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The thing about bum envelopes

Whenever I hear anyone talk about the quality, brand or price of disposable nappies, I want to smack myself in the face so hard that the whiplash will send my head so far back in time that disposable nappies won't exist there.

I don't want to get on my high horse. I don't want you to roll your eyes and stop reading because it's the environment and it's safely tucked away in the too-hard basket, because here's the thing:

I can completely relate with every single parent who uses disposable nappies.

I understand that all-consuming exhaustion, feeling so overwhelmed you can barely shower and dress, and the resistance to just about anything that might make life any harder than it already is.

I have emotional meltdowns at tiny suggestions from midwives and nurses when they try to change our routine. Whether it be feeding, sleeping or the dreaded tummy time, I'm so resistant to change that I've completely forgotten what it felt like to be that spontaneous, adaptable chick from yesteryear.

To be even more honest, when I enthusiastically bought our first set of Modern Cloth Nappies at the baby expo, 50% of me (if not more) really didn't believe I'd end up using them. I knew there would be a reason why no one used them. I absolutely believed they'd be dirty, messy, difficult and time-consuming. I rehearsed my excuses in my head.

But then after Bubba June was born, I grew tired of the boring Winnie the Pooh print on our Huggies nappies that we had stocked up on for those first few weeks of her life.

Aesthetic is everything after all.

I wanted something cute for her to wear but it was stinking hot and it was definitely a clothing-optional day. For everyone involved. If I get cute printed Peter Alexander knickers with polka dots and frills, then why couldn't she rock something just as cute?

So, I pulled out our MCNs.

They hugged that butt so beautifully. They were so ridiculously soft. And man, were they cute. A baby's bum in a cloth diaper is infinitely cuter than it is in a boring, daggy, papery piece of rubbish with a cheap and tacky print on it.

And guess what? They are straight forward to use. Truly.

  1. There is no soaking. No poo water. When it comes to those nappies - it's NO TOUCHIES. No touchies. There are these things still available at Kmart called "nappy pails". (I heart Kmart. Amirite?) They have a sealed lid and a handle. These are the requisites for a good nappy pail.

  2. When you use a disposable, you take it off bubba's butt, you bundle it up, and you throw it in a bin. Right? Well for a cloth nappy, you literally do exactly the same thing, only you chuck it in a nappy pail. It's up to you whether you use a liner or not. I did. I used a cornstarch liner. These are supposedly flushable in Australia's treatment systems, but to be honest I chuck them in the rubbish bin with the wet wipes. However, until she's on solids, I question the necessity of these, so have stopped using them for now.

  3. After two days, I take that lid off that pail and I literally toss the nappies straight out of the bin and into our front loader washing machine. No touchies. Chuck it on a rinse cycle. Once it's finished, chuck in the rest of your household washing. Same as any other load of washing, only this time you're hanging out the earth's resources and your hard-earned cash on the line to use again. And again. And again.

  4. Put the pillowy soft bamboo pad in a cute printed shell. Button it onto your baby's butt.

And repeat.

Now that I've told you how easy it is, I feel it's important I mentioned the facts that keep me awake at night.

  • Each child in disposables = 1-2 tonnes of landfill during up until toilet training.

  • A nappy thrown out today will disintegrate by the year 2517.

  • Disposable nappies comprise 5% of our country's landfill

  • Sewage systems are there for a reason guys - put your baby's poo where you put your own! And wash it away. Rotting human waste = methane in the atmosphere.

  • Cloth nappies use one-third of the energy, one-twentieth of the raw materials and one-half of the amount of water during the manufacturing process.

  • Disposables will cost between $2000-3000 per child. Modern Cloth Nappies will set you back between $250 and $350 to set yourself up, and can continue to be used for subsequent children.

Just buy a starter pack and TRY them.

You won't regret it.

Boring answers to questions only the mums and dads will want to know:

  • Cloth nappies lessen the likelihood of nappy rash (Journal of Pediatrics) Nappy rash is caused by the acid in the poo and wee and any nappy left against a sensitive butt will cause nappy rash - disposable or otherwise.

  • I put my bamboo pad on top of the shell because sometime she doesn't need a full change and I can just replace the pad and not the shell - less washing for the win!

  • I ABSOLUTELY still have disposables in the house as back up. I also take them out in the nappy bag as I cannot fit more than one or two cloth replacements in the bag. Of course there are the times when I'm not on top of laundry and run out of cloth and so OF COURSE I use disposables! But shop wisely. Tooshies by Tom are far nicer for your baby's butt than Huggies and don't cost the earth as much either. PLUS! They have cute fruit prints on them. Yaaas.

  • We use Hippybottomus MCNs. They are fab. And Australian. I haven't been paid to say this (I wish!)

Image from: The Natural Nursery

Read more at: www.australianscience.com.au/environmental-science/disposable-nappies-are-they-stinking-up-our-planet/