What? Is she mad?
I can just imagine the reactions to this idea.
I don’t know if it’s the same where you are, but in Ireland the Health Service provides free nappies (later called weird names like ‘Slip’ or ‘Pad’) for older disabled children and adults with incontinence problems.
Did you notice the word ‘free’?
So you’re probably wondering why anyone would consider turning their back on free nappies…
1. They leak.
2. The only way to avoid most leaks is to fasten them so tightly you leave a mark.
3. They often split when you’re putting them on, resulting in an unused nappy going to landfill, though I sometimes make repairs with Duct tape.
4. Only four nappies a day are allowed (general rule) so I always run out and have to source some in a hurry from elsewhere.
5. Asking the delivery people to leave boxes of nappies in the side passage if you’re out is no longer allowed. You have to stay in the house ALL DAY to wait for them. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll realise that was the last straw for me!
6. Smelly bins.
7. Very full bins that incur large waste collection charges.
8. A shed full of nappies.
9. Lots of large boxes to bring to recycling every few months.
10. Cloth should be a more environmentally friendly option.
Reasons to avoid cloth nappies:
1. Fear of the unknown.
2. The cost of cloth nappies.
3. The washing required.
In fact moving to cloth is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, especially as cloth does not necessarily mean Terry nappies and safety pins any longer.
The cost of buying cloth nappies is not a huge issue here as I already spend a lot on extra disposable nappies for when we’ve used up the health services allocation. Nor was I too worried about the washing as soiled nappies are very rare (my daughter uses the toilet as much as she can).
The main reason I didn’t do this before is that it took a long time to find a supplier: the one I used provides online advice on the best nappy to order for each individual. As a complete cloth nappy novice I’m sure I asked some very silly questions, but she was patient and finally I took the plunge and placed the order for just one nappy as an experiment.
When it arrived it looked huge compared to a disposable and I began to worry!
The cloth nappy and its liner was easy to put on, and appeared very comfortable. But it did look bulky and would it leak?
In fact it did leak the first time, but on the second attempt I fastened it more tightly and everything was still contained after four hours.
For now she wears it in the afternoons which works well. I did try overnight, but that resulted in a serious leak, and apparently the nappy will probably need an extra layer if she is to stay dry all night. Something extra to buy, and I haven’t done that yet.
The cloth nappy is easy to wash, dry and store, and once I have solved the night time issues, I really think we might make the change!
(Though I’d say I will still keep a packet of disposables for now just in case…)