There is no proof that cloth nappies are less hygienic than disposable nappies. Unhygienic means not clean or sanitary (the latter meaning "relating to the conditions that affect hygiene and health, especially the supply of sewage facilities and clean drinking water."). Let's compare the two, disposables versus cloth nappies:
Disposables: lay baby down, take nappy off, roll it up, toss in bin.
Cloth: lay baby down, take nappy off, roll it up, toss in wetbag.
Not unhygienic, right?
The difference comes in after the process of changing the nappy. With disposables, once the bin is full, it goes to landfills. Where it takes up to 500 years to decompose.
With Cloth nappies, the wetbag containing the used nappies, goes home with baby. The poop goes into the toilet at home and the nappies are washed. Happy landfills!
(A side note about wetbags: they are waterproof and contain smells.)
It is more hygienic to change nappies as soon as baby has made a wee or poo. The longer a nappy is on a baby, the higher the chances are of bacteria growing, possibly causing a nappy rash (for both cloth and disposables). Dirty nappies are more prone to this than wet nappies. All nappies (cloth & disposables) should be changed every two to three hours.* Leaks can be prevented by changing more often.
South African Law
There is no law against using cloth nappies at a Day Care, Day Mom or Créche. Some child care facilities think that, but it is not true. In fact, the law is outdated and states that child care facilities require a sterri nappy bucket with a closed lid! No mention of disposable nappies!
(SACNU will be working on this, to update the Department of Health that soaking is not advised for modern cloth nappies.)
You can read more here:
Modern cloth nappies is no inconvenience to child care facilities. No need to use pins (they come in velcro closure or snaps closure). No need to rinse cloth nappies at day care. Just roll them up and toss in the wetbag. (Just like you would do with a disposable nappy.) Some child care facilities are very open to cloth nappies and even dispose of the poo (thanks to a liner) in their toilets. This is not a requirement. You can really just do what you do with a disposable nappy.
No folding modern cloth nappies. No soaking modern cloth nappies. This is 2017 after all ;-)
The parent of the baby in your care, will pack the nappies, prepped (for example lined with a liner), in the baby's nappy bag.
We are not against disposable nappies. There is a time and a place for it. But it is important to know how much easier modern cloth nappies are. They are kind to the environment. Cheaper in the long run. Contains no chemicals.
If you were given this link, please consider being open to the idea of modern cloth nappies. It is the parent's wish for their baby. The parent will give you a demonstration to show you how easy it is. You will be pleasantly surprised!
Day Cares, Day Moms, Créches
Modern Cloth Nappies are relatively new in South Africa. To some Day Cares, Day Moms or Créches, the idea is strange even. You're all remembering the terry squares and sterri nappy buckets, right? Fear not! There is a reason the word "modern" leads "cloth nappies" now. Let us calm your nerves: