My journey from disposable to cloth nappies

15 Sep 11 07:00AM EST
Post by Samantha Hartmann
cloth nappies drying on clothesline
When I was pregnant with my daughter I started thinking about which products I wanted to use and, of course, nappies were on that list. There are so many different options: disposables, biodegradable disposable, partly biodegradable disposables and many, many different types of cloth nappies.

We considered using cloth nappies but decided that as this was our first child we would make it easier for ourselves and use disposables. We began by using Huggies Newborn nappies as I had been told by many people that they had the best fit. We found them to be very reliable and they rarely leaked, even if left on for a long stretch.

We used Huggies until our daughter outgrew the newborn size. We then moved on to Aldi nappies to save money. The Aldi nappies were also very reliable, however our daughter was prone to nappy rash and we found they exasperated the problem so I looked around and found that often biodegradable disposable nappies are gentler on babies’ skin because they contain less chemicals.

I found Nature Babycare nappies and wipes at my local supermarket and decided to try them. They are a small Swedish company founded by a mother. The nappies claim to be 100% chlorine- and GM-free and based on biodegradable materials. Using both the nappies and wipes my daughters’ nappy rash soon improved. We also found them as reliable as, if not better than, Huggies. We continued to use Nature Babycare nappies until toilet training when we moved back to Huggies Pull-Ups as we found the Nature Babycare Pull-Ups were too large and they had to be ordered online.

When our son was born we used Huggies Newborn until he outgrew them and then moved on to Nature Babycare. When our son was five-months-old we decided to research cloth nappies. I had a look at a few different options but decided that Cushie Tushies met all of our requirements: environmentally friendly; one size from newborn to toilet-training; can be put in the drier if need be; and, easy to use. These were all important factors for us. We bought two Cushie Tushies nappies to trial and found them suitable to use full time so we purchased a Full Time pack which contained nappies, wipes, night time boosters and washing bags for dirty and wet nappies.

My experience with modern cloth nappies has been a positive one. It did take a little getting used to in the beginning as it added an extra load of washing every two days and while the nappies were being “worn in” we had to change our son every couple of hours to avoid leaking. I also had to get my head around not being able to wrap up a soiled nappy, put it in the bin and never think of it again! Using 100% biodegradable, flushable liners made this job much easier. Cushie Tushies don’t need to be rinsed or soaked. When bub soils their nappy you flush the poo and then place the nappy in the washing bag, a dry bucket or a washing basket until you wash them.

Now that we have been using them for five months the washing has become routine and we can leave the nappies on for as long as we would have done with the disposables. Of course when out and about they are not as convenient as disposables as we have to carry dirty nappies around, but the zip-up washing bags make it manageable. It’s all about changing the way you think. There are many benefits to cloth nappies. They’re gentle on babies’ skin, cost effective and environmentally friendly (even when washing and drying is taken into account).

With all the options out there it‘s important to make the best decision for your family. Each option has its own positives and negatives. For us, not contributing to the millions of disposable nappies thrown away in Australia each year, and saving money, makes us enjoy using cloth nappies even with the inconveniences.

What sort of nappies do you use and why? Do you use different types or brands depending on the time of day or age of your baby?

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