Are Cloth Nappies REALLY Better for Your Baby?
If you’re here, it’s safe to assume you’re either already a cloth convert or you’re doing some research into whether the ‘Modern Cloth Nappies’ (or “MCN”) world is right for you. We started using MCNs on our daughter in October 2019, which is recent enough that I still remember the sheer overwhelming amount of advice that blogs, online groups and websites had to offer; it is a lot.
I’m not here to imply that using disposable nappies are ‘bad’. Sometimes, you just don’t have the energy to sort through another load of laundry, or you might be travelling overseas and don’t have enough checked baggage for a dedicated cloth nappy suitcase.
What I do want to focus on are the benefits of using cloth nappies. You've probably read lots of other articles by now (or will read lots of other articles) that touch on the landfill-reducing and money saving benefits of cloth nappies, but I'm going to tell you why (on top of the environmental and financial benefits) I, as a Mum, love using our cloth nappies.
In this article you will find our thoughts on the three benefits of cloth below:
- Avoid the chemicals in disposable nappies
- Cloth nappies all the goodness of natural fibres
- Cloth nappies come with customisable absorbency
Avoid the chemicals in disposable nappies
Firstly, there is no solid evidence that using disposable nappies is harmful for your child. That’s not to say though that disposables don’t have a fair few chemicals in them. They do. They’re made from polyethylene and dioxins, they have dyes and fragrances added (which does NOTHING to hide the smell from your garbage bin) and all of which add up to a potentially rashy bottom for your newborn baby’s sensitive skin.
However, cloth nappies give you more control about what you put next to your baby's skin. Your wash routine puts you in charge of the detergents and associated chemicals you use. Don’t like the idea of lots of fragrances? No worries, use a low scent detergent! Want to limit the amount of single use plastic you use in the laundry? Easy, choose a detergent with recyclable cardboard packaging. Cruelty free products important to you? Plant based detergents for the win!
What’s more, cleaning MCNs is super easy. At Monarch, we base our wash recommendations on the science-backed and rigorously-researched guidelines put out by Clean Cloth Nappies (“CCN”), to ensure that none of our customer’s babies are getting around in stinky, stained nappies. You can find a downloadable and printable cloth nappy wash routine on Monarch’s website, perfect for sticking up in the laundry for an easy reference!
Cloth nappies have the goodness of natural fibres
Although some synthetic (plasticky man-made fibres) claim to be breathable, there really is nothing like plant-based materials for true breathability. We’ve all been there at some point, sweating absolute bullets while dolled up in some glamorous (albeit polyester) outfit. Sure, we looked amazing, but make sure you don’t come too close because we are most likely hugely sweaty messes! Well, using cloth nappies for bubs is the same thing! By choosing a natural fibre like bamboo, cotton or hemp you can guarantee a cooler and less irritated baby, and consequently a more relaxed mum.
Cloth nappies and natural fibres also possess lesser-known superpowers as well. Bamboo has antibacterial properties meaning cloth nappies in general are WAY less stinky than disposables (and trust me, when those teething poops come along, you’d give up ANYTHING, even a hot cup of coffee, to get rid of that stench)! Hemp also has antibacterial properties and it is one of the strongest and most durable organic fibres available. Combine bamboo and hemp nappy inserts for one super powered nappy set up.
Bamboo and hemp are also some of the “thirstiest” fibres around which means they are super absorbent. Monarch Store’s bamboo nappy inserts can absorb up to three times their weight in liquid, and our hemp inserts can absorb up to a whopping four times their weight in liquid! Super absorbent, breathable, friendly on the nose AND super cute- you can’t go wrong with Monarch Store nappies!
Cloth nappies come with customisable absorbency
Is there anything more frustrating than watching the laundry pile up due to continual leaks from a disposable nappy? Or even worse, the dreaded ‘poo-splosion’ that drenches everything in a 3 foot radius and leaves you wondering just how much poop one small human can create (spoiler: it's a lot, it’s too much and please no, don’t let it happen again). Far and away, one of the best things about using cloth nappies is how customisable they are, made to suit almost every shape and size!.
Chunky thighed, roly-poly babies? We gotchu!
Long, skinny babes? Right here please!
Crocodile rolling, screaming toddlers who fight with the strength of a thousand men? You may keep those… just kidding... sort of… BUT we do have a nappy for them!
The best thing about cloth nappies is that there are so many in the market that you are guaranteed to find one that fits your little one’s specific shape, size and output. Some are designed to fit trimmer and slimmer, others are designed to hold lots of absorbency and give your little one a booty to be proud of.
Over here at Monarch, we pride ourselves on creating one of the most absorbent nappies on the market at an affordable cost (natural fibres can be expensive but they cannot be matched by the synthetic alternatives). There will also come a time when you will pay all the money in the world to sleep through the night without a nappy change.
The best thing about Monarch nappies is that they are extremely easy to boost, so if you gave birth to a fire hydrant, or have a unicorn baby that naps for hours and sleeps from sundown to sun up without making a peep, you can customise your nappy using different levels of absorbency to suit them! Or if you have a mega-wee-er for your first baby but your second baby is not, you know that the Monarch nappies will suit both because of the adjustable absorbency (simply take out what you don’t need!).
It can take a few goes at trialling different combinations but once you figure out what works for your little one, you will have the confidence to leave the house with only one spare change of clothes instead of the entire wardrobe, or to put your baby down at night, knowing they (and the bed) will wake up dry and cosy in the morning.
Monarch nappies come with several customisable levels of absorbency to suit your needs. The Classic Nappy comes with two 5-layer inserts (one hemp, one bamboo), to give you 10 layers of super absorbent material. The Ultimate Nappy, (known by our customers as the bomb proof nappies) come with two 5-layer inserts (one hemp, one bamboo) and two 3-layer bamboo nappy inserts. The best thing about these nappies is that it really comes down to what you need but everything is there when you need it so you can play around to figure out what suits your family best.
Key takeaways on why modern cloth nappies are better
I think it's pretty clear on where I stand with cloth nappies. While it can seem daunting at the beginning, my best advice would be to just jump right in and get started. There are so many choices out there that there really is something for everyone and a nappy to fit every baby.
The fun part is figuring out what works for you!. And the best bit? Never having to empty a bin full of stinky disposable nappies OR doing a 10pm dash to the local grocers for a bag of nappies again.