Diapers for Staying Clean and Dry

Diapers are one thing you’ll become very familiar with in your baby’s first few years. All diapers use an absorbent material to contain your baby’s waste, so it may seem like choosing which one to use will be easy. However, there are many types and brands, and that can overwhelm new parents. Understanding your options should help you make your decision.  

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The Right Diapers for Your Baby

The first thing you’ll notice is that diapers come in different sizes, accommodating children from newborn to those over 15 kilograms. Pick the size that corresponds to your baby’s weight, but keep in mind you may need to go up or down a size to ensure a snug waistband and a firm fit around the thighs, which helps to contain leaks.

When you’re stocking up before you bring baby home, you may need to make guesses, but it won’t take long before you learn their bathroom habits. If your baby is a heavy wetter or has frequent bowel movements, you may need a high-absorbency diaper. Also, look at how your baby responds to wearing the diaper. Some children with sensitive skin may find certain brands uncomfortable, possibly even leading to diaper rash. A change of brand may solve the problem, or you may want to look at diapers made from organic materials.

Finally, think about your own comfort. You’ll be changing your baby multiple times a day, so you want a diaper that’s easy to use for you as well as babysitters or grandparents and other family members.  

Cloth or Disposable?

Probably one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is whether to use cloth or disposable diapers. Each choice has advantages and disadvantages.

Disposable diapers are more convenient. They tend to be more absorbent than cloth, so you may not need to change them as often, and they can be easily thrown away once they’re dirty. You’ll pay less at the start when using disposable diapers, but they do cost more in the long run. Some babies may need to be changed up to 10 times a day, which means you could be going through 70 diapers a week.

Cloth diapers are seen as the eco-friendly choice because they don’t end up in the landfill, but some parents don’t like the inconvenience. You should know that modern cloth diapers are light years away from the sagging terry cloth squares you might be picturing. Most are shaped like disposable nappies to fit snugly. Designs include all-in-ones or options where inserts fit into a pocket or outer shell. They fasten around your baby’s waist with snap fasteners or Velcro.

Although the new designs are easier to use, cloth diapers still need to be cleaned. The number you need depends on how often you want to do laundry during the week, but plan on doing an extra two or three loads. As the heat of dryers can break down waterproof outer materials, these diapers must be hung on the line.

Although it costs more to buy the initial supply, with some parents buying up to 20, if properly cared for, a one-size-fits-most system can last your child until they’re in training pants. They may even be used for younger siblings.  

Tips for Changing Your Baby

Firstly, set up your changing station. It takes more than just diapers to successfully change your baby. Pick up a changing table and pad so that you have somewhere to change them, and stock your changing area with wipes and a diaper stacker full of spare diapers. You may also want to think about diaper liners, which allow you to easily pick up solid waste and flush it down the toilet. These are especially useful for use with cloth diapers.

When diapering your newborn, make sure you don’t cover their umbilical stub. You can buy special products that cut a notch out of the waistband, or you can fold down a regular diaper. Always change your baby as soon as the diaper is soiled to help keep their bottom healthy.

Once your baby is a little older, you may want to investigate overnight diapers. These are highly absorbent diapers that keep baby dry all night, helping everyone in the household get a good night’s sleep.




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