One of the challenges facing mothers and those with an inclination towards environmental protection is what to do about the nappy problem: cloth or disposable. I started this challenge with a clear idea in my mind. Cloth nappies it was going to be for my child. I never looked at the life cycle impacts of cloth vs nappies, but I figured millions of plastic nappies buried in landfills around the world could not be good. I was so determined in this endeavour that I enlisted the help of my mum. She could not persuade me otherwise, so when she came to stay with me after the birth of my son, I got her to trace down cloth nappies for me.
I was living in Abu Dhabi and I couldn’t find cloth nappies in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, so my mum, on a visit to Iran, hand made cloth nappies for me. She came back armed with two large bags full of cloth nappies – how happy I was. But soon after the birth of my son, I decided to give these nappies a go. Not so easy – on a newborn they are HUGE, especially as you have to put in a liner, the cloth nappy, then a plastic pair of undies over them. I started to use disposable nappies, but thought ‘hey my mum has gone to all this trouble, I will use the cloth ones during the day’. My son however was a TERRIBLE sleeper and a very colicky baby, so when he did sleep, the last thing I wanted was for the cloth nappy to get wet and cold and wake him up, so soon I was using the disposable nappies in the day too. Goodbye cloth nappies, but they were so well made, 100% cotton, that they never went to waste. I still have them and use them as rags to clean up the kids etc.
Now 4 years later, my son is still in nappies at bedtime (I am yet to fully potty train him, but that is seriously another topic of discussion) and my daughter is in disposable nappies too!
Now however I have discovered Naty (go the Swedes!). They cost me about $34.00 for 62 nappies which works out at about 55 cents per nappy. The other nappies she was using were about 33 cents per nappy – so clearly there is a price differential that needs to be considered.
What are the ‘eco’ claims of these nappies?
- Made from GM free corn based film
- Made of renewable natural materials
- Chlorine free and fragrance free
How do they stack up? So far – good. They do the main thing that nappies should do for a baby – absorb! They are also light and so far I’ve noticed that she doesn’t get rashes where she did in the past.
To manage the cost of the nappies – I will try and see whether I can put her in pants sometimes during the day (though that is hard, as it is winter and my tile floors are cold) and by trying to not change her unless she really needs it!
Does anyone have any cloth nappy experiences? if so, how was it? are you convinced it is the only natural way to go?