Myths about Cloth Diapering

Eat, sleep and poo -- this is all your new baby will do for the first 3 months or so. You will find these are the 3 issues that new parents are most passionate about. There have always been debates about these 3 issues - eating (breastmilk or formula?), sleeping (cry it out or nurse/cuddle to sleep?), diapering (cloth or disposable?)

The debate about diapering has always interested me -- full as they are with myths about cloth diapers. Here are some cloth diapering facts I thought you should know, just so that you can sift myths from facts :-)


MYTH: Cloth diapers are time consuming to put on a baby

FACT: Back in our mothers' time, this could have some truth in it due to the amount of complicated folding manouvres you have to master to cloth diaper your baby.

Have you seen the modern cloth diapers lately ?

They're as easy as disposables to wear; they are now "snap and go". I'd say that the only difference between a cloth diaper change and a disposable diaper change now is that with cloth you toss the used diaper in the washing machine instead of the rubbish bin. As far as the baby is concerned, you still have to clean her up the same way whether she uses cloth or disposable diapers.

MYTH: Cloth diapers are time consuming to wash.

FACT: Not really. I realised that it's the poo-ey diapers that most new moms are squeamish about. If you use nappy liners, it'd take away up to 80-90% of the cleaning up work. I would just spray off the rest of the poo into the toilet bowl and dump the soiled diaper into my diaper pail awaiting its turn to be washed. I normally machine wash my baby's diapers every 2 days.

For our family, it just takes 3-4 extra laundry loads per week. Very manageable!

MYTH: Cloth diapers are expensive

FACT: The upfront cost of cloth diapering does appear daunting, doesn't it ? No doubt, investing a hundred or so dollars up front in cloth diapers is more expensive than buying a pack of disposables for $15 - $25. But just think how quickly those $15 - $25 will add up. The average baby is likely to need a new pack of disposables every 2 weeks. Click on this page to do the maths.

Myths : Cloth diapers cause diaper rash

Fact : Studies completed in recent years have actually showed just the opposite. Diaper rash is caused by many factors, not simply by the skin being wet. In fact, babies who wear disposable diapers, because the diapers feel super dry to the touch even when they have been urinated in, are usually changed less frequently than babies in cloth diapers. This actually results in more diaper rash for those babies in disposable diapers.

Cloth diapers have no chemical in it. This surely has to be healthier for the baby's skin ? If your baby's rashes still persist even after switching to cloth diapers, detergent or other residues may be to blame.


Combat this by filling your fabric softener dispenser with inexpensive white vinegar. If your washer doesn't have one built in, a ball shaped fabric softener dispenser from the supermarket works just as well. An extra cold water rinse helps, too. Also, avoid chlorine bleach. It shortens the diaper's usable life, is tough to rinse, and can harm the environment.

A second factor is breathability. In the past, diaper covers made with rubber and vinyl were popular, but today our choices include PUL (polyurethane laminate), wool, and others. Make sure to change your baby before the diaper gets completely wet and as soon as you know he has had a bowel movement.

Myths : Fathers don’t change cloth diapers

Fact : Most fathers I know don’t relish the idea of changing diapers – any type of diaper. (In fact many moms don't look forward to nappy changing time either – except some cloth diapering moms. Some of today’s diapers are so cute; it does make diaper changing time fun!) But it’s simply not true that fathers do not change cloth diapers. If they can change a disposable, they can change a cloth diaper. Most reluctant fathers simply need encouragement, and for their wives to stop hovering and giving advice ;-)

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