Cloth diapers used to be the only option for babies. Until disposable diapers came along and offered the convenience of single-use and not having to worry about washing and drying. However, along with this convenience came polluting the environment. In addition to monetary cost as well as skin issues for some babies. This article is intended to inform you of what you need to know about cloth diapers, and why it is better than the disposable/non-reusable diaper.
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How-to: what you need to know about cloth diapers
WHY USE CLOTH DIAPERS?
Babies are adorable tiny angels that deserve the very best from us. Cloth diapers are boldly better than disposable diapers in more ways than one. For one, it is healthy and affordable usually made from pure 100% cotton; Chinese cotton, bleached cotton, flannel or a couple of natural cotton blend.
Baby cloth diapers are made from eco-friendly materials, and they do not add to environmental pollution. By using cloth diapers, you are encouraging clean and green living. Some fibers are now being used due to their absorbency level. Fibers such as hemp and bamboo to name a few.
Another reason to use these environmentally friendly diapers instead of disposable diapers is that disposable diapers allegedly have Dioxin.
This causes harm to the defense mechanisms of your child. Most children are also allergic to disposable diapers. Low sperm count for male babies is suspected to be another top possible health effect of regular use of disposable diapers. This is another reason to consider cloth baby diapers rather than non-reusable diapers.
With all of the chemicals, materials and fragrant additives used in the manufacturing of disposable diapers, buying cloth diapers is something that every caring parent must consider.
It is understandable that many parents prefer to use disposable diapers because it is more practical and less tedious compared to cloth diapers. Such parents make use of disposable diapers whenever they travel with the newborn or embark on special occasions. They choose this since it is easier to change and the soiled diaper can be discarded without stress.
It might be time-consuming to clean and reuse cloth diapers, but if you invest in them, it would last you from one child to another, as well as being cost-effective in the long run.
When you are done having children, you may donate or re-sell these nappies. You could potentially get 25-40% of your original investment; depending on the resale value of your particular brand.
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It is inevitable that you see the amount of money that you get to save when you buy cloth diapers. Another good thing is that you do not need to purchase and buy out diapers every single time that you need to go to the market or grocery store.
The introduction of modern cloth nappies has brought about a revolution in baby care. It made cloth diapering easy, effective and quite inexpensive.
Modern cloth diapers have once again become more popular than disposable ones because they are not just environmental-friendly, but are healthy. There is a lesser chance of the baby getting rashes due to the cotton material and the porous feature it has. As compared to the disposable diapers it is quite inexpensive.
The most important feature is that this kind of diaper is reusable; you can wash it and use it again and again. The diaper soaks up the water completely and leaves your baby dry and comfortable.
Cloth diapers are no longer like they used to be in the past. The era of safety pins, plastic pants, and leaks are no more.
In recent times, cloth diapers are produced to be as comfortable and easy to use as their disposables counterparts. Reusable diapers now the best cloth diapers in vogue. They have flushable diaper liners, hook and loop closures, and hybrid textiles which make them more comfortable and dependable.
There have been many changes in the shapes and sizes of these beautiful washable diapers over all these years. Earlier people used non-breathable rubber or nylon pants and pins.
There are different types of cloth diapers available in the market which includes:
• The Flat Cloth Diapers
Flat cloth diapers are a square or rectangular piece of material that can be folded to any size to fit around your child. They do not have any fasteners so you can use pins or diaper fastener, or for that matter, a diaper cover will help keep it in place. These can be the most challenging cloth diaper types, but also the most economical.
These diapers have a multi-purpose functional utility as they can also be used as inserts, wipes, burp pads or change pads.
• The Pre-folds Diapers
These are rectangular cloth diapers that have several layers sewn together. Usually, an absorbent insert is also sewn in at the middle section.
Generally, pre-folded diapers are made from 4-ply cotton which is of the best quality and has a higher absorptive capacity. Pre-fold diapers are more useful than the others because they can be easily fitted around your baby to give him/her a snug fit. These can also be fastened with pins or fasteners.
You have to use a diaper cover for this kind of clothing.
• The Fitted Cloth Diapers
Fitted Cloth Diapers are as the name suggests designed to fit around your baby. Fitted Cloth Diapers require no folding; instead, they have snaps or Velcro to fasten it. These kinds of nappies make for convenient use as they make changing them an easy task. Most of the brands have elastic at the waist and around the legs so that no mess can pour down.
• The Pocket Cloth Diapers
Pocket Cloth Diapers are armed with an inside pocket where you can insert padding, and it equally has a waterproof outer layer and closures. These are very easy to use. The diaper cover is sewn to the inner layer; hence it helps in absorbing the moisture quickly.
• The All-in-One Diapers
All-in-One Diapers are the perfect solution to your child’s nappy problems. The name says it all, and indeed they have every feature that the parents expect for their tiny tot. These diapers have an inner absorbent core, waterproof cover, front closure and an extremely snug fit around the legs and waist. They are not meant to be folded, pinned, stuffed or wrapped. Given all these beautiful features, they are a bit expensive more than the others.
Last but not least, actually my favorite is the Hybrid Diapers.
Sometimes called an All In Two (or AI2). Hybrid diapers are designed as a system. They consist of a shell/diaper cover. Most of them come with snaps for you to secure the soakers. The Hybrid style got its name because the absorbency layers used may be either cloth or disposable, (like the GroVia Biosoaker).
The soakers have different levels so you can adjust the level of absorbency depending on your needs. You have an option of a sized diaper or one sized option. I personally chose the one size option. I only had to purchase one set and it adjusted to my child’s age. The grovia hybrid worked perfectly for us.
I am happy to report that we had very minimal leaks. Other key advantages of Hybrid diapers are the level of flexibility that they introduce to cloth diapering (cloth and disposable options fit better with most modern lifestyles) and the fact that some brands are purposefully designed to enable multiple wearings of outer shells between washes.
My eco-friendly diaper laundry routine:
- Place diaper or soaker in laundry pail, you may choose to line the pail with a large wet bag. Some people just use a large wet bag. I like the diaper pail/metal trash can since it can cover automatically and help eliminate odors circulating. (make sure solid waste has been removed)
- Every 5-7 days, Place the dirty diapers in the rinse cycle.
- Then wash in hot water with extra rinse cycle (like your washing whites). Use diaper friendly soap such as this and go by their recommendations.
- You can choose to line dry the diapers (then throwing them in the dryer for 10 min). Or you can throw everything in the dryer.
I arrange them in wicker baskets for organization. That way I know if its time to wash sooner. I have a separate container for liners and soakers or put together diapers. When traveling, I always have extra wet bags in my purse.
Prior to switching to cloth diapers, we were spending so much money on disposable diapers, diaper genie bags. Not to mention throwing huge bags of dirty diapers so often (actually makes me cringe that I am contributing to polluting the environment- sorry).
Diapers and diaper rash can go hand in hand. Most experts have linked this with the prolonged use of disposable diapers. Diaper rashes are triggered more in babies who wear diapers for quite a long time. Diaper rashes can be caused by reduced air circulation, coming in contact with prolonged wetness and bacteria in the pee.
So whether you select disposable or buy cloth diapers, medical professionals advise that you remove your baby’s diapers regularly and let the skin breathe to prevent diaper rash. Wash cloth diapers regularly with the recommended cycles so you can get the most benefit from using these reusable diapers.
Please share your cloth diapering story with us in the comments section.
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