Why I chose cloth nappies.
Why cloth nappy-ing can turn on some real surprises. It's not just about saving copious amounts of landfill.
Let me start this by saying something that will, probably, sound a little insane to you: so far cloth diapering has been an incredibly fun experience for me! No, I'm not crazy, and no I don't love laundry. When I had my first baby about 4 years ago, diapers were not something I thought very much about at all. Except for how much they were costing me (talk about adding to the grocery bill every week!), and during those inevitable moments when you're down to just a couple and have to make an unscheduled run to the supermarket. Trust me, anything unscheduled was always a hassle with a small baby around.
I'd heard about cloth diapering before, but it was never something I even bothered looking into. I care about the environment, but the whole thing seemed like way too much effort and not at all up my alley. In retrospect, I also just didn't know exactly how much waste disposable nappies created.
When my son potty trained, however, but still needed a 'just in case' nappy overnight as the waste of throwing away dry nappies every morning began to really bother me.
I started looking online and quickly found hundreds of options and styles and types of reusable nappies to try. I bought 5 randomly. It was just for my son's night nappy after all.
When they arrived in the mail, I was quickly converted. These were so incredibly soft, fluffy, and absolutely gorgeous. I think it was the softness of them that really won me over. I left two for my son, used the other 3 for my then newborn daughter, and proceeded to buy more.
My son was completely dry within a month or so, but my girl was in full-time cloth from the beginning.
I've made mistakes along the way, due to the lack of information and support available to me at the time. However, I loved the time I spent learning, researching, and experimenting with it! My knowledge base grew exponentially, as I was genuinely truly just interested in exploring cloth as a viable option for baby and female hygiene care.
Together with my friend and fellow cloth mama, Tamla, I started Cloth Bums for Cyprus and this invariably led us to establish Vivilino. All in an attempt to provide the support I was lacking, to new mothers and women interested in making the switch to cloth.
My reasons for choosing cloth also developed and became more complex over time. I became more conscious of the environmental impact of disposables, as well as their production process and composition. I became a supporter of accepting and normalizing bodily functions, especially in regards to menstrual care. Hiding, throwing away, and the disgust associated with menstrual products in our society sends a powerful message to young girls in regards to the functions of their own body and uterus. Similarly being more in touch with my baby's bodily functions and habits gave me more confidence as a mother.
Despite all the reasons, I still want to tell everyone who may be considering cloth – just touch how soft they are!! We don't wear plastic underwear, so why do we choose it for our babies? What would you rather wear?
Text author: Nicole Jackson