5 types of cloth diapers that are easily available in India
Cloth diapers have made a huge comeback and become a favourite with modern Indian mums who understand that they are the healthier option for their baby.
If you've just clicked onto this link then there are two things that have happened. You are either a new parent considering the idea of cloth diapers or you already used it on your baby and just wanted to make sure that you made the right choice.
Either way, you have come to the correct place.
Much before the hullabaloo and the trend of the 'easy-to-wear,' 'ready-to-use,' 'disposable' diapers caught up with modern mums, there was the time of cloth diapers (langots). Although it was mostly a white cotton cloth tied around the baby or clipped on by pins, it was still a healthier option as compared to plastic disposable diapers.
Incidentally, the scenario has not changed.
Cloth diapers remain a favourite with modern Indian mums who clearly understand that the health of the baby comes first and have understood their various benefits.
So if you haven't switched over to cloth diapers (at least at home) here's why you might change your mind.
5 benefits of using cloth diapers
- Reusable and hygienic: Your mum may vouch for how well cloth diapers worked on you when you were a baby. Cloth diapers once soiled easily can be washed and reused. Because of its washable feature, its also quite hygienic.
- Economical: Disposable diapers can set you back by thousands of rupees (based on the brand), but since you can reuse cloth diapers, they automatically become more economical. Also, they need initial investment and your baby is good to go till he is potty-trained.
- Effective and comfortable: They are also extremely comfortable for the baby because of the fabric. Most disposable diapers are manufactured like elastic panties and that can cause rashes and pain to the baby. While cloth diapers give the baby room and do not cause rashes when properly cleaned.
- Healthy and chemical-free: Many disposal diapers have Sodium Polyacrylate, which is an absorbing gel-like material that essentially keeps the diaper going for a long time. But this has been linked to toxic shock syndrome as well as increased risk of low sperm count in a recent study.
- Environment-friendly: They are also eco-friendly because they're mostly made out of plants (fabric like cotton) and do not cause any waste (especially caused by plastic disposable diapers). So their eco foot print is less as compared to disposable diapers.
Now, there are five types of cloth diapers based on your baby's requirement, size and age.
5 types of cloth diapers in India
- Flat cloth diaper: This is the most common type of cloth diaper that we've all probably grown up wearing as well. It's just a simple rectangular cotton cloth that can be folded and either tied or pinned to look like a diaper. It is popularly called langot in India.
- Prefolds: As the name suggests, these cloth diapers come prefolded, so you don't have to tie it or pin it around the baby's belly. They are just like briefs or panties and have multiple layers of the same fabric, which could be cotton or terry cloth.
- Diaper covers: These are plastic covers that are placed over the actual diaper to avoid leakage or soiling of clothes. These act like raincoats for the diapers and can easily be washed and reused. However, you may have to change the diaper more often than the cover.
- Pocket diapers: These are also commonly available in the Indian market. So they have a plastic cover like a diaper cover, but are pre stitched just like prefolds. So it's a combination of the two and is comfortable to wear and easy to wash.
- Hybrids: These are similar to pocket diapers except they also have the option to insert a small cloth pad. So you can insert a disposable cotton pad and then make your baby wear the hybrid diaper.
Now, as far as the use of cloth diapers and their shelf-life is concerned, it depends on your washing schedule and maintenance.
So let's assume you need 10 diapers a day and you wash them every other day. So you should ideally have a minimum of 20 diapers at hand, plus five, if you plan to take your baby out.