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27th June 2013 04:15 AM #1
How did you decide whether to use disposable or real nappies?
One of the many questions soon-to-be parents consider is what type of nappy to use. Should you go for disposables or real nappies? There are lots of factors to consider, including:
* cost: real nappies work out cheaper in the long run (particularly if you do not use a tumble dryer and you use the nappies on more than one child), however, there is the initial cost of buying your 'stash' of real nappies
* ease: in the main, disposable nappies need to be changed less frequently than real nappies (as they contain gel which absorbs the urine)
* environmental issues: this is a biggie - real nappies are much better for the environment than disposable nappies (the far majority of disposable nappies are not bio-degradable and so contribute to overflowing landfill sites)
* time: there are the extra washing loads of the real nappies to consider
* natural products: many parents like the way that real nappies are made from natural products (such as bamboo or hemp) whereas disposable nappies contain chemicals
* design: real nappies come in many beautiful designs!
Are there any other factors that you considered when deciding what type of nappy to use?
As for my family, we started off just using disposables because at that time we only had shared washing facilities and I was concerned about the extra washing needed. However, we now use both! I do like the natural feel of the real nappies but if we have a busy day then I opt for the convenience of disposable nappies.
I look forward to reading about how you decided to do nappies!
11th July 2013 08:19 AM #2
With my first baby I used cloth nappies exclusively (even when out or on vacations) and the packet of emergency disposables I had bought in event of disaster was never used. Keep in mind I was partnered, live in the relative warmth of Sydney, took 12 months maternity leave and then worked part time for two years.
Six years later I started out with the same intention for my second baby - cloth nappies all the way. However during my pregnancy my partner left and to survive I had to return to full time work when my baby was just 8 weeks old. I managed to negotiate a work-from-home contract which was FANTASTIC but I couldn't afford a Nanny so my days were a real juggling act. Very quickly the cracks began to show and the washing of nappies started to become impossible.
I held out for as long as I could but when my baby was six months and winter set in (with no dryer) I finally had to accept defeat. I felt guilty and weak - like I wasn't willing to give what it took to give this baby and our planet what I had before. I kept planning to go back to cloth nappies but eventually I realised I had to make a choice - spend the time washing nappies or spend it keeping a roof over our heads!
To ease my environmental guilt I began conscientiously trying to make a difference in other ways. I worked hard to reduce our energy consumption, paid the carbon offset optional fee on all flights, and used my car only when absolutely necessary. These are commitments I still maintain.
There was the monetary consideration but by seeking out the cheapest nappies of the best quality I could afford (thank you Aldi!) I found the saved time outweighed the cost. Two years on and I feel no guilt. I accept that by sacrificing the cloth nappies and provided a better quality of life for me and my family. As I contemplate a third child the thought did come into my mind again - cloth or disposable. For a moment I felt the pull to cloth but almost immediately my rational brain kicked and said 'if you couldn't manage it then with 2 children, you can't manage it now with 3!'
I strongly support the use of cloth nappies, I am proud I achieve it with my first and I commend those who achieve it for all their babies - but I also encourage anyone making the choice to consider the impacts either way.
17th July 2013 04:15 AM #3
Isn't it hard for us mums to not feel guilty?! Each child is different and the family dynamics change for each subsequent children. We have to make choices that are right for each child and our family as a whole. So I totally support how you decided about nappy types for your children.
Now that I have two children, and they are both unique I appreciate that there are not absolutes when it comes to parenting. I know my parenting journey will take me down different paths with my boys and with my future children but if I am doing what I feel is best for them as a whole (in the context of our family) then I am happy.
Thank you for sharing your nappy experiences,
25th July 2013 07:46 PM #4
I think LJ you and I are very much on the same page in realising that parenting decisions change with each child. Doesn't it seem so easy to think before the birth of the second child that you will do everything the same! But times change, dynamics change, and we have to change along with them!
4th August 2013 01:15 AM #5
Absolutely! Every child is unique as is the family they are born into.
I have found that a flexible approach leads to happy kiddies which leads to happy parents.