Disposable or Reusable Diapers?

Reusable cloth diapers

Initially the outlay for reusable diapers can seem more expensive but actually they cost less that the accumulative cost of disposables over two to three years. Reusable diapers are also kinder to the environment even though you have to wash them. They can be used for further children and they make a big impact on your weekly spend.

There are the traditional terry towelling squares which you pin and clip or there are modern reusable diapers which are pre-shaped and have built-in fastenings. When it comes to drying, the terry towel style diapers obviously take less time as they open up. The modern style is pre-shaped and bulkier so take longer to dry. It is a good idea to put waterproof pants over the diapers to help prevent leakages.

Disposable diapers

These are convenient and are used by most parents today as there is no washing and drying. Brands are always in competition with each other, improving and redesigning to enhance how they fit and their absorbency levels. Parents who usually use reusable diapers often switch to disposables when they are away from home because of their convenience. Also some parents switch between re-usables during the days and disposables in the night.

Changing diapers

It is advised as an approximate guide, to change your baby’s diaper as often as you feed him. Small feeds that are happening often do not always need a diaper change. Changing diapers is important to protect your baby’s skin. When the diaper is soiled with urine or faeces leaving it can make baby’s bottom red and sore.

How to change your baby

  • Lay your baby on his back on a clean, safe and warm surface making sure he will not roll off and hurt himself
  • Put the used diaper out of reach
  • Gently wipe your baby’s bottom using a baby wipe, or warm water with cloth or cotton wool
  • Dry the area although this is not necessary with wipes
  • Lift your baby’s legs up and place the clean diaper underneath his bottom
  • With disposables, the edge with the tapes should be at the top about level with your baby’s waist, and the absorbent side of the diaper should go against his skin
  • If you’re using a reusable cloth style diaper, the widest part should go under your baby’s waist
  • Bring the bottom edge of the diaper up between your baby’s legs
  • Adjusting how the diaper fits, stick the tapes on the underneath side to the front of the diaper or use grips or pins to fasten a cloth diaper
  • Baby barrier cream helps prevent diaper rash

If you’re not sure which type of diaper to use, speak to other parents. Bear in mind that reusable diapers will require an area where they can be soaked in closed buckets. Try before you buy! There are some brands which will offer some diapers for you to trial for free. You can have the best of both worlds and use both reusable and disposable diapers depending on where you are and what you are doing.

Try not to see diaper changes as a drag but instead see it as an opportunity for bonding using eye contact and chats with your baby, as well as maintaining his essential cleanliness and well being.

By Eirian Hallinan