When I had my first baby my lovely & frugal mother-in-law bought me a stack of snowy white, brand-new terry-towelling nappies. In the cloth nappy world they're known as 'terry-flats'. I attempted to put a terry-flat on my average-sized new-born baby. My mother-in-law had pre-washed & pre-folded all the nappies. I still struggled and got it wrong. The nappy poked out of the plastic yellow pilcher all over the place and none of the cute new-born clothes would fit over it. So I gave up. Forget the environment, forget my budget. Forget washing and drying cloth nappies. Forget weird plastic yellow pilchers. I wanted style & convenience! And besides, none of my friends were doing it.
The terry-flats didn't go to waste. They were used as change-mats, spew-rags, face-cloths and a nice soft place to have 'nappy off time'. Gradually they were cut into quarters and used as rags.
Now what prompted this post?
Two things. The first is that I spoke with a lovely lady today who used the same, I repeat THE SAME twelve terry-flats for all three of her children. Not as face-washes but on their bottoms the way they were intended. And then, she passed those SAME terry-flats onto her children to use for THEIR children. So I'm beginning to feel like the most wasteful person on the planet.
Luckily for my ego, I had already made the switch to cloth. This is the second thing that prompted this post.
We are now onto our third baby. Needless to say, baby one and two both had disposable nappies. We tried every brand we could find but really, only the most expensive brand on the market seemed to fit right and hold everything in where it was supposed to stay. So for two children who were in nappies for an average of two years we have spent at least $4000 on nappies. Probably more. That's quite a cost. And that doesn't include wipes or nappy-sacks to put the stinky things in. And that doesn't include the cost to this planet. I have been personally responsible for $4000 worth of stinky, non-biodegradable nappies to be buried in land-fill. Sorry everyone.
Time for a change. For this baby, we decided to take the plunge and get kitted out with cloth nappies. Not any old nappies but the softest, most beautiful nappies I have ever seen. Now there are a lot of options on the market when it comes to reusable nappies and if you're interested in this topic I suggest you do some thorough research. As far as I know you can choose from biodegradable disposables (easy but still planet-friendly), terry-flats, pre-folds & modern cloth nappies. If you know of more feel free to comment below. I am far from an expert. Modern cloth nappies are a whole world of their own and there are many retailers with many brands. All the cute bum-related names have been used up as brand-names.
We have been using our new modern cloth nappies for about two weeks and I am thoroughly smitten. Never more so then when I put a disposable nappy on my baby today because I had mistimed my washing. The disposable really stank. And it was a fresh one! I had never noticed the stink before. It was putting off a vapour. My cloth nappies smell like sunshine and baby goodness. I couldn't wait for them to finish drying so I could put one on my precious boy.
I have only bought 13 so far and I really do need to buy more to keep plenty in rotation. If I double my stash then I would have spent around $800. I have bought multi-fit all-in-ones (there's some technical jargon for you!) so I won't need to buy anymore for this baby. So even though I've had to spend the money all at once, eventually I would have saved at least $1200 over the next two years. One more step in this journey of ours. And besides, he just looks so beautiful in them!