If you have been put off in the past from using reusable nappies because of their bulk, then you might like to know that nappy manufacturers have been busy experimenting with new materials for them that will make them much more user-friendly. And recent breakthroughs has already made the nappies much slimmer fitting than the old terry towelling varieties.
Studies have indicated that reusable nappies can save a family up to 500, and more if they are used on a second child. The savings you can make are pretty obvious, but can washable nappies help save the planet as well?
Close to 3 billion nappies are disposed of in the UK each year, most of these end up in council land fill sites, where they can linger for hundreds of years before decaying. Incinerating disposable nappies is not an option as the pollution caused by emissions would be harmful as well, so encouraging people to purchase reusable nappies would seem like the only logical way to help the environment.
Surprisingly though, a Governmental report has found little difference in the impact on the environment between the two types of nappies. Conversely though, the report did not equate the fact that reusable nappies are often used for a second child and that the nappies may be washed in energy-efficient washing machines or drying them in their gardens on washing lines.
A counter report by the Women's Environmental Network has calculated that by using just twenty-four nappies, washing them in A rated, energy-efficient washing machines at 60 degrees Celsius then a household can reduce the carbon footprint by nearly twenty-four per cent more than the Governmental report suggested.
Reusable nappies are now available in many styles, designs and patterns, helping families to find the ideal nappy for their child. Change time can become much more fun as well with nappy colours and patterns being matched to the baby's outfit. Reusable nappies can be purchased in 'one size' versions that will last the infant from birth to the potty, or in a multitude of sizes. A one size system will doubtless save your family money, but will be rather large when worn by a new-born baby and rather small on a potty training toddler. It is a very good idea to research the reusable nappies market before deciding on one for your child. Below I have listed a few of the varieties.
All-In-Ones – these are appealing because of their ease of use and simplicity, these are made from a plastic outer layer with an absorbent inner. These nappies tend to take longer to dry as all the layers are sewn together. There is also a single layer of protection at the legs to prevent any leakage.
Pocket Nappies – attempt to replicate the ease of use enjoyed by the above nappy but without the prolonged drying time. The nappy consists of a waterproof outer layer with a softer inner that has a gap where a parent can insert the absorbent part of the garment, usually a folded terry insert or a pad.
Two Part Nappies – these consist of an inner absorbent cloth nappy that has a separate waterproof outer. The fact that these parts are not joined makes them much quicker to dry, and the outer waterproof wrap will not require changing every time the inner is. The wrap can be made from a polyester material, a fleece like fabric or even wool. The inners are mainly constructed from terries or pre-folds layered for maximum absorbency.
Reusable nappy laundering can be a very welcome service to those parents that do not relish the thought of all that washing and can be a very affordable practice and usually works out much cheaper option than buying disposables. These services also have energy-saving benefits when so many reusable nappies are washed all in one lot.