A very big Thank You to Jenny Weeks, Pedrick's team member and blogger at www.ecojeeks.co.uk for putting together this amazing guide to starting your cloth nappy journey! If you need any more help or tips, pop in store on Saturday mornings and Jenny will be here to give you all of her advice!
Cloth Nappies – a Starter Guide
Disposable nappies make up an enormous proportion of landfill and can take up to 500 years to decompose!
So, what is a bum-loving, environment-helping and economical solution?
Cloth nappies have been around for a while in the form of Terry squares, but in the past twenty years cloth has become better, easier and cheaper for parents. The research done by Tots Bots has revealed that it would cost parents an average of 0.03p per cloth nappy change as opposed to 8.7p per disposable change, so parents could save up to £750 by using cloth.
Types of nappies
Both the types of nappies below are Birth to Potty nappies, fitting from 8lbs-35lbs, so you don’t have to worry about buying different nappies as your baby grows.
An absorbent inner nappy and a separate waterproof wrap, ideal for night time
The Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretchies (inner nappy) and Peenut Wrap (waterproof wrap) are very popular with parents!
The inner nappy and outer wrap are sewn together, making them as easy to use as a disposable!
The Tots Bots Easyfit is a great day nappy to use both at home and out and about!
From bum to wrap
- Liner 2) Booster 3) Nappy 4) Wrap
Nappy liners are brilliant for two reasons – catching poo and keeping baby’s bum dry, especially at night. You can get fleece liners which are incredibly soft on the bum, or disposable paper liners that can be thrown away with your baby’s poo.
Nappy boosters are great for increasing absorbency in a nappy: popular materials for the most absorbent boosters are bamboo and hemp. Often nappies come with daytime boosters that can be popped in and out depending on your baby.
How many nappies?
Cloth nappy experts and companies recommend that you buy 15-20 nappies for the daytime, and 5 nappies and 2-3 wraps for night time. For accessories, 5 boosters and 15-20 fleece liners (or 2 rolls of paper liner) is a good set for your baby.
How often to change nappies
The guide below are approximate guidelines taken from The Nappy Lady:
- Babies under 2 months of age should be changed every 2 hours
- Babies from 2-6 months should be changed every 2-3 hours
- Babies from 6-12 months should be changed every 3.5-4 hours
- A soiled nappy should be changed as soon as possible, no matter how old your baby is
TOP TIP: If you are using a two-parter nappy, the outer wrap can be reused for every 2-3 wet inner nappies – just give it a wipe and you can use it again!
Nappy care and Washing routine
- It’s a good idea to pre-wash your nappies 2-3 times before you use, so that they have more absorbency for their first use. Once the nappies have been used 10 times they have reached maximum absorbency and will work at their best.
- Cloth nappies come with velcro laundry tabs which can be folded in so that they don’t catch on other materials in the wash
- For an easy nappy care system, you can dry pail your nappies by storing wet and dirty nappies in a nappy bin and washing every 2-3 days
- Put your nappies on a rinse wash and follow with a 40-60 degree wash
- Non-bio detergent is the best cleaner to use for your nappies
- Do not use fabric softeners or bleach as these can severely damage your nappies
- Using a mesh laundry bag in your nappy bin is great when it comes to washing day, so you can just lift the bag out of the bin and into your washing machine without having to handle your dirty nappies
- Nappies can be tumble-dried but it’s best to do this on low, as constant tumble-drying can reduce the life of your nappies
- If you can, line-drying your nappies in direct sunlight is a completely natural (and free!) way to bleach your nappies of any dirty stains!
Where to find support
- The Nappy Lady is a nationally-acclaimed cloth nappy expert – her website includes dozens of useful articles on different parts of cloth nappy life
- The South London Nappies network is an amazing organisation led by mums where you can get one-to-one advice and also rent trial nappy kits from just £1.50 per week so you can trial cloth without too much investing!
- Support groups on Facebook are great places to get tips and tricks from current cloth parents and also to purchase nappies second-hand and save even more waste!