Most people don’t think much about nappies, after all, they’re receptacles for baby waste and not really worth spending much time thinking about at all.
But did you know that the disposable nappies that we all take for granted actually haven’t been around that long at all?
Before we had the luxury of filling up landfill with disposables people used cloth nappies. Yet for some reason they don’t anymore. Admittedly, the designs of the traditional cloth nappies left a few things to be desired. Leaking in particular was an issue. But there’s good news: the modern cloth nappy is an entirely new kettle of fish.
What Are Modern Cloth Nappies?
Modern cloth nappies (or MCNs) take all the benefits of using cloth nappies but with a design that’s based on the familiar disposable nappy. So, modern cloth nappies are washable and reusable nappies that are shaped and fitted, unlike the old style terry cloth ones. They’re usually made from quite modern fabrics like bamboo and hemp, which are both more absorbent than plain cotton. Most of the MCNs are very similar in shape to disposable nappies, using press studs or velcro to fasten, and including elastic at the legs to keep everything contained.
What Kind Of Modern Cloth Nappies Are There?
There are four different designs of modern cloth nappies, and the ones you choose will depend on your individual style and needs.
These are probably the easiest to use as they don’t have any extra bits and require no assembly. You just put them on your bub and use them the same as a disposable. They’re good for when you don’t want to fuss over nappies. They’re made of an absorbent material sewn into a waterproof cover, but they can take longer to dry. This means you’ll need more of them to allow for washing and drying times.
Similar to the All-In-Ones this style of modern cloth nappy allows the absorbent materials to be removed from the waterproof cover. There’s a little bit of assembly involved as you’ll need to snap or lay the absorbent materials and any boosters in before use, and then remove them when you wash. This means you don’t need to wash the entire ensemble, which makes for faster drying time.
3. Pocket Nappies
This nappy style is made up of waterproof covers that have an opening in the back between the shell and the lining of the nappy. This pocket can be filled with ‘boosters’ of absorbent materials. Pocket nappies require more assembly than other kinds of nappies, and some people don’t like this. But this means you can make changes to how absorbent the nappy is, and they’re fast drying and simple to wash.
Why Should I Use Modern Cloth Nappies?
There are lots of reasons to change from disposable nappies to modern cloth nappies, or to choose modern cloth nappies for your next child.
1. They’re Cheaper In The Long Run
While upfront the cost of modern cloth nappies is much higher, they do perform well in the long term. A supply of MCNs will often last until children are toilet trained, and if looked after they can be used for other kids as well!
2. You Always Have Them
There’s nothing worse than running out of nappies and having to make a desperate run to the shop. With modern cloth nappies you’ll always have a supply at home ready to go.
3. They’re Easy On Baby Skin
Not surprisingly cloth is much gentler on baby’s skin than the plastic and chemical compounds used in nappies. Most MCNs use very absorbent and soft fabrics like fleece, bamboo or hemp in their design, and if you look after them right they also don’t have skin irritating chemicals.
4. They’re Better For The Planet
One of the main reasons many parents choose modern cloth nappies is the effect on the environment. A baby can go through 3,000 nappies every year, with many wearing almost 10,000 before they’re toilet trained. Although MCNs need to be made and washed, they’re still better than the disposables.
Where Can I Buy Modern Cloth Nappies?
As more and more people become interested in modern cloth nappies it becomes easier to find them online and even in some stores. There are some modern cloth nappy manufacturers in Australia that we would recommend, which will save on shipping, but you can also find them on Etsy made by mums and passionate MCNs users as well.
1. Bubble Bubs
Started by a Brisbane mum in 2008 Bubble Bubs now offers a wide range of modern cloth nappies in several styles. They also do value packs.
2. Pea Pods
Located on the north coast of New South Wales, Pea Pods are ranked Australia’s best reusable nappy by Australia’s leading consumer advocacy and are widely available online and offline.
3. Nest Nappies
Located in the Brisbane suburb of Paddington, as well as online, Nest Nappies offers both modern cloth nappies and traditional ones in a range of styles and colours.
These are just a very small number of the many businesses that offer modern cloth nappies. Shop around for the best deals and value packs, as well as for specific manufacture ingredients to suit your needs.
Do you use modern cloth nappies?