Could cloth nappies be the right choice for your family?

A lot of people are curious about our choice to use cloth nappies along side elimination communication for our baby. Here are a few of the reasons why we decided to go down the cloth nappy/diaper route.

Better for baby

Disposable nappies are made up of a whole host of ingredients and generally people just accept that. They are heavily advertised and everybody else uses them, so why not us?

Well firstly, they are filled with chemicals and things that us non science types don’t understand. One of these is Sodium Polyacrylate, that’s the stuff that makes the little gel balls that make a mess and stick to everything when your baby is in a wet nappy. It is extremely absorbent and because of this it use to be used in tampons too. In 1985 it was banned from being in tampons due to being linked with toxic shock syndrome. It has been shown that women who work with Sodium Polyacrylate often have damage to their female organs, yet despite this, no long term research has been done to see what damage could be being caused to babies who are in constant contact with the substance. It is outrageous!! Also, due to this chemicals amazing absorbency, it sucks the moisture from the baby’s skin making them more prone to severe nappy rash.

Disposable nappies are bleached and a byproduct of this process is the chemical dioxin. It has been linked to cancer, birth defects and infertility to name only a few.

Other chemicals that cause concern that have been found within disposables are tribulytin – which damages the immune system, xylene, ethylbenzene, styrene and ispropylene – which are linked to respiratory problems.

If that isn’t enough, disposable nappies have been linked to male infertility as they keep the infants testicles at a much higher temperature than cloth would. They can cause asthma and who knows what else might be discovered in the future.

Better for the environment

In the UK alone nearly 8 million disposable nappies are thrown in to landfill every single day! These take a minimum of 200 years to decompose although I have read studies which indicate it is closer to 500 years. That means that every disposable nappy ever used is still sitting in a landfill somewhere taking up space and contributing to the release of greenhouse gases in to our atmosphere. In fact the plastic parts of a disposable nappy may never break down. Nobody really knows!


Between birth and 2.5 years (when a lot of children no longer use nappies), it will cost between £800 and £1400 to keep your baby in disposables. The cost of cloth seems high initially and you have to make a bit of a commitment to doing it, but for less than £200 you can easily get a good supply of reusable nappies, wraps and everything you need to last your child until they are out of nappies. It is possible to do it for even less than this with some types of cloth nappies such as terry squares. Pre-loved nappies are widely available so a great idea is to buy one of a particular style before you commit to buying a set. Each child is shaped differently so don’t assume that because one particular style is popular, that it will be right for your baby.

One of the great things about cloth is that even when your first baby has out grown the nappies, or stopped using them, they can be used for subsequent children or sold. Many have a high resale value which means you can trade up sizes and try new styles, without wasting a load of money.

And of course, they look so adorable on!


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