This week is real nappy week and since we are using cloth nappies, I thought I would share our experiences of using cloth nappies with baby number 2. I wrote last May, about why I was considering cloth nappies and this is what happened next. I’ve also included my top tips and detailed our cloth nappy collection (or stash).
Firstly I purchased a set of reusable wipes as I didn’t want the hassle of using cotton wool and water in the early weeks when baby wipes are not recommended. I’m still using them today and have 20 in total. You can read my review of our close reusable baby wipes if you would like to find out more.
When I was considering using cloth nappies the main thing that stuck with me was – if Henry VIII had worn disposable nappies they still wouldn’t have decomposed. Not one nappy that has been made has ever decomposed as they take 500 years. I’d been using disposables for 3 years and I’d never thought about it before but once I knew this I couldn’t stop considering making the switch. I had no idea there was an alternative option. When I thought about cloth nappies, I thought of the terry towelling ones my mum used. Nappy pins and buckets of nappies soaking before washing. I had no idea modern cloth nappies had moved on so much.
A few bloggers that I followed were using cloth nappies and shared their experiences during last year’s real nappy week. Before E was born we didn’t buy any cloth nappies. Once she was here we used pampers for the first few weeks and then tried to switch to a supermarket brand. She developed nappy rash so we switched back as well as trying various creams. It was difficult to get it to clear up and in the end, it only improved fully when we were using cloth nappies most of the time. She does still occasionally get nappy rash now which I would say is down to teething. Once E arrived, I sent off for my councils free nappy trial kit. We were sent 2 Totsbots easyfit stars free of charge. These are really good nappies too so it’s worth investigating if you are considering using cloth nappies. When they arrived they were far too big for my tiny 3 week old. We had decided though that we wouldn’t even think about cloth until our baby was around 8 weeks in the hope we’d be in more of a routine by then.
I’ve built up our stash gradually since then. By 3 months we were using them full time, washing every other day. Now I have another 4 close pop in (which are the most reliable nappy for E) so I can wash every 3 days. I’ve kept costs down by buying some preloved and new ones when they are on offer. I think we have spent around £300 which initially is a big outlay. That works out at £5.72 a week is we only used the nappies and wipes for 1 year. We are likely to use them for more than 12 months and the nappies can be sold on when we are finished with them which will bring the cost down further.
7 Bambino miosolo – These are all in ones so really easy to use and dry quickly due to being microfibre. Unfortunately, they leaked in 2 hours or less for us. I boost them now with bamboo boosters and they do last a little longer.
6 Close pop in – These are one of our favourites. Initially I had only 1 and I wasn’t a fan. I found them my bulkiest nappy. By 6 months though it was my favourite nappy and I have added more to my collection. They are intermediate in terms of drying time (2 part bamboo) but these are the nappies I feel happiest putting E in if I’m out and about so don’t want to worry about leaking.
5 Totsbots peenut wraps – I use these with peenut pads during the day or over bamboozles at night. We have 7 peenut pads which are bamboo. I love the peenut system, if the inserts are just wet you can simply change this and use the same wrap. You can do this 3 times assuming no dirty nappies happen. For this reason, the peenut system is another good option for trips out.
2 wonderoos v3 – another great nappy. I love how reliable this nappy is. The bamboo layer is really unique in how it folds so it drys fast. If you want to know more about these you can read my full review here (wonderoos v3 new designs). They are a little bulky but they do last us more than a couple of hours.
1 Charlie banana – this doesn’t work well for E. Mainly because it is microfiber so leaks quickly. I also found the size adjustment difficult to adjust too.
2 baba + boo – These don’t work all that well for us, leaking quickly. They have recently been completely redesigned though so they may be better now. I love the designs and they are a small company who were very helpful in advising me when I was considering using cloth nappies.
3 x Totsbots easyfit star – These are a great all in one nappy that work well for E. Being bamboo they do take longer to dry than microfiber.
1 x totsbots v3 frugi print – I love the print but it’s not the most reliable nappy for E as it is microfiber.
At night we use Totsbots bamboozles with a peenut wrap. Her clothes are always wet in a morning but the last time we were using disposables even they leaked at night so I put it down to her being a heavy wetter. She still wakes for feeds a few times a night so I’m hoping once she reduces her night time feeds this will improve.
Until now, the only time we’ve use disposables is on holiday. I go back to work in June and E will be in nursery 2 days a week and with my mum 1 day. At the moment the plan is to keep using cloth nappies part time when she is with me and perhaps my mum depending on how she gets on with them.
I have enough nappies to wash every third day now. I have a tots bot nappy bucket with removable mesh bag inside. It has a clip locked lid so all the smells are contained. There is no longer any need to soak nappies, in fact, soaking can damage modern cloth nappies so they are stored dry. When out and about in have 2 wet bags and again the zip contains smells well.
I mostly use fleece liners. I bought half a meter of fleece and cut it up to size. Fleece is essential over microfiber as it not only catches solids but keeps babies skins dry as it drys very fast. Disposables liners are available which I did use during early weaning.
To wash, I simply remove the mesh bag from the nappy bucket and place in the washing machine. First I do a cold rinse. Then I add a full dose of non-biological washing powder and wash at 40 C with an extra rinse to ensure all detergent is removed. Once a month I wash at 60c. It is important not to use fabric softner as this reduces the absorbency. Liquid detergent is also not recommended.
To dry, I have two on these octopus style pegs hangers. I hang the nappies by the inserts and dry either in my kitchen or during the summer on the line. Even inside, all our microfiber nappies are dry in 24 hours. We do have an airing cupboard as we have an old style heating system with a hot water tank. I dry bamboo nappies in this cupboard and they are dry in 24-36 hours. Bamboozles perhaps take nearer to 48 hours.
- The nappy lady has a questionnaire you can fill out and get advice tailored to you.
- See if you have a local nappy library. We don’t but I’ve heard they are useful for advice and trials when starting out.
- Find out if your council offer any incentives or trials.
- There are lots of places to buy cloth nappies and there are always some deals on. Babi Pur is my favourite online retailer but I’ve also bought directly from Tots bots. Tots bots often have good deals on their website and sell seconds. I bought my mesh wash bags as seconds and can not see why they were seconds.
- Consider second hand. There are lots of facebook groups for buying preloved. You can also get back some of the cost once your child is potty trained by selling your stash on.
- If you want to use nappies from birth, unless you have a big baby, you will need newborn nappies.
- Don’t buy all the same brand or type of nappy before baby arrives. Some nappies work better for some than others. I also like having a mix as they dry at different speeds and last without leaking for different lengths of time.
- Bamboo is more absorbent than microfibre but takes longer to dry.
- All in one nappies are the easiest to use but can take longer to dry (especially if they are bamboo).
- Two part systems require a bit more effort but dry quicker. By more effort, I mean that you need to take them apart to wash and put back together once dry. This really takes me very little time but if I don’t do it before putting them back in my daughter’s room my husband has no idea which bits go together.
I’ve put together a Pinterest board with my favourite cloth nappy articles and resources which I have linked below.
If you’ve found this post useful please consider pinning it for later.
Disclosure – This is not a sponsored post. I was sent 2 wonderoo’s V3 last year to review. All other nappies have been purchased myself. I have not been asked to recommend any of the brands or companies listed. All photos and opinions are my own. I have detailed my wash routine but I am no expert. Lots of people recommend different ways of washing.
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