Traditional Cloth Diapers vs Baby Diaper Rash
Created by Pallavi Utagi Updated on Jan 11, 2020
An age-old debate on tackling baby diaper rash is the issue of using traditional cloth diapers vs disposable diapers. Disposable diapers do a great job of keeping your baby's skin dry because they're super absorbent. But mothers also tend to change these less frequently than every 2-3 hours (as recommended by doctors). On the other hand, each cloth diaper can be reused hundreds of times, leading to more frequent changes and a way to keep skin dry and rash free. When this grandmother made sure her grandson was only using 'langots' since they were better for the baby, the mother was at her wits end: No sleep, plus the cloth would have to be changed innumerable times.
Cloth vs Disposable Diapers - A Mother's Perspective
This story goes back in time to when I first saw an advertisement for a disposable diaper. Then, I was at a life-stage where I did not give the advertisement a second glance. Not even for the extremely cute baby bum they showed. Okay, maybe the bum did catch my attention. But beyond that, no thought. Little did I know that a few years down the line, diapers and potty management would become a key aspect of my life.
When my son was born, like millions of Indian babies, the first diaper that he wore was a traditional triangular ‘langot’. These, my mother said, were best for a newborn baby’s skin. Yes, they would have to be changed at the rate of innumerable times per hour, yet they were the best option for his delicate skin. Putting him into the ‘plasticky’ disposable diapers, though very tempting after 2 sleepless nights, was out of question. Good Read: Tips on Baby Diaper Care in winter season
By the 15th day, however, I desperately wished that he slept for 3 hours at a stretch so that I could catch some sleep myself. I, therefore, called my pediatrician and asked him if I could use a disposable diaper on my child and if yes, was there any particular type he would recommend?
He said I could, but I must apply a coat of diaper rash cream on his bum and remove the diaper immediately after 3 hours. My joy knew no bounds and I excitedly got our first pack of disposable diapers and clumsily put it on my son’s really delicate bum, though not before I ‘painted’ his bum in the white gooey diaper rash cream. He slept well, I slept well, there were tears of joy and it became a norm to put him into a disposable diaper for the after-bath sleep.
This went on quite well for about a week. Then one day, he woke up less than an hour after I put him to sleep after his bath. He was unusually uncomfortable. He just would not sleep and kept wailing how much ever I tried to comfort him. Suspecting colic, I removed his clothes and diaper to administer a light tummy rub when I noticed redness on his bum.
On careful inspection, I saw a severe rash on his bum! This, after some very liberal use of diaper rash creams. Guilt-ridden, I rushed him to my doctor who obviously advised me to keep him diaper free till the rash subsides, at least. He told me that my baby probably had a very sensitive skin, plus the plastic nature of the diaper could also be a cause for the rashes.
Being a new mother, I really felt it was my temptation to get some sleep that made me go for the disposable diaper to put my baby in this painful situation. I went back to the simplistic ‘langots’ which in all their triangular glory could barely hold 1 single pee without soiling atleast 4 other garments. With the help of an ointment prescribed by the doctor, the rash subsided within the next few days and I heaved a sigh of relief.
This was the first and the last diaper rash that my baby ever had.
I, however, kept wondering if there were some other ways of diapering babies so they would last longer than the ‘langots’ and were not so ‘plasticky’ in nature? I opted for cloth diapers. Cloth diapers available in the market provide all the benefits of disposable diapers in the goodness of cloth. Mothers seemed to be truly excited about them too. I decided to give them a shot, and hoped they would really work for me. Thus began my Cloth Diapering journey. Also Read: Tips to Maintain Baby Diaper Hygiene in Summers
When she finally switched to plastic diapers, she realised what a pain infant diaper rash can be. Read this blog to find out how one mother tackled the problem of baby diaper rash.
Photo credit - Out of Focus Pictures
| May 16, 2016
Thank you Laura! In India the most easily available type is the Pocket Diaper. they are easy to use and perform very well. If you are trying them for the first time, you can go for Pocket Diapers with double leak-guards. some brands available in India are Bumgenius, Superbottoms, Peekaboo etc. you can check their individual websites or see them on Amazon too under Cloth Diapers with soakers. hope that helps :-)
| May 17, 2016
Hi Poornima, to start with try 1 or 2.. and then you can build a stash. you can keep about 10-12 of them.. so you can wash 5-6 and use 5-6 each day.. Some popular brands in India are Bumgenius, Superbottoms, Peekaboo etc.. you can check their websites or you can also find some on Flipkart etc
| Aug 31, 2016
ya it's my story too because my son also had same problem his sensitive bum became so red because of diaper. first four months I tried to manage without diaper after that he became enough strong to bare diaper and I used to change within three hours. and diaper rash creams r not always helpful because it takes time to heal. but sebamed diaper rash cream is so useful and effective.
| Nov 04, 2016
my son had same problem but I tried solving this problem by diaper rash cream every time diaper is put on and also diaper should be bit loose such that air can pass through. For new born I used 's' size instead of ' ns' and continued using next size till now who is 7 months now.
| Nov 21, 2016
i too wear diaper to my son bt only when we had to go for an outing and at night. In winter, i wear him diaper for long time bt this result in diaper rash. Actually the skin of the baby is soft and cannot bear the acidic urine. So i learn not to wear diaper to kids for long hours . It is printed on the diaper covers that it will work 10 hours bt in reality it works only for 3 to 5 hours.
| May 05, 2017
my baby gal 5 months old nw wore only disposable diapers since birth . her nani sew the traditional triangle langots n square phaali for her . bt it was winter n we never used it . when summer arrived nw she had severe rash coz of my carelessness of not changing d diaper frequently. with liberal use if sudo cream rash free cream d rash vanished bt I learnt my lesson. so nw i use d square phaali folded in plastic panty for babies . I know d routine of my baby's poop . so after d potty is done in morning she's in cloth diaper . n in night she's in disposable readymade diapers for her peaceful sleep.
| Jul 31, 2019
Diapers are one of the essential things you’ll need for your baby. Making sure your little one’s bum stays clean and dry is crucial for baby’s comfort and to avoid diaper rash. Expect to become a diaper-slinging pro, since newborns typically soil 10 or more diapers a day. That’s more than 300 changes in the first month ….. I would recommend you to go for soft-sensitive . You can go for Diaper bag nz Shop At := https://dejkids.nz