Updated: Nov 5, 2019
I am giving myself a pat on the back , I have been ranting about helping to save the planet now I have someone to give it to .... Not that I wasn't doing my best before, I was recycling, forcing my job too as well, every Monday fishing out all the plastic water bottles and getting my wee charge to help me pop them in the right bin. She even reprimanded her Mum when she saw her putting them in the wrong bin, so it is rubbing off and fingers crossed still is in that house hold since I left !! I had started to carry my own reusable bottle, my own reusable coffee cup. Turned down a straw ( it's a biggy that one , do you know how many straws are used and thrown away a day only to end up in the ocean and up turtles noses , look it up on you tube, will change the way to suck drinks forever )! Of course I had been doing paper and plastics, tins and glass , etc. Even had a food waste box ....
But I digress, got carried away with my own recycling effort there, but as I have said in a previous blog about REUSE the biggest way to help our wee tiny bit of the planet is nappies. It effects everyone reading this Im guessing ... we have done and are doing damage to our planet by using disposables, they are the devil as such, easy to use, absorbent , clean and efficient , I sound like one of their ads, whips moisture away from baby skin, yes it does but to stop that moisture getting out what is it , plastic ! They may have improved the absorbent layer inside that yes does reduce down to water when thrown away. But that outer layer does not ! It sits in land fill clogging up Mother Earths arteries for way too long. I don't know the stats but it's a while people.
We as mums need to change our outlook, we need to change the way we change our babies. We need to not reach for the disposables. We need to return to the cloth bum era and make them eras ! For the most part, we grew up wearing them, the old style ones , terry cloth folded in to all sorts of shapes making us look like mini sumo wrestlers. Heck when I was training to be nanny 25 years ago, my first exam was on how to fold, and put on a cloth nappy on to a baby. I am a baby terry cloth and pin origami master. We had to learn how to steep them and clean them , fold them and not add extra holes in our babies with the pins. What I am saying is that disposables are a new thing in history they really haven't been around for that long, part of the plastic generation, a fad if you will , one that has been proven not to have worked But we are afraid to change back due to misinformation, miscommunication and bloody good marketing and advertising. You see cloth nappies are the norm, They have been around far longer in history than these deceptive disposables. We as a society had a go at the alternative , but now we need to return to what is best for baby , best for the environment and best for us!
I am pleased to say that my skills as nappy master are not needed in that capacity any more as things have moved along, gone are the pins and plastic outer knickers that chaffed so bad. Gone are the folding days, and steeping and removing stains. The new fan dangled ones now on offer almost self clean, there are all in one options that go from birth to potty. Velcro has replaced the dreaded pin and bamboo inners and outers have taken over from plastics. They wash so well they can be sold on when your babies journey has finished. As for the dreaded washing, pop in on 60 to kill all the nasties and they dry either outside on the line in the sun and or on the radiator which in an Irish winter is inevitably on. They are slim line, super absorbent ( I have found I change my baby less than when I had disposables) and most of all affordable and better for environment ( which is the contributing factors, money and planet for me). I figured out my bosses spent over £5000 a year on nappies, and I put over 25000 disposables in land fill over my career.
Ive spent £200 on nappies that will last the next 2 years for me and lots more after in a new home. I'm washing no more extra than I was and drying them on a radiator thats already on. Ive also gone the whole way and get my wee one the swim nappy too and we swim every week so yet another saving of money and planet ! We have to be responsible in our choices and we now have really good choices A growing number of really good cloth nappy companies that offer complete 'systems' etc , so there is no excuse , not even non education. You are reading this so you can't say that anymore. There is so much out there to help mothers get on the ladder. Cloth nappies forums, help pages firstname.lastname@example.org and www.thenappylady.co.uk This website very helpful , you fill in a form and she recommends the best brand for you, depending on circumstances, budget, age of child etc , takes out all the guess work. Cloth bums support groups , cloth bums resale pages and websites. ( NI cloth bum and NI Cloth Bums preloved Nappies on FB ) But look around your area , there will be others,,,, I promise
There are many blogs on new and old mums starting their journey https://theecofriendlymumma.blog/2018/12/08/to-cloth-or-not-to-cloth-it's-not-really-a-question/
And finally for another carrot, the council in my area have got on board and will give you vouchers for the cloth nappies, wipes and anything to do with reusables. Keep your receipts , fill in form and get quite a sizeable chunk of vouchers. email@example.com
I would guess that your council are doing the same, so look in to it.
I hope that I have persuaded you to at least look in to them, give them a try , there are cloth nappy libraries in your area that will be able to lend you some so you can try before you buy. In my antenatal group we have got over 6 out of 9 in to a cloth bum and working on the rest..... Your baby will thank you , trust me, for the comfort , (it too whisks away moisture) for the care and for the world you will be giving them to inherit. And I thank you too for doing your bit . Cheers