Monday, April 21, 2008

Real Nappy Week

First of all - let me translate. Nappy=Diaper.

This week is Real Nappy Week in New Zealand so I'm bloggin' about one of my favourite green habits... using cloth nappies/diapers.

Why did I decide on cloth? Firstly, I wanted to save us some money. Cloth can be cheaper than using disposables. Secondly, I really dislike the idea of putting human waste into landfills. There is a place for human waste, and it is the sewerage treatment plant. Thirdly, I did hope that it would encourage early toilet training. That last one turned out not to work on DS! Maybe on DD it will be more successful! LOL!

I know some of my friends think I'm nuts to do cloth. But for me it has been very little bother once I have my "system" in place.

Two things are in my favour in terms of cloth usage a) I'm a SAHM and b) I usually do laundry every other day. I have a dry nappy bucket in the laundry where the naps waiting to be washed get stored. It's a sealed bucket, and I normally put a bit of white vinegar in it to help keep and odor at bay. As I do laundry at least every 2nd day, it rarely gets very full.

Washing cloth naps is simple. If I use a washable liner in them "#2 gets flicked in the loo" off the liner. Or if it is a disposable liner, the whole lot gets dumped in. I rinse if necessary. Naps get washed on a normal cycle with the household wash (though I do separate them from the tea towels). I use a fragrance free laundry powder (EcoStore is good but there are other options) and put white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. Fabric softener should not be used when washing cloth naps as it will spoil their ability to soak up moisture.

Naps are hung on the line and the sun bleaches them for me. :-) Occasionally I will use some Nappy soaking product to help bad stains.

This is part of my stash of cloth naps. Some of those in the top picture are now in my collection.
I use a mixture of nappy types. I make my own nappies (I made the ones in the top picture). I bought some from Nap-Naps and Snazzipants. I also have some pre-folds that were given to me by a friend. Each one has it's pros and cons, and so I can't really promote one over the other. It's good to have a mix in my experience.

Check out nappy stockists in NZ.

Check out the events happening in your region.

Just to really convince my friends I am nuts, I have actually made my own wet wipes too. I ran out one week and instead of making a trip to the supermarket I used some

  • Aloe Vera juice (the plain liquid stuff - I drank it while I had chicken pox & had some left over. You can get it from the health section in the supermarket. I see you can buy the gel at the chemist).
  • Liquid Baby soap
  • A bunch of soft washies/muslin cloths

and put it all in the plastic wipe box I had already. It worked fine!

You can find other recipes for home made wipes here, and here.

I know I'll probably get some comments about how cloth wasn't an option for you. That's okay - I'm not trying to condemn anyone here for using 'sposies. (Hey, I use them for overnight and if we're travelling -I just try and use the more environmentally friendly type).

My purpose in posting is to raise awareness of the possibilities. And they are so cute. Who wouldn't like to have cow print undies eh?


  1. Oh, yeah, big time advocate for cloth nappies here, although I didn't have anything nearly as cool as yours. I did have some cool coloured ones I got from Farmers, in the traditional square fold 'em up style, they always got comments.

    I also did not use wipes, I just had a stash of old flannels, nothing nicer than a warm flannel on babies bot, and mine only had 1 or 2 incidents of nappy rash.

    I too did not find it too much of an issue time wise, once you start it's just routine.

    Good on you for spreading the word.

  2. I agree good on your for spreading the word. I love those wee cow print undies there.

  3. I think it's great that you use cloth nappies. I wish I had tried to use them as both my boys were in nappies for 3 years and it must have cost us so much money (I'm glad I don't know how much or I'd be depressed forever).
    I love your idea for making your own wipes too - I really don't like the ones you buy, they are so cold and full of chemicals.

  4. Anonymous5:50 pm

    Woohoo Penny. I think you are fantastic for using cloth! I used the with my first and they were great. Number 2 was so tiny and we were on the move that I never used them and still haven't, tut, tut! So I am all with you on helping raise the awareness! And those cow ones are SO cute!

  5. Anonymous6:04 pm

    wow those nappies are so cool..would have loved having those fitted nappies when our kids were young. Jen never got many cloth nappies (rhys did) coz I got carpel tunnel and couldnt wring the nappies out before adding to the washing machine. Love the moo pants..too cute! what a clever idea with the wipes too

  6. As you know I love my cloth nappies and we used homemade wipes right from the start - just a bowl of water on the windowsill next to the changetable and muslin cloths and then another cloth to dry. The water gets cold sometimes and DS jumps when I wash him but on the whole he doesn't mind :-)
    You're completely right too - once you have a routine going it doesn't take very long at all

  7. Good on you :-) Cow naps very cute and I like the monkey ones!! hee hee Humm ... since I don't do the cloth naps maybe i should look at doing the wipes. I am forever buying packets of them!

  8. Anonymous7:24 am

    Love your cute homemade nappies! You're such a clever chick!
    With Chris being 18 now nappies seem like a lifetime ago. Cant say I miss that part either LOL! Unlike small chubby arms squishing me now that I do miss!

  9. That is a darling picture...I'm so glad you posted about this. I have always wanted to use cloth diapers but for some reason, the thought of it intimidates me. Thanks for posting about your simple, hassle free (and cost-effective!) method. I may just be brave enough to try it now!

  10. I think they are great (not that I used them - I don't think I even saw them and I am WAY too lazy I am ashamed to admit). I am just glad the days of nappies are now behind us!!

  11. 4 1/2 years ago when I had Trinity I didn't think that cloth diapers were feasible. I had flashbacks to cloth diapers my sister used and the giant pins that held them in place and the rubber pants that went over them - yuck. Thanks to you and others I realize that cloth diapers are nothing like they used to be and they are so much cuter than disposables.

  12. I used cloth nappies for both my girls... mostly to save money (and it did!!) I was a flannel girl too :) I love how cool cloth nappies are these days though... but also glad I'm way over that part of my life LOL

  13. I used cloth nappies too. MIne were large white towelling squares and it was my hubby's job to wash, dry and fold them every night (Remember I had two in nappies). He actually said it as relaxing to do it. I do think that it helped toilet training especially when I took off the waterproofs! I did, however, use disposables at night or on holiday

  14. I have had my twin boys in cloth nappies for over a year - I don't find it too much of an issue time wise.I agree once you start it's just routine.
    I love the colours and cool designs.
    At night we have just gone back to Huggies because they were weeing through by morning and soaking our sheets (we co sleep) and PJ's soaked too.

    Great post.Cute cow nappy.I would love some cow print naps.

    My Little Drummer boys