Last week was real nappy week so it seems a good time to write about nappies. I’ve used disposable nappies and wipes for the last three years on the ladybird but for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about trying cloth with baby number 2 (due in less than 7 weeks now). I don’t think I ever considered cloth with the ladybird. I’ve been doing a bit of research into modern cloth nappies though and they have come along way since the days when my mum had to use terry toweling ones with safety pins to fasten them.
I don’t know anyone else who has used cloth nappies, I don’t even think I have seen one at baby groups or in the shops, which I guess is part of the reason I’ve not considered them before now. I know my mum used real nappies but I’ve not mentioned to her yet that I am considering it, as I already know what she will say! I’ve heard enough stories about the mountains of washing and buckets of nappies soaking before they could be washed (modern nappies do not need soaking before putting them in the washing machine). My husband is not keen either mainly due to the extra washing. I’ve not mentioned them much to him yet and I’m guessing he has no idea what modern cloth nappies look like. Anyway as I said I have been doing some research so I thought I would share with you all the answers to the questions I will no doubt get when I mention cloth nappies.
Why use cloth nappies when disposable are so easy? Obviously, there is the environmental impact of all the disposable nappies we send to landfills, not to mention the costs. Although the initial cost of cloth nappies sounds like a lot, it is a lot less than we have spent in the last three years on disposables. We have been fortunate that Aldi nappies (much cheaper than pampers) have worked for the ladybird (apart from at night when we use pampers). Some of my friends have had to stick with pampers all day/night due to nappy rash with cheaper brands. Anyway, modern cloth nappies are nothing like as complicated as they were 30 years ago. The variety of cloth nappies on the market is amazing and confusing at the same time!
Many modern cloth nappies are no more complicated to put on babies than disposable ones. Just look at all the gorgeous designs available as well! so much more adorable.
What about all the washing? With the right amount of nappies in your stash (advice seems to vary from different sources about just how many is needed) you can wash every 2-3 days. With all the other washing that babies create (and a three year old as well), what’s another 2-3 a week?
What about how long they will take to dry? We don’t currently have a tumble drier but I can see this having to change even without adding in cloth nappies. Of course hanging them outside to dry is the best option but what about next winter? Well we have a hot water cylinder cupboard and I currently store our towels in there but I am thinking of using it for drying washing. Also, I’ve heard some nappies can come out of the washer almost dry so as long as I have some of these in my stash that should help. If we do go cloth I think most of our nappies will have to be pocket nappies or 2 part nappies with separate inserts which also dry fast.
What about handling poo/putting poo in the washer? To start with even with disposable nappies you can not get away from dealing with poo and also we’ve had many a poo leak on to vests etc. The idea is that poo should go down the toilet and you can get disposable liners that can help with this and be flushed away easily.
Where can I get more information? Go real is the cloth nappy information service and is full of useful advice. I’ve learnt a lot from this site including that my local council will give us money off (£25) cloth nappies or send us two cloth nappies to try for free (I plan to take advantage of this once baby is here). There are also lots of bloggers sharing their experience of cloth nappies including Tigerlilly Quinn and Leelee loves. Eventual mother has some great video review too which I just discovered yesterday. I’ve found her video real nappy awards videos really helpful and through them discovered Ecopipo birth to potty nappy v2 and close pop-in v2 (which is high on my list to try due to fantastic review and gorgeous prints).
Advice can also be found on all the online sites selling cloth nappies such as Babi Pur, The nappy lady (who offers a free advice service tailored to your individual needs, simply by you filling in an online questionnaire) and so many more.
The lovely people at Baba and Boo have even offered to send me a nappy to try so it looks like I will be back later in the summer to tell you how I got on.I will also be requesting the trial pack from my local council. After that, if I decide to carry on with cloth I would love to try some of the nappies I’ve mentioned above. I’d love to hear your experiences if you have used cloth nappies. Please leave me a comment if you do and/or if you have written a blog post on it.