Until recently, all babies in this culture were diapered in cloth. It is just within the last 15 to 20 years that single-use diapers have appeared on the market. Now, many new parents have never even seen or felt a cloth diaper. Instead, they learn about diapering from prime time TV ads! Parents often express concern about using pins. . . about how to fold a cloth diaper . . . what kind of diaper to buy and how many . . . and how to wash them. I hope the following information will prove helpful.
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Cotton Diapers come in several shapes, sizes, styles and fabrics. What they all share in common is they all begin with 100% breathable, 100% soft cotton fabric. Cloth diapers permit your baby’s body to cool itself when heat builds up, since fresh air can circulate freely and moisture can evaporate (an important health concern!).
-TYPES OF FABRICS USED
- Terry is considered the most absorbent. Terry fluffs up and softens with washing and drying in laundry machines. It doesn’t shrink like flannelette, or break down as quickly. However, it is thick and bulky for double-diapering.
- Birdseye is tightly-woven fabric that is soft, absorbent and expensive to use. It is considered the most longest-wearing of all diaper fabrics.
- Gauze uses fuzzy, finely-spun, loosely-woven yarn to make a soft and absorbent diaper. Gauze is very comfortable to your baby’s skin, and its porosity allows air to circulate easily. It is the most light-weight fabric.
- Flannel is considered the softest to parent’s touch, and comfortable to baby’s skin. It is the most readily-available fabric, the most common fabric used in today’s diapers.
-STYLES OF DIAPERS AVAILABLE . . .
- Flat – A large rectangle or square of one thickness of flannelette, terry or gauze. A series of folds are needed to make this type of diaper fit your baby. But by folding them yourself, they become the most versatile. You can put the thickness where your baby needs it most. This is more time-consuming, but many parents like them better because they are the quickest to dry and the most economical!
- Prefolds – Rectangular-shaped diapers, with several layers of padding stitched down the centre for greater absorbency. They require little or no folding, and are the most common style provided by commercial diaper services. These are the easiest standard diaper to use with Velcro closing covers, or they may be fastened with pins, Di-D-Klips or a Snappy diaper fastener.
- Shaped – Generally hour-glass shaped which allows for an easy, comfortable fit around you baby’s bottom. Little or no folding is required and, since they fit perfectly in side a Velcro closing cover, they often require no pins or other fasteners.
- Fitted – Custom-designed to fit your baby like a pantie, with elastic at legs & waist, fastening with Velcro, snaps or ties. Similar in style and ease of use as a “disposable” diaper.
- All-in-One – Custom-fit diapers incorporating a waterproof outer cover with an absorbent inner layer of fabric – in one convenient, easy-to-use unit. They are generally fastened with Velcro or snaps. These are the easiest diaper to use, and often the most expensive. Because of their waterproof backing, they tend not to allow as good air circulation, clean as easily or dry as quickly as two-piece systems.
Final decision is yours, whatever suits for your baby’s baby and feels comfortable just go for it.