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In recent years it has become even more popular to provide cloth nappies for babies and toddlers rather than disposables. We hear about mountains of undecomposed nappy material littering the land fill sites and causing ecological dangers. But, why should it matter what we wrap around our babies? After all, it's only for a few years before they're potty-trained and surely there are more important ecological matters that deserve more attention?
Before you make a decision about cloth or disposable nappies, here are a few facts that are worth looking at.
- In the UK each year, 3 billion nappies are wasted. You may be contributing just 3 or 4 a day, but there are lots of other babies out there!
- In the UK each day, 8 million nappies are thrown into bins which translates to 8 tons of nappy, every hour!
Disadvantages of Disposables
- They are expensive! It costs about £700 per child per year on average.
- To create all those nappies, it takes about 7 million trees which need to be felled and transformed using valuable resources.
- Who actually knows the effects of all the chemicals that we use in the nappies and what they do to our babies skin?
- They can irritate eczema and cause sore nappy rash.
- The nappies NEVER break down in land-fill sites.
Advantages of cloth nappies
- Unlike the old fashioned terry-towel nappies, they are comfortable to wear and soft to touch.
- They are made of cotton and therefore are gentle on babies' skin.
- They are hygienic as the liners just flush down the toilet.
- They are attractive to wear and come in various styles and colours.
- They are not difficult to maintain - just pop in the washing machine! There's no soaking or bleaching or long-winded routine to wash them.
- Safety pins and fancy nappy folding is not required - they are very easy to use and wear.
- They can be put away and re-used a few years later for your next child.
- It reduces landfill.
- Cloth nappy babies are potty-trained sooner than those in disposables.
- Some local governments actually offer grants for parents choosing to use cloth nappies and refund some of the cost of buying cloth nappies and using washing services. Check with your local council.
It's pretty convincing and you'll be doing another little bit for the environment that those babies running and crawling around in those cloth nappies will actually inherit one day!