When it comes to being an eco parents, we assess the environmentally friendly ways to keep your baby’s behind fresh and clean, by MDD contributor and new Mum, Johanna.
One thing that’s guaranteed as a new parent is that you’ll spend an awful lot of time thinking and talking about poo. It’s a cliche, but it’s also true that the contents of your baby’s nappy will become endlessly fascinating to you; how many, what colour, what consistency. Days will pass in a flurry of diapers. One thing that perhaps doesn’t get enough thought is what happens to those poop-filled parcels once you chuck them away.
In the UK, we use 8 million nappies a day, meaning more than 3 billion a year find their way to landfill, on average each one can take up to 500 years to biodegrade.
Also, this year water companies revealed they are spending approximately £88 million a year clearing blockages from water pipes, half of which are caused by the disposal of wet wipes.
It’s not a pretty thought, so in an attempt to do my bit for the planet, I set out to road-test environmentally friendly alternative nappies and wipes, comparing them to disposable versions.
The Nappy: BambinoMio Miosolo
BambinoMio Miosolo all in one nappy, £15.99 for one, £249.99 for a set that will take you from birth to potty training.
Here’s the biggest issue – they are pretty chunky. When you have a newborn who can be getting through up to 12 nappies a day, trips out with disposables can be a bit of a performance. Having to carry around soiled ones, even with the wet bag provided, is not the nicest of tasks. They also mean you need to make sure that any clothes are big enough to go over the extra bulge baby is packing.
Our boy seems very happy in them – the fleecy lining is soft against his skin even after several washes, and the adjustable poppers means that as he grows, they grow with him.
Although the initial outlay for re-usable nappies seems expensive – you will need around 15 to be able to keep them on a rotating wash cycle – in the long run it can actually work out cheaper than disposables, even once you factor in the energy bills for the additional washing. Especially if you have a second child who gets to make use of them too.
The nappies are very natty indeed. We were sent two – one with scenes from the circus and another covered in toucans, alongside a matching toucan wet bag, for storing dirty nappies when out and about.
The Wipes: Cheeky Wipes
The kit costs £39.99
Very easy. The set comes with two boxes – one for fresh and one for mucky wipes, a pack of 25 cloths, two bottles of essential oil (different oils for each box), a mesh bag for dirty wipes and two handy travel bags. To get started, just fill the two boxes up to the line with water, add a couple of drops of the colour coded essential oil to the matching box, pop the fabric squares into the fresh box and you’re ready to roll.
When you’ve got a dirty wipe, just sling it in the mesh bag and put it in the mucky box till you’ve got a washload ready that you can add the bag to.
If you’re heading out, grab a handful of wipes and stick them in the fresh wipe travel bag. Once used the mucky wipe bag will keep them stored away till you get home, and the mesh inner liner will unzip so you can put it straight in the wash.
Although it might seem a lot to carry two packs rather than one packet of disposable wipes, they are actually very compact. The wipes only lost a point for the fact that you might get caught short if your little one has an explosion and you’ve only got a few of the squares on you. My boy has been known to wipe out half a packet of huggies wipes on a really bad day. Which is actually another reason to use the reusable ones when you can – balance it out.
Very soft although they might become a little stiffer after a month or two of washing.
They aren’t cheap but like the nappies initial outlay would be made back in savings if you stop buying disposable wipes, however you’d need to keep using them for around a year to make them cost effective and I don’t know whether you might need to buy some new fabric squares in that time – 25 on rotation for a year might be getting pretty manky!
The box set is neatly designed to allow it all to pack up into one box when not in use and they are good sturdy white boxes with teal and leaf green lids, that don’t look at all unattractive in the nursery. You can choose from a range of fabrics in white or rainbow.
Disposable nappies are definitely more convenient on a daily basis, especially with a newborn. I had no time to consider even washing myself at times in those early weeks, let alone washing oodles of cloth nappies.
However, now I have at least a loose grip on this mumming lark, and as the boy moves on to solids, reusables are a much less daunting prospect – less messy to carry around certainly than a milk-fed baby’s.
Both nappies and wipes require considerable initial outlay so you may want to think hard and possibly buy one nappy or a pack of squares before you buy the full kit and kaboodle, but ultimately they should save you money over time. And there is always the option of mixing and matching – reusables at home, disposables when on the hoof, so you can feel you’re doing your bit for the planet and hopefully creating a bit of a better future for the baby using them…
Enjoy this review? Then check out our review on the UPPAbaby G-Luxe stroller here.
Milk Drunk Diary is an editorial blogzine based in the UK. We buy, borrow and receive products to test and review. Our opinions are always honest and our own.