Do Cloth Diapers Restrict Movement?


In this modern world, it seems as though a lot of people still view cloth diapers as being a very old school invention. Little do those people know of all the wonderful new types of modern cloth diapers that are available on the market today. But since so little is known about cloth diapers these days, parents often ask questions like, “But do cloth diapers restrict movement?

Cloth diapers do not restrict your baby’s movement. Cloth diapers may look bulky and restrictive, but they are made of soft and flexible fabrics that move with your baby. Cloth diapers often fit babies better than disposables do, meaning less restriction in their movements, not more.

There are a few common misconceptions that people have when it comes to modern cloth diapers. If you have never seen a modern cloth diaper, you are probably picturing those old school toweling diapers with giant safety pins in the front. Let us have a better look at those misunderstandings and the truth behind them.

Do Cloth Diapers Delay Walking?

This is again a question based on an old-school toweling diaper that was indeed big and bulky and did often get in the way of babies trying to move around.

The answer is a definite no; cloth diapers do not delay walking at all. Some experts have said that removing your baby’s diaper and clothes altogether and letting them roam around naked for a while each day may help them figure out how to walk quicker, as there really are not any restrictions whatsoever to their movements, so they may feel “lighter” or “more free” to make big movements.

However, a cloth diaper is no more restrictive than a disposable diaper is, and both kinds of diapers have very low to no restrictions when it comes to your baby’s movement, and neither diaper will delay walking.

Can Cloth Diapers Cause Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is largely attributed to a child’s genetics, similarly to how being bow-legged was caused in the womb, not due to outside factors. So, fortunately, no, cloth diapers do not cause hip dysplasia.  

Certain things parents do may accelerate their child’s pre-existing hip dysplasia, such as putting them in a carrier that does not support their hips well, however, the diaper their baby wears is not one of these contributing factors.

Hip abduction is a crucial part of hip development in babies and toddlers, as it aids them in building and developing the muscles in their hips and legs that are needed to stand, rotate their legs and walk.

Hip abduction is actually aided by the slight bulkiness of the cloth diaper between the legs, meaning that even if your baby does have hip dysplasia, cloth diapers could actually help aid in correcting it as your baby learns how to stand and walk.

It could even be said that cloth diapers may even be better in a child’s hip development when it comes to learning to stand and walk.

Do Cloth Diapers Affect Your Child’s Physical Activities?

While a lot of parents may be concerned that cloth diapers may get in the way of their child playing games and climbing on jungle gyms and just their general movement while being active, you can rest assured that cloth diapers do not hinder your child’s movements with their physical activities or in any way.

As your baby starts learning how to play outside and walk around the house, their diapers will in no way restrict their movement when it comes to their playtime.

Cloth diapers actually fit your child’s body better than a disposable diaper would, meaning that your baby will be free to twist and turn and move those legs around with complete ease.

Will Cloth Diapers Affect The Way My Baby Will Walk?

The way your baby walks may be affected by cloth diapers, but as mentioned previously, it will affect your baby in the best possible way.

Cloth diapers help develop the muscles in their hips and legs that are needed to walk and stand, which means that they could quite possibly help better the way your baby walks from day one of the journey.

There has actually been no definitive scientific evidence to prove that cloth diapers affect walking in any way at all. If that were true, all of our ancestors would have had trouble walking as all they had were the far bulkier toweling diapers.

They all came out walking just fine, proving that cloth diapers do not affect the way your baby will walk.

Are Cloth Diapers Uncomfortable For Your Baby?

A child’s feeling of comfort will encourage them to be adventurous and willing to explore their abilities and develop new skills. Conversely, an uncomfortable baby will be irritable and will not want to explore their environment and move around.

The level of comfort that the diaper provides for your child will, therefore, play a significant role in encouraging the child to move and test their abilities.

Cloth diapers are not uncomfortable for your baby at all. They are actually far more comfortable for your baby than a disposable diaper is. The inside of modern cloth diapers is made of a soft, stay-dry material that is comfortable on your baby’s bum, such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, or microfiber, with the outside usually being made of a waterproof fabric such as polyurethane laminate, also known as PUL.

These materials are actually far more comfortable for your baby to use and be in for hours at a time as opposed to a disposable diaper, which is made out of a plastic exterior, and an interior made of harsh chemicals and more plastic.

When you hold both types of diapers in front of you and can directly compare them to each other in person, there is absolutely no competition. Cloth diapers are softer and far more comfortable than disposable diapers.

Do Cloth Diapers Cause Diaper Rash?

You may contemplate how this could affect your baby’s movement, as a baby that has a diaper rash is an unhappy baby.

The rash will be irritated by the diaper every time the baby moves around. As a result, your child may limit the amount that they try to move around in an effort to limit the irritation caused by their rash by the moving diaper.

These diapers causing diaper rash is the biggest misconception around cloth diapers, and it is usually the one that new parents hear that persuades them against using cloth diapers.

They do not cause more diaper rash than disposable diapers.In fact, it is actually the complete opposite. Most diaper rashes are the result of the chemicals that are in disposable diapers that have reacted with your baby’s skin after getting wet.

Modern cloth diapers have a stay-dry top layer, followed by two inserts placed in the diaper. The first insert is usually a cotton or microfiber liner as they are quick absorbent materials, and the second layer being bamboo, as it is slower to absorb but retains fluids well. The way this diaper is laid out prevents your baby from having to sit in their fluids, as it is soaked up and stored deep in the diaper in the liners that do not touch your baby.

They are also far more breathable as they are made out of soft and breathable fabrics, as appose to disposable diapers that are made of plastic and do not allow for your baby’s skin to breathe.

Many parents who struggled with their babies having diaper rash no matter what creams or diaper brands they tried out ended up trying out cloth diapers and loving the results.

So again, no, cloth diapers do not cause diaper rash. Chemicals, sweaty skin with no exposure to air, or not doing diaper changes for long periods of time cause diaper rashes.

Conclusion

The main conclusion and the most important one that we can draw from this information is that cloth diapers will in no way limit or restrict your child’s movement. They may, in fact, help aid them in their moving.

They will also not hinder or delay the attempts that your child will make to start walking. Cloth diapers may even encourage the child to attempt walking since they are more comfortable for the child. This will allow the child to be more adventurous in their movement.

So overall, cloth diapers are better and more comfortable for your baby and are even great for their developmental health. So before you discount cloth diapers over things you have heard about them, like “They restrict your baby’s movement,” take some time to do your research and find out what is and is not true, as you may end up really loving what you find out about cloth diapers!

Carly Wight

Mother of two young boys (6 and 3!) and an avid "Googler", Carly is the kind to research something to the nth degree. Be it about products, hacks, or techniques, she shares what she finds out at her website - Fairy Good Mommy.

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