Cloth Nappies – Our Set Up

I thought I’d show you what our nappy table looks like (on a good day). I never really expected to keep up the use of the changing table but it’s particularly useful, I think, when using cloth nappies. It’s nice to know that everything is in one place, I’m not running around looking for somewhere to put a wet nappy, or nipping away from a naked baby to find a liner.

This is our changing area, it’s in Aidan’s room so we’ve made it quite a nice spot.

We have a changing mat, a storage box and the wipes on top.  The bin is on the floor to the left and the drawer on the right is our nappy drawer, this has our folded nappies, spare liners, covers and boosters.

The white bin is for rubbish the grey is for dirty reusables.

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On the left we have our reusable wipes and the clean water. In the storage box we keep disposable nappies for night time, we have some biodegradable single use wipes and below is a packet of biodegradable nappy bags.  We always keep a muslin and a towel on hand for snotty noses, sick, wet hands or wee! In the bottom corner are creams and hand sanitiser and a roll of bin bags.

That’s it! At the moment streamlining nappy changes is a must, Aidan’s quite the little wriggler!

Cloth Nappies – What do you need?

I feel like there are two options for starting out with cloth nappies.  You can ease in, in which case you’ll probably do really well with just a couple of nappies and something to put dirty ones in. You can build up from there as and when you feel ready.  Or you can dive straight in and get everything you need in one go.

Here’s what we use, it works really well for us but of course this is not the only way to do it! Try things and find what works for you.

1. Nappies! We have around 15 nappies in our regular rotation, and four night time nappies which we use if we’ve been a bit disorganised and nothing’s dry. We don’t currently cloth at night. I really enjoy having a couple of different types of nappy, I’m not sure why! We currently use two brands, Totsbots and Bambinomio. I’m going to do a more in depth look at our nappies in a future post.

2. Liners. Technically I guess these are optional but we find them to be absolutely necessary. There are a couple of different options: you can get reusable liners, biodegradable and, I believe, you can get flushable but I’m not sure if these are recommended as you should really only flush toilet paper down the loo! I made our liners out of an IKEA fleece blanket, I measured up against the nappy and just cut the blanket up into strips and they work brilliantly! The fleece helps keep moisture away from little one’s skin so even if the nappy is really wet he normally feels nice and dry. They also help protect the nappy and keep it clean. More on liners in a later post!

3. Wipes. If you’re going down the reusable nappy route you might as well use reusable wipes too if you ask me, but whatever you go for pick something that’s going to be kind to your baby’s skin. No point using a lovely fresh chemical free cloth nappy and then wiping nasties all over their little bum! More on wipes in a future post.

4. Somewhere for dirty nappies. We use a swing lid bin and a totsbots mesh bag. It’s tempting to get a bin or bucket with a tight lid to try and keep smells down but letting them have a little bit of air will help keep them fresher for longer.  We never keep soiled nappies hanging around, they always get rinsed straight away. Guess what! I’m going to talk more about washing nappies in a future post 😉

5. Wet bag(s). I know there are some people who just use reusables at home, we did that in the early days, but if you’re taking your nappies out and about you’ll need somewhere to put them when they are wet or dirty.  A zipped waterproof bag is all you need. We have one with two pockets, we use the smaller front pocket for clean bits and the back pocket for the dirty.

6. Nappy wash. Depending on what brand of nappy you choose, check with them about what they recommend for washing. Normally powder is recommended as liquid can build up more quickly.

That’s it! It really doesn’t need as much stuff as you might think. Like I said, there are lots of options and depending on which kinds of nappies work best for you there might be a couple of extra things you need.  Did I miss anything that you think is really useful? Let me know!

 

 

Cloth Nappies – When, Why, How.

Before Aidan was born we were firmly in the camp of the cloth nappy. After speaking to a few friends who cloth bummed, we made the decision to wait until he was around a month old and then to cloth in the day and use disposables at night. Pretty much everyone I spoke to said they found using cloth a night to be inconvenient and disruptive.  We ordered a tester kit from Totsbots which had a couple of options to try out.  We also got a few second hand nappies from a friend. Perfect! We had already saved money and we had everything we needed right? No stopping us now!  Well not quite.

We tried on and off but we just couldn’t get it to work for us, every nappy leaked and we were going through clothes faster than ever before so, we stopped.  We tried a biodegradable nappy which wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t quite as absorbent as the Tesco or Aldi brand ones that were sooooo much cheaper. We had to ask ourselves a few questions.  Why do we want to cloth nappy? Why is it not working? How can we make it work!?

We wanted to cloth nappy for two reasons really.

1. Cost. Sure the outset can be expensive if you buy all new nappies and if you’re like every other cloth bum mum/dad and can’t resist all the adorable prints, yes you could end up spending a lot of money. But in the long run you save money and if you use the nappies again for a second child you’ll end up saving even more!

2. The environmental cost. We know that nappies and baby wipes are really bad for the environment.  It’s really hard to justify using disposable nappies and wipes.

Here’s an article on The Nappy Lady from Totsbots about plastics in disposables vs reusables.

Why was it not working? The two main reasons it wasn’t working for us were that the nappies we had been given had been well used for 3-4 years and two children prior to ours. Cloth nappies, of course, do wear out and sadly many of the ones we had been given had done just that. The ones that hadn’t worn out however, were still leaking.  When cloth nappies are put under pressure by clothes or straps, like in a pushchair, they can leak.  We hadn’t taken Aidan’s, now larger, cloth bottom into account when dressing him.

So how do we make it work for us?

We bought more nappies.  We were able to make the second hand ones last us while we slowly replaced them, we now have around 15 nappies which we wash every other day.  We upped Aidan’s clothes size.  He’s now usually in a vest one size up from what he “should” be in and we are conscious of how tight trousers are on him. And finally, we persevered, and we got the hang of it.

We’ve now been full time (during the day) since January and it’s become so easy for us it’s a wonder that we ever did anything different!   We would definitely do it again next time round, probably from day one if we can get enough newborn sized.

To avoid this post being too long I’m going to go into a bit more detail on some of these points in separate posts.  I’ll add links to those posts into this post, so bookmark it if you want to see more details later.