22 December 2014
My Top Three Reasons for Choosing Cloth Nappies
At Sustainababy this month, we are asking our Eco Challenge community to show us just how much they love cloth nappies. Some of our Eco Challengers are experienced cloth nappy users, whilst others are just starting out. To kick start this month's challenge, we would love you to meet Eva Van Strijp, founder of Oz Baby Trends. As mother of five and sponsor for this month's Eco Challenge, Eva knows a thing or two about cloth! In this guest post, Eva talks about her top three reasons for loving cloth nappies ~ including a link to one of her fantastic FREE online tutorials.
There are many reasons that people choose reusable nappies. Most people quote monetary savings, environmental impact and skin health as the major reasons for choosing cloth.
From the start, I wanted to use cloth nappies, but truth be told, there wasn’t any real reason. I just had this “feeling” that it would be better for my baby’s skin and better for our family.
I just couldn’t fathom the waste associated with using something for a few hours, then throwing it away. This wasn’t because I actually had any idea about the impact of nappy choices. It was literally just a feeling. And perhaps also a little bit of pride, after my mother-in-law declared I wouldn’t keep at it!
The financial savings and lower environmental impact of cloth nappies were added bonuses and more than eight years later, still are.
My top three reasons for using cloth nappies are lifestyle ones.
I’m a big believer in simplifying work, parenthood, life… so how exactly do cloth nappies simplify life, I hear you ask!
I don’t believe in using a whole lot of different, dedicated products if one product will do a variety of tasks. Cloth nappies fall firmly in to this category. Apart from the fact that one nappy can be used hundreds of times as a nappy, a flat cloth nappy can also be used as a spew rag, toilet training aid, seat cover, sun shade and mattress protector!
I have heard it said that disposables help to simplify life, because you just throw them out when you’re done. While this may be true, it doesn’t take into account the numerous resources used to manufacture, distribute and dispose of 2000 nappies per child for each year they are in nappies. This process is far from simple.
Reusable nappies help me to keep my motherhood journey in focus by choosing an option that reminds me to keep things simple. I can simplify the journey without compromising on performance. I can have access to the best for my baby, without spending more than I need to. I have nappies on tap.
It’s just a matter of an extra load of washing every second day. No household chore could be simpler or more enjoyable than standing beneath a clothesline in the warm sunshine methodically pegging away!
HINT: If switching to full time cloth nappying feels overwhelming and far from simple, start with just one nappy a day. Give it a quick hand rinse in the laundry tub after use and pop it in the wash with a load of towels or clothes.
One of the things I’ve discovered on this parenting journey is that the things that are simple are usually also practical.
Cloth nappies are a totally customisable nappying option for your baby. Different nappy brands can be mixed and matched, you can add absorbency or remove it, you can pass them on to other children, they can be washed anywhere there is a fresh water supply.
But the most practical part? They’re always on hand. You just don’t get low or run out in the same way that you do with disposables. When you’re low on disposables, you need to make a trip to the local supermarket. This is a big deal for us with five kids, living 20 minutes from the closest shops. When you’re low on cloth, you make a trip to the laundry and press a few buttons on that awesome invention we call a washing machine.
Cloth nappies = practical perfection for time-pressed parents.
HINT: If budget restraints are preventing you from adding a few extra much-needed nappies to your stash, try one of our no-sew emergency nappy options.
Using cloth nappies has helped me to be less reliant on the shops. I can inch my way free from the restraints of consumerism; even if it’s only one less thing in my shopping trolley each week… it’s still one less thing!
Once I have my stash, that’s it. With the correct care, my cloth nappies can last for one child or even more. I don’t have to keep adding nappies to my grocery bill on a weekly basis.
Sure, I can add to my stash if I need to, or top up with some fresh nappies for a new baby, but the difference between being tied to a supermarket chain for a basic necessity of life, and having nappies at my fingertips, is significant.
HINT: Switch to reusable wipes and swim pants, and you can be totally independent of this section of the baby aisle. Bliss!
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. You can do this, Mama! You can switch to one (or one more!) cloth nappy a day. I’ve got your back.
When Eva is not wrangling five children or running a business, she’s eating chocolate, listening to podcasts or creating awesome resources for parents with babies.
Eva’s latest resource – Cloth Nappy Intensive – is a FREE 6-part eCourse that teaches the inquisitive parent exactly how to choose, use and love cloth nappies. You can sign up for this free course HERE.