Tag Archives: environment

Real Nappy Week 2018 – post 4

Nappy Ever After’s shop is open every Tuesday from 2-6pm, just show up, no booking necessary.  We also run a real nappy workshop one Saturday a month.  Check our website to book a place.  Our address is 81 Murray Grove, N1 7QJ.

Our shop is a 7 minutes walk from Old Street stations or 5 mins walk from bus stops on City Road and New North Road.  You can also reach us via Regent’s Canal.  Leave the tow path at Shepherdess Bridge.

We are the only place in London where you can see, touch and talk about washable nappies every week.  Many people these days are happy to buy on the internet but we are here for you if you want to see before you buy.  Babies are welcome!  You can try on a nappy to test out the size and fit.image

Nappy Ever After stocks all the major brands: BambinoMio, bumGenius, gDiapers, Bummis, Disana, Motherease and more.  We want to make real nappies simple.  Our trial packs allow you to start out at a low cost and build up your nappy stash based on your experience.  Choosing real nappies is much less stressful and risky than buying a pushchair as your investment can be spread out over time, based on what works best for you and your baby.

Don’t wait for Real Nappy Week to buy our £54.15 trial pack.  It is worth £70 and this offer is available all year round!  Real Nappies for London vouchers accepted.

We also offer a nappy laundry service, a weekly delivery of soft, sterile, cotton nappies.  We take away the used nappies to be washed and used again.  To be truly sustainable we do all our deliveries with an electric freight bike which limits our geographical reach.  If you are interested please check our website to see if we cover your area.

 

This post is part four of a six part series of posts leading up to Real Nappy Week 2018 (23-29 April.) Nappy Ever After, a not-for-profit real nappy social enterprise is 15 years old this year. Working in partnership with local authorities and parents, we have tested out the market for washable nappies in depth, through offering a local nappy laundry service and selling real nappies face-to-face. What we know is that recovering the culture of reusable nappies is slow, but a significant level of disposable nappy waste is reduced when a culture of real nappies thrives in local areas.
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Real Nappy Week 2018 – post 2

Three years ago I watched a report on Channel 4 News about child poverty.  I was shocked to hear a Stoke primary school teacher say that 35% of her September reception children had arrived at school in nappies.   Let that sink in, as they say.

A while later, I was at a health conference and met a Danish IT consultant (who uses big data to improve health outcomes.) His response, when I told him that up to a third of children starting school in England may still be wearing nappies, indicated no shock or surprise. “It’s a UK thing right?” he said. “That wouldn’t happen in Denmark. We would find out this is happening and we would spend money on educating the parents. In the UK, you don’t spend money.”

What’s clear is that many children are toilet training later. Schools are installing nappy changing areas.   Children’s education is being disrupted by it. It should concern all of us that reception teachers are spending time NOT teaching because 1 in 3 children in the class are not able to take themselves to the toilet.

Public Health England has noticed this problem. It has made toileting independence one of the ten school readiness indicators Foundation Years has also noticed. Its document, supported by the Department of Education: “What to expect, when?” tells parents your child will tell you s/he needs the potty or to go to the toilet at 16-26 months.

What’s this got to do with Nappy Ever After?   We want to help people who want to use washable nappies.  In so doing, we help reduce London’s nappy waste. We run a nappy laundry service and give expectant/new parents the opportunity to see nappies before they buy.  If a household uses them, that’s one tonne less household refuse to collect and landfill or incinerate per baby.

However even if we reduce nappy waste through encouraging more people to use washable nappies, nappy waste will not go down if an ever increasing number of children are wearing nappies for longer and longer – for no medical reason.

London spends £20 million per year on the collection and disposal of nappy waste. We want to reduce this cost. We can think of better ways to spend £20 million. We need more parents and carers to receive good up-to-date information about potty training. No one wants to be changing nappies of a child who is perfectly capable and happy to take her/himself to the toilet.  Let’s do it!

 

This post is part two of a six part series of posts leading up to Real Nappy Week 2018 (23-29 April.) Nappy Ever After, a not-for-profit real nappy social enterprise is 15 years old this year. Working in partnership with local authorities and parents, we have tested out the market for washable nappies in depth, through offering a local nappy laundry service and selling real nappies face-to-face. What we know is that recovering the culture of reusable nappies is slow, but a significant level of disposable nappy waste is reduced when a culture of real nappies thrives in local areas.

Nappy Ever After Trial Kits explained

So you’re interested in using real nappies – you’ve heard great things about them.  But why are there so many different types?  How is it possible to make a choice?

Different nappies suit different babies AND different parents.  And you may find the nappy that works well at home during the day doesn’t work at night or when you’re out and about. You need to start using real nappies to find out for yourself what works for you and your baby.

Sounds daunting?  We can help you learn through your own experience for a minimal investment.  We sell an 8 nappy trial kit which will form the basis of your nappy stash.   Those 8 nappies will last about 24 hours.  While they are in the wash and drying you use disposables.  You will soon find out what you like best and you can work out what else you need.

Our trial kit consists of

Six small pre-fold nappies: these work from new born through to potty training.  They form the backbone of any real nappy wardrobe.  A pre-fold is a flat nappy with a central extra absorbent section – you do still have to fold it!   This short video shows how.  Pre-folds tends to be the preferred option for when you’re at home.  They are simple and durable and cheap meaning you can bulk up your stash for a very low cost.  They also make great cloths on the changing mat when your baby is having bare bottom/nappy-free time.

One birth-to-potty all-in-one nappy (most of these have a pocket which you stuff with the absorbent nappy insert, so also called pocket or stuffable nappy.)  This tends to be the preferred option for out and about.

One birth-to-potty shaped nappy – which tends to be the preferred option for nights.

Two waterproof wraps: one sized with Velcro and one birth-to-potty with snaps (both go over prefold nappies and your shaped nappy)

A roll of liners to catch the poo so minimal poo gets on the nappy and thus into your washing machine.

There are 2 sizes, one from new born, the other from 6 months. You can buy the pack here.

NB You may have heard about high and low-rise nappies (not unlike high and low-rise jeans.  Some fit round the waist others below the tummy.)  This pack allows you to try out both so again, you find out which suits your baby better – if it makes any difference at all.

The main thing is to see changing time as enjoyable contact time with your baby.  Watch this short film on YouTube by baby brain guru Suzanne Zeedyk.  It shows that a nappy change can be very important stimulation to the development of your baby’s brain.

What can we do to make London air cleaner for our children?

As a London cyclist I am very aware of air quality.  So when I set up Nappy Ever After’s nappy laundry service in 2003 I was very keen to find out whether we could do our collections and deliveries without tailpipe emissions.  I attached a trailer to the back of my road bike to do the first delivery and collection.

Since then we’ve acquired a bike with a motor.  We’ve tried an electric van and a vehicle with a diesel engine.  We’re back doing our deliveries by cargo bike with batteries charged on Good Energy – because it’s far more efficient.

It’s great to know our nappy laundry service deliveries are not contributing to air pollution.  However London’s air is bad and it’s getting worse.  Yes, we now have a mayor who understands the urgency (unlike Boris) and is going to do something immediately – replacing diesel taxis with cleaner taxis and putting less polluting buses on routes with the worst air quality.

But what can we do?  Afterall,  we are the traffic.

1   When you buy on the internet choose companies that don’t deliver to your door but drop off at collection points within a mile of your home.  This reduces diesel emissions in your street and is being considerate to others. (To be honest this is something we have not organised yet – although where possible we deliver by bike.)

2  Support more space for cycling.  Segregated cycling lanes are important to increase the number of people cycling.  They encourage people who are nervous of cycling in traffic to have a go.  This is especially important if you want to carry children on your bike or have your children cycling,  with you or independently.

3  Cycle with your kids.  Tomorrow, Sunday 5 March sees the launch of the Family Cycling Library.  This is a great initiative to help parents experiment and find out which bike is right for them and their children.

4  Ditch your car – if you are one of the few Londoners who still own one.  You are wasting money.  You will save money and stress by not owning one.  Take taxis and join a car club so you can hire the right vehicle for your journey when you need it.  If you think that’s more expensive than owning one, do the maths!

Most importantly have fun!  Being on two (or three) wheels is one of life’s pleasures!  We need to work to make it safer so more parents feel confident to ride with their babies (and kids) on bikes as is the norm in Amsterdam.

 

 

 

Beating new mothers with sticks, really?

“The terry nappy brigade (or washable nappy brigade) like the breast feeding brigade is  just another stick to beat new mums with,” said actress and mum of triplets, Jackie Clune on Jeremy Vine’s lunchtime BBC2 radio show, last Thursday (20 Oct 2016.)  I’m really sorry that Jackie* (who is currently playing Julius Caesar in an all female cast at the King’s Cross Theatre) feels like this.

For the last 20 years I have been watching parents spend far too much money on disposables and struggle with getting their 3 and 4 year olds out of them.  In 2003 I set up a business, Nappy Ever After to help people use washable nappies and find out if they worked for them.

It hasn’t been easy to get the message out there:  there has been a virtual media blackout on talking about washable nappies and potty training in an informed way because the disposable nappy companies spend big money on advertising space.  Even the BBC doesn’t like to say anything that does not reflect public opinion, even if that ‘public opinion’ has been bought by huge multi-national corporations.

But this nappy news item, despite what Jackie Clune said above, turned out to be different.  What was supposed to be a story celebrating the life of Valerie Hunter Gordon, the ‘inventor’ of the “disposable” nappy, became an item about the benefits of the modern washable nappy and the problem of nappy waste in landfill.  Hunter Gordon’s daughter even called the programme to correct the view that her mother was the inventor of the modern “disposable” and thus responsible for the nappy waste nightmare.  Hunter Gordon’s invention, the Paddi was a bio-degradable pad that sat inside a washable nappy cover – a very different product to the single-use nappy that contains super-absorbent material from polymers known as sodium polyacrylate.

You can hear the Jeremy Vine show nappy item here, fast-forward to 1 hour 9 mins.

For the record, the real nappy industry is  a small percentage of parents who have enjoyed reusable nappies and who want to share their knowledge.  We give information  and sell washable nappies because we have found them better for us, our wallets and most importantly for our children.

*Jackie, you asked on the show, what’s the point of giving up the convenience of disposables when wars are being waged around the world.  That thought has occured to me, but sadly, there is nothing I can do to stop the wars.  However I can help reduce nappy waste.    I can understand that real nappies may not work for you, but please don’t disrespect us with ill-informed cliches:  the other London nappy laundry company, Number One for Nappies was started and is still run by a father of twins (black and not middle-class.)

As people who are privileged to live in a land of peace it’s our responsibility to act in ways that work for us.  We can also try to increase the demand for single-use nappies that do not contain SAPs and could be composted locally.  I talk about this here.  That could be the best solution we know about for now, along with better knowledge about potty training as publicised by Kandi Burruss.  Humanity is at stake as shown by another theatre company, Complicite in its ground-breaking show, Encounter.

And Jackie Clune, if your triplets are still in nappies I’d be happy to give you a set of gNappies to try out on one of them.  Even if you only use washables some of the time you’d be reducing waste and you may even discover that you love them.  Actually they can be used with disposable inserts and are not unlike the product invented, so long ago, by Valerie Hunter Gordon.

Make the Change this Real Nappy Week 2013

Our plans for Real Nappy Week 2013

Our plans for Real Nappy Week 2013