The minute I discovered that I’m pregnant, my outlook towards everything changed, things that never mattered before, now became a topmost priority.
The impending arrival of a child transported to a different world, the excitement of becoming a mother to our baby came along with the fear of keeping him/her safe from all dangers possible!
Reality hit me when I realised the amount of chemicals that I have been in contact with, right from the food we consumed to cosmetics I used. Literally, everything I used had chemicals or pesticides.
Every parent wants to do the best to keep their child away from all these harmful chemicals which have been proven time and again to increase health risks in children.
My journey to motherhood literally changed my life. The moment my son arrived in my world, I was introduced to the traditional Indian style diaper(langoti or nappies) which is nothing but cloth diapers made with old cotton sarees or dhotis.
My son had very sensitive skin. Every time we used the commercially available disposable diapers, he would develop diaper rashes. Unlike cloth diapers, these diapers would swell up and stink which made him extremely uncomfortable and irritable.
Commercial Diapers contain deodorising chemicals, chemicals that turn liquid into gel along with plastic liners all of which is in direct contact with your child’s tender skin. A Baby’s skin is so tender that it absorbs all these harmful chemicals exposing them to many health risks. Most babies who are on diapers develop painful diaper rashes and we use creams and lotions which have more chemicals to get rid of these rashes.
Based on all these facts, we decided to stick to the traditional and eco-friendly cloth diaper. This decision made mine and my son’s life much easier. It is a myth that cloth diapers are too much work. It just needs a little more organisation that’s all.
I managed cloth diapers easily. I used to soak all the soiled nappies in a bucket of cold water, then I would squeeze them out of the water and at the end of the day run a load of them in one cycle with the rest of all his clothes. In case we needed to go out for few hours I would put a diaper cover over the cloth diaper and he would be good to go.
To my surprise the cloth diapers never stained or smelled, they actually became softer with every wash as they were pure cotton. These were soft and comfortable for my baby. Since they were thin, they dried quickly. I never ever regretted my decision to use only cloth diapers for my children.
Three years later I used the same set of cloth diapers for my daughter and later gave them away to our help to use for her child. These wonderfully comfortable nappies were used by three children! I’m happy that I kept all three children away from the chemical exposure in case I had chosen to use the disposable ones.
Looking back, it really makes me happy that I kept so many diapers from going to landfills where they would have sat for years and years without decomposing completely. I have done my bit by not contributing to the huge garbage crisis that we are grappling with.
I’m proud to say that my kids never had a diaper rash or UTI(Urinary Tract Infection) which is common in young girls who are on disposable diapers.
It is a fact that children who are on cloth diapers get potty trained much faster than the children who are constantly on disposable diapers. The disposable diapers give them a false sense of dryness which delays potty training. Yes, we may lose a few nights of sleep as children do wake up when their cloth nappies are wet but tell me, are a few sleepless nights worse than your child’s well being? It wasn’t for me and I’m happy and proud of myself for choosing cloth diapers. My conscious decision of sustainable living did not end here.
For the past 10 years, I have been composting, growing organic vegetables, making bio-enzyme natural cleaners and am a proud user of the menstrual cup.
As I continue my journey towards zero waste home, I sincerely hope that more and more people discover the benefits of cloth diapers for their children and stop exposing their young ones to the harmful chemicals present in commercial diapers. Not only will you keep your precious babies safe from chemicals, you will be doing our planet a great service by not sending thousands of diapers to landfills...