In response to all the fabulous fun of Real Nappy Week that has gone on between 24th-30th April, we've decided to put the microscope on real nappies to assess if it really is all fun prints, smiling babies, and a clean planet... or if the reality is somewhat messier (and possibly smellier) than all those bright advertisements and happy Instagram posts?
You can rest assured that Boofy.co.uk does not and never has sold cloth nappies, so this is not an attempt to sway you one way or the other. We will begin by going over the initial reactions to cloth nappies:
Reusing something that has been soiled is gross
Carrying around a soiled nappy is gross
Putting a soiled nappy in the washing machine is gross
So, explosions in nappies are the reality of using disposable nappies. If you've not experienced a nappy explosion you either use cloth nappies or you are very lucky and everyone else is envious. So in this way, the experience should be less gross. To avoid the dilemma of carrying around a soiled nappy / putting that in the washing machine you can combine cloth diapering with disposable liners for a best of both approach. This can help with the transition period into cloth diapering also. I know what you might be thinking.. disposable liners? More expense! And more money down the drain (literally) but let's move onto cost being part of the whole inconvenience of cloth nappies and see what the true costs are.
High Initial cost which will sting if the cloth nappy thing doesn't work out
Will increase the pile of washing momentously
Just something extra that I have to think about whenever I want to go out
A cloth nappy costs more than a disposable one, a lot more. It will be very startling to see a price tag of £10 for one nappy and undoubtedly will put people off. But the logic behind it will come as no surprise to you, buying a disposable nappy is the same as buying an old car with a high mileage, it's cheap at the beginning and gets you from A to B, but you will have to pay a lot lot more in the end to keep driving the car, so much so that you could have bought a mid-range car with a low mileage if to total all the costs you have spent on the old car. The fact is that paying for disposable nappies will never end until they are out of nappies, paying for cloth nappies ends once you have your set up.
Now to look at some numbers to really see the long run costs/savings:
"The average baby is changed just over 6 times per day over their diapering career. If a baby is potty trained by 30 months (the average) that baby will have gone through approximately 5,600 diaper changes. If the average disposable costs £0.19 that’s £1064 for one child. Keep in mind that disposables can cost up to twice that and many children potty train far beyond a year and a half."
If you are still not thrilled about the initial investment, it's better to buy what you can, as and when you can.
If you are worried about making even a £1 investment in cloth nappies just in case it doesn't work out, there is (believe it or not) a huge culture of reselling cloth nappies on platforms such as ebay, the nappies usually sell for between 50%-75% of their original price, so it's quite impressive how cloth nappies hold their value.
On average, most families do a cloth nappy wash up to 2 x per week, sometimes more and sometimes less it will depend on your own system which you will have to figure out a rhythm for, but since your life has been turned upside down by a new baby and rhythm is probably feeling very off beat, now might be a good time to get into a routine and build habits.
If you're still curious, take a look at the Cloth Nappy Finder which filters results based on your criteria, see if something matches your expectations
Read more about the ethos behind the Real Nappy Week here
See some of these adorable designs from Frugi, and of course, it doesn't hurt to have a look at some extra cute trousers with plenty of room to accommodate for a baby's cloth behind!