Archive for the ‘Special Situations’ Category

Special Situations

June 7, 2009

Newborn Diapering

Newborns are tricky to diaper because they are born very small and grow very fast. Plus, they start out so fragile, that for first-time parents in particular it’s easy to be intimidated by diapering. So, there are no easy answers. I think it’s worth the money to have newborn fitteds. We loved Kissaluvs 0 on both of our babies. They have high resale value, which eases the price tag a little. Even if you use prefolds (and again, I think it’s worth the money to buy newborn prefolds–you will use them as doublers later) during the day, having a few fitteds on hand for when you’re stumbling around half-stupid in the dark at 3 a.m. is an excellent idea. Get some disposable liners to aid cleanup during the meconium days.

If You Don’t Have a Washer and Dryer

This is a biggie, because coin-op machines can eat up what you saved by not buying disposables. If you’re lucky enough to have a diaper service in your area, GO FOR IT. If not, you can try buying a whole lot of flats and just washing once a week, or you can try hand-washing flats and drying them indoors. Yes, some parents do this, but don’t feel guilty if you don’t want to!

If You’re Traveling

Cloth while traveling is pretty easy if you’re going to have a washer and dryer at your destination. Every single one of our friends and relatives was okay with letting us wash diapers at their house. We traveled a LOT when our older daughter was an infant because my father was in the hospital 500 miles away and we spent five months traveling back and forth, sixteen hours each way by train. I’ve cloth diapered while staying in a hotel, and I’ve done it when my mother’s propane ran out and we had no hot water. A lot of times I thought it was easier than disposables would have been, because I didn’t have to worry about finding a place to throw them away, or finding a place to buy them. If the thought overwhelms you, you can always use disposables while on the bus/train/plane, and pack cloth in your suitcase to use after you get there.

Nighttime Diapering

For a baby who still needs to be changed at night, I recommend a fitted diaper with a cover, because it’s the least likely to leak poop all over the bed. (Ask me how I know.) For a baby who sleeps through, you need to make sure you have enough absorbency and a really good cover. I used to Snappi fasten a prefold, then lay another prefold in a Mother-ease air flow cover and fasten it on. This never leaked for us. Sometimes I was lazy and just laid two prefolds in a Bummis wrap and that never leaked either. A really heavy wetter might need an additional doubler. I have heard excellent things about Aristocrats wool covers for nighttime, but we have never used one.

Diaper Rash

For most babies most of the time, the key to diaper rash prevention is frequent changing, no matter what kind of diaper is being used. The easiest way to accomplish this is using a cotton diaper without a cover and changing as soon as it gets wet. Also, making sure the diapers are being washed on hot with the right amount of detergent and well rinsed is important. They should smell clean when coming out of the washing machine. Some babies are sensitive to certain detergents or to certain fabrics; if this could be the case, try different types of diapers and detergents. There are a few babies who, when all is said and done, do better in disposables, again, with frequent changing.

If the diaper is soaking wet but the outside of the cover and the clothing are dry, then congratulations! You’ve got a good cover. Change the diaper. If you object to your baby feeling wet, change more frequently. If more frequent changes aren’t possible, try using a doubler or double diapering, which will reduce the sensation of wetness. A few babies are bothered by wetness; most of the time it only bothers the parents. Some parents use polyester fleece liners in their babies’ diapers for a stay-dry effect.