At a time when cloth nappies are still far from the norm, and I see nervous parents come to my workshops worried they wont be able to keep on top of them, the though of a family with twins (plus a big sister!) wanting to use cloth might seem crazy to a lot of people! However, Sam has done an amazing job of showing how much can be done even in such a busy household. I always say its not all or nothing – even one cloth nappy a day helps, and the more the better.
Anyway, read her story and see how shes found using them, and which nappies she prefers. Remember that its Real Nappy Week (well, fortnight – keep looking next week for more from places like Babi Pur) so what better time to jump on board if you’ve been hovering on the fence! Check out my RNW blog post for more info on the whys, what’s and hows.
Over to Sam…
I had the privilege of test running some nappies from the Southend Cloth Nappy library recently. I’ve got 8 month old twin girls so trying to keep on top of cloth nappies is a challenge and a lot of people seem to think I’m slightly crazy attempting it. But you know what I’ve learnt so much more second time around about using cloth nappies than first time around with my eldest 4 years ago. Back then I didn’t know who to ask so I felt our cloth nappy journey ended before I wanted it to because of constant leaks. I now know why we had those leaks, because Steph is on hand to give me good advice when I need it! Last time I reckon I succeeded with about a 50% use of cloth/disposable ratio. But this time around I wanted to increase that % as I’m even more aware of our environmental impact and I really needed to feel like I was helping the planet rather than making it worse. So this time around I went to the cloth nappy workshop at DILAM and messaged Steph lots of times with questions so that I could improve my use of successful cloth nappying.
I started my twin nappy journey using disposables I confess! With two babies, c section and a 3 year old and my risk of post natal emotional difficulties I needed to do this journey gradually. After the initial phase of 10+ poo’s (each) a day I felt I was ready to begin cloth at around two months old.
I started using my Bambino mio’s with prefolds and Flip wraps with bamboo and microfibre insert combinations. These worked well for 4/5 months until my babies became so fidgety that the separate components of the nappy would get moved / fall apart as baby wriggled at nappy change. This then became more time consuming and challenging and I realised I needed a new style for this next phase.
This is when I trialled some different nappies from the nappy library so I could see what I liked before buying my own.
I tried the Fuzzibunz pocket nappies, which come in a size (rather than birth to potty BTP). This is nice actually for a change because it’s less bulky than the BTP and the big pocket opening makes getting the inserts in and out easier than some of my cheaper pocket nappies. I liked the tabs too as the new triangular shapes tab ends seemed less bulky a bit funky too! What I love about pocket nappies is that for wriggly babies they are perfect! All the components (I use a bamboo and microfibres inserts) are inside and no fleece liner is needs either as the top layer of the nappy is suitable just as it is. Therefore no layers to come apart during nappy change and because the opening is a good size it makes taking out the dirty inserts easy too.
Then I tried the Bambino Mio MioSolo all in one nappy. I have to say this may be my new favourite! All in ones work by having all components of the nappy attached so nothing to get lost (great if delegating nappy making to others). They too have a stay dry top layer so no fleece liner required. The new versions have great little features such as a pull tab to help pull the insert section out easier and a little ‘pocket’ for your hand to go in to make putting it in easier. My only negative is that personally I’m a lazy nappy changer (I’m blaming the having two babies for this) so I only want to change every 3-4 hours so for me I have to add a booster to keep the nappy lasting longer but even this is easy as I put the booster in the hand ‘pocket’ to slide it in. I also love how it has a nice stretch to it so it fits well around the thighs.
So would I recommend cloth nappy long? Yes! One main benefit which people don’t realise is something called containment. People often worry about putting poo in their washing machine but I hate to tell to you peops but you’re either using a disposable with less containment so the poo leaks onto clothes(and having to wash) or use a reusable and wash the poo but have better containment and have less poo stained clothes to wash!
One other thing that people are apprehensive about is the cost outlay. But there are ways to keep the cost down. 1) hire to test run first before buying loads of nappies you may not get on with 2) pre-loved- not as gross as you think as you just wash them before using and sunlight gets rid of all poo stains! 3) there are occasionally people giving away free bits and pieces if you join the local cloth nappy Facebook community 4) borrow off someone… ie I have nappies which are too big so someone could be using them until they’re needed in my house.
So it’s all about knowledge and community!
Happy cloth nappying!
So have I got my % up from 4 years ago? Yes! I don’t use cloth 100% but probably 70-80% of the time. Parenting (and life for that matter) choices arent always black and white so I’m just happy I’m using them as much as me and my family can. I’m still saving thousands of nappies from going into landfill.