Monday, 26 November 2018

Our Cloth Nappy Routine at 6 months


I wanted to write this post for a while because I think what puts people off cloth nappies is the lack of information on what cloth nappying actually involves day to day. I'd guess that cloth nappies bring up an image of pieces of terry cloth held together with a safety pin and a pile of pooey laundry to do every day. We cloth-nappied Philip from birth and to be honest I found the process more straightforward than I expected - and it's also much easier now that he's older and doesn't produce a newborn-style pile of laundry daily. So here's our cloth nappy routine at 6 months.

There are basically two types of cloth nappies: all-in-one and a two-part system. AIO is most similar to a single-use nappy and is made up of a waterproof shell with soft lining to which you either insert (pocket nappies) or pop in a booster (or more, if needed). These tend to be birth-to-potty sized and provide adjustable height using poppers. 


There is also a hybrid version of an AIO nappy, where you add the boosters and liners to a soft waterproof outer cover and only change those at nappy change, making the outer cover last for 3-4 changes (unless pooped on!).


The two part system is made up of a waterproof wrap and a shaped nappy made either of cotton, bamboo, microfibre or a mix of those materials. During the nappy change you change the shaped nappy, and use the waterproof wrap for several nappy changes (again, unless poo got on it). Both nappies and wraps can be either sized or birth-to-potty sized and adjusted with poppers.


We mostly use a two part system but we also have several all-in-ones for occasional use.


Our Nappy Stash:
Nappies x 20 (you need about 15-20)
Boosters x 68 (you need about 40, less if using AIO nappies)
Wraps x 15 (4 of those are a bigger size that we use for the night only)

Most of our boosters are second hand and bought from various Facebook groups - you can get them really cheaply - that's why I have way too many of them!

I also have an emergency nappy stash of 15 very pre-loved nappies that I bought for next to nothing - these are great in case I forget to put a laundry on before I run out of clean nappies .

Reusable Wipes
I have two sets of reusable wipes (40 altogether) - one I bought pre-loved and one is brand new. You probably only need one set but now that we're weaning the second set has been really handy to have in the kitchen for the post-meal face and hands wipe.



Out and about
I have a large dry and wet (two compartments) wet bag. Previously I had two separate bags - it doesn't make any difference, just your personal preference. I keep 2 nappies (3 for a longer outing and more for a whole day trip) in the dry section. For each nappy, I have 3 boosters plus a spare wrap and a couple of muslins.

I also pack 5 reusable wipes (more for longer outings) in the dry section. I wet them in the sink or with a water bottle and use as normal. Once used, they get chucked into the dirty section. I used to put wet wipes in a separate wetbag and this was a good system but I often forgot about them and they got a bit smelly after being abandoned in the changing bag for days so I switched to bringing dry ones instead and only wetting them as needed. 

Day Nappies
Shaped nappy + 1 or 2 boosters + wrap
or
AIO with an extra booster

Night Nappies
Shaped nappy + 3 boosters + waterproof wrap

I find that parents are quite reluctant to use cloth nappies at night time - while I absolutely love them for exactly this purpose. When our washine machine broke we used single-use nappies in the day and saved our cloth nappies for the night! The shaped nappy + a waterproof wrap is truly a leak and poo proof combination for us - even with a tummy sleeper.

Most Useful Equipment For Cloth Nappying:
  • Dehumidifier (can dry a load of nappies and boosters overnight)
  • Fabric nappy bin (so you can wash it with the nappies every now and again)
  • Essential oils (few drops on a muslin put on top of the nappy bin helps to keep the smell contained!)
  • Vest extenders - cloth nappy adds a bit of bulk so these will help your baby's vests last longer.



Usual Nappy Wash Routine
Sunday
Wednesday

Sometimes (if teething/illness caused a nappy rash and we change nappies more often):
Sunday
Tuesday
Friday

Obviously the more nappies you have, the less frequent your laundry. Philip goes through about 6 - 8 nappies in a 24 hour cycle.

Nappy Laundry
  • First, unless you store dirty nappies in water (known as wet pail), you start with a cold rinse without any detergent - I usually do one between 30 and 45 mins long on a rinse & spin cycle, but I put the spin on the lowest setting.
  • Rinse is followed by a 40° wash with non-bio laundry powder - use as long cycle as your washing machine allows - I wash our nappies on an eco cotton cycle which takes between 4h20 and 4h50, depending on the load.
  • To drain excess water I find it helpful to put on a quick (10 minutes) drain & spin cycle at the end.
  • Every months or so I wash the nappies at 60°.
Weaning Poo 
Once baby's poo becomes more solid and is no longer water soluble, you will have to get it off the nappy before putting it into the washing machine. There are a few solutions here:
  • disposable liners - just throw the liner (with the poo) into the toilet (this is what we do at the moment)
  • washable liners - scrape/throw/shake off the poop into the toilet and then wash the liners with the nappies as usual
  • scrape/shake off the poo off the nappy into the toilet (I heard that the dedicated poo spoon is a helpful tool here - we're not at the 'really solid poo' stage yet so we haven't needed it but I will update this post once we do!)

If you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to help either here on Instagram. So please ask away and let's make laundry, not landfill!

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