Have you noticed all the advertisements for cloth nappies lately? Maybe you haven’t. Usually any ad for nappies, infant formula or sexy low-cut red brassieres doesn’t draw a ping from my conscious mind, but the message about cloth nappies finally struck a small grey cell in my head.
Cloth nappies are advertised as being environmentally friendly. They’re said to be, greener, better for the baby bum and (most importantly) they can be re-used. Appealing to the frugality factor no doubt.
Earlier this week I spoke to a young mother in a supermarket who was looking at a package of terry toweling nappies. She looked so lost and alone I just had to stick my nose in. Turned out she had no idea how many nappies she would need for her baby, the same as the disposables? More? Less? And how did you wash them? Surely you would need bleach, disinfectant and heavens knows what to keep them clean? Oh dear!
Choice Magazine revealed to us that 86% of the 250,000 babies born every year in Australia get to wear a disposable nappy part-time or full-time. Considering that one baby can fill your entire house with all the nappies they will wear in their lifetime, this is a heck of a lot of nappies!
I guess I’m a little resentful that I spent so many years washing, drying and folding nappies but I still have a problem with the disposables. Or perhaps just a problem with the selfish misuse of throw-away nappies.
How do people dispose of the disposables?
Do they tip the poo in the loo?
Do they dispose of nappies inside a plastic bag?
The disposal of cloth nappies is minimal compared to other choices. Young mothers simply aren’t used to doing much work. Of course being a mother is a darned hard job with 24/7 hours, no holidays, no days off and no sick leave, but my generation managed with straw brooms, dustpans, linoleum floors, baking soda and cloth nappies.
I bet you can think of a dozen other house duties that now seem as if they’re from the Middle Ages.