Ah, Pampers. That fresh diaper smell! That cute plastic butt! On the one hand, cloth diapers are “gross.” On the other hand, there are so many good reasons to wrap your baby’s most private parts in perfumed plastic diapers.
Here are 11 reasons why Pampers is right and you should use plastic diapers on your newborn:
1. You’re not worried about chemical burns.
Or extreme diaper rash. So what if this Michigan mom’s four-month-old daughter’s skin started blistering and bleeding from plastic diapers?! And so what that a pediatrician diagnosed the angry red rash as a chemical burn?! The super absorbent chemicals in plastic diapers can irritate your infant’s sensitive skin to the point of bleeding?! Meh.
While we’re on the subject, who cares that P&G, the company that makes Pampers, has a long and unfortunate history of ignoring product safety and belittling parents who speak out against their diapers? (This book explains in detail how this company has behaved in the face of health scandals caused by their products.) It puts profits over people? So what!
Besides, this all happened a long time ago. There’s no way any of this would happen now. They made an unfortunate plastic diaper ten years ago. These days everything is peachy keen.
This mom who posted on What to Expect that disposable diapers caused extreme diaper rash and bleeding, must be lying. And the thousands of other hits that come up in a quick Google or DuckDuckGo search about plastic diapers and diaper rash? Those parents are all lying too.
2. You could care less about cuteness.
Disposable diapers are chemical-laden single-use products that create foul-smelling trash. Cloth diapers are washable, reusable, and adorable. This cloth-diapered cutie is opening the morning mail from his dad, who was stationed overseas.
Cloth-diapered babies are the cutest and most fashionable. You’d rather yours be Plain Jane.
3. You like buckling your baby in the car and driving to the store to buy more plastic diapers better than doing a load of laundry.
Pampers says their plastic diapers are more convenient. So they must be. No worries that the number one killer of children in the United States according to the CDC is injuries due to accidents like car crashes. What’s that you say? There’s nothing convenient about having to drive to the grocery store when you run out of diapers? I can’t hear you. I’m too busy watching advertising on TV.
4. You don’t want stylish custom-made diapers for your baby.
Cloth diapers are chic. You can even have them custom made. But why have your baby be so stylin’ when you can go with ugly plastic?!
5. You don’t give a hoot about killing trees.
Environmental degradation? Global warming? The fact that every year at least 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks, and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for just one baby, as this article details? So we humans are polluting ourselves out of existence? No big deal.
6. You love the fresh smell of plastic off-gassing each time you open a new package of plastic diapers.
That lovely scent of plastic off-gassing, the one that makes you gag and choke when you open a fresh pack of Pampers. The one that’s so aromatic that you opt for the heavily perfumed variety of plastic diapers? That plastic off-gassing smell as well as the perfume are both caused by volatile organic compounds known to be harmful to human health.
According to the EPA, VOCs have many negative health effects.
The negative health effects of off-gassing plastic and other VOCs include:
- Cancer in both animals and humans
- Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
- Eye, nose and throat irritation
- Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
Symptoms associated with VOC exposure include (but aren’t limited to):
- allergic skin reaction
- conjunctival irritation
- declines in serum cholinesterase levels
- dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
- nose and throat discomfort
That bad smell is your human noise warning you against plastic diapers. Bring it on.
7. You have all the money in the world.
The Real Diaper Association has detailed calculations about savings from not using disposable diapers. They conclude that plastic diapers cost parents nearly ten times as much as cloth.
Why save money for college when you can spend it on a plastic product to catch your baby’s excrement instead?
8. You don’t want actual real cloth next to your baby’s privates, you’d rather have plastic crap advertised as “cloth-like.”
“Protect your little miracle with blanket-like softness” is one of Pampers’ slogans.
Ah yes, we all know that off-gassing plastic really is “blankie soft.” Another excellent reason to use disposable diapers over reusable, cloth diapers is how blankie soft they are!
9. You don’t care about the amount of trash your family generates.
There are tons of plastic-free alternatives to single-use plastic products.
Plastic diapers were invented in the early 1960s. Experts estimate it will take between 100 and 500 years for a single plastic diaper to decompose. What that means is that no plastic diaper has fully decomposed fully since these diapers were first invented.
Every plastic diaper that’s ever been put in the landfill is still there.
If we manage to pollute humans out of existence, at least our baby’s diapers will endure.
10. You love dioxins and think Baby should too.
Dixons are a chemical group so toxic even in the tiniest amounts that the World Health Organization claims they “can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.”
Plastic diapers also contain Tributyl-tin (TBT), an endocrine disruptor, as well as sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer that can absorb 300 times its weight in tap water.
Sodium polyacrylate is a known eye and lung irritant.
Who cares that childhood cancer is on the rise, environmentally induced allergies are plaguing our children, and these nasty chemicals are in contact with our baby’s privates all day long?
11. You want Baby to be in diapers for as long as possible.
Plastic diapers do such a good job of whisking the moisture away that a baby doesn’t learn to make the connection between peeing and being wet.
There’s nothing “convenient” about having a three-year-old or four-year-old still wearing diapers.
It’s common to see three, four, and five-year-olds wearing diapers in America these days, which baffles my friends from West Africa who ask me if there is something physiologically wrong with American children that they are unable to learn how to use the toilet.
Though every child is different, parents who cloth diaper report a much smoother transition to Big Kid underpants.
Check out your cloth diapers options.
Learn about infant pottying.
Do a combination of cloth diapers (get hand-me-downs and they’re free!) and infant pottying (your baby will teach you how. I recommend you start by reading The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative by my friend and colleague Christine Gross-Loh).
Why? Because then you’ll have a healthier, happier baby, save vast amounts of money, and help save our planet too.
Published: February 25, 2014
Updated: November 22, 2019