Updated: Feb 10
When I meet with new parents or soon to be parents for a cloth nappy consultation its always interesting to hear the myths they have heard from well meaning family members about why they shouldn’t use cloth nappies. Usually from those that remember the days of boiling, scrubbing and getting nappies dry along with learning to fold them, numerous pin pricks and covering with scratchy plastic. Thankfully the world of cloth nappies has moved on a lot since then however there are still some common myths floating around;
1- Cloth Nappies are expensive:
The cost of setting up with cloth nappies seems a bit daunting especially at a time you are already paying out for a lot of baby equipment. When you compare the initial cost of cloth nappies to the low price of some nappy brands cloth nappies can seem like a bit of a luxury especially when some cloth nappies are priced at over £25.00 each.
The average baby will use approximately 5000 nappies from birth to potty training so the cost of disposables does add up quickly especially when you add in nappy sacks and creams needed especially compared to premium brands of disposable nappies. However Cloth nappies does not need to be expensive. There are plenty of lower cost brands available and a growing second hand market where you can get some of the expensive brands much cheaper if this is what you want or sell your nappies on when you are finished. These days cost alone is unlikely to be your main reason for choosing cloth nappies but it certainly doesn’t need to be more expensive than disposables.
2- The extra washing makes them bad for the environment:
Nope. The extra washing doesn’t even start to compare to the water and energy used to produce 6000 nappies and transport them to you. That’s without even starting to consider the effects of landfill and the oceans when disposables end up there.
3- The extra washing is more work
Yes it is – but not as much as you might think. Gone are the days of scrubbing, soaking and boiling cloth nappies. Now we just chuck them in the machine and turn it on a couple of times. Voila! Clean nappies! (Solid poop just goes in the toilet).
4- They are harder to use
It can take a little getting used to if you have used disposables before because putting them on is different – but it’s just that – different not harder. When used correctly cloth nappies should leak a lot less than disposables and are much better at containing a ‘poosplosion’.
5- Cloth nappies are bulky
Yes they absolutely can be a bit more bulky than disposables but not as bad as they used to be. Modern cloth nappies are relatively slim and don’t get bulkier as they get full the way disposables do. There is an argument that the bulkiness is better for babies hip placement and it’s certainly a bit more of a cushion when learning to walk!
6- They are less Hygienic
A good bucket with a lid will contain most smells from cloth nappies especially as the poo goes down the loo. Compare this to nappies building up in your bin which can sit there for 2 weeks waiting for collection.
Cloth nappies are perfectly clean and much more gentle on babies bottoms as they are made from some lovely soft materials compared to the plastic, paper and chemicals in disposables and the natural fibers are much better on sensitive skin.
If you want to use Cloth nappies but have no idea where to start a cloth nappy consultation can be a great way to get some help and clarify what you really need to know.