When making a decision between synthetics and natural fabrics for your baby’s diapers it makes things easier to know the pros and cons of each. Here’s a simple guide on the features and benefits of each type of fabric.
Cotton, bamboo, hemp, silk, wool
Natural fibers on the bum
Feels wet on the skin (great for encouraging potty learning)
Wash easily (less prone to holding smells, less prone to repelling issues)
Needs pre-washing multiple times before use (usually)
Stains more easily
Feels wet on the skin (can cause rashes for some sensitive babies)
Microfleece, microfiber, suede cloth, athletic wicking jersey, PUL/TPU
Stay dry/wicking effect keeps baby’s bum dry and rash free (the most like a disposable from a wetness wicking standpoint)
Microfiber is arguably the most absorbent material (in laboratory testing settings)
Microfleece is soft on the bum
Less prone to staining and stains tend to fade more easily over subsequent washes without any treatment
PUL/TPU is water-resistant while still being more breathable than old fashioned rubber or plastic pants.
Microfiber can’t be next to the skin
Tendency to hold smells
Slightly more sensitive to poor wash routine (can be more prone to begin repelling or holding smells with inadequate rinsing and detergent ratios)
Some babies are allergic to polyester (rarely, but it happens)
There you have it, a quick and easy guide to helping you decide how to build your diaper stash. Keep in mind that cloth diapers are never an all-or-nothing pursuit. Most moms at one point or another end up trying lots of different styles, brands and materials to find which diapers they like the best.