Say "YES!" to Cloth Nappies
Three reasons to give it a go from a new Cloth Mumma
Don't despair! I'm a first time mumma and cloth nappy user here to tell you that you shouldn't give up on your cloth nappy dream. There are so many great reasons to choose cloth nappies over disposables.
Perhaps you hate waste and loathe the fact that your children's sporting grounds is built over a tip filled with disposable nappies. Or perhaps you appreciate how sensitive your little newborns behind is and want to avoid using petroleum-based products down there. Maybe, like me, you did the sums on your potential monthly spend on disposables and were shocked into considering cloth nappies!
Whatever your motivation, choosing cloth nappies is a great idea! But what happens when you start telling your friends and family your plans... in my case, the response was all too familiar.
"I give you one week until you give in to disposables! They are soooo much easier than cloth."
"You're making a rod for your own back. Do you really think hubby will help with nappy changes now?"
"Ewww! You know you will have to touch poo, right?!"
Well, I’m here to debunk these Negative Nancys!!
Lesson 1: Cloth nappies are not that hard.
I am already doing extra laundry since the arrival of my sweet little puke monster who wears at least three outfits per day so a load of nappies every second day is not a big ask. Plus, the old school terry square nappies I use as spit rags can go in with the nappies too!
Once the laundry is brought in, I would estimate that it takes me, or hubby or Nana, about 10 minutes per load to make up the clean nappies ready to go for next time. Is that really such a big ask every two days? In my experience as a first time Mum and cloth nappy user for the past nine weeks, I think not. At least I know I won't ever "run out" of cloth nappies and have to sprint to the shops to get more!
I will admit this about the washing routine with cloth nappies though... they may take over your living room when it's too wet or cold to hang them outside but I'm okay with that! It just gives your well-meaning visitors something to do when they next visit. Who knows? You may just convert them to cloth! YAY!
Lesson 2: If you teach them, they will learn. Your husband and your mum, even the carers at the daycare centre, will be able to use cloth nappies.
No longer are nappy pins and origami skills prerequisites to using cloth nappies! You have many modern cloth nappy options to choose from with each style having its pros and cons. I chose to use an "All-in-two" nappy style and when these babies are prepped, they go on like a typical disposable nappy just with press-snaps instead of Velcro for closure.
I will admit that hubby was somewhat dubious at the first mention of cloth nappies! But I made sure to share his first few nappy changes and after those lessons, he was changing nappies solo in no time. We are even using cloth wipes and he is coping just fine! I have also heard stories from other Mums whose daycare centre carers love changing their cloth bum babies even if it's just to sneak a peak at the pretty fabric patterns... they don't come with a warning about how cute babies look in cloth but they should!
The All-in-two style nappies may not be the cheapest option within the modern cloth nappy realm, but they definitely work for us. Other cloth choices including flats or prefolds with covers are cheaper but require a little expertise to get them on baby's bottom (Bubblebubs have a great range to choose from by the way!) Whatever your choice, time and practice will be needed, just don't give up before you start!
Lesson 3: You just learn to deal with number twos.
Whether you choose cloth or disposable, you will be initiated into the world of pee, poop and poo-plosions!
My midwife kept asking us, "How many pees and poos has Little Miss done?" each day after we left the hospital. A week later when our little munchkin's first poo finally came, there were cheers from my husband and I... I think that's the first and last time we were excited for poo!
Honestly, once you work out your system, dealing with poo-ey cloth nappies really isn't that bad. I use a microfibre liner which catches most of my newborn's poo and rinse any poo-ey bits off in the laundry sink. The liner and the rest of the nappy then go in the dry pail awaiting the next laundry cycle. You could even try disposable liners to save this step if you wanted. The dry pail system used for modern cloth nappies is great and far less stinky than a bin full of used disposable nappies!
And never fear poo-ey stains either. The sun is the most magical and amazing bleacher, you won't know where your baby’s poo-ey bum has been... even after those disastrous number threes!
One thing to remember is that no nappy, neither disposable nor cloth, is indestructible! You need to make sure you have a good fit from your cloth nappies (again, practice makes perfect) and consider choosing nappies that have extra gussets built in (the Bubblebub covers work wonders!).
My family and I are so happy we chose the cloth nappy path and hope that our story helps others with their decision. I hope that you embrace the journey into parenthood and encourage you to surround yourself with like-minded people who will support you and your decisions. If you have one of "those" friends or well-meaning work colleagues who think you're nuts to consider cloth, then I hope this article has helped you stay strong and give cloth a go. You can do it!