Mellow Mummy: Cloth Nappies Make Me Smile : Taking life as it comes...

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Cloth Nappies Make Me Smile

God, it feels good to be back using cloth nappies.

When Lara moved out of reusables into disposable nappies at about 18-20 months old (due to the fact they just weren't up to the job any more), I felt a pang of disappointment. I also felt the effect on my purse strings. Disposable nappies cost a lot of money (I was going to say "cost the earth" but then I realised that was a given!). Don't get me wrong, I really do appreciate the convenience of disposable nappies when I'm out and about or travelling. I use them for exactly that - a convenience - in the same way that I use ready-made foods or takeaways. However, you can't beat the warm glowy feeling of changing a cloth reusable nappy.

There was an element of nostalgia when we lifted the old first-size Bambino Mio pre-fold nappies out of the loft for Holly's arrival. We moved Holly into disposables at about 2 weeks old once her cord stump had dried out and was clean and tidy so that it wouldn't get in the way of the top of the nappies. The first thing we noticed was that Holly is a lot smaller than Lara was at the same age so we were able to use the newborn size nappy wrap that we had got for Lara but never used. We have also tried out our one-piece nappies on Holly which we only started using with Lara later on in her nappy journey - they look very cute when they are all buttoned down to their smallest size!

As a second-time mum, I think the pleasure of using reusable nappies is even greater than before. Each time I change a nappy I can't help but gloat at how much money it is saving me. My outgoings on nappies for Holly this time were more or less zero. Yes, I still have to pay for water and electricity to put on a nappy wash every 3 days and yes, I have had to buy more nappy sanitiser and (when Holly gets bigger, liners) but other than that, everything is paid for already from our initial outlay for our first child.

Most local councils in the UK offer a financial incentive to parents who choose to use cloth nappies due to the reduction in landfill costs to themselves if their residents reduce waste levels. Unfortunately, most councils also require you to show recent receipts for the cost of your nappies and nappy equipment. Somehow it feels a bit wrong that a second (or more) time mum can't also claim the incentive for subsequent children. It would have been very easy for me to acknowledge the convenience of disposable nappies and revert to them full-time for Holly but instead I have stuck with it and not only am I eliminating a whole load of landfill due to not using disposables... I'm doubly saving them landfill space by reusing all my equipment from last time. Perhaps I should get twice the reward?

Anyway, I devised a plan that would mean I could benefit from the cloth nappy incentive this time too. I calculated approximately how many Mio Liners and how many tubs of Mio Fresh nappy sanitiser I had used for Lara right through to potty training and then bought the entire 3 years supply of these in bulk all at once. The council have acknowledged my outgoings and sent me a cheque for my incentive of £30 which is approximately what I spent. This means that the only cost ahead of me for using cloth nappies is energy and water bills.

Anyway, enough about money. The best thing about cloth nappies is seeing them dangling from the washing line, naturally bleaching in the sunshine, all clean and fresh, knowing that Holly's bot is being looked after!
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