Baby diapers are a must have, if you’re expecting or have a baby. You know that you’ll definitely be needing diapers – lots of them. But then, how do you decide on the type to settle for?
Although your choices are always narrowed down to disposable and cloth diapers, there are still a lot of options within the two categories. You have the ultra-convenient disposable diapers, which comes with a wetness indicator strip. There are also high-end reusable diapers that come in very lovely designs.
Here are some very basic things you need to know about baby diapers
By the time your baby clocks one year, you will have used about 2,500 baby diapers. You will have also spent a considerable chunk of money buying disposable diapers. If you’re a fan of eco-friendly disposable diapers, that means additional cash to your yearly diaper budget. It all depends on the brand you’re using.
It might interest you to know that buying cloth diapers will cost more upfront, but less as time goes on. When it comes to cloth diapers, you might spend just about a third of the cost of disposables. Of course, it depends on whether or not you make use of a laundry/delivery service.
While some parents go for cloth diapers because they’re eco-friendly and cheaper, others love the convenience of disposable diapers. However, a lot of families use a combination of both – cloth diapers at home and disposable diapers on the go.
Baby diapers have undergone a lot of changes since they came into existence. In addition to the different types of disposable diapers, there are many types of reusable baby diapers in the market.
These include contoured diapers, prefolded diapers, fitted diapers, all-in-ones and pocket diapers. There are also liners and inserts for additional protection.
Is it a lot to take in?
Not to worry, we’re here to guide you on everything you need to know about baby diapers.
Before you shop for diapers in bulk, there’s one thing you should do. Try out different brands and styles of diapers to see what suits your baby and yourself best.
Whether you use the cloth or disposable diapers, there’s one rule you must never forget. Have enough, but do not overbuy. This is because babies outgrow diaper sizes quickly, and your diapering needs change over time.
The Basics For Buying Baby Diapers
You have to bear in mind that you’ll be needing diapers till your baby is completely potty-trained. Over the years, your diapering preferences and needs may change. Also consider what suits your family.
You may prefer cloth diapers for your first child, but go for disposable diapers when the second baby arrives. We enjoin you to read this guide till the end because the diaper years are a marathon, not a sprint.
Types Of Baby Diapers
There are two main types of baby diapers namely the disposable diapers and cloth/reusable diapers. However, there are other types of diapers in each category.
They are made from layers of synthetic materials, which are mostly polyethylene and/or polypropylene. These synthetic materials are the same as those seen in plastic bags and wraps. They are considered totally safe.
The diapers are made by sandwiching the layers of synthetic materials with a core layer of super-absorbent polymer. This is usually sodium polyacrylate, a nontoxic compound that has the ability to absorb many times its weight in liquid.
Eco-friendly disposable diapers
There are a lot of eco-friendly disposable diapers which are designed to be free of chlorine, fragrances, latex, and petroleum-based lotions. Some disposable diapers can also be biodegradable.
Others may have layers made from biodegradable or renewable materials. Some of the eco-friendly diaper brands even use some of their proceeds to support environmental causes.
Types of cloth/reusable diapers
Prefolded and flat cloth diapers
These are very much like the ones used in the olden days. They’re usually made from cotton, flannel or bamboo. Making use of this type of diapers requires a little practice and some cloth diaper accessories. All you need to do is fold the cloth such that it fits the baby’s bottom.
Fasten it with separate pins. Then, cover it with a waterproof diaper cover to prevent leaks. Although flats and prefolds aren’t the most convenient or latest choice, they’re easily the cheapest cloth diapers around. You’ll be needing to buy various cloth-diaper covers.
These can be gotten in materials ranging from polyester to waterproof to organic wool. The prefold cloth diapers, which are relatively smaller than the unfolded ones, can be used with the pocket diapers.
Contoured cloth diapers
These possess an hourglass shape that’s designed to fit snugly on your baby’s bottom. Just like prefolds and flats, they need to be fastened with separate pins. Also use a waterproof diaper cover over them.
Fitted cloth diapers
These baby diapers have some resemblance with the cloth versions of the disposable baby diapers. In place of sticky tabs, they have built-in hooks, snaps or Velcro to help fit snugly around your baby.
All-in-one cloth diapers
These baby diapers are waterproof shells which come in a range of patterns and colors. All-in-ones come with a detachable absorbent pad that can either be flushed or washed. They have elastic around the waist and legs. Also, these diapers come with built-in hooks, snaps or Velcro fasteners.
You do not need separate covers for this type of baby diapers. This is because the waterproof material is sewn over the absorbent cloth lining found inside the diapers. And that’s the reason they’re called all-in-ones.
These baby diapers are waterproof covers which have an inner cloth lining and a pocket. Their pockets are located inside the inner lining, and holds either an insert or a folded cloth diaper. The diaper liners or inserts are available in washable, flushable and disposable varieties.
All-in-twos or hybrid diapers
Just like the pocket diapers, these diapers come with diaper insert. However, the diaper insert is placed directly against the baby’s skin in this case. You can either lay or snap it in. By so doing, you can just change the insert instead of the whole diaper.
Things To Consider When Buying Baby Diapers
It must be very difficult for you to choose a diaper option to settle with. What with all the cloth and disposable diaper options available in the market, we are here to help you. Outlined below are some things you have to put into consideration while shopping for baby diapers:
The first and foremost job of any diaper is to ensure that the skin of the baby is not wet. Skin wetness causes rashes, skin irritation and chafing. Although disposable diapers are always more absorbent, skin wetness can be controlled with cloth diapers too.
Skin irritation can be avoided in cloth diapers through making use of diapers made of absorbent cotton flannel, and frequent changing of the diapers.
Baby diapers that have elastic around the legs are recommended. This is because the elastic prevents leaks and helps the diaper fit snugly on the baby. Baby diapers with elastic are available in waterproof cloth diaper covers, disposable and all-in-one cloth diapers.
Ease of use
Every diaper brand has a unique way of fastening, be it disposable or cloth diapers. Most disposable diapers make use of a type of sticky tape, whose strength varies largely. On the other hand, most cloth diapers need separate pins, fasteners or grips. Some reusable diapers come with Velcro-style fasteners. These are a bit complex to use when wet. They may even lose elasticity after repeated opening and closing.
This is a major factor for most parents. Over time, cloth diapers will help you save extra money more. That’s even after spending on extras like diaper fasteners, waterproof covers, extra sizes and liners. Most cloth diapers can also be re-used for other babies. Amazing, right?
When it comes to convenience, disposable baby diapers are your go to option. Not only are they relatively cheap and not bulky, you can get rid of soiled ones comfortably on the go. Disposable baby diapers is highly recommended for you, if you have more than one baby in diapers. You also need it if you have a mad schedule.
Are you a lover of the planet? Do you want a diaper option that’ll sooth both your baby and the planet? The cloth diapers are your best bet. However, if you throw convenience in the mix, you’ll have to go for a green disposable option. This makes use of biodegradable materials, minimal packaging, renewable resources and donates to eco-charities.
Will you be settling for the reusable cloth diapers? How many times a week are you realistically going to be doing the laundry? If you’ve answered these questions satisfactorily, you should know that you need to buy enough spare diapers to last you till you have fresh neat ones.
Alternatively, you can sign up with a cloth diaper delivery service. Their duty is to replenish your weekly diapers with clean ones and wash the soiled ones for you.
More often than not, day care centers tend to prefer, and ask you to provide disposable baby diapers. If you’ll be using the services of caregivers, bear in mind that making use of cloth diapers need patience and some sort of training.
Number of babies at a time
A lot of families go for the disposable baby diapers when there are more than one babies making use of the diapers. You have to know however, that in this case, the cloth diapers are the most cost-effective option for you.
This is because you can wash and reuse for as long as you want, while saving extra cash on all the babies’ needs.
It is inevitable that your baby will have to spend some years making use of diapers. Therefore, it will make a lot of sense if you put their health and safety into consideration when choosing baby diapers.
If you are interested in cloth diapers, be rest assured that a whole lot has changed over the years in the history of cloth diapers. And of course, it’s for good. So, there’s no need to worry about inconveniences as there’ll be none.
If your heart lies with the disposable diapers, it’ll interest you to know that these modern ones are designed to provide utmost comfort and safety.
If you love the eco-friendly diaper brands, your baby and the planet’s safety are well guaranteed.
Here are some things you need to know about diaper safety
Wet diapers cause skin irritation and rashes
Your only real safety concern when it comes to baby diapers, is diaper rash. Things that irritate the baby’s sensitive skin include prolonged exposure to wetness, and to the natural acids in feaces and urine. The best way to avoid the baby rash on your baby is to change the diapers frequently.
Cloth and disposable diapers are safe as long as they are changed regularly
Babies who wear cloth diapers tend to feel when their diaper gets wet. And they will let you know, too. This translates to more frequent changes, and invariably means lesser chances of having diaper rash.
The disposable baby diapers has the technique of locking liquid away in an absorbent core. This way, babies will not feel wetness and this greatly reduces the risk of having diaper rash.
Disposable diapers are made from safe materials
Are you worried about what goes into the production of your baby’s disposable diapers? You should not be. Although disposable diapers are the marvels of modern engineering, there’s nothing harmful in the materials used to produce them.
Most of the disposable diaper types have a core layer of sodium polyacrylate that absorbs moisture and keeps the baby’s skin dry. Although it is a chemical substance, it is safe. Studies show that only few babies have allergic reactions to it.
Lotions and fragrances are safe, but not necessary
Some disposable diaper brands come with a layer of either aloe, lotion, or a mild fragrance. Although these are considered safe, some babies may be allergic or sensitive to these additives.
If you discover that your baby’s skin reacts to such additives, you might want to go for diapers that are fragrance-free, dye-free and chlorine-free.
Most cloth diapers fasten without sharp pins
You do not have to worry anymore about fastening your baby’s diapers with a safety pin. Over the years, cloth diapers have evolved from the use of safety pins to the use of grips, snaps, sticky tapes and Velcro-style closures.
Diaper pins are still very much available, if you feel comfortable using those. All the fasteners require just a bit of practice to help you perfect the use of them.