To cloth or not to cloth

Eight months ago a friend asked me for some cloth diaper tips. We do something different now but I’m glad we gave cloth diapering a go because I wouldn’t have known the real reason as to why I wanted to do it in the first place.


Here is what I said…

To be honest I was too overwhelmed to do research before Clover so I went with a friends recommendation. She owned a store and did all the research and gave me three new nappies to try. I ended up buying seven more covers and a bunch of inserts. But she must’ve bought her batch before they redid the design and I don’t actually like the new model so I don’t recommend it.

But! I do have tips so you don’t have to buy too much. As you know we’re digging the simple living and not wanting own too much stuff. My friend did give me great tips and I’ve read some stuff, but it seems people like excess so I couldn’t relate too much. So here is what we do and my tips 🙂

QUANTITY:

  • You don’t need that many nappies! We have 20 atm and having less is probably doable if it was hot all year round.
  • We do have more inserts/liners than the covers though.
  • We use pocket size nappies so the intention is to put the insert inside the pocket. We don’t do that. We have the insert in between baby and the nappy. That way when she does a pee we can just change the insert instead of changing the whole pocket (hence the need to have less nappies)
  • We have twice as many inserts as covers. We have a few thicker inserts for overnight and I’m still finding the right balance in terms of the kind of inserts I like. One option is to use terry towels folded in threes, but they’re not as absorbent or thin as the actual inserts (this was what we did when we started).

MATERIAL AND TYPES:

  • Go for natural material, cotton or bamboo are good. Hemp is good and sturdy but I’m yet to get used to it.
  • We have press studs instead of velcro as it seems to wear better and when you stick them in the washing machine it won’t get stuck to each other. (For velcro bibs I put it in a delicates bag
  • There are infant/new born nappies and then one size fits all. We got one size fits all so Clover didn’t fit in them until she was about four months (but every baby is different).
  • Get one that you can stick in the washing machine, I think most do!
  • Oh and I recently found out that microfibre is not supposed to go on the baby’s skin (which is what we were doing) and it gets a smell, no matter how clean it is because it seems to retain detergent. So avoid that if you can!

STARTING OUT:

  • We used disposable nappies at the beginning partly because there was a lot of change as it was and tried to just make it easier for us to start. Another reason is that their poo is very very different.
  • We used Aldi nappies and now thinking of going Naty nappies when we’re travelling <<Naty by  Nature Babycare is what we use now, and this is why>>

RESOURCES:

  • I always wanted to go to the Cloth Nappy library but never got around to it. Here are two in Canberra:
  • The Cloth Diaper Vlog that I found recently is ObbsandLala it’s freaking awesome! 
  • Whatever nappy you decide to use, look up the care instructions on the their website or contact them. If they’re a good company they should be more than willing to help. Bumwear was really good at this!

STORING/WASHING:

  • I used to wash ours every night but read that it wasn’t necessary so trying to do it every other night, which makes it easier for me. People do it for longer but I think that’s a wee bit gross.
  • We have a Little Squirt Water Sprayer which is super handy! It’s a sprayer that attaches to the toilet so you can wash the poop down. The only thing is that you can’t seem to adjust the intensity of the water.
  • Our routine is spray the poop down the toilet, squeeze it out and put it in an open tub in the laundry.
  • I use EcoStore Laundry powder, and only recently started using half the normal amount (for all laundry) because apparently that’s all you need!
  • I do a pre wash first in cold then do a normal cycle. We have a front loader and is eco so it doesn’t actually use enough water. I’m trailing out which method to use best atm but one thing that works is sticking a towel in there to trick the washing machine haha.
  • Breastfed baby poop is water soluble (which I didn’t know) so apparently you can just stick that in the wash.
  • Now, it’s inevitable that the inserts/nappies will get a bit stained, but stick them in the sun to dry and so far they all come out white!

BRANDS AND BUYING

  • So I used BumWear because it was ethically produced but because they use microfibre, it defeats the purpose of going down the owning less route, so I’m going to sell them. (I did however keep the wet bags and they are awesome.) This was a big thing for me because I hate wasting money. But at the end of the day you have to be happy with what you use instead of preserving with something just because you have it.
  • In saying that I love Hippybottomus! A friend uses it and I saw it for second hand so I thought I’d give them a try. They are pretty snug, easy to use and uses natural material.

ACCESSORIES

  • Wet bags are useful especially if you are going to be on the go (but even if you decide to go disposable, these are good for the poopy clothes).
  • A tub to store nappies before putting in the wash. There are a lot of different nappy bins, but I don’t know any that are for cloth. I got one from woolies, it’s small and fits in our laundry tub. It’s open because nappies aren’t supposed to smell!

TIPS

  • Now my main tip is totally to buy second hand! It’s not as gross as it seems, because they get washed (a lot). I had to prewash all my new ones and it too ages. I got Hippybottomus second hand for a fraction of the price. Just remember to ask when they got it and why they’re getting rid of it. 
  • Also don’t buy too much, because you may find that you don’t like it once you put it on the baby. Or the baby may be allergic to using cloth (that’s what happened to our neighbour). And if you do end up not liking it you can resell it, you may not get all your money back but at least you get something!
  • If you can, check out other peoples stash and ask your friends why they chose that particular brand or type.

That’s all! Hope it’s not too much information. If it’s too overwhelming, you can always decide to do cloth nappies after the baby is born. It’s really never to late and the baby won’t care either way, so it’s whatever you guys want to do 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions! To be honest, I wish I had someone to ask things to. I loved being pregnant and being at home is with Clover is fabulous but sometimes it gets so isolating and confusing that I don’t even know who (or how) to ask. Hope this helps! 

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