I feel I should start this post by saying that there is no shame in using disposable nappies. Just wanted to put that out there. I used disposable nappies with my first baby and he still wears a pull up at night time. I salute any parent who is together enough to commit to reusable nappies from the start. Quite honestly motherhood was a big enough adjustment for me. I felt I had enough going on so I didn’t consider reusable nappies until my first child was two and by that time there seemed no point.
Since having children I’ve become more conscious of of the amount of waste we, as a family, create and the chemical content of many of the mainstream products we use day to day. My children have eczema and allergies so I prefer to use natural products on their skin and around our home. All of these were factors in my decision to try reusable nappies with our second child. I tried them and loved them. Even my other half, who wasn’t on board at the start, is a convert.
Not only have I become a baby bore, I’m now a cloth nappy bore to boot. Given the opportunity I will talk about them at length. The soft fluffy nappy next to my babies skin, the superior containment of liquid poop, the reduction of our household waste, the money we’ve saved already, the gorgeous prints, the brands I like, the ones I want to try, the list goes on and on. However, most of this nappy chat takes place with my husband who has little or no interest in listening. I’m the only one in all of my friendship groups who is currently using cloth nappies. I rarely mention it when I’m with friends, partly because I don’t want to be a nappy bore, mostly because I don’t want them to feel I’m preaching or judging parents who use disposables. However, thanks to the wonder of social media I have a little network of virtual ‘nappy friends’ I can chat and ask questions about all things reusable and I’m learning about things I didn’t even know existed when I was a first time mum.
Many of my friends don’t know we use cloth nappies. If they haven’t seen me change the baby theres no reason why they would. I was at the park with a group of friends recently and gave my 3 year old a cloth wipe for his hands. My friend was immediately curious and we got chatting about reusable wipes and nappies. She was genuinely interested but it was obvious her partner was horrified. This made me think that I should be more open. We’re not doing anything wrong or weird. I’m confident that reusable nappies and wipes are the right choice for us and probably could be for lots of other families if cloth nappies and information about them was more mainstream. Some people immediately point out the environmental impact of extra washing or raise hygiene concerns. I’ve done my research and I’m sure that reusables are better for the environment, my bank balance and my childrens skin. Plus I really like using cloth nappies. I even like washing them and I especially like hanging them out to dry. Yes I’m a loser.
If you’re curious about cloth nappies and want more information there is a wealth of it online but it can be pretty daunting. I’d recommend visiting thenappygurus.com or thenappylady.co.uk for straightforward and honest advice. When choosing my nappies I sought advice from Wendy Richards aka The Nappy Lady as she has a non-judgemental attitude towards disposables and offers a free consultancy via an online questionnaire. Many local authorities offer vouchers or reimbursement of £30-50 to enable families to give cloth a go. This doesn’t seem to be well publicised and I only knew that it existed in my area after being given a heads up by and Instagram friend 200 miles away!
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting honest reviews of several nappy brands, discussing my favourites nappies and where to buy them. If you’re tempted to #giveclothago , curious about reusables or just want to establish whether I’m a tree hugging oddball, follow me here or on Instagram/Facebook to get notifications for new posts.