Friday, April 15, 2011

Can I really use cloth full-time?

  Many people do not believe that you can only use cloth, and skip the disposables completely. How do we forget so quickly? Only a few short decades ago mums had no other choice, and all babies were exclusively cloth-bummed. You probably never wore a disposable! Even when there was only terry or flannelette squares with pins, with wool covers or no cover at all, washing in a twin-tub or a copper and line drying. Think how much easier we have it today! With the arrival of snaps, Velcro, PUL, minky, bamboo and hemp, as well as automatic washing machines, using exclusively modern cloth is ridiculously easy. The Australian Nappy Network estimates using cloth takes about 10 minutes of extra work per day. That’s pretty minimal, considering the money you save-no doubt it will be the best-paid ten minutes of your day, as a penny saved is a penny earned.

DSCF5278 Giant newborn night-time bum! Boosted terry flat under a fleece cover on a two week old

  My last child was exclusively cloth nappied-he is now 27 months and dry by day, wearing a nappy at night. Honestly, it was not particularly hard, and we lived on a property with a limited solar setup (no mains power), tank/dam water and a twin tub for 17 months of his life-with another three kids in cloth night nappies. But along the way I learnt quite a few tips to make the journey easier.

1. Have sufficient nappies-It will rain on washing day, they will get gastro and soil everything you own in an afternoon, you will be sick/tired/busy and not do the washing when you should. That is life. And that is when those extras you bought will be a lifesaver. Nothing fancy is required-a few packets of terry flats are cheap and dry quickly, and if they’re only back-up you won’t get sick of folding (try the Jo fold). Or buy more modern cloth if you have the $$$$, and know that a lower rotation means you’ve a better chance of reselling them at the end.

2. Buy a versatile stash- A whole pile of AIOs is great for ease, but not so great for changing circumstances. A bit of everything helps-that way if your child, for example, goes through a heavy wetting stage you have the extra boosters to cover it. Likewise, with lots of bits and pieces you can throw together a night nappy, even when they’ve decided to poo in their regular night nappy ten minutes after bedtime.

DSCF6172 Looking much trimmer-a more typical size day nappy on a 10 month old

3. Have easy nappies-Wool makes a great cover, but hand-washing wool requires commitment. Sticking to items that have minimal pieces and assembly, are machine washable and quick to dry, means you’re less likely to drop them when times get busy.

4. Ignore the naysayers-Lots of people will tell you you can’t do it. I’m not sure why, except that maybe they didn’t want to and prefer to write off lack of effort to an impossible task. Being threatened by your cloth nappy use does seem to be quite common, unfortunately. I firmly believe that you’re doing the right thing for you child and the environment by using cloth, and you must too to be considering it-so don’t pay any attention to the negative folk.
And the last one…………

5. Don’t buy disposables!  If they’re not in your cupboard, you can’t use them. But with all of your preparation, you won’t need them.


Eva Clark said...

Baby skin is very sensitive. Every parents should take care of their baby skin specially from diaper rashes.Thanks for sharing here.Cloth nappies

Unknown said...

I wouldn't say "never" to disposables. Here's what disposables did for us (die hard cloth nappy users):

1) Helped us get past a nasty, nearly impossible to beat yeast rash - the diapers needed chlorine bleach to kill the yeast, so she was in sposies until it was gone so that we didn't have to bleach every wear.

2) Let us manage an international move, where we had an insane amount of luggage and stress and the flight time was nearly a full day and our house was being packed up so cleaning diapers was hard, etc. Disposables meant cutting the stress of trying to figure out HOW to clean cloth nappies when in the middle of a move and not always even sure where you're sleeping at night.


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