In fact my frugal-ness concerning his nappies inspired this conversation to appear under a photo of my son on facebook:
Christine: [in response to the accusation it looks like her daughter is about to hit him] it's because of his pants... Aaron looks like he is trying to tell him something... 'Err... excuse me, but your pants are ridiculously low, you rude boy..Me: You're just jealous.
Richard: Yeah, those pants are ridiculous. You look like you just wrapped him in a tea towel.
Me: Yeah? Well you'll be glad one day, when your babies can all breathe and have a planet to live on because Will was thoughtful enough to reuse his diapers...
Richard: Is he using the same nappy without cleaning it? Because that would explain it's size...
Well, things have come a looong way since back then, and it turns out you can now buy shaped nappies and liners really cheaply on ebay, in fact the entire set that my daughter currently uses (and we have more than we need) set me back less than £30. We'd spend more than that on disposables in a month! Not only that, but they come in totally cute patterns too.
It's saving us a fortune, but you should be aware that we don't pay any bills where we live. If you are going to switch to real nappies you might want to factor in the cost of running your washing machine and extra time everyday. We also have a HUGE boiler room that I hang them in to dry overnight, as the bamboo would take several days on a line in most British weather. Also, for that reason (water, electricity, washing soap, tumble dryer etc...) I'm not sure how eco friendly they actually are. I'll leave that to you to decide.
BUT, we do use them, and here is why:
Doesn't everything on this blog eventually seem to come down to the same thing? I know you must be getting bored of it by now, but bear with me. Cutting out toxins in our lives is a major part of our healing, along with the diet, and disposable diapers are pretty toxic.
Have you ever noticed little jelly crystals on your babies bottom after you've left them in a diaper a wee bit too long? Maybe overnight? (In fact, now I think on it they look a lot like my water kefir babies...) Those crystals are a substance called PolyAcrylic Acid. This is a substance which absorbs liquid (useful in a diaper, right?) but you should also know that it was banned from use in tampons in 1985 due to links with toxic shock syndrome. In fact, employees of factories where polyacrylic acid is used are found to suffer organ damage, fatigue and extreme weight loss. It also draws moisture away from the babies skin and contributes to nappy rash and bleeding of the perenium and scrotum. In fact, 54% of one month old babies using disposable diapers have nappy rash according to the Journal of Pediatrics and 16% have 'severe' rashes. Procter & Gamble also did a study and found that the risk of nappy rash increased from just 7.1% to 61% if you use disposable diapers.
TBT or Tribulytin is also found in several brands of disposable diaper and has been linked with immune system damage and hormonal problems, including male sterility. They also contain dioxin, which is a by product of the bleach used in disposable diapers is carcinogenic and known to cause birth defects, skin disease and liver damage.
As with most things on this blog, this is a journey for us. We don't do it perfectly. I send Lila to kids work at church in a disposable diaper (I don't think it's fair to the teenage helpers to have to deal with real nappies), but she wears bamboo most of the time. In all honesty I'm hoping that we will be all potty trained and moving on from this whole season of our lives fairly shortly!
When we do, if anybody wants some gorgeous bamboo nappies, drop me an email and I'll post them your way.
Little by little we are removing the toxic substances from our lives, not completely, but better than we were. My best advice is this - if you you can't everything, don't let it stop you doing something.