Real Nappy Week – Make A Change

goodbyecloth

Real Nappy Week 2016

18th-24th April

Celebrating Change

The theme of the 20th Real Nappy Week is change and it has really got me thinking about the change from cloth to disposable and the journey back to cloth.

I was a cloth-bummed child of the 70s, my mum washed in a twin-tub and line dried all our nappies, as her mother had before her. So from then there was a quiet revolution and out went the cloth and in came the paper, plastic and macrogels. Hydrogels are a new material allowing nappies to hold even more urine.

The 70s was a time of great change for women. Many were going back to work after having children. There was more opportunity for women in the workplace and there was greater mobility, so young families often didn’t have the support of an extended family.

It was in this atmosphere of change that the disposable nappy first took hold. Mums didn’t want to be perceived as being chained to the kitchen sink, and this was a product of convenience. As demand grew, prices fell. With big brands producing disposables, marketing budgets were huge and by the 1980’s, in an era of excess, the disposable nappy had eclipsed cloth.

The change from cloth to disposable had been seamless, but in the early 90s, as we left behind the throw-away attitude of the 80s, a new era was dawning. The environment dominated the media, and from this families started to think about the future of their children.

Cloth nappies quickly evolved to cater for the growing market and the terries and nappy pins were soon to be joined by funky coloured nappies that fastened with applix and poppers.   Most households had washers and dryers – white goods our parents and grandparents would have given anything to own when they were scrubbing nappies by hand!

So why change?

By using cloth nappies families can make huge savings of anywhere from £100 -£1000 and the more children you have in cloth the bigger the saving.

By choosing cloth over single use nappies families could make up to a 40% carbon saving.

Currently UK families send 355,000 tons of single use nappies to landfill each year, costing local authorities and tax payers, £32 million a year.

Something has to change!

What to change?

Changing Habits: We have become accustom to buying and binning, we need to change our mindset. Buy, reuse, recycle!

Changing Lives: Cloth is comfortable, dry and cushioned making for a happy baby and by reducing landfill you are making for a happier future for everyone.

Changing Futures: Change a habit of a generation and spread the word!

The Nappy Laundry Company will have discounts on cloth throughout Real Nappy Week 2016.

How Eskimos keep their babies warm by Mei-Ling Hopgood

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Published in 2012 this is not a new book, but it is one that recently appeared on a reading list for a baby wearing course and the name caught my attention.

As a mother of three active children, factual coursework books are hard going by the time I sit down in the evening and are more likely to send me to sleep swimming in a dream of statistics and facts.

But Mei-Ling’s book on parenting wisdom from around the world was different, she takes aspects of parenting in different cultures and looks at incorporating them into her own modern lifestyle with a light-hearted touch.

Each chapter looks at a different topic and culture including how Kenyans live without pushchairs and how the Chinese potty train early. She looks at the positive and negatives of the these customs drawing from child experts, anthropologists and parents.

“Baby wearing is no longer some warm, fuzzy trend by granola-munching parents. More and more mothers and fathers are choosing to wear slings.”

Hopgood examines the act of carrying a baby not just from a practical level but she also looks as babies as active participants in the act of carry and the stimulation carrying has on their motor neurone skills.

The chapter on potty training is fascinating even providing recipe for a gentle cleanser to use when cleaning babies bum.  She draws the readers attention to the fact that babies have started potty training later since the introduction of disposable nappies.  Potty training is getting later and later as it benefits the disposable companies.

This is a refreshingly easy, intelligent read that is both entertaining and informative.

This novel is readily available in libraries, once I return it, and on Amazon and all bookshops.