Best Cloth Diapers: What are they?
Cloth diapers are disposable diapers made from natural fibers such as cotton or wool. They have been around since the 1950’s when they were first introduced into homes. These days, there are many types of cloth diapering options available. Some are made with synthetic materials like Lycra, Spandex, and Nylon. Others use recycled paper products. There are even some that don’t contain any plastic at all!
The main reason why people choose cloth diapers over disposables is cost. A single pack of disposables costs anywhere between $2-$5 dollars while a pack of cloth diapers will run you less than $1 per diaper (depending on the brand). The other major factor is convenience.
With cloth diapers, you can change your baby’s diaper whenever it is convenient for you. You don’t need to worry about changing them every hour or day.
There are several advantages to using cloth diapers:
They last longer because they do not require washing after each use.
You can wash them yourself if needed. No chemicals required!
They are better for your baby’s skin (no chemicals!)
They are better for the environment.
The average baby goes through anywhere between 6 to 10 diapers a day and that can add up to a lot of money. By the time your little one is in size 3 diapers, you could have spent nearly $2,000 dollars on disposable diapers!
There are a few different types of cloth diapers that you can use. Some have plastic lining in them, some don’t. Each brand has their own quirks and differences but they basically all accomplish the same task which is to keep your baby dry and comfortable.
You can also get diaper covers to go over the cloth diapers to help keep them clean longer.
Cloth diapers come in all shapes and sizes nowadays. There are even gender specific printed designs and Disney characters on the cloth diapers! Cloth diapers nowadays are made with the same materials that disposables are made of.
Cloth diapers also come in all different sizes such as newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, etc.
The best way to save money is to get your hands on some quality used cloth diapers from a friend or family member.
How to Use Cloth Diapers:
The first thing you need to do is buy a cloth diapering system. This consists of a waterproof cover, a set of cloth liners, and some cloth diapers. When the time comes to change your baby’s diaper, you put on a clean cloth diaper and then put the waterproof cover over top.
You then put the used ones in a wet bag (or a plastic garbage bag) until you have time to wash them.
You can either do a cold wash (where you just throw them in with your regular clothes) or a warm wash (where you throw them in with some detergent). You can then put them through a short cold rinse cycle and then hang dry them. Each time you do this, they should come out nice and clean.
If you notice any staining, add extra rinses until the stains are gone.
What to Look for in a Quality Cloth Diaper:
When it comes to cloth diapers, you want to ensure that they are easy to clean and comfortable for your baby. There are different kinds of cloth diapers including pocket diapers, all-in-one diapers, and fitted diapers. They all have their pros and cons.
Cloth Pocket Diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer and an inner layer with little pockets that envelopes the diaper. These are very easy to use because all you have to do is put the insert into the pocket and then put it on the baby. These are very versatile because you can use a variety of different inserts depending on if your baby is a newborn, a heavy wetter, or an older toddler.
They are also quite absorbent.
Cloth All-In-One Diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer and an inner layer. These diapers are very easy to use because all you have to do is put the insert on the baby. These diapers are also quite absorbent but don’t offer as much customization as the pocket diapers because you can’t change the type of insert.
Cloth Fitted Diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer, an inner layer, and 2 or more layers of fabric sewn into the shape of a diaper. These types of diapers are not as easy to use because you have to do a little more legwork. First, you have to wet the inner layer and then put it inside the outer layer.
Second, you have to put a cover over top of that (if you choose to use one). These are probably best for experienced cloth diapering parents because they take a little practice to get used to.
Sources & references used in this article:
Diaper dermatitis: how to treat and prevent by UI Sires, SB Mallory – Postgraduate medicine, 1995 – Taylor & Francis
The diaper controversy by E NEWMAN – Pediatrics, 1992 – Am Acad Pediatrics
Diaper magic, open plastic pants to hold cloth diapers or disposable liner by LM Brain – US Patent 4,576,601, 1986 – Google Patents
Life cycle assessment of innovative circular business models for modern cloth diapers by BS Hoffmann, J de Simone Morais… – Journal of Cleaner …, 2020 – Elsevier