THE alternative for a busy mum has never been appealing: using towelling nappies that need to be soaked and pre-washed before going into a high temperature wash, none of which sounds particularly eco-friendly either.
One Spalding mum is now trying to convince other parents that there is an alternative to the disposable and to the traditional terry nappy, and that it’s a far kinder choice, both for baby and the environment.
There has been a bit of a revolution in terms of cloth nappies – even those who still use traditional terry nappies no longer have to face the risk of jabbing their precious youngster with a giant safety pin as there are now plastic ‘nappy nippers’ available. However, there are easier, well designed, options made from anti-bacterial bamboo or organic cotton and hemp as well as fast-drying micro-fibre.
Kimberley Agate (23), of Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, who is championing the use of alternatives to disposables, explains that the newest methods for containing babies’ wee and poo are called “the modern cloth nappy”.
There are a number of options, according to Kimberley, who has forked out on all of them to find the best for her son Izaak, who is now eight-and-a-half months old.
She explains: “He was about three months old and had been getting a fair bit of nappy rash. I did online research and someone suggested changing the nappies and wipes I was using.”
Kimberley, who has become a Cheeks & Cherries champ, or an advisor for the area for the online real nappy retailer, says one of the nappies parents can use is an all-in-one that goes on in the same way as a disposable except that is has a popper containing an absorbent section in the centre. It is waterproof and can be washed at 30C-40C – with an occasional 60C wash – and dried on the line in the sun for natural bleaching.
Kimberley says in winter parents can either “put up with a few stains” or leave the nappies on a window sill to catch any rays.
Alternatively, parents might choose a two-part nappy, quite similar to the old-fashioned style except that Velcro fastenings are used, and these need a waterproof cover over the top. Like many of the other brands, the inner lining pops apart for cleaning.
“All of them are very good at containing messes and much better than disposables,” says Kimberley, who also uses reusable cloth wipes rather than the traditional ones that she says are full of chemicals. The wipes are used with a baby wash solution and then cleaned in the washing machine along with the nappies.
“I am a single parent so I am trying to save money, but I would say what came first was thinking what was kinder for Izaak’s skin,” said Kimberley. “I have converted a fair few people since I got going.”
Lincolnshire County Council would also like parents to switch from disposable nappies and offers a £30 cashback in its The Lincolnshire Real Nappy Campaign, part of the Government’s strategy to reduce the amount of household waste that goes to landfill.
The county council estimates that, from birth to potty, each baby typically gets through about 3,800 nappies, costing on average 12.2p each for disposables, while the estimated cost of purchasing and home laundering real nappies for two-and-a-half years is put at between £185 to £352 – and there are even more savings when the same real nappies are used for subsequent children.
Contact the council’s Real Nappy Helpline on 0800 195 8776 to find out about the £30 cashback scheme.
Kimberley has put together a trial pack for anyone who would like to try before they invest in real nappies or parents who would like advice about switching to real nappies. Contact Kimberley on 07714 273808 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org