Nappy birthday to Bishop's Stortford's reusable nappy kit library
A reusable nappy library is launching for the first time in Bishop’s Stortford, offering advice and support to environmentally friendly mums and dads.
The scheme is being set up by the Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth branch of the National Childbirth Trust, which has 155 members and provides parents with support through pregnancy, birth and beyond.
From its base at St Michael’s Mead Community Centre, it will offer reusable nappy kits suitable for all ages of baby, from birth to potty, containing a variety of cloth options so that parents can make an informed decision about which is best for them and their child.
Emma Munday and Kate Rutt worked with the NCT to set up the library after discovering a lack of nappy library facilities in the area.
Emma, 32, lives in Henham with husband Sean and their two children, son Seth, 3, and eight-month-old daughter Poppy. She is currently on maternity leave from her job with the Environment Agency.
“I was keen to use cloth nappies with my second child but was overwhelmed by the number of different types of nappies and options," said Emma.
"When I looked into hiring some from a nappy library to give them a try, I found that our closest libraries were almost an hour’s drive away.
"I spoke to some of the local NCT volunteers and we decided this was something we should be offering to parents in Bishop’s Stortford and the surrounding area.
“Around eight million nappies are thrown away every single day in the UK. Plastic waste is becoming a big concern for people and lots of parents are starting to question alternatives to single-use nappies. However, without the help and support of a local nappy library, very few are likely to give reusables a go – that’s where we hope to come in!”
Kate, 29, is a primary school teacher on maternity leave and lives in Bishop's Stortford with husband Alex and their son Thomas, who is five months old.
She said: “I've used cloth nappies full-time for about two months but had used them when looking after siblings previously. Having used cloth nappies before, I felt confident to use them again.
"I used the council trial pack, but as we didn't have a local nappy library it took time to try out different brands and find out what works for us without spending too much money. I decided to wait until my son was old enough for the birth-to-potty nappies to fit well and initially used disposables. I now have about 30 nappies and wash them every other day.”
Kate added: “As well as providing nappy hire, we'll also be able to help parents who may have already purchased reusable nappies but are having issues or need assistance.
"The nappy library will be held at the same time as the NCT’s very successful sling library, meaning that parents can also come just for a chat or to meet other, like-minded mums and dads.”
The library already has two birth-to-potty kits to suit babies from 8lb up and a newborn starter set. Each pack has at least 10 different nappies and washable wipes to try, including some of the common brands available in supermarkets.
The aim is to give parents a kit so that they can trial a range of different nappies before deciding which suits them and their child best and buying their own. Each kit should allow parents to use cloth every other day, or to trial cloth nappies alongside their normal disposables.
The mums are keen to emphasise the nappies are “really easy” to wash; just a rinse cycle and long cycle at 40 degrees (60 degrees for babies under 3 months) with non-biological washing powder. They should air-dry either outside or on an airer. Full washing instructions are given with each pack to ensure the nappies are well looked after for other people to borrow later.
The first nappy library will be held on Friday (March 1), from 9.30am to 11.30am, at St Michael’s Mead Community Centre and thereafter on the first Friday of each month alongside the NCT sling library. Neither library is just for NCT members; both are open to all local families.
The nappy kits will be available for £10 for a month’s hire. All proceeds will go towards buying more nappies to grow the library.
For more information and updates, visit the Bishop’s Stortford NCT Nappy Library Facebook page or email email@example.com