We love our kids. Nappy days are a part of first growing up. If you are thinking about using cloth nappies then good on you - it's the first step! Children have about 5000 to 7000 nappy changes during their first few years so it's worth the time and money making a wise decision with what you are going to use. It also deserves talking about because sadly disposables are so commonly accepted and used as a nappy system.
If you are willing to take the time to read on hopefully it will help you make that decision to use cloth or ditch those disposables!
Mums and Dads know and say that disposables are "bad for the environment", but in reality they don't really care because they still use them! It's like the people who smoke; they know it kills them but they still do it!! Unfortunately they seem just too easy and those big rich corporates who sell them also seem to spread their power of influence with their marketing. We need to change our mindset for the better...
You can make a difference even if others can't see any sense. There are good reasons why using cloth will benefit your baby. And if you don't care about the environment then you should at least care about your pocket! Disposables are an ongoing, very costly affair. Let's talk some more so you have a good idea about what we are on about...
CLOTH IS A HEALTHIER CHOICE FOR YOUR BABY
Did you know that disposable nappies are full of chemicals? In fact they are an unsavoury mixture of plastic and fragrances also. One of the most powerful chemicals is sodium polyacrylate; that's the stuff that turns the urine into a gel so there's no leaks and means they can be worn for a long time too. If you actually read what goes into a disposable nappy to make it you'd almost certainly go "YUCK"!
Some dispute cloth nappies increase the chance of babies getting nappy rash but that's not true. Companies who manufacture disposables try to come up with reasons why they are better than cloth (...that they supposedly have some advantages other than they're throw-away), but in the end they seem to fail miserably! The crux of the matter is in the olden days when disposables weren't invented or heard of, few babies suffered rashes. Today the occurrence of rashes is much increased and a good reason for it is the increase in use of throw-away naps. Cloth nappies are a far healthier option for your baby.
There's also studies been done claiming using disposables heat up males testicles and this can possibly negatively affect their fertility later in life. A lot of parents who use disposables probably don't know things like this.
Babies who use disposables tend to toilet train later than children in cloth nappies; some say about 5 months later. So who wants kids in nappies for longer than necessary! No wonder there's a trend with kindergarten children who are still not toilet trained.
New Zealand's Zero Waste Trust estimates a million disposable nappies end up in our landfill everyday (based on 145,000 children under 2.5 years using 6-7 nappies a day). That's an awful lot over an entire year, excuse the pun! The statistics are even more staggering for hugely populated countries in the UK and the USA, so we won't even start on that.
Did you know that it takes one cup of crude oil to make the plastic in each disposable nappy and 4.5 trees to make paper pulp for each baby in disposables for 2.5 years. Worse still these nappies that end up in the landfill will take up to 500 years to break down. What's even more gross is the raw sewage that is tossed into the rubbish too. Even though it says on the disposable packet to empty the poos into the toilet, the truth is people don't. So all those neatly wrapped up little bundles amount to 1-2 tonnes of soiled naps per baby. That's pretty disgusting!
One of the claims these disposable manufacturers have tried to tell us is using cloth nappies is expensive; you know, the use of water, electricity and detergent they use. When we checked what it cost to run a washing machine per load, plus powder it worked out to be less than about $2 a week. Obviously it's a bit more if you used a drier for drying. Cloth is definitely an economical option energy wise.
Unfortunately the true cost of using disposable nappies is kind of hidden because the expense is drip-fed a bit each week and parents don't notice it as much. Even at an average of around 50 cents a pop it adds up very quickly. The cost of the nappies rises too as baby grows into the bigger sizes which are more expensive.
It costs about at least $1,000 per year on average to use disposables (based on about 5-6 nappies a day or 2000 nappies per year x 50 cents). So that's about $2,500 to $3,000 for a child who is in nappies for around 2.5+ years. For one thing that's money better spent on other things - imagine how many toys you could buy for baby with all those $$ for example. It's also throwing money away (i.e about $20 per week) when in comparison the setting up with a cloth nappy system means you'll still have the nappies for the next child. And that's without even considering the benefits to your baby or the environment.
Yes, you have an upfront cost for cloth nappies at the beginning but just think by the time you've paid for about 3 or 4 months supply of disposables you could have paid for a supply of cloth nappies. The sooner you start with cloth or switch using disposables the more you'll save. Pregnant mums often say "I'll just use disposables for the first few weeks while my baby is very young", but when it comes to the time they just keep on using them. Did you know newborn babies go through about 10-16 nappy changes a day and chew through packets and packets of disposables at a cost of around $30 per week.
So what can you do? Well if you are pregnant and thinking about nappies then that's great because you have a little more time to get organised. Think about starting with cloth because that's where you'll make the most of your savings. Or even limit yourself to, say 4 packets and that's it; then start using cloth. Think that this could be one less thing you need to shop for at the supermarket; you can skip that isle and feel good you have made a sensible and reasoned decision. And a nice consolation is its also a way you can show others the benefits and be a good role model for other family and friends with children. Plus today's nappies are so easy, trim and funky - what other reason do you need!!!