Disposable nappies were invented in 1950 by Marion Donovan, an American inventor a mum whose bright idea to whip up a waterproof nappy cover from a shower curtain has changed the lives of parents everywhere. In the decades since their inception, disposable nappies have become more comfortable, better designed, and so convenient that very few parents are without them! Our friends at Rascal+Friends let us in on some secrets about disposable nappies that we never knew.
1. Your baby will go through almost 5,000 nappies between birth and toilet training.
That’s one reason you want to ensure their little bottom is as comfortable and cared for as can be! Wondering how many nappies to stock up on before your baby is born? Babies generally wear newborn nappies for about three weeks, and as newborns, they’ll need changing 10-12 times per day. So start with around 200 newborn-sized nappies, and buy more when you need them. Rascal+Friends Newborn Quad Packs contain 128 newborn-sized nappies (for babies 3-5kg) and are a great way to stock up without going overboard.
2. You need to flush the poo down the loo.
While the vast majority of parents simply roll up a stinky nappy and pop it into the rubbish bin, the proper way to dispose of poo is to tip it out of the nappy and into the loo, then dispose of the nappy. Yes, really. It’s better for the environment and definitely better for your nappy bin – you won’t have to deal with that whiffy smell every time you open the lid.
3. Nappies are great at stopping minor leaks.
Here’s a trick your plumber won’t tell you – you can use a nappy to temporarily stop a leaky tap or pipe while you’re waiting for the leak to be fixed, or nipping out to the hardware store to buy supplies. Simply suspend a nappy from the tap, or wrap one around a leaky pipe and tape in place. It’ll buy you a little bit more time while you get that leak sorted. Just make sure to check and change the nappy as needed, because even the largest nappy can only hold so much!
4. They can double as sanitary napkins in a pinch.
It may sound silly, but particularly in those early days after you’ve given birth, popping a nappy into your knickers instead of a sanitary napkin can actually work far better. Just snip the tabs off! They’re bigger than sanitary napkins, and more absorbent. They also have those handy elasticated sides which help keep leaks in. So if you run out of sanitary napkins, grab one of your newborn’s nappies and use that instead. We won’t tell.
5. You can use disposable nappies for all sorts of unusual things.
Here are some of the other weird and wonderful uses for disposable nappies, which you may never have thought of:
- Washing machine flooded the laundry room, or kids overflowed the bathtub? Use disposable nappies to easily soak up the water on the floor. No sopping-wet towels to wring out!
- You can use a disposable nappy as an ice pack. Simply pour water into the absorbent part of the nappy, then freeze. The absorbent crystals in the centre of the nappy make a great ice pack you can shape around a sore limb and secure in place with the tabs.
- If your child’s drink bottle leaks into their backpack and ends up soaking one of their books, open a dry disposable nappy and lay it between the centre pages of the book, in front of a fan. The nappy will soak up a good deal of the moisture and may just save the book from ruin.
BUMP & baby is New Zealand’s only magazine for pregnancy and early babyhood. Our team of mums and mums-to-be understand what it’s like to be pregnant in this connected age, and that’s why BUMP & Baby online is geared toward what pregnant women and new mums really want to know.