You are a new parent or a to-be parent. You have so much to armour yourself with. And in the midst of that, confusion crops up.

DIAPERS……….Which diapers to use? Cloth or Disposable? Tape style or Pant style?

So much to ponder upon…Right?

Don’t Worry! I am here to guide you to select the right diaper for your baby.

But before, let me share my experience (as a mother of a 5-year-old boy) with diapers.

which-is-better-cloth-or-disposable-diaper

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How I selected which diaper to use?

Though a doctor by profession, I too was puzzled with the selection of diapers. My mother-in-law advised me to use cloth diapers or the cloth nappies.

I quietly agreed, but was worried how I’ll handle when I step out with my infant for a paediatric visit. He used to pass urine every 15-20 minutes.

I tried an infant stick/diaper insert on the nappies. It’s a padded stick that can be stuck temporarily on the cloth diaper and claims to absorb the urine for quite a time period.

But please, don’t try that for infant boys as the urine leaks out from any direction.

My nights were getting hectic as I had to feed him every now and then, sometimes for long periods. Plus, I also had to get up to change his cloth diapers at short intervals.

After many sleepless nights, I decided to switch to the disposable diapers for night time; to provide myself few hours of peaceful sleep and it actually helped.

So during daytime I used to put on cloth diapers, and night was the time for the disposable ones. Additionally, I used disposable diapers when I had to step out for a couple of hours with my tot.

*TIP: Don’t suppose using a disposable diaper ends your responsibility for the night time. Many times frequency of urination in toddlers increases due to frequent feeds or cold weather. And the diaper may get full and leak earlier than expected. So, inspect the diaper at every few hours.


Now, coming back to where we started…..

Which Diaper is right for your baby? Cloth or Disposable?

folded-diapers-on-table

A disposable diaper contains an absorbent pad sandwiched between two sheets of fabric. The chemical crystals in the pad can hold about 800 times their weight of liquid and convert it into a gel form.

Benefits of disposable diapers:

  • Convenient to use
  • Better capacity to absorb liquid

Disadvantage:

  • Costlier than cloth diapers
  • Pose a hazard to the environment by clogging the landfills

On the other hand, cloth diapers are made up of absorbent fabrics like cotton, wool, terry, flannel and unbleached hemp. Organic cotton and eco-friendly bamboo are also being used to manufacture cloth diapers.

Gone are the days when cloth diapers and nappies were considered messy and time- consuming. Today cloth diapers and nappies are as easy to use as their disposable counterparts. Snap and Velcro closures, skin friendly fabrics, and flushable liners have revolutionized the cloth diapers.

Benefits of cloth diapers and nappies:

  • Re-usable
  • Easy to wash
  • Cost-effective
  • Environment-friendly

Disadvantage: Not something that I know of except that they require immediate changing to avoid nappy rash.

As a mother, I recommend putting cloth diapers during daytime or when you are awake and use disposable diapers only at night time or when you and the baby sleep for long hours together. Also disposable ones are convenient when you need to go out with your baby for a few hours.

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But then, what about the nappy rash…………

Considering the incidence of diaper rash, both the disposable and cloth diapers seem to have the same frequency.

However, it depends on how breathable is the fabric of the cloth diaper. If cloth diapers are immediately changed after a pour, they become a better option to control diaper/nappy rash as frequent changing gives more exposure to the skin of the nappy area.

But if you use disposable diapers all the time (especially for the babies kept in a daycare set up), you can avoid rashes by keeping a diaper-free time.


And there is one more perplexity.

Which one to use? Tape style or pant style?

Every mother has her own opinion on this. But in my experience I found Pant style diapers more convenient to put on and take off (especially in toddlers and grown up babies).

Moving on …….


How to chose the right diaper size for your baby?

diaper-pack-with-size-written

The brands label the size of the baby diapers according to a baby’s weight, beginning with the preemie and newborn and progressing to sizes 1 through 7 (and sometimes even 8).

Some stores and “eco-friendly” brands are simply marked small, medium, large, and extra large, and weight ranges are listed on the package.

To buy the right size of the diaper for your baby, check the weight range marked on the packet. The best diaper for your baby is one that meets the following criteria:

  • The waist is closely fitted with the diaper just under the baby’s belly button
  • The leg cuffs wrap around completely and neatly around his legs and bottom. Check if these leg wraps are completely pulled out without any gaps; presence of gaps might cause leakage from the diaper
  • The tapes on the diaper must be fastened symmetrically over the coloured waistband in front of the diaper

A diaper that fails to cover the baby’s bottom completely, leaves red marks over the waist and thighs or completely soaks through is not the right fit for your baby.

If your baby’s weight reaches the upper limit marked on the package, it’s time to move to the next big size of the current diaper.


How to wash or dispose the diapers?

how-to-dispose-diaper

If you are using any type of cloth diaper/nappy for your baby, you can wash it at home, use repeatedly, and save your expenses. Tips on washing the cloth diapers:

  1. Remove the waste over the diaper/nappy off into the toilet using the attached mini-shower. Then soak the diapers for few hours in a closed pail (bucket) with water and a pinch of bleach to remove the stains. Check the instructions on the package for the water temperature to be used.
  2. Use a mild detergent free from bleaching agents, fragrances, and enzymes to wash the diapers.
  3. Wash the diapers separately from another laundry. Rinse thoroughly 2-3 times after washing to ensure no trace of detergent is left on the diapers.
  4. If the diapers are getting hard, use a water conditioner. Never use a fabric softener after washing as it decreases the absorbing capacity of the diaper.
  5. Dry them in a dryer and expose to sunlight for complete drying.

In case disposable diapers seem convenient to you, remove the solid matter from it into a toilet, wrap the diaper tightly in a plastic bag and throw in your outdoor dustbin. Never throw away the diapers out of a garbage bin nor flush them in your toilet.

While travelling in planes, put the soiled diaper in an airsick bag, seal it, and dispose of in a lavatory trash.


How frequently should you change the diaper?

changing-baby-diaper

Usually, the babies pass urine 20 times a day for first few months of their life and have 7-8 bowel movements a day for few weeks.

If the child has sufficient covers over him, the wet diaper doesn’t feel cold, though some babies might be extra sensitive to the wet diaper. All the more, the acidic content of a bowel movement irritates the skin of the baby and makes him uncomfortable.

It is advisable to check after every 2-3 hours, especially after feeding the baby for any traces of urine or stools passed by him and change the diaper at such instance.

Tips on cleaning the baby and changing the diaper

Before you begin to change the baby’s diaper, be ready with all the required items so that you need not leave your baby unattended in the midst of changing his diaper. The items required are:

  • A clean diaper
  • Wet wipes or washcloth
  • Baby lotion
  • Baby powder

How to change the diaper?

  • Lay your baby down on his bed and remove his clothes.
  • Un-tape the soiled diaper but do not remove. In the case of male babies, place a spare diaper loosely on his penis. This way you can avoid any spraying of urine on your face until you are done changing his diaper.
  • Clean the diaper area gently with a wet wipe or a washcloth. With girls, wipe from front to back to prevent spreading any infection. Always wipe between skin folds as well.
  • Let the area become dry.
  • Open the clean diaper. Gently lift the legs of your baby, remove the soiled one and replace it with a clean one.
  • Apply any baby lotion or powder recommended by your paediatrician.
  • Pull the front of the diaper through your baby’s legs and with one hand gently hold it against his stomach.
  • With the other hand un-tape the diaper and secure it to his front. Ensure the waist of the diaper rests below the belly button.
  • To prevent the diaper from being too tight or too loose, make sure you are able to slide two fingers in the top front of the diaper.
  • Redress your baby as before.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after changing the diaper.

A cloth diaper is changed in a similar way as disposable ones; the only difference being the way you fold them.


Finally, which diaper is right for your baby?

That depends entirely on your circumstances, schedules, expenses, and what suits your baby best.

Weigh the pros and cons of cloth and disposable diapers and decide what best suits your situation.


Have any more questions related to baby diapers? Drop them in the comments and I will answer them.

Hope I solved your dilemma related to the baby diapers! If yes, share this post with other new mums in your network. Help them resolve their confusion too.


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Confused as to which diaper is right for your baby? Cloth or disposable? Find the tips to choose the right diaper for your baby here. #MomandMe #baby #babycare
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Dr Sonam Sharma

Hi. I am Dr Sonam Sharma, a mother to a 5-year-old boy and a practicing homeopathic medical professional. I am here to explain the role of the parents and homeopathy in child health and psychological development, and how you can achieve this with your child.

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