The disposable nappy has undoubtedly revolutionised out society. The ability to quickly change a baby has meant more time to do other things. There’s no more slaving away, washing endless nappies.
But is that really how it is when you use real nappies?
The first disposable nappies as we know them today were patented and invented in 1948. Unsurprisingly perhaps, this patent was registered by a woman, Valerie Gordon. She was one of the many women who had attempted to create disposable diapers to save much needed time. To say it was a revolution is not an understatement.
With less time spent constantly juggling between laundry and changing, new mothers could keep on top of things better. Of course, raising a baby was still hard work, especially in an era where the father was not involved in the domestic side of life, but a little bit of pressure was taken off.
For many households in the UK and Europe at the time, the thought of having a washing machine was a pipe dream. After the Second Word War, a great deal of domestic electrical production was still on hold, far behind the development of the US. When washing machines started to appear for sale, they were far too prohibitively priced for the average household.
Real Nappies Today
With these old ideas in mind, it’s hard to shake off the image of washing lines full of wringing wet nappies hanging out to dry. Or a poor mother, stuck indoors indefinitely while there’s a conveyor belt of fresh nappies and dirty nappies. In our day and age, it’s not a common picture.
Saying that, it’s perfectly reasonable for a parent to want convenience, but for most of us, our circumstances are much different from a 1950s housewife. Most family homes have a washing machine, and many have a dryer. This changes the picture dramatically.
Also, real nappies have moved with the times. You get more than just a towelling square that you have to fold and affix with a safety pin. Today’s reusable nappies are available in a variety of styles to suit you. From all-in-one nappies with their no-nonsense fastening to the versatile products from brands such as Bumgenius nappies, the marketplace is very different.
Of course, it’s not just convenience that’s an issue, but expense. At face value, real nappies seem way more expensive than disposables, but you have to think of the cost over time. You will need to change nappy liners, but their cost is far less than reusable nappies. You’ll find that up to the point your child needs pull up nappies, the difference in cost is negligible. You might even have saved much more than you thought by using real nappies.
If you’ve been wary of buying reusable nappies before, maybe it’s time to look again. It might not be the hardship that you think.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Mike is a new dad, finding out about the economics of raising a baby the hard way.