So we have been using cloth nappies (MCN) for four and a half months now, so I thought it might be time for an update on how it’s all going.
In just two words – COMPLETE SUCCESS!!
Despite many of the people around me doubting that I would continue with cloth, I’m pretty proud of the fact our little boy has worn reusable nappies everyday and we have contributed exactly zero disposables to landfill!
We have a very diverse collection of nappies, from old fashioned flannelette flats, cotton, bamboo and hemp prefolds that we use with covers, to modern pocket nappies, snap-in-ones, all-in-twos, all-in-one varieties and night time specific nappies, each type performs a different purpose at a different time of day.
We have a reasonably small collection, I think only 11 modern cloth nappies (all one size fits most), plus about 60 flats and prefolds with 5 one size fits most PUL covers and a few sized clovers that are now too small. This has been enough for full time use over summer. My plan for the cooler months is to use the flats and prefolds more at home as these dry the fastest, saving the more convenient pocket and snap in nappies for out and about.
In the early days we used a nappy washing service (amazing baby shower gift!) that provided 70 prefolds and 5 newborn size covers per week, so we were able to use cloth from day one in the hospital, knowing we wouldn’t come home to a mountain of stinky wet nappies, or run out while we weren’t home. We continued with the service for the first 6 weeks, until we had our heads around the whole ‘new baby’ thing. Then I decided it was time to venture out on our own once our collection of one-size-fits-most (OSFM) nappies started to fit.
Now we are using approximately 5-7 nappies each day, including a night nappy that lasts us 10-12 hours overnight and I wash each day. This sounds arduous, but babies produce so much other washing, its pretty easy to just throw the nappies in first for a quick wash, then add his clothes for a full wash straight after. I wash everything in cold water and line dry, we haven’t had any product build up or smells so far and all the stains really do magically disappear in the sunshine!
I have found using cloth nappies whilst out and about the be pretty straightforward as well, they might take up a little more space in the nappy bag than a stack of disposables and we need to cart the dirty nappies home instead of throwing them away, but a nice sturdy wet bag contains any mess and smells so well you would never even know.
One downside I have found is how few clothes are designed to accomodate a squishy cloth nappied bottom. Especially with a boy, shorts and pants from mainstream stores do not have enough depth in the crotch. Our solution has been a size up in some styles, or stretchy leggings for around the house (yay bonds!). I plan to make some harem pants and bigger bootied styles for later in the year, I just have to get over my fear of sewing knit fabrics first! I might be biased, but I still think a peek of patterned nappy or PUL cover looks way better than the ruffled paper waistband of a disposable hanging out the top of his pants!
So which nappies are my favourite? Well it all depends on what we need out of our nappy in that moment, here’s a rundown (remembering I am in Australia, so not all brands will be available elsewhere)…
Designer Bums – by far the cutest prints and a very trim fit
Bambooty Basics – we have the microfibre inserts, which I boost with a bamboo insert sandwiched in the middle from a different nappy. These dry super fast and stay dry on his bottom. Look out for sales, mine were $10 each!!
Flannelette Flats – super fast drying (great in cooler climates) and very absorbent, but a little bulky under clothes.
Rumparooz OSFM covers – great prints, the best I’ve seen in covers. Took a little while for these to start fitting well, but now they do they’re pretty much bomb proof with double gussets and two rows of snaps.
I am waiting to see how our small collection holds up to longer drying times over winter, but I have my eye on a few more brands I would like to try, including the Grovia All-in-one and some Bambooty Easy Dry nappies.