Friday, August 3, 2012

Cloth Nappies

Cloth nappies!! HUZZAH!!

We love our cloth nappies at Casa Accidental. If you've somehow attained a lovely young sprog, or are about to have one join your family, hopefully this post will inspire you to give cloth nappies a go. 

There are many different types of cloth nappies. A good description of the different types is here. I'm not going to go into a debate on different styles and their merits, it's been done, but I will tell you what I like about ours. 

We use modern pocket nappies. There is a fleece inner layer that wicks moisture faster than any disposable nappy I have found. Small bums stay seriously dry. (Big bums probably would too, but my sprogs are both bumless wonders. I can empathise. It's a genetic flaw from my side of the family. There is no juice in our caboose, no junk in our trunk... but I digress.)

The outer layer is waterproof, and the inside is an absorbent, removable bamboo insert. 

I love the removability. It means they are quicker to dry than other all-sewn-in nappies. Even so, I have twice as many inners than outers (following me?) so they can take their sweet time and languish on the line if they choose. 

Let's run through the washing process. First, find a small child and get them to soil your nappy... 

Tip the solids into the toilet (you should be doing that with your disposables, anyway. Don't put poop in the bin, people! Gross.) The microfibre means this is super easy, but if you are really squeamish you can buy flushable liners. I don't know if these would effect the wicking as we haven't tried them. I have visions of people rapidly stuffing a liner down the back of little Billy's nappy-rash-prone bottom when he pulls a "poop face"... 

Now here is our change table on an idle Wednesday, scratches and all. Pure reality. Yes, it is in the shower. This is the only place in the girl's bathroom it would fit. It's super handy, unless Sarah is staying over and needs a shower!


You'll notice the tightly lidded bucket down the bottom - that's for the dirties. I separate the inner and outer, and put them both in there. I "dry pail", no soaking here.

You'll also notice the messy pile of nappies on the upper shelf:


Pre-folding is for chumps, I build as I go. It doesn't take long and Bug likes the extra seconds of singing while she's on the table.

I wash the nappies on their own in a hot wash, with just a teaspoon of laundry powder and a big splash of vinegar in the rinse. The vinegar kills any nasties, and also strips any remaining soap so the inners stay beautifully absorbent.

In winter I dry the insides in the clothes dryer, with a dry towel or two to speed things up (damn Canberra weather). Summer they go on the line. The outers go over the shower rail above the change table. Handy!


(See that pink bottle of stain remover there? Also handy - keep your stain remover where you undress, so you remember to spray before you leave your clothes in the hamper. It's heaps easier than hunting through the load when you're about to wash it, and gives the stains plenty of pre-treatment time.)

And that's that.

All up, cloth nappies mean about one extra load of washing every two days or so, which isn't much in this house. The drying in winter can add up, but we still come out in front compared to the cost of buying disposables. It cost about $750 to set up my cloth nappy stash, which sounds like a lot (I bought about 12 in each of three different sizes, however they are now available in more adjustable sizes that do birth to toilet training).

But consider this: those nappies have done both girls. I have calculated the cost of disposables, and for two kids they came out at about $4500. FOUR THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! We've saved enough for a holiday, even factoring in washing costs. Score!

Did you cloth nappy? Will you?

29 comments:

  1. Four thousand five hundred dollars?? Blimey. I think I just heard my bank account writhing in pain.

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  2. Nup, I didnt, cant exactly tell you why, but I didnt....probably would if I had to do it all again though...
    I used bamboo breast pads for my third baby, and they were sensational...totally absorbent and nice on the boosooms...so I can imagine that these bamboo nappies work wonders....

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    1. The bamboo is just lovely, so soft! I really don't know why it isn't in more stuff.

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  3. So. Where are you going for the holiday then?
    ~S.

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    1. Saving for Disneyland when the girls are bigger!

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  4. I used terry squares with Boyo, and a combination of OSFA bamboo fitteds with PUL covers, and sized snap ins for Mini. Pocket nappies just didn't work for her.. MASSIVE leaks. The biggest problem with using cloth is finding pants that fit over them....

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    1. And the lack of shower was so not an issue!!

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    2. It's hard to find *nice* pants... Luckily Bug lives in trackies, or skirts and nice stretchy stockings ;)

      You should come back and not have a shower again!

      Did you have trouble with nappy rash with unlined nappies? I love the way the fleece wicks, it's amazing.

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    3. Lined, unlined, stripwashed, changed detergent, no detergent, hot wash, warm wash... Girl's arse just didn't like fabric.

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    4. I swear I typed more there. We had nappy rash problems with everything. Gave up and switched to disposables at 15months ish because I was tired of seeing her in pain no matter which nappies I used, how often I changed her, and regardless of how I washed them.

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    5. That's interesting. Maybe the way her wee reacted with detergent in general or something? Poor kid. Peanut got worse rash in disposibles, I think it was a breathability issue. They were always stoked to get home from long term traveling in disposables and back into cloth. Bug actually sighs a happy sigh! Lol

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  5. I lurve clothies. It almost makes me want another baby just so I can use them again. Have passed our (very well loved) nappies onto my sister in law for her bub.
    BTW, did you know that the pocket nappies also make great training pants? When I was toilet training my boys, I taught them to pull down the nappy to go to the toilet, and would just pop in a very thin absorbant pad (a couple of layers of flannalette worked well). These gave the 'feel the wetness' affect of very expensive (tip clogging) pull on (up) training pants - you know the ones.

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    1. I know the ones! Mr A saw the ad on tv, and said "when are we getting them?" ummm, never? Lol.

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  6. i used cloth for all 6 of mine..i used all different style nevr had a pref just anything that went on a bum was good enough for me....i used disposables for going out thou but with 5 under 5 that did not happen much

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  7. I used the good old square towelling clothies. I spent less than $100 buying piles of those, and plastic pilchers. I asked for Napisan at my baby shower and received enough of that to last most of the first year!

    The change table was close to the laundry, so I wet soaked them, along with all the other rags needed to keep a baby clean. My kids chucked a lot!

    The best accessory I ever bought was a Little Squirt toilet hose attachment to get rid of solids.

    I only ever needed to rinse the nappies in cold water after their soaking, and let the brilliant constant country sunshine blast them pure during the day.

    They saved me thousands upon thousands of dollars, and earned me the respect of every old lady I came across!

    Oh, but I slept my babies in disposables. The ONLY advantage of those things is their long-term capacity.

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    1. I sleep my babies in disposables too, good absorbency when they need it, and it's easier to tell when they start being dry overnight. Without, you know wringing out an inner! Yeuch.

      I reckon using flats a squirt would be vital. I considered getting one, but the flannel makes it pretty easy to survive without. The maternity hospital in Canberra made me use flats when Bug was born, and I glad it was just a short term thing. Pins on a wee newborn are scary!

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    2. Thats what snappis are for!! No need for pins EVER.

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  8. I use cloth nappies for my twins and also did for my now 16 yr old (not that we had much choice then lol!)I love them...i think i am one of those odd people that love to see nappies drying on the line in the sun. I use a mix of pocket nappies and terry cloth flats with PUL covers and snappis. I like to have all mine folded before use though...drives me nuts otherwise! Drying in winter can be a bit of a pain but i still wouldn't swap them...love those padded little bums waddling around and it's a good excuse to sew my own pants!

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    1. Love nappies on the line... LOVE chubby bums! It's great to have something to grab onto, too. The number of times I've saved a baby from certain trouble by grabbing onto a cloth nappy back makes them priceless, actually. I reckon they probably paid for themselves in hospital bills ;)

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  9. I did cloth-nappy! Then I stopped. Stuffit.

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    1. StuffIt indeed, my darling. Now you're onto #4 I reckon you've probably got a pretty good idea of what works for you ;)

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  10. Trying very hard to cloth nappy F at the moment. Bought a few different types and am trying them out and when Sibil arrives, he/she will (hopefully) be in cloth nappies too! So many dramas though.. as yet, I haven't had one that hasn't leaked everywhere - number 2s, no problems, but number ones.. oh the humanity. Any tips oh wise MCN one?! I don't want the leaks to defeat me!

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    1. Have you washed the absorbent bits well? Run them in a hot wash with no soap, just vinegar (a strip wash) to get out any processing chemicals or soaps. You might even need to do this twice. They get better with time and use. Also, make sure they fit properly around the legs. Good luck!

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    2. Is just store bought white vinegar okay, and just put it in like I would the soap? (sorry, million questions oh wise one!!)

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    3. Yep, just buy the cheapest stuff you can find. I put mine in the soap section for a strip wash, but then I put a splash in the rinse bit for every normal nappy wash I do too. Keep asking!

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  11. I'm expecting number 1 next month and have gorgeous stash of cloth nappies (the ones designed to go from birth to toilet training), I also have a bunch of the old school square ones as backup and/or spew rags. Everyone I know has asked why? Why go to the trouble if you don't need to, and most of them have horror stories (not their own mind you!) of bubs having rashes with cloth nappies. But I honestly can't answer, I don't know why I went cloth. It's what my mum did (and I helped raise my bro & sis so I have a little experience there!) - but to me it just "feels right" and thats a good enough reason for me!!

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  12. I was a cloth nappy user, absolutely, from Darwin to Sydney, even with twins in a townhouse in Winter, i went cloth all the way - old school (think 2001) where you had to fold them yourself. I made my own muslin liners too. Even after 4 children i still had some of the originals from my first daughter, they never soiled (i washed them every 2 days) & were never any trouble - you always have them on hand & they are practically free. I found my children toilet trained months/ years before children the same age, they were so aware of when they were wet & never ever got nappy rash either. Can't recommend any new modern version more, if the old school cloth were so successful & there are still a few floating around the garage (our youngest is 8.5 years old) they never die!! Love Posie

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