Cloth NAppy Like A Mother
If I asked you to imagine a family who uses cloth nappies what would come to mind?
There are a lot of misconceptions about families who reuse nappies, but I can tell you exactly what a cloth nappy using family looks like… they look like any other family, including your own, except perhaps for their baby’s slightly rounder bum – thanks to the lovely layers of fabric padding it!
I’m Steph, and I took on Southend Cloth Nappy Library in 2018 to help make choosing a more sustainable way to parent easier for families locally.
Did you know that each child uses on average 3000 nappies in their first year, and 5000 by the time they are using the toilet? When you consider this number multiplying for every child on your street, in our country or the world, it’s not hard to see why choosing an alternative to disposables, at least sometimes, is becoming a very real necessity if we want to feel proud of the world we are leaving behind for future generations!
where it all started...
It all started when I was expecting my first child in 2014. Unfortunately Southend Cloth Nappy Library was not running at the time to help with my research. I had some support from Chelmsford’s, but even with that and online advice, I found the realities of using cloth nappies a bit of a minefield.
What I had thought I would get on with best didn’t work for us when it came to actually using them, I was unsure about liners, brands and where to buy preloved.
What I chose to do was invest in an assortment of preloved nappies which cost at least £100, then bought more of what I liked once I worked that out. I stashed away those I didn’t to occasionally try again.
Then (despite me clearly recalling a conversation Pregnant Me had with Matt, which included the line ‘I won’t be like those crazy ladies online who seem to need every new colour or style released – it doesn’t matter what colour a nappy is, they’re just for catching sh*t! This was almost definitely followed up with an eye roll…) something new would catch my eye, I needed to try it, and so the addiction began! I felt a need to try different styles, brands, fabrics, and gorgeous prints and did eventually settle on one primary brand although I always had a few other styles dotted around.
What I want to do with the 4 years of information and experience I now have, is prevent YOU having to follow the same path! I started running workshops in 2018 with just my own stash of nappies to demo, then in the September I took on Southend Cloth Nappy Library and now have enough to loan kits to parents to try out at home.
Keep reading to see how you can learn about using cloth nappies, and save yourself time and money by borrowing from the library before buying!
want to learn more?
If your curiosity is piqued but you aren’t sure where to start, I would LOVE to help you!
You can grab me for free support Thursday afternoons at Cake Club – it gets busy and therefore loud at times, so this option is best for shorter questions rather than an in depth look into cloth, ideal for asking about how to get a better fit, where to buy, or minor troubleshooting etc. I am also happy to help via email (see bottom of page) or join my facebook group Cloth Nappy Like A Mother for free support from other local cloth using families as well as myself.
If you want the full rundown – an explanation of the different styles, pros and cons of each material, to get hands on with various brands and have a fit demo, as well as information about washing (its WAY easier than most people expect!) then my Cloth Nappy Workshop is ideal for you. Held at Do It Like A Mother HQ once a month, more info can be found here.
If you would prefer a 1:1 session, I can come and spend an hour with you. Ideal for getting started with a newborn if you’re (quite rightly!) not yet ready to leave your sofa, for getting to grips with a hire kit if you’ve been unable to attend a workshop, for for torubleshooting any issues you’ve had with your own stash. You can perfect your fitting technique and we can even check out your machine to work out an optimal wash routine if you aren’t sure. To book a private session get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Try before you buy
Southend Cloth Nappy Library has both Newborn and Birth to Potty Kits available to hire. each kit contains around 20 nappies in excellent condition, to allow you to experience a wide variety of styles before investing in your own.
Despite their name, BTP nappies rarely fit from birth, rather from around 12+lbs which for most babies is at least 8 weeks old. The Newborn kit allows you to bridge this gap with minimal financial investment, whilst simultaneously learning which brands you love ready to buy going forward. Even if you are an experienced cloth user this kit can be perfect for a new baby, to enable you to cloth from day one without buying short term nappies which not only cost money, but contribute to a larger eco footprint than borrowing.
The cost for a Newborn Kit is £50 for 8 weeks, although this can be adjusted to suit your needs.
Birth to Potty nappies lost most children from around 8 weeks old, right through until they are using the toilet as they are adjustable. The kit is comprised of various brands, styles and materials to help you decide what to go on and buy, most are BTP, but some are sized as medium or large – I will try to ensure you get the kit most suited to your child.
The cost for a Birth to Potty Kits is £25 for 4 weeks, although this can be adjusted to suit your needs.
If there is just one particular brand or style of nappy you would like to try, get in touch – I am happy to arrange this if the nappies are available.