One of the most important aspects of parenting is to keep an open mind, and understand that different parents do things differently than you. And something that is gaining popularity, but not something I have (as yet) considered for myself is cloth diapering.
I realized there are many mommies like me, who probably are not quite comfortable with the thought of it, but there are also many who swear by it. So, I got talking to the founder of the Cloth Diapering Doha FB support group, Ivory Llamas-Macatangay, a mom of a one year old, with another on the way, to find out more, and dispel myths related to it.
“My number one reason for choosing reusable ones is that it is gentle to the baby’s skin. My son never had rashes with these,” said Ivory. “It is also economical when you compare it conventional nappies. A cloth nappy, when well taken care of, can last you for years while a disposable one is good for single use only. My nappies are still in great condition that my second baby can still use it. Talk about good investment. Third, those cute prints are really hard to pass up. You just get hooked on collecting more prints! Using cloth diapers is also environment friendly as opposed to using disposable diapers.”
There are several system (and prints!) to choose from, depending on your budget and your preferred washing routine. There are several kinds of cloth nappies ranging from all in ones, all in twos, pockets, hybrids and pre-folds. You have several options for inserts such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, microfiber, or Zorb and they differ on absorbency, stain-resistance and drying time.
“Personally I have only tried one kind of cloth nappy, which is the pocket ones. Because these items are hard to come by here in Doha, I purchased mine online after a bit of research and luckily, I felt that the pocket diaper system works well for me. It consists of a waterproof cover that has a “stay-dry” polyester lining that acts as a pocket between the lining and the cover. This allows you to insert absorbent “inserts” or pre-folds into the pocket. The choice of insert fabric depends on what feature you go for, so I guess it depends on your diapering system (washing/drying/prep routine).”
Ivory explained that the most fun part of cloth diapering is the shopping part – picking the fun patterns. The other side is that it is a commitment. “Toughest would be maintenance and committing to the routine of rinsing, washing, drying, folding, and occasionally, strip washing them. It is difficult to get your husband to get in the routine with you, especially if that routine includes rinsing poop from the cloth. But in the long run, calculating the savings you get from all the cloth nappying, I could say it’s worth it.”
Her advice to new moms who might want to give cloth diapering a try is to get feedback from other mums who have tried it before so that “you’ll know what you’re in for. Once you have finally decided, do some research on which system will work for you. There are several options to choose from, you may want to try one first before investing in bulk purchases. Take into consideration things like water/electricity/time consumption, washing routine, will you or your husband be willing to take part in it?
According to mamanatural.com, one must buy atleast half a dozen cloth diapers to start with. Newborns, on average, use 10-12 diapers per day, infants use 8-10, and older babies and toddler use 6-8 diapers each day. The website also recommends using cloth wipes, rather than disposable wet wipes.
And the thing is, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can start using to see how you feel about it; or you can even do it part time, and use disposable diapers while travelling or sleeping. For more information and support, the Doha FB support group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/clothdiaperingindoha/
Do drop us a line and let me know how it goes if you try it 🙂