I thought I’d do a series of blogs about the benefits and downsides and what #reusablenappies entail. I’ll begin with the benefits.
Benefit number 1
People talk about the planet when using #reusables and that absolutely plays a part in my decision to cloth bum Evie but going onto maternity pay and wanting a year off to be with my baby has meant that financially we needed to know how and where we could save money. And using reusables are a fantastic way to do this.
I have spent around £300 in total for 40 #nappies (half size ones two part system and half all in ones) and a further 18 size two two part system, disposable liners, waterproof bag and bucket. I only wash twice a week tops (when the bucket gets full around three or four days in) and as they cannot be tumble dried there is only the washing cost with non bio detergent.
I began using disposables with Evie and wasted so many babygros and vests in #poonamis and wasted nappy after nappy when she would poo mid nappy change which was quite honestly a waste of money as well as a waste of nappies going to landfill. Financially the cost of poo leaks on clothing was ridiculous. I tried nappysan, vanish oxy action, soaking straight away, scrubbing with bleach and ruined my hands in the process. In the end I just accepted that her nice white babygros will forever have slight yellow stains on. Until week 8 we were having 5-7 poo nappies a day partly due to being newborn and partly due to #CMPA before I cut out the dairy. Financially Evie being in disposables was a ridiculous cost.
I worked out that what I have spent on reusables is the equivalent of 10 months of disposables. And most children don’t potty train until they are 2-21/2 year old. The best part is that cloth nappies will often last for three of four babies so keeping them will save us a fortune if we do ever have any more in the future or I can sell on second hand. Also I bought enough #clothnappies to last me a week if needed (the bucket isn’t big enough for this) whereas many mums could get away with 20-30 nappies instead which is even cheaper.
Benefit number two: Using cloth nappies are more often better for your baby’s skin
A study published this year found that disposable nappies have over 60 dangerous chemicals in. The first study to have really looked into a variety of disposable brands found things like glycophosate (the active ingredient In weed killer), and chemicals which have been found in cigarettes and diesel. In order to prevent leaks the nappy companies have to design products which absorb a large volume of urine or feaces really quickly and most parents want a nappy to last as long as possible to prevent having to change their baby constantly so you can understand why there are so many chemicals in disposable nappies. Many babies have even had chemical burns with disposable Nappies when they have split which can leave children with lifelong scarring.
There were also links made in a 2000 study to decreased sperm counts in baby boys because plastic nappies raise the scrotal temperature when compared to cloth nappies (as with most health related studies cause and effect is difficult to determine or prove so this is not a proven problem but something to think about). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/941174.stm
Form personal experience Evies skin is delicate: it reacts when we use disposable wipes so quickly changed on day four to reusable wipes and water. I then needed to continue using nappy rash creams every nappy change until we began cloth nappies. Now I only use nappy rash cream occasionally – usually when Evie is teething or had reaction poos to me reintroducing dairy to confirm the allergy. In the last year alone I haven’t even finished one of the sample tubs of sudocreme to put it in perspective for you.
Benefit number 3
The two part system not only doesn’t leak but lasts ages without needing to be changed which is brilliant for nighttime
I’ll explain the differences in nappies later this week and what benefits/disadvantages each system has) with additional boosters in to aid absorbancy.
As long as Evie doesn’t poo overnight the two part nappy system will last 12-13 hours which is brilliant because if I do change her nappy in the night she feeds for longer, wants to play and wakes up completely because I have to turn the light on to change her.
As an alternative if you choose to use disposables but find that it doesn’t last that long/leaks you can always buy reusable inserts to put in the nappy to aid absorbency overnight and prevent leakages from the disposable nappies. Or put a wrap over the nappy to prevent poonamis. Many parents choose to do part time reusables overnight which does help reduce the amount of nappies going to landfill. Like with the choices with baby feeding – you don’t have to choose one or the other, you can mix it up instead and find what works for you and your baby. With nappies it doesn’t have to be all or nothing – more whatever you can do makes a difference.
Benefit number four
Cloth nappies are stylish, unique and much more individual than disposables
Whether you buy little lambs, Little n bloomz, totsbots, Bambino Mio, bamboozle, bumgenius, motherease, smart bottoms, thirsties or any other branded nappies each and every one looks great and is stylish. You can buy a variety of wraps, all in ones, all in twos, pocket or prefolds and there are some amazing friends of mine who have even managed to make their own wraps and covers in the past (I am not a great seamstress when it comes to fabric so will stick to buying online). For baby girls in dresses in the summer it means you can really show off your amazing looking reusable nappy 😊
The final benefit
Babies who wear cloth nappies are more likely to toilet train earlier. Using cloth nappies means that your baby can begin to understand when they feel wet or damp and are more likely to feel uncomfortable therefore wanting to toilet train earlier.
More and more children are going to school not toilet trained. There is a wide variety of reasons for this but disposable nappies have been associated with later toilet training in many children because they are so absorbent and therefore children don’t know when they are wet/damp and because going in a highly absorbent nappy is easier. So why would you take yourself off to the toilet?
Earlier toilet training in babies means less nappies, less washing, less time to toilet train and less plastic going to landfill. You can also combine cloth nappies with elimination communication to save yourself some washing of nappies 😊. In the last 9 days I have managed to catch three poos (she goes once a day) and four wees in the toilet👶. Overall cloth nappies reduces your carbon footprint (in terms of manufacturing and distribution), reduce landfill which reduces methane in the environment saves you money, reduces the chemicals on your babies skin and can help with toilet training. Tomorrow I will focus on the negatives of reusables. For more information of to trial a nappy pack free of charge go to: https://www.wiltshirewildlife.org/wiltshire-real-nappy-network. Many local councils offer discount vouchers to buy reusable nappies as well.