*Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S..1
*Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.2
*In 1988, nearly $300 million dollars were spent annually just to discard disposable diapers, whereas cotton diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags.4
*No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone.5
*Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.5
*We estimate that each baby will need about 6,000 diapers7 during the first two8 years of life. The following estimates are based on prices in San Francisco, California.
*Disposables. For these calculations, let's assume that a family needs about 60 diapers a week. In the San Francisco Bay area, disposable diapers cost roughly 23¢ per store-brand diaper and 28¢ for name-brand. This averages to 25.5¢ per diaper. Thus the average child will cost about $1,600 to diaper for two years in disposable diapers, or about $66 a month9.
After seeing these statistics, I decided to give them a go. I wasn't interested in prefolds, and buying the ready made diapers is expensive, so I decided to figure out how to make my own.
I started by making a pattern using a size 1 diaper. I figure I'll make 15 about size 1, and then I'll make 15 about size 3, and that should last me.
Then I cut the fabric. I chose a really soft cotton fleece, and that kitten fabric you see will be on the inside of the diaper. It was super cheap, and even though I don't love it, no one will see it. I cut 2 of each kind.
Next, I made a soaker by cutting 6 layers of the cotton, and I sewed it to the kitten fabric only.
Next, you sew the white and the kitten together and turn it to make a finished edge.
Next comes the elastic down each side. Make sure to stretch it, so it will conform to baby's leg.
Last, comes the Velcro. I sewed a long strip to the middle, so the diapers can grow with baby, and then I sewed a square to each of the sides. (This picture was taken before the edge was finished, so that's why there is still a rough edge.)