When I decided many years ago that I wasn’t going to have children, their large footprint on the environment and the concern for over the future of our world were driving factors. Once our beautiful surprise decided to happen these concerns were at the forefront of my mind throughout the pregnancy. One thing I knew was that I was going to use cloth nappies!
It has taken a year to get my butt in gear (mum life!) but we have finally made the switch and I couldn’t be happier. In fact, I’m annoyed with myself for not doing it sooner as it was in no way a hassle and we have used so many disposables in that time!
Making the change
Changing from disposable to reusable nappies and wipes was surprisingly easy. I firstly used my local councils real nappies scheme, which offered either a starter pack of nappies, or £50 cashback if you were already using cloth nappies. It is worth checking your local council to see what scheme they offer! I requested the starter pack, which unfortunately didn’t fully arrive, so rather than the 6 nappies we ended up with three to test. We ordered a six pack to try on a part time basis alongside them and see how we got along. However, quickly ordered another pack as we found them so easy to switch too.
I fill the wipes box in the morning with some water and a drop of essential oil, I empty this out before bed each night and leave it open to air out – so we don’t get any ‘stagnant’ smells. Nappy wise, we have a nappy bin that I collect the wipes and nappies in throughout the day, I then wash them every day and simply pop them onto the washing line (obviously much easier in the Spring/Summer).
Using cloth nappies
We had some trial and error with how to fasten them at the right tightness to avoid leaks, or marks on bubbas body. Once we got that down, you simply pop a liner in (this is a must to help with poo removal), fasten and away you go! You will find that many high street clothes are not made for cloth nappy bums, but if you are conscious about your impact on the environment you have probably decided to leave fast fashion behind anyway.
The cloth nappies of the past are long gone, now there are so many styles, material and patterns, which means you can find the perfect fit for you and your baby!
We have found that the little one always leaks over night, this is not ideal as we co-sleep and I don’t enjoy being covered in wee, or having to rewash the bedding everyday – call me crazy eh? After some research I found that using a two-piece nappy with bamboo liners helps with overnight leaking as they are more absorbent. We currently are using disposables overnight until I get a couple more bamboo pads to use in our two-piece nappies (we only have one at the moment).
So, lets get down to it. The upfront cost of making the change can be expensive! You of course do not need to make the full change in one go, you can use cloth nappies part-time, only at home, or continue with wet wipes for a month or two until you replace everything! Some people will continue to use disposables overnight for piece of mind, any disposable you are no longer using is a fantastic step for the environment!
Overall we spent approx. £190 on nappies, a reusable wipes kit and waterproof bags (for on the go). Whilst this seems alot, we spent approx. £600 on nappies and wet wipes over the first year of bubbas life! Factoring in that these nappies can also be used for any subsequent babies, or sold on, the cost seems minimal!
What we use
I’ve thrown alot of terms at you that may seem confusing if you’ve never looked into cloth nappies before. The Nappy Lady has some fantastic advice for first starting out and I strongly recommend having a read through her articles to see what you think will suit you best.
We use the Bambino Mio miosolo all-in-one nappies for day-to-day which come in the cutest colour options! At night we will be using the Close Parent two piece with bamboo inserts. For our wet wipe alternatives we use the Cheeky Wipes cloth nappy kit – we also use Cheeky wipes for wiping down after food!
The real questions
Yes, I now wash every day. However, I always wash at the lowest temp, and shortest wash required. I also do not just wash the nappies, I throw in any other bits of washing that needs doing. This means that rather than doing lots of loads on the weekend I stagger my washing throughout the week, and it actually works out better for me!
Yeah, I wont lie, it is certainly interesting the first few times you deal with a poo, but its actually not that bad once you get the hang of it. We have moved bubbas changing station from the bedroom to the bathroom, which makes changes easier and helps to associate the bathroom with changing – I have read this will help when it comes to potty training, I will keep you updated ;). You put liners into your cloth nappies, so all you need to do it is remove that, and dispose of the poo into the toilet. The liner can pop into the bin and is the only disposable element of the cloth nappies.
Honestly, theres very little. The used nappies/wipes are put into a nappy bin which I do not close, if it is closed the smell can be pretty strong when you open it. The bathroom window is always open if we are in the house, and the bin is emptied daily, then put outside to air whilst the nappies are washed/dried!