✨ There are actually quite a few myths about reusable nappies. Maybe I shouldn't say myths but they are more like misconceptions ✨
I would love to hear what misconception you heard of before using cloth nappies??
Generally, they are from people who haven't used them or people who compare modern cloth nappies to the cloth nappies of back in the day; how those were and had to be treated.
So, as Kayce Dutton says:
Some myths might have originated from outdated information. By doing thorough research and consulting experienced cloth nappy users, you can make an informed decision about whether cloth nappies are the right choice for you and your 👶.
1. Myth: Cloth nappies are less convenient than disposables.
✨ Reality: While cloth nappies require a bit more effort than disposables, modern cloth nappies have come a long way in terms of convenience. There are various styles available, types of fabrics and types of fastening systems. With the right washing routine and storage system, cloth nappies can be just as convenient as disposables.
Additionally, making trips to the supermarket for disposables is very inconvenient. I can see myself buying a few more things I didn't really need at the supermarket if I'm just going in for a few nappies!
Once you have bought reusable nappies once, you don't need to buy them again! So really the main difference is after the nappy is used: the poo needs to be removed (and we are actually supposed to do that with disposables also to reduce faecal bacteria leaching from landfills) and the nappy needs to be washed and dried. But that can be done in your own time and at home.
2. Myth: when you include washing costs, cloth nappies don't really save you much money.
✨ Reality: While cloth nappies have an upfront cost, they can save money in the long run compared to disposables. Cloth nappies do require regular washing, which incurs some water and energy costs. While this cost is ongoing, it is generally minimal compared to the ongoing expense of purchasing disposable nappies.
There are many ways to calculate the cost of reusable vs disposable nappies.
Let’s think about it - your beautiful little bundle of joy is going through approximately 10-12 nappies a day at newborn stage and about 6 per day as he or she gets older. So, that’s 8,000 nappies, regardless of using disposables or reusables.
The average disposable nappy costs around $0.25 - $0.88 (depending on brand and size). For this calculation let’s assume the average spend is somewhere in the middle. So the average cost of a nappy is $0.50.
This comes to a total cost of 8,000 x 0.50 = $4,000.
Even at the cheapest of $0.25 the total cost would be ($0.25 x 8000) $2,000.
Using Real Nappies it will cost you:
Birth to Potty pack ($700) + Washing costs (approx. $210 over 3 years - this is based on having baby clothes and other items in the wash) = $910 and that’s just for the first child. The second child will be washing costs only!!!
Approx Savings: $4000 - $910 = $3090 per child! That’s a flight to Europe (just imagine sitting in Italy telling your friends you are there because you used cloth nappies!)
Top Tips: there are many things that can affect the cost of washing nappies:
- wash temperature: 40°C will cost less than washing at 60°C.
- having a full load for your main wash (prewash load should only be soiled items): don't do a main wash load just for nappies, make a full load by adding baby clothes, bibs, muslins, tea towels and other small items you would wash anyway with a new baby.
- drying using the wind and sun instead of the drier.
- when replacing appliances, choosing more energy efficient appliances.
- reviewing your electricity provider pricing, are you actually on the best plan for your family situation?
- delaying the start of your wash load to overnight (most electricity companies have an off-peak electricity rate).
3. Myth: Cloth nappies are less hygienic and cause more nappy rash.
✨ Reality: Properly cleaned and maintained cloth nappies are not less hygienic than disposables. They should not have any smell or stains if washed properly. If you have any smells or stains, review your wash routine asap here.
In fact, cloth nappies are often more breathable, which can reduce the occurrence of nappy rash. However, it is important to change cloth nappies frequently (2 - 4 hourly) so that dampness is not close to baby's skin for long periods of time, use a proper washing routine, and ensure that the nappies are thoroughly dry before reuse to maintain good hygiene.
There are many reasons why 👶 develop nappy rash and more often than not it will be related to hormones or teething. I know straight away when my little one is teething, there appears the nappy rash! Sometimes this lasts days on end and even I have questioned my wash routine and sanitised my nappies "just in case" it was something to do with the nappies. All for the rash to continue and one night just disappears not to be seen again for a few days or weeks.
Top tip: applying nappy rash cream is still helpful to soothe your 👶bottom. To make it easier to wash the nappies, we recommend using liners to keep the rash cream off the cloth nappy and make washing easier, click on the image to check them out:
4. Myth: Cloth nappies leak and smell more than disposables.
✨ Reality: Cloth nappies are just as effective at containing messes as disposable nappies, IF NOT BETTER! When they are properly fitted, the right size and adequate absorbency, they actually contain poo-namis WAY BETTER than disposables according to many disposable nappy users who switched to cloth nappies. Cloth nappies also tend to contain smells a lot better.
Top tips: There are 3 main reasons why cloth nappies leak:
- improper fit or nappy size: there needs to be a good seal of the nappy around the legs and back, otherwise if the inserts don't absorb fast enough the urine will leak out. If you have plenty of absorbency, the seal is not as important but if the amount of absorbency is borderline, that is the reason a nappy will leak.
- not enough absorbency: you will see this when the inserts you currently used are completely saturated when you change 👶. Adding boosters such as a face washer, extra insert or booster pad can help improve absorbency and stop the leaks.
- flooding: as babies grow their bladder is able to hold onto a larger amount and release it in one big flood. If the insert material you are using is a slow absorber, the urine will run off the top and leak out the sides before being absorbed. Cotton is a great fabric for both speed of absorption and volume. Check out the page about nappy fabrics for more info.
5. Myth: cloth nappies are bulky and uncomfortable.
✨ Reality: cloth nappies have many features that make them comfortable to wear:
- Adjustable sizing allowing them to be customized to fit your baby's size and shape. This adjustability helps in achieving a snug and comfortable fit, minimizing bulkiness.
- Improved absorbency: Modern cloth nappies incorporate advanced fabric technologies and absorbent materials which provide efficient absorbency while maintaining a thinner profile. These materials can hold a significant amount of liquid, reducing the need for excessive padding.
- Flexibility and movement: Cloth nappies, when properly fitted, allow for comfortable movement and flexibility. They are designed to accommodate the natural movements of babies, providing freedom of movement without restrictive bulk.
- Breathability: Cloth nappies are generally more breathable compared to disposable nappies, as they are made from natural fibers or breathable synthetic materials.
One thing to remember here is that reusable cloth nappies ARE NOT A NEW THING!
Disposables have only been commonly available since the 1950s whereas cloth nappies have been used since the dawn of time in one form or another.
Pretty sure if there were any health or safety issues with cloth nappies, they would have been found by now!
Leave me a comment:
What reusable nappy myth did you hear about before starting your cloth nappy journey?