I've been meaning to do this post for a while but never got round to organising photos of each stage! Using cloth nappies is so routine and easy i didn't really want to take pictures in case it made it look harder than it was! Anyway it is nice to explain in case anyone wants to do it but is thinking it is a lot of work. Well let me tell you it really isn't. Once you are in the zone and have routine it is totally easy and no worse than running out of disposables and having to go out the flipping house to the shops to buy more.
So the reason you should use cloth? Easy. It saves you a heck of money. Oh yeah and of course all the environment stuff...i think that goes without saying. But really it is the money. Even with the cost of washing them. Water and electricity i hear you say. And still the answer is yes. You can read more on saving money here, here and here.
Now the environmental bit. A baby goes through about 5000 nappies from birth to potty. How scary is that? 5000??!!! And the trouble is even using biodegradable, although good because you are using a more natural nappy in itself, it will never degrade down fully in landfill because of the way our rubbish is thrown away. It is mummified instead. Sitting next to other rubbish means the bugs that would normally attempt to break down the nappy just don't get a chance.
Right lecture over with! This how it works for me....there are other ways! I think I started when Stanley was about 6 weeks old. Once i'd worked out what the hell was going on and that i can get dressed in the morning! This is Stanley in his snazzy nappy at 8 weeks.
We have two types of nappy. The bumgenius and totsbots. I personally prefer bumgenius - they are amazing. Hardly ever leak (unless i've left him in it for about 5 hours!) and hold all sorts of delightful poo. They are more expensive, but i think worth it. Remember as well the idea is that you can pass them on...saving more money the second time round! So an investment is worth it if this is your first and you're thinking, hey why not, lets have more babies!
We have about 20 nappies in total. I started with maybe 10 and increased my stash gradually. It cost with bucket and liner etc about £300 as an initial outlay. the ones in the pic above are a year old now and they look pretty ok to me - not stained or horrid and tatty, i would definitely use with my second baby...
So routine is as follows. Nappy bin with mesh liner. Dirty nappies go in. I put a few drops of tee-tree at the bottom as a natural antiseptic and keeps things fresh smelling! Weirdly the bin doesn't smell. We even keep in in the nursery with Stanley and i promise i can't smell anything no matter what is in there!
So, the bin is full and they need to be washed. Easy peasy with the mesh bag in the bin you don't have to touch anything - just pop the whole lot in the machine. The drawstring opens up and out come the nappies. I do a cold rinse cycle first. Then when stanley was just breastfed i use to pop in all his clothes and wash on a normal 40C with very little eco detergent. Now he is on proper food i don't very often wash his clothes in there...it all depends. I do wash on a 60C now. Body fluid changes when they start eating. Nice. So for me i feel i get a cleaner result!
Then hang on line and they are normally dry overnight. You can tumble dry the inner bits but I don't bother. In the summer it is brilliant they are dry in seconds in the sunshine and the sun bleaches any stains out of them. Then I stuff them - normally in front of the tv at night and hey we are ready to go again!
Now stanley is on proper food his poo leaves something to be desired. So i use these flushable liners and just drop that down the loo or in a nappy bin bag when i'm out and most of the horror has gone away. My washing machine thanks me for it too!
The other thing we use is these wipes. They are great, and again save you a fortune. They all get washed with the nappies as i throw them in the nappy bin too.
I use them out - it isn't really a lot more to carry. I have a bag that comes with me to put the dirty ones in and i take out the wipes too in another bag. All very easy. My nursery is happy to use them. As is my whole family. And of course my parents used cloth and pins so they think these are soooo easy!! I even packed them on a weeks holiday abroad because the villa we stayed in had a washing machine...and the hot sun dried them in record breaking time! no worse than packing disposables or buying overpriced uk ones when you're out there!
Any questions please leave a message in the comments. Or if you have any tips then please feel free to comment. I could have gone on more about all the little things - but i feel the basics are here - shout if i've missed something out you'd like to know more about! x
The one thing i will say is that no matter how hard i try i cannot find a nappy that works overnight. It was fine when stanley was waking to be fed in the night (up to about 8 months) because I just changed his re-usable nappy then, (i usually stuffed it with extra bamboo boosters to make sure he was dry for 6 hours or so) but now he is (mostly!!) sleeping through we have gone back to disposable. Still, using one a day doesn't make me feel too bad!