I was someone that totally planned on cloth diapering from the beginning. Flash forward to baby born and we're living in a house with 3 floors between our apartment and the laundry room basement, not the best washer/dryer, and a ton of anxiety, among other blocks.
One goal of my blog is that I don't want to make these posts too long, so I'm going to briefly say: Just like any other product, if a diaper company isn't very transparent with its ingredients there's something to be wary about. Chemicals in baby products are something still being very heavily researched and we can't make assumptions about everything - but I will encourage you to consider that in products like car seats, wipes, clothing, etc. any tested components have been at levels that are risky or outright dangerous.
Remember when all that literature came out on BPA? It was shown to disrupt normal hormone production and regulation - a big player for those of us that have ever experienced estrogen or thyroid imbalance - and everybody got a lot more conscious about their plastic use? Obviously we are all working to get there together, so don't feel bad if you still have plastic water bottles or tupperware. Just make moves to replace them when you can and help give your body a break.
Knowing how these can affect us, our attention is a bit alarmed when it turns to our infants and small children. If it can cause infertility or hypothyroid in a grown woman, how is it affecting my developing child and what hazards do I need to be aware of?
Many chemicals harmlessly intended to act as a flame retardant, easy-clean, or absorbent factor carry the risk of harmful side effects, and while we don't want to feel like companies flat-out don't care about us, it's hard to believe they do. Instead of turning to natural materials like wood, cloth, etc. toys are still being made with BPS and BPF, which are considered to be safer, but may still disrupt hormones in similar ways! The flame retardants typically used in car seats are low quality, and there is much in question about the exposure of skin on them due to heat, contact, breathing in the chemicals, etc.
Diapers are also a huge concern for the environment. We throw them out and just think of them as gone - when really they take over 500 years to decompose! If you do the math... That's a LOT into a landfill just from one baby!
I've had plenty of people roll their eyes at me for not accepting their offer of a Huggy or a Pamper. You are NOT a bad parent if you use these brands, and I don't think I'm too good for them!!! There is just so much out there that we aren't aware of, and with childhood cancers and so many immune and nervous system disorders on the rise, any steps we can take to limit exposure to dangerous chemicals contributes to our health, our family's health, and if consumers keep buying without question corporations will never have a reason to up their standards and put more care into their products. We have to remember that it is a business, and the goal is to profit. So if a company feels like they have to up their cost to be more eco-friendly, it's very possible for them to cut corners.
With diapers especially, I think it's very important to give some thought to what's in it. Not only is whatever its made with going to be on your baby's skin nearly every second of the first few years of life, but it's also often going to be wet. Whatever chemical is being used to absorb liquid has got some serious capability - Yes it's amazing to absorb 40x it's own weight, but what is that made of? What happens if you put it wet on your skin and put it on repeatedly for years? We don't want our children to be the experiments for that, and for many reasons including taking my infant daughter to work I didn't end up getting cloth diapers. BUT we did end up getting to use several eco-friendly diaper brands and I wanted to share my experience as a consumer, as well as a link to my favorites!
1. Bambo Nature (≈$0.34/diaper)
I was so excited to find these diapers! Free from all known harmful chemicals, dyes, parabens, and allergens
Started in Denmark over 30 years ago, this family-owned company has strict standards. They claim very rigorous monitoring of the small suppliers they work with for pure, raw materials. About 75% of the ingredients are biodegradable, which is much better than most diapers. The outer layer is made of bamboo and the diaper fit well.
We ordered about 10 containers of diapers so we used these for the first few months of our daughter's life. The diaper fit well and was comfortable material, but we did have a lot of issues with leakage. Pee would leak out the sides or we would pick her up from a nap and her back would be soaked from pee coming out of the top. The same can be said for poop, which made us have to take a lot of precautions to line her car seat, etc. in case of spillover. Often times we changed them far before they were full to avoid leaks.
Ingredients from Bambo Website:
The wood used for pulp is derived from sustainable forestry, where more trees are planted than felled. Stora Enso, wood pulp supplier of Abena, is a member of the Clean Shipping Project
There is no chlorine used or added in our manufacturing process
No chemicals or compounds from SVHC (REACH Article 33) are added or used during production – Substances of Very High Concern
No known substances that are harmful to health or the environment are used or added during production (Phthalates, Organotins [MBT, DBT, TBT], heavy metals, Chlorine (CI), Formaldehyde (HCHO) Colophonium, AZO pigments, PVC.) Abena has gone as far as to prevent use of any chemical or compound that is known as locally irritating or sensitizing
Read about the rest of the ingredients here:
Click to order!
2. Honest Diapers (≈$0.44/diaper)
We didn't ever envision ourselves buying diapers from Target, but in a pinch for diapers and not sure I wanted to order more Bambo, we looked into Honest.
Created by Jessica Alba, who grew up with many medical issues, she wanted to create something free of the chemicals that could potentially harm her own children. They are free of fragrance, chlorine, lotions, latex, and other irritants. Made from pulp from sustainable forests and plant-based plastics, these sound better than most diapers but still has some red flags. Plant-based plastic? Not sure that's the eco-friendly answer I was looking for, or if that plastic carries any hormone-altering factors we're trying to get away from.
The prints are cute, but the outside of the diaper has a plastic-like feel to it. The absorption seemed better in these than Bambo, and we didn't really ever deal with leaks, but we did have a few blowouts that didn't seem held in well by the diaper. Due to absorption issues other reviews have noted diaper rash is a risk here as it may keep the baby wet. We never really had any issues with diaper rash, but we changed her often because it was true, the absorption didn't really ever keep her dry and we wanted to make sure she didn't have wet material on her all the time. There has been some question of decrease in quality since the company started.
Ingredients from Honest Company:
Honest Company Diaper Ingredients (NEW FORMULATION): Absorbent Bio-Core [Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF) Wood Pulp From Sustainably Managed Forests, Sodium Polyacrylate Containing Renewable Materials & Odor Inhibitors Including Citrus Extract & Liquid Chlorophyll], Outer Layer (Plant-Based PLA), Inner Layer (Polyethylene & Polypropylene), Leg/Waist System (Polymer Spandex & Polypropylene), Polyolefin Adhesives in the Seams & Joints, Super-Cute Design on Backsheet (Inks)
Click to order!
3. Dyper Brand Diapers (≈$0.36/diaper)
As a natural mama, I got advertisements for this brand for a while before I looked into them. I was into these because they had absolutely no potential allergens or plastic parts involved, and came with no prints which meant no use of ink in their production. These were also the first diapers I saw that were truly 100% biodegradable. And they have testing to show they degrade completely within 75 days!
Our leakage with these has been the best so far. I will say that with these being so natural, if they're not changed by the time they're full the liquid CAN soak through a bit. Other diapers have a plastic-like lining or outer layer. I almost lowered my satisfaction because of this, but it wasn't an issue after a few days once we got in the swing of things. We have had zero issues with any rash or blemishes, and every large (and small) blowout has been successfully contained. So we feel really good about our diaper choice!
I appreciate this subscription service for several reasons. First, I know I will never run out of diapers because they'll send more within a few hours if needed, and if I have too many I can send them back or pause the next shipment.
On another note, these are seriously the SOFTEST diapers I've ever felt. I was instantly happy when I opened the box and felt them. One diaper brand I didn't choose to review was Seventh Generation. They literally feel like a paper bag!
Ingredients from Dyper site:
Biodegradable Top and Back Sheet Non Woven Viscose Made From 100% Bamboo
Sumitomo SAP using Inverse Suspension Polymerization
TCF Chlorine-Free Fluff Pulp
SMS Non Woven + Spandex Side Guard
3M Front Tape
Avery Denison Elastic Side Tape
Wherever you are in your diaper journey whether preparing for your own, looking for a better alternative, or helping another get ready for a new baby, I wanted to share the gift of eco-friendly diapers with you! Follow the link below to try your own, and support out blog by sharing this affiliate link with your friends looking for a better choice!
Follow the link below to order!
Stay tuned for future posts about eco toys, wipes, clothing, and more!