Wednesday, 18 May 2011

10 Most Common Misconceptions of Cloth Nappies.

I would like to continue with the Real Nappy Week theme and talk about the ten most common misconceptions about cloth nappies.
1.       People still think of terry towelling and plastic pants when you talk about cloth, in fact it has evolved from that. There are now pocket nappies which you can stuff with microfibre, hemp or bamboo inserts. All in one nappy where there is no stuffing or wrapping involved you can just put the nappy straight on. Two part nappies where you have a first layer for absorbency made out of different materials and can have a design on them, and then over the top a funky wrap which will be bomb proof. You also have the choice of fastening the nappy with Velcro, poppers, or a nappy nipper, no more safety pins!

2.       It is thought that cloth nappies are a complete faff, from the washing to the stuffing and putting on. They are not though, you just store all of your nappies in one pail, bung them all in the wash like a normal load of washing but with an extra rinse, peg them out and then put them together and store for use. You can do all of that in the time it takes to go to the supermarket to buy some disposables, and you can do other things whilst you are waiting for them to wash and dry. I also find the stuffing very therapeutic.

3.       People think that they’re expensive, well they can be if you want big brands with different features, but you can also get cheaper nappies without compromising on functionality, fit and style. I have spent £100.00 on my stash of 17 nappies, and I got £100.00 cheque back from my local councils cloth nappy incentive so for me they haven’t cost anything, so a bargain! I find preloved nappies are a great way to start off, you can get excellent second hand nappies for a much cheaper price and if they don’t work for you, you can just sell them on and make your money back. This also means that when you have finished having children and they are potty trained you can sell your stash and make a lot of your money back, meaning it has been even cheaper for you. Keeping your baby in cloth nappies costs from as little as £350.00 including cost of nappies, accessories, washing agents, energy and allowing £150.00 wear and tear on a washing machine. Keeping one baby in disposables for two and a half years however will cost £1104.00, and then you have to pay it out all over again for every child that you have.

4.       People consider them to be complicated, even I did when I first started to research them, but once I started to use basic pocket nappies it all clicked into place. Once you have got your head around the needs of your child, whether they are a light or heavy wetter you will know what kind of absorbency you require. My son is quite a heavy wetter so I use microfiber and hemp inserts in most of my nappies which suit him for 3 hours, but if I need extra absorbency during a long nap or if we are going out for a long time I will use a nappy with a bamboo insert as they are extremely absorbent, and also have anti bacterial qualities. To make them easier to put on for me and other people I pre-stuff them so they are ready to put on just as easily as a disposable.

5.       People think that they are bulky, some can be, but there are some that are very slim. I think Bambootys are as slim as disposables and I know that there are others out there that are just as slim. It does depend on how much you stuff them and what you are stuffing them with, as I said in my previous point, bamboo is very absorbant and also very slim, I can hardly tell that it is there. If you do have a larger nappy you can get clothes from companies like Frugi who have brilliant designs that are cut for cloth and fit a squishy bum in perfectly without having to go up a size.

6.       People think that you are doing masses of extra washes by having reusable nappies, in fact I only do three extra washes each week, which is nothing really, and they look lovely hanging out on the line.

7.       You say cloth nappies, people think eco warrior, which definitely isn’t the case for a lot of people I know. For me I chose to use them because of the saving of money, the convenience of always having a nappy clean and ready to put on with no worrying about running out, and of course they look so cute on his bum! As time has gone on I do feel quite please that every time I use a reusable it is one less stinky nappy in a landfill taking hundreds of years to break down, and just think, over the course of birth to potty the average amount of nappies that get thrown away is 6000!

What does 1 year of disposable diapers look like to you
Add caption
One year of disposable nappies which end up in a landfill.

8.   Recent reports have said that cloth nappies are just as bad for the environment as disposables, but that is only taking into consideration the amount of water and energy used to wash them. I don’t think the people who have written these reports have taken into consideration the fact of to create a disposable nappy it uses ninety times the amount of renewable resources, e.g. wood pulp, and eight times the amount of non-regenerable resources, e.g. one cup of crude oil is needed to make one disposable nappy.

9.   People are under the impression that when you use cloth nappies your baby is sitting wet and is sodden in wee. A lot of nappies have fleece covers as a barrier in between the insert and babies skin, which draws the moisture away from the skin and doesnt let it back through ensuring babys bum is lovely and dry. You can also get fleece liners which are loose, fleece liners lined with bamboo icreasing absorbancy, or you could even make your own for pennies.

10. Lots of people ask me if cloth nappies leak, we have much fewer leaks with cloth than disposables. We have never had a leak of poo, we can hardly even smell it when he has done one, and leaks from wee are very rare, and have been becasue he has drank a gallon of juice. Lots of nappies have a PUL layer which is waterproof so there are no leaks, or you can cover with a wrap when you need extra absorbancy through the night for example, or if you are using a two part nappy.

So, after an epic second post from me I hope you are still with me, and I have enlightened you to some facts about cloth and disposable nappies.


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