You first choice in diapers is between disposable and fabric types. Most parents now opt for disposable, but a greater consciousness of environment issues has led many parents to reconsider the virtues of fabric diapers, which creates less waste. Yet the issue is not clear cut: the detergents required to clean fabric diapers can be viewed as pollutants to the water supply, and the energy required to wash them might also be regarded as wasteful. While fabric diapers work out cheaper than disposables in the long run, you need to consider the increased electricity bills for frequent washing machine runs and the cost of your time. This much is clear: providing that you change the diaper as frequently as us necessary and that you observe the basic rules of hygiene, your baby will be happy whichever type you choose.
Disposable diapers make diaper changing as simple as it can be. They’re easy to put on- no folding, no pins, mo plastic pants- and can be discarded when they are wet or dirty. Disposables are convenient when you are traveling, since you need fewer of them and less space to change in; and you don’t have to carry home wet, smelly diapers to be washed. You’ll need a constant supply, so buy them in large batches once a week to avoid carrying huge loads with your daily shopping. Some stores will deliver diapers.
Never flush disposable diapers down the toilet since they inevitably get stuck at the S-bend. Instead, put the dirty diaper in a strong plastic bag, and make sure the bag is firmly secured at the neck before you throw it out.
Although fabric diapers are initially more expensive than disposables, they work out cheaper in the long run. Fabric diapers involve much more work than disposables because they have to be rinsed, sterilized, washed, and dried after use. You’ll need a minimum of 24 diapers to ensure that you always have enough clean ones, but the more diapers you can buy the less often you’ll have to do the washing. When buying fabric diapers, choose the best quality that you can afford. They’ll last longer and so be better value in the long run. Another advantage is that they’ll be more absorbent, and therefore more comfortable for your baby.
You can fold towelling diaper squares in several different ways, depending on your baby’s size and needs. They are very absorbent, so they are good for using at night, even if you have opted for disposables during the day.
Shaped towelling diapers are T-shaped, and have a triple-layered panel in the center for extra absorbency. Their shape makes them more straightforward to put on, and they fit the baby more neatly.
If you are using fabric diapers, you’ll need diaper liners to go with them. Choose the one-way variety: these let urine pass through but remain dry next to the baby’s skin, minimizing the risk of a sore bottom caused by friction or moisture. Liners prevent the diaper itself from becoming badly soiled; they can be lifted out with any feces and simply flushed away. You will also need at least 12 special diaper pins and six pairs of plastic pants to prevent wet or dirty diapers from soiling the baby’s clothes or bedding.
There is also a type of fabric diaper on the market that offers all the features and convenience of disposables but is machine washable. It is made of several layers of absorbent fabric, shaped to fit, with an anti-leak outer layer, and has secure Velcro closing tabs and elasticized legs.
A girl tends to wet the diaper at the center, or toward the back if she is lying down.
¨ Disposable daytime and night time diapers are designed differently to take account of where a baby wets the diaper, with the padding thickest in the place it is needed most.
¨ You may like to buy frilly or decorative pants to cover fabric diapers; these look pretty under a dress for a special occasion.
A boy tends to wet the front of the diaper. Boy’s disposables are designed to allow for this, with extra padding toward the front of the diaper.
¨ Fold fabric diapers so that more of the fabric is at the front, particularly at night.
¨ Boys often urinate when they are being changed, so cover the penis with several tissues or a spare clean diaper as you take off the dirty one.
¨ Always tuck the penis down when putting on a clean diaper to avoid urine escaping from the top of the diaper.