Cloth nappies have developed a stigma over the years – but a Sussex nappy rental group is keen to dispel the myths.
On Saturday, October 6, the Sussex Cloth Nappy Library held a drop-in session at West Worthing Baptist Church in South Street, Worthing, where several mums came for advice.
It was the first drop-in session for volunteer Kiran Harrison, who took over the reins of the library a month ago. She is running it with the support of Jenny Emerton, 29, from Angmering and Ellie Leckey, 25, from Shoreham.
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The sensory therapist said her quest was to change people’s perception of cloth nappies, as it has come a long way from safety pins and boiling smelly towels.
She said: “It isn’t as big a problem as you think; the stink won’t be taking over your house, it won’t be irritating your babies’ bottoms.”
The majority now are Velcro, and can be stored in closed buckets until they are washed. The 43-year-old said that while the energy used to wash them did impact the environment, cloth nappies were still far better for Mother Earth and cheaper than disposable ones too.
And by drying the clothes outside, the sun bleached out any stains.
She said: “You have to put in a little bit more effort to clean the buckets and the washing machine once a month, but this is a small price to pay in terms of the savings you are making and how you are helping the environment.
“It is nice to stand up and be a bit more responsible for what you are doing.”
After hearing about the cloth nappy trend in Sheffield, Kiran decided to try it when her son Leo Tyldesley was born six months ago. Due to a curvature in his back, Kiran had trouble with the cloth nappies leaking, but after his posture was corrected she has not looked back.
She quoted a mum’s forum which compared 30 Ecopipo nappies to 5,500 disposable nappies – the amount the average baby goes through before being potty trained.
According to the figures, the cloth nappies cost £510 versus £1,400 for the alternative, and generated 147kg of waste compared to 1,107kg for disposables.
The group’s vision is to build up a sustainable library of rental nappies, and have started a fundraising campaign on Facebook. Click here to find out more.