Nappy guide: washing cloth nappies

washing cloth nappies

Forget the days of nappies soaking in a bucket, followed by fearfully boiling them. Thanks to modern detergents and efficient washing machines, washing cloth nappies these days is wonderfully straightforward: cold rinse, hot wash, line dry, done!

One rule to remember is: no fabric softener! This reduces the absorbency of the nappies, not so good for something used for a absorbing wee and poo. (if this ever happens thanks to a well-intentioned helper, just rinse, rinse, rinse!!!!)

Washing cloth nappies – starter guide

The most effective routine for washing cloth nappies is a cold rinse, with no detergent, followed by a long, 40-60 degree wash with a good dose of detergent. The cold rinse will lightly wash off wee and poo from the nappies, ready to let the hot wash do its work. Most washing machines come with an allergy or baby setting – a cycle of 2 hours is about right: perfect for putting a wash on before doing the school run, over lunch or the kids’ bathtime, or overnight if your machine has a timer.

A scoop of Violets mineral bleach will add some pizzazz to help remove stains (this hero of the laundry world can also rescue school uniform, CSP, towels – anything that needs a stain sorting.) Or, you can try some magic in your wash, with Tots Bots Potion: a chemical-free and enzyme-free detergent that is anti-bacterial, allowing you to wash cloth nappies as low as 30 degrees! They also come in a yummy choice of bubblegum or mint humbug, or you can stick to unscented if you don’t have a sweet tooth.

Tots Bot Potion Powder

Magical potion for your nappies: Tots Bots Potion

Once the wash has finished, it’s time to enjoy the wonderful sight of freshly washed nappies on your washing line. Fresh air and sunshine are best to keep stains at bay, but don’t worry if you don’t have the space or weather, air drying on a clothes horse is grand, too. A multi-peg sock hanger is fab for your wipes, liners and boosters.

Washed nappies drying on a sunny day

A perfect nappy washing day!

Drying cloth nappies

Generally, it’s best to steer clear of the tumble drier (think of the electricity you’ll save!), but in a time-saving emergency, anything without PUL can be tumbled on a low/cool heat (boosters, prefolds, fitted nappies, wipes).

Drying times differ according to each nappy: bamboo and hemp take the longest, microfibre and milovia inserts are super quick, and terry towelling and prefolds are somewhere in the middle. In the winter, nappies shouldn’t be placed directly onto a radiator, as this will affect the PUL and parch your nappies. We find putting your clothes airer right next to a radiator can make a huge difference in speeding up the drying time.

Before you know it, you’ll have the timing of washing cloth nappies sorted, and believe us when we say the delight in seeing those wee nappies drying on the line is so compelling, you’ll soon be sharing  photos on our Facebook hangout page. There is also something highly satisfying and therapeutic in folding them, too…!

Nappies washed and dried, ready to sort

A satisfying nappy sorting session

Cloth nappies – where to start?!

starting cloth nappies

Photo credit: Heather Calver @areusablelife

You’ve decided to try cloth nappies, that’s brilliant! Now what?!

Whether it’s because you want to reduce your waste, your disposable options have let you down too many times, or you simply can’t resist a big, fluffy baby bum, it can feel a little daunting getting started, but don’t worry! Here’s our starter cloth nappy guide to get you up to speed.

Firstly, we recommend trying a few different cloth nappies, as each have their own benefits which suit your little one as well as your own laundry routine.

For a full day in cloth, you will need:

  • Approx 6-10 nappies (6 for a toddler, 10 for a newborn)
  • a wet bag or nappy bucket for wet and dirty nappies
  • liners are optional but they’re handy for catching poo
  • a cute baby (supplied by you)

To switch to cloth full time you will need 15-24 nappies (24 allows you to wash 2 days’ worth of nappies, and still have 2 days’ worth clean and dry), although this depends on how often your baby likes to wee and poo!

We recommend giving all nappies a prewash. Nappies with bamboo or hemp, such as the Tots Bots bamboozle, will need up to 5 washes to reach their maximum absorbency. You can wash and immediately rewash, or simply choose to change your baby more frequently while the nappy gets to maximum absorbency.

Simply place your chosen liner inside the cloth nappy, making sure all the liner is tucked in, then fasten the nappy onto your baby. Cloth nappies fit slightly differently to disposables: you need to start with the nappy much lower down at the back, just covering their wee bottoms, and higher up at the front.

How often do I change a cloth bum baby?

Cloth nappies generally need changing every 3 hours or so during the day.  This varies depending on your child’s wee capacity and the nappy you are using.  There are super absorbent nappies that will last all through the night.

What about poo?!

Oh yes, babies love to poo! Both breastfed and formula fed babies will still have very soft poo, which you can rinse off in the toilet, though usually it’s fine to go straight in the washing machine. Once babies start doing ‘proper’ poos, you can flick the poo off the paper or fleece liner into a toilet. Nappy buckets can be handy for a quick swill of those delightful teething nappies.

Where do the nappies go?

There is no need to soak your nappies, once you have removed any excess poo, simply put them in your wet bag or nappy bucket – just make sure you remove any paper liners and fold back any aplix laundry tabs. It’s best not to leave used nappies any longer than 3 days. Then you can wash them: rinse, hot wash, line or tumble dry, fold/stuff, and start again! Wet bags can be washed with the nappies, too.

Wet bags full of cloth nappies, ready to wash

Cloth nappies on the go

Using cloth nappies when you’re out and about is just as easy. All you need extra is a small/medium wet bag for the used nappies, and a cloth wipe bag if you’ve decided to use cloth wipes, too. Just make sure you have enough cloth nappies to last during the time you are out, then, when baby needs changing, just put the used nappies in the wet bag (minus poo if you can find a toilet), and add to your changing bag. So much easier than trying to find a bin for the used nappy! You can literally change baby anywhere (car boots, the beach, at the office when you’ve brought baby into work and, yup, they’ve filled their nappy!)

The important thing is just to give it a go, you’ll be surprised how quickly you fall into a routine. Even doing cloth part time, perhaps just at home while you get used to them, would save over 2700 nappies going to landfill (based on using 3 cloth nappies a day for 2.5 years). The cloth nappy community is ready and eager to help you find the right type and right routine, and we’re happy to have any excuse to chat about cloth nappies with you, so just ask us via our usual customer service contact options, or there are plenty of fellow cloth nappy fans on our wonderful Facebook hangout page.

Starting cloth nappies at birth to potty time

You can start at any time from birth… to potty!

Meet our Brands: CLOSE

close

Pictured – Close directors Martine & Hester

Introducing ‘Close’ the brand behind the popular Pop-in nappy!

Close, creators of the multi award winning Pop-in nappy and the popular Caboo Carrier was founded back in 2004 here in the UK by entrepreneurs Martine Carroll and Claire Scott.  Back then, they were both running their own companies focused on cloth nappies and baby wearing. The Caboo Carrier was launched in 2007  and was featured on the Channel 4 series ‘Bringing up Baby’.  A year later in 2008 the first version of one of our favourite nappies here at Babipur – the  award winning ‘Pop-in’ was released.

focus on close pic

Ethical manufacturing is very important to Close. They have a purposely built factory in China which is co-owned by one of the Close directors. The location was carefully considered and chosen in order to keep the environmental cost and carbon footprint down and all the materials used are locally sourced. The factory is closely monitored and inspected twice a year by the directors themselves who work hard to ensure good working conditions are upheld.  Close factory employees are provided with onsite meals, a fair wage and decent holidays.

Close continues to be family focused business and is now run by directors and parents Martine and Hester (pictured above).  The Babipur team have met Martine and Hester many times but we thought it would nice to ask Martine some questions and share her answers with you..

meet close parent

 

We love the new prints, which is your favourite out of the Lion, Hippo, Russian Dolls and Robot?

My personal favourite is the Robot, as I have 3 boys and so I’m always drawn to the real boyish ones, but I think overall Hippo seems to be coming out top favourite!

Do you have any exciting plans for the future?

We always have exciting plans for the future, just never enough time to do everything we want to do!! We will have some exciting new product launches early in 2015 though, watch this space…

What do you like to do to relax?

I used to have an allotment which I loved, but with 3 boys and a business to run it got a little neglected in the end (the boys would never come with me once they got older!) so this spring my husband built raised beds in the garden and I moved everything there, so now I love to potter around my garden full of fruit and vegetables

Who would be your ideal diner date and what would be your food and drink of choice?

My husband of course! 😉 Just the two of us would be nice for a change… on a lovely summer’s evening I’d like a nice cool G&T followed by a lovely Italian meal…

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve  learnt since you’ve been making nappies and slings?

I think that parents sharing their experiences of using nappies and/or slings helps other parents to realise that they’re not so scary or complicated; when I first started using reusable nappies (15 years ago!) everyone thought I was crazy as they didn’t understand how easy they were to use, but these days so many more mums and dads use them and talk about them that they spread the word far more successfully, showing by example that neither nappies nor slings are really difficult and when used properly can make a huge positive impact on the environment and on parenting in general. The power of talk is amazing!

The Close Pop-in Team

The Close Pop-in Team

Here at Babi Pur we’ve been stocking Close baby products for 7 years.  We absolutely love the fantastic range of  products they make  from the incredibly cute and popular  pop-in nappies to training pants,  bibs and playmats.. you’ll find them all at Babipur!

 
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Close V1 & V2 Pop-in nappies – What’s the difference?

Ever wondered what the difference is between the NewGen V1 and V2 Pop-in nappies? Well..

While the differences are only small, there are a few improvements and amendments as well as some some jazzy new colours and prints. But many of the reliable features have stayed the same –

  • Double elasticated leg gusset to contain messes
  • Soft and stretchy adjustable tabs for a snug and comfortable fit
  • Soft elasticated waist band and front adjustable poppers to provide comfort as your baby grows
  • Absorbent panel inside the outer shell between the leg gussets to catch any excess wetness

So what are the differences?

Nappy Shell

First thing to note is that the pop-in V2 is slightly bigger. It also features new washing tabs which makes things a lot easier come washing time. There’s a small Velcro tab which is tucked into the pocket flap that just pops in and out easily.  The difference between this and the V1 is that it has the washing tab on the inside back of the nappy which was against the baby’s skin. For a closer look at this, check out the video below –


The V2 pop-in nappies also feature elasticated front and back pocket flaps. This eliminates the risk of the flaps riding up when worn and makes it easier when nappy changing as the flaps won’t need to be held down.

Soakers

The soakers look very similar to how the version 1 but there have been some nice little improvements.

The elastic on the back of the bottom soaker has been removed which makes the V2 less bulky and a more comfortable fit.

The snaps are now attached to tabs on the soaker rather than on the soakers themselves. Which does mean that the soakers for the V1 are NOT compatible with the V2

inside new gen

 

Funky new colours and prints

The pop in nappy is still available in the lovely bright colours, the pastels and some lovely new prints. The brights colours have all stayed the same but the pastels have been updated and are now much more colourful (see below)

pastels

There’s also some lovely new prints – The robot, lion, hippo and Russian doll. We love them all so much we just can’t choose our favourite!

focus on close pic

All these lovely new nappies are available to buy on the Babi Pur website so head over to our to take a look. There’s also some great offers to be had on the V1 while stocks last, but grab ‘em quick – once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Llinos