A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Cloth Diapers
Are you trying to venture into the world of modern cloth diapers (MCDs) and finding yourself in a bewildering world of acronyms? I have a PhD, you scream, and still find it difficult to understand these passionate discussions about fabric, lining and timing!
Forget your worries as Goli Soda comes to the rescue of the conscientious but frazzled parent. Here is all the information you need to get started on your eco-friendly bum journey.
MCDs have come a long way from the cloth nappies that were used 20-25 years ago. These diapers look a little like disposables, and avoid messes and spills, which is especially useful on mattresses and on carpeted floors. However, unlike disposables, MCDs can be washed and reused. With proper care, you can even resell them once your child is potty trained. You will also save an enormous amount of money by avoiding disposables altogether.
The gateway MCD for most people is an all-in-one diaper, also known as an AIO. AIOs are the closest to disposables because they are easy to use. You snap them on and toss them in the laundry when they are wet or soiled. Additionally, they come with a one-size-fits-all version. The same diaper will fit a newborn as well as an active toddler. Buy a couple and see how you like them. These are usually steady reliables in any cloth diapering parent’s arsenal.
However, before you try other types of MCDs, it is useful to deconstruct an AIO, since all other modern cloth diapers are essentially variants of this basic format.
Every AIO has three parts
1.An outer waterproof layer, usually with pretty prints or cute words: This is the image you will see when you are shopping for MCDs. These are also the images that turn up on the Instagram feeds of proud cloth diapering mammas. For stylish little bottoms, there are diapers in denim print and, in one amazing case, the print was a reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Nights.
The waterproofing is often made of a synthetic polyurethane layer (PUL). Sometimes it is made of wool.
2.The inner most stay-dry layer: This is the layer closest to the baby’s skin and is made of a quick-drying material such as suede, fleece or microfleece. Though these aren’t very absorbent, they can effectively wick the moisture away and leave your child feeling dry for a relatively long period.
On the downside, if you don’t notice your child pooping, and she is a laid-back sort of person, you are going to have a perfectly unenviable job of removing dried out… ahem.
3.The middle absorbent layers: In an AIO, you cannot see these layers since they are stitched into the diaper itself. They are made of materials that can absorb a lot of liquid such as cotton, bamboo cotton, hemp or microfibre.
For instance, hemp has the maximum capacity to absorb fluid, and so it is often a part of night diapering solutions.
As you get more comfortable with caring for and using cloth diapers, you can graduate to the more fiddly versions like pocket diapers or pre-folds that can be customised to fit your family’s requirements. You could add more absorbent layers or lose the waterproofing depending on your child’s activity level and toilet training schedule.
In the next segment, we will consider other types of MCDs and accessories such as pocket diapers, inserts, diaper covers, and wet bags.
Meanwhile, tell us about your cloth-diapering journey! How did you and your little one navigate the wonderful world of eco-friendly tushy?