• Teeny Folk


Updated: Jan 19, 2019

Want to try cloth but put off by horror stories, hearsay and objections? Heard they can only be mastered by extreme earth mothers? Many myths and pre-conceptions still surround cloth nappies so here’s our guide to the reality of cloth.

Myth 1: Cloth Nappies are difficult to wash

It’s a nappy, not rocket science! You will so often hear people talking about strip washing, bleaching, special laundry detergent and buckets full of smelly nappies. Nope. It really is super easy. In a nutshell, cold rinse, long wash and line dry if you can. What with the modern technology of washing machines, adding cloth nappies to your routine barely takes any time at all.  We estimate a couple of extra wash loads per week, plus the time it takes to hang those nappies on a line to dry. Simple.

Myth 2: Cloth nappies are just as bad for the environment as disposables

This is one of the biggest cloth nappy myths out there. Ignore claims by the disposable nappy industry that there is no overall environmental difference between cloth nappies and disposables. The overall environmental impacts of the two nappy systems are different - with disposables it is largely waste and landfill; with cloth nappies it is largely energy, water and detergents. The environmental costs of using reusable nappies can be substantially minimised by you - it is not necessary to boil wash, to tumble dry or to iron. Take those out of the equation and cloth nappy environmental impact goes right down.

Also consider that the manufacturing processes for disposable nappies uses a lot of water - producing enough disposable nappies to last you from birth until potty training will use more water than you will use by washing nappies. And it’s not just about the amount of water. The waste water from washing nappies is relatively harmless - especially if you use an environmentally gentle washing powder. The waste water from the pulp and plastics industries contains heavy metals, solvents and dioxins that are pollutants and toxins.

Myth 3: Your nappies will leak

Wrong again. It is the experience of many a parent that a disposable nappy cannot contain a newborn poonami. Because of the elastic around the thighs and back waistband, reusable nappies contain the poo much more reliably than disposables.

Myth 4: Wetness in cloth causes nappy rash

Just not true. Nappy rash is just as likely to occur with disposables as it is with reusable nappies. Nappy rash can be caused by sensitive skin, the frequency of nappy changes, teething or something else. 

Myth 5: Reusable nappies stink

They absolutely don’t. Any poo in the nappies is flushed down the loo before they go in the bucket. Keep them in a bucket with a lid, or in a waterproof bag and you’ll be fine until wash day. We can’t say much more than that!

Myth 6: Cloth nappies with make your child bandy legged and delay development

There is absolutely no evidence that cloth nappies will cause any physical or developmental problems / delay. Many of us were brought up with bulky cloth nappies, unlike modern slim line cloth nappies and we seem to be doing ok.

Myth 7: What a big commitment!

Some people seem to think it’s all or nothing but this is far from the truth. Yes, you can cloth full time from birth, but if that feels like too much of a commitment why not introduce it gradually? Every time you use a reusable nappy you are saving a disposable one from ending up in landfill, so whether you do it full time, part time or something in between, it’s all pretty fantastic!

Already using cloth? What’s the best (worst?) myth or reason for NOT using cloth that you’ve come across? Comment below.

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