This is for you TGND, I have been planning forever to do a detailed post, but never getting enough time. I saw your comment asking me about them, so here I go, not so much in detail but a good start in any case.
In simple words Modern cloth diapers lies somewhere in middle of the age-old cloth nappies in Indian households aka langots and disposables like pampers, huggies etc. Only so much better than both of them.
Unlike langot it can hold multiple pees from one to many hours depending upon the variant of diaper and insert (absorbent) you are using and on the baby how frequent or heavy wetter he is.
And unlike disposables it’s environment friendly, reusable and washable diaper. Also quite economical in the long run. And mostly bum friendly that is doesn’t cause rashes like disposable do.
The most common cloth diapers are shaped like a disposable with a snap button system to adjust to various sizes and have an opening on rear end/ pocket to put the insert. Insert are of various types both material wise and absorbency wise. The layer which touches babies bottom is mostly stay dry and outer layer is water proof.
There are hundreds of awesome blogs sharing all about them, what are they, types of CDs, reviews etc, so I am not going to do that. I will be sharing my experience of using them.
Langots vs Cloth diapers
Honestly there is no match to our traditional langots considering you change the baby every time he gets wet, and somehow I feel you are more aware of his needs.
Nothing like soft cotton touching the baby’s sensitive skin. I am completely in favour of using soft cotton langots in the initial few weeks.
Also even the new born cloth diapers looks bulky on our tiny babies.
But this is also true that it gets quite overwhelming for a new first time mom. The frequency with which the babies pee during that time, no one prepares you for that during the pregnancy. And mostly you are responsible for the whole nappy change business. At some point it does seem that your life revolves in a loop of feeding and changing the nappy. Not just nappy but the receiving cloth/bedsheets and sometimes your cloths as well.
Bunny was sensitive to wet, and would wake up / cry every time he would get wet.
And for the same reason I switched to disposable diapers for few days in the first fifteen days only, and the rashes it caused fills me with guilt even today.
Alternatives – if I would have known about the cloth diapers earlier
When you enter the world of cloth diapers you realise it’s not only putting a cloth diaper on the baby. It’s also about choosing natural options above disposables as much as possible.
So there are new born waterproof covers available in the market which can be put upon your regular nappies. Saving you from the hustle of carrying the baby always with hundreds of layers beneath him.
Then there are various options of putting up flats (rectangular piece of nappy) into different origami folds suitable for different needs. Google origami flat folds, you will be surprised with all the options available. And also not to forget DIY a options, bringing old cotton sarees, tshirts in better use.
PAST THE NEWBORN
So once the baby crosses the initial two three months, it’s difficult to keep him at one place, so all the water proof plastic sheets to hold the baby, or which are spread on bed/cot doesn’t remain much useful.
Not only difficult, keeping him at one place seems a little unfair to me. Even without the cloth diapers I don’t mind Bunny wetting our furniture or our bedding, honestly. Just hygiene becomes another issue in this way.
I started using exclusive cloth diapers during day time in the same period. In Fact in his fifth month which coincided with winters. Needless to say it turned out to be one of best decision in my motherhood journey. Few reasons:
– he became a free bird, was free to move anywhere safe and wasn’t confined to space.
– the place where we were staying was extremely cold. So he would cry every time he needed a change. Also he has always been a frequent wetter but the pee count increased tremendously in winters, so CDs became very useful.
– we started taking him out quite frequently for shorter durations, and using disposables for every outing seemed really waste of money to me.
DISPOSABLES vs CLOTH DIAPERS
No comparisons, better in every aspect. Environment friendly. Pocket friendly. Baby friendly.
But I have to confess I still use disposables during night because I am still exploring nighttime cloth diaper solution. And unfortunately I can’t compromise both mine and Bunny’s sleep in changing diaper in the night. But as summers are approaching and Bunny is sleeping better I think in a week or two I will be able to switch to cloth diapers completely
Also if the travel is of more than two days, and washing is not an option. Reason I don’t own so many CDs. And I don’t like the idea of keeping unwashed diapers with me.
Good Disposables do hold pee for more hours than any regular cloth diaper but then whatever the quality of disposable is or whatever the company claims you should change even disposables quite often.
Also cloth diapers look bulky on small babies, at least the basic ones. There are variants available which are more trim in fit but costs a bomb. I don’t own any so not sure if they are worth it or not.
But if not for any other reason than the prints. CDs are so so cute unlike the boring same disposable.
Word of caution
It’s a whole new world, the more you read it, use it more addicted you become.
It’s exciting but also a bit more hardwork in keeping them clean, requires a bit careful washing, sometimes different detergents.
And when we say water proof there may be instances of leaks in cloth diapers due to various reasons.
The bulk some times gets a lot of criticism from skeptical grannys.
It may seem expensive but believe me turns out much cheaper, I have seen the effect in just two months of using them.
If in the initial months your baby poops after almost very feed, like mine did. flats with covers would be better option for you than pocket diapers.
My two cents
If you are on disposable 24*7, switch to cloth diapers immediately.
If you are okay with managing langots or practice EC, still do keep some cloth diapers handy for outings or when you have guests at home and all such instances when your hand reaches out for disposables.
Even today it’s not easily available with any of the retail baby outlets. But there are various options available online. Most sites with baby products keep them. They might range from 200/piece to 2000/piece.
Also there are some other cd companies which ships them to India like Alvababy, sun baby if you are looking for better deals and buying in bulk.
I would suggest trying a couple of reasonably priced options and see how do you like it.
I bought mine from Indian vendors basically all are mom entrepreneurs. Not just it saves me from the hassle of importing them but has given me the much needed guidance and customer service.
Leaving you with the link of the awesomely managed Indian Cloth diaper group on FB with very helpful admins, and a great peer group support for all your queries and worries regarding cloth diapers. If you happen to join pleas read the files section which is under the group’s name on tab/laptop. It will have most of the answers already.
Again can’t end without thanking the kind soul who dropped on this blog and introduced me to a whole new world :).