The decision to go cloth or plastic is a big one for any new mum and its a completely personal choice.
Benefits of Cloth Nappies – soft, comfortable and suitable for sensitive skin, environmental impact of disposables is much higher than for cloth even when the energy and water waste of washing and drying cloth is taken into account.
Negatives of Cloth Nappies – lots more washing for mama
Here was my biggest concern “Research into the long term health impacts of different nappy types is in its infancy. Areas of concern include the absorbent gels in disposables, raised scrotal temperatures, the contamination of plastics with TBT (tributyl tin), chlorine bleaching of the wood pulp used in nappies and possible respiratory implications. The super absorbent gel contained in most disposable nappies is supposed to be non toxic and has been approved by the American Food and Drug Administration. However there is a distinct lack of research into the effects of extreme dryness on babies’ thin skin and genitalia.
The super-absorbent gel can include sodium polyacrylate crystals which forms a gel when in contact with urine. There are particular concerns about these super-absorbent chemicals entering the body via broken skin especially as sodium polyacrylate and other chemicals designed to increase absorbency have had to be removed from tampons as they were associated with the development of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Recent research has also suggested that disposable nappies keep babies’ testicles at higher than normal temperatures. This has raised concern over whether this could pose a risk to their future fertility.”
These costs are based upon Australian data, collected in June 2003.
Full-time disposable nappy system
(Prices vary depending on store purchased from and brand used. 0 – 4yrs)
Newborn 50 per week – 50 Nappies @ 40c each = $20/week = $1040/year
3 months + 40 per week – 40 Nappies @ 50c each = $20/week
50 biodegradable liners – 1pkt/ fortnight @6.95 for 3yrs $542
1 year toddler night nappies @ 65c each = $232
Total cost for full-time disposables with 1 year of toddler night nappies and biodegradable
nappy liners = $3894
Total cost for full-time disposables for two children would be a total of $7,788
Full-time cloth nappies on the cheap
24 nappies @ $30 pkt $60
12 – 24 cloth nappy liners @ $3 each $72
18 pull-on nappy covers @ 4.95 ea. $89
6 Snappy closures to hold nappy on or 24 nappy pins $30
Earth-friendly detergents and nappy soak or bi-carb, vinegar and essential oils @
Full-time one-size fits all fitted-cloth cloth nappies
24 Fitted Cloth nappies, liners and covers $499
50 biodegradable nappy liners per fortnight $538
Earth-friendly detergents and nappy soak $2.60/week $408
Total without liners $907*
Total with liners $1445*
Given that the only real negative was a bit more laundry and an initial outlay of cash for the stash of nappies I will need – I felt this decision to go cloth was a no brainer. So – my search for the nappies begins…
Is it just me or is the cloth nappy path harder to navigate than a coal mine with no lights? I investigated so many different options online, visited numerous websites and spoke to a couple of friends who are cloth nappy advocates who were able to list various brands that I should look into.
Maybe I am just old school but I needed to see and touch something before I was comfortable buying anything online but I just couldn’t find anything in the stores. Where do they hide all the cloth nappies? The only ones I could find were the 100% bamboo plain, neutral coloured ones at places like Mother Care which were selling them individually at $30 per pair… I just couldn’t see the value or get my head around what I would need.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? If you know where they are hiding, please let me know.
Well, after much research, I found Sam who started her own company called Booloo Babe http://www.booloobabe.com.au and is a stockist of BumGenius, BamBooty, FuzziBunz, Genesa Forge, Rumparooz, Itti Bitti, Natures Child, Gro Via, Real Nappy, Cushie Tushies and Earth Child to name a few…the beauty of Sam is that she has 2 methods of purchase available;
1. You can buy online at her website (above) if you are a confident ‘I know what I need’ kind of person
2. You can make an appointment with her, either at your place or her place (she lives North of the River) to have a look at all the various options, play with them, try them on, talk to her about liners, soakers, covers etc – She is a wealth of knowledge and a super sweet lady. I chose to go to her house so that I could have a look at the full range and I found it to be super helpful to have someone explain all the different types of nappies, the difference between the ones that grow with your baby and the one size fits all, press buttons vs velcro, inserts vs all-in-ones, fluffy little nappies vs plastic covers … you get the idea.
After a couple of hours and a few cups of tea, I had a fairly good understanding of each of my options and was already mentally visualising a cute little butt sitting inside some of these insanely cute fluffy little pants!
What I chose to do with Sam’s guidance was to get a couple of different options – I chose
- 2 x Gro Via napppies (one with velcro the other with pop buttons so I can decide which one I prefer and 1 with a stay dry liner and the other with an organic cotton liner),
- 4 x Itti Bitties with 2 x Gro Via soaker packs
- 4 x Pikapu Covers
- 4 x Tots Bots Terry Toweling second hand all in ones
- 1 pack of Gro Via wipes to use instead of wet ones and
- 1 x Planet Wipes bag to store used nappies in when we are out and about or in between washes.
Here’s a picture of me at home with all my wares, I was pretty excited to show my husband all the amazing colours and prints that we had and the differences between them .. as you can imagine, he was also extremely excited and his eyes didnt glaze over at all!! [insert sarcasm] I am sure he will have a few more questions when our bub arrives!