Uncertain about cloth nappying? Tried it before and become overwhelmed by the process? Cloth nappying can sound complicated and confusing, given the number of choices between types of nappies and care requirements. Lucky for you, we’ve devised a simple guide with the easiest possible cloth nappy system to streamline your stash and simplify cleanup!
INVEST IN 24 ALL-IN-ONE OR POCKET NAPPIES
All-in-one nappies are considered the most similar to disposables. They go on and come off in the same way as disposable nappies, and only require the additional step of washing and drying. Though all-in-ones are more expensive than more labour-intensive nappies, it’s the way to go if you’re looking for simplicity.
Pocket nappies are a close second for convenience. They’re a popular choice because they tend to be more affordable than premium all-in-ones, but also have customizable absorbency with stuffable inserts. However, pocket nappies require the additional step of stuffing, unstuffing, and washing the inserts.
Either way, get 24 cloth nappies if you don’t want to be up to your elbows in constant laundry. Newborns will require more nappy changes and will therefore go through nappies faster. By the time your baby is 6 months old you’ll be able to get away with 2-3 washes per week with a stash of 24 nappies.
START WITH DISPOSABLES
Speaking of newborns, you may want to forgo the cloth nappies for the first few weeks until your baby is big enough to fit into one-size nappies. This way, you don’t have to spend extra money purchasing newborn-size nappies. Disposables will also save you some time which will make your baby’s newborn phase go easier for you. Finally, disposables might just be more convenient for you if you’ll be at the hospital for a day or so following delivery.
CHOOSE SNAPS OVER VELCRO
Many people recommend choosing cloth nappies with snap closures over those with Velcro. This is because snaps are more difficult for kids to remove on their own and they hold up better over time. Velcro tends to wear out more quickly and can scratch your baby. Plus, hair, lint, string, and other unpleasant things can get stuck in Velcro. Though Velcro closures provide a better fit on newborns, snap closures are a better option for older babies.
USE EXTRA INSERTS IN OVERNIGHT NAPPIES
To avoid nasty leaks and time-consuming clean-ups, pocket nappies with booster inserts are ideal for night time. These will also keep your baby dry longer during the night, so you don’t have to get up as often for a cranky baby. When fitted properly, cloth nappies don’t leak until they become fully saturated. Doubling up the inserts will provide more absorbency. Choose hemp and bamboo inserts because these are very absorbent and wick moisture away from your baby.
GET TWO LARGE WET BAGS AND 2 MEDIUM WET BAGS
First of all, hanging wet bags are more convenient than nappy pails. Wet bags can be looped around anything, like a door handle or a hook on the baby changing table. They take up less space than nappy pails and are easier to haul to the laundry room. Get 2 large wet bags for your at-home dirty nappy storage. That way, you can wash one set of cloth nappies while storing new soiled nappies in the second wet bag. Then, get 2 medium wet bags for days out. You can fill one with clean cloth nappies and place the soiled ones into the other. Our 3-piece set of wet bags is perfect, and includes small wet bags for short outings or filling with wipes/liners for longer days out.
DEVELOP A LAUNDRY ROUTINE
Washing cloth nappies is one of the most intimidating things about making the switch. But, the washing process is actually pretty straightforward. If your baby is on exclusively breastmilk, all you have to do is throw the nappies straight into the washing machine. Run them through an initial warm-water rinse, and then wash in hot water with a nappy-safe detergent. When babies start on solid food, you’ll need to dump poop out of the nappies before they go in the wash. Using nappy liners or investing in a nappy sprayer can make this much simpler. Never use softeners or other products that stay in the nappy fabric as these can decrease absorbency and irritate your baby.
Though most nappy manufacturers recommend hang-drying their nappies, they can be tumble dried if you want the simplest system possible. Tumble dry nappies on low heat to make your life easier. Just be aware that tumble drying nappies may cause them to wear faster.
DON’T DO EXTRA WORK
One way to make cloth nappying as easy as possible is not to create unnecessary work for yourself. For example, cloth nappies don't need to be boiled or ironed. You don’t even need to spot treat them for stains since hanging them in the sun will get rid of most stains thanks to UV rays. Don’t soak your cloth nappies in a pail of water, because this creates a heavy bucket of nasty water that you then to transport to the laundry room or bathroom and dispose of. Don’t even fold your cloth nappies to store them. Just throw them all in a drawer. If you get a bunch of the same nappies, then you don’t even need to organize them.
Of course, many people will love cloth nappying. You may want to get a bunch of different types of nappies and various colors and patterns. Perhaps you love putting care into laundry, hanging them out in the sun, and carefully folding them up and organizing them into neat little drawers. But, some people are just looking for the easiest and least time-consuming cloth nappy solution. If this is you, try to follow these tips so you can fall in love with cloth nappies just like the rest of us!