Aside from being economical, reusable cloth diapers are also safer than other types of diapers. Since they are made of materials that are organic and natural, you do not have to worry about chemicals that may lead to diaper rash. One of the green parenting tips in choosing which brand to use when it comes to reusable cloth nappies is to understand the different types of fabrics that are commonly used in cloth diapers.
Cotton is the most common type of fabric used in reusable cloth nappies, particularly with terry toweling cloth diapers. Terry toweling is that looped fabric that is also used in bathrobes and ordinary towels. Cotton is commonly used since it is the softest and is also very comfortable for infants and newborns, excellent for their sensitive skin.
Terry toweling cotton tends to become rough as you wash it often. It is important to use fabric softeners after every wash. When rough, it can chafe the baby's skin especially when wet with urine. You have to keep in mind though that the cotton crop requires large amounts of fertilizers and places high demands on water supplies as it needs a lot of irrigation, too. If you really prefer using cloth diapers made of cotton, go for those made from organic cottons. Organic cottons have less risks of chemical sprays in them; they are also produced without the use of bleach.
As compared to cotton, bamboo is more sustainable and environment-friendly, too. It is also commonly used in cloth nappies due to its absorbency and softness. It keeps babies comfortable and cool, especially during warmer months. The bamboo crop grows quickly and requires less maintenance as compared to cotton. Bamboo plantations also help prevent soil erosions and bamboos tend to absorb green gases as they grow. If you cannot find cloth diapers that are 100 percent made of bamboo, a good alternative is the bamboo fleece. It is smooth, soft and fluffy. It is also more absorbent than cotton cloth diapers and is resistant to bug sprays, hence, has less chemicals in it.
Aside from cotton and bamboo, cloth diapers that make use of hemp are also gaining popularity. Aside from the soft consistency, they are also absorbent and hard-wearing. The main disadvantage is their ability to dry slowly. Nappies made of hemp have good insulation. They can be warm during colder months and cool in warm weather.
The good thing about hemp is has a relatively short cycle--4 months only from planting to harvesting. It also uses less land than flax and cotton. It also needs fewer fertilizers as it has the ability to bring nutrients by itself. Hemp is also drought-resistant and helps prevent erosion in times of floods.
A mix of polyamide and polyester, microfiber toweling is also used in most cloth nappies. Microfibers are supposed to hold seven times more of its weight of water. By wicking moisture away, it keeps the baby comfortable and dry.
One advantage of microfiber is you don't need to use detergents in cloth diapers that are made of microfibers. They last well, too, and can be recycled if handled with care.