Diapering babies is something that we, as a society, all but take for granted. The mere thought of a mother toting a baby around without a modern diaper seems absurd today. Diapers, however, weren’t always the Pampers and Pull-Ups that we know now. In fact, mothers of yesteryear had to simply make do with whatever was available at the time to manage their baby’s bowel movements. Here’s a brief look at the history diapers, and how they’ve changed over the years.
A look through historical documents shows that babies in ancient times were wrapped in large leafs, animal skins, and any other materials that were suitable and available. Sometimes, strips of wool and linen were sometimes swaddled around babies in early societies. In tropical climates, babies wore little to no clothing, so mothers of those days practiced the art of “elimination communication.” This means that they had be observant for subtle clues that the baby was about to have a bowel movement, then plan and act accordingly. Some tribal societies of today, far removed from the conveniences of the modern world, still practice elimination communication.
Late 19th Century
This is the era when diapers began to resemble their modern counterparts. Diapers during this time were basically a square of cotton or linen that was folded over, and in held in place by safety pins. As you can imagine, these first-generation cloth diapers weren’t of the greatest quality or absorbency, and leakage was a common problem.
This period saw many innovations in diapering:
2000 – Present
Both cloth diapers and disposables continue to involve and innovate. Cloth diapers are steadily increasing in popularity as a more economical option, however, as they cost half as much as disposables. Additionally, as concerns over the negative environmental impact of disposables grow, many parents are now switching exclusively to cloth diapers.
To learn more about the history of diapers, contact Smile2Baby.com at (855) 797-BABY.