14 reasons why we use cloth nappies (that aren't about the environment)

Sunday, 5 July 2015

I'm no eco-warrior by any means, I've never chained myself to a tree and I don't eat Quinoa, but we do use cloth nappies.

Many people blithely assume that if you use cloth, you're in league with dear Swampy.  Of course I care about the environment but not in such a way that it directly influences my decisions above all else, it's an added bonus if it's good for the environment.  I think we're all painfully aware of the landfill issues and the fact disposables aren't biodegradable.

Let me start by declaring I'm not anti-disposables.  Thing one wore disposables.  Thing Two was in them for ten months, The Dude for 2 or 3 months and ditto with Moomin.  I get why people use them.

So why do I use cloth nappies on The Spawn?

1. They look cute.  Yes, I'm that superficial.  It is however true, very few people can, hand on heart, call a disposable nappy cute or pretty.  They're fugly.  You know it.  I know it.  We all know it.

2. Comfort.  What would you rather wear 24/7, something soft and cushiony or something papery and plasticy?  Cloth nappies are plush, soft and often made from natural textiles such as bamboo which is naturally antibacterial.

3.  Chemicals.  Disposables contain chemicals (dioxins, perfume, dyes, Sodium Polyacrylate, TriButlyTin)  which absorb wee turning it into gel crystals.  Chemical reactions create heat.  They've even been linked to reduced male fertility and testicular cancer.  Why on earth would I want my precious babies to have chemicals strapped to them 24/7?

4. Cloth nappies are cooler, on average a baby wearing a cloth nappy is 3 degrees cooler than one in disposables.  Also textiles such as bamboo have thermo regulating properties.

5. As disposables become more and more absorbent in can become more and more difficult to judge the urine output of your child, especially when they're newborn or in hot weather.  Yet urine output is a very useful factor in determining if your baby is unwell.

6.  Cushioning.  As they learn to pull up to their feet, cruise, climb and walk it's inevitable they'll fall a fair bit on their arse.  Cloth nappies cushion the fall.

7. Generally parents with babies in disposables use more lotions/potions on their baby's bum when changing nappies, if this is a routine necessity, you should really ask yourself how good the nappy you're using is against your baby's skin.

8.  Disposables can lead to laziness.  I'm not for one minute saying people who use disposables are lazy, not at all.  However, because they state they can last up to '12 hours' overnight, I've seen many people assume that unless their baby has soiled it, it doesn't need changing that frequently which is when you see little toddlers walking around with a plasticy-papery nappy full of wee and chemicals hanging down to their knees between their legs.

9.  Cloth nappies can aid in potty training as they absorb slower so the child is more aware of when they've had a wee.

10. Some paediatric specialists attribute the use of disposable nappies and the fact they're becoming slimmer and slimmer to the rise in instances of and severity of hip dysplasia and spinal injuries.

11. Finance.  Cloth can be a big initial outlay, yet overall over the average 2.5 years of use, it works out much cheaper, more so if you use cloth wipes too (let's face it if you're chucking nappies in the wash why not the wipes too?) there's also less need for creams and nappy sacks etc.  If you then go on to use the nappies for subsequent babies, the savings can be extraordinary in comparison to disposables.  However, it does depend on what type of cloth you choose, obviously if you have a stash full of customised nappies, the savings aren't going to be as great.

12. Smell.  I know, you're going to think I've got this backwards but no, disposables stink.  The thing is, you don'tr actually notice it until you start substituting them with cloth.  Disposables have a very peculiar chemical whiff about them, especially once baby has has a wee in one.

13.  Moomin can outpee a disposable over night easily, leaving a wet Moomin and a wet bed.

14. Bin space.  With councils trying to limit the frequency of bin collections, your wheelie bin soon fills up with disposable nappies, not to mention it's all a bit ming come summer when you have a bin full of shit.

Of course there's also reasons, valid reasons, why people use disposables it's just it's more socially accepted and people rarely have to explain why.

* Compact to carry around
* You can buy them pretty much anywhere if you run out.
* Easier to travel with as you use then dispose
* They're familiar so childminders, nursery workers and relatives all know how to use them.
* No washing/drying involved


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