Cloth diapering is an age-old tradition in India that we inherited from our mothers and mothers-in-law. Many generations have begun their parenting journey with traditional cloth diapers, popularly called langots.
But like some childcare traditions, cloth diapering takes time, commitment and effort, both of which are in short supply in our busy urban life today. With the nuclear family set-up, traditions have morphed into chores that need convenience and efficiency. We are always looking for quick, simple solutions for everyday activities.
When it comes to diapering, this want for convenience has resulted in the exponential rise of opting for disposable diapers amongst Indian parents in the last decade or so.
The problem with disposable diapers
They have a harmful effect on the environment, and also affect your baby’s health. When you pick one that promises leak-proof protection – you usually end up with a diaper that is highly processed with potentially toxic chemicals that may cause long term harm to your baby’s health. Some may contain potentially carcinogenic chemicals such as dioxins and phthalates that can cause hormone disorders. There are other additives in disposable diapers that are less likely to be noticed, yet as harmful. These are artificial fragrances and dyes used to make disposables cute and appealing to our senses. But these additives can be toxic, and they can cause painful rashes and/or skin allergies to your baby’s skin. They may also contain additives like perfumes, latex, chlorine, bleach, etc..
Here are the alternatives to disposable diapers
If you are determined to raise your baby with health, your best choice is cloth diapers or organic disposables. While organic or biodegradable diapers are expensive and not easy to find in India, cloth diapering has its own set of challenges. While modern-cloth diapers are better than the old-time ‘langots’ in terms of being leak-proof, there is research to suggest that all the washing and processing of fabric needed for these modern cloth diapers makes them not as green as they claim. Besides, using modern cloth diapers requires a learning curve for the caregivers that involves soaking, washing, airing, and occasionally stripping the diapers, making them less convenient than disposable diapers.
Is there a way to keep the benefits of cloth and the convenience of disposables while doing your bit for the planet?
The answer is a big yes!
Let us talk about hybrid cloth diapers
Hybrid Cloth Diapers are basically cloth shell covers with disposable or reusable inserts. The outer cover is like underwear (which can be made of different materials), while the absorbent pad or the “insert”, which is the actual diaper part, is washable or disposable. Hybrid diapers sit on the spectrum between a disposable and a modern cloth diaper, hence the word “hybrid”.
The cloth covers are designed as a 2-part system that helps separate the “cloth” from the “diaper”. The cloth part holds the insert in place and doesn’t need a wash unless soiled. The covers themselves have a leak-proof ‘pouch-like of lining’ that holds the reusable or disposable inserts. These leak-proof pouches are unlike plastic and do not ‘crack’ over multiple washes.
More about hybrid cloth diapers
The fabric and design focus on safety and comfort. They mimic the functionality of a disposable diaper while reducing the exposure to chemicals while providing the comfort and breathability of cloth diapers.
The cloth shells/covers are breathable and the leak-proof pouch and allows easy passage of air. The inserts are chemical-free (free of dioxin, fragrance and dye) and disposable. They are made of natural materials such as plant cellulose, reducing the chances of skin rashes.
The word ‘modern’ is almost always synonymous with convenience – which is what we value in our busy world today. Hybrid cloth diapers reduce cleaning efforts, are easy to use and protect your baby’s delicate skin.
Currently in India, Bdiapers is the only brand that specializes in Hybrid cloth diapers with chemical-free disposable inserts. Bdiapers hybrid diapers covers have trendy designs and come with a matching t-shirt, bandana, bibs and accessories. These are sized diapers which mean less fabric around the baby’s legs ensuring comfort and ease of use. The disposable inserts easily last for 2-3 hours without leaking, and the washable inserts soak between 120ml – 240 ml of pee. For the disposable inserts, on average, they last for 2-3 hours without leaking.
This is a guest post on Anu Chi Aai, written by Amrita, owner of Bdiapers (http://www.bdiapers.in). The views expressed in the post are of Amrita alone. Anu Chi Aai has agreed to publish this post so Bdiapers can present an alternate option to parents to move away from fully disposable diapers which are chemically loaded and harmful to the environment. It is our endeavour at Anu Chi Aai to explore and present chemical-free, eco-friendly diapering options. However, Anu Chi Aai does not take any responsibility for the Bdiapers’s products or the views expressed by the owner of Bdiapers via this post.
Also, we would like to underline that when disposing off the soiled inserts, make sure you spray off the poop and then discard them. Poop (and the gases it eventually releases) into your garbage is very harmful and a potential cause of fire in the garbage disposal process.