Thursday, 30 June 2011


I've had the Sproutling in cloth nappies for a few weeks now so I thought it was time to try to sound like I know what I'm talking about with them.  Haha.

The range of types, brands, fabrics and colours of modern cloth nappies out there is truly staggering these days, dwarfed only by the numbers of websites selling them. Not only is there about a million different types and brands, there is an enormous range of paraphernalia that is sold along with them, but isn't really necessary.

I wanted to try using cloth nappies from the start, but I really wasn't sure where to begin. The amount of information out there is completely overwhelming! A friend of mine who is using cloth with her daughter showed me the different types she had in a bit of a lesson one day before Sprout was born, so I started to have a bit of a clue after that.

The next stage was taking part in the Great Nappy Hunt during March, which introduced me to a whole LOAD of sites selling different nappies and various baby stuff. It's a shame it was slightly early for me as there were some great specials on around the place during that time, but it's semi-annual so there will be another round in September. There's a Great Diaper Hunt for you American types too!

After Sprout was born, we decided to buy some cotton pre-folds and covers, since they are supposed to fit newborns better than other types. I found that they didn't fit as well as I thought. The covers we used prevented leaks but the pre-folds themselves ended up quite bulky and didn't look comfortable at all. I gave up for the time being and went back to disposables.

Pocket Nappies
In mid-May Sproutling was two months old and getting a lot bigger, so I decided to buy a few different types of cloth nappies to see what I liked. I decided to go for pocket nappies, which consist of a "shell" made of waterproof Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) on the outside and microfleece on the inside. The shell can be stuffed with cloth to suit your needs - more for night time or a long car trip, less for around the house.

I bought a few of a couple of different brands to try. In the end I decided on Blueberry One-Size nappies, fastening with velcro. Although these are a pricier option than other brands, I got them on a great special and they came with their microfleece inserts and boosters included. They're a lovely soft minky PUL on the outside in lots of different designs.

They fit Sprout really well and only leak around the legs if I leave it too long before changing him. Also sometimes when he sleeps on his tummy the wetness can wick out the top of the nappy a little bit - I haven't worked out how to prevent that just yet apart from trying to make sure he doesn't go to sleep wet. We're still using disposables during the night.

Aussies, I've bought a few things now from Baby Blossom and they were great. No, they didn't pay me to say that :) Shop around though, there are some amazing shops out there!

The Routine
Looking after the nappies is proving pretty easy so far. I don't have a dryer and my clothesline isn't in the sun, but if I get the nappies out there by lunchtime they usually dry before dark, except for the couple with bamboo inserts that take two days to dry in the winter. Including the trial nappies I bought to start with, I currently have 14 in my stash. I wash the dirties every morning on the "synthetic" cycle at 40 degrees, with a little sensitive detergent. Some people recommend pre-wash cycles or rinses - I haven't bothered so far and haven't had any stains or funny smells yet. This may change once we start on solids!

The Advice
All that was a bit of a wall o' text so I'll give you the low-down on what you'll need:
  • Buy enough nappies to get you through at least two days, in case you have wet weather or can't wash one day. The nappies do need to be changed more frequently than disposables.
  • Get a nappy bucket with a sealing lid for dirties, or a wet bag (like this one that Darcy suggests) for the nursery.
  • Cloth wipes are not a necessity but they do mean that you can just throw it all in the bucket and not worry about disposing of wipes seperately. We just bought some fleece from a craft shop and cut it into squares, but you can buy special microfleece wipes if you prefer. I have a spray bottle with water in to wet the cloths when I'm changing Sprout.
And that, my friends, is pretty much it! Feel free to ask and questions or tell me about your cloth experience!

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