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Thread: Cloth vs Disposable Nappies

  1. #1

    Cloth vs Disposable Nappies


    I was wondering which might be the best option to use, disposable or cloth nappies? I have an 11 day old baby boy and I have been getting quite a large variety of advice about nappies and I would like to know which you would recommend for my wonderful baby boy.

    Also, after being released from the hospital on his 7th day of life, he was brought back to me with a slight nappy rash. Which do you mums think would be best to avoid nappy rashes? How often should I use rash creams?

  2. #2
    Dear Martine,

    I would not say that one is better out of cloth and disposable nappies but there are certainly advantages and disadvantages of each.

    Real nappies are more environmentally friendly, especially if you do not use a tumble dryer. However, they require more work then disposables with managing the washing load. Real nappies also need to be changed more frequently then disposables. Disposables contain a gel that expands and absorbs urine. Some people don't like disposables for this reason; because they are not natural.

    Cost is another issue. Real nappies are cheaper in the long run although you do need to pay more in one go upfront. They are even cheaper if you are planning on using them on more than one child.

    Some families use both. A particularly popular option, when using both types of nappies, is to use a disposable at night-time as these do tend to cause less leaks.

    Do I gather from your post that your son was in hospital without you? If so, I'm sorry to hear this; it must have been a very difficult time for you. Was this because he had to stay in a special care baby unit? Have you been able to breastfeed? Please do just ask if you need any help or support with breastfeeding as we love to support al new families with this because breastmilk provides such a good start in life for babies.

    If you are breastfeeding, you can actually express a little breastmilk (do you know how to do this? - please just ask if not) and put a few drops on the nappy rash. Breastmilk works wonders for so many baby ailments.

    Other ways to avoid nappy rashs include giving your baby some nappy free time each day. For example, he could have around 30 minutes a day when he is laying on a thick towel and letting some fresh air get to his bottom. A nappy rash occurs when poo and urine interact so it is important to change your baby's nappy often enough. You can use warm water and cotton wool to clean your baby's bottom (this is better than wipes) and make sure his bottom is completely dry before putting a new nappy on him.

    Whilst he has a nappy rash you may also use a barrier cream that contains Zinc Oxide in order to stop urine getting to this area and to help it to stay dry. You don't need to put much on and can put it on a few times a day.

    Congratulations again - you sound like you are doing really well.
    Warm wishes,

  3. #3
    New Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    I better use cloth nappies if you're at home, but when you're outside the house disposable is recommended. Too much using of disposable nappies can start rashes on the skin of your baby especially if he's too young like 11 days...

  4. #4
    Yes disposable nappies can be more convenient for when you are out and about, but I do have some full time cloth nappy friends who have got into a good system for dealing with the nappies when they are out.

    Disposable nappies should not cause rashes. They are fine to be used from birth. I'm not aware of any studies which show otherwise? In fact, if a baby has severe nappy rash then some sources such as netdoctor recommend swapping to disposables from cloth nappies because of their ability to absorb the urine better. This is also discussed in this previous thread about nappy rash by one of our moderators Kate. However, both types of nappy are fine to use as long as they are changed frequently enough (which will be more regularly for the cloth nappy).

    Best wishes,

  5. #5
    Hello again, LJ!

    Thank you so much for your reply!

    Yes, LJ. My son had to stay in the hospital for a total of 7 days because he had developed newborn jaundice and was in need of treatment. His paediatrician thought it was best if she hold on to him since me and my hubby were still inexperienced with the baby. I believe this was what cause my mild depression when I came home without him.

    The nursery in which my son was kept were very pleasant. They allowed me to breastfeed him during my confinement at the hospital. They also encouraged bringing in frozen expressed breast milk while my son was confined without me there. I was unable to visit him at the hospital since I was having difficulty with my operation. I found it difficult to move around.

    Anyways, I never really thought of using both disposables and cloth nappies. I initially only prepared disposables for the arrival of my baby, which I have been using all this time. The nursery provided me with a bag of disposables as well as nappy rash cream, so I had thought that disposables were better. I will try your advice and switch from cloth nappies and disposable ones from time to time, leaving his bottom some air time in between, with some treatment using breast milk and rash cream. I will update you the soonest I see results of my baby's rashes.

    Thank you again!
    Last edited by absinmartine; 8th November 2013 at 01:05 AM.

  6. #6
    Dear Martine,

    I'm so glad that my reply was helpful.

    I'm extremely sorry to hear that you were separated from your son. I find this quite shocking. I'm so sorry. It does not matter if you are inexperienced/ new parents the point is that you are the parents. You are your baby boy's world. I understand that he had to stay in hospital because of his treatment but I'm so sorry that the hospital did not have better provision for you to stay too. I cannot imagine how difficult that would be. Of course, as you say, it is likely to increase your risk of postnatal depression.

    How are you feeling now? Do you still feel depressed at times? Please do remember that postnatal is very common (around 1 in 5 new mums experience it) and given what you have described not all all surprising.

    I hope you are able to have hour upon hour of beautiful bonding time with your son now that you are together again.

    Thinking of you,

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