Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pampers, are you kidding me?

This post is part of the Real Diaper Facts carnival hosted by Real Diaper Events, the official blog of the Real Diaper Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to cloth diaper education. Participants were asked to write about diaper lies and real diaper facts. See the list at the bottom of this post to read the rest of the carnival entries.

Okay, I don't normally get into the political universe that is cloth v disposable diapers, but I can't leave Pampers alone on this one.

Disclaimer:  (If you do choose to use disposable diapers because that is what works for you please do not take offense at the following post.)

When my daughter was born, I was debating how I wanted to diaper her.  I knew that JGD was not keen on the whole diaper concept at all and didn't know how to make the "jump" without his support.  (As it turns out, I trained him very badly as he very rarely changes a diaper, and I decided I didn't care what he thought.) 

Myth: Disposable diapers are harmful to the environment.
Fact: All of the component materials in Pampers diapers are gentle to consumers and safe for the environment. Pampers diapers are made of materials that are also frequently used in a wide range of other consumer products. We are committed to continuing to reduce our environmental impact. For example, Pampers has decreased its diaper weight by one-third and packaging weight by two-thirds. And innovative technologies, raw materials, and product design improvements have led to significant reductions in energy, water use, emissions, and waste at our plants. We are working so that our diapers in the future will have less impact on the environment than even today's diapers.

My fact:
The first thing that I changed was that we  I started to flush my daughter's bm's down the toilet and did not throw it out with the diaper because I read that human waste in the landfills is the first of many problems involved in using disposable diapers.  As it is a source for disease growth and infections.  Upon reading this I began flushing.

Secondly, it takes 500 years for a diaper to decompose.  How can this be good for the environment???  In no way shape or form is this good!!!  I'm glad to hear that Pampers is working to make their diapers have less of an impact.  When they can biodegrade in the same time frame that a gDiaper can, I'll consider using them again (50-150 days).


Myth: Cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposables.
Fact: In October 2008, the United Kingdom's Environment Agency published an update to its 2005 Life Cycle Assessment study on cloth versus disposable diapers. The update confirmed the earlier study's findings that there is no clear winner in terms of environmental impacts between disposable and cloth diapers in the U.K., once all factors such as water, energy, detergent, and disposal are considered.

My fact:
Well, see above...  
And, are you kidding me?  I know that when I first started using cloth diapers I was using more water to rinse out the soap in the diapers, but after finding the right detergent (Rockin' Green).  I now do maybe 1-2 extra load(s) a week to wash my daughter's diapers.  This is nowhere near the environmental impact that disposable diapers has.  (Oh and just so I am not singling any one diaper vendor out, the president of Seventh Generation made a similar claim a few months ago.)


Myth: Cloth diapers are better for my baby.
Fact: Disposable diapers like Pampers were developed to offer babies benefits that cloth diapers could not meet. That goes beyond convenience to helping keep babies' skin dryer and more comfortable by reducing leaks and locking wetness inside the diaper in a way that cloth doesn't. As a result, doctors and parents simply don't see the same level of diaper rash that used to exist before disposable diapers.

My fact:

My daughter has had far less diaper rashes, leaks and blowouts in cloth diapers than she had in disposables.  And I will admit that part of the problem is that I didn't feel the need to change her as often.  This was because you feel that the disposable diapers give a false sense of security as they are able to absorb to much waste.  (I remember trying to figure out exactly how much, and was blown away by how much water 1 diaper took in.)  I reconsidered my view on this when we made the change to cloth, and it was definitely a help.

And let me touch on one more common myth (well I know JGD believes and dispenses this one).


Cloth diapers are more difficult to use than disposables.


No way.  For the most part we use one size pocket diapers.  The actual putting on of the diaper is no more difficult than using a disposable diaper.  It is just as easy to diaper my daughter with cloth as it was with disposable.  I wish I could say easier, but really they are the same.  So fear of difficulty should not hold anyone back.  

And on the positive side using one size cloth diapers has saved us so much money (that JGD does brag about)! 

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and (however poorly worded) this one is mine.

This post is part of the Real Diaper Facts carnival hosted by Real Diaper Events, the official blog of the Real Diaper Association. Participants were asked to write about diaper lies and real diaper facts. See the list at the bottom of this post to read the rest of the carnival entries.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more!

    So I have never tried Rockin' it really good? Can i get in easily in Canada?
    I am using Charlie's Soap - it has been the best one so far...

  2. I used cloth with both my girls except when we were on holiday, i used find a baby so much easier to hold in a cloth nappy, disposable nappies have a distinct smell which for me takes away from the "baby" smell we all love regards Karen

  3. Thank you for a very helpful write up. I like the format of what is said compared to what you have experienced and now this post will forever help other moms make better and greener decisions. I need to add you to my blog.

  4. Great post!! I just ordered a sample of Rockin' Green (currently using Charlie's Soap) I have a feeling I'll be switching!


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