Cloth nappies have changed since the days of our grandmothers with a want for environmentally friendly alternatives becoming a priority for the growing majority of new parents. Changes to nappy design and accessories have taken away the mess, inconvenience, and expense that comes with cloth nappies. But why should you make the switch?
There are several benefits to the use of cloth nappies for your baby and the planet.
Disposable nappies are a world-wide contributor to landfill, and can make up to 50 percent of household waste for those with a child in nappies. It is not known exactly how long it takes for a disposable nappies to decompose, but it is estimated to be 250-500 years. With the average child requiring 60 nappies per week, using cloth nappies will dramatically decrease your individual impact on waste.
Cloth nappies are an investment and will save on money in the long run. Where the initial purchase can be quite expensive, not having to replace the nappy (especially if you purchase those that fit from infant to toddler) will cut on the costs of boxes and boxes of disposable ones. If taken care of, they can even be used on the next child if planning to grow your family.
Being more natural, cloth nappies reduce your baby’s exposure to the potentially harmful chemicals that are present in disposable nappies. Despite being less absorbent and increasing the number of nappy changes in a day, cloth nappies may reduce the presence of nappy rash. Kids will also notice they’re wet sooner rather than later, and can help ease the introduction to potty-training.
Where some may start using cloth nappies from day one, it is not always an all or nothing choice. You can begin using cloth nappies on a part-time basis, easing the transition for your baby and yourself. There are several options available such as all-in-one nappies, or simple cloth covers that can be put over the traditional pinned cloth nappy made from a variety of materials. Those that use cloth nappies may still find it more convenient to use disposables when out or on a trip to save on space and having to carry full nappies around in your bag.
With the idea of more mess and difficulty, it may be hard to convince your partner to introduce cloth nappies into the household. You can combat this by using flushable nappy liners making the cleaning and disposal of waste simple and easy, or even a nappy sprayer that hooks into your toilet’s clean water supply and helps cleaning up those messy situations easy with a high powered stream of water to clean the nappy directly over the toilet.
Before making the switch, it’s encouraged to do your research to ensure making the change is the right choice for you. There are several resources online displaying the benefits and implications of a switch to cloth nappies in your home.
For more ways you can help the environment at home see our tips for a greener household.