Our Cloth Nappy Routine
in Sustainability on Cloth Nappies, Plastic Free
I've had quite a few messages recently about our cloth nappy routine, asking how we started using them, which brands to try etc...so I thought I would put a little post together explaining our current routine in hope it might help someone out there. When we first ventured into the world of cloth nappies it was quite overwhelming, pretty much no one else we knew had used them and all the different brands and types available made it a bit of a minefield. It took us a while to find our groove with it so to speak but now we have I can honestly say it is one of my favourite zero waste changes we've made. There is so much content in knowing that instead of using a disposable which lasts, at most, a few hours before its sent to landfill, our cloths have not only been used on one child but often on multiple children across a number of families. Cloth nappies are so much kinder to the skin than plastic disposables and there is absolutely nothing more cute than a little cloth bum toddling around.
It's important to note that what works for one family may not work for another. The result of washing nappies a certain way will completely depend on not only the nappy type but on the washing machine, water hardness (which you can find by looking on the website of your water supplier) and choice of detergent, not to mention many other things. Below I describe what we have found to work for us.
1. Our Favourite Brands
For daytime use our favourite without a doubt would be the Bambino Miosolo all-in-one style nappy. It was the first nappy we bought and really convinced us that we could make this whole cloth nappy thing work as they are super easy to use. Over night however we prefer the TotsBots Bamboozle stretch under their waterproof Peenut cover. I also shove in some extra pads, between the Bamboozle and the wrap, for extra reassurance. All this padding does give them a pretty large booty so larger pyjamas are required, but worth it to prevent any leaking. We also own nappies from a few other brands, including GroVia, Charlie Bananas and Giggls, which all work well for daytime use.
In terms of reusable wipes we have around 20 Cheeky wipes which I love, they are so much better at their job and kinder to the skin than disposable wet wipes. I've also been known to cut up old muslins and t-shirts to function as extra wipes if we are falling short, which to be honest are almost as good.
2. Our Washing Routine
During the daytime we normally change every 2-3 hours or so. At each change I tip the solids into the toilet or tip them off a liner if there is one (at the moment we only use liners if we are out of the house). For the Bambino Miosolos I then pull out the insert using the hoop provided and rinse this part of the nappy under cold water until the water runs clear. It is important to use cold and not hot water for this rinse as hot water can lock in the smell of urine. Similarly, for other types of nappy I take out the inner pads and rinse accordingly. For 2-part nappy systems the outer waterproof cover can be reused a couple of times if there is no smell and there are no solids on it. Now many people say to just bang the nappies straight in the washing machine but this never worked for us, even when putting the machine on a cold rinse prior to the normal wash. It just didn't completely get rid of that faint urine smell.
After cold rinsing I store the nappies in a dry pail in our bathroom, I keep the lid off the bucket so any smells don't get trapped within. Unsurprisingly this doesn't really make the bathroom smell like you might think, I suppose keeping the pail out in the open diffuses any smells gradually. I also attach the velcro back to front on the waterproof part of the bambino miosolos to prevent them sticking together when I put them in the wash.
I tip the nappy pail into the washing machine every 2/3 days. Literally just chuck them in there out of the bucket and bang in my Ecoegg (which I absolutely love). Sometimes I put clothes in with the nappy load, sometimes I don't, depending on how many there are - I like to make sure the machine is no more than 3/4 full. If the nappies were heavily soiled then I wash at 60, but otherwise just wash at 40 on a normal cycle. We don't own a tumble dryer so this isn't an option for us, instead we just hang them up to dry, outside in the summer, inside in the winter. Frequent tumble drying can damage cloth nappies though so that's something to watch out for. After drying I stuff them ready to use again and store in their dedicated closet.
3. When Out and About
The hardest thing we had to overcome when we first starting using cloth was getting used to using them when out of the house. It seemed like quite a challenge at first but in actual fact I now find it easier than if we were to use disposables. I have a wet bag which I bought with my cheeky wipes over a year ago now and I use it pretty much everytime we go out. It has two pockets, one to store damp clean cloth wipes ready to be used and a bigger one to store dirty nappies and wipes. I always add in a couple of drops of essential oil in both pockets too just to freshen things up a bit. If we're somewhere with decent public toilets/babychanging, I will put the poo down the loo (caught in the liner) and put the dirty nappies/wipes straight into the wetbag ready to sort out later. For long weekends away I will take 2 or 3 wet bags with me and do a big wash when we get home. I feel so much better knowing we're not leaving dirty nappies everywhere we go.
4. Where to Source Nappies and More Information
Our current nappy stash has been sourced from a mixture of places. We bought some brand new Bambino Miosolos when we first stared cloth nappying (is that a verb? it should be)and since then we have picked up many second hand using facebook marketplace and through the amazing cloth nappy community on instagram. A great place to get tailored advice and start looking at what cloth nappies are available is The Nappy Lady where there is lots of useful information. I also wrote a blog post about why we started using cloths in the first place which you can find here.
Do you use cloth nappies? Are you thinking about starting? If you have any comments or questions on the above feel free to get in touch, I always love hearing from you.
Thanks for reading.