I’m happy to admit to getting a bit weird and nerdy and excited about cloth nappies with T. And yes I’m aware of how strange it is to get all worked up about something that exists solely to be pooed or weed in. By the time she turned two I thought I had settled into a reasonable sense of sanity but then I went and had another baby and low and behold I’m all hot and flustered and having hemp and bamboo dreams.
Honestly I often wonder why on earth I love something that really seems trivial and banal. Sometimes I worry that it’s because I need to start working again.. and then I work and spend my salary on cloth nappies. And then know that our love is true. Here are some of the ways I love them.
– I mean they’re genuinely adorable. And in the meantime they’ve become even more adorable.
This exists! And I may or may not own one. Or two. If my husband asks it’s just one.
– The strange tactile satisfaction of them.
If this post hasn’t totally weirded you out by now then this is sure to do it. But I know my fellow cloth buddies will feel me on this one. There is just something uniquely beautiful about a newly packed drawer of clean nappies ready for a bum. There is something immensely satisfying about finding a nappy that feels good and fits well and works well.
If this isn’t enough to make you sigh out loud then you’re a monster. A MONSTER.
– Cheating the system
I’ll never forget the first time I washed T’s nappies after switching from disposables. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have to use disposables. I didn’t have to schlep off to the shops. I didn’t have to pay for another bag of them. I didn’t have to add to the growing burden that they are to our landfill and environment. it was this weird and wonderful revelation. And I was doing it. And it wasn’t even super hard or anything.
If you’re reading and you have a baby in nappies I would urge you to seriously consider using cloth nappies. I got the old rolly eyeball from a few people when I told them I wanted to do cloth nappies with T. It kind of freaked me out because I wondered if I could actually do it. Let me assure you – I ‘aint no supermom or anything. I am like maybe a C+ mom on a good day and I have basically refused to ever iron clothes. LIKE EVER. People have even tried to shame me into ironing but even that hasn’t worked. And honestly doing cloth nappies is a piece of piss so don’t let anyone trick you into feeling intimidated. The jargon can be a little intense in the beginning, but if you can grasp the concept of chucking a piece of material into a waterproof nappy cover then you’re most of the way there.
Cloth nappies are almost always cheaper than disposables. Obviously there is an initial outlay. And if the bug bites and you land up buying several thousand, it may have to become a dirty secret you need to hide from your husband. But in the long run even if you choose pricier nappies they will still likely be much easier on your pocket than disposables. And when your kid stops using them you can have another kid who can use them and then another and another and then you can either sell them or donate them or chuck them on your compost heap.
Cloth nappies really are just so much better for our environment and for the overall future of the bum that is wearing them. This is especially true if they’re washed using local, eco friendly detergent; if they’re line dried and if they’re washed with other regular loads of household washing. I mean, doesn’t the smugness that comes from knowing that alone make it totally worth it?
Here are some really useful links for anyone interested in doing cloth.
lovely local blog for those of us who are easily confused. Also has some nice reviews of brands that are locally available.
South African Cloth Nappy Users group on FB. Collection of other rabid cloth nappy fans. Great for advice, lists of retailers, bragging and general cloth nappy ferocity.
South african cloth nappy buy/sell/trade group on FB. Great resource for buying preloved nappies. Some amazing deals out there for those starting out… or not starting out as the case may be.
cloth nappy myths
Lastly, did you know that you can also buy biodegradable disposables? They aren’t cheap but they are way safer for our earth and our babies bums. You can find them