Friday, 1 July 2016

Rain, Rain... Go Away!!

Rain, Rain… Go away!!

After almost 3 months of the gruelling Indian summer, we all wait for the monsoon to arrive and fill the skies with dark clouds waiting to burst at their seams and refresh us with their cool raindrops. But when you sit back and think, monsoons also mean dirt muck and mud everywhere, travel issues due to water logging and mini floods and worst of all; the entire city coming to a standstill due to heavy downpours. But wait; there is something even scarier – clothes not drying? No, there’s worse – Cloth diapers not drying. Oh the horror of horrors!  But before you logon to the baby store and subscribe to the disposable diaper packages, what if we gave you a simple solution to carry on cloth diapering in the monsoon and that too like a boss!

The way out is not a very complicated one, in fact it’s more of a ‘going back to basics’ than anything else. Cloth diapering is definitely not new and our grannies and mom trusted only cloth to cover our little baby bums. Surely, they didn’t leave us stark naked in the rains.  The answer, then lies in using basics like flats, pre-folds and such quick drying natural fabrics. Combine this with a touch of modern cloth diapering and we have a win-all solution.

I personally love flats because they can be worn and used in so many different ways. From various types of folds to different types of materials, flats form the backbone of any good cloth diapering system. A single flat sheet of cloth can be layered to give the desired levels of absorbency and cover, depending on your baby’s wetting pattern. Cleaning them is even easier as the many layers unravel effortlessly and then dry just as easily. Flats then, are your go to solution in the rains. Add a cover on top of your flats or lay them as a pad-fold and you can safely clock an hour in them. Care to gamble and try flats for longer hours or nights? Use multiple flats pad-folded or use a thin insert (preferably natural fibres such as hemp or organic cotton), top with a cover and you can let baby sleep in peace.

Flats are also so versatile because you can easily make them at home out of anything really – old cotton sarees, receiving blankets, T-shirts (there are techniques where you don’t even need to cut the Ts), veshtis (lungis), towels, floor sack towels, kitchen towels. I may have a slight obsession with finding the most absurd piece of cloth to use as flats; I once tore open a faded AC blanket to find the most gorgeous flannel lining inside which I swear by. Really I mean it; anything at all can be used as flats. However I find that organic cotton flats absorb best and have a quick drying time. With consistent washing they get more and more soft and absorbent, which is a boon as baby grows. They also don’t get sopping wet like synthetic fibres which means they don’t trouble baby’s bum too much. But you do have the option of adding a suede liner on top or stuffing the pad-folded flat into a suede sleeve before placing it in a cover, so that baby gets the stay dry feel. You definitely cannot go wrong with flats in the rainy season.

Pre-folds also come a close second to flats for their simplicity and ease of use. Pre-folds are one of the best diapering solutions for new-borns and continue to give great absorbency for older babies. Their design is pure genius and a classic one at that. Most pre-folds are usually made of organic or a 100% cotton fibre, which means that not only are they trim, but also super-thirsty and dry faster, gaining softness & absorbency with every wash. Again so versatile; because they can be pad folded in various ways or pinned and snappied on. Add a cover and you have a bulletproof solution for nights too. There are countless times when I feel it’s so convenient to just grab a pre-fold, stuff it into a cover and onto baby before bedtime. Someone give me a medal, I’ve even done twelve hours with two organic cotton pre-folds in a cover on my heavy wetter son!

Pre-folds also are easier to clean being made of natural fibre and mine come out considerably dry from the tumble dryer and line dry in a jiffy. I have no doubt that they’ll stand by me in the madness of the Indian monsoons. So reassuring!

But my true love is the All-in-One/Two diapers. If anyone ever asks me about night-time diapering, I have only two words for them – Fap and Marvy by Cloth Diaper Shop. I had heard a lot of these words myself in cloth diaper discussion forums and was desperate for a night time solution as a new mom. When I received Fap and Marvy in my hands, I knew why. I have not seen a softer or trimmer diaper and upon use I was so pleasantly surprised that it stood its test for a whole 10 hours, without a change (unless pooped in.) The magic of these diapers is what they are made of – bamboo cotton, which is super absorbent. On its own, each insert is a two layered one, but combined as a flap or fold-over insert/ tongue, they provide 6 layers of absorbency. The soft bamboo cotton fleece inner lining wicks moisture away and keeps baby's skin dry and comfortable. Upon washing, the layers can be unravelled so that the diaper dries faster. I will surely be relying on my Fap and Marvy this monsoon. They are the only ones I blindly trust with keeping my baby dry through the nights.

Also what I see is that most people struggle with getting wet clothes to dry in the monsoons, but it doesn’t have to be so hard. A few tips I’d like to share which helped me ensure a good laundry system in the monsoon are these:

• Add an extra spin to your washing cycle. For delicate diapers or lingerie etc. put them in a mesh pocket or a pillow cover so that these items don’t get roughed up in the tumble drying.

• Invest in a clothes drying rack and pin hanger. This really helps because the moment it stops raining, I move the entire rack near the window or place it in the balcony and move it away when it starts raining. No mad rush to remove the clothes off the line. Also a neat hack is to leave this rack under a running fan overnight, and you have dry clothes in the morning.

•  The tendency while hanging clothes to dry is to fold them exactly in half and put up a clothes pin. This only lengthens the drying time. Try and hang clothes/ diapers/ inserts such that maximum surface area is exposed to the air. This will cut your drying time by a great deal.


So to conclude, my plan for this monsoon is to step up my stock of organic cotton flats, cotton pre-folds and some suede sleeves to go with cover diapers. I am still going to use my suede pockets with flats & prefolds. I am also loving the new Marvy colours and eyeing ‘Blue is beautiful’. Will hit order soon on that. For now, I’m going to sit back with a nice cup of coffee and wait for the rains. You are much awaited, oh monsoon!


About the Author

 I am a first time mommy to 6 month old babyT. I am a natural mama – exclusive breastfeeding, cloth-diapering, baby wearing and hoping to use natural methods of weaning, developing etc. down the line. I was completely clueless that a world called cloth diapering exists, until babyT kicked his way into my life. And look where I am today, I think, talk and breathe only cloth diapers. I exclusively cloth diaper my son, and I’ve used almost all types of diapers and various brands, and have finally arrived at diaper heaven with my tried and tested stash. We haven’t bought disposables since 4 months now.  But I think my biggest success is when I see my son, squirming if anyone even brings a disposable diaper near him. I think this is the biggest indicator that we are doing something right by choosing to cloth diaper.

A little bit of my background – I have 10 years of work experience in the HR function. One fine day after putting up with a lot of stress and health (read: fertility) issues, I decided to call it quits on the corporate world. Things have been much better since the heavy boulder of 9 to 9 work days has been lifted off my back. The biggest gift I got out of this was of course, babyT. I also began my independent HR practice, which doesn’t get much focus these days, but it’s there. I am married to Gaurav, who is equally passionate about bringing up our son the natural way. Together we are amazed at the little wonders that babyT shows us every day and how he teaches us the meaning of true & pure love, happiness and brings more meaning to us as a family.She blogs about her baby raising experiences and adventures at


  1. Hi Nanyantara, such a good writer you are..awesome blog!!!! Thanks a ton for sharing this. Am using cloth diaper (Langoti) day time & disposable one in the night for my 3 months old son...I would love to use this product for my baby...but i have a question, could you pls clarify it? As the flats and prefolds are of cloth material, would it not make the baby bum feel wet?