Over recent years, more and more parents are becoming increasingly conscious of climate change and the impact it could have on future generations. As a result, many of us are looking to make the shift from single-use disposables to more environmentally friendly options for our babies, including re-useable diapers and wipes, sustainable fashion and ethical wooden toys.
Ditching the disposable diapers however can be a pretty daunting step for first timers – it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some reasons why you should consider switching to re-useable diapers and some factors you may want to take into account.
Educate yourself on Reusables
First up, when you think of reusable diapers, the image that you have in your mind is probably pretty antiquated. When many parents think of re-useables, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘stork style’ – a traditional white cloth loosely tied together with safety pins or buttons – not anymore! You’ll be pleased to know that things have changed a LOT in recent years! Not only do re-useable diapers now come in gorgeous bright and aesthetically pleasing designs, but are actually really easy to use, normally fastening with Velcro tabs or poppers! If anything, they are far easier to put on than a normal diaper!
What happens to the poop?
One of the biggest misconceptions or worries about reusable diapers is about what happens with the actual poop! It’s worth remembering that re-usable diapers are generally still used with a liner so you don’t need a fresh diaper wrap for your baby every single time they do a poo. In most cases, the liner and contents can be discarded and the outer wrap only changed if it gets soiled. While the process of discarding of the waste is slightly different, 95% + of your child’s poop still goes in the toilet or waste disposal.
That said, if you are using re-useable diapers whilst out and about, you do have to be prepared to carry home a (lightly) soiled diaper if you head out for the day – but let’s face it – we’ve all had unexpected diaper explosions and had to journey home with the soiled clothes. So as long as you go prepared, you shouldn’t let this put you off.
Reusable cloth diapers can be expensive in terms of their initial outlay, particularly if you go for wraps with unique or bold designs or buy larger packs to enable less frequent wash cycles. That said, when you think the average newborn gets through 4-5 THOUSAND diapers by the time they are toilet trained, you’re still saving a huge amount in terms of costs in the long term.
Reducing your family’s waste
The average single-use diaper can take diaper over 500 years to fully decompose. Yes you heard that right – Five hundred YEARS – shocking right? In comparison, using re-useable diapers can help dramatically reduce your family’s waste levels and reduce the amount of diapers going into landfill. There is of course the added effort involved in washing and drying the liners, but given the numbers we’re talking about here, using re-usables will still lead to a considerably lower carbon footprint.
Softer on delicate skin
For babies with particularly delicate or sensitive skin, traditional diapers can in some cases cause irritation and skin reactions. Re-useable diaper wraps tend to be made from natural eco-friendly, chemical free and breathable materials, meaning they are far softer and more gentle against babies delicate skin.
Not ready to make the switch?
If you aren’t entirely convinced about making the switch to reusable yet, try reaching out to other parents who have recently made the switch and getting their feedback. What did they find hard? What were the benefits for them personally? What brands and suppliers would they recommend? It’s also remembering that you don’t have to do all or nothing. You could try using reusables at home and stick to disposables when out and about. Find the option that works best for you and your family.
Have you made the switch yet? What other eco-friendly Mom hacks have you tried?