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Talk to me about cloth nappies please

(32 Posts)
2ducks2ducklings Mon 29-May-17 19:46:30

I'm seriously thinking of using cloth nappies this time around. I like the idea of being more environmentally friendly (although I'm due in November so the tumble drier will inevitably be drafted into use, I'm aware this negates some of the environmentally friendliness). I also think they could possibly work out to be cheaper in the long run.
So with this in mind, has anyone used them exclusively?
Which are the best brands?
How many would you recommend I buy to start off with?
Are there any major drawbacks?
Any advice/input is welcome.
TIA

elio Mon 29-May-17 20:32:25

Cloth nappies are brilliant. There is a website called Go Real which is helpful and a good starting point. Also there is one called the nappy lady which has a detailed questionnaire about your washing set up and whats important to you etc which will then make you a recommendation. Your best bet is to see if your council do a trial scheme (here in Devon they do) and some shops do trial packs. What is best for you will depend on your baby and how you plan to wash/dry them. I can seem a minefield at times with lots of acronyms (like MN!) But there are lots of helpful fb groups too. You can save money by buying preloved ones too.

Just to give you a personal perspective, we did a council trial where we borrowed about 15 different nappies for a month from about a month old, when she was big enough to fit birth to potty ones (btp). We got on best with totsbots V4 (version four of the nappy) in the daytime and a totsbots bamboozle with a waterproof cover at night. Brought most lightly preloved from eBay and some new with council discount. My current all round favourite is the tots bots easyfit star. We don't have a tumble drier so we just got more nappies so we can dry them in time, just use the washingline or airer or airing cupboard.

Still using the same nappies at 20m and will use them for number 2 soon. I wash at 40 with ecover and we use reusable fleece liners.

One thing I highly recommend is using cloth wipes, much more effective and lots better for the environment!

I'm sure more people will be along with advice, there are a lot of lovely people out there who can help, there might be a better place to ask on mn to get more traffic? Maybe potty training?

Also, I'm due in November too! Congratulations x

SayNoToCarrots Mon 29-May-17 20:43:19

When I had my first I thought I couldn't be arsed with cloth nappies, but my mum bought me a pile of terry nappies, which are just squares of cloth that you fold, and hold in place with a grabber (was too scared for safety pins). Then you put a waterproof pair of pants on top. So far, so much faff.

Then in the first week after his birth, my son got through about a million paper nappies and my conscience got the better of me! I used paper outside the house (didn't feel like carting smelly nappies home with me ) and went back to them fully when he was walking (fewer wees/poos per day and also more leg movement).

SayNoToCarrots Mon 29-May-17 20:44:52

But anyway my point was I'll do the same this time as it was cheaper and I didn't feel like it was as bad for the environment.

mando12345 Mon 29-May-17 20:48:59

We were hard up with our first baby and I tried cloth maps for economy, no tumble dryer. I didn't last long I breast fed for hours at a time and I needed any non feeding time to do cooking, showering, sleep etc., it was just too much to wash cloth nappies too.

SpecialStains Mon 29-May-17 20:49:55

You can get bambino mio solos in Aldi, which are all in ones that work out pretty cheaply - and they're birth to potty size. They also have reusable swim nappies in at the moment which are very good.

We also got some pocket nappies (wonderoos) which are no quicker drying than the all in ones, but have poppers instead of Velcro which is useful at the moment as ds has figured out how to undo Velcro.

It's worth getting a few different kinds to see which fits your baby. We just throw our used ones in a lidded bucket (dry, no need to soak) then wash at 40 with detergent (no softener) and line dry to be as eco friendly as possible.

Good luck with the baby. Cloth bums are very cute!

SpecialStains Mon 29-May-17 20:52:18

Also, I have enough just to do one wash load every 2/3 days (which is why an air tight lidded bucket is important!) and it's really not been that much effort. I'm hoping they'll see me through a couple of children!

2ducks2ducklings Mon 29-May-17 20:58:10

Thanks so much for the info, I'll definitely see if the council have any initiatives at the minute (highly unlikely as they don't seem to have much initiative around anything, they may surprise me though).

SpecialStains Mon 29-May-17 21:23:39

Sorry, to answer your questions

I use them almost exclusively, except for full days out and when we're away. I went through a phase of needing to stick ds in a disposable at night, but now he's stopped night feeds we're ok back in cloth at night.

Downsides are that they are less absorbent than disposables so you need to change more regularly else they leak. However, cloth nappies are way, way better for containing poo!

If you are committed to full time, I'd start with 15 and see how you get on. Even if you only get a handful and use one/two a day that's a whole packet of nappies a month that's not going in a landfill.

It's also fine to just bung them in the wash with towels/whites etc if you don't have enough for a full load.

MinorRSole Mon 29-May-17 21:28:08

Keep an eye on fb pages of the major retailers. People like babipur often have offers on totbots and others. Also the eBay cheapies are good.

We used tbs bamboozles with a blueberry wrap and a combination of aio's. some from the wahm pages as you can get some pretty funk designs.

I clothed with twins and honestly didn't find it time consuming at all, and I loved not having the extra £20-£30 on my shopping bill for disposables

JohnLapsleyParlabane Mon 29-May-17 21:28:44

There are cloth nappy libraries up and down the UK. Most of them offer trial kits for little or no money. You can find your nearest one through the go real website.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Mon 29-May-17 21:31:00

OP if your council doesn't do trials then many real nappy sites do. Check out The Nappy Lady, Fill Yer Pants and Baba & Boo.

Trialling different brands is important as they fit differently. DD has always been super slim and many brands simply didn't fit her well - which means leaks!

Also be aware many cloth nappies cannot be tumble dried, esp ones involving bamboo or fleece.

If money is tight or you want to try a cheap but good option, Little Lamb brand does fitted nappies in terry cloth that can be tumble dried. They are quite absorbent, fit closely and are often on offer for 5 for 25 quid which is quite bargainous as nappies go. You would also need to buy a couple of waterproof wraps to go over them.

SquedgieBeckenheim Mon 29-May-17 21:31:56

The nappy lady does a trial kit which we had when DD1 reached 8lbs. From that we bout bumgenius nappies for day and little lambs at night. Used them exclusively till she potty trained.
Just waiting for DD2 to be big enough to fit them.
I find it far more faff to keep buying nappies and having to stock check to make sure we don't run out. Far easier for me to just bung them in the wash every other day. Everyone is different though!
Thoroughly recommend the nappy lady. We did her questionnaire before getting the trial kit. Ended up that the ones recommended were what we got on best with.

EezerGoode Mon 29-May-17 21:32:50

I had 3 under 3 all using terry towlings..they were shaped so I didn't have to fold them.just popped then in a water proof cover.wasnt a problem.soaked in nappysan all day in a bucket ,put wash on at night and hung out on line in morning..obviously I had enough for 2 days worth for 3 kids....however, I did use a pampers at night..didn't want to be changing nappies every couple of hours. At night..really wasn't a problem in the slightest.would do the same again.

screamingeels Mon 29-May-17 21:48:59

Love, love, love cloth nappies. I think they are way better and less icky than having a bin full of poo filled nappies!
Eldest DC is 10 so a while since we did our initial purchasing. We went with a trial to start, can't remember who - not nappy lady.. but same kind of idea. We used a mix of different type of pockets - with loads of different types of fillers. We used out and about, tip out poo in toilet, tie in nappy bag, sling in washing machine when you get home.
I got v. excited about buying (as good as) new ones do many colours/design/finishes. Furry leopard print blueberrys, shimmery purple totbots etc.
We never tumble dried - washed every 2 days, so you always have nappies hanging round the house. I cracked after 5 years - (2 kids) and went on to disposables when he was 2.

screamingeels Mon 29-May-17 21:52:14

Never had a problem at night but used motherease (shaped terries) with extra liners and waterproof covers - and some wicking felt ones. Pockets wouldn't last a night!

Thingymaboob Mon 29-May-17 22:52:03

Placemarking for future

MinorRSole Tue 30-May-17 10:19:13

We tumble dried all our nappies. Never had a problem. Didn't tumble dry the wraps though

sunbird17 Tue 30-May-17 17:06:04

I also would recommend doing the Nappy Lady questionnaire. Her suggestions made it much cheaper than if I had chosen myself. I have bought cloth nappies ready for DC1. I'm a little bit apprehensive as every person I have mentioned it to (except MIL) has told me that it's a terrible idea and will be a disaster! I live abroad and disposable nappies are really expensive.

Eeeeek2 Tue 30-May-17 17:13:45

Really recommend the nappy lady website, some great info on there. Get a lidded bucket with a catch to keep little hands out. Little lamb bamboo sized nappies are amazing, would really recommend these for night time.

Try eBay to get a few styles secondhand to work out what works for your little one

NotMeNoNo Tue 30-May-17 17:34:01

Bear in mind that whatever system you use, no matter how complicated it looks, after a week of changing 5 per day you will be a ninja at it!

I found cloth nappies were great. After a trial kit I used Motherease onesize stay dry which are a multisize nappy and I had about 18 of those all the same with the snap in booster. The Motherease wraps were very good too, had four each size. There are some good multisize pocket nappies too but I wanted the same of everything so DH and everyone could figure it out.

I put fleece liner and then a paper liner over each nappy and basically pre-folded them all so they were stacked ready to go. For wipes I just used cheap face flannels run under the bathroom tap and wrung out. This gives you a good big "no-messing" wipe, couldn't faff with those tiny muslins.

Washing I just flushed the solids on the paper liner (would bin now due to risk to drains) and put nappies in a dry lidded bucket, no significant smell really. Wash every 2nd night (nappies only) and dried on a ceiling airer or outside, tumble drier useful for backup. The ceiling airer I think was the secret , they would be practically dry by morning, they are so efficient.

Some children are particularly susceptible to nappy rash or improbably heavy wetters that might give you trouble but you won't know if you don't try. I did try some bamboo nappies but they take an age to dry.

It's not just the washing, it's the landfill. I had two in nappies at one point and the overflowing dustbin got the better of me!

Drawbacks - like being a vegetarian some people will think you are judging their choices just by yours. You can get carried away buying nappies. Upfront cost. Leaks - although I found not much gets past a Motherease Airflow wrap. Pocket nappies you have the risk of wet getting round the elasticated edge.

Bear2014 Tue 30-May-17 18:50:54

We loved our cloth nappies, and we lived in a flat, and DD was born in January. We hung them over the radiator on one of those sock airers. You can't tumble most modern nappies due to the PUL/elastic components. We did wipes as well, now pregnant with DC2 and theoretically costs for this baby should be very low.

We had a mixture of Bumgenius Elemental (slim fitting and absorbent), Bambooty and Tots Bots. Little Lamb 2 parters for night, but I didn't like overly bulky ones during the day with DD once she was out of just babygros.

Go for it - it's not that hard and you will never have to clean poo from your baby's back as containment is great.

2ducks2ducklings Tue 30-May-17 21:23:22

So there's no point in stocking up beforehand then? Should I buy a couple of each of the popular brand and see which suits best? There doesn't appear to be a place which loans out nappies in my local area.

ConfusedaboutSPP Tue 30-May-17 21:32:13

Love cloth nappies here too and don't really find them much more work. We didn't stock up beforehand, but bought ours when baby was about 1 month old, some of the reusables are huge on newborns. Over a year on we use disposables for travelling, or if we're out for long periods of time, but generally stick to reusables where we can. Like others have said, it's good to try different ones if you can and see which suits. Secondhand can be a good option but do be cautious (our secondhand ones became terribly leaky after only 6 months) so we have had to buy new now. Still cheaper than disposables.

As others have said nappy rash can be a problem, our DC had terrible thrush nappy rash which was difficult as the only way to eradicate in the material is high temp washing, not great for the environment and not too good for the nappies either. If you want to cut down on tumble drier use I recommend a heated airer (they sell them at lakeland) we wash nappies at the end of the day and then lie on the airer overnight so they're dry for morning, though they're not as lovely and soft as they would be in the tumbler!

Chottie Tue 30-May-17 21:39:58

I used cloth nappies in the 70s and 80s for my DC. They were towelling squares which you folded with bulk in the front for a boy and bulk at the back for a girl. They fastened with a nappy pin and then plastic pants went over the top.

I used to boil them up in a Burco boiler, rinse them through in a stone sink and then spin them in a spin dryer and hang them on the line outside. smile

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