Nappies For The Future

Modern cloth nappies or also known as organic nappies, reusable nappies, cotton nappies or washable nappies are easy to handle, even easier to care for and very cute too. Modern cloth nappies are simply not old fashioned. When you consider that cloth nappies are also good for the environment just like biodegradable nappies, better for your wallet and (compared to disposables for the budget conscious) and are chemical free for the health of your baby.

Disposable nappies are quick and easy to change, light to carry, available wherever you go in the world and used nappies can simply be thrown away. Both reusable and disposable nappies have their own advantage and disadvantages. This article will help you compare how they can work for you, your baby and the environment.

Cloth or Disposable Nappies

Modern cloth nappy advantages:

  1. It can be folded in different ways to make sure they are a comfortable fit for your baby.
  2. Disposable nappies are more expensive than cloth nappies as they can be washed and re-used.
  3. Cloth nappies can be used again for other babies.
  4. No foul smelling disposables. Some brands of disposable nappies smell even when they are just wet.
  5. Cloth nappies are good for the environment as they do not end up in landfill.

Modern cloth nappy disadvantages:

  1. Cloth nappies can be kept soft and clean with careful washing, but they may become hard if this is not done carefully. A short time in a tumble dryer after drying nappies in the sun will soften them if needed. Drying them in the sun or a hot tumble dryer will also kill bacteria on the nappies.
  2. Fabric softeners when washing cloth nappies is not ideal. The nappies will not be able to absorb as much urine and the chemicals may irritate the skin.
  3. If cloth nappies are used with plastic pilchers they can lead to rashes because the skin stays wet. Using other covers may not be a problem.

Disposable nappy advantages:

  1. They are easy to put on and take off.
  2. Disposable nappies are certainly convenient, especially when both parents are working or when travelling. With disposables you just whip off the dirty diaper and pop it straight into the bin.
  3. Disposable nappies may help prevent nappy rash by drawing moisture away from the skin.

Disposable nappy disadvantages:

  1. Disposable nappies are not really that easy to dispose of, so they may be a saviour for busy mothers but there anything but for mother earth.
  2. This convenience comes at a cost. It is more expensive than cloth nappies.
  3. There is also a possible risk that harmful organisms found in the contents of the nappy can contaminate the water sources and cause infection.

Whichever type of nappy that you choose, scrape the poo off it before putting the nappy aside to wash, or before disposing of the nappy.

How can I avoid nappy rash

Best way to keep the baby’s bottom as rash-free as possible is to change nappies often so that urine and poo is not in contact with skin for too long. Wash the baby’s skin gently with water on a cloth. If using baby wipes, choose ones without alcohol to avoid stinging, especially when there is a rash present such as water wipes. After cleaning, a barrier cream or other nappy cream maybe used to keep wetness off of the skin. Make sure to leave the nappy off for a while during playtime to allow air dry the skin and if a baby has a nappy rash, it may be helpful to use disposable nappies which draw the urine away from the baby’s skin, keeping it dry.

It is very easy for thrush to grow in the nappy area once the skin has become red and damaged. This will show as a very red area with spots around it. Special creams are available which clear this type of rash quickly, so see the baby’s doctor or child health nurse if the nappy rash doesn’t clear in a day or so.

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