Many mothers want to go natural in nurturing and training their babies. So the rebirth of cloth diapers is born.
Mothers or mother-to-be want to try something different raising their babies and also promoting the safety of the environment but the problem is where to start from. The cloth diaper is the safest way to start. And before you think it requires a lot of work and know-how don’t worry too much. It doesn’t. It is as easy to use as disposable diapers.
Not everyone is familiar with the use of a cloth diaper, that is why we are going to tell you mothers, mother-to-be, and concerned environmentalists what there is to know about the cloth diaper, why it is good for your baby, and what you get out of using this kind of diaper.
Cloth diapers are slowly gaining traction with moms who are looking for an environmentally-friendly product for their babies. There is a big difference between cloth diapers and disposable in that cloth diapers are reusable while disposables are not. So if you are interested in saving money and the environment, this article will delve into all the necessary questions you might have about cloth diapers.
What are cloth diapers?
Cloth diapers are not new in the world. There was a time where this meant a white square piece of cloth bring straddled tightly on a baby’s bum, secured safely by pins. But today, cloth diapers offer more and are stylish and more appealing to the eyes. This is one of the reasons why mothers are keen on it too.
A cloth diaper is simply a reusable diaper made out of man-made materials, like a micro-fiber or polyurethane laminate, and natural fibers, like cotton, wool, or bamboo. The natural fibers are mostly cotton that is shaped like a fitted diaper with a waterproof exterior to make the diaper stay dry. The modern-day designs for cloth diapers are closely in semblance to disposable diapers but they are different in some ways.
The cloth diaper just like a normal diaper is meant to hold the waste of a baby that is yet to be potty trained. The difference is that a cloth diaper can be washed and reused several times over unlike the traditional disposable diaper that is thrown away after use. This makes it an environmentally good and safe product.
One other benefit of the cloth diaper is that you will be saving a lot of money. Though it won’t be enough to change your life, money saved will accumulate as the child grows older and is potty trained. It is said that a child uses at least 12 diapers a day, that’s about 4,400 diapers in a year. With cloth diapers, you will be saving money used in buying disposable diapers.
Pros and cons of cloth diapers
For you to know what exactly you are buying, you have to know the pros and cons of using a cloth diaper for your baby. You have to understand the good and bad of the product you are buying.
- You’ll save money buying them in bulk.
- They can be adjusted and adapted as the baby grows.
- They are easy to clean.
- You can avoid diaper dermatitis.
- Cloth diapers are eco-friendly and don’t take space.
- You can reuse them, even for other kids.
- They are breathable and keep your baby feeling cool and refreshed.
- They are tedious to wash all the time because of the large quantity used.
- They are more expensive.
- Cloth diapers don’t fit well under tight clothing.
- They don’t absorb as much as the disposable.
What makes a good cloth diaper?
When deciding what type of cloth diaper you want for your baby, there is the need to understand what makes them popular and in demand from the disposable diaper. These are the parts that make up a good cloth diaper.
- Cover: It is the outer layer of the diaper and it is made up of waterproof material like a micro-fiber or polyurethane laminate. This makes sure the urine or any liquid does not leak out of the diaper.
- Absorbent pad: This is the inner layer of the diaper. It is the one that absorbs the baby’s waste. This part is machine washable.
- Lining: this part of the diaper is more practical. The lining is mostly made of bio-degradable bamboo and is put on top of the diaper’s absorbent pad. They are usually disposed of when it’s time to change the baby’s diaper.
What are types of cloth diapers in the market?
Cloth diapers come in different types and forms, more than you will believe. You need to pick the one that would suit your child the most. Here is a list of cloth diapers available:
The absorbent pad and the cover come together as one single piece. The pad is in a pocket and you must the whole piece together after use. The only downside is that the diaper takes longer to dry because of this.
The inner lining, the outer lining, and the wicking layer are sewn together looking like most disposable diapers. It also has an elastic leg opening, making it easy to slide off your baby. They are the easiest type of cloth diaper to use but they can be pricey.
Flats and prefolds
These are the least expensive cloth diapers. Flats are rectangular or square-shaped clothes that are folded into a diaper shape to fit the baby’s bum. The prefolds are pre-sewn clothes with three sections. The middle is the most absorbent part. They require fasting with a safety pin or a snap. These two also require a separate outer layer of waterproof cover to avoid a wet situation.
They have elastic leg holes and are shaped to fit a baby’s bum perfectly. They come with built-in snaps or Velcro fasteners which makes them the least one with leaks.
This type of diaper fall in-between a flat and a fitted cloth diaper. They have an hourglass shape that fits around a baby’s chunky thighs and a tab that goes over the belly. The good thing about them is that they are less expensive and use less material than the prefolds. The contoured diapers also dry faster and are best for nighttime use.
These types of diapers are also good for nighttime use because they get few leaks. The absorbent pad is more like the shape of underwear with the cover detachable.
These diapers are mostly used for newborn babies because they offer a delicacy to the baby. You start with putting gauze around the baby, and then you wrap them with the cover. Finally, you use special clips to hold the material in place.
What materials make the cloth diapers?
The three parts of the cloth diapers are made with different materials that would aid their functionality. The outer layer is made out of a polyester material called polyurethane laminate or microfiber that makes them waterproof and breathable. But the micro-fiber is not good for atopic skins.
Also, the inner layer is made of a natural material like cotton. Cotton is really absorbent, breathable, and resistant to body heat. The bamboo is usually used for the lining. It is eco-friendly and bio-degradable because it has to be disposed of. It is more absorbent than cotton material.
Finally, natural hemp is another material used in making cloth diaper. It is even more absorbent than bamboo and cotton. It is also resistant to heat. The only downside is that it can be rough on the skin of the baby.
How do I use a cloth diaper?
Cloth diapers are just like disposable diapers when you want to use and change them. The type of diaper you buy will determine whether you need to assemble from the start, finish up or just wear it instantly. Some diapers come with Velcro or snaps for fastening which makes it easy for changing and setting up. But when you want to change a cloth diaper remember these few tips:
- Always close the tabs before throwing them into the diaper pail so they don’t get stuck on each other.
- The snaps along the waistline are used to adjust the diaper to tighten around the baby’s waist.
- The snaps down the front make the diaper big or small to fit the baby’s size.
- Cloth diapers are usually hanging down or feel stiff when they need to be changed.
- Change cloth diaper every two hours.
How do I wash a cloth diaper?
Hygiene is important to make cloth diapers durable. That means that they have to be washed properly and regularly. It is ideal to wash after every use. You should use the product’s manual instructions for how to wash or clean cloth diapers. But these general tips should help you.
- Make sure to wash the diaper before using it on your child for the first time. This increases the absorption capacity of the cloth diaper. But the instructions of the product will better aid you on how to start.
- Soak the dirty diaper before washing. This will help remove tough stains or bad smells lodged in the fabric. Note that not all types of cloth diapers allow this, so you must know what kind allows for soaking.
- Make sure to use bio-degradable detergent. When using your bio-degradable detergent, make sure to use a small quantity. It should also not contain bleaches or softeners because they reduce a diaper’s absorption.
- When you want to bleach, do it occasionally. Using bleach too frequently could harm the baby’s skin or give him a skin infection. Also, the bleaching chemical also deteriorates the outer layer of the diaper.
- Wash the diapers separately. A cloth diaper must be washed separately from other clothes. This will keep them fresh and in good condition.
- If not satisfied, wash again. After washing the diaper based on instruction and you are not satisfied with the outcome or the bad smell has not washed off, wash them again. A bad smell after wash signifies bacteria. It is best to wash until satisfied.
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Handy tips when cloth diaper shopping
This section of the article is going to enlighten you about the criteria you should consider before buying a cloth diaper. These criteria will help you in choosing the best cloth diaper product available.
The cloth diaper you are buying must be absorbent, soft, and hypoallergenic. These are necessary for the material the cloth diaper is made from. Your baby’s comfort should be your priority, so you can choose the best option. Cotton and bamboo are the best options for their characteristics.
How many cloth diapers do I need?
Your baby will likely go through the same amount of cloth diapers as they would disposable diapers. That means at least 12 in a day. Toddlers are likely to use six to eight, while kids being potty trained can use maybe three to four a day. To start with cloth diapers, you’ll need at least two to three dozens for your baby.
Adjustable diapers are the best bet when it comes to sizes. This way your baby can continue to use the diapers even as they grow.
The make-up of the pack of a cloth diaper is also important. Some packs come with all parts of the diaper; the lining, the absorbent pad, and the cover. Buying packs like this saves money. Do be sure to compare the prices of the packs before you make your purchase.
Ratings and Reviews
In the days of social media and the internet, it is important to get reviews and ratings of the product you are buying. You can check out the customer review page on the online stores and know what other mothers are saying about the brand you are getting, or check out the social media or blogs of other mothers and learn what they have to say. This would help you make the best choice.
Now that you have all the information you need, you are ready to buy that cloth diaper for your baby. You can decide on the type of diaper you want based on what suits you and is comfortable for your baby. But all cloth diapers have one thing in common, they are reusable. This alone makes them worth it. They are also eco-friendly so you are protecting the earth too. You have all the handy tools, it’s time for you to go and shop.