Five years ago we lived happily, waiting with excitement on the arrival of our firstborn. I was pregnant and simply overexcited, especially in a baby shop. We bought baby stuff, stocked up on disposable nappies and wet wipes... Till one day my husband said: "Why not use cloth nappies? Let's use cloth nappies." I was shocked. I was disgusted. I had no words. I stood there staring at him, thinking he just lost his mind. Images of white square nappies with poop went through my head. I was totally against that silly idea.
Little did I know. Little did I know how much better cloth nappies would be. Little did I know how much I would love to cloth diaper and start to dislike using disposables. And how excited my little ones would get about a cloth nappy too. How my toddler would resist disposables and ask for a cloth nappy. I had no idea how much money we would save. Over R40 000 by now with my second in cloth nappies.
I eventually agreed to try cloth nappies, to save money. Which meant more money for things I love, like shopping and picnics with take-aways, I thought secretly. We started with the old-style terry flats, snappi's and pep covers. It worked... And it wasn't so bad at all. A few months later we heard about modern cloth nappies and bought 10 pockets. The journey started. It has been 3 and a half years and I have never regretted dumping my idea of raising my babies on disposables. I agreed, for financial reasons, but currently, I use cloth nappies, because I just love it. There's no turning back.
The absorbency of cloth nappies can be so much better than the best disposable... No struggling with leaking nappies and a soaking wet baby and bed at night during the cold winter... A good rest, a sleeping baby for 12 to 14 hours at night without changing a nappy... That makes my night.
And then the cuteness and pretty bum, the good feeling caused by knowing that we don't cause tons of dirty plastic in our landfills...
Also, the softness and comfort and gentleness on a baby's skin... No harsh chemicals, lots of rashes and chemical smells... No need for bum cream with every change to protect the skin against chemicals... I love it.
I can honestly say that cloth nappies smell much better when wet or soiled, and not as strongly. No poop in a disposable nappy in a bin in my house or garden... Poop goes where it belongs, down the toilet drain immediately. Flushed. Gone. It feels much more hygienic to me.
And no, I don't wash poopy nappies with my hands and soak it in a stinky bin with water. I hold the soiled nappy or liner over the toilet, not touching any poop. I spray it clean with a bidet sprayer, quick, effortless, flush the poop. Still not touching any poop. I then put the nappy in a ventilated basket with the wet nappies, instead of in the bin. Easy and done, the rest is mostly my washing machine's job. Mr. Samsung is the only one with any reason to moan, doing 90% of the work. It's not as if you don't have to deal with poop if you use disposables. You have to clean that soft little bum. Cloth or disposables... The same. Spraying off a cloth nappy with the sprayer really is the easiest and best part. It is no problem... changing a dirty nappy of any kind is much worse than cleaning a cloth nappy.
To my surprise, it wasn't such hard work either. 2 to 3 extra loads of washing a week. Hanging took me 10 to 15 extra minutes on washing day and preparing the clean, dry nappies (folding, stuffing) more or less the same. Only every third day. (I do rinse out most urine in the washing machine daily. Throw in, take out and store till washing day. Very quick.) Tumble drying the nappies that can be tumble dried, meant even less time... No hanging on the line.
My husband was right. I lost the fight. We tried cloth diapering and I am so grateful we did. Best decision for our family (definitely including the baby himself), as well as for our finances and environment!