Why cloth diapers?
The first years of life of our babies, require many diaper changes. If we use disposable diapers, we invest a lot of money, but with cloth diapers we only need to make an initial investment. As long as they take care of themselves, they can be used again and again, even by the brothers.
Nowadays there is a great variety of models, with drawings, smooth, colored … You can choose the one you like best, combine with the clothes, leave them simply with the diaper when it is hot. When they become a little older they can choose their own ones.
Cloth diapers haven’t harmful chemical compounds. Many disposable diapers release substances toxic to health (ethylbenzene, xylene and dipentene, among others). They allow air circulation, so the skin can perspire, which ends up avoiding chafing and allergies. The ammonia concentrate produced in the urine and fecal matter are responsible for other types of allergies.
The pulp that is used to make a disposable diaper is bleached with chlorine, which produces dioxins, which can cause immunotoxic effects, liver damage, skin problems, changes in endocrine regulation and vitamin C decrease. Babies learn faster to go to the bathroom, since they learn before to differentiate between wet and dry.
Ecology and Sustainability
The use of cloth diapers, helps the environment, since they can be washed and reused. Disposable diapers need tons of trees and petroleum compounds to make them in addition to the consumption of energy and water. In addition, for nature to degrade disposable diapers it is necessary to spend 500 years.
Natural fibers increase their absorbency as their use increases, and with it the washes. You will notice that they are at the top of their absorbency around the fifth wash. That happens with bamboo and cotton, for example. Hemp is a separate case, and unless the manufacturer indicates that their products are prewashed, they should be washed apart from the other diapers at least five times with their corresponding dried. The reason is that this vegetable fiber contains natural oils that do not finish leaving the tissue until after the first five uses. If washed with other diapers, the oils released by the hemp are fixed in the polar linings of the refillable diapers, which is a cause of leakage.
The intermediate drying should not be ignored, as it allows the fabric to acquire a good mechanical behavior and its fibers to sponge and prepare to absorb correctly. Without intermediate drying, the process lengthens twice as long.
If you want to use a natural fiber diaper from the first day you can do it, but keep in mind that you can suffer leaks, which will end when the fibers are fully prepared.
No, putting half a cup of white vinegar coffee in the softener box, we can reduce the hardness of the water and make the rinsing more effective. Or that the washing is more effective, if the vinegar is added in the drum of the washing machine at the beginning of the washing program. But more can affect sensitive tissues, such as bamboo. So prudence in its use must be imposed and not make it a continuous resource, but occasional use, if it is synthetic fiber diapers or bamboo.
In a bucket with a lid, in the bathroom or in the vicinity of the washing machine, if it is more comfortable for you.
It isn’t necessary to store them in water, because some fibers or fabrics suffer discolorations, odors or deterioration due to soaking. Fewer and fewer manufacturers recommend water storage, preferring to indicate a light rinse with water and then drain it to store it in the bucket.
You must separate the insertable from the refillable diapers, since it isn’t convenient to wash everything together.
Well, there are several options: washing nuts, which generate absolutely biodegradable waste as it is a vegetable product; detergents, which can be conventional as well as organic. In these last two cases, those who do not have perfumes, nor color protectors, nor enzymes, nor zeolites, nor natural soap should be chosen. The ones that work best are the liquids; if we talk about concrete brands Klar or Sonnett are effective options. Currently some brands such as Rockin Green offer us specific products for cleaning and treating diapers.
It is recommended that the diapers be washed with the least effective amount of detergent possible, which is usually one third of the minimum recommended dose for soft water. This dose is equally effective even in hard water if the lime of the water is properly counteracted. If you have trouble getting to the first with the right amount, go reducing until you see that when washing little foam comes out of the diapers while they are washing.
Never use softener or fatty products for the care of clothes -like traditional soap-, since the greasy molecules are fixed in the fabric and hinder the absorption of the liquid, with the logical risk that you suffer leaks, especially in refillable diapers or with inner fleece lining (polyester). In traditional gauze diapers, or cotton diapers do not usually have problems, and in case you need to use them in other diapers, for example in the case of spot spots, always do it in minimum quantity and clarifying very well later.
Use a long program – but without prewash – that allows you to include an extra rinse; This is very important, as any soap or ammonia can irritate the delicate skin of the baby.
It is important to verify if we are in a hard or soft water zone, to properly dose the detergent, adjust the minimum effective temperature of the water or use a product that allows us to reduce the hardness of the water and its effects on the tissues. For this, it will be enough to go to the municipal water company and request a report on the water qualities in the municipality. Normally, it is provided free of charge and without problems to any subscriber who requests it.
The hardness of the water consists of the presence of carbonates or mineral sulfates, which tend to adhere to the tissues, hardening them and making them more scratchy.
The presence of these compounds in water can be counteracted by the use of complementary products to the usual washing products. Water softeners or common wine vinegar are the most common, and are added either at the beginning of the wash, to help the detergent work well, or at the end -in the last rinse- to remove traces of soap and lime that could have been get in the diaper.
If you live in an area of hard water, you will be interested to know that some natural fibers, such as bamboo or organic cotton, remain softer than others with the passage of washed in hard water. The refillable diapers are also an excellent option, although you will notice the hemp inserts very stiff after drying.
The type of fabric also influences: the “terry” (or towel-type terry) fabric is very prone to attract the mineral sulfates, which get caught in the curls that form the fabric (which, on the other hand, makes it a very absorbing and therefore, very appreciated in the world of diapers). Flannel and velvet are much better resistant to washing with hard water, which keeps them soft after a long time of use.
You can use liners – there are two types, washable fine fleece or disposable cellulose – to make it easier to remove the poop or, when it comes to breastfeeding poop, pass the diaper under the shower jet to remove the higher. There are people who prefer to use an old brush designed only for this purpose to remove what does not come out with the shower jet.