non-organic polyester diapers covers are especially common because they keep your baby from leaking all over other surfaces, are reusable, and relatively inexpensive. Keep in mind that if you’re nervous about any synthetic material coming in contact with your little one, these “mostly but not 100% organic” diaper covers will likely have synthetic material that touches your baby’s skin around the elastic waistband and at the leg holes. If that bothers you, remember that there are some 100% diaper cover options out there, but you’ll have to look a little harder and spend a little more.
What’s the price difference?
The price difference between non-organic, mostly organic, and 100% organic diapers is difficult to determine because there are so many possible combinations. From a recent search, we’ve found a mid-range price for the following products (you’ll be able to find some lower-priced and some higher-priced depending on the brand you choose):
*Will need a cover
What is OEKO-TEX certification?
OEKO-TEX takes safety a step further than just being organic. It means that the company has sent their fabric to be independently tested and found free of over 100 chemicals and materials that are harmful to humans. This certification is voluntary and has to be updated every year to meet the new standards. OEKO-TEX certification is not only for the fabric, but also the thread and notions (zippers, buttons, etc.) that are on the article of clothing.
If you want the safest possible diapering solution for your baby, look for products that are made from certified organic and OEKO-TEX materials. When you’re doing nighttime potty training, one excellent solution is to use Peejamas. Our resusable Peejamas look like stylish pajama bottoms (and some come with tops, too). They function similar to cloth diapers but they are ultra-absorbent so they keep your child from soaking the sheets as they learn to stay dry at night. They are made from OEKO-TEX material, so you know that your child’s skin is safe from harmful chemicals and materials.