When cloth nappies are talked or written about, the most common viewpoint for using them is an environmental one. Yes, this is a huge plus point for using cloth over disposable but I have started to worry that by focussing a lot of energy on this side that we are inadvertently missing a new consumer. You see, not everybody is as passionate about the environment and no matter how much you and I bang on about 500 years, plastic waste, crude oil and water use, it may actually turn some people off. We all have different lives, we all have different routines, children and opinions and so, I wanted to take a different stance on the benefits of cloth nappies… One that does not mention the environment or saving the planet. This is about how cloth nappies are more convenient and beneficial for both you and baby. How cloth can actually make life easier, healthier, simpler. Yes, I believe all of those things to be true, as did my lovely cloth bum mama’s over on Instagram who helped to give many ideas for this blog. So, let’s take a look at the most popular reasons why cloth is convenient and beneficial…
Never Run Out
I’ve put this one first because it was the most common response and it is also my favourite too. Having used disposables with my first child (I didn’t know cloth nappies were a thing) I can honestly say that the difference now is amazing. I can still clearly remember having to keep check of how many disposables I had left, hunting around for any that I may have popped into another bag or drawer, making mad dashes to the shop when we accidentally ran out, adding them to the shopping list and so on. With cloth, I never have this worry. I know I have enough to keep us going even when my bucket is full and awaiting a wash. The thought of always having all the nappies I will ever need is really reassuring because it is another weight off of my busy Mum mind. It is something that is covered, one less worry, one less trip out of the house and one less expense.
Better On Your Pocket
The initial outlay of cloth nappies may seem a bit steep to many but what we have to bear in mind is that once you have bought these, that’s it and I always like to add in my posts that nobody is saying that you have to buy them all at once, you can slowly build your stash over time until you have enough to get by on. To cloth nappy full time you will need around 25 nappies and with such a variety of nappy brands coming to market, with pre-loved sites and dedicated Facebook groups selling them, you don’t actually have to spend as much as you may well be imagining. In fact, research shows that you can spend £1200 in disposables from birth to potty training whereas you can cloth bum for as little as £200.
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Use On Multiple Children
And to follow on from the last point, you will save time and time again if you use your nappies on more children. If you purchased enough to cloth bum your first child, you will never have to buy disposables for your second, third, fourth child. No more costs, no running out to the shops, no running out… It all just links round and round doesn’t it?!
Sell Them On
If the savings weren’t enough for you, you can even sell them on once you are finished with them and get some of your money back… If not more! Oh yes, some prints are highly sought after because cloth has also become very fashionable and this has led to many people willing to pay over the odds for them. Great news if you have older or rare prints in your collection.
Pass Them On
If you didn’t feel quite right about selling your cloth nappies, passing them on is another wonderful way of giving back. Part of the joy of cloth nappies is the warm and helpful community and passing on used cloth nappies can go on to help a family who may not be able to afford a full stash or who are still in two minds over whether it is the right choice for them. You can help somebody else make that swap by passing on what you have used and give more life to your nappies.
If you have a baby or toddler who loves to whip their disposable nappy off, cloth nappies with poppers may be a great solution.
On the other hand, if you want a nappy that is easy to get on because you have a wriggly little one, then velcro would be the choice for you.
For more on this check out this post here.
Disposables contain a number of chemicals which I can’t list for you as not one company lists their full ingredients on their packaging or on their website. What I CAN tell you is that cloth nappies do not contain any. They are predominantly made up of natural fibres including cotton and bamboo which are far better for your baby’s skin:
The majority of cloth parents report that when they make the switch, one of the first noticeable differences is the lack of nappy rash. Now, all babies will get a rash or redness of some sort, whether that’s from teething, being left too long in a nappy, skin/food allergies etc. but with cloth, there are no chemicals to aggravate or to be the lead cause.
If your child has skin allergies, eczema etc. these can also be aggravated by disposable chemicals and perfumes. Cloth is kinder as it is all natural.
Another thing you may notice is that your baby’s bum isn’t sticky or sweaty from the plastics, chemicals and perfumes. Cloth nappies are breathable and all of this again ties in with the above points. Sweat can lead to redness which can lead to a rash, the chemicals react with that, making it worse… Add in a plastic layer and you literally have a warm breeding ground as your baby sweats.
Disposables are bleached white with a chemical which is also used in disposable sanitary pads, tampons, cigarettes etc. Cloth nappies do not need these methods to be used during their production.
We have all heard the terms ‘poo explosion’ or ‘poonami’ I’m sure but are you aware that cloth nappy parents do not experience this side of parenthood? Due to the elastic waist and leg bands, that poo is completely contained and clothing doesn’t become dirty or stained.
I’m going to cover this one even though both cloth and disposable nappies can lead to leaks. Leaks can happen for a variety of reasons with teething, growth spurts, increased feeding, illnesses all being contributors. However, with cloth you can react to this accordingly. If you get a leak in a disposable, your only option is to throw that one away, go for another exactly the same and wait to see if it happens again. This is not only quite stressful, it is also very wasteful as you will probably end up going through more nappies than usual.
In a cloth nappy you can have a leak and look at your options. Have they leaked because they need boosting? (that’s adding an additional insert to a nappy to give more absorbency) Have they leaked due to compression? (in a car seat, a baby carrier etc) Have they leaked due to fit? You get the idea. From here you can do whatever works for you. There are no rules with cloth, go ahead and boost a nappy in a way that works for you and your baby in order to prevent those leaks and to give better absorbency. There are so many styles available and so much that you can mix and match that you should be able to remedy this issue quite quickly. And don’t forget that there are plenty of advice groups to help you out with this too.
One Size Fits Birth To Potty
This is such a huge benefit because once you have bought those nappies, they will last your child until they are potty trained. You won’t have to wonder if you need to shop for the next size up, you won’t have any left over from the size before, you won’t have to experiment with lots of nappies to find which size you need. Cloth nappies can be altered in size using the rise poppers at the front which make the entire nappy go from small to large and you can adjust the wasitband with either the popper fastenings or the velcro.
No Stinky Bin!
I remember opening my bin in my kitchen when using disposables and getting that horrendous stench hitting me in the face. I also remember how much more we used to empty it just to eliminate that smell from our house. Now we rarely empty the bin, our waste has been significantly reduced, meaning we don’t ever have an overflowing wheelie bin and no extra hassle.
This may sound strange to parents who don’t use cloth but washing them is so much more convenient to many because of the points I have mentioned above. No trips to the shops, no running out, no extra waste in the bin, no stinky bin. Their nappies can be easily popped on to wash and they can walk away and get on with other things. They air dry (usually very quickly) and then are ready to use again. There is so much satisfaction in all of this.
Of course, cloth nappies don’t stop with your usual ones, in fact, reusable swim nappies are something that everybody could easily do and love! They come in several sizes (usually s, m, l, xl) so one pair will last until your child grows out of them instead of having to throw a disposable one away after a half-hour lesson. As mentioned above, you also won’t run out, you won’t have to dash to the shops and you won’t be left with a surplus amount when your child has grown. They will also save you around £12.41 a year. For more on this read my detailed blog here.
I am sure there are many other ways in which cloth nappies are more convenient and I would love to hear those so do leave me a comment in the box below but I wanted to leave one lasting reason- the amazing cloth community. By switching to cloth I have made so many online friends, real-life friends, I can openly talk to many people on social media and I know that I can help or advice at the drop of a hat. The cloth community is a warm and welcoming one and that is a HUGE benefit when you are choosing to make this change and also one when you are at home alone all day with a baby. I know that I can pick up my phone and there will be a friendly parent there to engage with. Cloth has brought me so much more than just a pretty nappy.
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