Cloth Bottomed Babies

by Linda Sones on August 30, 2007

in EcoKids

All the clothes that I sell in the SonesUK shop are designed with cloth bottomed babies in mind to give plenty of room for the slight additional bulk. This set me thinking about the pro’s and cons of using cloth nappies. When my children were tiny there was really not a choice but now there is a vast range of disposables and cloth nappies to choose from.

First of all a good place to start might be some facts and figures produced by local councils.

  • Every year we need a forest the size of Wales to provide all the paper we use in
  • 1 tonne of recycled paper saves 17 trees from being cut down.
  • 7 Million Trees are cut down each year just to make disposable nappies.
  • If you use disposable nappies your child will use an average of 5,000 from birth until potty trained.

Not so many years ago a cloth nappy was simply a square of towelling which was fastened onto baby using two lethal looking large safety pins. Now the range available is astonishing you can have a one piece nappy, a shaped two piece, pre-folded, terry, a flat nappy used with a stuffable style cover, waterproof covers, liners, booster pads and swim nappies. The large pins have been replaced by snappi nappi clips and nippi nippas and I am sure there are many more. Modern cloth nappies then fit really snuggly. It is argued that children wearing cloth nappies become potty trained more quickly because the child is able to detect some wetness. This awareness encourages the child to use a potty.

Some of reasons for using disposables might be convenience, not having the bother of washing or perhaps your child goes to day nursery. It is also suggested by manufacturers that disposables prevent nappy rash. I would argue that there is no reason for a child in a cloth nappy to have a higher incidence of nappy rash. A child’s skin is very sensitive and nappies need to be changed frequently to avoid prolonged contact with wee and poo which are the cause of nappy rash. Avoid using biological washing powders apart from the fact that they are not eco-friendly they can cause rashes. Or perhaps you might consider a nappy laundry service which may not be as expensive as you would think.

Many childcare providers will be happy to accommodate children in cloth nappies providing you have chosen an easy and reliable type, and provide a sealable bag for storage of dirty nappies. If all this still sounds like a lot of extra work, perhaps a compromise would be helpful just consider; using only one cloth nappy per day will save 365 disposable nappies being thrown away. So from little oak trees etc. etc.

Just two more factors to consider

  • In the next 10 years about 800 million people will be added to the global population.
  • As the population consumption and wealth increases so does the amount of waste we produce.
  • We have used more goods and services since 1950 than in the rest of human history.

Well I hope this gives you some food for thought and you may even decide to swap to cloth nappies.

Information obtained from: The Complete Cloth Nappy Guide & Colchester Borough Council

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Half Pint Pixie August 31, 2007 at 10:58 am

thanks for this post. I’ve been humming & hawing about making the change to cloth, but I must get myself sorted and just do it!


Hayley Jones August 31, 2007 at 1:12 pm

I am a cloth nappy user (or my daughter is anyway!) and can recommend them. I personally went for pocket nappies which are nice and easy to put on and not over bulky, but there is plenty of choice. I don’t torture myself for using disposables now and again though, for example if we are away. The initial cost outlay can put people off, but some of the options are not very expensive and you could always buy them a few at a time until you have built up enough to use them all (or most) of the time. And there is a good market for second hand nappies too, so you will probably be able to get a good proportion of the money back when you have finished with them.


Linda Sones September 1, 2007 at 8:15 pm

I am so peased to hear from Half Pint Pixie that she is going to go for it!
Great to hear from Hayley too how well cloth nappies are working for her.


Jennifer September 2, 2007 at 5:55 am

Great post! I will have to link it to my pregnancy and baby blog. You pretty much simpled things up.


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