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Going commando - why is Diaper-free time necessary?
Why should you let your baby be diaper-free?
When diapers were developed, they were a blessing for most parents around the world, making their lives a little more organized and easier. Compact, easy to use and super absorbent, diapersmade the process of parenting more efficient. Made to keep babies clean and prevent leaks, absorbent fabrics/ super absorbent polymers and waterproof outer covers were developed in laboratories to ensure an efficient product.
For babies using disposables, each onegoes through close to 6 - 10 diapers a day for around 2 to 3 years, tallying up to a total of 4,368 to 10,950 pieces. A lot of these babies are diapered 24/7, but is this the best idea?Even cloth diapers that are porous can prevent the skin from breathing and this constant coverage can lead to unwanted skin related issues.
According to statistics from Times of India, most babies are diapered for 2 to 3years of age but it may vary. As per the reports, during infancy, an average baby in India goes through roughly 12 diapers per day.
The breathability of the diaper material has been a constant concern when it comes to diapering a baby. Diaper free time is when the baby is not wearing any diaper, be it a cloth or disposable diaper and allowing the skin to breathe.
How does it help?
Babies have extremely sensitive and delicate skin which needs to be treated with utmost care. Use of diapers 24/7 is seldom advised by doctors as they may cause a lot of discomfort to the skin.Disposable diapers especially are made of synthetic fibers and harsh chemicals and their prolonged uninterrupted use can lead to redness of the skin, rashes, yeast infections, and other skin-related allergies. One of the most common causes for diaper rashes and increased skin irritation amongst babies is the lack of diaper-free time.
How long should I allow my baby to be diaper-free?
Diaper need to be changedevery 3 to 4 hours although this may vary dependingon the baby's age to ensure good hygiene. Since babieshave extremely sensitiveskin,regular diaper changesalong withsufficientdiaper-free time in the daywould be an effective combination. These few hours of diaper-free time that you give your baby will let their skin breathe, which will significantly reduce the likelihood ofskin-related allergies or infections. Typically,diaper-free time ranges from 2 to 6 hours. Atnight time,you maychoose to go diaper-freeas long as you have quick dry sheets to prevent any mess in case of any pee or poop accidents. Whether it’s 2 hours or 6 hours, the duration of going diaper-less will depend on your baby’s needs and skin type.
The science that’s been passed down from older generations has taught us that breathable porous fabrics make for a safe alternative to going completely diaper-less. If you’re worried about messy accidents and leaving your baby’s bottom bare, you can start by using chemical free and organic cloth nappies, traditional langots or lightly padded cloth diapers during diaper-free time.
At what age should we start diaper-free time?
The earlier you start diaper-free time, the better it is for the baby’s health and hygiene. The ideal period to start diaper-free time would be when the baby is between 0 and 6 months of age.According to some statistics, most infants start going diaper-free at an age of one month or sometimes even earlier.
Pediatricians often claim that babies who go diaper-free time from an early age are more likely to be potty trained earlier.
How to make diaper-free time less messy?
Although diaper-free time is essential, there are certain challenges that come with it. Diaper-free time may get problematic asthere is a chance that they might wet themselves orpoop. Below are a few suggestions to make diaper-free time less messy and more efficient:
- Usage of quick dry sheets or mattress protectors-Lay the waterproof sheet evenly on the bed cover before laying your baby on the bed. These sheets protect themattress, are very convenient to wash and easy to dry.
- Choose theperfect time- Avoid the mess by choosing to go diaper-free right after your baby haspooped orpeed.Keep a track of your baby’s bathroom pattern and schedulethe diaper-free time accordingly. Thiswill save you alot of time and effort that might go into cleaning up afterthe baby.Beloware some of the instanceswhenyour baby is most likely to pee or poop:
- Early morning
- After every nap
- During and after feeding
- Before bed time
- Learning the cues- Babies give suggestive hints when they are hungry or when they want something. Similarly, they give out such cues when they are ready to relieve themselves. Learning to pick up on these cues and trusting yourinstincts will help you find a pattern and plan going diaper-less accordingly.
- Wear your baby -Most babies tend not to eliminate when held close or when wrapped up. They are usually attentive and comfortable when they don’t need to pee or poop. Picking up your baby when diaper-free can also help you easily identify cues as they may get restless and show signs that they want to be put down.
Diaper-free time is also the first step towards potty training. Your baby will slowly start to understand when the right time to eliminate is. They begin to associate diaper-free time with 'no pee or poop' time and this helps build their skills towards elimination communication. Look through our blogs archive to learn more about 'Elimination Communication and 'Potty Training'.