Organic Diapers

"Organic" diapers is an ambiguous term. You have to be careful of anything labeled "organic" these days. The word is popular among consumers and so marketers twist and pervert its meaning to encompass things you'd never think of as "organic." Organic diapers are not necessarily better for your baby or the environment, particularly if they're disposable diapers.

Diaper Doula

Wood pulp, the raw material of most disposable diapers, starts out as an organic product. It comes from trees, after all. But by the time wood chips are dissolved in acid and caustic chemicals, bleached, impregnated with inorganic gels that soak up wetness, and wrapped in plastic covers, they're not as "organic" as those pesticide- and fertilizer-free strained carrots that you carefully buy for baby, are they?

Authentic, honest organic diapers are made from untreated plant fibers that were grown without chemicals being sprayed all over them. They are pristine, "in their natural state," without hazardous additives and traces of toxic chemicals used to speed up the manufacturing process.

Organically grown cotton is the bread-and-butter of the organic diaper industry. Organic cotton does not come from any particular place so don't be deceived by the names of faraway Third World countries. They're as likely to use chemical fertilizers in Egypt as in South Carolina.

Just because a plant is not cotton does not mean that organic diapers are made from it, either. Hemp is the most luxurious of natural fibers used to make diapers. It's far more absorbent than cotton, softer on baby's skin, and tougher. But hemp is raised on chemically treated corporate farms as well as on naturally fertilized hippy communes.

Bamboo, believe or not, can be softened and its long fibers separated by lengthy soaking in pure water. Woven bamboo fibers are also quite soft and absorbent, as well as durable. Bamboo is not common in organic diapers but it's well worth looking for. It's generally cheaper than hemp.

Organic diapers are best found among the many smaller manufacturers and home-based "moms with a mission" businesses rather than at corporate stores. When you buy organic diapers from a person, you can be pretty sure that person truly cares and has done the homework necessary to ensure that she or he is selling truly organic diapers.

Some trustworthy makers of organic diapers include Imse Vimse (a Swedish firm), EcoBaby, Pure-Rest, Tushies, Firefly, Baby's Organic Nursery (formerly Diaperaps), and Bummis. There are more popping up all the time, too, now that "green" is in.

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