Making the decision to dip your toes (or dive straight) into the cloth nappy world can be a big one. With so many Cloth Nappy myths out there, we thought we would bust a few for you!
Cloth Nappies are more work
This seems to be one of the major objections when it comes to cloth nappies. From “oh, I don’t have time for all the extra washing” to “cloth nappies are just so much extra work”. From one mum to another, cloth nappies really aren’t that much harder than disposable nappies. Sure, there is the extra washing created, but even in the early days – when you newborn is going through 10-12 changes a day – cloth nappies are really just one load of washing every second day. With how efficient washing machines are today, they really do all the work for you. We agree, you do have to put the nappies in the machine and turn it on. That sure beats loading the kids up in the car and heading to the supermarket or doing your online shop only to get your nappies substituted for another brand that you don’t like.
What about hanging the nappies on the line I hear you ask? This is a great time to get some vitamin D and fresh air for both you and bub or sit in front of Netflix and hang them on the clothes airer. Alternatively, cloth nappies can go through the clothes drier on a low heat. You can even blitz the inserts on high and air dry the shells. A few extra loads of washing a week definitely beats the mad dash to the shops. You never have to worry about running out of nappies or having a full bin at the end of the week from all the disposables!
Cloth Nappies are expensive
Did you know that the average baby will go through about 6, 000 nappy changes from birth to toilet training? When you work out the cost of disposables for this period, the average family will spend approximately $3, 000 plus on disposable nappies per child (that’s a lot of money that ends up in the bin). We will be one of the first to admit that quality cloth nappies do mean a large outlay when you are first getting your stash together. However, here at Nest, we have found that the average family will spend approximately $1, 500 on their cloth nappy set up. This includes all your accessories like wipes and wet bags as well. Some families have even successfully cloth nappied for under $500! Add in the cost of laundering your nappies (water, electricity and detergent generally works out to around 50c a load but varies depending on where you live) and you still come out ahead. This is just for one baby mind you. Care for your nappies correctly and they can last for multiple babies!
We worked out the cost of using cloth nappies versus disposables so you don’t have to. Have a look at this post for all the figures.
Other ways to keep the cost of cloth nappies down is to buy second hand. Ask for cloth nappies as a baby shower or new baby gift. Talk to your nappy retailer about long term lay buy so that you can take advantage of bulk pack discounts. Bulk your wash load up instead of just washing a few nappies at a time. There are even businesses that you can hire your nappies from if you need to slowly build your stash.
They smell worse
Disposable nappies contain a mix of polymers and chemicals (super absorbers) which retain moisture and hold liquids away from baby’s skin. Whilst some are even scented to mask the smell of a nappy’s contents (which we believe can actually make the smell worse!). We aren’t entirely sure why, but many families are often surprised by the lack of smell when their child is in a cloth nappy.
Here at Nest, we are passionate about making cloth nappies easy, from the start! While many people still think that cloth nappies needed to be folded and secured with pins, the reality is modern cloth nappies have been designed to be more like disposables, with the only difference being that you wash them. All In Ones are a very easy nappy to use. They have the water resistant outer layer and all the absorbency is stitched into the nappy meaning that there is never anything to get lost of confused by.
Cloth Nappies leak
The most common reasons for a nappy to leak is because it has reached saturation point or isn’t fitted well. This can happen in both a disposable and a reusable nappy. It is worth bearing in mind that both disposables and reusables are there to absorb urine and contain poo. (Explosive newborn poo is definitely a test for any nappy!) If you are having leaks, get in contact with us. We are always here to help and can provide advice on how to fit the nappy differently or what inserts might work better for you and your family.
They don’t work at night
The bliss of a baby who sleeps through the night is something no parent will want to interrupt for a nappy change. But going from changing a real nappy every three to four hours to wearing a nappy for up to 12 hours is a big leap. Normally, most families do start looking at dedicated night nappies around four months. These nappies have been designed to last your little one 10-12 hours plus. The key is to make sure that there is enough absorbency to last your little one this period of time. If you are thinking about using cloth overnight, send us a message and we can talk you through some of the options.
They are too bulky to wear under clothes
Yep, cloth nappies are bulkier than disposable nappies. This can mean that some of your favourite nappies may not fit under that pair of skinny jeans. Stretchy leggings and jumpsuits are fantastic for wearing over bulkier nappies but there are also lots of options for trim fitting nappies as well. The other bonus is that during the warmer months, cloth nappies are super cute so why cover them up at all?
You can only use them at home
Many families do only choose to use cloth nappies at home but if you are keen to use them for outings, it’s as easy asa taking a wet bag with you. Simply pop your dirty nappy in the bag and take it home to deal with. If your little one is starting day care, ask the centre if they will use your cloth nappies. Many centres are only too happy to provide continuity of care by using your nappies and if you provide a couple of wet bags, it’s no different to you using them at home. Cloth can also be used when travelling if you have access to washing facilities. Just remember, it is ok to take a break if you need to!
They’re old fashioned
Modern cloth nappies have definitely come a long way from traditional terry squares. The materials used have also come a long way. These days, cloth nappies are made from highly absorbent materials like bamboo and hemp and use breathable water resistant fabrics on the outside to contain everything. As a bonus, the prints and colours are super cute!
They’re not that eco
In February 2020, Zero Waste Europe published a report looking at the impact of wet wipes and baby nappies on the environment and laid out core findings on the debate: are reusable nappies better for the environment than disposables? Fundamentally, they concluded the answer is yes, they are. You can reduce your family’s carbon footprint by 40% (even considering the washing) by choosing to reuse full time. But it doesn’t need to be all or nothing; part time, sometimes, every reusable helps. If you were to simply use one cloth nappy a day, you would still divert over 900 disposable nappies from landfill. In Brisbane alone, enough disposable nappies are used to fill 157 wheelie bins every single day!
Cloth Nappies will cause developmental delays
Every baby is different. While there are average ages for rolling, crawling and walking, no two babies will develop at the same rate. Averages need people to be the first and people to be the last to find these details. There are no scientific studies that cloth nappies will cause developmental delays, but, if you think your little one may be experiencing issues, please see your medical professional. Cloth nappies will also not cause hip issues. In fact, many medical professionals will recommend doubling the nappies to spread the hips. them in the optimal development position. Remember, generations of children grew up in old school terry flat squares which are definitely bulkier then modern cloth nappies.
Have you got any more myths that you need busted? Let us know in the comments.