Real Nappy Week!

Cute nappies on display

Yes, there really is a Real Nappy Week. And it’s this week, 18th-24th April. I’ll be at Idea Store Bow on Saturday 23rd with information for anyone interested – details below.

Like nearly everything in parenting, the kind of nappies you use are something everyone seems to have an opinion on… so I’m going to start by saying that SHOCK! HORROR! I’m a big fan of ‘real’ (cloth) nappies who still uses disposables some of the time.

But I volunteer to help other parents find out about real nappies, because I found it hard to get any actual information on real nappies when I had my first baby.  Once we tried them, we found that they worked really well for us as a family – and not just because they’re better for the environment (way less waste, less or no plastics used, no chemicals next to baby’s skin and a reduced carbon footprint*).

So, I find that disposables are smaller to pack for a weekend away (where there may not be a washing machine on hand), and they do require a bit less thought (so I used them both times for the first few weeks of life a newborn, when frankly there is enough else to think about).

But, having just done a few weeks of disposables after the birth of my second child, I’m desperate to get back to the cloth kind, because:

  1. Disposables leak up baby’s back and all over his clothes pretty much whenever he does an explosive poo (which is several times a day with a breastfed baby). My cloth nappies never d0 that (the fact that changed my partner’s mind about them, first time round).
  2. The amount of waste going out of the house has just about tripled in the weeks we’ve used disposables with both kids. I’m not used to having a pile of extra bin bags next to the bin – and I hate it.
  3. No doubt about it, cloth nappies are cute – you won’t need to buy shorts for your baby. I’m looking forward to another warm summer with a baby dressed only in a sweet printed nappy and a vest.
  4. Disposables are damn expensive. You can save up to £1000 by using real nappies with one child (even taking the cost of washing into account) – and even more if, like us, you’re re-using your stash on a second baby.
  5. Re-usable wipes are awesome. I have a pile of soft microfibre cloths that go in the wash with the nappies. Used for everything from bums to highchairs. No chemical nasties, way stronger and of course cheaper than disposable wet wipes.

If you want to find out more about real nappies, or you already use them but want to trade tips, I’ll be at Idea Store Bow on Roman Road on Saturday 23rd April from 10.00-12.00. I’ll bring a selection of cloth nappies for you to look at, and answers to as many questions as I can.

I’ll also have a stash of the Tower Hamlets Real Nappies for London voucher leaflets. Tower Hamlets residents expecting a baby or with a child under 18 months can take a leaflet to claim their free £40 worth of cloth nappies (redeemable from most suppliers).

If you can’t drop in on Saturday, you can claim your Tower Hamlets nappy voucher here at Real Nappies for London. And there are lots of other events on during Real Nappy Week: in Hackney, run by the fantastic Hackney Real Nappy Network and across London.

For further advice on real nappies and links to places to buy or research them – check out my cloth-nappy-geek blog. Or with any nappy-related questions, drop me an email:
* You reduce your carbon footprint by using real nappies, washing included, so long as you don’t boil (a 60 degree wash is enough to kill all the germs) AND iron them (I don’t think anyone has done this since about 1950).

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