Our older generations have been using cloth nappies for kids for generations as there are numerous benefits to it. But, what if there is an alternative available in the market which will save you the hassle of frequently changing nappies, using bed different types of bed protectors and not toxic. Let’s look at whether cloth diapers are an alternative to disposable ones or do terms and conditions apply.
Advantages of cloth diapers? They are non toxic and free from chemicals, do not require application of a rash cream and are environment friendly. However, there are some cases where I feel the cloth diapers lag behind as compared to the disposable ones. Also, they have very attractive prints and you can dress up your child every day.
Why cloth diapers lag behind? One being that in my opinion cloth diapers do not last as long. In my experience, they last a maximum of 4-5 hours if your baby is a heavy wetter. Second point is that cloth diapers’ outermost layer is lined with fleece. In my opinion, fleece is uncomfortable and generates heat. So, don’t use these diapers for longer durations, 3-4 hours is enough. Also, the soakers which are pretty bulky take at least a day to dry completely. Thirdly, these are bulky and can’t be used inside an outerwear. So if you have to take your baby out, you have to use disposable diapers.
Save your wallet and environment: Despite, all these negatives, the biggest advantage of cloth diapers is that they are pocket friendly and affordable compared to the disposable ones. Let’s do the math. A disposable diapers (say Pampers) costs around INR13.5/diaper (that is when you buy a big Pampers packet, in case of small packets, a diaper can cost you almost INR15/diaper). So, if you want your baby to enjoy an uninterrupted sleep of 3 hours in the afternoon (which is not possible if you use a cloth nappy), you will require a diaper. Now, cloth diapers (very good quality ones) are available in the market in the price range of INR850-950. In two months time, the money spent on cloth diapers would be equivalent to disposable diaper if you were to use one every single day for 2 months.
Cloth diapers can grow with your baby and lasts wash after wash: They have adjustable snaps and are useful until your baby weighs 15kg. The free size ones should be used from when your baby is 5kg or use the newborn variants. Furthermore, they last wash after wash, generally for 300 washes.
How I use cloth diapers for my baby:
- Whenever, we have to go out for hospital visits, etc, I use disposable diapers. However, throughout the day during small naps, I prefer to use cloth diapers.
- I use a combination of cloth diapers and cloth nappies during the day and disposable ones during the night.
- Since my baby is a medium to heavy wetter, I change the diaper in 3-4 hours. This saves from using a disposable diaper during the day. Saves my wallet and the environment too!
- During small naps, I prefer to use the thin soaker and during long naps, I use the heavy soaker during with the same outer shell.
- You can use cloth diapers when you have to take your baby out say for walks, to run errands. i.e. for short periods of time. For longer durations, I would still prefer disposable ones.
- Do not use these cloth diapers in humid, hot weather as the fleece can irritate the baby’s skin. Though, my baby has never experienced rashes from a cloth diaper but I live in Bangalore.
What if your baby poops in a cloth diaper? Cleaning a cloth diaper is simple. Just dump the poop in the toilet and then can be hand washed or machine washed.