Our adventure with Cloth NappiesJune 11, 2015
I was in love with the idea of cloth nappies when I was pregnant. Big fabric squares and nappy pins were out making way for brightly coloured, elastic encased, shaped nappies. I set out firmly believing we would end up ‘mixing’ disposable and cloth nappies. The only hurdle was the price, I couldn’t believe how big an investment they were, I’ll admit I only had the courage to buy from the cheapest end of the scale.
We bought 6 in the first batch and a further 13 once I realised I would actually use them. The faithful one size (which we plumped for) really didn’t fit well enough for the first 4 months or so. No smaller newborn size for us.
Thankfully babies grow and here we now are being so very environmentally friendly. Was it my care for the world that drove me, or the sheer cuteness in the designs, or perhaps the natural fabric… nope – it was simple economics. I’m the first to admit disposables are easier, plus I made all the rookie mistakes.
Out of the wrapping and into the machine? I can sadly testify they need those 3-5 washes they say! In sheer joy that they are finally ready to be used, you whip out a nappy and an insert pad and try to side the latter into the former – note : sliding one piece of fluffy fabric along plastic backed fabric should be a ‘minute to win it’ game. Then comes the HUGE (but optional) nappy liners we split into 3 – cue scissors, and if that outfit was a little snug before you started you’ve no hope now. Finally it’s on, you feel triumphant, sit back and admire your eco-friendly, penny saving work… just for a short time at least.
Oh yes, I did end up covered in pee! I knew deep down that the magic expanding chemical gel stuff they put in disposables wasn’t there, that moisture will soak through, it’s the nature of fabric, but still we forget. Ergo more frequent trips to the changing mat and an extra plastic lined bag. The bit I dreaded was washing itself. The first try I hand washed and it took 2 days to dry – oh, a not very eco tumble drier is recommended, something we can’t afford or fit one in the house. However, washing turned out to be an unfounded dread – unravel, pull apart and throw in the machine as you go, add half a measure of washing powder and it’s done. OK, you may want a clothes peg for the noggin, but it’s a short lived meh.
It was a bit of a rocky start, they cluttered the drawer for a while, but now our clothes horse sports nappies 2-3 times a week – the sun dries them off in an hour or so. Once you realise they need to be stored pre-assembled and get into the habit of checking the leg elastic regularly, you fall in love with the bright fun things, or at least your wallet will. The more they are used the better they adsorb and the more the associated habits form. We revert back to disposables through the night and every time we leave the house for more than half an hour, but as long as the hot weather lasts we’ll be providing views of a beautifully coloured or patterned baby bottom.