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Why Use Zappies
Why Use Zappies

Why Use Zappy Nappies?

There are many reasons why you would want to use the Zappy cloth nappy system but the main ones are:

  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Better for your baby's sensitive skin
  • Easy to use
  • Lower Environmental Impact


The average baby will soil 5,000 - 6,000 nappies before it has been properly toilet trained. That quantity of disposable nappies costs between $3,000-$4,000 depending on the brand.  If you have a second child that means spending another $3,000-$4,000

With the Zappy Nappy system you might spend around $500 to get  nappies, liners, and overpants.  There is then the cost of washing the nappies until the baby is toilet trained.  This might be up to $500 in electricity, detergent and wear and tear on your washing machine.  The total cost for 1 child is thus around $1,000 - a saving of $2,000-$3,000 over disposables.  However, the savings really add up when you have a second child as you already have your nappies so you just need to add the cost of laundering - $500.  The savings for 2 children is between $4,500 and $6,500.  It's easy to see how cloth nappies and, in particular, the Zappy Nappy system are extremely cost-effective. 

Better For Your Baby's Sensitive Skin

What could be better next to your baby's skin than a soft cloth nappy or a fleecey liner?  Disposable nappies are made of plastics and wood pulp.  Their absorbency comes from sodium polyacrylate powder or crystals.  When wet this swells into a gel. It has been known for the crystals to come into contact with the baby's skin.  Also, since the disposables absorb so much they are often left on longer than they should be providing ideal breeding conditions for bacteria.  Nappies, regardless of type, should be changed as soon as they are soiled - it is easier to tell when cloth nappies have been soiled and so they are likely to be changed sooner.

Nappy rash is less likely to occur in cloth nappies than in disposables.  Although there have been suggestions that there is no difference between the two, the statistics show that there has been an increase in nappy rash since the introduction of disposables.  In 1955, 100% of American babies wore cloth nappies (diapers) and 7.1% of American babies experienced nappy rash. In 1991, only 10% were in cloth nappies and 90% were in disposable nappies and 78% of babies suffered from nappy rash.1

There has also been some research that has shown higher temperatures inside disposable nappies2.  There is currently debate as to whether this could adversely affect male fertility. 


1. Journal of Pediatrics, 1959, Vol 54 pp. 793-800 "Relationship of Peri-Anal Dermititis to Fecel pH" by Drs. Tamio, Steiner, Benjamin
" Newborn Chemical Exposure from over-the-counter Skin-Care Products" by Drs. Cetta, Lambert, & Ross published in Clinical Pediatrics, May 1991, Vol 30 Department of Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, Loyola University Medical Ctr.

2. Scrotal temperature is increased in disposable plastic lined nappies. Partsch CJ, Aukamp M, Sippell WG.

Easy To Use

The Zappy Nappy is a fitted cloth nappy made of soft flannelette.  It uses Velcro® tabs to secure the nappy comfortably around your child.  It is as easy to use as a disposable - and doesn't take up any room in your weekly shopping trolley!

Lower Environmental Impact

The amount of waste going to landfill as a result of disposable nappies is around 145,000 cubic metres each year.  According to one source, this would be enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground three times over.  

Another environmental concern is the length of time these take to break down in landfill.  Estimates range from 200 - 500 years.  As there have been reports of newspapers from the 1950's in landfill still being legible, it seems a reasonable conclusion that disposable nappies will take a long time to break down.  

While there is an environmental impact in manufacturing cloth nappies, this is more than offset by their long life.  With proper care a cloth nappy will last many years and when it has reached the end of its useful life, it can be used as a rag.  Even when it is eventually thrown out, as it is made of cotton, it will break down as other natural products do.