There was a time when moms didn’t have to make a decision about which type of diaper to use simply because there was only one option available: the cloth diaper. Mothers or their labanderas would slave away, washing maybe a dozen soiled diapers every day. But with the advent of disposable diapers, parents are faced with more choices. As if that were not enough, there are even new innovations in cloth diapers that might have you rethink your preference for disposables.
“Among other things relating to infant care, this is one where parental preference plays a role,” says Celine Blancas Evidente, M.D., pediatrician at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. And before you make a decision, you need to take a look at what’s out there.
Let’s see what disposables, traditional cloth diapers, and modern nappies have to offer.
Old school The number one concern for using cloth diapers would be the washing. In the average Filipino setting, Dr. Evidente says, this is not much of a problem as yayas and other extended family members are often around to help with housework. However, for couples who live on their own and leave for work every day, this is not a feasible choice.
Dr. Evidente reminds that cloth diapers need to be washed thoroughly and even ironed. “You also need to ‘master’ the technique of pinning it and putting it on,” she adds.
Another factor to consider is the cost. Cloth diapers can be washed, dried, and reused until your baby is potty-trained. But you need to invest in dozens of cloth diapers since, Dr. Evidente says, you need to change baby more frequently (they get soaked even with just one urination).
Generally speaking, cloth diapers are the more environment-friendly choice. “But consider the amount of water and soap used when washing them, unless you’re using biodegradable soap also,” says Dr. Evidente.