Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nappy Myths

Isn't if funny how everything happens at once? We spend the whole week at home, then yesterday there was playgroup, a sports' carnival, then drinks at DH's work. It was fun getting out. Thank you Michelle and Gillian for your support, it really helped.

OK, I've had a couple on feeding and toddlers, one on education, and I feel like something light. How about some nappy myths?

  • Cloth nappies are hard work. My Mum had three in nappies and an old twin tub machine that had to be changed over and filled by hand. It wasn't earthed properly and almost electrocuted her. So absolutely, for her cloth nappies were a lot of hard work. I have a lovely modern washing machine and lovely modern detergent and my nappies are made from lovely modern fabrics and are super absorbent. So for me it's an extra load of washing every two or three days. Frankly, going to the shops and buying disposables (remembering to buy them!) would be harder and more time consuming.
  • They're hard to put on. I'm terrible at putting sposies on, I also have problems with velcro. But I can do a snappi in about 2 seconds flat. My point is not that one is easier or harder, but that we learn what we are used to. You are going to be doing at least 5 changes a day for around 2 years, possibly much more. Do you really think you'll take 3650 goes to learn how to do it easily? Or do you think it will be simple after a week or two?
  • Cloth nappies are unreliable. When you look at the elastic around the legs, at the front and back and different fit options, there's no way anything is getting out. There are some brands that don't suit some babies, and of course if you don't use a water resistant layer of some sort you're going to get wet. So I suppose my caveat here is that an appropriate, well fitting system is completely reliable. It may take a bit of experimenting, but there will be a way of doing it. Ignoring the hype and talking to other Mums says that sposies have problems too - at least there are lots of cloth options, not the 5 or so that sposie users have.
  • They have to be changed often. Ummmm, isn't that a good thing? Do you really want your baby sitting in wee?
  • They cause nappy rash. Nappy rash is caused by the bacteria from poo changing wee into ammonia, which burns little bums. So if you don't want nappy rash, change and wash your baby with something mild. In the 50's it was practically unknown. Of course individual babies have different reactions - some react to disposables, some react to fleece, some react if they aren't breathable enough. If you have a rashy baby you're going to have to experiment.
  • They make it harder for babies to roll, crawl and walk. There is a huge normal age range for mobility, unless there is something wrong they all get there. Widget was an early mover, so from my perspective - please slow Midet down a bit!

And because we have to have an environmental one in there,

  • They use lots of water. Think modern washing machines. Think only 40 or so nappies actually used, so not that much in materials. Think dry pailing, so no soaking water needed. Then think where the paper used in those 3650 disposables came from. Cloth nappies use more of your water, so probably not a good idea if you are on tanks, but overall it's much less clear.

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