For many parents they’re an absolute must when it comes to stocking the nursery, but not only are disposable nappies purse-unfriendly, they’re pretty harmful to the environment too.
Thankfully, there is an alternative, and real or reusable nappies have seen something of a revival of late with parents opting to return to the old-fashioned method of baby bottom protecting.
But while many parents can see the benefits of using re-usable nappies in terms of cost and conscience, others still subscribe to the fiddly, faffy and frankly icky school of thought.
So, to celebrate Real Nappy Week, we’ve rounded up some pretty convincing reasons to rethink real nappies.
They’re not as ‘leaky’ as you might think
For those in the dark about reusables, a cloth nappy is made up of a number of layers. The outer wrap acts as a waterproof layer; whilst the inner lining provides the absorbent layer. While some cloth nappies come ‘ready made’ and are quite similar to disposables, others might need to be made up in layers as necessary. Every reusable nappy needs a final layer, which will consist of a washable or flushable liner; to, er, catch any solids. Booster pads can be added to provide extra protection at night.
They’re better for the environment
According to the 2008 life cycle analysis by opting for reusable over disposable nappies, families could make up to a 40% carbon saving. While, WRAP (the Government’s Waste & Resources Action Programme) estimates that households using cloth nappies reduce their household waste by up to half compared to those who use disposables.
At the moment it is estimated that UK families send 355,000 tons of single use nappies to landfill and insinuation each year, costing Local Authorities (and tax payers) a whopping £32 million a year. They can also take up to 500 years to breakdown in landfill.
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By the time they’ve reached two and a half years the average baby will have worn around 5,000 disposable nappies at a cost of £650 to £1300. Real nappies on the other hand cost just £200 for the same two and half year period. No brainer!
For parents wanting to reduce costs even further, there is a vast network of second-hand nappy suppliers.
They’re not as fiddly as you might think
Some parents will no doubt be put off reusable nappies by the thought of how you clean them. In fact speak to many grandparents who likely used the cloth method and some will likely share tales of the faff of having to boil the soiled nappies. But modern fabrics and advanced washing machines makes washing non-disposable nappies a doddle these days.
According to Go Real while cloth or terry nappies with folding and pins are still a popular reusable nappy option, modern real nappies are much more convenient. Many are shaped to fit babies and have the waterproof part attached with Velcro or poppers. When they need washing they simply need to be popped in the washing machine. Simples!
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They ‘might’ help with potty training
According to Veolia.co.uk there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that children who use cloth nappies become potty trained much quicker than those using disposables as they are more aware that they have been to the toilet. Anything that might ease the pain of potty training has got to be worth a go, right?