I’m not going to bore you with silly statistics. Going cloth is a personal choice, and needs commitment not only to yourself but the bundle of joy your working hard to nurture. If you don’t like the the thought of handling baby poo or the thought of dirty nappies in the washing machine then cloth nappies aren’t really going to float your boat.
If I’m honest I will hold my hand up and admit the cost of disposables was a big factor for us, I’m a practical person; it made more sense to me to invest in reusable nappies which have a re-sale value than to keep throwing my money in the bin. Don’t be put off by the initial outlay cloth nappies are a worthwhile investment, you never run out out them and there is added bonus is they can be used for the next baby as well.
The other factor was the fortnightly bin collections that run in my area, not too bad in winter but I can’t even begin to imagine the pong in summer, then there the obvious environmental factor. Our recycle bin often goes out fuller than our general waste bin, We try to do our bit!
I discovered cloth nappies in the final trimester of my pregnancy with my little boy, initially terry nappies and pins was the first thing that springs to mind. In actual fact when I dug deeper I realised there a whole world of fascinating cloth nappies and it’s considerably more ‘trendy’ than I realised. Everything from solid colours to animal prints its all out there, colour co-ordinate if you like to match with outfits or even buy matching outfit and nappy sets!
One thing I did find during my research is there is a lot of jargon and a lot of choice. as with each babies individuality you need to find a system that works for both of you. I started my cloth journey with two part nappies, the cloth bit and separate wrap. Then discovered pre-loved nappies, an easy way of buying to try cheaply then knowing where you money is best spent – after all isn’t the whole basis of reusable nappies the fact they can be used on many bottoms?
By the time my son was born I’d accumulated about 40 nappies in 14 varieties. I have been using cloth since my son was 2 weeks old I’m now happy with what I like and have been thinning out my stash to buy our preferred nappies; Yes, even the hubby has nappy preferences.
He is a ‘super soaker’ so having tried a number of different types of nappy and materials we determined that Organic cotton and Bamboo give the required level of absorbency, they now make 80% of my stash, with cheaper microfibre alternatives for general daytime use.
WHY STOP AT JUST NAPPIES
Have you considered how much money you spend on babywipes, breastpads or even sanitary wear, a few pounds here and there soon add up! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not tight with my money, but there’s nothing more annoying than running out of the essentials at a crucial point.
These can be a variety of different materials and can be washed with your nappies. I found that disposable wipes just moved breastfed poo around baby’s bottom and therefore used several on each change, I use a fraction of the amount with washable wipes, and they did the job considerably better than the disposable ones. I just pop them in the nappy bucket when they’re dirty and wash them all together. You can use natural mixtures in spray bottles as a wipe solution or nice warm water, much nicer for baby’s sensitive skin.
I made the decision to breastfeed early in my pregnancy, but had no clue to the cost of breastpads for long term use. Averaging at about £5 for 25 pairs and the possible need for frequent changes I was looking at £10+ a month, (unless your lucky enough to get them on special offer) As my ‘over’ practical mind kicks into action again looked in to a washable alternative, on average your looking at between £7-£15 for 3 pairs and I found 6 pairs were enough to get me through the few days between nappy washes. Considerably cheaper than the disposable option especially if your looking to breastfeed longterm like me.
So far I’ve handled, poop, pee and milk leakage, why not add one more into the equation. I haven’t even needed to buy any sanitary wear since the brick like maternity pads I had after giving birth. But having felt how soft and lush some of the nappies were for my son, I began looking for softer alternatives. On the eco side the average women goes through 11,000 disposable sanitary products in their lifetime so other than the selfish indulgence of posh pads I’m helping the environment as well. Another option I’m keen to try is the mooncup, a reusable silicone cup used in place of tampons.
I’m almost looking forward to my periods returning.