Whether you’re a brand new parent or just had your third or fourth child, parenting can look very different every time you do it. What worked for your first child may not work on your next baby, or you may want to mix things up to adapt to a new budget, lifestyle or parenting style.
If you’re a new parent, choosing the right products for your baby can be a process of trial-and-error, so remember to go easy on yourself. With so many options when it comes to baby clothes, toys, education, diapering, food and everything else, finding the right brand can be overwhelming enough as it is.
Plastic-based disposable diapers continue to be the most affordable and accessible diaper on the market, but not by much – natural diapers have been making a bigger splash than ever in recent years, and for good reason.
But many parents are still on the fence about making the switch to natural diapers, and if this is you, you’re not alone. The reason many people are so hesitant is often because they don’t realize how convenient natural diapers have become nowadays. When people think of “natural diapers,” sometimes their first instinct is to automatically assume that that must entail cloth-based or completely washable diapers, which turns some parents away. While cloth diapers are an increasingly popular option for natural diaper users, they are far from the only choice on the market today.
In fact, there are so many natural diaper options for you to choose from based on your needs and preferences, including:
- Cloth diapers
- Bamboo diapers
- Plant-based diapers
- Disposable natural diapers
- Compostable natural diapers
In fact, a lot of natural diaper brands check off more than one of those points. If you’re still hesitant about making the switch, here are a few important points to keep in mind:
There are plenty of affordable and disposable options
Cloth-based or washable diapers are definitely not your only viable option if you’re entering the natural diaper game for the first time. In fact, the majority of natural diapers are actually 100% disposable.
Kudos, the Honest Company, Seventh Generation, and Pampers Pure are just a few of the wide variety of disposable natural diaper options available in stores and online. Finding the right brand for you really depends on your preferences, personal budget and needs.
If you do decide to go the cloth diaper route, there are several options for that as well. Many cloth diaper companies offer starter kits for first-time cloth diaper users that will help ease you into the new way of diapering, so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed and lost the first time your baby soils theirs.
As with anything else baby-related, take your time to research each brand and decide which is best for you. Ask your friends what they use, check out parenting magazines and online forums, or simply have a nice long Google session. Remember that there are plenty of options out there that will work with your budget and needs, and it’s okay to try out several brands before you commit to one.
Your baby’s skin will thank you
Did you know that some of the top plastic-based disposable diaper brands contain chemicals that could be causing much more rash and irritation than your baby needs to be experiencing? A lot of people assume that rash is an inevitable part of raising a baby – and while that may be true to an extent, natural diapers are much gentler on their sensitive skin and can greatly minimize the amount of irritation they experience. They’ll also allow the skin to breathe much more easily when a rash does strike.
Chlorine bleach (a carcinogen), latex, parabens (skin irritants), and formaldehyde (another toxic irritant) are just a few of many harmful ingredients that can be found in traditional disposable plastic diapers. They also contain lotions, dyes and fragrances that your baby could potentially have sensitivities to.
The Earth will thank you
The statistics around traditional disposable diapers are quite astounding. According to Heal the Planet, here are some numbers that you may not be aware of (but we’ll bet this will help convince you to make the switch):
- Disposable diapers take at least 500 years to decompose
- 50 million disposable diapers are thrown away every day in the U.S.
- A child in diapers will use (on average) between 6,000 and 7,000 disposable diapers during their first 2.5 years of life
- Disposable diapers are filled with chemicals that are toxic for the environment
- Disposable diapers are the third largest contributors to landfills in the world
Shocked yet? Us, too. Luckily, for the most part, natural disposable diapers are created with plant-based ingredients that do much less damage to the environment and degrade much more quickly in landfills.
It’s important to do your due diligence when researching the best natural diaper brand for your baby. Some brands may boast natural ingredients, but still be made with a few toxic chemicals or additives.