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Cloth vs Disposable: ‘The Dirt’ on Dirty Nappies

If
you have arrived at this blog, you are probably concerned or curious about the
impact your parenting choices are having on the environment, your child’s
health, and your finances. Read on for the facts about cloth and disposable nappies
and how to choose which is right for your family.

How
many nappies do babies use?

The
number of nappies used will naturally differ depending on factors such as the
age of your baby, as well as genetic factors that decide if they are a light or
heavy wetter (or somewhere in between). On average, newborn babies use
approximately 12 nappies per day, whereas toddlers average 6-8 nappies per day.
With most babies working towards toilet training between 2-3 years of age, this
means your baby will go through approximately 5500-8000 nappy changes.

Disposable
Nappies

Disposable
nappies usually consist of a waterproof plastic outer layer, chemicals for
absorbing liquid (often sodium polyacrylate), and an inner liner to go against
the baby’s skin. They may also contain glues, dyes, and synthetic perfumes. Unfortunately,
disposable nappies are currently a major contributor of landfill in Australia.
With most families currently opting for disposable nappies, approximately 3.75
million disposable nappies are discarded every day in Australia and New Zealand.
Each nappy will then take hundreds of years to break down in landfill. The main
reason disposable nappies are so popular is because they are seen as a
convenient choice, particularly for families with a busy lifestyle.

Biodegradable
Disposables

These
usually do not use chemical absorption, but rather use paper pulp and similar
products for absorption instead. They are generally much more expensive than
regular disposable nappies. Parents who want to reduce their environmental
impact but who are not yet ready to go 100% cloth often choose to use
biodegradable’s alongside their cloth nappies. There has been some speculation
about whether these are truly biodegradable due to the conditions in landfill
being less than optimal, but I am certainly no expert on this topic, and have
not been able to access reputable evidence either way.

Cloth
Nappies

There
are many types of cloth nappy available in Australia. Traditional varieties
include old-school square ‘terry’ nappies, pre-folds, and fitted nappies, all
of which require a nappy cover/shell to make them waterproof.Modern varieties include pocket nappies, all
in ones, and all in twos (or snap-ins). Nappies may be sized, or
one-size-fits-most. Stay tuned for a blog post soon about the different styles of cloth
nappies and how to use them
.
Generally a full-time stash of cloth
nappies is considered to be 24 nappies to allow time to wash and dry the
nappies in between uses. Of course this figure varies depending on your babies
requirements for nappy change frequency, and your preference for washing
frequencies. Another factor to consider is whether you would like to have ‘back
ups’ in case of rainy weather etc. Personally, my full time stash is approximately
35 nappies.

Cloth
nappies are also so much kinder to the environment! Even factoring in fabric
production to make the nappies and nappy laundering, cloth nappies that are
air-dried are still a much better eco-friendly choice.

Deciding
Factors

Mainstream
brand disposable nappies cost around $0.30-$0.50 each, purchased in large
packs. This equates to approximately $1600-$4000 per child. Cloth nappies vary
in price depending on the style and brand that you choose. A basic full-time
stash (24-35 nappies) of pocket nappies can be purchased brand new for
$200-$300.

Financial
and Environmental impacts can be further reduced by buying some or all of your
stash second hand (beware of faulty elastics and delaminated PUL), using your
cloth stash on additional children down the track, selling or gifting your
stash to another family to use when you are done, switching to cloth wipes, and
air-drying nappies rather than using the clothes dryer.

Full
time cloth is not for everybody. Many families use cloth part time, often using
disposables for overnights and when out and about. Remember, every cloth nappy
used is another disposable that won’t go to landfill.

Often
a major barrier to using cloth for families is fear of all the washing! It can
be a little inconvenient at times, but honestly only adds about 10 minutes each
day onto my usual cleaning routine (compared with using disposables). A small
price to pay to reduce my impact on the planet in my opinion! For advice and
tips on cleaning your cloth nappies see our product care page

Thank
you so much for reading! If you have any questions, or want to have a chat
about any of the topics covered here, head over to our contact page, or message
me on our facebook or instagram accounts @greenthingsonlineshop

Information
Sources

https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-your-home/Live-sustainably/Single-use-items/Nappies

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652615001535

https://www.choice.com.au/babies-and-kids/baby-clothes-and-nappies/nappies/buying-guides/disposable-and-cloth-nappies#Disposable%20vs%20cloth

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged .

Cloth vs Disposable: ‘The Dirt’ on Dirty Nappies

If
you have arrived at this blog, you are probably concerned or curious about the
impact your parenting choices are having on the environment, your child’s
health, and your finances. Read on for the facts about cloth and disposable nappies
and how to choose which is right for your family.

How
many nappies do babies use?

The
number of nappies used will naturally differ depending on factors such as the
age of your baby, as well as genetic factors that decide if they are a light or
heavy wetter (or somewhere in between). On average, newborn babies use
approximately 12 nappies per day, whereas toddlers average 6-8 nappies per day.
With most babies working towards toilet training between 2-3 years of age, this
means your baby will go through approximately 5500-8000 nappy changes.

Disposable
Nappies

Disposable
nappies usually consist of a waterproof plastic outer layer, chemicals for
absorbing liquid (often sodium polyacrylate), and an inner liner to go against
the baby’s skin. They may also contain glues, dyes, and synthetic perfumes. Unfortunately,
disposable nappies are currently a major contributor of landfill in Australia.
With most families currently opting for disposable nappies, approximately 3.75
million disposable nappies are discarded every day in Australia and New Zealand.
Each nappy will then take hundreds of years to break down in landfill. The main
reason disposable nappies are so popular is because they are seen as a
convenient choice, particularly for families with a busy lifestyle.

Biodegradable
Disposables

These
usually do not use chemical absorption, but rather use paper pulp and similar
products for absorption instead. They are generally much more expensive than
regular disposable nappies. Parents who want to reduce their environmental
impact but who are not yet ready to go 100% cloth often choose to use
biodegradable’s alongside their cloth nappies. There has been some speculation
about whether these are truly biodegradable due to the conditions in landfill
being less than optimal, but I am certainly no expert on this topic, and have
not been able to access reputable evidence either way.

Cloth
Nappies

There
are many types of cloth nappy available in Australia. Traditional varieties
include old-school square ‘terry’ nappies, pre-folds, and fitted nappies, all
of which require a nappy cover/shell to make them waterproof.Modern varieties include pocket nappies, all
in ones, and all in twos (or snap-ins). Nappies may be sized, or
one-size-fits-most. Stay tuned for a blog post soon about the different styles of cloth
nappies and how to use them
.
Generally a full-time stash of cloth
nappies is considered to be 24 nappies to allow time to wash and dry the
nappies in between uses. Of course this figure varies depending on your babies
requirements for nappy change frequency, and your preference for washing
frequencies. Another factor to consider is whether you would like to have ‘back
ups’ in case of rainy weather etc. Personally, my full time stash is approximately
35 nappies.

Cloth
nappies are also so much kinder to the environment! Even factoring in fabric
production to make the nappies and nappy laundering, cloth nappies that are
air-dried are still a much better eco-friendly choice.

Deciding
Factors

Mainstream
brand disposable nappies cost around $0.30-$0.50 each, purchased in large
packs. This equates to approximately $1600-$4000 per child. Cloth nappies vary
in price depending on the style and brand that you choose. A basic full-time
stash (24-35 nappies) of pocket nappies can be purchased brand new for
$200-$300.

Financial
and Environmental impacts can be further reduced by buying some or all of your
stash second hand (beware of faulty elastics and delaminated PUL), using your
cloth stash on additional children down the track, selling or gifting your
stash to another family to use when you are done, switching to cloth wipes, and
air-drying nappies rather than using the clothes dryer.

Full
time cloth is not for everybody. Many families use cloth part time, often using
disposables for overnights and when out and about. Remember, every cloth nappy
used is another disposable that won’t go to landfill.

Often
a major barrier to using cloth for families is fear of all the washing! It can
be a little inconvenient at times, but honestly only adds about 10 minutes each
day onto my usual cleaning routine (compared with using disposables). A small
price to pay to reduce my impact on the planet in my opinion! For advice and
tips on cleaning your cloth nappies see our product care page

Thank
you so much for reading! If you have any questions, or want to have a chat
about any of the topics covered here, head over to our contact page, or message
me on our facebook or instagram accounts @greenthingsonlineshop

Information
Sources

https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-your-home/Live-sustainably/Single-use-items/Nappies

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652615001535

https://www.choice.com.au/babies-and-kids/baby-clothes-and-nappies/nappies/buying-guides/disposable-and-cloth-nappies#Disposable%20vs%20cloth

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged .

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