It’s Real Nappy Week where parents up and down the land celebrate all things that go over and under. Of course I’m talking about those cute little tushes, which often produce some very uncute giant smells!
We tried to keep our about the sort of parents we wanted to be before the Lamb was born but one thing we were adamant about was that we wanted to use reusable nappies. We’d done a lot of reading about nappies and had some friends who’d used reusable nappies with their children. The assorted articles we read suggested that reusables were making a firm come-back so we’re really surprised when we were the only couple planned to sue them when we did the ‘nappy class’ during our antenatal classes (we had a very large group of of at least 15 parents-to-be).
So I thought I’d look at reasons why people are still not keen on resuables, some of the myths and reasons why we love ’em.
It seems that there’s two major turn offs for real nappies: price and smell. I’ll start with price.
Ok, there’s no getting around it. Buying reusable nappies can be pricey. There are assorted makes out there but as we use Bambino Mio, they’ll be the ones I’ll use as a comparison. They have two different versions: the two piece and the all-in-one. The two piece is similar to what was used in the past with a waterproof outer and a cotton pad liner which you cover with a flushable sheet. The all-in-one has a hidden absorbent core and looks like a disposable nappy. To buy the birth to potty kits costs between £150-200 and includes all you need from birth, to, well potty training. There’s also a nappy bucket to pop used nappies in. So yes, it’s a big initial outlay, especially when you’re being given lists of everything you ‘must have’ for your baby. However, when you consider the average baby used TWO THOUSAND nappies per year until potty trained (source: goreal) and that even if you buy cheap disposables costing anywhere between 10-30pence per nappy (average annual costs £400) that’s quite a lot of money to be throwing away. It’s hypothesised that parents save from £100-1000 PER YEAR using disposables. Plus, there’s the added benefit of being able to reuse them if you have additional children or selling them on.
So let’s talk smell. There’s no getting around it, babies poop. A LOT. Oh, dear gods the poop. However, as strange as it may sound, your nose switches off during changes and given the nappy buckets, as soon as the lids closed you don’t smell anything. Depending on how many you use, you’re likely to be doing a load of nappies every other day (although I remember doing a load a day when the Lamb first came home). I can honestly say that while there’s a bit of a smell while you’re putting them in the washing machine, the buckets contain all odours until then. Don’t fancy washing them yourself? Many councils now offer a laundering service.
Now, when you consider that most areas only collect rubbish every two weeks, that’s a lot of poop and used nappies sat around till collection day (my friends on average put out one bin bag of used nappies MINIMUM per fortnight) and especially in the summer, that was a lot of stink!
And I’ll just say one final thing about chemicals. If you’ve read my post about my Earth Day Pledges, you’ll know my concern for our waterways and my switch to ecoleaf washing powder as well as monitoring what chemicals we put on our skin (see my assorted homemade smellies!). Washing my daughters nappies, I know exactly what chemicals (or in our case, the lack of chemicals) are against her skin. I have one friend who’s baby reactive to every nappy she wore, from the cheap Aldi brand, to the costly Pampers. Turns out that her little one was allergic to aloe, something that is put in most nappies. A switch to reusable nappies and no more painful rashes!
Don’t believe me? I asked Louise from LittleHeartsBigLove about her experience of real nappies. Louise used them from birth to potty with both her daughters, CHD baby Jessica and her little sister Sophie. Louise said: ‘We don’t use them now but I used them with both the girls and found them very easy to use. Long-term they were so much cheaper than disposables and for me the biggest thing was knowing that I wasn’t contributing anywhere near as much waste to landfill as a result. They’re just as easy to put on and take off as a disposable and the liners we used were flushable so poo just went down the loo anyway. We had a wet bag for putting nappies in when out and about and a bucket at home. I just lifted the mesh bag out of the bucket and did a nappy wash every other day or so. Yes it was a little extra washing but once it was part of my everyday routine I can’t say I particularly noticed the extra work. I’ve still got the ones we’ve had ever since my eldest was a baby (holding on to them until we’re sure that our baby producing days are over!)‘
So go on, get real!