Have you tried cloth nappies yet? Â Tell us about your experience!
So we did it. Our stash of disposables running low, we took the plunge. Of all the challenges weâ€™ve faced this year, this seemed like the greatest: ladies and gentlemen (okay, so mainly ladiesâ€¦), we are now cloth nappying a scarily squirmy, frighteningly farty, utterly unpredictable and extremely explosive eight week old baby. Without a tumble drier. In the depth of winter.
I wasnâ€™t at all certain that weâ€™d do it. The lack of a drier and the depth of winter bit tipped the scales when I discussed it back in Autumn. But thenÂ Nappy Ever AfterÂ offered us a free one-month trial of their laundry service, slap bang in the middle of that new baby honeymoon period Â – you know the one: â€œIâ€™VE HAD A BABY! I CAN DO ANYTHING!â€ Very shortly followed by: â€œOH MY GOD, Iâ€™VE GOT A BABY. I CAN DO NOTHING.â€
Anyway, it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up. In essence, they deliver a clean load of nappies once a week, give you a nappy bin to store them in, and â€“ hereâ€™s the magic bit â€“ TAKE THE DIRTY ONES AWAY. Itâ€™s a brilliant idea and, back when they had funding, they supplied hundreds of families across London. It must have done a huge amount to spread the use of cloth nappies and reduce landfill because back then it cost as little as Â£6 a week for people in the right borough. Now that fundingâ€™s dried up theyâ€™ve had to put their costs up too, so itâ€™s a less easily affordable Â£15 a week. So yes, funding people, get back on itâ€¦
Back to us. The nappies arrived on Monday andâ€¦ we havenâ€™t really looked back. Weâ€™ve cloth nappied in the Tate Modern, in the loos of several London pubs, in a farmerâ€™s market (perched precariously on a vacant stall) and in the playground. Not a single spillage so far. I carry a smallish wash bag inside my handbag with a couple of extra cloths, a couple of nappy liners and a smaller, plastic-lined wash bag within it for the wet, used ones to go in. Itâ€™s no bother.
In fact, itâ€™s given me the courage to think I could easily manage the extra washing and do the laundry myself, when our free trial runs out. Itâ€™s doable, isnâ€™t it? A couple of extra washing loads a week, hung out to dry overnight on a heated drying rack?
At home, I stick a couple of drops of lavender oil in the nappy bin whenever I remember and there are honestly no suspicious smells drifting around at all. The only thing Iâ€™m still hesitating over is nights. Weâ€™re still using the last of our disposables at night. When these run out, could we really switch to cloth? The only disadvantage I can spot so far is how much wetter she is, in comparison to the disposables and the chemicals in them that draw moisture away from babiesâ€™ skins. Wouldnâ€™t she wake up more often?
So far, at least, cloth nappying feels good. I like the idea that she has soft, natural fibres against her skin. On days when I feel like everythingâ€™s gone wrong (you know the ones, the big fat FAIL days when you canâ€™t believe there isnâ€™t a law against people like you being responsible for a human child) I can cling to my eco credentials. At least weâ€™re saving the planet. One nappy at a time. Right?!