Ask the newborn photographer

As a newborn photographer you may not expect to read a blog post from me on the topic of cloth nappies, but I am also a mum so it’s something I have looked in to and researched for my own kiddies. I thought I’d start an information blog series discussing many of the things I discuss with new parents in the studio.

Why blog about cloth nappies?

The recent Facebook post about babies suffering burn from a batch of Asda’s Little Angels nappies has caused a bit of a stir since it went viral, and has led to an information post being released about exactly what is in the nappies that most of use every day.

Now, I’m considered a bit of a ‘hippy mum’ when it comes to researching and limiting my littlies exposure to chemicals, but it had never really occurred to me that nappies would be full of chemicals that sit right up against their skin all day and all night for a good 3 years of life!

As with many of the things I have become aware of and now limit my children’s exposure to, I only really started investigating cloth nappies about a year ago, by which point I felt (for us) that the investment probably would not be an economical decision.

On that note I thought I’d write a quick blog post about cloth nappies – what they are, how to start using them and how they aren’t probably what you imagine them to be.

cloth nappies

Cloth nappies – what are they?

Back when I was a baby a cloth nappy was a piece of terry towelling that was pinned with safety bins, and had a thick liner. They were bulky and pretty unattractive!  These days these washable and reusable nappies come in every possible design and colour, they come with Velcro or popper fastening, pre formed to a ‘standard’ nappy shape, and you don’t have to scrape poo (there are a range of either disposable liners or reusable liners available); they are slightly bulkier than a disposable nappy but nowhere near as chunky as they used to be. In fact I’d go so far as to say that you wouldn’t pick out a ‘cloth bum’ baby in a line up of tiny tot bottoms!

It’s no secret that the initial investment in ‘cloth bumming’ is considerably higher than with disposables, but it is worth noting that because they grow with your child and are reusable that over the course of your child being in nappies you are set to save quite a considerable amount of money by using cloth nappies, around £250 compared to upward of £600 with disposables.

do cloth nappies save money

What are the benefits vs the negatives?

This is personal really. Many people would say that the pure convenience of a disposable nappy outweighs anything else when you’ve got a small person attached to you, whereas others would say that cost saving or lessened environmental impact of using cloth nappies makes it a clear choice for them.

Things to look at would be initial investment, long term investment, chemical exposure, environmental impact, ease of use, ease of disposal, and how either option would impact on your every day.

Many people I know who use cloth nappies also carry disposables for circumstances where convenience is key. Along with so many aspects of parenting (breastfeeding, for example) there is this opinion that it must be an ‘all or nothing’ decision, which simply isn’t true.

environmental impact of nappies

I’d like to give them a try – where do I start?

There is a fabulous article on choosing reusable nappies by BabyCentre which is well worth a read. It discuss the different types of cloth nappy available, along with pros and cons and discussed the financial impact.

To get started with ‘cloth bumming’ I would recommend looking at the following resources:

You can purchase cloth nappies from a huge variety of different retailers, including Mothercare, Boots and most big supermarkets now.

My best advice for anyone who is considering purchasing cloth nappies is to make use of The Nappy Lady’s free, no obligation, advice service – it really is the best way to get started in what can seem like a confusing world of reusable nappies!

If you are reading this in preparation for the birth of your baby, don’t forget to head over to Beau Baby Photography and look at our Maternity and Newborn Photography!

Feel free to share this post among your friends,

Rachael x