Why Convert to Reusable Nappies?
Thursday, 22 January 2015 | Heidi
So yesterday we looked at saving money by using reusable nappies but today, Nappy Guru Ann explores WHY you should make the switch to reusables! There are lots of different reasons to covert to cloth. Which one would get you changing your nappies?
I’ve never yet met a parent who didn’t want to save a bit of money here and there. Having a baby can be expensive, and the cost hits you at exactly the time that we are likely to have less money coming into the household. Switching to washables can save you a lot of money, even factoring in the cost of washing. Using disposables will cost around £1 per day, or more if you use branded nappies, disposable wipes, nappy sacks and so on. If your baby wears nappies till he/she is 2½, you could easily spend upwards of £1000 on disposable nappies and wipes. This is, literally, money in the bin. And you start all over again with baby 2. It’s different with cloth nappies. You can get yourself kitted out very well indeed with nappies and washables wipes for a few hundred pounds, and then use the nappies again for baby 2 (and 3…). You can even sell them on at the end to recoup some money (if you can bear to part with them, that is). Even buying a large number of the most expensive, designer nappies will still be cheaper than using disposables, but you can save even more money by doing washables on a budget. Be sure to catch up on our blog later this week where we will be exploring how you can use cloth nappies on a shoe string budget.
For many people, becoming a parent makes them think more about the environment. What kind of world is it that our children will inherit? It’s a frightening thought, but every disposable nappy that has ever been thrown in a bin is still out there, and still will be for hundreds of years! And even though packets of disposable nappies carry instructions to flush the poo down the loo, mostly the poo gets wrapped up with the nappy and goes in the bin. Would you put your own poo in the bin?! We don’t often think about the poo-in-bin thing, because it’s what most people do, but when you stop to think about it, it’s pretty yucky! And there’s the impact of making all those thousands of nappies that a baby will get through in the first few years. This all comes at an environmental cost to us, our children, grandchildren, and the many species of flora and fauna that we are privileged to share the planet with. Using washables is completely different. Your nappies do not end up in the bin after a single use (I’d be hopping mad if someone accidentally threw one of my fluffy bundles away!), and all the poo goes in the loo, where it’s supposed to be. The environmental impact of washing the nappies is far less than the impact of making disposables. You can think of using washables as your gift to your grandchildren’s world.
Disposable nappies can be brilliantly absorbent, but they achieve this through the use of plastics and chemicals rather than bamboo or cotton. When you consider that a baby’s skin is much thinner than an adult’s, it makes us think again about what we put next to their skin 24 hours a day for several years. Many people switch to cloth because their baby’s bottom is simply happier in washables. Nappy rash is far less common in cloth-bottomed babies than with babies in disposables, because of the many chemicals used in disposables. For example, Polyacrylic Acid is the stuff that absorbs the wee in disposables. It’s really good at doing this. But it is linked to toxic shock syndrome, which is why it has been banned from use in tampons. Women working in factories producing and Polyacrylic Acid are known to suffer from various problems, including fatigue, weight loss and damaged to their reproductive organs. And even if a baby’s skin doesn’t show a visible reaction to disposables, we don’t really know what those plastics and chemicals may be doing in the long term. There is some research that shows that disposable nappies may cause a baby’s genital area to overheat, as disposables are less breathable than washables. Overheated boy-bits are linked to fertility issues. I’m not telling you this to scare you. This is information that we all need in order to make choices. Parents are bright, even when they’re knackered, and try to make decisions that are right for their family. But we can only make informed decisions if we have information, even if it is just a wee bit scary (sorry for the bad nappy pun there!).
Earlier Potty Training
Yes, we all end up loving our washables, but even the greatest nappy addict is a teeny weeny bit glad when they stop having to change nappies several times a day. And when you use washables, that day may come a bit sooner. Cloth nappies can allow a baby to feel when they are wet, and this can help them to potty train just a bit sooner.
This is probably not the main reason that people switch to cloth (though I have known mums look across a nappy changing table and exclaim, with a hint of nappy-envy in their voice, ‘What is that cow-print nappy?!’), but, let’s be honest, it helps. Cloth nappies are very good looking these days. Fluffy, great colours, adorable prints, the choice is yours. In the summer, a good looking nappy is an outfit in itself. But be warned, it can get addictive!
For more information, please contact your local Nappy Guru who can give you bespoke advice tailored to your needs!