Real Nappy Week
This week is Real Nappy Week, celebrating the use of cloth nappies and the savings in terms of cash and the environment they can bring. Go Real estimate that parents can save between £150 and £1000 when using real nappies and if every child in England and Wales was in cloth there would be 355,000 tonnes of waste saved (and the £32 million cost of disposing of all the disposables). But cloth is still a pretty unpopular choice – we had to search pretty hard to find nannies who used it – and there are two big misconceptions.
Nappies need changing whether you use disposables or cloth and they both usually go into a sealed contained in the bathroom. Cloth nappies are usually washed at 60C to kill any germs lurking in the nappy and come out squeaky clean. Out and about you just need to take a washable, sealable wetbag and instead of binning the nappy you take it home.
“I was a bit worried when my new employers mentioned at interview that they used cloth nappies mostly because I was a live in and would be using the same washing machine to wash my clothes as the nappies. But then I thought about it and baby clothes are covered in poo and wee and sick half the time and they go in the machine. The nappies come out clean so it must work.” Sophie
The only complicated thing is choosing which of the many systems out there to use. You can get all in ones which are just like a disposable nappy only with poppers or velcro. The whole thing comes off and into the bucket. Then there are pocket nappies with an outer nappy part and an insert that goes in the pocket and again you just take one and put it on like a disposable. Two part systems have a shaped nappy, a terry nappy or a square of material that is
prefolded into a rectangle and put in the wrap. These all need an extra waterproof wrap over the top but once you’ve done it a few times you soon get the hang of it. Nappy pins are out too – nifty little T-shaped bits of plastic grip the fabric and hold it together or there are integrated poppers or velcro.
“When I started nannying in the late 1970s it was terry nappies and plastic pants. Cloth nappies now are much more fun and really easy to use.” Julie
Remember you can always compromise!
“I don’t mind changing them but the parents do the washing. That’s the deal. The pocket nappies we have are just like disposables so ir’s minimal effort for me and they actually smell less.” Kate