An Ethical Dilemma

I have been having an ethical dilemma for quite some time now!  I had the best intentions when Poppy was born, to use cloth nappies.  I was very conscious of the impacts of disposable nappies which apparently take 500 years to decompose, not to mention their manufacturing process and cost (at $33 per fortnight)!

I was very organised when I was pregnant and on the recommendations from family and friends, I made the investment and bought a starter pack of cloth nappies.  They looked great – I followed the instructions and washed them several times before use to aid their absorption.

My sister Janelle has loved them for her daughter and she gave me several lessons on how to use them correctly and I was all ready to go.

However … when Poppy was born, I became lulled by the ease and convenience of Huggies – what happened to my ideals of using cloth nappies?  She was too little for them initially and I kept telling myself I would wait until she was bigger.

She did become bigger and I started using the cloth nappies but to my horror I noticed after a very short time of Poppy wearing them, she had soiled her nappy, her romper suit and her outer clothes.  I had to wash all three items and pop her into a new change of clothes.  I preserved and each time I had the same outcome!

What – this can’t be happening?  It has become a sore point for me, as I feel as though I have betrayed my values.  I find it interesting that before you become a parent, you have so many ideals about how you will be – ‘I will only use cloth nappies’,  ‘Our child is not going to watch television’ or ‘I would never breastfeed my baby just to get them back to sleep in the middle of the night’.  Yeah, yeah – you just do what you have to!

My brother-in-law Corey (who always likes to rib me about my ‘conservation values’) even said:  “Larni, perhaps you are only a greenie when it suits you”.  Mmmm….maybe he is right!  Bring on the Huggies!

6 comments on “An Ethical Dilemma

  1. omchelsea
    Monday, 2 July 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    We use cloth at home and disposables when out, but I think those starter packs are actually the biggest turnoff and trap- If that style of mcn doesn’t fit your child’s body, you’re several hundrd dollars down and thoroughly turned off by the experience. The advice I’ve seen on so many places for mums starting out is to buy one of several brands. Get to know what works for you, then get rid of the bad fits and stock up on the winners. Our little girl is six weeks old and we’ve used 6-8 cloth nappies every day so far. If you think the trialling and research at the beginning isn’t worth it, that’s 240-320 disposables not purchased and not going to landfill, or about $100 huggies-bucks in my pocket. Her mcn have already paid for themselves.

    • Larni Davies
      Monday, 2 July 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      Thank you for your comment. Yes very true – a good idea to trial different types of nappies.

  2. Little Gumnut
    Monday, 2 July 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Ooh an interesting one. I too went and bought cloth nappies when we had our eldest (we now have 3!) along with two of my friends who had babies the same year. Only one of us persevered with the cloth ones for all of her kids. I found that once Pikalily started teething at age 8mths she was getting such bad nappy rash from the wee and poo sitting on her bum even for a few minutes that she was getting welts that were bleeding and was screaming. As you would!! Our terry nappies are now our trusty floorcloths. Sadly for the environment we went to disposables and never went back but I don’t regret it for a minute.

  3. Larni Davies
    Monday, 2 July 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Thank you for your comments – ah I am not alone! The welts sound awful. I enjoyed reading your blog too.

  4. NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad)
    Thursday, 5 July 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    We used cloth with our first son (many years ago) but our second son had so many issues (with lactose etc) that we had to use disposable nappies….and then with our other three we went with what was easy – cloth never was used again in our household!! But I do like the new look of the cloth nappies – when we used them over 17 years ago – they was only white cloth nappies on the market and they had to be folded to be used! With a plastic cover to go over them. Sure have come along way since then.

  5. Neri
    Friday, 6 July 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    My husband insisted we try a few different types of cloth nappies rather than buying a whole set and I’m so glad we did! The style I hoped to use was too leaky for my little girl and it actually took a long time for me to settle on something. Like you, I chose cloth for environmental reasons, and I can see why you’re disappointed you gave them up – but parenting is complex and demanding and it’s true, sometimes you just do what you have to do to get by!

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