The First Years

Swapping to Cloth

Firstly, my apologies for the slow third post. When I created this blog, I had visions of posting once a week and really immersing myself in the mum-blogging community. But my new boss, baby Maggie, had other ideas. She’s so demanding it turns out, that i’ve barely have enough time to brush my hair or clean my teeth each day. I also managed to fall down the stairs and dislocate my ankle a few months ago, which was impeccable timing with a newborn. Blogging, as you can imagine, came way down my list of priorities.

Annnyway, in among all the daily baby and ankle madness, I’ve been posting pics on instagram of Maggie wearing cloth nappies, and I’ve been getting asked questions by mums thinking about making the swap. So now I’ve got the chance to write my third post, I thought i would write about the nappies I bought and how I do it. I know when I was first looking into cloth, I got so bloody confused I nearly didn’t bother. All-in-ones, wraps, liners, boosters etc. What the frig is all this stuff? But after much trawling of the Nappy Lady website, and of course trusty old mumsnet, I managed to get to the bottom of it all. Contrary to what you might think, using cloth nappies is only slightly more hassle than using disposables. And for me, that small amount of extra hassle is massively offset by doing something better for the environment.

First thing to check is, does your local council offer any incentives? Gloucestershire County Council do, and that’s how I started my stash of Totsbots Easyfit Stars, a brand and nappy I have stuck with so far. These made-in-Scotland nappies are birth to potty, meaning a popper system is used to adjust them as baby grows. They are also all-in-one, and come with the wrap (outer waterproof cover) built-in, so no faffing around. The council voucher allowed me to get 4 of these nappies for £20, which is a great deal considering they usually cost about £16-£18 each. However, 4 nappies is not enough, and I have since purchased another 11, bringing my total stash to 15.

Some of these nappies were purchased from the Nappy Lady and some direct from Totsbots, but there are quite a few other online stores selling them. Basically, whoever was running the best offer – be it 20% off, 2 for 3 etc – got my business. I also got some new from eBay, where I suspect people are getting nappies from their council and sticking them online to make a buck. I did also buy some from Frugi, not realising there was a difference between the Easyfit V4s that Frugi currently sell and the Easyfit Stars I had been buying. The V4s are far inferior in my opinion, and I would not recommend them, despite being half the price. So when buying Easyfits, make sure the version you are buying is Star. It gets even more confusing as I have noticed there are slightly different Stars, but if you’re buying from a retailer you should be getting the latest and best ones.

You do not need to line re-usable nappies, but it is recommended. There are two types of liner you can buy – flushable and fleece. Flushable (thin, toilet-paper-like strips) are very handy for poos, which can then be chucked straight down the loo, but fleece liners are preferred by me as they act as a barrier between the wee and baby’s skin, keeping them dry. I tend to consistently use fleece, and add a flushable liner over the top if I think a poo is in the post. I bought Bambinex fleece liners and cut them down to size to fit the Stars. If I do end up with a pooey fleece liner, it goes in a tub with water and tea tree oil to soak – the same tub I use for my reusable cheeky wipes*.

I bought a lidded bucket off ebay to store Maggie’s used nappies. I leave the used nappies in the bucket – I do not soak them but do swill off any stray poo – and every other day, I chuck them all in the wash. I wash at 30 degrees for only wees, and at 40 degrees when pooey nappy is involved. If there is poo, in addition to a non-bio capsule, I also chuck in a scoop of Mio Fresh.

Eastfit Stars last Maggie 3-4 hours each. Any longer and they leak at the legs. Because Easyfit Stars are so absorbent and last so long, it follows that they are slow to dry and this is the reason you need so many. You will find they take well over 24 hours to dry if you hang them up in the house, but quicker out on the line in the sunshine (this will also help to remove any stains) or on cool setting in the tumble dryer.

What about at night-time, I hear you ask? We don’t use cloth nappies at night time, not yet anyway, so we are still using one disposable a day (at night). If you are wanting to do nights too, a bulkier nappy is needed. You will also more than likely need to add a booster, which is an additional layer of absorbency to keep it all contained during the long night time stretch. Maggie has been a fab sleeper since very early on and the thought of her sleep being interrupted because she’s damp is what’s put me off the night time switch so far – the kid wees A LOT.

The only other thing to mention is that reusable nappies are bulkier than normal nappies. Not ridiculously so, but you will notice baby filling out bodysuits and trousers more. If you are switching to cloth, look for baby clothing brands that are cut for cloth nappies so you get as much wear out of them as possible. I actually have so much to write about baby clothes as i’ve become quite addicted to spending all my money on them since having Maggie, but I will save that for later posts. And this leads me nicely onto my last point: cloth nappies are pretty. So pretty in fact, that changing them becomes quite fun (honestly).

This is not a sponsored post, and no one has given me any freebies to write it. This is just my own, unbiased advice. Of course, if Totsbots want send me a mountain of nappies to say thanks they are very very welcome. Happy nappy changing, mummies!

*Like most essential oils, tea tree oil is toxic, so keep baby away from that tub of water