You know what! You are going to need lots of diapers for your baby. But how do you come to the decision that which diaper you should buy? The main options are cloth and disposable but within these two categories, there are many options, from high-end reusable diapers with comfortable designs to very convenient disposable diapers. Some baby diapers come at the cheapest prices but you should look for the quality also.
Let’s learn some of the baby diaper basics:
Basics of Diaper Buying:
· You will need diapers till your child doesn’t learn to potty by himself/herself.
· While cloth diapers may seem costly in the starting but over time, they are more beneficial.
· Disposable diapers are not that useful for your first child, use it when your second baby comes.
Types of Baby Diapers:
The two main categories of diapers are: 1) Disposable Diapers
2) Cloth or Reusable Diapers
Disposable Diapers Types:
Disposable diapers are made of layers of cellulose, polypropylene, polyethylene and a super absorbent polymer. Super absorbent polymer helps in absorbing and holding the extra amount of liquid.
Eco-Friendly Disposable Diapers:
You will find different kinds of eco-friendly disposable diapers in the market. Some are free of chlorine, fragrances, latex, petroleum-based lotions, etc. Some Eco-friendly diapers are biodegradable.
Cloth or Reusable Diapers:
Cloth Diapers (Flat and Pre-folded):
These are the same as your grandma used on her children. Cloth diapers need a bit of practice and some accessories for holding the diaper. You need to fold the cloth in a way so that it should just fit your bottom of the baby, for holding it use pins. To make it full proof use a waterproof cover to mitigate the risk of any leaks.
Considerations to take: If we take example then flat and prefolded diapers are not that convenient but they are the cheapest alternatives. You also have to buy cloth diaper covers and pins. Prefold cloth diapers are smaller than the unfolded ones. They can also be used as pocket diapers.
Molded Cloth Diapers: Molded diapers have a definite shape, best suited for your baby’s bum. You have to adjust them with pins and waterproof diaper covers like the flats and prefolded diapers.
What to Choose: Molded diapers do not require any folding. They dry faster which will be very helpful for cutting down your electric charges. But molded diapers can leak and you have to go for bigger sizes with the growth of your baby.
Cloth Diapers (Fitted): Diapers that are pre-fitted are a bit closer to the disposable diapers in terms of appearance. They come with already fitted pins and other necessary adjustments.
What to Choose: In this kind of diaper, elastic is used around the west and legs. This makes it fitter and results in fewer leaks. But you have to buy several times as your baby will grow. Also, you have to still use waterproof covers.
Package Cloth Diapers: These kinds of diapers already come with a removable absorbent pad that can be cleaned. Elastic is used all around the waist and legs. Also, waterproof materials and hooks all are sewn in the diaper itself.
What to Choose: Package Cloth Diapers are very useful if you don’t want to go through the hassles of the normal folding diapers. But remember that they are a bit costly. Cleaning them can also be more time as well as energy-consuming because of its package nature.
Pocket Diapers: In this kind of diaper waterproof covers are inbuilt to hold all the extra liquid. These kinds of diapers can be disposed of, washed, and flushed.
What to choose: Because of the inbuilt waterproof covers, it takes less time in drying and it's easier to adjust according to too the demands.
Hybrid Diapers: These kinds of diapers are very much like to pocket diapers, the only thing which is differents that the waterproof cover goes directly against the skin of the baby. And this quality makes it easy to change only the cover rather than the entire diaper.
What to Choose: The way covers are inserted is the quality that makes it very easy to handle. This quality also saves energy and cost as it is easy to dry.
Accessories for Cloth Diapers:
If you have chosen cloth diapers then you will also need all gears related to the cloth diapers. Here we have explained what you will need.
Number of Cloth Diapers to Buy: In spite of their variety (prefolds, package), the number of cloth diapers you will be needed will be about 30-36. On average 14 diapers needed to be changed for a newborn baby. To lessen your laundry burdens, you can buy more diapers but don’t go overboard.
Covers for Cloth Diapers: When you are using package diapers then you don’t need covers. But for separate cloth diapers, almost 6 diaper covers will be required. As you don’t need to change the cover every time. Most probably you will be changing the cover only for every third diaper.
Doublers: Cloth doublers provide extended protection, even if you are using pocket diapers. They are very useful when your baby is having an overnight sleep or long nap. They restrict the movement and add bulk, so when your baby awakes, they are not that much hot.
Liners: They are nature-friendly, disposable sheets of paper that can be used with any kind of cloth diapers. Liners help you to make cleaning of the diaper easy, especially when your baby’s poop becomes stickier and tough to clean from the diaper.
Pot for Cloth Diaper: To discard the dirty nappies, any available trash can do the job but it should be covered. But to avoid the foul smell you can use baking soda in the pot. And you should be using a pot which is with a tight lid. Also cleaning that pot is necessary.
Liners for Cloth Diaper Pot: Nowadays many moms feel easy to wash dirty diapers when they use waterproof liners. So, you should look for washable liners, so that you will be able to wash them along with the diapers.
Fasteners: Many varieties of cloth diapers don’t come with built-in fasteners. You will be required to have a stock of pins and snaps. Try out the fasteners and find out which one is easier to handle for you.
Wipes: Many mothers who use cloth diapers like to environmentally friendly cloth wipes. But you can use disposable wipes also. You can also make wipes from your old T-shirts. For convenience, just buy once the box of disposable wipes and then use minimal packaging inserts to refill.
Detergent for Cloth Diaper: what type of fabric using for the diaper will be the decider of the type of detergent. Like you have to use different detergents for different kinds of fabrics (Organic cotton, hemp, and wool). Using too much use of hard detergents on the diapers can be irritating for your baby’s skin. So, to remove hard stains, you can use a dab of non-chlorine bleach and after that, you can use normal detergent to wash the cloth diaper. Some mothers suggest that drying diapers in the sunlight help in getting rid of stains.
Diaper Buying: What to choose/consider
In the market, so many varieties of diapers are available that it's hard to make a decision of buying. The best way is first trying out some variety of diapers and see which one is best suited for you and your baby. After finding a suitable diaper you can buy and stock up. It's always okay to change the type of diaper as per the change of requirements.
To compare the diapers, these are the parameters you should consider:
Absorbing Capability: A diaper’s job is to absorb all the liquid and keep your baby’s bum safe from wetness and rashes. While disposable diapers seem more absorbent, but you can make cloth diapers more absorbent also. You should change the diapers frequently and must use diapers made of absorbent cotton flannel.
Comfortability: The diaper should be comfortable for the baby. The elastics use around the waist and the legs prevent any kind of leak as well as make it comfortable for the baby to carry. You should look for package diapers that come with waterproof covers.
Ease of use of fasteners: In spite of the type of diaper, the fasteners required. While disposable diapers come with sticky tape type of fasteners, cloth diapers require external fasteners like grips or pin. Some diapers which are reusable have Velcro-style fasteners. But these kinds of fasteners can be troublesome when the diaper is wet and also over time, they lose strength.
Budget: This is one of the biggest considerations for most parents. Even after bearing the additional costs like waterproof covers, diaper fasteners, extra liners, laundry, and additional sizes, in the long run, cloth diapers are cost-saving. The extra cloth diapers can be used for the next babies also, which cuts down the cost even further.
Convenient for the family: If we take into account the convenience, disposable diapers will always win the race. They are not that expensive and easy to handle. If you are doing a journey then you don’t need to worry about the dirty diaper, you simply can discard the diaper. And if you both are working then it's very useful.
Eco-friendliness: If you are someone who is looking for environmental options, then you should choose cloth diapers. But if you are someone who is looking for convenience too then try to opt for the green disposable diapers which are made of biodegradable materials and in which there is minimum use of synthetic materials. Also, you can choose the brand of diapers that do charity for the environment.
Laundry: If you are going to use cloth diapers then you must know beforehand that how many times a week you are willing to or will be able to clean the diapers. And accordingly, you should buy a number of diapers so that you will not get run out of diapers. Another best option which you can choose is that you can look for a cloth diaper delivery service which will take care of all the cleaning and supply of the diapers.
Caregivers: Almost all the daycare centers and preschools ask for disposable diapers. And if grandparents are the caretakers of the baby then it should be considered that they require a bit of training in cloth diapers. Also, in the case of cloth diapers patience will be required.
A number of babies in diapers: If there are more than one babies in diapers in the house then families prefer disposable diapers. But more you use cloth diapers it becomes more cost-effective.
Safety of Diapers:
Your baby is going to spend some years in diapers, so it's necessary to think cautiously about the safety and health consequences before choosing any type of diaper. Cloth diapers give assurance since we have come a long way using that. Even if you are using disposable diapers, then you will be assured to know that even disposable diapers are made for providing safety and comfort. Even today disposable diaper brands are using biodegradable materials which will benefit the Earth also.
Things to know about diaper safety:
Wet diapers, rashes, and irritation: If we take account of diapers, the only concern you have is rashes. The increased exposure to the acids because of pee and poop can cause rashes and irritation to the skin of the baby. The best way to prevent this is to change the diapers frequently.
If changed regularly, cloth and disposable diapers are safe: If your baby is wearing cloth diapers then if it gets wet then the baby surely will let you know. This means more frequent changes of diapers and prevention from diaper rashes. But in the case of disposable diapers liquid gets locked by the absorbent and babies don’t feel any kind of wetness which also lowers the risk of diaper rashes.
Safe materials are used for disposable diapers: Are you getting worried about the materials which go inside the disposable diapers of your baby? Just don’t worry. Disposable diapers are the creation and gift of modern engineering. There is nothing that can harm your baby in the eco-friendly as well as regular disposable diapers. Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate to absorb the moisture from the skin of the baby. Even if it is a chemical substance it's non-toxic and safe to use.
Lotions and fragrances are not necessary but safe: Some While some disposable diaper brands use fragrances and lotion, this may not be suitable for every skin. So, while using any such diaper be on alert about the reaction of your baby’s skin.
Fastening the cloth diapers without using sharp pins: If you are feeling nervous about using safety pins for fastening the diapers of your baby, then you are not the only one. But nowadays there are multiple easy to use fastening options like sticky tape, snaps and grips are available in the market.