We are asked this question a lot. Parents are concerned that thick layers of fabric swaddling their baby’s bottom will be too hot and that it will cause rash or irritation. Many opt for disposables during the summer, not realising that disposables can actually be worse, because it isn’t the absorbent fabrics that reduce airflow, but rather the waterproof layer. And no matter how hard we try, we can’t separate the absorbent part of a disposable from the waterproof part. You can, however, do this with cloth nappies.
If you live in a very warm climate, your best option, particularly for during the day, is a flat or prefold cloth nappy without a cover. Layers of absorbency without the waterproof cover allows for the best circulation of air. Not using a cover also means you’ll know as soon as baby has wet the nappy and can change immediately, thereby drastically reducing the chance of irritation or rash occurring. Consistently, health care professionals advise that frequent changing is the best prevention of nappy rash.
If you’re going to be out and about, it won’t be very practical to use a nappy without a cover, but when you’re hanging around home, be sure to keep the cover off. If it’s REALLY hot, your baby will probably be getting around in just a singlet and nappy anyway, so this method simply eliminates the waterproof layer.
Here are some more tips to make cloth nappying in summer months easy and stress-free for you and baby:
1. Go nappy-free at home and let baby’s bottom get some much needed air time. This will not only keep baby comfy and cool but also help to keep nappy rash at bay.
2. If your baby is prone to heat rash or nappy rash, use a nappy rash cream. Just be sure to use a liner.
3. Change nappies often. It may mean more laundry but it’ll keep bub cool and comfy.
Summer cloth nappying may mean more changes, but it is definitely doable and as always, best for baby!