Whether you’re a newborn parent or already into your Nappy journey and looking to make the switch from disposable to Cloth Nappies we often get asked what our best tips are to making them work for you.
We could chat all day about the multiple benefits of Cloth - the biggest of course being reducing your footprint on the environment and significantly cutting down on waste, but also reducing costs in the long term, and some rash-prone bubs even find them gentler on their skin.
No matter what your reason may be for transitioning to Cloth Nappies, this is our best advice for those starting out - we promise once you do you won’t look back!
Start at home
The easiest way to transition from disposables to cloth is to start out at home and take things slow - even making the switch for just a few nappies a day rather than going cold-turkey on disposables. Allow yourself time in your own environment to get the hang of Cloth where you have all of your supplies within reach and can easily tackle any mishaps.
It might take a little bit of trial and error at the beginning to figure out what works best for your bub, keeping in mind that with Cloth Nappies you can tailor the fit with the different snap button settings. You may also explore tailoring your absorbency levels throughout different points of the day by adjusting the number of bamboo inners within the nappies. For some basic know-how on both fits and inners read Our Guides page.
Try not to be discouraged if there are a couple of leaks in these early days, remember this can often happen with disposables too when looking for the right fit for your baby. Every bub is different, so take it easy on yourself in these initial days at home to explore what works best for you.
It is true that Cloth Nappies are more of a financial commitment in the beginning, however you’ll save in the long run (It’s estimated that a single child on disposables alone will require 6,000 nappies = approximately $3500 to $6000 cost over time. Whereas full time Cloth use has an initial investment of around $1000).
In addition to the Nappies there are a few key items to stock up on to make Cloth-life just that little bit easier.
You’ll need a bucket or tub with holes that allow air flow to store dirty nappies before washing. It’s important to separate this from your regular laundry basket to avoid ammonia developing from the soiled nappies. And do not leave the nappies to soak in a wet bucket for hours on end as this can reduce the lifespan of the elastic and materials.
Be ready with a few spare Bamboo Inners to either up the absorbency of the nappies or just to have a few extra on hand on days that washed inners might take longer to dry. Having a few backup inners handy is an economical way to keep your supply up (both in regard to washing and investment!).
Air Drying Rack
If your climate allows you, air drying your nappies is the most eco-friendly drying method. It's handy to ensure that you have a simple rack that you can hang your nappies on after washing in a well ventilated area.
Establish a Washing Routine
It won’t take long to build the confidence to go full-time with the Cloth Nappies. You’ll start to establish a bit of a rhythm for the number of changes needed throughout the day, when you might need more or less inners within the Nappies and how many you’ll need to wash each day.
Creating a wash routine that feels second nature is almost as important as getting the hang of the Cloth Nappies themselves, as one of the biggest pain points in a cloth routine is the additional work in cleaning the Nappies. The important thing is to work this step into your daily schedule, whilst also ensuring that you always have clean nappies ready to go.
You can read our Easy Wash Guide here, in a climate like Australia it’s quite achievable to wash and hang to dry at the end of each day so that you have a dry set by the morning. Or if you’re in cooler climates, pop them into your dryer on a low temperature setting overnight. Morning or night - whatever works best for you, try to work out the easiest way to have dry Nappies made up and ready to go so that you don’t find yourself short and in need of a change.
First timers tips
For first-time families the same advice applies, you may even be looking to go full-time straight away (good on you!). If this is the case make sure that you start out with plenty on hand - we recommend stocking up with 20-30 Cloth Nappies and the essentials above. Especially in the early days when you might have a few extra hands around to help you (and a lot of changes to be done!), get into the habit of putting the inserts back into the Nappies straight after the wash to avoid fumbling around during a change.
We’ve even created an easy to follow video on the Newborn fit which you can watch here.
If you've got any other questions about making the switch to Cloth Nappies feel free to get in touch with us via our Contact page.