It's no secret that I'm happy about our decision to cloth diaper and you know, they aren't actually as crunchy granola as you think. Cloth diapering is not as time intensive as it was for our parents and grandparents; they don't require safety pins or stinky rubber pants, no poopy-diaper-toilet-dunking and no laborious hand washing. The diapers we use are cute, trim, and colourful.
More than anything, cloth diapers are a healthier choice for Eloise. On Saturday the Vancouver Sun ran an article called "Babies Under Threat" exposing many of the harmful chemicals found in certain baby products. Disposable diapers were on the list since chlorine bleaching used in the manufacturing process produces a carcinogenic toxin called Dioxin and the effects of the 'stay dry' additive sodium polyacrylate (SAP) is not totally known. No thank you.
There are certainly less toxic, chlorine-free disposable diapers, but finding ones that are free of absorbent gels is more difficult. We use disposables when we're on vacation and don't have access to a washer and have had the best success with 7th Generation, though after writing this post I won't be buying them again. I've just learned that they actually dye their diapers brown for the purpose of distinguishing them in the marketplace (huh?) and that they too contain SAP. We've tried Naty by Nature Babycare diapers as well and though I like that they don't contain plastic, I find them really stiff and not a good fit for Eloise.
For more information about chemicals in the products we use on our children and ourselves, check out Environmental Defence.