Nappy the first stitch of clothing and it’s impact on life

Nappy the First Stitch of Clothing and it’s Impact on Life

Research report is undertaken for Twinklebotts. Our team consists of Research Scientist, Materials/Textile Engineers and Microbiologist.

The following research has been undertaken to understand the importance of healthy development of babies through infancy to early childhood and places a key focus on psychosocial development. The psychosocial development consists of 8 stages. The  following study will focus on the 1st stage; which is Hope: trust vs. Mistrust (oral-sensory, infancy, 0-2 years) and the 2nd stage Will: autonomy vs. shame and doubt (early childhood, 2-4 years). Exploring these key stages in development is critical to understanding the impact of the first stitch of clothing on a newborn to toddler. Key concepts evaluated are in reference of the work of the esteemed psychoanalyst; Erik Erikson.

“A newborn is also referred as a parasite clinging on to life of the mother or parents or guardian. Giving the most important emotional and physical love and care is the important factors for the wellbeing of a baby that will grow as a normal human at adolescence”. In manufacturing baby clothing, considering the 3 norms which are comfort, safety, and hygiene should be the primary objective in making baby clothing. This is to assure the importance of feeling comforted, assuring health and safety is 1st stage which is Hope - trust vs mistrust (Sensory). For nine months the baby grows in the most comforted and warm environment in the womb of their mother. Feeling very secure, trusted and in extreme comfort. The main reason for the first stitch of clothing to be the most comfortable, soft and breathable to a Newborn to Toddler, is to assure trust. This is the beginning of a life that could have adverse effects if the first feeling (sensory) to the baby is a crude touch.  Newborn to Toddler are the most important years in a life and we at Twinklebotts have taken every step to minimise the risk and the reason Twinklebotts assures the comfort the baby demands. It is documented that a baby understands if this place they are born into is good or bad and this is through comfort, love and care by the age of 6 months.


Approximate age


Psychosocial Crisis

Significant relationship

External question





Basic trust vs mistrust


Can I trust the world?

Feeding, Comfort, Abandonment

Early childhood

2-4 years


Autonomy vs. sham and doubt


Is it okay to be me?

Toilet training, clothing themselves



Hope: trust vs mistrust (Oral- sensory, infancy, 0-2 years)

  • Existential Question: CAN I TRUST THE WORLD?

The first stage of Erick Erickson’s theory centres around the infant’s basic needs being met by the parents and this interaction leading to trust or mistrust. Trust defined by Erikson is “an essential truthfulness of others as well as fundamental sense of one’s own trustworthiness.” The infant depends on the parents, especially to the mother sustenance and comfort. This is where choices of the mother becomes paramount to fulfil her baby’s fundamental needs which in this research is  sensory that assure comfort. If the parent expose the child to comfort, warmth regularity and dependable affection, the infants view of the world will be on of trust. Should the parent fail to provide a secure environment and to meet the child’s basic needs: a sense of mistrust will result. Development of mistrust can lead to feeling of frustration, suspicion, withdrawal, and lack of confidence. According to Erik Erikson, the major development task in infancy is to learn whether or not other people especially primary caregivers, regularly satisfy basic needs. If the caregivers are consistent sources of food, comfort, and affection, an infant learns trust-that others are dependable and reliable. It they are neglectful or perhaps abusive the infant instead learns mistrust- that the world he or she is born into is an undependable, unpredictable and possible a dangerous place.” While negative, having some experience with mistrust allows the infant to gain an understanding of what constitutes dangerous situation later in life, yet being in the stage of Infant or toddler. A child’s number one needs are to feel safe, comforted and well cared for.

Virtues - WILL: autonomy vs. shame and doubt (early childhood, 2-4 years)

As the child gains control over eliminative functions and motor abilities, they begin to explore their surroundings. The parents still provide a strong base of a security from which the child can venture out to assert their will. “The parent’s patience and encouragement helps foster autonomy in the child. Children at this stage like to explore the world around them and they are constantly learning about their environment. Caution must be taken at this age while children may explore things that are dangerous to their health and safety.”


Explanation of Somatosensory system (nervous system)

The nerve cells that responds to changes to the surface or internal site of the body is a complex system which is also known as the sensory receptors. Nerve cells to the spinal cord where they may be processed by other nerve cells and then relayed to the brain for further processing.  Sensory receptors are found in many parts of the body including the SKIN,  epithelial tissues, skeletal muscles, bones and joints, internal organs and the cardiovascular system. We would like to scientifically address the difference between fine touch and crude touch which our body understands and reacts and this would be the same for babies. Fine touch (feel) is a sensory modality that allows a subject to sense and localise touch. The form of touch where localisation is not possible is known as the crude touch.”

The disposable diaper has been around for the past 7 decades. The very first disposable diaper/nappy was invented by Marion Donavan with parachute material and some tissue paper in 1948 which began the disposable single use diaper Industry. Since then many came up with disposable diapers solely due to convenience and a post war scenario where women/mothers started to work and washing was not the best option. Understanding the convenience, companies developed single use nappies for convenience only. They did a great job with it too. However, there was a further necessity that should be the primary objective in designing the baby nappy, and that is the choice of materials that assure comfort and breathability. Baby’s skin is extremely sensitive and this should be the primary and most important factor to consider in the choice of products you choose for your baby.

Further research on synthetic materials and its impact on thermoregulation is been conducted by us.



  • It is paramount to change a baby’s nappy at least every 4 hours. New borns, much more frequently as they are still adapting to the new environment.
  • Always look for comfort. Touch the nappy before you put it on the baby. Check for breathability. Note that any plastics do not breath unless perforated.
  • Touch and feel the nappy when it is new, and your body as a mother will understand if this is the right choice for your baby’s bottom.
  • After usage, the nappy should not have any chemical odour.
  • Baby’s bottom should not be red at any time during the use of baby disposable nappies. This can be very uncomfortable and irritable for baby which I have explained in this research on  “Mistrust”
  • Do not keep any nappy over night. This is very unhealthy which can lead to many other health issues as well as psychologically  “Mistrust”.




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    Erikson, E. (1950). Childhood and society. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

    Proske, U., & Gandevia, S. (2012). The Proprioceptive Senses: Their Roles in Signaling Body Shape, Body Position and Movement, and Muscle Force. Physiological Reviews92(4), 1651-1697. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00048.2011

    Robles-De-La-Torre, G. (2006). The Importance of the Sense of Touch in Virtual and Real Environments. IEEE Multimedia13(3), 24-30. doi: 10.1109/mmul.2006.69

    Saladin, K. (2020). Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function (9th ed.). US: McGraw-Hill Education.

    “Designing for a safer world”  (Copyrights Reserved)