I would like to have a chat to you all about nappies. Nappy changing is never a daily thrill and simply a job that comes with the territory of being a parent. From day one, both Parry and I decided to use cloth nappies with our kids. It was a primarily environmentally driven decision that felt right for both of us. Not to say, that on occasion, we have used a as "environmentally-friendly-option" disposable nappy if we were going out to a non-friendly baby place or forgot to put on the washing! We also choose to use wet flannels instead of wet wipes and reusable pilchers that can grow with Eli until he is well and truly out of nappies.
I have often been met with the questions of "how do you have time to use cloth nappies?" or "why would you use cloth nappies - a bit old school don't you think?" And here is my reply.
Disposable nappies basically don't biodegrade, and certainly not in a hurry. They are filling up our landfill at enormous rates and take huge amounts of often totally nonrenewable resources to make them. In addition, they are often bleached to make them white and toxic, synthetic chemicals are put in the absorbent section, to keep your baby drier for longer. Also, the nappies are often then put into plastic bags with a wet wipe (or several wet wipes) - adding more insult to environmental injury. They are very convenient and more absorbent than cloth nappies - but is that really enough of a reason to collectively use them knowing the consequences they have? As my beautiful friend of many years who is an environmental and animal conservationist has often said, "just because we can no longer see our rubbish once we dispose of it, does not mean it has disappeared. In fact, almost all rubbish we have ever consumed as a human species is still on the planet today." Seriously scary thought. On the flip side, cloth nappies do use water and energy to clean them and they are more time consuming - without question.
But here's the thing - to live in balance within ourselves and environment, we must firstly accept that we are part of our environment. This is a key Ayurvedic principal. We do not live in isolation and our actions, even on an individual level, have a ripple effect of either positive or negative change for our local and global community. I am not writing this out of judgement for my fellow parents and their decisions, but my heart bleeds for the devastating effects we are having on our Earth due to something that we can change by simply using an accessible alternative.
I actually now enjoy, believe it or not, the act of cleaning, folding and using cloth nappies. Firstly, once in routine, a bit like anything in your life, it becomes part of what you do and there is something to be said for lovingly preparing your baby's clothes, nappies and bibs for the day. I have a stack of towelling nappies that I repeatedly use, soak them in warm water and put on a load of washing about every second day. Once they begin to biodegrade, it's time for them to be replenished. Cloth nappies are actually very simple to use, and in the long term, can save you a lot of money and lower your impact on our environment.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have if you are an upcoming, new or an experienced parent that would like some more information on cloth nappies and their use.
With light and love,