Pros and cons of cloth nappies

 Emilia Douglas, wearing a cloth nappy.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Emilia Douglas, wearing a cloth nappy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Five Advantages Green friendly: You aren’t dumping 3,000 disposables into landfill and hoping they break down some time before the third century passes. Plus you can reuse them on subsequent children, or sell them on.

Pocket friendly: You don’t have to spend a lot to build a decent stash of nappies.

Prefolds and terrycloth nappies are still a good option, and covers can be picked up relatively cheaply. And again, you can pass them on when your child’s nappy days are over.

The midnight dash: With cloth nappies, you never have to do the last minute run to pick up the nappies you forgot to grab earlier in the day.

Bin it: Have you ever smelt a week’s worth of disposable nappies in your bin? You don’t want to.

Cloth nappies mean no disposables clogging up your bin, which can be good for your pocket too.

Style: It doesn’t matter if you’ve bought the disposable nappies with the cartoon characters that disappear when the nappy is wet, you’ll never beat the cuteness of some of the prints that cloth nappies offer. Five Disadvantages Washing: It’s not the worst job in the world; in fact, washing cloth nappies is as straightforward as any other clothing as the washing machine does all the work.

But there are times when you’d rather just lie on the sofa than chuck another load of washing on. If you’re using cloth, it’s not something you can put off for too long.

Nappy niff: Even if you’re washing nappies every two days, you’ll have to brave opening the bucket or unzipping the wetbag eventually.

Water charges: Reusable nappies may get you off the hook with the bin charges, but you’ll have to factor in water charges. The good news? It’s only an extra couple of washes a week, so it’s unlikely to eat into your household budget.

Clothes: Not all clothes are built to take the bit of extra bulk which some – not all – cloth nappies can bring.

Jeans can cause problems unless you’re buying from a company that is cut for cloth.

Other people: By far, the most off-putting thing for cloth parents has to be other people’s opinions. You’ll never stick with it, it’s disgusting to wash and reuse nappies, and sure what’s wrong with disposables nappies anyway?

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