Monday, August 18, 2014
4 Reasons to Cloth Diaper with Natural Fibers
I see concerned mothers posting about rashy bums all of the time in cloth diapering forums. Nine times out of ten, they’re using microfiber to cloth diaper...and their baby’s have a skin sensitivity to synthetic fibers. Microfiber is an affordable and inexpensive way to cloth diaper, but liners are often ineffective in preventing reactions to the synthetic fibers. Switching to natural fibers, such as bamboo, hemp, and wool, can often provide relief.
I never made much of a fuss over what fibers I used to cloth diaper my son in the first year I was diapering him, as we were diapering using mostly organic cotton prefolds and PUL covers (switching to wool in the summer). We switched to microfiber AIOs when my son was around a year old, but a couple months later he became a heavy wetter. I found myself frantically searching for diapers he couldn’tpee through. Bamboo fitteds, hemp inserts, and organic cotton AIOs and AI2s allowed me to effectively diaper my son without putting layer upon layer of padding into his diaper.
Both bamboo and wool fibers possess natural antibacterial properties, which makes them an excellent choice for having next to your baby’s skin. I consider wool to be a ‘miracle’ fiber because of it’s ability to absorb up to 30% of it’s own weight (before feeling damp), it has the amazing ability to cool in the summer and insulate in the winter, and it is self cleaning (when ammonia in urine mixes with lanolin it produces a ‘soap’). Hemp possesses antimicrobial and anti-mildew properties, in addition to it’s incredible absorbency.
Many families make the choice to cloth diaper in an effort to cut down on landfill waste and reduce their carbon footprint. Microfiber diapers and inserts are made from synthetic fibers and are not typically biodegradable. Natural fibers, such as hemp and bamboo, are biodegradable and can also be recycled once they can no longer be used as diapers.
Do you diaper with natural fibers? What fiber(s) do you prefer?
Lauren is a former publishing rep-turned-WAHM to a rambunctious toddler. When she's not chasing her son, you can find Lauren blogging about all things natural parenting/living at lo-wren.com, sewing or knitting woolen goodies, or brainstorming ideas for the Infant/Toddler section in Tattle Magazine.