I’ve been sharing over on my social pages a bit about our journey to cloth nappies. I have a fair amount of questions so I thought I would do a post rounding it all up!
We have used cloth nappies before. First time was 14 years ago. We had a dedicated shop in our town to cloth nappies, it was wonderful. I place to meet other mums, chat all things fluffy bummed and try and buy new nappies. Sadly it closed years ago due to not enough funding and so much is now online. As good as it is that cloth nappies are so readily available, there is something about being able to see and touch before you buy.
The biggest thing about cloth nappies for me is that every baby is different. There isn’t really one nappy suits all. Sure there are some nappies that I highly recommend and have great reviews for most sized/shaped babies which I will list below. But if and when you start your journey I would highly recommend getting a few to start with to try various brands out on your baby.
This post will be about the using, washing, drying etc of reusable nappies along with the brands we love and why.
Do you need to cloth full time?
Definitely not. To start with we didn’t. We used along side Kit and Kin eco disposable nappies.
We committed to sticking with this brand from day one, even though they are more expensive than most brands. The eco side of the nappy definitely is what won it for us and we knew we wanted to be using reusables full time eventually so making sure we were buying responsibly was a plus for us.
These nappies are great for never causing nappy rash and rarely have they leaked.
What about the poop?!
Ha! This is a popular question. When you become a mama you soon realise the most unpleasant things end up on you! For me it doesn’t phase me at all.
Newborn poo is loose, and will cover an entire nappy so there is no need to wash anything beforehand. Just shove it in the nappy bag and wash every day/every other.
In the newborn days there is so much washing anyway that it won’t feel like you’re putting a load on for not a lot of bits. I used to load the nappies in the Machine, do a rinse first. Then add baby clothes and the detergent and wash the lot together. I promise you won’t have poop on baby clothes!!!
Older babies over 6 months
So once baby is starting to wean you will notice a very quick change to their poo. It will become more formed, and a lot easier too fling into the toilet!
You can use flushable liners which are just that. You take the liner with the poo on and just flush away. For me I prefer fleece liners, they are kinder to babies bums (fleece repels moisture) and easier to get the poo to just fall into the loo! As well as giving your nappies a layer of protection!
Occasionally I will need to hand scrub a little with a soap bar, that generally gets the stain out. But even nappies that have stains but been through the wash, ARE clean! Sunshine is the best form of bleaching naturally, its magic!
Top: Disposable liner // Bottom: Fleece liner
How often do you need to wash and with what?
We wash every 2 days, sometimes every other depending on if he’s gone through a few extra than usual. I have tried a fair amount of detergents but for us the one that gets nappies clean and with no build up is VIOLETS powder. It’s also eczema friendly as we have sufferers in our house. I use 2-3 rounded scoops in a nappy wash. You must just make sure any detergent doesn’t have any softer as these ruin the absorbency of the nappy.
So I have a dry nappy bag, it fits about 15 nappies in.
I unzip the bag, put in the machine and give a little shake to get some of the nappies to come out in the drum
Start the machine on a rinse (NO DETERGENT)
Once the rinse is done, I then put the detergent in and start a cotton wash between 40-60 degrees (40 is fine for regular soiling but always 60 if there has been any illness or heavy soiling)
Once that is complete I do an extra rinse every few washes, just to keep the nappies free of any build up.
We do have a tumble dryer but most nappies don’t recommend drying this way now as it can reduce the life of bamboo fibres. I have a drying rack and use a dehumidifier in the bathroom. Obviously in good weather I dry on the line outside.
You can dry next to the radiator on one of those racks that attach but do not lay nappies directly on the radiator as the heat will reduce the life of the fibres and the waterproof PUL.
If you have a good amount of nappies, even if they take a day to dry (some bamboo and night time nappies) you will have nappies to still use whilst these are drying.
Out and about
A lot of people I speak to about reusables are concerned when they are out and about how to deal with cloth. Do not fear!
If you are going out all day I would recommend packing around 4-6 nappies for a baby over 6 months. We take reusable wipes as well as a small packet of disposable wipes as you may not always be near a sink to soak the wipes. If you don’t want to take reusable wipes with you then I’d recommend Aqua wipes. They are plastic free and biodegradable.
As long as you take the wet bag with you, just put the dirty nappies in and sort out when you get home (poop etc!) I can assure you, you won’t have a mega stinky changing bag. Roll up the nappy and place in the bag and there is minimal smell. Way less that a stinky disposable steaming in a nappy sack!!!
Sounds easy right?!
To start with we didn’t use cloth at night. Years ago when I used to cloth my previous children, we used little lambs bamboo nappies for night time use with a wrap over and plenty of boosting to last those 12 hours. I remember in the mornings my baby would often have red marks around their little legs and i just couldn’t get the fit/comfort right. Again this is something that will vary from baby to baby and I’m sure there are plenty of cloth users who get on just fine with night time.
So I was a little skeptical this time around to try and find something similar but with much more comfort.
Well……I think I’ve cracked it!
So we’ve been using the Petit Lulu Night time maxi nappies. Its a fitted BTP (birth to potty) bamboo and cotton fitted nappy with long and short boosters to add/takeaway depending on absorbency levels needed. Adjustable poppers at the front, you can really get a lovely fit with this. I vote poppers over Velcro nappies any day. Velcro can get very grey/bitty/non sticky very quickly in my opinion as well as dig into babies tummy esp when sitting as the waistbands are often quite thick.
Poppers have great adjustability which can make fitting a slimmer baby a lot easier.
Pretty much all night nappies need a wrap/cover as the whole nappy is absorbent. We’ve discovered Petit Lulu pull up style wraps and I wish I had these sooner. Game changer! They are so easy to pull up over a pretty chunky boosted night nappy, the fleece waist band and leg cuffs are super soft against skin and for night time wriggles there is no digging.
Night Nappy without wrap (showing the fit)
With the petit Lulu pull up cover
As I mentioned before, Fleece repels moisture therefore even though this wrap isn’t super snug around the legs it will not leak. Bodie is a heavy wetter, he wriggles ALOT in the night. He’s previously leaked through a disposable at night! But these nappies/wrap combo has never failed us!
So what in our stash?
*I will just note that we have quite a few nappies in our stash that are actually really hard (I got some off eBay) to get now but I have a perfect back up I recommend just as good as these*
Motherease wizard Uno stay dry BTP – We love these, they are very absorbent and super slim fitting – Wash and dry quickly
Baba and Boo BTP pocket nappies – This is our close second, slim fitting reliable nappies – Dry fairly quickly
Bare and Boho – Each nappy comes complete with a snap in soaker set- including a shaped and gusseted soaker and a booster. At change time, the soaker can be replaced with a fresh one. There for getting a good few uses out of one outer unless it gets soiled. These are great for out and about as you can just take a bundle of inserts with you to snap in each change. Drying time – Slower
Petit Lulu fitted Maxi night Nappy – Absorbent and sustainable bamboo. After some 6 washes, bamboo reaches much better absorbency than cotton. One size – (15-35 lbs)
Fitted nappy with long and short booster included. They are not waterproof and you must cover them by any nappy cover
Petit Lulu night nappy
Motherease wizard stay dry UNO
Baba and Boo BTP
Bare and Boho BTP nappy
And thats it!
I hope you’ve found this post helpful and I would love to know your journey whether you’re just starting or and old timer!
I’m always here for any questions so just ask!