Cloth nappies: why ?
You've probably heard of your mum, or your grandma talking about terry towelling nappies. Square of fabric they had to hand wash and dry, fold up and pin on a baby with a big safety pin. It's just how things were done before the convenience of disposable nappies came along.
Disposable nappies are quick and easy, you take them off of the baby and throw them away, no mess, they are available in every shop. So why do so many people choose to still use cloth nappies? Well for starters, they are no longer the way your grandma remembers them. They are now easy, pre-shaped and come in a huge variety of colours and design. In addition, nearly every household has a washing machine and dryer (or line in the garden) so the days of hand washing and drying are a thing of the past.
*Some of my beautiful cloth nappies drying (and bleaching) in the sunshine*
There are many reasons why people may choose to use cloth nappies.
Environmental: I'm sure you know where disposable nappies end up, that's right, the landfill. After that what happens, well it takes between 200 and 500 years for a disposable nappy to full decompose and we only have a limited amount of space on this earth to store all of our rubbish. Another factor is the manufacturing of the disposable nappies; BBC News stated that "the production of disposables uses 3.5 times more energy, 8.3 time more non-renewable resources and 90 time more renewable resources than real nappies." There is also the concern of the chemicals produced as bi-products of disposable nappy production. So if you are an Eco warrior, or just concerned about leaving a better planet for your children and grandchildren, you may want to consider trying cloth nappies.
*Who can resist a cute little cloth bum?*
Economical: It's no secret that having children can be very expensive and there are a few things that can help ease the financial impact (I plan on doing a blog post on this at some point too) and one of those things is to use cloth nappies. Disposable nappies cost roughly 10p per nappy (Tescos own size one, 25 nappies for £2.50) and a newborn can need changing up to 10 times per day, so disposables can work out around £1 per day, that's £7 per week, £365 per year. Consider that your child may not be out of nappies until they are 3 years old or more, that means you could be spending over £1000 on nappies (bare in mind children use less nappies the older they get) that you throw away, just on one child. That's not even including wipes and nappy bags.
Now, I have a lot of nappies, over 50. Do I need that many? No ! No way ! They just look so cute, I can't resist buying more. I don't even use them all, I could easily get away with 30, or even less if I did a wash more often. So say you do a wash every 3 days, you could easily get away with having 30 nappies. I know people that have less than that and they manage great. Now it depends what brand you use and whether you buy new or used (I have some of each).
Now I'm a cheap skate, I have brought a lot of cloth nappies from eBay second hand (just give them a through wash before using them) and the ones I have brought new are either ones that were very reduced (I found some Bambino Miosolos for £4 each in Boots) or ones made in China from eBay or Amazon (Little Bloom is the most common brand) which cost roughly £5 per nappy. So even if you brought 30 Little Bloom nappies from ebay, that would only cost £150, then add on extra inserts, liners etc, you're maybe looking at around £200.
That is a huge saving on the £1000 minimum for disposable nappies, not to mention the fact, once you have used them for one baby, if you plan on having more you can keep them for your next, and your next, and your next, or if your family is complete and you don't plan on having any more children, you can easily sell them on eBay or special Facebook nappy selling pages and get some of your money back!
*Just a few of the nappies I own.*
Health and Chemicals: Before I became a mum, I read a story about a mum who put her little girl to bed one night in a disposable nappy and woke up to find her screaming, the nappy had burst open and the absorbent lining of the nappy had leaked onto the little girls skin and burnt it so bad that she ended up needing skin grafts. Now this is rare, very rare, but it makes you wonder what is in the nappies, what are you putting so close to your precious baby's skin. It is also thought that a lot of the chemicals in nappies, along with the fact they aren't very breathable, are often the cause of nappy rash.
If you have a little boy, there is also concerns over the increased temperature around a little boy's crown jewels when wearing disposable nappies as they aren't breathable and often have a type of plastic layer. It is thought that this could lead to fertility issues later in life.
There is also a thought that cloth nappies can aid in potty training when the child is ready as they can feel the wet feeling after they urinate and become aware of what they are doing. In addition cloth nappies is thought to be able to aid successful breastfeeding as it is easier to identify how many wet nappies a baby makes in a 24 hour period which is essential in knowing whether your baby is getting enough breast milk.
*Cute little BumbleBee bum*
I will also do a post on how I use cloth nappies, the types I use, how I wash them and how I store them.
Have you ever considered using cloth nappies ?
Talk again soon,