If you are pregnant or have a small child and have begun to read information about reusable cloth diapers, you may be in a mess with both models and variety. In this article, we hope to explain in a clear and simple way this new and fascinating world, so it can help you as a starting point. And, although it seems strange to you, many people who like you did not know about the existence of cloth diapers, once they dare to discover them, they want to try them all!
If something is evident, it is that not all babies are equal, nor is one baby equal to both of them at fifteen months. There are babies born small compared to others, but, soon after, they are already chubby and have well-filled thighs; others evolve just the other way around, so establishing universal rules for all cases is impossible. However, there is something that everyone has in common when they are very small: they urinate very often and a small amount, and as the frequency increases, the quantity increases. This implies that the number of times when it is necessary to change the diaper to a small baby is greater compared to an older baby. In addition, until about two months, a baby usually makes bowel movements after each breast or bottle, while later you can spend more than a week without doing them. Since newborns require frequent changes, it is not necessary for diapers to absorb a lot of liquid, but the most interesting thing is that they are easy to clean, dry quickly and are economical, as many will be needed. The advantage is that babies at these young ages do not move much and changing their diaper looks like a doll game.
Once the baby stops making bowel movements in each shot, changing diapers is not essential. It is important to change him often because the bacteria roam freely, but not as often as before. For example, at night, if you do not stain the diaper, we do not have to reveal ourselves to change it. A diaper somewhat more absorbent than we use during the day will be enough to retain all the urine.
Let’s see what options we have for a newborn baby:
From the moment of birth, washable diapers can be used, but there are two small problems: in the hospital, they will not be accepted and the first bowel movements, the meconium, are like tar and cost a lot to clean. Therefore, during the first week, it is recommended to use disposable diapers and spread the baby’s ass with oil so that the meconium is not hooked on its delicate skin.
Once you have expelled the entire meconium, the stools resemble mustard and are much easier to clean. However, it is recommended to use a disposable liner split in half, or a washable liner for easy cleaning. As it is going to change very often and the baby barely moves, the type of two-piece diaper is ideal: an absorbent diaper and waterproof cover panties. We can also use all-in-one diapers, especially if we have to leave the baby temporarily in the hands of a grandmother, aunt or babysitter who is not used to changing the two pieces of the diaper, or if we want to go out and want something easy and fast.
The types of diapers
In the previous paragraph, we just mentioned several terms related to reusable cloth diapers. Quiet, now we will explain them in more detail. For starters it is important that you keep in mind the following “formula” that describes the parts of a diaper:
Diaper = Absorbent + Cover (+ Lining)
The different ways in which these elements are combined and the way in which each part is made is the one that gives rise to the variety of cloth diapers that you can find available today. And why so much complication? Because there are many considerations when choosing between one model or another. If the important thing for you is the minimum cost, you are sure to opt for a different solution to those who prioritize comfort over other aspects. Somehow, and unlike disposables, in the world of reusable cloth diapers, you have the ability to decide what is best for you in each case.
The possible combinations of the above formula are those that give rise to the three main diaper varieties:
- All in one: As the name implies, these diapers combine the absorbent, the cover and optionally the lining in one piece, being as practical to use as a disposable.
- All-in-one refillable: The diaper combines the waterproof cover and the lining. It requires, therefore, absorbents were to retain the pee. Associating it with the “all-in-one” diaper category comes from the fact that, once filled with absorbents, they are as practical as the first ones.
- Two pieces: In this case, the absorbent and the cover are separate pieces, so it will always be necessary to put two elements to the baby in each diaper change. The lining is an optional element, very useful in the case of bowel movements, and that is sometimes sewn to the absorbent itself. Here it is important to make an important point to avoid confusion in terms: in the case of two-piece systems, what is often known as a diaper is actually the absorbent. This is especially true when the absorbent has a tight shape and has closures since, apparently, it resembles a full diaper. Even so, we must insist that a blanket is always necessary to provide the expected impermeability of every diaper.
There is a wide variety of absorbents for the two-piece diaper system. Some are extremely simple, such as simple gauze or wipes, while others have the shape adapted to the baby’s bottom ( shaped diaper ), and others even have built-in closures, various sizes and extra absorption ( tight diapers ). All these diapers need a blanket that is not necessary to wash at every diaper change, although obviously, the absorbent part is. The more elaborate the diaper is, the more expensive it usually is, but it is also much more absorbent and convenient to use. Let’s see in detail the different alternatives.
- Chiffon: They are the simplest and also economic option. It is based on the use of gauze that, conveniently folded, serves as a diaper. The way to fold them allows varying the area where more or less absorption is required. They can be fixed with a clamp or with the same cover.
- Folded cotton diapers: Folded natural cotton diapers are very absorbent and are a very economical option even as night diapers.
- Panda: Extra soft diaper of bamboo or organic cotton unit all for babies from 3 to 15kg.
- Knotted diaper: A knotted diaper of one size, which is very easily placed thanks to ribbons that are knotted in the front to fit the baby, and that is very absorbent thanks to its hemp and cotton fabric.
- Onesize: Use snaps for adjustment around the waist, and its unique size is suitable from newborn babies to 15 kg children. It has a high absorption capacity and is very easy to use since the closure system is integrated And grows with the baby. It incorporates an additional absorbent that is coupled to the diaper by means of pressure closures. For newborns, the front part of the diaper is folded forward and the pressure closures on the sides can be superimposed, so that the diaper fits into a tiny ass. When the baby grows, it allows the additional absorbent to be incorporated in order to retain a greater amount of urine (in long periods such as night) and adjust it by means of the front closures. The option of organic cotton, the cotton with polyester inner reinforcement, is available,
- two sizes: It is a thin towel diaper available in two sizes for a better fit to the baby’s measurements. It closes on the sides with push buttons and is very absorbent. It is available in organic cotton and normal cotton with polyester inner reinforcement.
- PopoWrap: It is a cover of breathable but waterproof technical material. It is available in several sizes and in white or two different prints (dolphins or bugs). Its Velcro-type closure and its special design for the thighs of legs makes, used together with an absorbent diaper like those described above, pee leaks are almost impossible.
- Vento: It is a cover of the same material, also available in several sizes and white or printed. In this case, it has a double closure system with snaps on the waist and around the thigh, which is ideal for children with very plump or very thin legs, since the adjustment is independent.
- BravoWrap: It is a cover with the same design as the PopoWrap, but made with a simpler material that makes it cheaper. Available in several sizes and in white or printed.
- VentoBravo: It is a cover with the same design as the Vento, made with simpler and cheaper material. Available in several sizes and in white or printed.
All-in-one and refillable diapers
When the baby begins to move a lot and the task of changing the diaper is complicated, or when the baby is left with a grandmother or kangaroo who is not so accustomed to a two-piece system, it is advisable to use a reusable diaper that is more simple to put on For this, you have the all-in-one diaper, which, as we have indicated, receives this name because the cover and the absorbent are integrated. It is simply like a disposable diaper that, instead of throwing it away, we put it in the washing machine and can reuse it many times. The all-in-one diaper is very easy to use, it has integrated the waterproof cover, the inner absorbent and a lining, which will be in contact with the baby’s skin. Although the all-in-one diaper is placed quickly, its drying time is high since the cover itself integrates as a barrier.
As we have seen, there is a variety of all-in-one diapers called refillable, which consists of an impermeable part attached to a liner such that a pocket is formed where the absorbent material can be introduced. The advantage over all-in-one diapers is that they can be filled with the type and amount of absorbent suitable for each specific case (for example, more during the night and less during the day). Also, since the absorbent is removed from the refillable diaper to be washed, the drying time is less than that of the complete all-in-one diaper. On the other hand, they have to be filled every time, a task that is not necessary with the others, and they are also a bit more expensive.
- All in one: All-in-one diapers include a cover layer and absorbent material in the same diaper, so no further accessories are necessary. However, they require more drying time than other types of diapers.
- Refillable: The refillable all-in-one cloth diapers are very easy to place and do not require the use of additional covers. They incorporate an inner bag to insert the absorbent. In addition, its drying is very fast, since the absorbent material is independent of the diaper itself. Being one size, they serve from the time the baby is born until he leaves the diapers. It is ideal during the day, although if you want to use it at night, it is enough to introduce more absorbent to soak up what is necessary.
Refillable diapers need an inner absorbent that soaks the baby’s pee. As it could not be less, you have a wide variety of different fabrics that can be used: from the simplest and most economical, such as gauze or even old cut-out towels, to the unsurpassed hemp and cotton fabrics or microfiber.
The main characteristics of all absorbents are:
- Volume absorption capacity: gauze needs a much larger volume than hemp and cotton to soak the same amount of liquid
- Rapid absorption: cotton or microfiber absorb much faster than fabrics that combine hemp and cotton. Therefore, in the case of babies who urinate a lot in a very short time, it is convenient to put a small cotton wipe (or in the case of double absorbents, that the small component is microfiber) if they carry a hemp and cotton absorbent, in order to improve the absorption rate.
- Quick-drying: The more concentrated the absorbed moisture, the slower the drying. The gauze, where there is low humidity in a lot of volumes, will dry faster than a towel, and much more than hemp and cotton.
- Price: gauze is cheaper than hemp and cotton, but many more are needed, which also means more diapers and more diaper changes.
- Ecology: hemp is a weed that grows spontaneously, so no chemical is used. On the other hand, cotton is used to treat a lot, although the organic version exists. For its part, microfiber is a technical fabric, so there are tastes for all needs.