An increasing number of parents who've discovered the modern cloth nappies - modern type of reusable nappies - have found with a splash of colour and a touch of style it doesn't have to be an unpleasant experience.
Acording to Choice magazine, 95% of parents use disposable nappies. That's up from 89% in 2001.
Some parents are simply not aware of an alternative or they think that using cloth means flat terry squares, complicated folding, plastic covers and lots of extra washing.
In fact, reusable nappies have changed drastically. They are as easy to use and look much like a single use nappy, but are made of environmentally sustainable fabrics like hemp, organic cotton and bamboo.
Lucy Westerman, from the Australian Nappy Network and a mum of two boys in cloth, said, "Gone are the days of pins, folding, and soaking. Reusable nappies have come a long way and their look is very modern.
Babies are now sporting chic and sassy new styles in slim-line and bikini-cut designs and nappies are made of breathable natural fibres. Cute and popular prints, bold colours and tie dyed swirls add to the fun and attraction of reusable nappies."
The breathable fabrics used in nappies are comfortable and healthy, and contrary to popular belief, they will prevent rashes occurring.
Clever use of fabrics like fleece or suedecloth helps eliminate moisture against babies' skin and no soaking means less use of detergent, minimising the exposure to skin irritating chemicals.
Regardless of whether your baby is in reusable or single use nappies, a rash can occur if a baby is left in a wet or dirty nappy for too long, so it's best to change either type frequently.
Suggest to a parent who uses modern types of cloth nappies that there's all those dreadful nappy buckets full of water and all that extra work involved and they can quickly reassure you that isn't the case. Makers of reusable nappies recommend dry-pailing, this means no soaking, and once any solids have been tipped in the toilet, nappies are stored in a bucket until wash day.
Modern, energy efficient washing machines do all the laundering work required and harnessing the sanitising and drying power of the sun makes reusable modern cloth nappies the ideal choice in the Australian climate.
Becoming a parent for the first time is an overwhelming experience and with so many reusable nappy options now available it's great to know there is a little help to navigate through the choices.
The Australian Nappy Network formed earlier this year as an independent non-profit advocacy organisation to support parents and help objectively spread the word about reusable nappies.
Other online communities providing support and information, such as ozclothnappies.org and nappycino.com.au, have been around for a little longer and have grown rapidly in that time, now registering more than 1500 users. The Bub Hub forum also has a lively modern cloth nappy discussion area.
The demand for reusable nappies has grown along with the online groups, but you won't find them on the supermarket shelves just yet.
An emerging cottage industry has sprung up in Australia, with many mums importing fabrics not widely available here, and with bright ideas and a passion for sewing, they have started selling cloth nappies online.
Some of the first reusable nappies available in Australia were imported from the USA, where the cloth "diaper" industry had already established itself. A large range of reusable nappy brands made in the USA, Canada, the UK and Germany are available here online.
It's not only the littlest members of the family who can benefit from the all-natural treatment. Any parent, or expectant parent, will be familiar with that sudden sense of responsibilty that goes with having a baby. Our ideas and values about all sorts of issues associated with our lifestyle and parenting can change.
A browse of the online stores will reveal not just nappies, you'll find clothing made from organic cotton, hemp and bamboo, natural skincare products and toiletries for the whole family, slings and carriers for infants, even environmentally safe cleaning products for the home.
Reusable nappies and natural products are mostly available online, however the Australian Nappy Network is working towards having an advocacy kit available in all states, that can be displayed at any event held by the network or at which it exhibits.
Article kindly provided by Tania and Lesley on behalf of the Australian Nappy Network