During the first several months, your newborn’s activities will be limited, with passing stool and urine being at the top of the list. They will regularly wet their bed, and so, you must make the necessary preparations to ensure that your baby remains comfortable and dry. Disposable diapers for babies are one alternative that many mothers choose these days. However, you might wonder, “Is it safe to use diapers on a newborn baby?” “How do I use diapers correctly?” “Can newborns wear diapers all day?” and so on. This post covers all of these questions about diapers, as well as measures to take and their comparisons with cloth nappies.
Is Diaper Safe For Baby And When To Use Diapers?
Are diapers safe for babies? This is one question that every mother would want to know. Well, diapers are said to be safe for babies who are barely even a day old. In fact, some diapers are specially made for newborn babies. But you must take some precautions (1):
- Watch your baby’s skin when changing diapers to check whether there are rashes or not. Some little ones have more sensitive skin than others.
- Disposable diapers, which soak more liquid, should preferably be used at night, when it is inconvenient to change them frequently. During the day, you can stick with other options.
- It is important to change diapers every two to three hours. Keeping the baby longer than this period with a used diaper can cause infections or rashes.
- When the baby passes stool, then it is a must to change the diaper immediately to maintain hygiene.
- Keeping diapers handy for journeys or outings will make life easier for you.
Diaper vs. Cloth Nappy
There are many people who would prefer a cloth nappy over a disposable diaper. There are many reasons for this (2):
- Cloth has been used by mothers for centuries, whereas diapers are a rather recent innovation.
- There are many cloth diapers available in the market now which are easy to handle.
- Cloth nappies or diapers can be washed and reused. Hence, they are much more economical than disposable ones.
- Some parents are doubtful about the chemicals that are used to make diapers and are afraid that they might cause problems.
- Cloth nappies have to be changed frequently. This ensures that the baby is not lying in its excreta.
- Many people are also of the view that diapers play a role in delaying potty training since kids are so habituated to wearing diapers.
While all these points are valid to some extent, there are thousands of diaper users who have had no problem. So it is completely up to you which option you want to use.
Materials Which Go In Diapers
While it is fine to put diapers on your baby, it is important to know what they are made of (3):
- Sodium Polyacrylate:
This is a polymer that is used in the core of a diaper and acts as the main absorbent. It was used some decades back in tampons and caused toxic shock syndrome in women (4). But in diapers, it can be said to be safe enough as it is externally placed and is covered by layers of other material to prevent direct contact with the baby’s skin. However, it is the acrylic acid that is sometimes mixed with Sodium Polyacrylate which can cause irritation in some children.
Though most dyes are natural and safe for the skin, in certain cases, they have been blamed for causing rashes.
- Volatile Organic Compounds:
Some diapers may emit compounds like toluene and xylene. These can cause irritation.
These are chemicals that are produced when the wood pulp, which is used for making diapers, is bleached with chlorine. Some residue of dioxin may be left on the diapers, but it is considered too less to be harmful to the child. In fact, dioxins which can cause cancer are more frequently found in the environment.
Diapers provide a convenient and easy solution to babies’ round-the-clock pooping and peeing. If you are contemplating diapers for babies’ soft and sensitive skin, then learning about the material and safety measures while using them can help you take good care of their skin. However, the development of rashes, infections, or irritation may confuse you with diaper choices. In such a case, you may try cloth diapers. Nonetheless, your kid should be safe and comfortable as long as you change the wet diapers and maintain proper hygiene.
- Dental Care, Diapers, and Clothing
- Diapers: Disposable or Cloth?
- EWG’s Healthy Living: Guide to Safer Diapers.
- Md. Moynul Hassan Shibly et. al.; (2021); Development of the biopolymer-based menstrual pad and quality analysis against commercial merchandise.