Cloth Nappies in Modern Life

Disposable Nappies are a global problem !

Recently a colleague went to visit the Cook Islands and she learnt that the Island is encouraging its residents to use cloth nappies – see brochure link below.

The Cook Islands is a small island in the South Pacific Ocean. It has a population of 10,900.

All nations, big and small are tackling the issue of disposable nappies, it really is a global issue that need to receive lots of attention in the near future, if not now.


Cook Islands nappy service



Picture this……An MCG filled with disposable nappies.


Picture this….

  • In Australia alone 2.1 billion nappies are sent to landfill each year. This would fill the MCG seven times over every single year.
  • Multiply this by 50 cents a nappy and that is $1.12 billion dollars also thrown away.

So when you think about it….

  • Every disposable nappy sent to landfill since their invention in 1961 is still there and will be for generations to come.

Are cloth nappies the answer to early toilet training?


Is the simple answer Yes…when cloth nappies was all that was available pre 1960 the average age of toilet training was 12-18 months. We are now looking at average ages of 3 years old, and in some cases even 4 years old.

Here is an interesting article that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald in June last year.

Comments from Robin Barker, childhood nurse, include;

”It would seem now that many parents are not really potty training their children,” she says. They drift along and wait until the child is three or even four and hope they will come out of nappies in a couple of days. In effect, we have doubled the time that children are in nappies. There is also the feeling of, ‘What does it matter, what the hell’.

Barker believes the convenience of disposable nappies means there is less incentive for parents to train their children. There is also less incentive for children to learn because disposables keep moisture away from the skin, meaning tots no longer know what it feels like to be wet.

In Australia, 95 per cent of nappies used are disposable, up from 40 per cent in 1993. With the average baby changed six to eight times a day, this represents about 3000 nappies for each child a year. In Australia, disposable ”pull-up” nappies are now available for children 17 kilograms and over – the weight of an average four-year-old boy.

”The marketing techniques of disposable-nappy manufacturers have a lot to do with it. It doubles their profits to keep children in nappies for twice as long,” Barker says

She says the best results are achieved when training starts before the age of two and in conjunction with cloth nappies. ”Cloth nappies mean children understand the sensation of being wet.

This article confirms;

  •  not only have we contributed waste to landfill since the introduction of disposable nappies, but we doubled the expected impact by increasing the age we toilet train.
  • We are spending large amounts of money on nappies that we use once and then throw out (thanks to the well marketed disposable nappies/pull-ups).
  • Cloth Nappies are the answer to early toilet training.

Survey – Modern Cloth Nappies – tell us your thoughts!

Eco Bums is doing some research to see why some people choose or chose to use modern cloth nappies (MCN’s) and why others have shunned the thought of it. Our research will be used in a report to present to State Government to hopefully secure some funds to help us promote the use of cloth nappies.

If we understand why some people have chosen to not use MCN’s  then it will help us focus and direct our education program to this. So we definitely want some responses from non users of MCN’s.

The survey is anonymous, please take the time to take the survey and tell Eco Bums your thoughts 🙂





The damaging truth about disposable nappies

disposable-nappy-factsHere is an interesting little clip about disposable nappies versus cloth nappies.

It is actually an ad from the USA but it captures the facts about disposable nappies that will really help you think twice about continuing to use disposables.

What struck me the most, and is also the reason we run Eco Bums Cloth Nappy Library, is the strong contrast between the clean and perfumed appearance of disposable nappies against the hideous, dark amount of waste and pollution that is not obvious at first glance.

We would love to hear your thoughts about this video and stories about using cloth nappies.

Are We Too Busy????

Life has become very busy and we are now part of a generation who do everything on the run – we can do pretty much everything from our phones or Ipads………the question is have we become so busy and accustomed to convenience that our quality of life or more so the quality of life for future generations has become jeopardised. If we don’t start to take the time now to look after our world for our kids, grand kids and great grandchildren, what type of world will they be living in?

Technology and innovation have improved so many aspects of our way of life but have we now taken for granted the world we were given. We can enjoy and reap the benefits of both by taking the time look after our environment while at the same time exploring future developments which help us adapt to and ever changing and fast paced lifestyle.

A great move has been made already by eliminating heaps of plastic bags and slowly we are all  remembering to bring enviro bags with us to the shop……Councils have helped us keep track of our waste by supplying recycle and organic waste bins to encourage us to separate our rubbish – I’m sure by now this is common place in most households. Eventually by taking the time and utilising tools that are provided to us we can make changes that will have an impact on the health of our environment.

A common argument against the use of Modern Cloth Nappies is that they are too time consuming and most mum’s these days are too busy. The convenience of a disposable seems too hard to resist. The disposable was I’m sure a great innovation when it was introduced and for mother’s of that time seemed liked a great way to get out of the laundry!! However the impact of these on the environment has been disastrous….the stats will tell you this ( click here for statistics ).  Making life easier has now created a real environmental problem which is continuing to be ignored…….and its only going to get worse if we don’t make the time or effort to change.

Small changes by many can have a huge impact……..we want to encourage change and provide inexpensive ways in which you can make a difference – take the time to try MCN’s today it’s easier than you think!!!!!!!!!



Modern Cloth Nappies are so expensive!


Modern cloth nappies are so  expensive – we hear this all the time.

Well, they are expensive when you compare  the cost of one MCN to one disposable nappy. But, when you  consider the fact that you use your MCN for the entire  period from birth to toilet training, that’s a fair saving – in dollars  (not to mention waste)!

The average parent spends between $3,500 and $5,000,  per child, on disposable nappies and wipes from birth to toilet  training, whereas the cost of using MCN’s is $800 to $1,000  for that same period! At this rate, you only need to use your MCN for around 6 weeks before it pays for itself! And don’t forget, you can use your MCN’s on other babies.

Don’t be put off by the up front expense to purchase MCN’s.


6 reasons why cloth nappies are better than disposable nappies (+ 1 why they are not)

Check out this you tube clip from mama natural blog- it will provide you with information on why cloth nappies are better than disposable nappies.

Unley Council embraces Eco Bums

Unley Council embraces Eco Bums

Using Cloth Nappies – a Dad’s perspective

When Grace said to me that she wants to use cloth nappies, I was not surprised! I must admit, I never gave it much thought, what they look like, how to use them, will they be messy – until our baby came along.

Being a hands on dad I was tackling my first cloth nappy within days – and what a surprise. So easy to put on and take off with little mess. For the first 9 months we did not use liners.

Then there they were – where were they all this time. Grace tells me we did not need them because new born poo’s (pre solid food) is small and not messy.

And maybe she was right – but thank god we have them now. The liner captures the poo and I simply flush it down the toilet – no mess at all.

To wash them all I do is put them in the washing machine, like I do any other washing. Hanging them up to dry and folding them is easy too.

I give any dad out there (and mum’s) to give MCN’s a go – you will be pleasantly surprised about how easy they are to use!

Shopping Cart

  • Total: $0.00 (AUD)