When parents think about reusable cloth nappies they usually imagine the old school terry squares and pre-folds that our parents and grandparents used back in the day.
Most envision the large pieces of cloth being folded, moulded and shaped to make them suitable-sized reusable bulky nappies for baby - but times have changed.
While traditional terry nappies are still popular with many, over the years modern cloth nappies now mimic disposables, just without the added waste. Reusable cloth nappies are more versatile, flexible and come in an array of shapes and sizes.
They now feature elastic in the legs and waist to ensure a comfortable and snug fit. As well as this, most cloth nappies are fastened with velcro or snaps making application quick and most of all, convenient.
One of the most appealing things about cloth nappies is the bright and bold colours and of course the appealing patterns available from the many sellers across the world.
For me, however, using cloth nappies has helped me save an absolute fortune in just four years and prevented over 10,000 nappies going to landfill.
Many will argue that using reusable cloth nappies isn't the answer to making eco-friendly choices within your home because they believe the environmental impact of how the nappies are made and of course, the energy used from repeatedly washing them but this is simply not true.
Using just one cloth nappy a day can make all the difference - you just need to be smart about how you use them. To lower the environmental impact of cloth nappies, it is advised to wash your nappies on fuller loads, to line dry where possible, avoid tumble drying and when replacing appliances such as your washing machine to opt for more energy-efficient appliances like an A rated machine.
If you used just one reusable cloth nappy a day costing €20 from birth to potty, not only will you prevent over 1,000 nappies going to your local dump to rot over 500 years but you could save over €200 in three years - just imagine the savings if you converted to full-time use and reuse the same nappies on subsequent children.
Get in touch with Cloth Nappy Library Ireland - a not-for-profit organisation where you can get a short term cloth nappy loans for as little as €25 including two-way express post.
The short term loans allow those considering cloth nappies to explore the various types, brands and to compare fit, absorbency and all the different features they come with.
It's a great way of comparing before you purchase and finding what reusable nappies suit you and your baby.
Here at Family Friendly HQ, we're all about making life easier for you and your family. Our podcast, Motherboard, has teamed up with Lidl to offer you 20% off the award-winning Lupilu baby range. Available at all Lidl stores in the Republic of Ireland, you can get your voucher here.