I felt sick as I wrapped another nappy, and threw it into the bin… and not for the reason you might think. I mean, sure, E’s nappies were stinky, poo filled, wet and heavy, but the reason I felt sick was due to the amount of rubbish we were creating.
Pre-baby, J and I could go about a week, making only 1 or 2 shopping bags full of rubbish. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but definitely something we felt proud of. Now we were filling our rolly bin each week.
Before E was born, I had done a bit of research about cloth nappies, but mostly I just listened to a friend and heeded her advice regarding which kind worked for her and we settled on PeaPods. I scoured eBay and Gumtree for cloth nappies, and we were lucky to get two bulk lots of about 20 nappies each, for $200 a bundle.
We decided to use cloth nappies for 2 reasons:
- The cost – we just couldn’t afford to be buying disposable nappies week after week. We did use disposables for the first 5 weeks (because E was too small to fit into the cloth ones) and went through 4 packets of 30 nappies and at anywhere between $6-$15 a packet, we’d already spent a maximum of $60 on nappies. Whereas our cloth ones had cost us $400 and will last until he is toilet trained, and for potential subsequent children.
- The environment – yesterday I read that using cloth nappies could bring about a roughly 40% reduction in carbon emissions. Pairing that with the amount of waste we were creating and I feel really good about the choice we have made.
While we were clothing it up, we thought we may as well include wipes in this equation. Again, Google saved the day and I found Cheeky Wipes.
These have been a fantastic choice! We’re already washing nappies, and we don’t have to wash one thing and throw out another, they just all go in the wash together. We also found that E has no reaction to the essential oils that goes into the water that the wipes are soaked in, however he was getting nappy rash in those early days from the disposable wipes.
Washing all these bits is easy; granted there’s no solids yet, but we just separate the liner from the shell, place both into the dry bucket. Once the bucket is full, we move it to the laundry until we’ve filled the second bucket. Then dump all into the washing machine, add the wipes, then set the machine to a 45 minute soak and a 15 minute rinse. We add store bought eco-friendly liquid detergent and press ‘go’.
Once it’s done we hang all the pieces out to dry. If the weather isn’t great, the liners go in the drier and the shells go on the line or clothes horse.
I find people quite defensive about me using cloth nappies. I don’t judge your or anyone else’s choices. Parenting is a tough caper and I’m not about to add to that but I have found that people explain their choice to not use cloth to me, when they see me changing a nappy.
For example: at our 6 week check up, our doctor confessed to giving up on cloth after her second, due to the 3 flights of stairs she had to scale to do the washing. I promise, I’m not here to judge, just to share our experience.
Have you ever had someone share something with you because maybe they thought they were being judged by you? Have you used cloth or disposable nappies?