I remember the first time someone mentioned using Modern Cloth Nappies to me. It was 2016, I was sitting in an ice cream shop and was pregnant with my first child.
Nope. Not gonna happen.
“Ew, no way”, was my first thought. I mean, where did this woman think we were? The 30’s? Somewhere off the grid? I mean, are we now churning our own butter now too?
No way. I was not going to use reusable nappies that I need to wash and dry and fold into origami shapes and have to touch poo.
Didn’t she know that society invented disposable nappies for a reason? Obviously not…
The reality of parenting: so many bodily fluids
Fast forward four years, that baby boy is now toilet trained and boy, oh boy, did I come into contact with wee and poo (and vomit). And I used disposable nappies with Forrest the whole time.
Over those four years, I started to become much more aware of not just my consumption, especially of single-use plastics, but also of the physical and mental effects brought on by the chemicals our modern-day world has made commonplace.
I began learning more about living a low tox lifestyle and started making my own cleaning products. I’ve become a huge fan of essential oils for curing pretty much everything. I’m also committed to feeding myself and my family as much organic food as I possibly can (well, as much as the budget will allow). And my focus has very much become “quality over quantity”.
To me, it was unbelievable that our supermarket shelves are lined with hazardous chemicals that we just spray all over our house and think “that’s not going to make me sick at all.”
Modern Cloth Nappies; not such a crazy idea after all
So when Tenai told me about how she was using Modern Cloth Nappies, I actually was really interested to learn more. Forrest was pretty much toilet trained by this stage but I got myself a few nappies and we used them mainly as swim nappies and occasionally in the day at home.
I also started doing my research on what is actually in disposable nappies and I couldn’t believe what I found. I shouldn’t have been surprised. How did I expect that all that fluid would stay absorbed? There had to either be some strong chemicals or witchcraft. And I’m disappointed to say it wasn’t the latter.
From Dioxins that can mess with reproductive hormones, to dyes that can literally burn the skin (I actually saw someone post a photo of their baby’s skin burns from a particular brand of disposables once). To perfumes which cause rashes and sodium polyacrylate which has been associated with toxic shock syndrome.
I was now kicking myself for using disposables and not having done this research earlier. But at the time, I didn’t know. It’s just what I thought “normal” people did.
One day, Tenai called me up to tell me that Bubakin was for sale and asked if I wanted to be apart of it. And my answer was a “heck yes!” Whilst I was still an absolute newbie, I was passionate about low tox living and this fit just right with the path I wanted to tread.
Over the next 12 months, I deep-dived into the world of Modern Cloth Nappies and discovered the wonderful world of passionate mamas, adorable prints and nappies that not only outperform every disposable on the market; but that save the earth in the process. And we get to avoid all those chemicals.
Then, in November, my second child arrived. And a chance to do this modern cloth nappy thing for real.
Time to do this modern cloth nappy thing, for real
Adelaide came 4 weeks early. In hospital we used the supplied disposables and for a week or so after. I didn’t really have my head around much else but eating, sleeping, feeding and hadn’t prepped my nappies so using MCN’s wasn’t a priority at the time.
But at around 2 weeks in, I started using our Bubakin nappies once or twice a day. Whilst I’d learned plenty with the redesign and release of our new V3 nappies, my practical experience was still lacking and I wanted to just ease into things.
Now at 11 weeks old, we are using Bubakin nappies (almost) full time. And I absolutely love it.
- I love that Adelaide is yet to experience any nappy rash.
- I love how cute she looks in the prints and that I can match her outfit to her nappy.
- I get this weird sense of satisfaction every time I change her that I’m ahead of the game by using reusable nappies.
- I’m proud of myself for not contributing to landfill.
- I’m always amazed just how little extra time using cloth actually takes.
- I love that I’m not putting yucky chemicals on her brand new skin, especially since she’s quite sensitive it seems.
- I love that we are yet to have a nappy blow out (that happened week one with Forrest…).
- I love that I can customise the fit and absorbency level based on what she needs.
- I love that a single nappy will fit from when she was born right through until she toilet trains.
And I love that there is this whole community of cloth nappy mums ready to give advice and support (even at those crazy nighttime breastfeeding hours).
But probably most of all, I love that I’ve been able to contribute to this community and help other mums realise that Modern Cloth Nappies aren’t “yuck” or hard work. They’re amazing yet simple and something we should all do to one degree or another.
Whether it’s using one a day, using them only when you’re at home, or going full-time; every modern cloth nappy used makes a difference to the earth, your baby and your wallet.
Obviously Adelaide is still brand new in this world but in just a few short weeks I’ve gone from feeling a little overwhelmed about how I would fit modern cloth nappies into my life, to feeling confident and proud of our journey.
For anyone considering if modern cloth nappies are right for them, I’d say that cloth nappies can work with any family’s situation; you just have to decide how that looks.
I know there are some die-hard cloth nappy users in our community and I seriously salute you for your dedication. But I know for Tenai and myself, our goal is to make modern cloth nappies accessible for all families – because one less disposable in landfill or on baby’s bottom is a step towards a better, cleaner, healthier world for our babies.