This week is Real Nappy week, so to honour the occasion I am going to talk about…real nappies!
At the beginning of the year I blogged about Hattie, from free our kids, and her ambitions to live for free for a year. In the post, I wrote about how she inspired me to consider using Real Nappies. In the comments of that very post Kerry recommended that I get in touch with Aggie who runs Grow up Green, a personal service real nappy retailer. Aggie offers a 2 week trial of no less than 17 real nappies, plus all the accoutrements you need (bucket, bucket liner, nappy liners, full instructions for how to use each nappy, etc), for £20.. It’s a great idea as it means that you can try out a whole bunch of nappies to see which type suits you and baby’s bum the best. The only difference is that normally when someone does this kind of trial it is to do just that; they have decided they what to go real nappy, and want to find out which nappy works for them. For me, however, I wanted to do the trial to see if I could handle real nappies full stop!
I’m ashamed to say that it has taken me this long to finally do the real nappy trial. But finally, for two weeks we went cloth bum…well sort of, I have to admit we didn’t do it exclusively, we started VERY slowly. But as I got my confidence by the end of the trial we were spending entire days, away from home, at the shops no less, using only real nappies. To illustrate how I got on, here are 7 preconceptions I had that aren’t true.
Real nappy week 2013 – 7 things about real nappies that AREN’T true!
1. Real Nappies are Bulky – nuh uh. Well some are but if bulk is an issue to you I would highly recommend the Grovia Popin – it’s super snug on baby and also fold up really small for when your out and about. Plus, you have never seen velcro like it. There’s no way clever little fingers are getting that nappy off!
Can you tell I’m wearing a real nappy for Real Nappy Week? Me neither.
2. Real Nappies are expensive – Some of them are pricy…up to £20 and if you buy the recommended 15 to 20 you’re looking at £300 to £400. HOWEVER, if you are more price sensitive, there are options. The Junior Joy prefolds is a simple sheet that folds 3 times and then sits inside a waterproof wrap, and I actually quite liked it. For this you could get fully kitted out with all the nappies you need for £37.50! There’s also everything price-wise in between.
3. Real Nappies are scratchy – The first nappy I put on Reuben was the bum genius. It looked the simplest and it was blue, so I just fancied it. What I wasn’t expecting was it was soft! And when I came to take it off, it was still soft and barely even damp. Oh, and the Nature Babies Big Softie is like wrapping Reuben in pure cotton clouds. I felt converted on the spot. Then we had a disaster (see point 4!). But seriously, some of the nappies are borderline luxurious because they feel so soft and lovely. They make disposables feel like you’re putting your kid in a plastic bag. In the early days of the trail I would take Reuben out in a disposable but as soon as we were back I’d put him back into a real nappy so he’d be comfy for his nap.
Snug as a bug in a bum genius
4. Real Nappies are leaky – OK so the time I forgot to put a waterproof wrapper on a nappy that I thought was an all-in-one…that was leaky. Really leaky. But once I got my head around which were all-in-one and which weren’t we were fine and this obviously wouldn’t be an issue if I was using just 1 or 2 different types. I’m still not entirely sure I have the hang of how long you can leave the nappies on for, and even at the end we were still having the odd leak. It seems to be about 3-4 hours but it really does depend on the time of day, when lunch is, what he’s been drinking, etc. I also didn’t try him in one over night…sleep is an incredibly serious issue in our house and I’m not willing YET to tamper with the current situation that works!
5. Real Nappies are hippy – Real Nappies have come a long way from the terry square. They are snug fitting, come in cool colours and patterns and as far as I can see, they are basically becoming a bit of a fashion statement. They are also, just to reiterate from point 3, like putting your baby in a little bit of luxury.
6. Real Nappies aren’t actually green – I sit on the fence for most things and was all prepared to sit on the fence for real nappies too…until I read what Aggie had to say…here’s what she says in answer to ‘is it really greener to use cloth nappies?’:
“Yes – If you use your common sense. Always wash a full wash, wash at 60 or lower, line dry as much as possible, pass nappies down from one child to the next. If you follow those recommendations you reduce your carbon footprint by 75% compared with disposable nappies.
“Plus there are far less nappies then going into landfills”
Simple and to the point. I get it.
7. Real Nappies are time consuming – It does take more time to wash and dry real nappies BUT what I found is that it encouraged me to get through the humongous washing pile that had accumulated. I have to do the nappies, therefore, I will get on with this other stuff too. Thousands of bibs and towels and sheets and other things that could go in with the nappies. Also, I HATE hanging out washing but because these nappies are small it’s actually strangely satisfying hanging them out. Now I really sound sad. I’ll end here.
So, I can confirm that the 2 week trial isn’t without its ups and downs. Your nostrils will be permeated with the smell of wee due to a few accidents, but I would encourage you (and if you can’t during Real Nappy Week, when can you?) to have a go! I’d be surprised if you don’t find at least one nappy that you would want to use again.
Do you use disposables? Would this be enough to encourage you to give real nappies a try?! I’d love to hear what you think.
Also this morning (Monday, 15th April), to mark the start of Real Nappy Week 2013, there is a real nappy meeting at Serendipity Tea Rooms, Sunderland, where you can meet Aggie and ask her any questions you may have about Real Nappies. Finally, if you’re already sold on cloth nappies and fancy a bit of a challenge (I bet you’re wondering what I’m going to say now…) check out the Great Cloth Diaper Change! It’s an event at the end of Real Nappy Week (20th April) and is part of an international record breaking attempt for the most cloth nappies changed at the same time. The details are here www.facebook.com/GCDCNE