How Nappy Freedom came to be
I spent many moments in my pregnancy searching out knowledge on the most sustainable, natural and affordable ways to do things. As a sustainability professional the idea of applying my values and skills in motherhood was as much an expectation as it was fun.
I stumbled across the idea of ‘elimination communication’ online and it blew my mind. We occasionally made the cue sound when we saw/heard our newborn peeing or pooing but it wasn't until she was three months old with steady head-control that we felt confident enough to practice one of the in-arm holds over a potty. As soon as I got our first 'catch' I was well and truly hooked, and all I could think was "why isn’t anyone else I know doing this?!?!".
I learned more about the topic via books, the US/UK/European based websites and social media groups that other mums had set up for this niche topic in their countries, and got to work on collating the information with the aim of making a simple but thorough information resource to help advocate for and aim to normalise baby toilet learning as an option in New Zealand.
If more people knew this was an option, and enjoyed the process (I was!), the potential to reduce landfill (via less use of disposable nappies) and energy spent (washing nappies, folding nappies), as well as help caregivers and little humans avoid rashes, unhappiness and embarrassment was my main motivator. After 2-3 months of practicing on and off I was well and truly sick of the process of undoing and doing up nappies to offer opportunities to pee throughout the day and I started calling upon my design and sewing skills I’d learned at high school to make my first EC-friendly clothing. It was so much more convenient, not just for easy access but also for my little girl to move around in (as she was learning to crawl around the 6 month mark) that I realised access to these would help a lot of people adopt this way of toileting. I bought some tiny training pants from Andrea Olsen’s Diaper Free and realised how much better I would be at catching pee’s if I could see the misses instantly through the wetness in the cotton training pants. The next step was to design a logo and set up a website to (1) get what I had learned summarised in an engaging and enticing way and (2) set up a store to let people show their interest in purchasing the designs I’d made and used so happily.
I decided on the name Nappy Freedom because the more common term of diaper-free and nappy-free implies nakedness in most people’s minds that hadn’t been much of my reality in this practice. Freedom implies that you are letting go of your utter dependence on nappies (that we’ve been marketed to assume is just a complete necessity in life, and better still for many years!) at the point that you choose, which could be much much much sooner than you might have thought possible.
Therefore I named my brand Nappy Freedom, as in the option to be free of nappies sometimes and likely sooner than if you are nappy dependent. Its freedom from exclusive reliance on nappies. You can make a choice of how much you use them.
I am now nearing the end of my year on maternity leave and have a few other things on the go as well but this topic has become a favourite of mine so please have a good look around the website, follow us on social media, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, or even branch out to buy someone who is expecting a voucher for our products or request a demonstration workshop for a few friends with babies of any age to introduce them to our weird and wonderful possibilities to help.