Touching cloth

I’m as tight as a camel’s arse in a sandstorm.  I’m not talking about my baby cannon – I’m talking about my spending habits.

By my calculations, exclusive boobing probably saved me £400 with my first and £520 with my second.  I probably spent at least £3000 on breast pads though especially the first time around; I had uncontrollable squirters. This was due to expressing like a maniac, just in case I popped my clogs.  My boobs obviously thought they were feeding sixtuplets with appetites of Goliath.

I also probably saved, at least, £1500 on cloth nappies (could have done the same with breast pads but I’m an idiot).

Having a conservationist (hippy) as a brother means that I am regularly subjected to environmental guilt.  Even procreating made me feel guilty about the world’s overpopulation.  I can only justify two children to myself by the fact that my brother is selflessly having none so that evens things out a bit.  Plus my children will definitely play key roles in saving the planet, obviously.

When I first started researching cloth nappies on t’internet, it took about five minutes for my brain to implode – the choice is astounding.  Fortunately for me, I met a fabulous lady who dedicates her life to cloth nappies and she showed me the way…to the cheapest.  Terry squares.  She has also kindly given me her Top Five cloth nappy list but before I share that with you, I’d like to share the environmental guilt first.  As Mothers, we don’t have enough guilt in our lives.

Real Nappies and Waste

3 billion disposable nappies are thrown away each and every year in the UK, 90% of which are landfilled.  A baby in disposables will need about 4,000 nappy changes in total, that’s 4,000 disposable nappies in a landfill site.  They also take centuries to decompose and the plastic packaging they come in can rarely be recycled.

They also contain chemicals which are in constant contact with your baby’s skin.

Advantages to Cloth Nappies

The Girl modelling spotty knickers
The Girl modelling spotty knickers

Firstly, you never run out. They come in some amazing designs which means in the Summer, you can show off your baby’s cloth bum.  They create more bulk between the legs which helps with hip development, especially if your baby suffers with clicky hips. The poo is more contained within nappy which means you’re less likely to encounter, what I call, the Back Squirter – it will reach the neckline in some cases. You can save a lot of money especially by using washable wipes too.

Common Misconceptions to Using Cloth

My house will smell of poo.  Wrong.  Your house will smell of poo (and sick) anyway and cloth nappies really do not contribute to this.

The Boy modelling his Sister's cast offs.
The Boy modelling his Sister’s cast offs.

It increases the washing.  Unlikely.  Having constant back squirting accidents will increase the washing. I probably did a nappy wash 2-3 times weekly.  It’s easier to use a disposable when you’re out and about.  Not really.  You have to take a ridiculous amount of paraphernalia with you anyway so a couple of cloth nappies and cloth wipes don’t have that much impact.  I even used them when I went camping and used the guy ropes as drying lines. I would have liked to but I’m used to disposables now.  I have a confession to make.  I used disposables with the boy for about 7 months.  Alright, alright – I have double standards.  I have two sugars in my tea as well.  I made excuses about using disposables such as, “he has clothes that won’t fit if I use cloth nappies,” and “he wriggles too much for me to be able to get a cloth nappy on.”  In the 7 months, I tried to burn as many as possible in my Husband’s garden incinerator, probably polluting the atmosphere but that way I could justify them not going to landfill.  But then we had the wettest Autumn/Winter on record and nappy after nappy kept going in the bin.  The simple solution to my excuses was second hand All-in-One nappies.  Even though The Boy is over one, I figured I still have at least 12 months more before he potty trains so that’s 12 months of savings I can still make, to my pocket and the universe.  Don’t be put off by the second hand bit – you can pick up some brilliant bargains on Ebay, at NCT Nearly New Sales and local cloth nappy sales.

My Nappy Lady’s Top Five

#1.  The Pop-in. Good all rounder. Fits everyone well.

#2.  TotsBots Easy Fit. Slim fit so good for skinnies.

#3.  Pop n Gro. Good for chunkies.

#4.  Eccobots.  Great low cost, fast drying nappy.

#5.  Terry Squares.  Fit all sizes and best on a budget.

A great website to look at is the Go Real Nappy Information Service and also, I’m sure my Nappy Lady won’t mind me sharing her Facebook page if you want some more, brilliant information.

So, even if you’ve started using disposables, it really is never too late to start touching cloth.

My guy rope washing line
My guy rope washing line

5 thoughts on “Touching cloth

  1. you may also find that your local council will give a one off payment of £50/£75 pounds if you show evidence of purchasing re-usables. Every little helps. ps. apologies for my continuous contributions. 😉

    1. No need, no need! I should also point out that the Devon Real Nappy Project offers 20% off in certain areas and you can try before you buy using the nappy trial kits for one month…. However, I have international readers don’t you know so that won’t be applicable to them!

  2. We use real nappies for our little girl. She is 9 months old now, and we have used them from birth, and really love them.
    When people talk about babies, nappies are a real topic of negativity – expensive, smelly, leaky, bin them, landfill them… Reusable nappies offer some much-needed positivity to the topic. Ours look great, wash well, dry reasonably quickly, and I feel happy when I see them and use them. Cloth nappies don’t smell as bad when baby is wearing them, either. We used disposables in the early days due to an unexpected stay in hospital and didn’t enjoy them at all – scrunchy, plasticky feeling, and unpleasant chemical smell when baby’s wee and poo is deposited in them!
    Even better, they are really competitively-priced – think we paid approx. £160 for 28. Search Bumdeal nappies – a lot cheaper than some of the more well-known brands.

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