I was determined to use cloth nappies full time for baby number 3 after dabbling for many years so of course I did what every busy mum does; I joined 10 Facebook groups and got super overwhelmed with cleaning routines and what type of nappy to buy. Here are the top 3 things I have learned along the way that I think everyone should know:
1. Whether you choose to use cloth full time or every now and again, it will save you money and reduce landfill and that brings me to my first tip: Start small. I’m a true Aries ‘jump in with both feet’ kind of girl and I knew I was going to stop buying disposable nappies, but it’s not how your journey has to begin.
Grab a small bundle of nappies, find your feet and build your stash over time. Play around with the fit, how to deal with different poop scenarios, wash routines and generally get comfortable with using them before you take the plunge and ditch the disposable. They will save you a lot of money in the long run but not if you buy a whole collection that you don’t like to use.
2. ‘Isn’t it time consuming having to scrub them every day?’ No parent has time for that! I can tell you I have scrubbed maybe 3 nappies in 10 months. When your inserts and boosters have a fleece lining anything ‘3D’ tends to roll off really easily.
Hot tip number 2 (no pun intended), if it doesn’t look like it will be an easy drop into the toilet let the nappy sit for a few hours. Once everything has dried a little it will be a lot easier and usually only needs a little rinse before dropping in to your dry pail ready for the wash.
3. I hated buying disposable wipes. We used a lot and they cost a small fortune. When I started using cloth nappies full time, I quickly realised that cloth wipes would actually be easier because everything could go in the wash together. You need extra items to put in your washing machine and the wipes do a great job bulking the wash up, along with any grubby (light coloured) kids clothes.
Don’t overcomplicate it. All you need is a cloth and some water. I wet them as I go and the super bonus is you can use warm water so no more upset babies when you use cold wipes on their bits. So grab a few packets of face cloths and rejoice that you only need one instead of 5 disposables!
There are a few more things to learn but the main point is don’t get stressed about it. Have your disposables on hand and if you’re having a tough day don’t be hard on yourself. I genuinely love using cloth nappies but I didn’t learn it all in one day.
Give it time, it’s worth the effort.