All-in-one’s, All-in-2’s, fitted, sized, pocket, minky, snaps and velcro! These are the words commonly used by parents who usemodern cloth nappies. Gone are the days of folding terry squares, pins or snappies, sterile buckets and handwashing. Modern cloth nappies are so beautifully made these days, with cute prints and superiormaterials,that it turns nappy changing from a chore into a hobby.
What is it about Modern Cloth Nappies that are the obsession of so many new mums?
Nappies are a necessary expense for any parenting family, there’s just no way around it. For expecting families, the question of whether to use disposables or cloth nappies has likely surfaced. Although disposables are certainlyconvenient, the cumulative cost is so high, that many families are looking to use cloth instead.
What are the costs?
The average child uses 6000 nappies before they are fully potty trained. At a cost of R3 a nappy, you can expect to pay around R18 000 per child on nappies alone. A family with two children, could pay as much as R36 000. The cost of disposables can be deceiving because this is carried over a few years.
An adequate cloth nappy stash may set you back R4000 and, while the initial cost may be daunting, if you consider that youuse the same nappies with all your children, you’ve already saved at least R32 000. Many expecting moms are starting to collect cloth nappies during their pregnancies or ask for them as gifts from grannies or friends for their babyshower.
Cloth nappies have a notorious reputation for being difficult to use but this is no longer true.
What’s new about the Modern Cloth nappy?
One-size: Many of the brands in South Africa are one-size fits all. They are fully adjustable to fit your baby from newborn to toddler.
Easy to Use:They come with velcro or snaps to make for easy dressing, suitable for dads, grandparents and nannies.
Absorbent and stay-dry:The inside is specially made from materials, which absorb high quantities of wee[JH1] but still keep your baby’s bottom dry. These materials include microfibre, micro fleece, suede cloth, bamboo or cotton.
Safe to use on baby’s skin: Cloth nappies are free from chemicals such as chlorine, dioxins, sodium polyacrylate gel andTributyl tin which makes them safe to use against your baby’s skin.
Waterproof:The outside layer is completely waterproof and breathable which helps prevent nappy rash.
Cute: The outside waterproof layer also comes in a range of gorgeous prints which can be used instead of pants.
Easy to clean:Flushable liners are available which are easily removed and disposed of in a toilet.
So what about washing them?
Many people are against reusable nappies because of the fear of washing. Provided that any solids are scrapped into the toilet and the right detergent is used, modern cloth nappies can simply be washed in a washing machine like a normal load of laundry. The detergent washes away the mess and the sun is an excellent natural steriliser so a few hours on the washing line, keeps them in great condition. Most parents report an increased municipal account of only about R40 after switching to cloth nappies.
When you consider that a disposable nappy can take 450 years to decompose and each child contributes 2 tons of landfill waste, reusable cloth nappies may just be the way to save your pocket and the environment.
Catherine Dowie is a WAHM and is the owner of Little Sam’s. Little Sam’s is the only South African reseller of GroVia nappies, a superior quality cloth diaper from the USA. They have a variety of other brands and styles to meet different budgets and preferences. They also offer free advice and information on the different brands available.