It isn’t until some time in their second or third year that babies get to the toilet training stage — and until they do, they need to wear nappies. This makes choosing and using nappies a major part of their life, and yours.
Cloth vs disposable
Disposables are more convenient than cloth nappies, especially when away from home, but they produce a lot of waste. Disposables have to be bought regularly and are much more expensive than cloth nappies washed at home. They are more absorbent and tend to keep your baby drier.
As far as nappy rash is concerned, some medical evidence suggests that high-quality disposable nappies with absorbent polymers may reduce the incidence of more severe nappy rash. Other studies suggest that it’s more important how clean the nappy is rather than what it’s made from. To prevent nappy rash as much as possible, all types of nappy should be changed regularly.
One of the most important advantages of cloth nappies is that their most significant environmental impact occurs during the use (rather than the production) stage of their lives — so you can minimise that impact by changing the way you wash them. For example, if you use a nappy treatment and wash them, use cold or warm water rather than hot and dry them on the line when possible.
Cloth nappies are available as terry towelling, flannelette or muslin squares or fitted, panty-shaped nappies.
Please note: this information was current as of September 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market..