Modern mums with concerns about the environment are now abandoning disposable nappies in favour of alternatives that are much better for the environment. Both varieties have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your pocket and your lifestyle. But what's the best option? Here's an 'at a glance' comparison to help you make up your mind which option to go for.
Disposable nappies have recently been much-maligned for their landfill-clogging and eco-unfriendly properties. However, most of the packaging now used for disposables is fully recyclable.
- snap fastenings and sticky tapes make disposables quick and easy to fit and fasten
- disposables are quick and simple to change while you're out and about
- most public loos have nappy disposal facilities so you can easily get rid of dirty nappies
- disposables absorb moisture quickly and wick away wet, making them comfy for your baby and preventing nappy rash
- pull-up styles and swim nappies are available for versatility
- disposable nappies are not very 'green' and end up in landfill sites
- although initially cheaper to buy than cloth nappies, continual replacement means that disposables work out dearer over time
Eco-friendly cloth nappies
Modern eco-friendly cloth nappies can't be compared with the heavy, terry-towelling variety used by former generations, and they have many practical advantages.
- water-resistant outer shell and very absorbent inner
- they come in many different styles to suit ages and sizes
- cloth nappies are more expensive to buy initially, but work out cheaper in the long run as replacement is unnecessary
- cloth nappies are re-useable so much more eco-friendly
- cloth nappies can be completely recycled when eventually thrown away
- cloth nappies can be rather slow to dry
- laundering and drying cloth nappies take up space which can be a problem if you live in a small apartment
- cloth nappies have to be taken apart for washing, which can be less than pleasant
- cloth nappies mean extra work as they need to be laundered after every use
- if you change your child's nappy while you're out, you have to carry the dirty one around with you
Both types of nappies have pros and cons. They are both pretty comparable in comfort and fit, and there is a good choice of different styles to choose from. If you are very busy and don't have the time or space for the extra laundry work entailed by using eco-friendly cloth nappies, you might find disposable nappies better-suited to your lifestyle. When it comes to matter of cost and being kinder to the environment, modern cloth nappies are definitely head and shoulders above disposables.