Posts Tagged ‘Nappies’
Parents will perform a nappy change thousands of times before a child is ready to go it alone, so whether to choose disposable or re-usable nappies is a significant decision. Each type of nappy has its advantages and disadvantages, and issues of cost, convenience and ecology may influence choices.
For many parents, cost is the primary consideration. Parents can expect to pay about £1,000 for disposable nappies by the time a child stops using them. Using a nappy laundry service for cloth nappies costs about 30 percent less. Cleaning cloth nappies oneself is by far the least expensive alternative.
Convenience is another important concern for parents. Disposable nappies, which first became popular during the 1970s, quickly became a symbol of contemporary child care. Disposables nappies helped child day centres function more efficiently, eased fathers into participating in nappy changes and facilitated travel for families with infants.
Images of rubber pants and pins make some parents resist the notion of returning to cloth nappies. However, the convenience factor for cloth nappies is improving. Pre-folded and pre-fitted cloth nappies, cloth nappies that close with snaps or Velcro, and washable and waterproof nappy covers are becoming more available. Using a nappy laundry service can make cloth nappies almost as convenient as disposable ones.
Health concerns about the bacteria and viruses associated with faecal matter and urine – and the odours that accompany them – may affect a parent’s choice of nappy. Dustbins of dirty nappies not only smell, they can contain any of over 100 viruses. Manufacturers of nappies counter that these bacteria and viruses do not appear to survive in well-managed landfills.
The effect of nappies on the environment is another important consideration. While environmentalists concede that disposable nappies constitute less than 2 percent of all solid waste, they point to the single-use nappy as a symbol of waste disposal issues. Some manufacturers are producing cloth nappies made from polyester fabrics, which while not as eco-friendly as cotton, last five times longer than cloth, absorb better and dry faster.
While the majority of parents today choose disposable nappies, re-usable nappies are gaining ground. With more parents working from home, parents may be more willing to wash out a cloth nappy than a day care centre worker would be. It is clear there are benefits and drawbacks to both types of nappies and parents will make their decision based upon personal priorities.