First Learning Australia is committing to using cloth nappies furthering our efforts in sustainability. These modern cloth nappies are shaped like a disposable and do up in the same way with snaps or Velcro, so no pins are used. Each nappy consists of a cloth nappy insert, a disposable liner, and a waterproof cover. The nappies are collected and laundered commercially to Australian Standards by Collect Laundry, a leader in the Commercial Laundry Industry.
If you would like to continue to use these at home, they are available for purchase at the centre.
Why We Use Cloth Nappies
According to figures released by Choice in 2010, Australians throw away approximately 2.1 billion disposable nappies every year, with the majority of these end up in landfill.
- It takes as much energy to produce one disposable as it does to wash a cloth nappy 200 times
- It takes twice the amount of water to produce one disposable nappy than is used to wash one modern cloth nappy for a year.
- It takes a full cup of crude oil to make the plastic for each disposable nappy.
- Disposable nappies use over 8 times more non renewable raw materials (different kinds of plastics made from non-renewable crude oil) and 90 times more renewable materials (paper pulp from wood) than modern cloth nappies.
- Real Nappies cloth nappies are made from environmentally sustainable materials.
- Natural cotton does not require chemical pesticides, and are quick to grow and can easily be produced on sustainable plantations.
- No-one knows exactly how long the plastic part of a disposable nappy takes to break down, but it is not biodegradable. It’s estimated each nappy takes between 300 and 500 years to breakdown. That means that part of every disposable ever put into a landfill site is presumably still there.
- ‘Eco disposables’ use less chemicals and generally contain less dyes and gels but take decades to break down in landfill as they are only biodegradable when composted under stringent conditions – which are not met in a standard landfill facility.
- Disposable nappies are full of chemicals such as Sodium Polyacrylate, Tribuytl Tin (a highly toxic chemical), chlorine, alcohol, synthetic perfumes, sodium lauryl sulfates and sodium flouride. Many of these chemicals have been banned in womens hygiene products and have been proven to be extremely toxic when absorbed through the skin, many with long term risks.
- The plastic that lines a disposable doesn’t allow air to circulate which can cause heat rash and skin irritations in some babies. More and more reports are emerging of babies and children who have received burns from the chemicals used in disposable nappies when they have ‘burst’ whilst being worn.
- Many parents are concerned cloth nappy use will cause nappy rash on their baby. Cloth nappies do not cause nappy rash. Independent research has found that as long as a nappy is changed frequently, the type of nappy worn is not a significant factor in causing nappy rash. The most common causes of nappy rash are irritation caused by chemicals (including washing detergents), bacterial infection or high acid levels in a babies urine. Our staff change nappies at a minimum of every 2 hours, unless soiled and then the child is changed immediately.
How it works:
On arrival, if your child is wearing a disposable nappy:
- they will be changed into a MCN at the first nappy change.
- They will be put into disposable nappy at their last nappy change for the day.
On arrival, if your child is wearing a MCN:
- If your child is wearing a MCN, we will proceed as usual, and have the MCN laundered commercially. You child will be sent home in an MCN. If you prefer, you are welcome to dispose of the disposable liner at home, bag the soiled MCN for washing and return it to the centre for laundering the following day.