"HELP! I want to use cloth nappies but I am SO confused!"
I get this one a lot. Cloth nappies sound like a great idea, but they are also more intimidating than the copious amounts of stuff excreted from your child every day! It is a whole new language. There are SO many options, and so many different opinions. Plus - every baby has a different body shape and different absorbency requirements. So where do you start? I usually recommend playing with a few nappies, and seeing what gels better for you. Think about how you are going to wash and hang them to dry, do you want to be stuffing inserts into pockets or changing folds depending on your baby or do you want to just slap your inserts inside a cover and put it on? Does the price make a difference to you, and how many will you start with? Do you want to use snaps or velcro, or would you prefer to skip closures all together and jump straight to woolen covers (which need to be lanolised, but not every day!).
Confused yet? Yep, I thought you might be. Let's start with breaking down the basic nappy styles, to help you get the hang of things.
We all know what a traditional flat nappy is, right? A plain square of terry towelling or flannelette that we fold in one of many different ways, attach with pins or snappis or sliders, and then hide under a giant cover because, let's face it, that booty is huge! They're cheap, readily available and amazing value for money because you can use them after toilet training for house work, cleaning your car, wiping up random spills, keeping in the boot in case you need to dry a kid off or clean up an injury on the go. Plus, you simply rinse, wash and hang or throw in the dryer and they are ready to use again. Easy!
Prefolds and trifolds are generally rectangular shaped nappies, similar in style to a flat nappy. They usually have sewn in markings to help you with folding, and sometimes the middle se
ction will include extra absorbency and/or a stay dry lining. You can do lots of fancy folds and change the folding to suit your baby's age, weight and also absorbency requirements. Prefolds are generally quite cheap, and can be used as a standalone nappy or as a booster (especially with toddlers needing more from their night nappy). Like the flat nappies, prefolds are easy to wash and dry but they do require a separate waterproof cover.
You can use flats or prefolds and covers for a newborn, and if you like that system you can continue to use it right through to toddlerhood. I use prefolds and OSFM covers with my 3 year old at home, and just use "MCNs" mostly when we are out or when hubby does nappy changes. I simply pad fold the prefold and lay it inside the cover because I am not a fancy girl!
WAIT! Aren't we talking about MODERN cloth nappies here? Well... yes! Flats and prefolds have still been modernised in recent years with the introduction of silicone nappy fasteners to replace nappy pins, and nappy covers have changed a lot! But let's get into the nitty gritty of the "modern" cloth nappy.
A stash of 24x one size fits most (OSFM) nappies is a great place to start, but you could literally start with one cloth nappy a day if you wanted to just commit to a few. Just keep in mind that newborns generally need 10-12 nappies per 24hr period, so you may need a few extra prefolds or newborn sized nappies, but you can generally reuse the covers if they haven't been soiled so you won't need a huge number of those!
Still clear as mud? That's ok! Email me if you would like to arrange a video chat or showroom appointment to see the nappies first hand and have a chance to ask questions. If you are ready to jump in, check out our bulk discount codes and nappy starter packs
to get that stash started!