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Is a return to cloth diapers overdue?

Have you ever thought about the real implications of using disposable nappies? Probably not, because most of us turn to them automatically when we become parents. But disposable diapers cost a bomb, contain harmful chemicals to our baby and cause a huge impact on the environment. Did you know that there is a much friendlier alternative? Let us tell you about the advantages of using HappyTushie Diapers, which are reusable and made of cloth and natural fibres.

Cloth diapering for healthier children

Today's cloth diapers are not the old-school cloth nappies your grandma used. Modern pocket diapers are made of a waterproof outer layer and a suede interior, which wicks away moisture from your baby's bottom. Absorbency can be modified with the type and number of inserts you choose from multiple layers of microfibre, bamboo cotton and charcoal, all of which are harmless to your baby.

Few people are aware that disposable nappies contain harmful chemicals. Diapers manufacturers claim that the quantities are very small. However, 24/7 chemical exposure to our babies for two or three years can have harmful effects.

A study published in 1999 by Anderson Laboratories Inc. demonstrated that some disposable diapers emit toxic chemicals that affect the respiratory tract and may be a cause of or exacerbate asthmatic conditions. Lab mice exposed to various brands of disposable nappies experienced asthma-like symptoms as well as eye, nose and throat irritation. Exposure to cloth diapers did not cause any symptoms.

The list of chemicals includes volatile organic compounds or VOCs (including toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and dipentene), sodium polyacrylate or SAP, dioxins, polyurethane, adhesives, lotions, inks, fragrances and pesticide residue. Some of these chemicals are cumulative and cancer-causing.

Cloth diapering for a sustainable environment

Dirty cloth nappies are simply washed in a separate load in the washing machine, with non-bio detergents and cold water. Special materials are used to avoid the need for bleaching and soaking to keep nappies white and clean. The cleaning process is fast, undemanding and kinder to the environment.

A single disposable diaper may take 250-500 years to decompose, meaning that every single disposable nappy ever used is still sitting somewhere in a landfill. From birth to toilet training, each child uses approximately 5,300 disposable nappies! Approximately 200-400 kgs of fluff pulp and 130 kgs of plastic (including packaging) are required per year to supply a single baby with disposable nappies. Diapers are the third largest single product in the waste stream.

Single-use disposable diapers require 37% more water to produce than laundering cloth nappies and cause greater water pollution. Cloth diaper washing requires 190-265 litres of water every three days, just the same as a toilet-trained person flushing the toilet 5-6 times a day. Wastewater from washing cloth nappies is relatively benign, however, the wastewater from pulp, paper and plastics to produce the nappies contains solvents, sludge, heavy metals, unreacted polymers, dioxins and furans.

Furthermore, disposables cause human excrement to end up at dump sites, which is unhealthy and technically illegal according to World Health Organisation guidelines.

Cloth diapering for better finances

You only require your initial cloth diaper purchase, a separate washing basket with a waterproof pail liner and a waterproof bag to carry used nappies back home without making a mess. And you can reuse the diapers on multiple babies.

A full package of pocket diapers costs just €500. Laundering cloth diapers (including water, electricity and detergent) for 3 years costs approximately €110.

Compare this with the average cost of disposables. The cost of disposable diapers for one baby, from birth to potty training, is an average of €1800; more if you buy branded diapers and change more than 5 nappies a day.

For a family with two children, the cost of disposable diapers will be around €3600. Using cloth nappies would save €2880! Just imagine what you could do for your children with those savings!

Do good!

Cloth diapers are economical, non-toxic and eco-friendly - an obvious choice. It is time to make the switch.

Take a look at our cloth diapers