Stay-Dry vs. Natural Fiber Diapers

StayDry Vs NaturalFiber DiapersIn the world of cloth diapers, there are a plethora of fabric options.  Today we’re going to talk about the fibers that line diapers.  Here, we still get several options but they can be broken down into two main categories:  stay-dry and natural fibers.

Stay-dry diapers are almost always lined with synthetic materials.  These materials can vary but are typically microfleece or suede cloth.  These fabrics work by wicking moisture away from baby’s bottom to leave a more stay-dry feeling on the surface.  This is great for babies who are sensitive to moisture and more prone to diaper rashes.  Diapers lined with a stay-dry material can be especially useful for overnight use when babies are often in a diaper for a prolonged period of time.

If you’ve purchased several diapers that didn’t come with a stay-dry inner and you find that the moisture irritates your little one’s skin, you can buy or make stay-dry liners.  The liners are washable and reusable just like the diapers.  They’re typically made of micro-fleece and can simply be laid inside any diaper to give a stay-dry feeling.

Some people prefer to use only natural fiber diapers.  While some natural fiber diapers are topped with a synthetic stay-dry liner, many are not.  Natural fibers are less prone to getting stinky than synthetic fibers.  Natural fibers are typically easier to wash and if the diaper is all natural, it is typically more absorbent.  Many natural fiber diapers are topped with bamboo velour.  While bamboo velour isn’t stay-dry, it doesn’t feel as wet as cotton or regular bamboo and hemp.  There are also babies who are sensitive to stay-dry materials and do better in natural fiber diapers.  Natural fiber diapers can come in a variety of fabrics just like stay-dry diapers.  Some of the most common fibers used are bamboo, hemp, and cotton.  These diapers are often fully absorbent so your baby won’t have a stay-dry feeling.  For most babies, this isn’t an issue.  But some may be sensitive to the moisture or just not like the feeling.

Feeling the moisture in their diaper can help with potty training.  Children may not like feeling wet and when they learn that peeing in the potty means their diaper or underwear stays dry, they grow to like that dry feeling.  Most potty training pants will be equipped with feel natural wet inners even if the core is synthetic.

For parents who want a natural stay-dry feeling, there are a couple of options.  While typically not as easily obtainable, they are out there.  Raw silk liners are all natural, but offer the stay-dry feeling you get with synthetic materials like fleece and suede cloth.  You can also find all natural wool liners that will offer a stay-dry feeling.  Wool is kind of cool in that it can both repel and absorb  moisture.  So a wool liner can right again babies bottom for a stay-dry feeling, or it can go behind your soaker for extra absorbency.  Raw silk and wool liners do require more delicate care than your typical synthetic liners, but if the benefit of a natural fibers against baby’s bottom is important to you, raw silk liners can be well worth it.

No matter which option you choose for your baby, choosing cloth diapers is a smart parenting choice you can feel good about making.  Like all your other cloth diapering options, you can choose a combination of them all.  Many parents like to use stay-dry materials at night and natural fibers during the day.  The great thing about cloth is that it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing choice.  You get lots of options and combinations to make it work best for your own needs.


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