Why use cloth nappies?

There are many great answers to the question, why use cloth nappies, but here are some of the best ones:

  • Cloth nappies can save you money, help the environment and are a better choice against your babies delicate skin.
  • Choosing cloth can save over $1000, on your first child alone.
  • Using cloth, rather than disposable nappies is around 40% better for the environment.
  • Disposable nappies contain chemicals which can be harmful against your babies skin, causing rashes and discomfort, or long term issues, so for many babies, reusable nappies are just a better option.

But doesn’t using cloth mean hours of soaking, boil washing and extra work?  Aren’t washable nappies hard work?

Modern cloth nappies are very different to the old style flat nappies and plastic pants, and many of the things that may put you off the idea of using cloth, just do not apply to modern cloth nappies.  The reusable nappies on the market today come in a huge range of patterns and styles, are reliable and easy to use and care for.

Save money

When asking why use cloth nappies? One of the first things that you might want to consider is how much money you can save by using them.  Cloth nappies can be expensive to buy initially, but the savings that you will make over time are huge.  Once you have purchased your cloth nappies, the only ongoing cost, is the expense of washing and possibly drying them.  Depending on the nappies that you choose, you can save between $1000 and $4000 on your first baby alone, by using cloth nappies.

Washing cloth nappies

Modern cloth nappies do not need soaking or boil washing.  Instead modern fabrics and detergents mean that they are simple to wash.  Rather than soaking, nappies can be stored in a lidded bucket until ready to wash, and then washed in warm water with half a scoop of washing powder.  Washing full loads, and line-drying when possible helps to ensure that the process is as environmentally friendly as possible.  If needed a small amount of nappy sanitiser can be added to the wash, for extra hygiene.  There are a wide range of environmentally friendly washing powders and options which ensure that there are not too many chemicals  against your little one’s delicate skin.  Many people are put off the idea of washing when considering ‘why use cloth nappies’ but in reality, there isn’t a great deal more work.

Health concerns

Some people worry that a cloth nappy can slow down a child walking or moving.  Most of our great sportsmen and women will have grown up using cloth nappies, and it certainly didn’t slow them down.  A bulky cloth nappy also actually holds your baby in a better position, particularly if there is any problem in the hip area.  Added to the reduced chemicals against the skin, it’s altogether a more healthy option.

Why use cloth nappies, facts and figures:

  • Changing a baby 4 times a day, with nappies costing at least 45c each, you will spend $1642 from birth to 2 ½.
  • When you consider that many children stay in nappies for much longer, and in the early days at least you will be probably changing much more, the costs soon add up.
  • A set of 20 cloth nappies costs around $300-$400, even with washing costs, a far cheaper alternative, and they can be reused on your next child.
  • By using cloth nappies, and washing them at 40 degrees, line drying, and reusing on future children you will be using around 370 kg of carbon over 2 ½ years, for the same period using disposable nappies produces around 550 kg of carbon according to a report by the UK environment agency.
  • A number of different chemicals are used in disposable nappies, to make them more absorbent, and slimmer fitting.  Although individual studies have not been done on the effects of these chemicals in nappies, reports have linked them to asthma, male infertility and toxic shock syndrome, among other ill effects.

The question should not be why use cloth nappies, but rather why NOT use cloth nappies.

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