Monday, 28 July 2014

Making the Switch to Cloth

When I was pregnant with Boris I was sure I wanted to have a go with cloth nappies.  Without knowing all that much about cloth nappies I bought a couple of packs of pre-folds in newborn size and a starter set.  The brand I purchased had an absorbent booster that was folded and placed inside a waterproof wrap. My mum also bought me a single Tots Bots all-in-one nappy.  I also bought some bio-degradable disposable nappies to use in case I didn't get along with the cloth.

When Boris was born I found the experience of being a new mum totally overwhelming, I had this little human who needed me all the time, there was no schedule, no order, just a wriggly, hungry, pooping machine.  I gave my cloth nappies a go, but Boris wriggled all over the shop and I couldn't get the booster to be in the right place and I found I was having to wash the waterproof outers with every nappy change because the cotton trim on the edge would be wet with wee, so I would soon run out of nappies.  I naturally gravitated towards the disposables, they were so much easier to put on and they were just one less thing to worry about compared to the faff of the washables.

Two and a bit years down the line and I am realising that I am throwing away two massive bags worth of disposable, urine and poo filled nappies every week, they stank and I felt awful about the waste.  I knew I wasn't going to get along with the pre-folds so dug out the one Tots Bots that my mum had bought and I gave it a go.  What a revelation! It was just as easy to put on as a disposable, just as absorbent, soft, chemical free and no waste!

I set about gathering Tots Bots nappies, bought a couple more new and a bunch second hand, so gradually began to use less disposables.  For me, that was the key to making the switch - it was gradual, so I got used to the differences, I got used to the extra washing, (although I am still getting used to knowing when the boys have pooed.  The washables hold poos in really well!)

I was all set to buy some more Tots Bots when a friend said she was selling her birth to potty set.  It wasn't Tots Bots but I felt I could get to grips with it; this time a waterproof wrap with pop-in inserts (no movement when trying to put them on a wriggly baby's bottom) So I suddenly had plenty of nappies.

We are currently still using disposables at night. And still working out how to scrape sloppy poo off washable liners, but definitely getting there.  I am so happy to not be throwing away such a vast about of not-recyclable material and get a very satisfied feeling seeing them all hanging happily to dry on the washing line in all their fluffy glory.

Do you use cloth? Thinking about switching? here are a few things I have learnt about cloth:

1. Man-made materials dry much quicker than natural materials,
2. It's harder to tell when a cloth nappy is full so I avoid leeks by changing them regularly rather than waiting,
3. The sun bleaches out discolouration,
4. Waking a baby who sleeps through the night to change his nappy is a bad thing,
5. Essential oils make nappies smell better.

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