7 Things You Must Know About Cloth Diapers
Living at peace with our environment means we have to sacrifice a lot of things that are deemed a necessity and if you have a baby, diapers are the number one in the list. I am sure most of the mothers of young children in this part of the world can't imagine a day without the diapers. I was also there, and I used diapers 24/7 for my son until he turned one (after that I switched to training pants in the day and he was completely trained by the time he was around 19 months). I thought I will follow the same route for my baby girl too, but then I felt really awkward when the garbage bag was getting full so quickly which means, I am increasing my carbon footprint with every nappy change that I do for her. Also, thinking about the fact that diapers are still a costly affair in India and I have never seen anyone in my family using it, I feel that these things are only making us lazier. However the thought of using cloth nappies terrified me, since it will require a lot of work. I was clueless about cloth diapers and when I started a discussion about this in a parenting forum, I was pleasantly surprised when a member offered to sell some of the unused diapers for a good price. I bought a few of them doubting myself. However, it has been a wonderful, guilt free one month of using cloth diapers-even during the night and while going out, so I thought I must share these things you must know about cloth diapers.
1. Cloth Diapers won't Leak!
This is something that amazes me, the kind of material used is polyester and PUL with a microfleece lining, which prevents the pee from leaking out. You can be at peace with yourself and make your child wear those beautiful clothes without worrying about stains or leaking
2. You Can Save a Lot
Shouldn't this be the number one reason? The price of a single disposable diaper will be somewhere between .7 AED to .8 AED and if your child uses 6 diapers a day, it is going to cost you anywhere between 1500-1700 AED per annum! My college fees in India was less than that ten years back! I bought six cloth diapers which costed me 150 AED. Buying that from a regular store would cost you a bit more, say 200 AED. Its been a month and six to eight cloth diapers are just enough, but you may want to buy more, and that is still a lot less expensive than the disposable ones.
3. Being Eco Friendly
An average child would use anywhere between 2000-3000 diapers in the first 18 months of its life. Think of the processes that would go into the making of disposable diapers- the raw material (trees, water), chemicals, fuel and transportation, the plastic packaging, the soiled diapers thrown into the landfills, isn't it just too much? We have to stand in front of our Lord for our actions- let us try to be a bit more responsible considering this:
"The Good Human, a website dedicated to discussing issues related to environmentalism, points out that more than 200,000 trees each year are lost to the manufacture of disposable diapers for babies in the U.S. alone. In addition, it takes 3.4 billion gallons of fuel oil every year to make diapers. What it comes down to is that disposable diapers use 20 times more raw materials, two times more water and three times more energy to make than cloth diapers" Source
4. Better for your Baby
Knowing that a lot of chemicals that would go into the making of a single use diaper, it is better we stay away from their use on the most sensitive areas of our babies body. Besides some reports that using diapers are particularly not good for boys and that it may cause infertility (I used them on my baby boy. May Allah protect him and all our children), one benefit that you can see is the less occurrence of diaper rashes among babies.
5. Difficulty in Washing and Drying
The most difficult part in using cloth diapers is of course scrubbing a dirty diaper. You can buy biodegradable liners like these , to save you that time, but remember it is still a bit expensive. The best way is to knock off the solids in the toilet, use some liquid soap and scrub it off immediately. If you find some traces of yellow colour, don't worry, drying out in the sun will make them vanish (but that's a breastfed baby poop). Trust me, it has just worked for me, and it will work for you as well, insha Allah
6. You will be Motivated to Start Potty Training Earlier
The fact that you have to wash and dry the cloth diapers will make you go for potty training as early as possible. Back home, babies are made to use the potties when they are just as old as four months. My mom would always proudly say that I was trained when I was one year old and most of the babies would do before they turn two. When I started using training pants for my son, I just could not go back to using reusable ones and I was determined that I would train him soon and it happened, Alhamdhulillah.
7. They Are Prettier
Yes, you can see them from the picture above. Isn't it cuter, to have those colourful things on your baby than those boring ones? Sometimes I get her to wear clothes that matches the colour of the diapers and it is really cute.
I just hope this post has at least made you rethink about using disposable diapers. As a starting point, just buy one or two at Babyshop or Lulu hypermarket and try that during the day time to see how it works. That will definitely change your mind, insha Allah :)