The gift of cloth nappies

Using just one reusable nappy a day saves 900 single-use nappies from landfill - and it’s kinder to parents’ pockets. Surely that’s a gift worth giving?

So many people are in despair at the amount of ‘stuff’ they own. So many parents just don’t want to see another plastic toy. The question “What do you want for Christmas” fills us with dread, not joy.

There are three in my brood, and as the youngest hits his second Christmas, there really is nothing he needs. We have clothes. We have toys. (Actually, we have toys EVERYWHERE). We have plates, sippy cups, pyjamas and everything else imaginable.

It’s so bad that when my mum saw a small tear in the side of our change mat, her eyes lit up as she exclaimed: “Ooh, I could get the baby a new change mat for Christmas!” Thanks, Mum.

But when my third was born, I received a lovely gift - a gorgeous little pocket nappy. I’ve always used reusables but my eldest was born before birth-to-potty nappies really existed. Until my Baba+Boo dropped through the letterbox, my youngest was destined for nine year old pre-folds.

It was a lovely, thoughtful gift. It was cute. It was functional. It would last for years. It would save me money. I was genuinely grateful, and for baby’s first Christmas, the pre-folds were replaced with gorgeous, easy-to-use pocket nappies.  

As a giver of gifts, I have excruciating guilt about giving things that other people don’t really want. Having done the ‘new baby’ thing, I refuse to give clothes (I vividly remember my shame at the things my firstborn grew out of...which still had the label attached). But toys are a minefield, so what else?

My friend Kate recently had her third baby, and I really thought hard about what to give her. She’s always used single-use nappies, so I wasn’t too sure about giving her a reusable. Would it look like I was pushing my values onto her? Would the nappy get added to the pile of the instantly forgotten?

In the end, I decided that, because she’s got a great eye for design, she would appreciate a cute little print, no matter what.

I gave her the nappy, and added a note which read “You know the joy you get when someone buys you a book that you wouldn’t have chosen for yourself - and you absolutely love it? Well, this is, hopefully, that kind of gift. Even if you never buy another, just using one reusable a day will save you about 900 disposables... I won’t be offended if you don’t use it - but don’t get rid of it. Trust me, you’ll thank me when bubba has a poorly tummy and it’s poo-nami city because you can pop the cover over a disposable...it WILL contain what a single-use can’t. And the inserts make awesome cleaning cloths X”

Needless to say, my worrying was for nothing. Kate thought it was cute and different, and loved the fact it was neither pink nor blue.

Four months later, she’s a fully fledged cloth bum mum. With a minky nappy on her Christmas list.


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