When I started trying to live more sustainably, I bought an insulated water bottle and a menstrual cup and felt positive that I had started a journey to living more responsibly for our planet. But I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was putting thousands of disposable nappies per year into landfill. So, I made the decision to start the switch to cloth nappies.
I must start by saying that I am not writing this post from any position of expertise; hopefully that will come later. But it’s taken me longer than I would have liked between buying the reusable nappies and actually using them, so if writing this post encourages someone else to make the switch sooner than I have, then that can only be a good thing for the environment.
So what took me so long? Well, the main thing was that I didn’t know how the logistics of cloth nappies would work. Disposables are easy; you take them off and throw them away. Reusables do need a little more work, but it’s really not as difficult as I was expecting it to be, especially with All in One nappies. In fact, all I really needed was a bin with a net bag in it, which I could put the dirty nappies into, then put this bag into the washing machine when full.
The other big concern I had was what to do with the poo. I have real issues with poo and would generally prefer to spend as little time dealing with it as necessary! When I asked some cloth nappy-using friends about how they deal with the poo, they suggested having a dedicated ‘poo knife’ to scrape it into the toilet. Just the thought of this turned my stomach, so for now I’m using disposable nappy liners and using a nappy bag to scoop up the poo, along with the liner, and putting it into the bin. It’s not as sustainable as it could be, but it’s better than putting a whole nappy into landfill. I’m hoping by the time I’ve used up the nappy bags that I’ve got, I’ll be better equipped mentally to deal with the poo!
So far, I’ve had two separate days of using cloth nappies. I only own three Bambino Mio All In Ones, that I bought from Aldi when they had their special buy event on over the summer. So far they seem to have washed well but take a little while to dry, so I need to expand my cloth collection, if I want to move to reusables full time. I’ve just purchased a Totsbots trial kit, to try out a few other options.
I like All in Ones because they seem to be almost as convenient as disposables (aside from the washing, obviously!). However, I have heard that they’re not sufficiently absorbent for overnight use. The Totbots trial kit contains an overnight nappy too, so I’m going to give that a go. As B is already 18 months and is unlikely to be in nappies in more than a year from now, I think I’m going to focus my budget on expanding my collection of All in Ones and stick with disposables overnight. I’ll still be saving a lot of nappies from landfill and I think it’s a good compromise, economically as well as environmentally.
Do you use cloth nappies? Which are your favourites? Tell me in the comments! And if you’re looking to get started with cloth, then this post which covers the basics of reusable nappies by Emma Reed might be useful to you.