Written by Nabeela Mahboob and published on 01 June 2021.
Diapers are a new parent’s best friend. Today, it is impossible to think of babies being diaper-free all day and night. But, do you know some surprising facts about diapers?
Shweta Barailly, a mother to a one-year-old, works as an air hostess with a reputed airline. When her son was born, she was overjoyed. Initially, she used to find changing her son's diapers exciting, even though the smell used to be overbearing sometimes. However, it was not the smell that bothered her. One day, when she was taking out her son's diapers to the trash can outside her house, a neighbor pointed out that it was bad for the environment. An interactive question and answer session followed between the two where Shweta, to her surprise, found out that only a small amount of the waste from disposal diapers goes into the sewage system and the remaining amount ends up in a landfill.
Shweta is not alone in her experience of dealing with a diaper. Diapers have become a bare essential to many of us until the baby is completely potty trained which most likely is when they attain their toddlerhood. Diapers come in all shapes, sizes and designs to suit the baby's needs. They can be segregated into two categories-Cloth diapers and Disposables.
There are many parents out there who, due to time and work constraints, rely on readymade diapers as the quick and easy way out. But is this the right approach?
Imagine this scenario: You are a parent to a baby. In a household, where both you and your spouse are working, you hardly have time or energy to wake up in the middle of the night to change clothes that have been wet by your baby. So, you just put on diapers on your child and sleep throughout the night. However, what about your little one? For, even with diapers on, she will be sleeping with the waste sticking to her all night long? Is this the right thing to do?
Here are some interesting yet surprising facts about diapers in general:
A baby's skin in general, especially that of an infant or newborn is tender, soft and prone to rash when a diaper is used. Many people assume cloth diapers to be skin-friendly but it can also be otherwise. Any diaper which is left on for long or has a leakage without the parent's knowledge can cause a nappy rash.
The chemical element which holds the content in without leakage also blocks air circulation making the baby's skin stay in a wet and moist environment for long periods, which is a home for most microbes that cause infection.
Note: Diaper rash is a common condition in babies during the first few years when they wear diapers on a regular basis. However, it does not mean this condition is not painful for babies.
On average, it is assumed that 6000 plus diapers are used for one child. Each diaper in India costs somewhere between INR 10 to INR 15 which could prove expensive in the long run. In fact, disposable diapers are expensive than cloth diapers which can be cleaned and used.
Potty training is a huge achievement for parents and children alike. A child who wears a diaper is potty trained approximately by 3 years of age. Research suggests that children who had used cloth diapers are trained much earlier than the ones who had used disposables. But a child who has never used a diaper is potty trained as early as 6 months of age.
Diapers are super absorbent and can be used for some quick-fix remedies. For instance, a leak in a tap can be fixed temporarily or a water spill on the dining table can be quickly gotten rid of by pressing on the inside of the diaper. It can also be used to grow some types of plants that need retaining water for a long time.
The importance of diaper-free time has come to a peak after disposable diapers were introduced. They are so convenient that parents often forget about diaper-free time for the baby and are kept in it for 24 hours a day. Though changing it on time does not harm the baby but some airy time during the day is advisable for the tender skin.
Are you a new parent who is having trouble changing your little one's diapers? This video explains how you can change your baby's diapers the correct way.
Although diapers have made life easy and convenient for parents, especially when both are a shift from disposable diapers to cloth nappies can do a world of good and has many advantages as well. It only requires a little extra effort in cleaning and drying but what matters, in the end, is the child's wellness.