Have you heard about the Great Cloth Diaper Change yet? Leading up to Earth Day (April 22nd) the Real Diaper Association (a non-profit cloth diaper advocacy group) is hosting Real Diaper Week (April 16-21st) and the 2nd Annual Great Cloth Diaper Change (April 21st).
I wanted to link up each day of this week but life got in the way of blogging. Isn't that always the way it goes?
Today's the first day I've had time to think about this, but it's actually a little fitting. The main reason we decided to cloth diaper was for health benefits. We recognized that there were many chemicals in disposable diapers that we didn't want our baby exposed to.
I've done a lot of reading about my Parkinson's disease and what doctors and scientist believe may cause Parkinson's. There is some research that states that genes play a part in this. At this point, the main gene identified and associated with Parkinson's is not one that I carry (I had genetic testing done shortly after my diagnosis). That is good news to me, because it lessens my children's risk for PD. However, it means that there is some other reason that I have it. The prevailing thought at this time is that some people are more susceptible to environmental chemicals, which is what causes their Parkinson's. Regardless of whether you carry a PD gene or not, you're more likely to get Parkinson's if your parent has it, possibly because you live in the same environment that your parents do and are exposed to the same chemicals.
Because of that, we began ridding our house of harmful cleaning products and other chemicals after my diagnosis. I grew up in a house where my mother cleaned with strong chemicals like bleach daily. We wanted to basically go the opposite direction and try to use natural products to clean. So when we found out Jaxon was coming, it made no sense for us to plan to immediately surround his little bottom 24/7 with diapers containing harmful chemicals. Did you know it takes 20 lbs of bleach a year to put one baby in disposable diapers? Ick! We considered using chlorine free diapers, but read that some of those still contained chemicals we didn't want next to his skin. When we found modern cloth diapers, we knew we had found our solution. Easy application like disposables, but fewer chemicals, the option of organic fabrics, and breathability to keep his skin rash-free.
My first son was in disposables and suffered from rash after rash. I tried many creams for him, but it never occurred to me that cloth diapers might help with his rashes. Jaxon has sensitive skin, but he has not had any diaper rashes. We occasionally see some redness when he has a gross poop, but it is usually cleared up by the next diaper change, even when I don't put any cream on it.
We've been very happy with our decision to cloth diaper, and feel like we've made a good decision for Jaxon's overall health.
If you want to, you can read more here about some of the scientific facts concerning chemicals in disposable diapers.