Why Use Cloth?
There are two completely different kinds of diapers in the world. One is a simple, three-panel rectangle of five to seven plies of soft and natural cotton. The other is a tremendously complex combination of heavily treated paper pulp, polyethylene (and other plastics), glues, dyes, synthetic perfumes, and — above all — a superabsorbent chemical, sodium polyacrylate, that absorbs urine and holds it in a “gel” next to a baby’s skin. We think that if you see things from your baby’s standpoint, and apply the same standards of comfort and health that you would for your own body, cotton is the obvious choice. But since some of the propaganda for disposables has focused on making cotton diapering appear to be a grossly inconvenient and messy practice suited to the turn of the last century rather than this one, you understandably may want to know what’s really involved in cotton diapering care.
First of All, A Word About All Diapers
When you’re a first-time expectant parent, especially an expectant father, the thought of diapers tends to conjure up some pretty yucky imagery. The actual diaper experience, though, is a lot lighter weight, and in fact supplies some of the nicest encounters between parents and babies. Healthy urine is sterile, as long as your baby doesn’t have to wear a urinated-in diaper for very long, so changing a wet diaper is no more unpleasant than discarding a wet towel. As for that other output, yes, there are some epic messes once in a while. They are just as epic, by the way, whether the diaper is cotton or disposable, because while the “disposable” tag implies you get rid of the yuck at arm’s length with the dirty diaper, the baby’s skin in the early days usually has at least as much yuck as the diaper itself. Nothing short of a diaper that vacuums your baby’s bottom will ever change that. So, since the epic doesn’t happen all that often, relax and enjoy the diapering years, which we guarantee you will pass all too quickly, especially if you use cotton diapers.
It’s a matter of comfort and health. The comfort is something you know about from your own clothing. It stems both from cotton’s soft touch on sensitive skin and from its breathability — which ventilates the skin and helps evaporate the potentially irritating ammonia that starts to form as soon as a baby wets. As for cotton’s health for babies, it has thousands of years of history behind it. Cotton is the fabric of choice for use directly on the skin. Like its comfort, its natural absorbency is the polar opposite of the combination of paper pulp, plastics, and “superabsorbent” chemicals in disposables. We can provide A to Z testimonials from moms whose babies experienced irritation with disposables that went away immediately with cotton.