Reasons to Choose Cloth Nappies

Cloth nappies today are made out of a wide range of materials like cotton, microfibre, bamboo, hemp and PUL.  Most modern cloth nappies use a combination of these materials which make them superbly absorbent, leak free, breathable and kind to the environment.

When asked “why do you use cloth nappies?” How do you respond?

The reason I hear most often…

#1 $$$$$ THE MONEY SAVINGS!

Yes, they are more expensive to purchase up-front but in the long run, cloth nappies work out to be cheaper.  Granted that you don’t get carried away and buy a stash that is too large for your needs.

Once setup with cloth nappies you could save $15 – $30 each week (depending on what brand you use).  It may not seem a lot but it all adds up over the 2 years or more your baby will be in nappies.

Setup costs for cloth nappies depend on what type of cloth nappy system you want to use, the graph below shows the most expensive option and includes washing and flushable liners.  If you use your cloth nappies for more than one baby, you can save even more as you only need to buy cloth nappies once and then pay washing costs!

Cost Graph showing the cost of nappies per child

#2 HEALTH

It is quite worrying what kind chemicals go into disposable nappies and the fact that they are sitting right next to your delicate babies skin for most of the time for around 2 1/2 years.

Here’s some of the things I found:

1.  Because disposable nappies are bleached, they contain traces of Dioxin.  Dioxin has been connected with causing cancer in humans and also causing other diseases and health problems, such as diabetes, endometriosis and heart attacks.  Dioxin is also present in our environment through other means but by using cloth nappies you can eliminate at least one source of this harmful chemical.

2.  Have you ever seen those little gel-like crystals stuck to your baby’s bottom after using a disposable nappy?  That’s sodium polyacrylate, it’s used to soak up wee.  There are still some large gaps in the research of the safety of this substance.  It was banned in the use of tampons as it is linked to causing toxic shock syndrome.  When it comes in contact with the skin it can also cause irritation.

No wonder when parents with a sensitive skinned baby make the switch from disposables to cloth they notice an almost immediate improvement of their baby’s skin condition!

3.  The debate is still out on whether some disposable nappies contain other chemicals like Tributyl-tin (TBT) and Triclosan, it is hard to find a lot of solid ‘proof’ and research on whether this is the case.  I did find that baby wipes often contain Triclosan.

Triclosan is linked with cancer, development and reproductive problems and the irritation of skin, eyes and lungs.

TBT  is known to cause hormonal problems in humans and is highly toxic.

I did find a news article from Kimberley-Clark Australia & New Zealand (released April 2010) stating that:

Triclosan “is not used and has never been used in HUGGIES® or SNUGGLERS® disposable nappies or other disposable nappy brands to Kimberly-Clark’s knowledge.”

And also this from a Press Release (May 2000) from Greenpeace about TBT found in disposable nappies in Germany:

“New tests carried out by Greenpeace found the hormone pollutant TBT (tributyl tin) in “Pampers Baby Dry Mini” babies’ nappies sold in Germany by the company Procter & Gamble.”

As there is no requirement to list everything that goes into disposable nappies, it is difficult to be sure what the potential health risks are when using disposable nappies.

#3 ENVIRONMENTAL

I knew disposables took ages to break down, but when I found that no one knows for sure and it is estimated to be 250 – 500 years I was gobsmacked.  Really?

Consider that the first disposable nappies (like the one’s we know today) were made in the 1980’s – that means they must still exist today.  It means that they will not fully compose until around the year 2230, if not longer!  That’s long, long time away.  In the mean time, we are still making babies, most people are still using disposable nappies and each baby will use around 4000 nappies….that’s a lot of disposable nappies worldwide that need to break down!

Then there’s the environmental impact on our resources making disposable nappies.  The following is taken from the Green Party website:

1.3 million trees a year are felled for NZ babies in disposable nappies.

Disposable nappies use 3.5 times more energy, 8 times more non-renewable raw materials, 90 times more renewable materials than reusable nappies.

Some people argue that power and washing consumption for washing cloth nappies outweighs any environmental benefits, however modern fabrics and washing machines means that we can now wash cloth nappies smarter.  By not soaking your nappies, washing full loads, line drying your nappies and avoiding harsh chemical cleaners, cloth wins hands down.  By choosing cloth nappies that are made with easily renewable sources such as hemp or bamboo the environmental benefits are even greater.

For more information on comparing the impact of both disposable and reusable nappies, here is the updated report released in 2008 by the UK Environmental Agency: http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/pdf/SCHO0808BOIR-e-e.pdf

#4 THE CUTE FACTOR

If the above reasons don’t resound with you, how about the cute factor of cloth?  Who can resist a cute fluffy bum?  With limited edition prints and custom-made one off nappies your baby’s nappy can certainly become a fashion statement.  There’s no need to cover up your baby’s nappy when it’s already seriously cute.

Cute factor of a fluffy bum

As a side note, what are the alternatives to cloth or disposable nappies…?

Well there is Elimination Communication or you could use an eco-friendly disposable nappy like Moltex.

Elimination Communication involves learning babies cues for when they need to ‘go’ and helping your baby to go over a toilet or elsewhere instead of a nappy.

Moltex disposable nappies are made from a biodegradable protective film, are unbleached (so contains no dioxin), contain no TBT or other chemicals.  They can also be composted (this includes the packaging) and break down within 8 weeks.

I don’t like making people feel guilty that they use disposables and that’s what these kind of articles always feel like.  But once I spent an hour or so on google doing a little bit of research (and a little bit is all it took), I was put off using disposables on my children as I find the facts scary.  My husband was totally on board with the amount of money we could save by using cloth (I thought I had a bit of convincing to do there) and the cute factor is just a bonus.

What are your reasons for using cloth nappies?  Are they the same or different?

Sources and further reading:

http://www.dioxinnz.com/EDYH-on-humans-02-004.html

http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/en/campaigns/toxics/dioxin/contamination-in-new-zealand/

http://www.accepta.com/prod_docs/2032.pdf

http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/475-toxins-in-disposable-diapers-dioxin-and-sodium-polyacrylate.html

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient/706159/SODIUM_POLYACRYLATE/

http://www.disposablediaper.net/content.asp?2

http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php

http://www.smh.com.au/national/no-study-despite-concern-over-common-chemical-20100414-se5o.html

http://www.nappies.net/tbt.htm

http://www.kca.com.au/news/news65.html

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient/706623/TRICLOSAN/

http://www.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/information-about-nappies

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How Many Cloth Nappies Do I Need?

Nappy stash

These are the minimum amount of cloth nappies we would recommend.  If you have more cloth nappies in rotation it means less wear and tear on them.

Wear and tear is especially noticeable on one-size cloth nappies as they are always in use.  If you are using only one-size nappies we recommend you get 25 – 30 if you plan to use them on more than one child (and then make sure you rotate them well).

For full time use we recommend having about 20 cloth nappies.  This means you will be washing about every second day.  If you are happy to wash daily this could be reduced to about 13 – 15 nappies.  This allows for up to 8 changes a day plus a few spare for while your nappies are drying.

For part time use we recommend having about 10 nappies.  This would allow for 3 – 4 changes a day, washing every second day.

The more often you wash, the less nappies you will need!

Birthday Giveaway and Discounts!

That’s right, E-Weez has been in business for one whole year.  We’d like to thank our customers by granting some birthday wishes.

From 6th May – 9th May we’ll be granting wishes for discounted products.

  •  6th and 7th May get 15% off Pop-In nappies
  • 8th May get 10% off Wipes, Wetbags and Change Mats
  • 9th May get 15% off itti bitti tutto nappies, itti bitti All-In-One nappies and Ecobubs nappies

Simply comment on this note with what products you would like to see discounted and starting on the 6th May we’ll be granting some wishes!

We are also having a birthday giveaway where you get to choose the prize!

Well not quite, but you can choose between:

  • Ecobubs Wool Pocket (plus 1x insert)
  • itti bitti tutto
  • itti bitti All-In-One
  • itti bitti Snap-In-One
  • Pop-In V3 Quick Dry
  • Pop-In Original

*Colour choices are dependant on stock.

To get in the draw simply purchase your cloth nappies from us.

For every nappy you purchase between 1st and 30th May you’ll get one entry into the draw.

To help celebrate Cloth Nappy Week, if you purchase between 16th to 22nd May you’ll get 2 entries into the draw.

And as a bonus, by placing a review on our Facebook page after your purchase you will also get an extra entry into the draw.

A BIG THANKS to our customers and likers for your support throughout the last year :0D

The Pop-In as a Night Nappy

I cannot rave about this nappy enough!  I was an unbeliever until I tried it.

For nearly 12 months I was on the hunt for the perfect night nappy that could handle my daughter’s super night-time wees.  I’m certain that she’s going to be hard to night toilet train as she just wees so much.  Before we found the Pop-In, this is what we were using as her night-time cloth nappy…

Old night nappy

So, that’s a Snazzipants fitted nappy, plus an Ecobubs microfibre large insert (folded in half), plus a hemp prefold (folded into thirds), plus a cover, plus a Bummi’s Whisper Pant – excessive much?  Needless to say, her bum was huge at nights and I often wondered whether she was comfortable sleeping with all that cloth under her (perhaps, that’s why she became a tummy sleeper?)

With that combo, most mornings she would have some minor leakage around the legs and tummy area which meant her PJ’s would be a bit damp.  However, some mornings she’d wake up and be saturated through and I’d end up having to change the sheets and blankets on her bed.

So you can see how amazed I was when I tried the Pop-In Dream Dri nappy with the Dri Night Booster on her one night.  Not only was her bum a lot trimmer (no need for the onesie bummsie even) she woke up in the morning and part of the nappy was still dry!  Wow, and that wasn’t even the Original (super absorbent) bamboo Pop-In nappy.

For those who have a Pop-In nappy but aren’t sure how to use it for night-time try the following:

As it’s a one size nappy, set your front sizing snaps to the right size for your bub.

Pop-In Shell

Take the soaker pad and snap in the booster pad, flip the booster out so it lies flat, then fold the Dri Night Booster around the soaker pad and snap together.

PopInBoosters

Flip the boosters back down so they lie against the soaker pad.

Snap the soaker pad into the nappy.

Pop-In nappy

Make sure when you put the nappy onto baby that the front and back cover pockets are folded over the soaker pads – this helps to prevent leaks.  Then once the nappy is on, check the legs to make sure the soaker pads are tucked in nicely.

And there we have it, hopefully you’ll love the Pop-In for nights as much as I do!

Pop-In Baby

tutto Review by Rangi

Retro Bubble itti bitti tutto review

Issac here is showing off his itti bitti tutto in the retro bubble print.

The itti bitti tutto is a great fitting nappy especially around the legs. It fits as good as a disposable and is much more comfortable. It’s slim fitting, cute and gentle on sensitive skin. During a growth spurt we don’t have to worry about buying more cloth nappies as the tutto is just an easy snap away from changing its size. The absorbancy is great with the customizing of the 3 soakers that it definitely holds and contains well. The itti bitti tutto is our family favourite.

– Rangi K, Waihi

See our website for more information and features of the itti bitti tutto.

Calling for Reviews & Happy Babies

Cloth Nappy Reviews

We would like to start up a collection of cloth nappy reviews on this blog.  To start with, the focus will be on the types/brands of nappies that E-Weez stock (Ecobubs, TotsBots, itti bitti, Baby BeeHinds and The Pop-In) but we do plan to expand this out to other brands later.

The focus of the reviews should be about the fit, ease of use and absorbency of the nappy, plus a photo of baby wearing it (got show off that cute fluff!)

If you are interested in providing us with a review of a cloth nappy please send me an email to kyra@e-weez.co.nz

E-Weez Babies

We have also added a new page to our website for all the happy E-Weez mums and babies out there!  If you would like to feature on this page, please send through a photo of your baby in a nappy purchased from us.  Include a little bit about why you decided to change to cloth nappies or why you love the nappy your baby is wearing or how we’ve helped you with your cloth nappy needs.  Again, email through to kyra@e-weez.co.nz

A happy E-Weez baby!

We love to hear any feedback or suggestions from our happy customers, so feel free to flick me a message about anything really!

Hanging Nappies

Try hanging your nappies sideways to prevent the leg elastic from stretching too much and wearing out.

This is especially a good idea if you are a little bit lazy like me and don’t remove the soakers or boosters from your nappies before washing/hanging them.

Hanging nappies sideways on the line

You could also try pegging the booster flap on the line too.

Recently, itti bitti on Facebook also posted a photo showing the incorrect way to hang all-in-one nappies.  Bascially, make sure you do not hang them by their sewn-in booster flap as it will strain the stitching and cause it to come undone.

Baby Shower Game

I’ve modified a popular baby shower game so it can be done online. I was all ready to run this on our E-Weez Facebook page when I realised that it would be against the rules!  So here we are instead.

Guess Mummy’s Tummy Size

Belly Bump - 36 weeks, 3 days

I’m going to measure around the largest part of my tum with a tape measure. The person who guesses the closest to how big the measurement (in cm) is will WIN an Ultimate Wipe and free shipping on their next order!

Please reply to this post (at the bottom of this screen) with your guess.  Entries close 9pm tonight.  The winner will be announced on our blog here.  To be eligible for the prize you must be a fan of our Facebook page.

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Competition is now CLOSED

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For those who run business pages and would like to know the Facebook rules for running competitions and want it in plain terms “you CANNOT ask people to like a status update, tag photos, upload photos, update their status, leave a comment, or write on your page wall to enter a promotion” taken from here http://www.buildalittlebiz.com/blog/2010/11/28/the-cans-cannots-of-facebook-plus-some-dos-donts-too.html I’ve found this website particularly helpful :0)

A Facebook Baby Shower

 

Join us for a Facebook Baby Shower

Ah babies, unless you have a planned induction or c-section you never know when they’re going to arrive!

So, for the next week (15 – 21 March) we’ll be doing daily surprise deals where products will be up for sale at a discounted price. The product will be posted to our Facebook wall at random times of the day and the first to comment gets the deal.

We’ll also have a baby focused topic of the day and a little giveaway during the week.  At the end of the week we will also be holding a Facebook sale with stock that needs to go.

We hope to see you there!

The nitty-gritty:  Invoices will be sent out for purchases and we can hold off invoicing until the sale folder is closed incase you wish to purchase other items. Payment is required within 7 days of the invoice date.  Shipping will be $5.00 for all items unless otherwise specified in the deal.

How to Strip Wash Your Nappies

Have you found that your nappies have been leaking lately, or have a funky smell?

Don’t panic yet, they may just need a strip wash to freshen them up. Why, you ask?  Well, after a while your nappies will accumulate a build-up from detergents or creams, and basically they end up with a ‘coating’ that prevents them from doing their job properly.  Try a strip wash and your nappy woes will hopefully disappear 😀

How to strip wash your nappies:

  1. Cold rinse your nappies if they are dirty.
  2. Run them through a hot wash (no hotter than 60 degrees) with 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar OR 1/4 cup cheap dishwashing liquid.
  3. Do a normal wash (cold or warm, no detergent).
  4. Check the water while they are washing – if you see soapy bubbles keep running them through a rinse cycle until there are none.
  5. If you’ve done 4 rinse cycles and you’re still seeing bubbles, do another hot wash (no detergent and no hotter than 60 degrees).
  6. Keep rinsing until there are no bubbles.
  7. Hang your nappies on the line in the sun to help remove any lingering stains.

If you have a really bad build-up issue you may need to do 2 or more strip washes to get your nappies back into good working order.

You could also try soaking your nappies for 2-3 hours in a bucket of warm water with 1/2 cup baking soda added. Then scrub the inner of each nappy with a nail brush and a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid to help remove build-up that’s worked into the layers. Do the strip wash process again but don’t add any detergent.  This is quite effective for nappies which have a stay-dry layer like microfleece or suedecloth.

WARNING PLEASE NOTE: Vinegar can damage PUL (the waterproof layer in your nappy) so use only occasionally.  Also, the use of baking soda and vinegar on bamboo nappies seems to be a cause of confusion.  It is believed that using baking soda or vinegar on your bamboo nappies can deteriorate bamboo fibres and ultimately ruin your cloth nappies.

Some manufacturers will void their warranty if you use either of these products on their nappies so please check with them first!

itti bitti recommend the dishwashing liquid method.

From the Close Parent website (The Pop-In nappy) – “Please don’t use vinegar either as it deteriorates the bamboo fibres in the bamboo nappies.”

From the Totsbots website – “Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar can dissolve cotton and bamboo fibres. Whilst a lot of nappy websites recommend using them to sanitise and soften nappies they will drastically shorten their lifespan and render your guarantee void.”

Personally, I have used baking soda in a strip wash on my bamboo (and other) nappies without any negative effects.  I do not use vinegar as it can damage the rubber seals in your washing machine and as we have a front loader there is a big rubber ring which seals the door… I also haven’t been game enough to try the dishwashing detergent method yet as I have an image of soapy bubbles all over our laundry floor.  So if you have a front loader and have tried the dishwash method, let me know how it went!

As strip washing is quite harsh on your nappies and time consuming, you don’t want to be doing it all the time. Try the following tips to help prevent build-up and smells.

Tips to keep your nappies and dry-pail fresh:

  • Rinse nappies before placing into your dry-pail (especially a good idea if bub has strong wees).
  • Sprinkle baking soda into the bottom of your dry-pail and add a few drops of essential oil (Tea-tree is excellent).
  • Try leaving the lid of your nappy bucket ajar a bit to let the nappies ‘breathe’.
  • If you hot wash, do a cold rinse first.  Hot washes can ‘set’ in the smells and stains.
  • Run an extra rinse at the end of your wash cycle – this will help to remove any excess detergent from your nappies.
  • Try adding a bit less detergent to your wash or use no detergent at all.
  • Add Dettol Fresh or Canestan to the rinse cycle once a week, both are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, they kill 99.9% of germs.
  • Do a hot wash (no hotter than 60 degrees) once a month.
  • ALWAYS use a liner (fleece or flushable) when using nappy rash creams.

Strip wash nappies