Cloth Nappies Part 1: Why we chose cloth

This week is Real Nappy Week. If you’re thinking of investing in cloth nappies, this is a good week to buy – lots of sites have discounts. I’ve used Cheeks and Cherries and The Nappy Lady in the past, and both have been good. In celebration of Real Nappy Week, I thought I’d post about our system.

I was initially keen on choosing cloth nappies when I was pregnant. I liked the eco-friendly aspect of them, and read a lot about using cloth nappies. This was unusual, particularly in the area where we live. Some councils have incentives to encourage parents to use cloth nappies. Ours definitely does not. Some areas have nappy-laundering services. The one closest to us is completely the other side of the city. Cloth nappies were not common here!

So why was I so keen? The first reason, and the most compelling, was the landfill aspect. The average baby goes through 8000 disposable nappies, and these take centuries to break down in landfill. (Source: ecolife.com) I wanted to avoid this. We’re good at recycling most of our waste, and, once you get used to it, it takes very little effort. I imagined it would be similar with cloth nappies. I just couldn’t bear the thought of all those nappies in the dustbin.

Secondly, cloth nappies can work out cheaper. You could easily spend an average of £1500 on one child’s worth of disposable nappies. (Source: Cloth Nappy Tree) We spent around £350.00 setting up our system, which should see us through to when Ben is out of nappies. It will also see us through any other children we may have. We do have to factor in the cost of washing, but we can see that cloth nappies are cheaper already.

Moreover, we don’t have to panic when we run out of nappies… because we never run out! The nappies are washed, dried and reassembled for the next wear. Easy. Even if the nappy bucket is full, I never feel like I’m close to running out of nappies. So, cloth nappies avoids the no-nappy panic!

Finally, and highly compelling, was the health aspect. I don’t really know what goes into a disposable nappy, but I do know they contain chemicals. Those chemicals help the nappy to absorb the liquid. I don’t like the idea of having many chemicals next to my baby’s skin. Whereas, with cloth nappies, I can control what they are washed in, and that’s that. Yes, you do have to be more careful with nappy rash, but we give Ben nappy-free time every day and that seems to avoid the problem. I feel like I’m being a better mother for using cloth nappies – and that makes the difference.

Part 2 will be posted soon. Happy Real Nappy Week!

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