Nappy days

When our babies were in nappies (nappies = diapers) we used cloth nappies. I rarely bought disposables: they’re way too expensive and not very biodegradable so we invested in some good-quality washable nappies instead. I have a tendency to get obsessed with things and I got very obsessed with cloth nappies. I look back on this now and wonder what on earth was wrong with me??? Of all the things to get obsessed about, why a bit of poop-catching cloth should excite me so much is beyond reason.

The packers have been in our house all day today and so we’ve been pulling things out of long forgotten spaces and have found a huge bag of cloth nappies. I have no need for these (they certainly won’t fit me when I get old and require nappies again), and I don’t plan to have any more children. But I was so excited to see them all. Modern cloth nappies are truly wonderful. They don’t require pins to do them up. Instead there are options like poppers and velcro: they’re much more effective at catching explosive breast-fed baby poop and I imagine they’re much more comfortable to wear. It must be a bit like the choice between cotton undies and disposable undies. The former are soft while the latter must feel a bit like wearing a newspaper between your legs.

Now I feel all nostalgic for these nappies but have no idea what to do with them. I think they’re probably going to have to come with us. Maybe the grandkids can use them one day.

Our house sold at auction today for just over 31% more than we paid for it less than three years ago. This is great for us but it confirms the need, in my view, for a capital gains tax in this country. I imagine that even if they brought in a CGT it would not apply to residential properties – so we still wouldn’t have to pay it – but it would have the effect of cooling the property market.

For reasons that I don’t understand, the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders voted in favour of a government that has no plans to implement a CGT. Doesn’t the political right want to encourage business investment? New Zealanders are investing in property at the expense of local business.


  1. Cloth nappies are ridiculously exciting. Fact! 🙂
    Mine lasted three children so I wasn’t too sad to get rid of them. I did however keep one which was covered in cherries and extremely fluffy – who wouldn’t want one of those!? 🙂

  2. Keep those nappies! For years they were the best window cleaners I ever had. Sadly, all gone now. Well, the ‘babies’ ARE 46 and 49. I wish you all a journey full of love, laughter an discovery.

  3. That’s great news for your house sale Rachel. I was surprised that you don’t have CGT in New Zealand. I loved those cloth nappies too, so much better for baby and the economy. Keep them, they come in very handy for all sorts of things. I had mine for years afterwards until they all shredded away… 😉

    1. Thanks, Sherri. My cloth nappies have found a home. An old friend read my blog post yesterday and emailed to say she wants them! So they are going to a good home where there’s a tiny bottom to snuggle. We’re very happy about this.

  4. Good news about the house sale, Rachel – one more thing to check off the list. BTW I still have the girls’ old nappies – just can’t bear to part with them. Ridiculous!

  5. my head started shaking and i started smiling at, “they certainly won’t fit me” and i laughed out loud at “explosive” and then i got a little contemplative with the CGT talk. nice post.

  6. I actually used to feel a little death inside me when I saw people using disposable nappies. For travelling and such like fine, but when you are at home, there are plenty of good real nappy systems available. I think you are right and even if there was CGT it would not be on your residential home. That’s what happens here. I’ve seen arguments for governments investing more in housing associations to help ease our shortage of homes, but not much on how to keep prices down. I think there is too much interest in making people think that they have accrued wealth without having to do anything 😦

    1. Denise, I feel the same way when I see people using disposable nappies. It’s such a waste and so unnecessary and they must waste thousands of dollars as well. They might as well flush their money down the toilet. We occasionally bought disposable nappies when we went traveling but more often than not, I would take the washables.

    1. I’ve heard of Freecycle but haven’t used it. We’r’e taking most of our stuff with us and the stuff that isn’t coming I’ve managed to find new homes for. I hate throwing things away so will usually sell or give it away if I can. Quite a bit of our furniture was bought second-hand too.

  7. I’ll get back with you on this discussion Rachel, I need the help of my Kiwi friend in Canada to translate this info so I can understand the emphasis you are placing on the CGT in New Zealand. At first read, however, I think, and am in a bit of disbelief, that your intent here is a generous one at that. Lets see if I got it right. You think because the sale of your house allowed you a profit margin of 31% above your original investment, that you “should” pay tax on that factor? Excuse my ignorance, or lack of ability to understand you correctly, perhaps I got sidetracked witht the “nappies” discussion and it threw me for a loop when you brought up profit and loss statements. I have a sense of humor you may notice. And regarding the “cloth nappies” yes, I completely relate. You brought up wonderful memories for me. The cotton flannel fabric I used for my daughter, who on the one hand I breast fed beyond the norm (but I did it in Canada and it wasn’t an issue in our neighborhood or among our close knit group of other mums etc….hahaha) ours were light blue and I had a ball using the “chinese fold” and washing them daily in my washer wringer machine by my kitchen sink. Lovely memories. Anyway, I am very happy for you your home was sold and you were pleased with the results.

    1. MicheleMiFi,

      Well, I am actually quite happy that we don’t have to pay any tax on the sale of our house. In my experience, when a CGT is implemented, the family home is exempt and I wouldn’t object to the family home being exempt from CGT. What would happen though is that a CGT would discourage investment in housing by people hoping to make a quick buck (since they would have to pay tax on that quick buck) and this would help to stop house prices spiralling out of control as is happening now.

      It’s great to hear from so many others who love cloth nappies too! I also breast-fed my babies longer than the norm. My first child was breast-fed for 2years and about 4 months and second child for 3 years to the day. That’s a total of over 5 years of breast feeding which is unusual these days. I don’t really know why women stop so early on. It has so many benefits for the mother (in addition to all of those for the baby) like reduced risk of breast cancer that it really seems like a no-brainer to continue until the child is 2 or 3 years old.

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