Reusable Nappies: Cloth Nappies for Newborns
Cloth nappies from birth – what are the options?
My cloth nappy journey started when I was pregnant with my first son six years ago. I was keen to use cloth for the financial savings and was lucky to have a sister in law who had already used them on a part time basis, so could give me a few tips along the way. I bought my first all-in-two fitted nappies preloved. I was lucky to get a selection of outer wraps, a nappy bucket and few sized nappies from my sister in law to get me started.
We didn’t use cloth from birth with our first son – it was enough just coming to terms with looking after our first baby and recovering from birth, however it wasn’t long before the burgeoning bin bags full of single use nappies made me determined to have a go with cloth.
Initially I was worried that my baby’s skin felt damp when I changed him and was worried about the sock marks that wraps could leave on his skin – he didn’t seem to notice, using a fleece liner helped with the dampness and I was reassured that sock marks were perfectly normal when using cloth nappies and quickly faded. I honestly didn’t register the increase in washing, it soon fell into a routine and I actually enjoyed hanging out the nappies in the sunshine and getting them ready for their next use.
With my second son, we used cloth about a day or so after his birth once the meconium (first poo) had passed. We already had one in cloth, so adding another didn’t really make much difference. I bought a second nappy bucket and 25 size one Tots Bots Bamboozles for his first few months in cloth. We later moved on to Tickle Tots all-in-ones and hybrids for their slim fit and absorbency. Our third son was born this Spring and we are using a selection of bamboozles with wraps, prefolds and also trialling a few newborn nappies as well . Here’s how we’ve been getting on!
The all-in-one option is quick and easy to use. They have a lower rise at the front to accommodate a cord tie or clamp, give you a great slim fit, particularly on smaller newborns and are undeniably super-cute on the bum! If prints are your thing, and you are expecting a smaller newborn, the pop-in newborn nappies are a great fit but not the most absorbent out of all the nappies we have tried. I tend to add a folded cotton face cloth or muslin to boost the absorbency. I also love Baba + Boo newborn nappies, I can see they will last my baby a few months (they go up to 18lbs unlike some others) and come with two bamboo boosters, so absorbency can be adjusted to suit – these would be my go-to daytime nappies! All my boys have been on the bigger side (8lb +) so I haven’t invested in a lot of newborn nappies as they do grow out of them quite quickly, but I have to say I’ve been very impressed with the fit (and I can’t resist a beautiful print!).
Two- part nappies and wraps
My absolute favourite for nighttime and nap time are Tots Bots bamboozles and a good double gusset wrap. I’ve been using my Tickle Tots 2 wraps over these, as well as the Close pop-in wrap. It’s a bombproof combination and I’ve yet to have a leak from them. They are quite a bulky nappy and do take a while to dry, but this is more than made up for in reliability and absorbency.
Prefolds and wraps
Prefolds are a great cost effective nappy system for newborns and beyond, and a good option if you have two (or more) in cloth at the same time. They consist of an outer waterproof wrap with a folded insert that lays within the wrap – I have been using the standard Flip prefolds in my double gusset wraps using a basic pad fold, the insert is folded into three and placed in the wrap. If you are expecting a smaller baby, newborn prefolds are available and would give you a less bulky nappy. I’ve found these slightly less reliable at containing explosive newborn poo, but absorbency is good.
How many nappies do you need?
Whether you choose to use cloth nappies or not, newborns need changing very regularly – 10 to 12 times a day and as soon as they have a dirty nappy. How many nappies you will need will depend on how often you want to be washing your nappies and the type of nappy system you choose. It’s also helpful to think about what drying options you have available, and also your budget. I like to have enough nappies to wash every other day, 25-30 nappy changes – this may need to be increased if you are looking to line dry your nappies only. There is no need to worry about using cloth from birth, meconium (baby’s first poo) and breastfed poo is water soluble so there is no need to rinse your nappies out at this stage – just put the straight into the washing machine on a cool pre rinse. Newborn poos are also notoriously explosive! You will probably find cloth nappies will contain the explosions a whole lot better than single use nappies, and so will save on whole outfit changes – no more poonamis!
I hope this will encourage a few more parents to give cloth a go – here are a few takeaways points to remember:
⁃ Ideally have 25-30 nappy changes to wash every other day
⁃ Take into account your drying times and budget
⁃ Don’t forget cloth needn’t be all or nothing, use them when you feel ready
⁃ Using cloth nappies can be fun not a chore, try a couple of different systems to find which suits you and your baby
I would love to hear what your favourite newborn nappies are, please share your experiences in the comments 🙂
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Blog: The Mummy Homestead