Can someone please tell me ALL about cloth nappies?(23 Posts)
I'm hoping that someone could please explain to me how cloth nappies work, how I get rid of the waste, do they keep baby dry etc?
I'm a second time mum trying to save some money but I don't want to do it at the expense of my son's bum!
I've had a google but nothing is really a substitute for first-hand knowledge and advice. Thanks in advance.
Look on the nappy lady website. So much info and she has a questionnaire which recommends you nappies based on your specific requirements. Also there's an associated FB group to ask questions and another to buy second hand if you want to save cash.
I did cloth with dc1 and soon with dc2... Spent about 400 quid but that's it now, no further expense. Did have pee leaks from time to time but easily solved and never ever had a poop leak. One case of nappy rash which cleared up really easily.
Putting them on to wash isn't the nicest job (my oh usually did it!) But when you consider the money saved, the landfill not used and the lack of chemicals on the babies bottom it more than makes up for it.
I found that pocket nappies worked best for my dc as he would just soak through the two parters. You need two boosters, one flat and one folded in half at the front for boys if they wee a lot.
To get them to not leak, I have to make sure that the leg elastic is pushed all the way to the join of his legs to the knicker line.
The pocket nappies we have are cheapo generics at about £3 each, but you need boosters and liners as well. The best boosters are hemp but they're expensive, bamboo are pretty good, and you could probably get by with just normal towelling ones (I prefer to use a bamboo and a towelling one together, bamboo as the flat insert).
I tend to change the nappy every 3 to 4 hours now he's 1 and haven't had any issues with leaking or nappy rash.
Get a load second-hand from Facebook, NCT sales etc, and see how you go - different shapes work best on different shape babies, but on the whole I found they didn't leak and didn't give mine rash unlike disposables. I generally used 2-parters at home and pockets or all-in-ones for nursery.
I researched it for a few months before baby arrived. Visited two nappy libraries. Sought advice from and lurked in two leading facebook reusable nappy groups. Spent £350 on a massive stash of one parters two parta pockets boosters of various materials liners and buckets. I was ready.
Lasted two weeks. The exhaustion of everything else meant we simply couldn’t. DS bum is fine and has never once had a rash.
Then donated the lot to nappy library locally
There are some good explanations on the web of the types you can buy. Within these types there are loads of different brands you can choose from.
I chose birth-to-potty pocket nappies because they were long-lasting, quicker to change than 2-part systems, and quicker to line dry. I regretted not trying out the newer hybrids before buying my stash. I think getting the type of nappy right is more important than choosing individual brands.
You may need nappy liners to boost your nappy's absorbency. You can find these on nappy websites. My son had sensitive skin but after some trial and error we found one with a microfibre top that wicked away moisture effectively.
Check if you get a voucher from your council towards reusables. It's good to pick up and test a few different types before investing in your stash. Lightly used nappies can be picked up cheaply from Facebook selling groups, and tested on your kiddo before you buy lots of any particular design. Discounts on nappies are always available during Real Nappy Week in April. Reusable wipes are awesome and very cost-saving - I can recommend Cheeky Wipes. IKEA do lots of good bins, we went with the stylish Knodd.
You will read lots of cloth nappy washing myths, especially that you only need a tiny bit of detergent. You need a full dose - especially in hard water areas. Check out the fluff love university for information.
Try a few different types off eBay to work out which ones you like/fit baby well.
I’d personally recommend little lamb 2 parts, particularly bamboo ones are brilliant for nighttime as they will hold lots of wee.
Nappy lady website is fab place to start.
And have you thought about reusable wipes too.
I agree with others, don't buy loads until you've had a chance to trial them as they all have pros and cons depending on baby shape, your washing/drying facilities etc. Made a big mistake with my first and bought a load we didn't get on with. Thankfully they go well second hand too so sold them all and started again with baby 2. Have used cloth full time since he was 3 months old and love them this time around
I am an experienced cloth nappy-er, but with my 9 month old ds, I just lost the mojo and am using disposables for the time being. It does take a fair amount of organisational skills to keep on top of the laundry, and I'm feeling a bit scatterbrained at the moment!
I prefer pocket nappies, because once they are stuffed to with my preferred inners, they are just as simple to put on as a disposable.
One thing that I've noticed over the years is that it's much easier for dc to do a stealth poo in cloth - it takes a while for the smell to permeate through all those layers....
Lots of places allow you to trial them first, sometimes for free. That's what I did, as I loved the idea of them. The reality though just wasn't for me. They were too bulky (both on baby and in my changing bag), weren't absorbent enough, and required a degree of organisation which just wasn't happening. Tbh, with aldi nappies so cheap, I think they'd have been more expensive too. Ut others get on with them fine, so if you're interested, try before you commit!
Eeeeeek2 proves the point about trying different types! We had little lambs at first and they were awful for dc, constantly soaking through no matter how many boosters there were or how the fit was adjusted. I have another friend with a girl who thinks they're the best thing ever and can't understand how my dc can defeat them!
Do you have a nappy library near you? They're great for advice and support, and most can hire you kits of different brands which can help clarify what's most suitable for your baby. Many can also provide long term loans if you decide you want to use reusables part time. www.uknappynetwork.org/find-a-library.html
Thank you all so much - some real food for thought here.
One of the things I do find difficult generally is keeping on top of housework so I'm worried about the constant washing but that's not insurmountable.
In terms of laundry, after the first few months I was only washing every 2nd or 3rd day
It’s really easy. I had a bucket with tea tree oil and water in to drop the soiled nappy in (liner with poo in in bin), tipped water down the drain and stuffed the nappies in the machine over night. I used disposables when travelling and my nappies did 4 children including twins . Don’t like shopping so for me easier than lugging home from the supermarket.
Sorry to jump on your post but I am also wanting to try reusables for the first time, and am also confused. I have an 18 month old who's nowhere near potty training yet and am expecting our second baby. Do they do a nappy that goes all the way from tiny to potty training. Also my local area does not have a nappy library I've already checked. Apologies if I'm being cheeky but if anyone has a suitable nappy would they be willing to sell me it cheap so I can try it out? I can't afford to buy a bundle at the minute. Again, apologies if anyone thinks it's cheeky but would really love to try them
Also when you change the baby do you change everything and wash everything as I don't understand that part
You could just buy flat terry, and nappy pins and learn to fold.
@Cookiesandcake My pocket nappies can be adjusted from birth to potty training. They have poppers on the front so you can popper up excess material for smaller babies.
When changing baby, remove nappy, if soiled chuck poop down the toilet, then chuck into nappy bin (which has a mesh liner that can be chucked in the machine). I use reusable liners and wipes so they all go into the nappy bin as well. When full after maybe 2 days, chuck into machine on high temp using powder detergent and I also add white vinegar to the drawer.
Check Amazon for cheapo generics, like this one for example where you can get a nappy and two boosters for less than £6 which you could trial. They do not have liners included but you can buy those from the supermarket (or at least you can in my Sainsbury's). You can see the front poppers that are used to adjust the size in the picture. Obviously you don't have to get that one, but it's one of the ones that I have and I love it! Just make sure the inside legs are pushed all the way up so they sit where knickers would sit or it will leak.
It's not as much work as everyone always makes it out to be. The only extra work is stuffing the nappies once they're clean and dry. Otherwise our routine is:
1. Dirty nappy off and in a wetbag (same as a disposable, you'd take it off and put it into the bin)
2. When full, unzip bag and put in washing machine (same as disposables - when bin fill you need to empty it). You don't have to touch the nappies, they all come out of the bag during the wash.
3. Line or tumble dry the inserts, line dry the wraps and stuff them. Bob's your uncle.
As for types, I kind of agree with everyone else not to go mad buying loads of the same kind in case you don't like them. A trial kit from a nappy library is a good way to go if you can. I personally found that using cloth part time during the day was in some ways more hassle than using them full time because the bag took longer to fill up and the nappies got smellier. I think if you're going to use them it's best to just commit and you won't know any different so it won't feel like extra work. That's just me though!
If your objective is to save money (as oppose to environmental reasons) then think very carefully, as the cost of cloth nappies can add up to as much or even more then disposables. Especially if you have a heavy wetter, or awkward shaped baby, or don’t stick with it and end up buying disposables as well. Having said that we were lucky enough to get on well with cheap pocket nappies from ebay so will have saved quite a bit by the time DS is potty trained.
We use birth to potty nappies but they didn’t really fit until about 2 months, so did have to buy some disposables as well, and didn’t use them overnight until about 6 months as the amount of stuffing they needed made them too bulky on a little baby. Both of these problems could have been fixed with the right cloth nappies (different sizes, more adsorbent materials etc) but the additional cost would have been more than a few months of disposables.
I have a rotation of about 50 nappies each with one microfiber insert and one bamboo, and spent £200-£250 on nappies. It would be manageable with fewer but I’m pretty crap with washing so this way I only have to do 2/3 loads a week and I don’t run out if I forget to hang stuff out straight away, or it rains when a load is outside. I tend to make up the whole load of nappies (stuffing inserts into pocket) so that when I come to change DS there ready and it’s no harder than using a disposable.
To answer some of your questions they do keep baby dry but to do this I find they need changing more regularly then disposables (every 3 – 4 hours) but DS has never has any problems with nappy rash. Disposing of waste is a little unglamorous but by the time you’ve cleaned up a wriggly baby who’s simultaneously trying to crawl away and pee on you, cleaning the nappy’s nothing. Milk poos are soluble so I just ran the nappy under the tap (BF, not sure about formula poo). Now DS’s on solids I tip the poo into the toilet, sometimes using toilet paper to knock it off, and then rinse out the nappy before putting it in the wash bin. You can use liners so the poo just lefts out and you don’t need to rinse, but we found that they hold the moisture next to his skin so prefer not to use them.
Ah brilliant thankyou gummygoddess that's much more affordable for me to try. And thank you for explaining
Thank you all for your input. I'll have a think and plan to try a few different types.
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