Borough Insight

Keeping it real – live a life less disposable with cloth nappies

If you’re having a baby soon or already use disposable nappies have you considered switching to cloth or reusable nappies instead?Image: Surrey Environment Partnership cloth nappies myths busted

There are a few myths about real nappies, but the facts are very different.

Busting those myths

  1. They cost more – reusables can work out cheaper than your overall spend on disposables. More so if you use them for your next baby along with the hand-me-down clothes, books and toys! Picking up and selling reusables is really easy, check your local Freecycle and Facebook groups or NCT nappy library.
  2. Create more laundry – many can go straight in the wash causing minimal increase to your laundry and you’ll stand to halve your average weekly household waste.
  3. Use too much water - washing your nappies each week will never rival the amount of water or energy used to manufacture disposable nappies, and you can minimise energy output by washing at lower temperatures, line-drying instead of tumbling and washing a full load.
  4. Smell bad - many include the option of a biodegradable, flushable liner so the smelly waste is flushed away rather than hanging around in a rubbish bin for a week or two and nappy buckets have a lid and are emptied every 2-3 days.
  5. They’re fiddly to use - there’s a wide choice compared with our parents’ generation – with nappies now shaped just like disposables. Many are fitted with Velcro or poppers that fasten just as easily – no pins! Take your waterproof wet bag with you and transfer used nappies to the washing machine when you return home.
  6. Leaks and nappy rash – leaks are caused by a bad fit, regardless of nappy type. The soft, natural fibres are more breathable for a baby’s skin than plastic; doctors often recommend that babies with sensitive skin switch to reusables.

When it comes to wanting a life less disposable, cloth could well be for you.

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