From one beginner to another,
You have made the first step in starting with cloth nappies. By being inquisitive, seeking for alternatives to plastic single use nappies you’re already doing the best thing: questioning if you can do better. It will feel strange at first. It will feel like you don’t know what you are doing, and that the established cloth bum mums will be laughing at you trying. You may feel overwhelmed with the mountain of information you feel you need to digest to get it right.
You may feel determined to make a difference by never using disposables again. Or may feel determined to make one change a day to be reusable.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t give up. One change a day is better than none. And I am yet to meet one mother who has solely used reusables on their children. Everyone has. The big difference is how you use them, or even better by swopping to a disposable that is plastic free!
For the times where you will feel like the amount of rules is just too much, remember that once upon a time mums would hand wash their cloth in the sink or the bath in used bath water. The times where you think you’ve messed up by using liquid detergent rather than powder: just shrug your shoulders and move on. They will wash again.
For the times where you find they are leaking or not fitting right: ask, read, follow and you can always go to the nappy gurus. I keep on talking about them because they are a one stop stop for cloth. They can give advice, answer questions and I’ve just read on their Instagram today about a new and unique ‘test drive’.
Meaning, you can now test drive selected approved brands use them as much as you like for 21 days and if you don’t love it then return it. It’s such a simple concept, but absolutely brilliant! Risk free way of trialing cloth.
When you feel like you don’t know your head from your pocket nappy, all in one or all in two. Don’t worry, no one does at first. It’s all a process. Try and make it as simple as you can
And most of all, do it your way.
Mix use, or go all in.
Some days use 5 others use none.
Use them in the day only.
Use them only in the house.
Just use them.
Even just one.
Here is the most simple way I’ve found that helps to describe using nappies:
1. Buy nappies
2. Pre wash them. This means simply pop them in the washing machine before you use them. I would recommend washing them a minimum of 3 times and you don’t need to dry them inbetween. Only use a little bit of washing powder on each wash. The reason: to fluff them up and improve their absorbency. If baby wets in a brand new nappy the wetness will simply run off the surface rather than soaking in. It’s like a new towel. Have you ever used a towel that’s brand new? It’s like drying yourself with velour.
3. Make them up: some people call this ‘stuffing’ your nappies. Pretty much, you fold the nappies back to how they come in the post. So you can easily grab one and it’s all ready to use.
4. Use them: find your way with fit by trial and error- the nappy gurus offer free one to one advice just click here. Oh and follow lots of lovely instagrammers like
(you’ll find there’s a world of lovely mums on there)
who will help you make it as easy as pie.
5. When they have been used: pop them in a nappy bin or nappy bag. This is to store them until you are ready to wash them all together. I would recommend a bin for in the house downstairs and a bag for upstairs which you can use when out and about.
I prefer a bin with a mesh bag secured inside with a closed lid as I have two other children and I don’t want them to accidentally knock it over. Plus it keeps the smell in. And is easy peasy to empty into the washing machine.
6. When you are ready to wash them all: wash them! Simply throw all the bag in the washing machine. Now washing can be controversial. So find the best way for you- but for me. If I’m being the best nappy washer then I plonk them in- turn it on a 15 minute quick wash with no detergent. Then when that’s done I put in a scoop of persil non bio washing powder and put it on a 60 or 40 degree long wash (about 2 hours plus).
7. Dry them: I either dry them on my indoor dryer or on my dry soon heated airer.
These little sock dryer contraptions are great to, really cheap and can be hidden away easily. Ikea, argos, amazon and Lakeland do their own versions.
However don’t ever put them directly on the heat as this can damage them. I kind of loop them round. This is when I am in a rush for them to dry.
The best way to dry them is outside on the line, but let’s face it, it’s England and I live in Manchester so it’s like the capital of rain. So ultimately do what you need to. You can tumble dry the fluffy parts (don’t tumble dry the waterproof bits).
Any extra stuff you do is a bonus. I like to put them outside after a wash when it’s raining. It freshens them up like nothing else.
You can get 10% off anything on The Nappy Gurus site with the code MOTHERFRECKLE
I really hope that is helpful! And please do give any helpful or thoughtful tips /advice below. I would 100% recommend going to the nappy gurus as your first port of call, and just ask anything. Nothing is too daft.
speak soon loves,