Cloth nappies not to be sniffed at

Mother of three Samantha Smith prefers to use cloth nappies. Samantha believes they are better value than disposable nappies and are not as damaging to the environment which her baby daughter Kiara Mulligan (photographed here) will inherit.
Mother of three Samantha Smith prefers to use cloth nappies. Samantha believes they are better value than disposable nappies and are not as damaging to the environment which her baby daughter Kiara Mulligan (photographed here) will inherit. Claudia Baxter

IF you thought cloth nappies were the domain of 1950s housewives, think again.

A new generation of Ipswich mums are turning their backs on disposable nappies and adopting the old-fashioned way of keeping bub clean.

But forget about square nappies that require safety pins to fix into place, modern cloth nappies simply snap on and come in a range of colours and styles.

Leichhardt mother Samantha Smith ditched disposable nappies close to two years ago.

The 25-year-old started using cloth nappies when her 23-month-old son Phoenix was three months old.

She is now a cloth nappy devotee and is even a member of the Brisbane Modern Cloth Nappies group.

Ms Smith said she hadn't even considered going back to disposables with her five-month-old daughter, Kiara.

"I find it a lot easier than disposables," Ms Smith said.

"More often than not I would rip the tabs off and that would be a nappy wasted.

"The cloth ones are easy, they just snap on."

While she has two in cloth nappies, she said it only accounted for an extra load or two a week.

Ms Smith said she and partner Dane Mulligan were happy they could do their bit for the environment.

"Babies use thousands of nappies in the three years they wear them," she said.

"That's enough nappies to fill a house.

"To not have that going into landfill is rewarding."

Mum-of-seven Deborah Smith founded online business Cheeky Butts Nappies seven years ago from her Karalee home in an effort to cut down on her own costs.

She now supplies cloth nappies to mums across the country.

Her range of nappies fit most babies from birth up to 18kg.

Ms Smith said since setting up her business, there had been a steady increase in the number of mothers favouring the option.

"It is a broad spectrum of mums who are using them, particularly younger mums," she said.

Likewise Brassall mum Nicole Zeidler, who runs cloth nappy company Krap Katchers, said more mums were choosing cloth.

Ms Zeidler said what typically held women back was the perceived time factor with washing the nappies.

"The older generation tell them how much time it used to take using cloth," she said.

"They don't realise how much has changed.

"Modern cloth nappies are as simple to use as disposables and once people see how cute they are they become addicted."


Nappy facts

  • Choice magazine reported that Australian babies use, on average, 6000 nappies before being potty trained at an average age of 2.5 years.
  • The first disposable nappy was sold in Australia in 1965.
  • An estimated 800 million disposable nappies are used in Australia each year.

Topics:  baby environment family mum nappies

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