Why You Should Use Only Reusable Cloth Nappies for Your Baby
Although it sounds straightforward, the issue of what nappy option is best for your baby have never been more controversial.
Time was when any old white cloth with a giant safety pin would do. However, as our industrial powers grew, so did our quest to make everything easy. And that’s how we got to disposable nappies.
Disposable nappies are incredibly easy to use – the ultimate “use it and dump it” product. But time has shown that they may not be best for our environment. Currently, the world is contending with a 2 billion-ton trash problem. What’s worse? If we don’t do something about our practices and become more sustainable, we’re on track to hit 12 billion tons of trash by 2050.
And that’s why we’re back to reusable cloth nappies today. If you’re wondering what specific benefits these washable designer cloth nappies can have for your baby, apart from the nebulous “saving the environment”, you’ll find all you need in this article. Here’s why you should only use washable cloth nappies for your baby.
What are reusable cloth nappies?
Reusable cloth nappies are cloth nappies or diapers that can be washed and re-used. They are basically the modern iteration of the white, slightly coarse, towels with large safety pins generally used in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was famously difficult to get the shape for these nappies right.
Today, washable cloth nappies look a whole lot different. We now have sleek modernized nappies that look like disposable nappies but can be reused any number of times. And what’s best with today’s cloth nappies is you don’t need an art degree to get the right shape. These washable designer cloth nappies come in various colors, types and fabric quality which determines absorbance.
Types of reusable cloth nappies
Over the past few years, manufacturers of cloth nappies have gone all out with different sizes and types to suit both baby and parents.
All-in-twos: These are waterproof cover nappies with inserts that can be replaced. With this type of nappy, the insert goes directly against the baby’s skin. When the nappy gets wet, you can change only the inserts without having to wash the entire nappy. They dry faster because they are taken apart for washing. With all-in-twos, you have to choose the best inserts. Not just for the level of absorbency but also for your baby’s skin which is why bamboo and charcoal inserts would be perfect. Bamboo and charcoal Inserts are made from bamboo layers with charcoal weaved into it, because of this unique combination when you use it, the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties are highly likely to control the level of moisture your baby’s skin has. They also have a great color that doesn’t show signs of staining. Bamboo and charcoal inserts are slim and will not make your baby’s diaper look bulky.
All-in-ones: These are complete on their own, there is no need for outer layers or separate covers. They are easy to use but can take a while to get dry. They do not need inserts as they already have an absorbent inner layer and a water proof outside layer.
Pocket nappies: These nappies have pockets as the name suggests. They have an outer layer that is leak resistant and a pocket where you put your charcoal and bamboo inserts. The inserts need to be taken out before washing and, since they dry quickly, are also easy to use.
Fitted Nappies: These are also called shaped nappies. They look like disposable nappies and are fastened with Velcro, snaps or press studs. The nappy is absorbent but it takes a while to dry.
Pre folds: These are rectangular layered cottons with a thicker one at the center. These nappies are great for budgets. They also dry on time, although they are not as absorbent as others and leaks may occur from time to time.
Cloth Squares: This is the traditional cloth nappy which often demands some skills in origami. But once you get a hang of it, it’s perfect. They are the cheapest and easy to buy. They dry quickly and fit babies of any diaper wearing age.
Eco impact of disposable nappies vs reusable nappies
There has been a lot of attention on the environmental impact of disposable diapers. We want to do right by our environment but sometimes it’s just too inconvenient. Let’s help you make the right choice.
- Reusable nappies are better for the environment because they don’t constitute as much nuisance in terms of waste. Choosing washable designer cloth nappies will be the better choice because it doesn’t go in a bin.
- Reusable nappies are very cute and stylish, with different colors, designs and materials. The natural and anti-fungal soft bamboo and charcoal inserts are just perfect for your baby’s skin.
- Theses nappies, with their various designs, can reduce the amount of times you change your baby’s nappy depending on the type you opt for and how much is deposited in them.
- Once you get your washable designer cloth nappies and all the essentials, you don’t have go shopping for diapers anymore. As long as you wash frequently and pack enough with you, you’re good to go.
- Reusable nappies are less likely to cause rashes on your baby’s bum because there are no chemicals or plastic in them.
- Reusable nappies do not take up space. Once you have a drawer and a dirty nappy bucket, that’s all you’ll need.
Laundry: Babies depending on their age can go through 6-12 nappies a day. Depending on how many nappies you have, you might have to wash every day.
Leaving home: You can always choose to get different designs of nappies for when you need to travel or go on a vacation but it involves a lot of planning ahead and carrying soiled nappies back home.
Cost: Washable Designer Cloth Nappies seem quite expensive at the start since you’ll need to buy in bulk, but you’re going to be using them over and over. They last up to 3 years depending on the type and how well you use it. So, while the initial price can be a little daunting, in the long run, it’s a cheaper option.
Different Types: If you’d like to enjoy your cloth nappy experience, it’s advisable to get different types depending on your baby’s age, size, skin sensitivity and your pocket.
- Disposable nappies are easy to use. They don’t need to be laundered, and there is no worry about leaving home.
- Initially, they can seem budget friendly and are not so expensive.
- Disposable diapers can be more absorbent and so you don’t need frequent diaper changes.
Impact on Ecosystem: In most countries, Australia inclusive, nappies constitute over 2% of household waste, and more than 2 billion nappies are thrown away every year. These nappies can take over half a century or more to decompose.
Cost: The long-term cost of disposable nappies is staggering. Let’s say your baby wears 6-8 nappies a day for 2.5 years with disposable nappies costing 45 to 50 cents each. Your eyes will probably water at the amount of money you’ve literally thrown in the bin when you’re done.
Incorrect Disposal: You’re supposed to flush the poo in your baby’s disposable nappy before disposing. Not doing this will let off methane gas while the poo is decomposing and this adds to global warming.
Chemicals: Chemicals like Sodium Polyacrylate is the reason why some disposable nappies are more absorbent than some reusable cloth nappies. Exposing your baby’s skin to these harsh chemicals might not be a good choice.
Space: Buying boxes of disposable nappies will take up a lot of space. Also, their prolonged use might not be good for your baby’s sensitive skin.
Are reusable cloth nappies better than disposable cloth nappies?
Short answer is yes! Most parents are a bit squeamish when it comes to constantly having to wash poo off nappies but it’s just one of the sacrifices we make for our children. Parents are the only ones who can determine what the best choice for their kid is. But if you are really concerned about how disposable nappies affect your child and the environment, then this should be an easy choice for you. If you’d like to see your options, have a look at our collection of eco-friendly reusable cloth nappies. We have cloth nappies for every occasion, including swimming. We would be delighted to help you find something perfect for your baby.