Friday, 24 July 2009

Cloth Nappies

People often wonder why I use cloth nappies. The funny thing is people still think that cloth nappies are terry squares that you fold and pin and need lots and lots of work...

But that's not the case at all!

I can't remember how I started, but when I was pregnant with my first child, I came across reusable nappies and thought I think I'd like to give that a try. I did lots of research and read lots of articles and lots of posts in forums such as Nappycino and BubHub, and talked to my husband about it and he seemed happy to give them a try. I swore that I would do all the work for them, because I knew deep down that if it was hard work then he wouldn't be interested in it at all and go to disposables.

Why don't I want to use disposables?
Disposables are convenient, inexpensive (per nappy), and make cleanups a breeze. Why don't I want to use them? The reason that I don't want to use disposables is because I abhor the amount of rubbish that it creates. All that plastic... just thrown into landfill, sitting there for years and years. True they probably keep you drier than cloth nappies, which may help with nappy rash, but do we go around all day wearing disposable undies? Eeew NO! I love the feel of cotton undies thank you! And I'm sure babies like to wear woven material against their skin too.

What a waste of water!
I get this comment ALL the time from people! They tell me how bad I am for the environment and so on, wasting water, polluting the waterways blah blah blah! But, I look at my water bill and my family uses less than 250L a day, and that's with a small house and garden, with me and my husband and daughter and our cloth nappies! I challenge anyone to try and beat that when they do a load of nappies every second day! And I use Earth Choice laundry powder in my front loader.

Here are some facts about disposables I bet people didn't know!
  • Between USA, Australia, and the UK, we dispose of 60 million Disposable nappies a day. That’s a huge amount of wasted plastic and human excrement entering our landfills and possibly water tables. Human waste is best dealt with using sewerage systems which are built to deal with this sort of pollution.
  • Landbank Consultancy concluded that disposable diapers create 2.3 times as much water waste, use 3.5 times as much energy, use 8.3 times the non-regenerable raw materials, use 90 times the renewable raw materials and 4 to 30 times as much land for growing raw materials.
  • 1 billion trees per year are destroyed to make disposable diapers---approximately 4.5 for each baby who uses them.
  • It takes 1 cup of crude oil to make the plastic for 1 disposable diaper.
  • Disposable diapers contain chemicals that were banned in the 1980s in women's tampons, but continue to be used today to improve absorbency in children's diapers.
  • 18 billion disposable diapers are used in the U.S. each year - enough to stretch to the moon and back 9 times

Here is a link to Sydney Water's water efficient households page:

You mean cloth nappies aren't white squares?? What are they then?

Well! Where do I start!
Modern cloth nappies are what savvy cloth nappy users are using these days. These nappies are made of materials such as bamboo and hemp, which are more absorbent than cotton, and claim to have some antibacterial properties as well. And to keep baby's bot bot dry, you can line them with microfleece or suedecloth to keep a stay dry layer against their skin to avoid nappy rash and sogginess.
But of course cloth leaks through to the other side, so you can also buy special covers in pretty patterns to cover your nappies with so you don't get wet clothes OR you can get special nappies which have a PUL liner against the outside so that wetness doesnt seep through.
And to make them nice on the OUTSIDE, you can have fancy quilting cottons on the outside of the nappy, or you can have minky or fancy fleece, or you can have them embroidered with patterns or your babies' name!

Still confused? Here are some pictures of MCNs so you can see what I mean!

This was a custom order made by Kristy from Bundles of Buns for my daughter. Embroidered minky YUM! Unfortunately she doesn't do customs anymore I feel lucky I managed to nab some!

These are made by Michelle at Sustainable Hemp Products - newborn size! I have a few (not of this print but it's a gorgeous print nappy!) of her newborn ones for my next baby.

Blueberry one size pocket nappies are my favourite nappy!

For all that you could ever want to know about modern cloth nappies these links are great:

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