It’s that time of year again! Excited shopping and scratching heads over what to buy for friends and family, including those who are expecting or already have little ones. Naturally we would suggest a reusable nappy, as they are truly an amazing present to provide for Christmas for another family.
There’s more than one way to “gift” reusable nappies, especially in the current times. We wrote in October about the cost of living crisis and how reusable nappies are a more important asset than ever for struggling families, so here is how you can spread the message for Christmas.
A reusable nappy isn’t just a beautiful-looking gift for a baby’s bottom, although this is a natural bonus! This gift is a long-term investment that will benefit the family for as long as their little one is in nappies. Just using one reusable nappy a day, in place of a disposable, can divert 912 disposable nappies over 2.5 years from waste disposal – this can be a lovely message in an accompanying gift tag. It will also save families money – if they slowly build up to go full-time (an average of 20 nappies), the savings can be up to £780 over 2.5 years. The natural materials and durable designs mean that they can last many years and on multiple children, automatically increasing the financial and environmental savings. It is a gift that will go a long way.
If you feel the recipient would want to try reusable nappies first, there are other ways of giving. You could sign the family up for a trial kit from a local nappy library, or a trial subscription from a reusable nappy laundry service. These are two ways to support local organisations in London, and to offer the parents a low-maintenance trial run of the nappies. The laundry service and libraries are also great resources for advice and support, so the family will be in good hands.
You might have reusable nappies you are no longer reaching for – for example, your little one has grown out of their first new-born set, and you need a stash of One Size nappies. Your friends may not have any, but there may be another parent who is expecting and has a larger stash that they no longer need. Swapping or donating is another form of gifting that is of little or no expense to anyone!
Our Reusable Nappy, Baby Clothes and Maternity Clothes Give & Takes have been one of our most successful events for years. It gives parents the opportunity to donate preloved items that are still great quality, and contribute to their local circular economy. At the same time, other families can come to our Give & Takes, ask questions about getting started and applying for a free Real Nappies for London voucher, and they can take away a bundle of reusable nappies and clothes, completely for free! In a time where families struggling to afford basic essentials such as nappies, and are relying on supplies from their local baby bank and charities, these initiatives are more important than ever.
Local Islington parent, Inês: “I’m expecting my first baby and have serious concerns about the impact of single-use nappies. These events are a great way to build a mini stash to try out a few different options and nappy systems before committing to a system we like. Zero cost, zero waste, win win!”
Gifting doesn’t need to look like a physical material gift. A simple act of sharing information about reusable nappies and our voucher incentive scheme with anyone – friends, your local NCT group, your midwife, nearby nurseries – will spread the initiative further and have a huge impact.
We always run monthly online demonstrations that are a short and easy introduction to parents who are new to reusable nappies, covering all the basic information from the three main types of nappy, to simple tips on washing and drying. All our upcoming dates are listed on our Events Diary.
If you have used reusable nappies yourself, you can share your experience on social media under our #RealLifeReusables hashtag and show parents how your nappies have worked for you and your family. We have lots of other suggestions for you on our Get Involved page.
If your local authority doesn’t have a scheme, or your friend doesn’t have access to a scheme, you can still take action and empower others to do the same. Reusable nappy schemes are not currently spread evenly across the UK, so reusable nappies are not accessible to every family, as they should be. The best way to invite local councils to have one in place is by hearing from local residents. Not only will it save families money, but local authorities will reduce their waste disposal costs and could divert their money for other purposes. You can get quotations and statistics from our handy factsheet, which advises you on how to get in touch with your local councillors and MP.
Jenny Weeks, December 2022