Our interview with book and coffee-loving stay-at-home mama Emma has me dreaming of the day cloth nappies are the norm again. From making her decision to cloth because it keeps chemicals from young skin and assists with toilet training to being prepared and buying secondhand or in bulk, Emma is so full of practical and sensible advise that if you were to meet her, you’d never give disposables a chance. Here’s hoping Emma’s dreams – not only of more awareness of cloth nappies, but also a world in which women are more respected, heard and taken seriously – come to fruition.
Not a week has gone by since the first interviews were posted to this community on 1 April 2020 that I have not marvelled at the perspectives and wisdom offered by the parents who have generously shared their stories. As a latecomer to the cloth community (you can read my story here), I started this blog in the hope of encouraging more families to make the switch to cloth and supporting all families to make the best choices for their children and the future of all children.
In today’s interview with Nicola – kindness and honesty advocate, and mother of two girls who is happy to wait for the teenage years, she shares a quote about not doing zero waste perfectly, but instead encouraging everyone to do it imperfectly. It’s an approach she takes around her home in an attempt to teach her daughters to be mindful and conscious of others and the world around them. Her approach includes refusing to spend unnecessary money on “eco” products and including disposable products in her routine as the need has arisen. Nicola takes great joy in using and sharing cloth nappies, “but they are pee and poo catchers at the end of the day and they need to be able to do just that.”
It’s not a story you read too often, but in this household, it was Steph’s husband, Dave, who chose cloth. Steph says she was “scarred from the lingering smell of flats in the 1980s”, but Dave was to be stay-at-home Dad and set to become the cloth nappy advocate he is today, known to convert parents in the nappy aisle in the supermarket. Steph and Dave have four children, including three in cloth – two-year-old twin girls and a wee man born in August. Then there’s also their 16-year-old son but, back in 2004, cloth nappies weren’t on this couple’s radar. Today, Steph and Dave choose to reuse in the hope their children will have a world to inherit. “It might feel a bit overwhelming but, hey, so is bringing home a tiny human.”
Careen’s world is a juggle of mum life and business life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Alongside nourishing a world of love and trust for the two little men in her life, Careen advocates for mothers investing time in themselves so they can give their best to those around them in return. She openly shares her parenting and other experiences, including her developing waste reduction values, on social media as a means of opening conversations with many, leaving it up to them to choose to take action or make a positive change.
Adelaide mum, Candice, shared her thoughts on reusable nappies just a few short months into motherhood. She writes, as many do, about how she found using modern cloth nappies far easier than she imagined, attributing much of the early uncertainty to learning the lingo of cloth. It’s like an in joke, she says, and urges others to ‘just go for it’. “It’s so much easier than you think and actually kind of fun.”
I’m not going to lie, today’s interview is long. But Christabel – who describes her house of two adults and two children as ‘loud and messy and fun and vibrant’ – tells so many relatable tales of motherhood with so much wit and charm, I know you are going to love reading her words as much as I did. Christabel lives in Greater Manchester, UK, and describes herself as a fun/ loving/ lazy/ working/ creative/ tired/ ‘anything for an easy life’/ funny/ ‘trying my best but not always getting it right’ mum who is still learning to be kind to herself.
Sustainability guru and Cloth Baby founder, Emma, recently shared her thoughts on the rise of eco-disposable nappies and whether consumers are being misled about their environmental impact. Labels such as eco, degradable, biodegradable and compostable, she says, grab onto our heart strings and make us feel like we’re doing the right thing. We sat down with Emma to find out what actually happens to products that end up in landfill and whether eco-disposable nappy products are the right choice for you.
You’re going to love hearing from Emelia today. Because both her and her husband’s most treasured childhood memories were by the ocean, coastal living was non-negotiable when they became a family. They recently moved to the Gold Coast where they hope to raise their son in the same way they were: to take care of that which takes care of them.
Melissa’s story is proof you don’t need to get it right immediately with cloth nappies. She started using cloth from birth with her son, gave up, then started again when he was 15 months old. Just over a year later, her daughter was born and, this time, her cloth journey has been a continuous one. She credits the cloth community for its help and support in her stronger trouble-shooting ability the second time around. Her advice is to take it one nappy at a time and to try not to become overwhelmed – “at the end of the day they are just nappies”.