Important Facts About Disposable Diapers

Facts About Disposable Diapers

One of the major decisions parents have to make when expecting a baby is what type of diapers they’re going to use. In the first two years of your baby’s life, it’s estimated they will go through nearly 6,000 diapers! 

It can be tricky to decide between disposable or reusable cloth diapers as you weigh the pros and cons of both types of diapers. 

The debate over using disposable or cloth diapers remains relevant because of the impact both have on the planet. The more environmentally aware our society becomes, the more we demand products that are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and safe to use. 

The facts about disposable diapers are often overlooked by those who want to harp on their negative impact on the environment. However, there are many valuable benefits of disposable diapers for babies and families.

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important facts about disposable diapers

What are the benefits of disposable diapers? 

It’s important to understand the positive impacts of disposable diapers on your family, your baby, and your lifestyle. There are many, but the ones we’re highlighting are the most influential when deciding to use disposable diapers.

1. Convenience and ease of use

Disposable diapers can be purchased at most major grocery chains, in-store and online, in drugstores, and specialty stores. Many families value the convenience of being anywhere in the country and being able to find a trusted diaper brand.

Disposable diapers are easy for parents and caretakers to use; they’re consistent across most brands and require a minimal learning curve. 

2. Leak prevention and better absorption

Leak prevention is one of the top reasons to use disposable diapers for your little one. Particularly once your baby starts sleeping through the night, you’ll need a reliable diaper that can absorb up to 12 hours of wetness. 

Disposable diapers have moisture-wicking materials that ensure your baby’s bottom and legs stay dry regardless of how much urine is in the diaper. The more absorbent the diaper, the less chance of irritation or diaper rash on your baby’s already sensitive skin. 

3. No washing necessary 

Disposable diapers require minimal effort for cleanup and disposal. Parents and caretakers simply wrap up the dirty diaper, toss it in the Diaper Genie, and go about their day. The convenience and time saved is very influential on why busy parents and families opt to use disposable diapers. 

There’s no additional laundry, extra steps to ensure the diapers are clean and washer-ready, or any items to wipe down, besides the baby and the changing table.

4. Widely adopted by caretakers

If you plan to send your baby to daycare, will have a babysitter in the home, or will have family members helping provide care for the baby, disposable diapers are usually preferred in these situations. Any daycare setting will know how to change disposable diapers, and you can teach any friend or family member how to use and change one quickly. 

Cloth diapers, on the other hand, require more of a tutorial for successful usage and may not be accepted at some daycare centers. 

5. Great for busy families 

For families with several children, working parents, and busy social and activity schedules, disposable diapers are an ideal choice. A quick change with a disposable diaper can take less than a minute and once you’re done, you’re done! 

There aren’t any additional steps like dumping poop in the toilet or starting a load of laundry with diaper covers. Disposable diapers are also easier for older siblings to learn how to use; if you have older children or teenagers that may help with changes, disposable diapers are simple to understand and easy to change once you’ve shown them the ropes. 

You may want to check out our review of Walmart’s Parent’s Diapers!

Related post: Ways to Announce a Baby Registry Without a Shower

Why are disposable diapers better than cloth?

Disposable diapers are better for your baby’s skin, easier for travel or on-the-go families, and can be more sanitary than cloth diapers. Here’s a detailed description of why disposable diapers are better than cloth.

1. Better for babies’ skin

Thanks to the moisture-wicking material in disposable diapers, your baby’s skin will stay dry for up to 12 hours. Disposable diapers have come a long way in terms of absorption. 

They remove any moisture on the skin and keep babies dry all night, reducing any chance of rash or irritation for sensitive skin. 

2. Great for travel 

Storing soiled diapers while traveling sounds complicated and less than sanitary. If you’re planning any trips or vacations with your baby, using diapers you can throw in the trash is a much simpler solution that requires minimal planning. 

Plus, if you run out of diapers on your trip, you can easily stock up. If you don’t pack enough cloth diapers, you’ll have to find a retailer that sells them, which can be stressful and inconvenient. 

Additionally, if you travel using cloth diapers, you’ll have to find lodging that has laundry or plan to pay for laundry service wherever you’re headed.

Related post: Ideas for Extravagant Baby Shower Ideas

3. A cleaner, more sanitary option

Reusable diapers require more cleaning for every diaper change. If your baby soils a cloth diaper, it needs to be cleaned and prepared for the washing machine. Navigating the mess inside a diaper can be time-consuming and make a big mess. 

From transferring the poop to the toilet and walking around the house with a dirty diaper in your hands, you run the risk of contaminating your own hands in the process. 

Disposable diapers require zero contact; simply wrap the disposable diaper around itself, use the tabs to ensure it’s closed tightly, and toss it in the trash.

Related post: Diaper Craft Ideas

How long does it take for disposable diapers to decompose?

Studies show that disposable diapers take nearly 500 years to decompose. As they decompose, the absorbent gels and plastic materials in disposable diapers can emit methane and other gasses into the environment.

How many disposable diapers are used each day?

A baby uses approximately 8 diapers per day, and nearly 20 billion disposable diapers are added to landfills each year. Because of these staggering numbers, many families opt to use cloth diapers, which can be more environmentally friendly and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Many eco-focused diaper brands offer biodegradable diaper inserts, created from plants including hemp and bamboo.

You may want to read our in-depth review of Member’s Mark Diapers.

How bad are disposable diapers for the environment?

Disposable diapers are one of the largest sources of household waste on a global scale; nearly 20 billion diapers end up in landfills each year. 

The majority of plastics used in diapers are not recyclable, which means once they get tossed out, they will sit in a landfill with no other use. Plastic is made from petroleum, which requires oil for production. Oil drilling also has a severe impact on the environment. 

Many diaper brands use chemicals during manufacturing that are harmful to babies and the environment, including phthalates, synthetic dyes, perfumes, and some organic compounds. These chemicals can be dangerous when released into the air.

Lastly, an estimated 250,000 trees are cut down each year for diaper manufacturing. 

It’s difficult not to be discouraged by your use of disposable diapers. However, there are ways to improve your carbon footprint and reduce the waste you’re sending to landfills. 

Dispose of the waste in dirty diapers by flushing as much as you can down the toilet. This reduces the risk of any contamination from disposable diapers in untreated sewage.  

DYPER Bamboo Baby Diapers Size 1 | Natural Honest Ingredients | Cloth Alternative | Day & Overnight | Plant-Based + Eco-Friendly | Hypoallergenic for Sensitive Skin | Unscented - 66 Count

For families committed to using disposable diapers, we recommend finding brands and products that are better for the environment without sacrificing quality for your baby. Shop for diapers that have biodegradable components, are compostable and are free of chemicals. Top eco-friendly brands include Dyper, Andy Pandy, and Naty Baby.

Learn more money-saving tips: How To Prepare a Baby On A Budget Checklist

Wrap up- Facts about Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers offer an unparalleled level of convenience, cleanliness, and quality for babies’ sensitive skin. While disposable diapers have concerning environmental impacts, we know they aren’t going anywhere. The best we can do is find alternatives with better ingredients and materials that aren’t as harmful to the earth and all those who live here. 

What do you think about disposable vs. reusable diapers? Will the facts about disposable diapers influence you to make the switch? Leave us a comment!

Interested in eco-friendly diapers? Check out our diaper reviews of them, complete with photos:

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