If you’re interested in trying out cloth nappies here are some of my top tips that I’ve learned from 3.5 years of trial and error! Bear in mind that these are only my learnings and one key aspect I’ve realised is that different cloth nappies suit different babies and parents because they’re all different sizes and shapes and everyone has a different way of doing washing.
- An easy recommendation that you can’t go wrong on if you don’t want decision fatigue over cloth nappies: buy 1 Blueberry Onesize Capri Wrap with poppers and 4 Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch size 2 nappies with 4 reusable fleece liners or a roll of flushable paper liners. Try it out and if it works for you, only then buy more!
- Buy just a few cloth nappies to begin with and try them out to see if they work for you and your baby before getting a whole set of 20.
- Add 2 Little Lamb Triple Bamboo Boosters to every all-in-one or pocket cloth nappy that you have. This adds absorbency without much bulk but drying time remains speedy.
- Always air dry the wraps/pockets inside to protect them and keep the elastics and PUL in good condition. Tumble dryers, sunlight and radiators can damage them and will considerably shorten their lifespan by a number of years.
- Buy nappy wraps new because then you can ensure they’re well looked after and the PUL doesn’t get broken. In tact PUL is absolutely key to a cloth nappy that doesn’t leak. Buying the cloth nappy part second hand however is excellent for functionality, cost and eco saving in my experience!
My favourite day time cloth nappies in order of preference:
- Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch nappy in size 2 with a Blueberry onesize capri wrap with poppers (as this is a two part system approx 1 wrap is needed per 4 bamboozle nappies). I add a reusable fleece nappy liner to each bamboozle stretch.
- Joy Elemental Pocket wrap with 3 Little Lamb Triple Bamboo Boosters Large
- Bumgenius Pocket 5.0 nappy with 2 Little Lamb Triple Bamboo Boosters Large
My favourite night time cloth nappy system:
- Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch nappy in size 2 with added Little Lamb triple bamboo boosters and a Motherease Airflow wrap in size large
How to be most eco with cloth nappies:
- If you can buy second hand from Facebook Selling Sites like ‘Cloth Nappies For Sale/Wanted UK’ you will significantly reduce environmental impact and save a lot of money.
- When buying second hand always use Paypal to protect fair buying, selling and returns.
- For best results ensure the PUL, elastic, poppers and velcro are all in good working order when buying second hand. Also check the fabric is very clean with no staining. I always ask the seller these questions directly before purchasing. If they arrive not as described you can return using Paypal resolution centre.
- Buy bamboo and hemp fabrics in cloth nappies where you can as this fabric has a lower environmental impact than cotton. Also these fabrics work better in cloth nappies as they absorb more with less bulk than cotton.
- Use cloth nappies for 2 or more children, line dry them as much as possible, wash in full loads and never wash over 60C.
- Switch to a renewable energy supplier so that electricity payments for washing the nappies invest in renewables.
- Buy washing powder in a refill option.
- If you at any point need to replace your washing machine, get the most eco A+++ version you can afford.
- Washing: prewash and 60C wash with half a cup of non-biological washing powder. The prewash is very important.
- Preparation is key. Make a system and routine that works for you. Washing will need to happen either daily to once every three days depending on how many nappies you own and how many nappies your child uses each day. These numbers will vary for everyone.
Nappy bucket and Wet Bags:
- To store used nappies until washing day get a bucket, in my experience any large bucket will do (preferably one you already have at home). This will be much cheaper than a specifically marketed nappy bucket!
- Wet bags are used to hold used cloth nappies when out and about. ‘Planet Wise’ wet bags are my favourite. I have 2 in medium size. These are a good investment as they can be used long past potty training e.g. for muddy clothes, swimming or even as a toiletries bag.
- My Favourites: Tots bots reusable wipes https://www.totsbots.com/category/liners-and-wipes/product/reusable-wipes-print
- Make your own for free: Reuse any item of clothing made from cotton jersey fabric, e.g. a t-shirt, by cutting it into squares for cloth wipes. There is no need to hem as this fabric hardly frays even after lots of washing in my experience.
- How many? Start with 40 and re-assess if you need more. They are an investment as once you have them you’ll use them long past the nappy stage with your children!
- How to use them? Find a system that works for you. I have a small plastic ‘lock & lock’ container that is totally water tight, so when I go out I get some water on 6 wipes squeeze it out pop them in the box put the lid on and voila. At home I use the same box and tend to wet the wipes as I go about 6 at a time and have the dry ones in a box next to it. Some people get a bigger box and prepare all their wipes in water for the following 24 hours…anyway again see what works best for you, ultimately preparation and a good system i.e. nappy change and wipes set up and washing routine are the keys for success.