Mayflies have a lifespan of 24 hours. Diapers have less than that. Sure, nappies are not living beings, but it is also a fact that we change them so often in a day. All of the disposed diapers, then, end up in rubbish heaps and pollute the earth. Lately, however, there is an uproar among new parents - eco-friendly diapers. Since this is a relatively new but popular concept, there are many choices, and new moms don't know how to choose among them. That is why we have the ultimate guide to choosing the right, environmentally friendly diapers for your baby.
Why choose eco-friendly diapers?
Aside from the obvious environmental factors, here are some quick facts that will convince you to buy biodegradable diapers:
- By the time your baby clocks one year, you will have changed and disposed of about 4,500 diapers.
- Since eco-friendly diapers are reusable, you save more money on cloth nappies over time.
- Disposable diapers often have volatile organic compounds that can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation.
- Regular diapers may cause rashes, and the chemicals in them can cause allergic reactions in babies.
What are my eco-friendly diaper options?
- Eco-friendly disposable diapers: Aside from the regular disposable diapers, there are some eco-friendly options. These are free from latex, fragrance, chemicals, and petroleum products. Some of these environmentally friendly diapers may even be biodegradable or include layers that are.
- Cloth diapers: Cloth diapers are one of the most organic diapers there are. Indian moms have been using them (a rudimentary version) before disposable diapers came to the fore. As such, when it comes to cloth varieties, there are a few options to choose from for new moms.
- Prefold diapers: These green diapers are similar to the ones your grandmothers may have used. They are rectangular cloth pieces and require some practice to get it right. You will also need some accessories like snaps or pins and waterproof diaper covers.
- Contoured cloth diapers: These are similar to pre-fold ones in terms of needing separate snaps and diaper covers. However, they have an hourglass shape, which allows these diapers to fit your baby's bum better.
- Fitted cloth diapers: These organic diapers resemble the disposable ones with the in-built snaps, hooks, or velcros to fasten them. However, you will still need a diaper cover to prevent leaks.
- All-in-one cloth diapers: These are all-rounder biodegradable diapers. Similar to disposable diapers, they have in-built snaps or hooks and come with a waterproof outer covering that prevents leaks. All-in-one diapers also have a removable absorbent pad that you can flush or wash.
- Pocket diapers: Pocket diapers are still full-cloth ones. They have waterproof covers with an inner lining and a pocket. This pocket holds the cloth diaper or insert, which can be disposable, washable, or flushable.
- Hybrid diapers: Hybrid diapers are similar to pocket diapers. The Eco Friendly Diapers have waterproof covers like pocket varieties. What differs is that the diaper insert in this variety is in direct contact with your baby's skin. This allows you to remove the insert and not the whole diaper, which saves time and effort when diapering. Moreover, since a separate layer protects the outer cover, they dry faster. Several eco-friendly diaper brands like Bdiapers sell hybrid varieties for the utmost convenience.
What to consider when buying diapers?
When buying environmentally friendly diapers, you will need to ask these very important questions as a new mom. The answers to these will help you choose the right brand and type of diaper you choose.
- How absorbent is the diaper?
When we go outside, we need diapers that are absorbent and reliable. As such, the first thing to check out is the absorption levels of the diaper. Ideally, you need a nappy that keeps wetness away from your baby's skin to prevent any rash or chafing.
The next thing you would want to look into is the green diapers' convenience. How much time do you have to diaper your baby on average? How long does this diaper take to attach properly? Does it require additional snaps or covers? Will it be easy for your nanny to diaper it? How hard are the fasteners to use? Your response to these issues will help you choose a diaper.
- Is the diaper comfortable?
Whether you are buying disposable or biodegradable diapers, comfort should be the most crucial factor. The diaper should be comfortable for both you and your baby. Ideally, diapers should prevent leaks, which elastic around legs can achieve.
What else do I need with the diapers?
When using green diapers, you will need to stock up on the following accessories for the utmost convenience:
- Diaper covers: If you are choosing the cloth nappy varieties without the in-built covers, you will need to have waterproof diaper covers handy.
- Cloth doublers: Doublers are inserts that you can use to provide extra protection to the diaper. You can use them regardless of which organic diapers you choose.
- Liners: This one goes without saying. When using green diapers with inserts, you need to stock up on the liners. Investing in washable ones will save you money on frequent diaper purchases.
- Cloth diaper pail: Regardless of the diaper you use, you need a pail to throw the used liners and covers. Make sure to choose one with tighter lids.
- Liner for the pail: Pro-tip for new moms: use waterproof liners for the diaper pail. It will make it more manageable for you to carry the dirty nappies. Bonus points if you get washable liners.
- Fasteners: Unless you are going for all-in-one or hybrid natural diapers, you need fasteners - a lot of them. Stock up on the fastener variety that is easy for you to use.
- Diaper detergent: Cloth diaper detergent is important when using green diapers. Choose the ones that are eco-friendly and safe for your baby's sensitive skin.
Disposable diapers may be convenient. However, they do not offer the safety that natural diapers provide. Being chemical free and safe for the environment, you get the satisfaction of taking care of nature and your baby by using them.