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In the last trimester of pregnancy we decided to buy reusable diapers. We were very concerned about the environmental issue, just thinking about the number of diapers we would throw away in the first year of our little girl's life made us tremble. It was too much! This was one of the advantages, but there are more. Do you want to know them?
Before deciding on reusable ones, we were looking at some options, such as bio diapers. Where we live in Mexico there is only one brand of biodegradable diapers. It seemed like a good option to us, although, being high-end diapers, a bit expensive. In addition, they are not 100% biodegradable, although almost completely, but if we used them we would continue to generate garbage. The reusable option seemed to us the most sustainable and, in the long term, the most economical. Today I tell you our experience with this type of diapers, from the humble opinion of a new mom.
First of all I think it is important to know what are reusable diapers. These are cloth diapers, like the ones our grandmothers used, but with resistant textiles and more functional designs. They are made up of two pieces, the diaper and the absorbents.
The first is in the shape of a normal diaper, shaped like a brief or brief, but it has the peculiarity that it can be adjusted in different sizes by means of brackets or buttons to adapt it to the size of the baby as it grows. In addition, this diaper has an outer fabric that is waterproof, but at the same time breathable, and an interior made of a super absorbent fabric, with the idea that the baby does not feel wet. The absorbents are inserted inside the diaper, to retain the liquids that the baby expels.
In the diaper model that we purchase, there are two types of absorbents, one made of microfiber that functions as the main absorbent, and another made of bamboo fiber, which is used together with the first when the baby is older and makes more amount of pee. This second absorbent allows excess pee not to come out of the diaper.
1. The first and main advantage that we should all take into account is caring for the environment
Although we waste water on washing, by using these cloth diapers, we generate less waste, we do not pollute with non-degradable disposable diapers and we contribute to a lower waste of water, since the industries that make sanitary products use many amounts of water, in addition to generate waste.
2. The second advantage that is important to me is that you take care of your baby's skin
If you wash and maintain them properly, your baby will not suffer from chafing or allergies and their skin will always remain in good condition thanks to the materials of these diapers allow perspiration. Imagine just for a moment wearing plastic clothes every day, surely you prefer to wear cotton clothes because it is more comfortable and your skin feels much fresher, right?
3. And the third advantage is the amount of money you save
At the beginning you need to make a considerable investment in diapers, as it is recommended to have 10 to 15 diapers per baby. However, if you add up the costs of what you will spend on diapers over several years, you will realize that it is a ridiculous amount compared to the expense on disposable diapers. Keep in mind that cloth diapers, being adjustable, will serve you throughout the time your baby wears diapers.
Of course, cloth diapers also have disadvantages. It is clear that the first is comfort. In today's society we are used to disposable products and that makes us much more comfortable. Cloth diapers can actually be machine washed, although it is true that a strict cleaning routine is necessary for them to be properly disinfected. Actually, once you get the hang of it, it's not that difficult or takes that long, believe me, washing diapers is not that bad!
Another disadvantage (although it depends a lot on how you look at it) is that require a commitment from mom and dad. And that commitment has to do with washing and drying (I will explain how to do it later). It is a compromise because we are so used to everything being easy and disposable, that it really takes a certain effort to keep diapers clean. Now, it is no greater effort than washing the clothes we wear every day.
For us it has not been a big problem to use this type of diapers, but I admit that it took a little longer to use them than we had thought, considering that we had bought them before our daughter was born.
It turns out that although these diapers are adjustable, they were a little too large for the little one. The manufacturers (we chose local ones) told us that we could start using them at 3 or 4 kilos in weight, but our little girl was too big when she reached this weight, she spread her legs and we didn't like that. For that reason, and because (we admit it) we were a bit lazy to start with the washing routine, we did not start using them until he weighed about 5 kg. Meanwhile, we use biodegradable disposable diapers. One day I decided to try them on to see if they fit and voilà, they were perfect.
We started using them during the day, so you still don't have much confidence in whether they will really absorb, and we used disposable diapers at night. Before long we also switched to reusable ones at night. Reusable diapers really absorb very well, although, like any diaper, they have a maximum useful life, that is, if your baby urinates a lot, there will come a time when he may feel wet (because it is difficult for the urine to come out since they are very absorbent).
Actually, if you change your baby every so often (according to your common sense) you should have no problems. It has never been exceeded to me, what has happened to me is that I have placed them incorrectly and a little poop has been able to come out during the exclusive breastfeeding time.
The fabric that stays in contact with the baby's skin is quick drying, but I admit that it may not be as fast as some disposable diapers. However, it's worth changing my little girl a little more often and polluting less. Also, You avoid exposing your baby's skin to the chemicals in some diapers.
Along with the diapers we buy a kind of bamboo paper towels that are used to collect the poop. The manufacturers told us that these wipes are actually used when the baby makes solid poop because you just pick it up and it can be flushed down as they are biodegradable.
I tried them when I was still exclusively breastfeeding and the truth is that they did not seem very useful at that time. What happens is that when it gets wet with the urine, the paper gets soaked and, therefore, the baby stays wet. I stopped using them for later, although the truth I have not used much. I have no problem with her popping her diaper. In order for diapers to truly last as long as they have to last, it is important to have a good washing and care routine.
What most people do is have a special diaper bottle to deposit dirty diapers, preferably if it has a perspiration hole. Ideally, you should separate the absorbents from the diaper before placing them in their canister. Once you have enough to run a washing machine with minimal water, you can wash them. This is every 2 days, maximum 3. Some people prefer to rinse the diaper every time they change it, let it air dry, and then run the washing machine when enough diapers are gathered. This will take much longer, but it is up to everyone. We do it the first way and I can assure you that the diapers are clean, since the materials from which they are made allow proper cleaning.
Before putting them in the washing machine, we do rinse them and remove the remains of poop with a brush. You might think it's a lot of work, but it won't take you more than 5 minutes to do it, really! We wash them in a full program with hot water and with biodegradable soap, although you can also wash it with a special soap for babies. It is important that you do not exceed the amount of soap that you use in the washing machine so that there are no remains adhered to the fabric (follow the instructions of your manufacturer). It is also important that you do not use oil-based soaps, as these are embedded in the pores of the fabric and would stop perspiring and absorbing well.
This option is optional, but we wash them every month or month and a half with a special soap to eliminate any type of bacteria, fungus or dirt. This soap is not biodegradable and is very powerful, so it is simply a sanitary measure that should be used sporadically, in addition to the fact that if you wash them often with this type of soaps you could damage the fabric. It is important that when you do this wash you test the diaper on your baby to see that it does not give him an allergy. If so, you should wash all your diapers again with the usual soap.
For drying you have two options. If you live in a dry and sunny climate, hanging them in the sun is a clean and eco-friendly way to dry them. You just have to keep in mind that it is preferable to avoid direct exposure to the area of the waterproof fabric. You should also be careful with the clothespins or clips, which must always be clean.
We live in a humid climate so most of the time we dry diapers in the dryer. Yes, they can be tumble dried, but on a gentle program. In addition, the diapers should not be left for more than 15 or 20 minutes, as the waterproof fabric could be damaged. Absorbents can be kept longer and at a higher temperature.
Maybe all this explanation can be a bit overwhelming, but really, once you get the hang of it and get into a washing routine, it's super easy and fast. It is actually a small effort that is a great help to the environment, so it is worth it. You sign up?
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