Parenthood is a complete experience. It truly has it all. Everything is new and exciting; you learn as you go. You feel scared, then you are overjoyed. One minute you feel proud, the next, you are worried, sleep-deprived, tired, and forgetful. You are also overwhelmed with love you have never felt before. It is a genuinely unique experience, unlike any other. One minute you will relish all the wonders of being a parent; the other, you will handle loads of smelly diapers. And you won't mind. Now, speaking of diapers, you have probably considered or opted for disposable ones as their advantages are undeniable. Firstly, they are perfectly convenient. Secondly, they are widely available. Thirdly, and most importantly, they keep your baby dry while being hassle-free. However, there are many disadvantages of using disposable diapers, and unfortunately, most people disregard them or are entirely unaware of them. Thus, we will share these pitfalls with you.
1. The financial aspect
Although this is not the most critical aspect of raising a baby, it is necessary to mention it. It is especially important given that babies are expensive. You will have to buy so many items to accommodate this precious new life and give them all they could possibly need. And diapers are one of the absolute essentials.
Well, in the long run, disposable diapers are pretty expensive. If you consider that babies use 7-8 diapers daily, it is a considerable expense. It is particularly worth noting that a wide selection of options and different prices on the market cause a lot of confusion. And naturally, parents only want what's best for their bundle of joy, as they should. So, they spend all that money until they feel like diapers are the only thing they spend their money on.
Perhaps parents are unaware that there is a way more cost-effective alternative to disposable diapers, and those are the cloth ones. There is a long-term financial benefit of cloth diapering though there is an initial investment in cloth diapers. However, you can save money in the long haul. Cloth diapers are commonly used again and again and can be passed down to their younger siblings. Most importantly, cloth diapers come with health-related benefits, which brings us to the next section.
2. The health and safety aspect
Of course, you will replace the dirty diaper regularly. But you can't do so every hour. So, on average, the diaper will be in direct and continuous contact with your baby's skin for approximately four hours. Knowing that disposable diapers contain some toxic chemicals means that your child's skin will be almost constantly in direct contact with them. Therefore, letting your child be no diapers on for a few hours per day would be advisable.
Moreover, there are other better alternatives for your baby that won’t make you worry about the chemical and your baby’s safety. Also, cloth diapers allow the baby’s skin to breathe. As a result, there is less irritation and fewer rashes.
Finally, reusable cloth diapers are incredible, and they come in different colors and sizes. Best of all, they come pretty close to the convenience of disposable ones. And there is an added bonus - you will feel so much better about yourself. And so will your baby.
3. Disposable diapers can cause skin rashes, infections, and allergies
Prolonged use of dirty diapers can cause diaper rash on your baby's skin. The moisture from the wet diaper creates a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. The continual rubbing will also irritate the skin. As a result, your baby's skin will turn red due to irritation, and the baby will be sore and uncomfortable. Consequently, you will have to deal with their fussiness, crying, and restlessness. Thus, it's crucial to check your baby's skin and diaper every hour and replace it the minute it is full.
One thing that makes disposable diapers so great is the substance that prevents the pee from leaking out. However, that same substance also stops the air from circulating. As mentioned, such a damp environment allows bacteria to thrive, and fungi may also develop. As a result, your baby can get some nasty skin infection.
For disposable diapers to be so absorbent, they are made using dyes, chemicals, synthetic materials, and gels. Given that babies' skin is very sensitive, these diapers, regardless of the brand, can cause allergic reactions. It happens especially when these chemicals get mixed with the urine and poo. If you notice tiny red bumps in your baby's skin, remove the diaper immediately. Also, apply gentle baby cream onto the affected area religiously.
On the other hand, reusable diapers come with equally absorbent diaper inserts made of much safer materials. Your bundle of joy will be more comfortable, and you will have peace of mind knowing you have chosen the best for your child.
4. Disposable diapers can hinder toilet training
Potty training involves communication between the baby and the parents using particular body signals, cues, and sounds. If babies wear disposable diapers for a long time, they become accustomed to them and feel very comfortable wearing them. If parents don't push their babies to start toilet training, this can impede the whole process, as they may not want to participate in the activity.
In the past, parents began toilet training much earlier. And one of the causes for this could be that the convenience of disposable diapers delays this critical milestone. Also, parents who decide to potty train their children earlier possibly do so to reduce costs and increase their daycare options.
Sometimes, delaying the potty training may cause some family stress. In addition, there are the environmental concerns that disposable, non-biodegradable diapers cause. And let’s not forget the heightened risk of hepatitis A and infectious diarrhea. So, the moment you feel confident that your baby can understand your instructions, start potty training.
Also, it is worth noting that cloth diapers will help potty train your baby. The child will feel that they are wet and create a connection between going potty and the wet sensation. Disposable diapers keep the wetness away from the baby’s skin, so the child is not aware of the wet diaper for a much longer time.
5. Disposable diaper can interfere with your baby's walking ability
Because of their design, disposable diapers can interfere with your child's motor development. They have a wide bottom so as to keep the urine and poop further away from your baby's skin. As a result, they spread the child's legs, limiting the range of movement. It can even affect the lower spine.
Such a design of the diaper that widens the baby's legs can cause them to adopt a W-sitting position. To check if there is any misalignment in movement, push your baby to crawl without a diaper on. Then, encourage the baby to walk towards you. If you notice anything strange, see a doctor and ask for advice to handle this issue.
6. Disposable diapers are not environmentally-friendly
We cannot talk about the disadvantages of using disposable diapers without mentioning the environmental impact they have. Due to their production and disposal, these are very environmentally hazardous. As mentioned, diapers contain a lot of plastic, synthetic materials, paper, different chemicals, all mixed with feces and urine. And tons of used diapers end up in landfills and rivers. Such waste is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas production, which leads to global warming.
The good news is that manufacturers are developing biodegradable disposable diapers. So, we can expect the situation to change in the future. However, for now, these are not widely available yet.
Sometimes you will need disposable diapers
Of course, the reasons to try reusable diapers are manifold. But, sometimes, you will be in a situation when you will be tempted to use disposable ones for their mere convenience. For example, moving with a baby is not an easy endeavor. It is stressful, complicated, long, and tiring. And for a baby who doesn't understand what is happening, things can be highly challenging. Thus, it is essential to make this move as easy as possible. And you will do so by eliminating all the stressors you can. One of these is worrying about diapers. Just use whatever is the most convenient, both for you and the baby at that particular moment, and go back to your regular routine once you have settled in.
Perhaps the only scenario in which disposable diapers beat reusable ones is when traveling. Unless you don’t mind carrying a dirty diaper around until you can wash it, that is.
When you understand the disadvantages of using disposable diapers, you will disregard the fact that we live in a fast-paced world in which time is in short supplies. And while cloth diapers will require some initial investment and a bit of your time to wash and dry them, always keep in mind that this is the healthiest option for your child. On top of that, it is a more sustainable, safer, and ultimately more cost-effective alternative.