Are parents changing diapers less?

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Real Diaper Association estimates a child will go through 6,000 diapers in their first two years of life, and disposables don't come cheap.

A clean baby is a happy baby, but according to a recent study, children across the country are cranky.

Advertising Age reports diaper sales are down, but diaper rash cream sales are up. It's happened three years in a row, coinciding with the downturn of the economy. The study hints that we as parents are changing diapers less frequently and our kids' tushes are the victim.

A pack of disposables costs about $10, and as your child grows, you'll get less diapers per package. Each of these diapers is 50 cents and for families on a budget, that hurts.  One diaper can hold 4 pounds of liquid, and the number one cause of diaper rash is excessive moisture on the skin.

Carroll Ann Friedmann used disposables on her first.

"He had a lot of rashes. He was in diapers until he was 3 and a half years old," said Carroll.

When she switched to cloth, the rashes disappeared. She believed in cloth so much, she bought the only diapering service in our area. It used to be the only game in Virginia, but now…

"There is a cloth diaper service in the Harrisonburg area that's pretty new. There's one in Virginia Beach and now there's one in Northern Virginia," said Carroll.

Her clients potty train 12 to 18 months earlier. Then, there's the environmental factor.

"The idea of human waste going into a landfill kind of creeped me out," Carroll said.

"It takes a disposable diaper at least 250-500 years to breakdown in a landfill. People are making alternative choices," said Sheri Doyle.

Choices that have spurred sales at Franklin Goose in Carytown.

"They're actually the leading seller in our store," said Sheri.

Sheri attributes the rise in sales to extreme rashes from using disposables.

"Children almost never get rashes in cloth diapers," said Sheri. "It'll cost you about $300 to 500 dollars to cloth diaper your child."

And they've come a long way from stick pins and toilet swishing.

"This diaper sprayer hooks into your water line on your toilet and you take the sprayer and you spray the waste into the toilet," said Sheri. "They have adorable prints, and they have Velcro and snaps."

Another reason for the uptick in diaper rash cream sales in 2010 is a class action lawsuit filed against the makers of Pampers Baby Dry.

Parents contended the diapers caused severe rashes. While no study could make that link, Proctor and Gamble settled with the plaintiffs.

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