Cloth nappies… they can seem like a lot of effort but as someone who is trying to be more environmentally conscious as well as hating waste I decided on cloth nappies as soon as I knew I was pregnant. I LOVE cloth nappies. They are easy to use, especially if you use MCN (modern cloth nappies) although the traditional flats are fairly easy as well, they don’t go into landfill right away like disposables which take an incredible amount of time to break down and with a good wash routine you won’t have problems with smells and rashes.
We didn’t invest in newborn cloth nappies because everything I had read indicated that baby would be in them for such a short time that the one size fit most (OSFM) would be used soon enough. BUT what I didn’t know is that I would have a small 2.725kg baby who would stay on the smaller side so it took about 9 weeks before the OSFM even remotely began to fit. 9 weeks of using disposables felt like the longest time! Because of EC (blog post on elimination communication coming!) I was putting E on the potty quite frequently and therefore going through disposables before they were really that full. My guilt at the wastage was high – if I could do this time again I would not hesitate at buying some newborn sized cloth, even second hand, as they can be re-used for future babies and then sold on or given away (and not go into landfill!). It took a bit of time to get into our cloth nappy groove once we started using them. I was nervous about going out of the house in cloth – it seemed like a big hurdle to overcome, especially with newborn poops! Slowly, slowly my confidence and comfort grew and now I wouldn’t be without them!
We also use cloth wipes at home – just a few of the face washers from Kmart/Big W although you can buy flannel, bamboo and other specific cloth wipes. We just wet the washer down with water in the bathroom before changing. It’s nice not to be using disposable wipes and they are no extra effort at all, just throw in the wash with the nappies.
A few tips for you if you decide on cloth:
-Join Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under Facebook group. This lovely group is very knowledgable and will help you sort out a decent wash routine to keep your nappies clean and your baby’s bottom rash free! There’s a lot of conflicting information out there on how to wash cloth nappies so you will need to make your own decision but really for me, following the information in the group I have to date not had any problems with my nappies (1 year in)
– Look into elimination communication. It doesn’t have to be complicated but EC really complements cloth nappies in a lovely way!
– Beware that you mayget a cloth nappy addiction. There are a lot of cute designs out there and you might want to buy them ALL. Not me though *cough cough*. Honestly I have enough for a 4 day wash rotation and this works well for us. My addiction peaked before having bub and has now settled down. I don’t feel the need to buy any more – thank goodness. It was scary there for a while!!
– Try a few different styles before you commit to a whole stash. I bought all of my nappies before I had bub but I bought a few different styles. I definitely have my favourites and would only buy these in future. What works and fits best for you might not for someone else.
– You might be concerned about the amount of washing required and dealing with poops. There are ways to navigate this problematic area (blog on elimination communication coming soon!) – the CCNDU group has some great tips, as well as lots of info on the comparison of using cloth vs disposable from an environmental point of view.
Enjoy your cloth bums x