The Great Nappy debate!

Cloth Nappies or Disposable nappies, this is the question I am asking today! Did anybody else go what through what I went through trying to work out what was best for the Earth, my Son and me?

I did a lot of research before Miles Storm was born trying to figure it all out. It was very time-consuming. At the end of it all I was adamant that my little boy would wear Cloth nappies, mainly because of the environmental effect disposable nappies have on OUR Earth.

Mainstream disposable diapers are NOT biodegradable meaning that they sit in landfills forever and ever. The average little human uses 6,500+ nappies before they are potty trained!  A 2008 Time magazine article says “The Real Diaper Association, an advocacy group founded in 2004, estimates that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used each year in the U.S. (according to the EPA, that translates into more than 3.4 million tons of waste dumped into landfills)”.  This is beyond Crazy to me and this was in 2008! Fast forward four years… and this is the reason I never use standard nappies, not to mention most of them are bleached white – Can you imagine sitting in a bleached nappy 24/7 for 2-3 years of your life? Also, most disposable nappies have insane chemicals in them like dioxins, sodium polyacrylate, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and Tributyl-tin (TBT), among other stuff. Sounds scary right? Yeah, well it is.

My husband has still not accepted my love of cloth nappies, we fought tooth and nail about it before our Son was born, he wanted to use disposable nappies end of story. I went ahead and secretly ordered from my-cloth-nappy-of-choice the Australian GroVia and hid them in the cupboard from him. When he found them he was not a happy camper that is for sure!

Anyway, what ended up happening when Miles Storm was born was that I was too tired and exhausted to use the cloth nappies. It was too much for me, I did not have the energy to clean his nappies by hand and then wash them in the washing machine and wait for them to dry. I also did not want to pay for a pick up service to take care of it for me. And, we live in a city apartment so we do not have a laundry sink to clean them off.

As a compromise; my husband and I came up with a hybrid plan where we started using Vermont based Seventh Generation “helping to protect human health and the environment” disposable nappies which are free of fragrances, latex and chlorine and are semi-biodegradable. I still use, occasionally, GroVia cloth nappies with their 100% biodegradable disposable bio-soaker inserts (when by husband is not around). My husband is so funny in that I can have a nice row of GroVia nappy outer-shells set up and the inserts right next to them and he will still say to me “Why don’t we have any diapers”? He is just a blank to the cloth nappy vibe. Oh well! He is beautiful in other ways.

Everybody is different and you have to do what is best for you. For me, this works for my peace of mind.

If you want to use Seventh Generation nappies/products Diapers.com deliver overnight – which is wonderful.

Upstate New York, (my second home), you can buy a whole range of cloth nappies at my favorite store Waddle n Swaddle who have two locations in Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck.

In the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area Caribou Baby is the only place that I know that you can walk in and buy Cloth nappies; they also have the ability to answer any question that you may have. Hopefully soon there is a store more into the “Willy B” that also offers the same, I have a feeling that might just happen!

GroVia Cloth Nappy Miles Storm

Miles Storm in his one of his GroVia cloth nappies!

13 thoughts on “The Great Nappy debate!

  1. oneangelabove

    Great post Lib! We use cloth! Have for both children. We use biodegradable lines, so the the waste can be put in the loo. They are then just machine washed and dry overnight. They have saved us loads of money and are better for the environment! My hubby loves them as they save money and you put them on like a ‘sposie’! Kym

    Reply
  2. Courtney

    Very informative post Libby! I was just having a conversation yesterday about how I regret not using cloth diapers…I should have listened to my mom. From day 1 she tried to convince me cloth was the way to go for all the reasons you mentioned. Even though Aiden is already 11 months I think I am going to make the switch…better late then never…right? Hope to see you and Miles soon!

    Reply
    1. Willy B Mum

      Hi Courtney,
      Yes, I went through the same debate except the other way around trying to convince Mat to use cloth nappies. They are so much better, and luckily you have Kerry at Waddle n Swaddle to help you through the process. And, yes better late than never to make the switch!
      Cannot believe Aidan is nearly a year old!. Time flew by. Hope to see you soon too.

      Reply
      1. Courtney

        Yes…time has flown by…I remember first meeting you guys and little Miles was not even walking yet! I am actually going to the cloth diaper event at waddle n swaddle on saturday:) what really struck me in your post was the mention of regular diapers and your precious baby’s little bum sitting in a bleached diaper filled with toxins for 2-3 years…that is scary to think about!! I am so mindful of the food and products I give/use with Aiden…how could I not have given this more thought! It makes me sad to think about. I realize it is an investment I should have made long ago as this is the healthiest option for Aiden and the environment.

        Reply
        1. Willy B Mum

          You are a great Mum Courtney and you are doing a wonderful job! We can only do the best we can, and we cannot always be perfect. I am so happy though that I have pointed some things out that struck a chord with you.
          I am hoping to also be at the Great Cloth Diaper Change on Saturday.

          Reply
  3. oneangelabove

    Great Post! We use cloth, have done for both our girls. We use liners in the nappy so you can empty the contents straight into the loo! I love that we can wash our nappies then they hang them up to dry by morning! Hubby loves them too as they are the same shape as sposies, so very easy to use! Kym 🙂

    Reply
    1. Willy B Mum

      Kym, out of curiosity what brand to you use and why? Being in Australia I am interested to hear your feedback on this?

      Reply
      1. oneangelabove

        We use bumGenius – all the way from the US! They dry in short time, compared to Aussie branded Itti bittis. Itti bittis also cause bad nappy rash on my kids as they dont draw the moisture away from there bottoms. They also are a brilliant fit on my girls. I do have Itti bitti tuttos, I am not a regular user of them as they have a low rise and dont cover up bubs bottom properly. I also only use ecostore washing powder which is safe for our environment. No whiteners, bleaches etc.

        Reply
  4. Tiffany McKenna

    We have been using cloth diapers since Tucker was six weeks old and fit into them. So far it’s been great. We got a selection of brands and types of diapers and they all work. I don’t really even have a favorite. I like the velcro ones because they are easy but then you have to make sure to stick the velcro to the soft part so they don’t stick together in the dryer. The snap ones are great and I love how all of these diapers will last so long. We even just started the cloth wipes and love those too. We got a Princelion heart cloth wipey warmer and use the Ruby Moon wipe bits which smell really good. He loves the warm wipeys, and doesn’t mind that the regular ones are cold when we are doing a diaper on the go. We use disposable ones when we travel or he has a diaper rash (since the rash cream apparently isn’t good with the cloth diapers. I will check out the Seventh Generation diapers, thanks for letting us know about those.

    Reply
    1. Willy B Mum

      Thanks for the comment Tiffany.
      I always used the Grovia brand, I was so happy with them I did venture passed them. I know what you mean by the velcro, on the Grovia ones there is a slip that you can slip the straps into so that does not happen in the dryer which was helpful!
      Cloth wipes sound really interesting, I am going to look into that as it sounds way more eco friendly than using disposable ones!

      Reply
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