A Beginners Guide To Reusable Nappies
The thought of reusable nappies can be daunting for beginners. Here we put all your fears and doubts to bed and share how to use cloth nappies, wash them, and highlight their benefits for babies, parents, and the environment, along the way.
Which Type Of Cloth Nappy Do I Need?
A cloth nappy with pockets for inserts/boosters is the best solution. The two-part system boosts absorbency, and our reusable nappies include two inserts catering to heavy wetters and older babies.
What Size Should I Get?
You can get one-size-fits-all reusable nappies that have stretchable tummy bands and adjustable popper systems. These single-size nappies will take you all the way from birth to potty training.
What Else Will I Need?
In addition to 15-25 reusable nappies, you will need:
- Dirty nappy storage - You will need somewhere to keep your dirty nappies until wash day. You could use a nappy bucket, but many parents prefer using a wet bag. A waterproof wet bag keeps aromas locked away, and it is easier to take with you when you go out with your baby.
- Boosters/Inserts - Nappy inserts go in pocket nappies and are an absorbent pad that soaks up liquids. We supply our cloth nappies with inserts (two), so you can double up the absorbance if needed or use one at the front and one at the back.
- Disposable liners - Some parents use these when the child reaches potty training age to catch solids for easy disposal.
If you consider using reusable nappies, you can get started with minimal fuss by buying a starter kit. Our nappy kits include six or twelve reusable nappies complete with inserts, a wet bag, and reusable wipes, giving you everything you need to get started or give them a test drive.
How Do I Use Them?
You can use reusable nappies on a part-time or full-time basis. The nappies are straightforward to put on your baby. When the nappy is used, you should knock off any poo into the loo (just like you should with disposable nappies) before storing them until wash day.
You can place the used nappy in a waterproof wet bag, which seals away odours until wash day. The likelihood is that your dirty nappies will be sitting around for far less time than disposable nappies would otherwise sit in your rubbish bin. The chemicals in disposable nappies enhance the smell of urine. Without any nasty chemicals present in cloth nappies, your nose will be far less offended.
How Do I Clean Them?
When you think of cleaning reusable nappies, you might conjure up images of your parents or grandparents soaking and boiling Terry nappies. Reusable nappies have come a long way since then, and the actual cleaning experience couldn’t be further away from this outdated image.
Today, you can store your reusable nappies in a wet bag and then wash them in one go when you have accumulated enough. You can pre-wash them on a short wash cycle. After this, you can run the main wash by adding any baby clothes and towels to create a full load. We recommend using a non-bio detergent, and you should avoid fabric conditioners, which can affect the nappy’s absorbency.
It is best to dry the clean, washed nappies naturally outdoors and under sunshine. You can tumble dry cloth nappies when the weather makes drying outdoors impossible. Still, it is best to keep this to a minimum, reducing your electricity use and thus protecting the environment. Furthermore, sunshine naturally bleaches away any stains, giving you another reason to dry using natural processes.
Why Should I Use Reusable Nappies?
Whether you choose to completely switch to reusable nappies or use them on a part-time basis, you are still helping the environment by using fewer disposable nappies that ultimately end up in a landfill. A typical baby goes through up to 6,000 disposable nappies, so the part you play in protecting the environment by moving to reusable nappies can be significant.
Your baby will also spend around 25,000 hours in nappies, so you will want to give your child the best experience and greatest level of comfort. Cloth nappies are far kinder to your baby’s skin and will help you avoid soreness and nappy rash, something that is sure to get your baby crying. The chemicals in disposable wipes can cause skin irritation, so it makes sense to switch to reusable wipes at the same time.
If you are looking to save money, switching to reusable cloth nappies is something you should do. The lifetime cost of cloth nappies can be almost £700 less than disposable nappies, which is a significant saving.