Many parents in Great Britain today are trying flashy and fashionable reusable diapers, known as “nappies.”
Wendy Richards is called “The Nappy Lady.” She is an online retailer of limited-edition designer print diapers. When she first started selling nappies, the selection was quite plain, mostly white with an occasional blue or pink. She says, “Now the manufacturers are following trends. Llamas are very fashionable at the moment. Avocados are a new thing. Trends you see on parents’ clothes you now see on their [babies’] nappies.”
The fashionable prints may hook parents into using reusable nappies for the long-term. But environmental guilt has driven them to ditch disposables in the first place.
According to the Environment Agency, parents in the United Kingdom (UK) throw away eight million disposable diapers every day. On average, babies wear 4,000 disposable diapers each before they are potty trained.
Kate Yip is mother to four-month-old Piper. She was asked, “What’s been the hardest part of the new regime?”
She replied, “Teaching the husband how to wash them correctly.”
Bambino Mio is one of Europe’s largest reusable nappy brands. Founder Guy Schanschieff notes that when he began his company nearly 30 years ago, just two to three percent of parents were using reusable products.
He adds, “There was some independent research done a couple of years ago which showed 30 percent of parents are using some sort of reusable nappy product.”
In most towns and cities in the UK, there is a nappy library. Charlotte Osborne volunteers at the Peterborough Nappy Library. She says, “It works the same as a book library. You come in, you borrow some nappies to try, you take them home, and then bring them back to me.”
Libraries are very helpful because the cost of reusable diapers is quite high. They provide free kits for those who cannot afford the $13.00 rental fee.
Deborah Johnson is the mother of four-month-old Ruby, and it’s the first time she is trying reusable nappies. She says, “We spend all our time reusing everything else in the house. It seems counter-intuitive to be throwing out so many nappies.”
So Piper, Ruby, and many other babies in today’s UK certainly are sitting pretty.
(New old-school diapers are colorful and cleverly designed for easier use. AP)