There’s no doubt about it – being a parent is an expensive endeavour, no matter how many children you have. There’s always something that requires money being spent on it, whether it’s childcare, school fees, school books, pens, pencils, clothes, shoes… it’s a never-ending list.
As such, it’s perhaps a good idea to sit down and really take stock of what you absolutely need to spend your money on and what you could find other alternatives to. Nappies are one of the biggest expenses that a parent of a baby will have to fork out for, so it might be worth thinking about whether or not reusable ones are right for you if you’re concerned about the cost.
It’s not just a cost issue, however, and some parents are sure to be concerned about the impact they’re having on the environment when they use disposable nappies. According to Veolia, around eight million disposable nappies are chucked away each day in the UK – accounting for around three percent of our household waste. But by making a simple swap to reusable nappies, you can not only save yourself a lot of money but help to save the environment as well.
Lots of councils around the UK run incentive schemes to encourage people to use real nappies instead of disposables. In Oldham, for example, you can take advantage of a one-month free trial with a nappy laundry service, or a two-week trial using a home laundry kit and a voucher to the tune of £30 for real nappies.
Or in Dudley, you can get £30 cashback when you spend £50 quid on real nappies or accessories. And in Three Rivers, you can get £50 to put towards the cost of real nappies and £80 to put towards the costs of six months of laundry services.
There are many benefits to going real with your nappy use and it might actually prove to be easier to convert to cloth than you first thought. Some believe that the use of cloth nappies actually helps children become potty trained quicker because they’re more aware that they’ve been to the toilet. And it could be better for your child’s skin because cloth nappies are made from natural materials and there are no gels or nasty chemicals skulking away.
It couldn’t be easier to use them either – once your child has been to the toilet, flush anything down the loo and then put your nappy and the washable liner (if you’re using one) in your nappy pail. You don’t need to change the wrap with each nappy, only if it’s dirty or at the end of the day. Rinse your nappy first before putting it in the pail as this will prevent stains from setting.
Avoid using vinegar to soak your nappies (a traditional way of getting them clean), as this could degrade the material. But soaking your nappies in water will help stop stains from setting in.