Rubber and plastic diaper pants are designed to be worn over cloth diapers to provide protection against leaks. Referred to sometimes as diaper covers, these devices give cloth diapers the benefits of waterproofing without the cost of disposable diapers.
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Rubber pull-on pants replaced woollen covers in the 1940s but their usage declined in the 1950s when plastic covers with convenient snaps and better fit became popular. Today, rubber and plastic pants are both available in many styles.
Both rubber and plastic pants create a waterproof barrier to protect clothing from leaks. Pants with snaps or fabric fasteners and fitted leg openings are found to be more effective than the elastic pull-up style.
Natural materials such as rubber instead of a man-made plastic tend to allow for more air flow, which also can prevent diaper rash. Rubber also is softer on the skin than plastic.
Durability is an important factor when buying diaper pants. Diaper creams and lotions can affect rubber pants more and they may not last as long as plastic covers.
Cheaper man-made materials used in plastic pants include polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride, lowering prices consumers.
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