Reusable Nappies: Two in Cloth Nappies

What is it like to have 2 children in cloth nappies?

Oh, it’s impossible. It’s a never ending cycle of poo and pee. We never leave the house as we spend all our time putting something in to the washing machine or taking something out.

No, I’m fibbing.

Really, it’s not much different to having 1 in cloth nappies, which really isn’t as scary as it may seem.

We’ve been using cloth nappies since our oldest, Harrison, was a few weeks old. Over time, we used cloth nappies more and more, and disposable nappies less and less. It wasn’t long before we were full time, and had even added reusable wipes in to the mix.

It’s important that you know, we didn’t do this to make our lives harder. We did this because cloth nappies are reeeeeally easy to deal with, because they are far more effective at containing poo than disposable nappies are, and because they are so much better for the environment (plus, they’re adorable)

So here’s a quick run-down of how to handle cloth nappies.

Storage

Dry-store dirty nappies in a mesh bag within a plastic bin (or you can use a wetbag – wet by name, not by nature. The ‘wet’ means it can contain moisture and scent).

If baby is exclusively breastfed, you don’t need to do anything with the poo before placing in in the storage bin (breastmilk poo is water soluble and will wash straight out in the machine). If baby is formula fed or eating solids, remove as much poo as you can in to the toilet before placing nappy in the pail.

Keep adding to the pail until you have enough to warrant a wash (usually 2-3 days. It’s best not to leave nappies past 4 days if you can avoid it)

Washing

Take the mesh bag full of nappies and put it straight in to the machine. They’ll move around and out of the bag during the wash, but the mesh will allow a full, thorough wash, and save your fingers from having to handle the nappies.

Don’t use bleach, or fabric softener as this can build up in the nappy and reduce its absorbency.

Wash within the temperature recommended by the manufacturer. I’m yet to find a nappy that has to be washed at less than 40 degrees so wash all of ours at 40, regardless of brand. It’s handy to have some 60 degree washable nappies for illnesses though, so you can really blast out any germs.

Drying

All nappies can be air dried, and this is generally the preferred method and will prolong your nappy the best. However, more and more brands are enabling a tumble dry option to either the inserts, or full nappy. This is handy if you’re pushed for time, or struggling with colder times of the year.

DO NOT place nappies on the radiator or over direct heat. Even ones that are safe to be tumble dried. This can melt/crack/generally compromise the PUL layer that provides the waterproof barrier in the nappy.

Prepping

You can be as organised or disorganised as you wish with this. We do both in our house. Sometimes, we’ll stuff and prep all our nappies and tidy them away nicely. Other times, we through outers in one draw, inserts in another, and play a frustrating game of ‘Pairs’ at changing time. The choice is yours 😉

Wearing

Just as all children are different, as too are nappies. What works for one, might not work for another, and it may take some trial and error to find the perfect brand for your baby. My boys are both quite stocky and had decidedly chubby stages (case in point with our youngest, Seb, who, as you can see from the photos, has a magnificent pair of baby boobs). We need nappies that can comfortably stretch around chunky thighs, where you may need slim fitting nappies to wrap tightly enough around skinny legs. Nappy libraries are a great place to go for advice and an opportunity to try different brands. (You could also check out my Nappy Reviews over on my Facebook page, of course *shameless plug*)

For the perfect fit, you want the nappy to sit comfortably in baby’s knicker line, and sit flat against their tummy. 

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, what’s it like having 2 vs 1 in nappies?

Actually, not that different. It’s a few extra washes a week when babies are little as they need changing more often, but that levels out as they get older so 1 or 2 extra washes a week is all it takes to keep up with the increase.
You may have a combination of newborn and BTP (birth to potty) nappies, or have all BTP nappies. To keep things a bit easier, it’s worth separating them in to 2 sets so you’re not trying to find 2 specific sizes out of a mountain of fluff, but, again, it’s preference as to how best to store.

So that’s the practical bit. That’s the stuff you’re probably worrying about, but don’t forget about the good things, of which there are plenty!

TWINNING – you can match your minions in the cutest cloth nappies. It’s the perfect way to get photos to *swooooooon* over now and to embarrass them with on their 21st birthday.

MONEY – you thought you were saving a lot of money having 1 in cloth? Double it, my friend. Those nappies your oldest is wearing will far outlive his nappy wearing days, and his understudy will be waiting in the wings to get you even more bang for your buck (who says having kids has to be expensive?)

ENVIRONMENT – 1 child will go through approximately 5,500 nappies before they potty train, 2 go through a whopping 11,000. That’s a HUGE amount of waste going to landfill, especially when you consider that every disposable nappy ever made is STILL sitting in landfill, and will be doing so for a long time before they eventually decompose. Choosing cloth will make a massive difference.

KEEPSAKES – cloth nappies can be kept forever. What better to treasure as a memory of those early years, than the beautiful, fluffy nappy you patted when pacing the floor in the middle of the night, the cushion that protecting that small bottom when it fell learning to walk, the outfit they wore during their 1st birthday cake smash celebrations?

RESALE – another financial benefit, cloth nappies can be re-sold. Not only will you save money in your initial outlay, but you’ll even get some of that back if you sell on your stash.

So there you have it. The reality behind the dream that is 2 fluffy-bottomed babies. What are you waiting for?

You can find more from Siobhan at –

Blog EventualMother.com

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