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Babies are precious, gurgling, adorable little munchkins whose smiles can light up a room. From food to toys and especially diapers — it's no wonder we want what's best for them all the time.

Who could resist this face? Honestly. Image by iStock.


Up until the middle of the last century, parents exclusively used cotton diapers to help keep their babies dry and clean. But one mother, Marion Donovan, wasn't happy with the mountains of dirty laundry her babies created — not to mention the mess leaky diapers made on her bedsheets.

Her solution — a plastic shower curtain cut to size and filled with a cotton insert — is widely considered the world's first waterproof diaper cover and the inspiration for fully disposable diapers.

Nearly 70 years later, disposable diapers make up about 66% of diaper sales worldwide, with an estimated 18 billion disposable diapers bought and used in the United States every year.

Diapers have come a long way from plastic shower curtains. The companies who make them have a vested interest in ensuring the babies wearing their products are safe, healthy, and leak-free.

That said, if you've listened to the news in the last few years, you've probably heard some scary things about disposable diapers and how toxic or terrible they are — that they cause horrible skin rashes or might contain chemicals that cause cancer. They're the kind of stories that stick in our heads — especially for concerned caregivers. Which is totally fair since babies wear diapers almost all the time during their first few years of life.

Who wouldn't want to know whether that's safe?

Keeping this sleepy bun safe should be a national priority. Image by iStock.

The fear and distrust of the diaper industry might stem from the fact that it's considered "self-regulating." Companies that make and sell diapers aren't required by law to share their full ingredient lists. Consumers have to trust that they're telling them everything they need to know. For some caregivers, simply knowing there's a chance they're not getting the full story is frustrating — especially if they're looking after a baby with very sensitive skin and want to keep track of what's in everything that touches them.

So what's in a disposable diaper anyway?

Image by iStock.

There are three main parts to a disposable diaper: the top sheet, the absorbent layer, and the backing sheet.

The top sheet is the part of the diaper with direct contact to a baby's body. It's most often made from polypropylene, a common ingredient in thermal underwear that's considered safe for young skin. The backing sheet has a similar story: It is most likely made from polyethylene, a breathable but leakproof barrier that's proven to be safe for human use.

This little dude has more important things to think about than a leaky diaper — like working on his sweet kickflip.

The absorbent layer gets its power from a mixture of fluffy cellulose pulp and sodium polyacrylate granules. These granules can hold 800 times their dry weight in moisture, helping keep baby's skin dry even when a diaper is very full.

The good thing is that most disposable diapers are perfectly safe.

Sodium polyacrylate made headlines in the 1980s when hundreds of women using super-absorbent tampons infused with sodium polyacrylate contracted toxic shock syndrome, a rare bacterial infection.

Fortunately, the FDA says there's no risk in using the chemical in diapers, as sodium polyacrylate is harmless outside the body. Similarly, researchers have found that fears about exposure to dioxin in chlorine-bleached products like diapers and tampons are equally unfounded.

There have been tests upon tests upon tests of ingredients in disposable diapers and they've all, consistently, said the same thing.

As of May 2016, the Food and Drug Administration has never needed to issue a recall for any diaper. This little tush is safe and sound. Image by iStock.

Let's be real, though. There are other, extremely important factors influencing what kind of diapers caregivers use.

For people concerned with their environmental footprint, disposable diapers might not be the best choice. Some disposable diapers will take hundreds of years to break down in landfills — and two to three years of changing diapers six or more times a day can really add up. There are compostable or biodegradable diapers available, but those are often more expensive, and for caregivers on a tight budget, they may be out of reach.

President Barack Obama talked about the high cost of diapers for low-income families on Mother's Day 2016. It's such a common phenomenon, there's even a name for it: "the diaper gap." As the president said in his post on Medium:

"I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be a parent that has to choose between diapers and other basic expenses. Access to clean diapers isn’t just important for a child’s health and safety. Research has shown that mothers who are unable to afford diapers for their babies are more likely to suffer from maternal depression and mental health issues. No mother or father should have to worry about keeping their baby clean and healthy because they can’t afford diapers. America’s parents — and children — deserve better."

There are environmental, financial, and practical issues to consider when choosing disposable or reusable diapers.

They're all important, and it's not always an easy decision. But the more you know, the easier it is to understand the trade-offs.

Now isn't that a breath of fresh air?

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Photo by Pixabay/Pexels

Train tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Kanye West (who has legally changed his name to Ye) has been making headlines—again—not only for his bizarre public behavior, but for blatantly antisemitic remarks he made in recent interviews.

There's no question that Ye's comments praising Hitler and Nazis and denying that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust are hurtful and dangerous. There's no question that bad actors are using Ye's antisemitic comments to push their white nationalist agenda. The question is whether Ye fans would allow their admiration of his musical talents—or whatever else they like about him—to overshadow the fact that he is now regularly spewing pro-Nazi rhetoric to millions of people.

In at least one corner of the internet, fans are responding in what may be the most effective and meaningful way possible—by countering Ye's commentary with a deluge of Holocaust education and remembrance.

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Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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Pop Culture

'Princess Bride' star Mandy Patinkin shared a moving detail about the film with a grieving woman

Two souls connecting over the loss of their fathers. (Phew, grab a tissue for this one, folks.)

via Mandy Patinkin / TikTok

This story originally appeared on 08.25.21


There was an emotional exchange on TikTok between two people who lost their fathers to cancer. One was actor Mandy Patinkin, the other was TikTok user Amanda Webb.

Patinkin currently stars on "The Good Fight" but one of his most famous roles is Inigo Montoya in the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride." In the film, Montoya is a swordsman who is obsessed with confronting a six-fingered man who killed his father.

Webb recently lost her father Dan to mantle cell lymphoma. She had heard a rumor that Patinkin used his father's death from cancer as motivation in a pivotal scene where he confronts the six-fingered Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) in a duel.

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