Cloth nappies are smart because they save you and the environment a lot of waste. At the same time, you also save money because cloth diapers can be washed and reused again and again. So you don't have to buy new disposable nappies every week.
If you think cloth nappies sound awkward and maybe even a little disgusting, read on. It's a far cry from the old-fashioned cloth nappies to the new modern ones. In fact, many parents who have tried cloth nappies end up finding them far easier than traditional disposable nappies.
Here we look at both the advantages and disadvantages of the modern cloth nappies, compared to the ordinary disposable nappies.
On the other hand, you need to be prepared to wash often, invest a large amount of money to start with, and then you may not be able to avoid having to explain and defend your choice to friends, family and acquaintances.
On this page, you'll find a short and concise guide to help you get started with cloth nappies or find out if they're right for you.
Table of contents
Advantages of modern cloth diapers
- Disposable nappies produce 1.5 tonnes of waste per child over the nappy period
- Cloth nappy babies often get clean faster than disposable nappy babies as they can feel when the nappy gets wet
- Some studies show that it is about 2 degrees warmer in a disposable diaper than in a cloth diaper. This can be problematic for the sperm quality of boy babies
- You save between 10 - 20.000 DKK compared to constantly buying disposable diapers
Disadvantages of modern cloth diapers
- If you tumble dry your cloth diapers, they are more than disposable diapers
- Cloth nappies can look a bit violent on very small babies in particular
- You should wash 2 - 3 times every week
- You'll need to allow time and money to navigate the cloth diaper jungle and buy the right diapers
How to use cloth diapers
When you start using cloth nappies for your baby, you should expect to spend a significant amount of money buying in a "starter kit". It will cost between DKK 3,000 and DKK 4,000 to get started, depending on which nappies you choose. It's important to get off to a good start so you don't end up thinking it was a wrong choice and using disposable nappies instead.
At first, most people use small nappies, then switch to the next size, which the baby can use for the rest of the nappy time. This means you only need to buy new nappies twice in the whole time your baby is in nappies.
A modern cloth nappy consists of two parts: an insert and a nappy pants, which sits on the outside. You can "boost" the cloth nappy with more liners if your baby pees a lot or you need to use the nappies at night. When the nappy is dirty, you can either flush the insert down the toilet (it's biodegradable) or wash it if it's just pee.
When the nappies are dirty, you can store them in a washing bag, which you simply throw into the washing machine when it's full. You can wash your nappies at 60 degrees to kill any germs.
When using modern cloth diapers for baby, expect to spend a lot more time on laundry. If you have about 20 nappies, you will need to wash 2-3 times a week. It's most convenient if you have a washing machine at home - otherwise you risk running sour.
Modern fabric diapers part-time or full-time?
If you're not up for all the laundry and whatnot, consider using cloth diapers part-time. Fortunately, it's not an either/or solution. You can use disposable nappies at night when you're on the move, or maybe for the first few months when your baby needs changing very frequently. In addition, you can supplement with cloth nappies to minimise your consumption of expensive disposable nappies.
Want to know more?
If so, there's plenty of help online. You can seek help in various forums or from cloth diaper retailers, who are usually happy to help.
You can get started using cloth nappies by seeking help from the cloth nappy school - at modernestofbleer.dk - , where Line is ready to guide you to get started. She can also answer the questions you will inevitably encounter in the process.