When I was a baby, my mother used reusable, washable cotton diapers. What a difference with today, when most of us mommies use disposable diapers. Such a convenience and time saving invention! But do we ever think about what diapers are actually made of? Since they touch our babies´ skin all the time during their first few years it is not a bad thing to knowl!
What is in a diaper
There are basically three parts, the outer lining, the inner lining and the absorbent center. The last contains wood pulp and super-absorbent polymers, usually sodium polyacrylate (SAP). SAP can soak up to 30 times its weight in urine. The wood pulp used to be bleached with chlorine, but nowadays this process is done bleach free. The outer lining is made of polyethylene film and the inner lining of polypropylene. Both are considered safe for your skin, but they are petroleum-based plastics. Besides these three core parts, companies usually print their diapers with cute designs on the outer lining. Since manufacturers don´t disclose information about the dyes they use, it is possible that they are mineral- and petroleum-based with heavy metals in them.
I have contacted both Huggies and Pampers and they confirmed that their diapers are free from endocrine disruptors, parabens, chlorine, phthalates, PEG-emulsifiers, glyphosate and dioxin. But Pampers´ diapers do contain petrolatum and paraffinum liquidum, both ingredients that are petroleum-based and that can trigger allergic reactions, and fragrances, an ingredient that can contain anything (see the blog post on parabens).
Considering there is a lot of lack of disclosure of information, as is the case with for example Huggies, Pampers and Dodot, to me it seems better to buy diapers from manufacturers that do disclose information on the ingredients they use.
Of course, the best thing would be to use washable diapers (although some argue against this). Good ones are:
For most mommies, this is a step too far, so I also share with you disposable diapers made by brands that are environmentally friendly and care for our kids´ future (although when they say their diapers are biodegradable, it doesn´t mean much, because they only biodegrade under ideal circumstances that do not exist in landfills).
- Naty. Naty diapers are unbleached, contain no latex, fragrance, or TBT (tributyltin), are hypoallergenic and are made of cornstarch plastic and other natural ingredients wherever possible.
- Attitude. Chlorine-free, fragrance-free diapers made with FSC-certified cellulose pulp, biodegradable biopolymer and SAP.
- Tidoo. Chlorine-free, perfume-free and latex-free diapers made with 50% renewable raw materials. The wood pulp and cellulose come from 100% renewable forests.
- Ecoriginals. Diapers that are free from chlorine, phthalates, lotions, fragrances, latex, heavy metals.
- Lillydoo. Offers subscriptions, but you can also buy diapers on a one-time basis.