There are a number of services that you can utilise when your baby is born, to reduce your workload and educate you by immersing you in your new world where you try a variety of products and decide what works best for your baby! When I was growing up in the early 80s, Cloth Nappy Laundry Services were the ideal baby shower gift for new parents. Back then, the cloth nappy service delivered clean terry towelling flats and took away the bucket of dirty flats to be washed and returned for re-use. Our local nappy service was called "The Stork" and I don't doubt that they delivered thousands of clean nappies to sleep deprived new parents over the years. When parents were ready to begin on their own, they used their own terry towelling flats, soaked them in bleach and then washed each night- quite a contrast compared to how we launder the chemically- and thermally-sensitive fabrics in Modern Cloth Nappies today.
Things have changed in the nappy world since the 80s and there is now a huge variety of products on offer spanning a wide range of price points ($5-40 per item on average) and it's certainly overwhelming and confusing for anybody trying to learn the new language of Modern Cloth Nappies. These days, the Cloth Nappy Hire Service (Nappy Library) is the new kid on the block. Both Cloth Nappy Hire Services and Cloth Nappy Laundry Services aim make life easier for new parents or those new to cloth nappies.
There are some distinct differences between Cloth Nappy Hire and Cloth Nappy Laundry Services. While there might be slight variation between individual services, these key points will help you to identify the differences and determine which service is best for you.
Range of Service Locations
To begin, a Cloth Nappy Hire Service can ship nappies to you, so you can access the service anywhere in Australia. At the end of the hire period, you ship the nappies back to the service (or drop them off if you're local). A cloth nappy laundry service will service your local area, which means that many places in Australia aren't able to access a laundry service, but there's generally one available in major cities.
Wash At Home vs. Washed For you
When you hire cloth nappies, you wash them at home in your own machine. Laundry is one of the most daunting aspects of starting cloth for most parents, so here at Clean Cloth Nappy Hire we make it easy by providing a step by step personalised wash routine to each customer. This wash routine is tailored to your washing machine and the detergent that your family usually uses to make cleaning your nappies a breeze. You gain the skills that will see you through once you're using your own nappies after hire. The Cloth Nappy Laundry Service are angels that take away your bucket of dirty nappies (you have to store it for the week which some people may not like) and replace them with a bag of clean, fresh nappies for you to use the coming week- just magic!
Variety of Products
A Cloth Nappy Hire Service generally supplies a range of tried, tested and trusted brands and products in their packages. This is so the customer can try different styles, sizes and types of products to find their favourites. The Newborn Nappy Hire Service is especially popular, as Newborn Modern Cloth Nappies fit most babies for 2-3 months before they are too small and it's really quite expensive to buy both a newborn nappy stash and a one-size-fits-most (OSFM) nappy stash. OSFM nappies offer much better longevity and will fit most kids until toilet training, so it is better value for money to invest in OSFM and hire the Newborn sizes. Most Cloth Nappy Laundry Services provide budget-style Chinese nappies (similar to Alva) with microfibre inserts. Microfibre inserts are less absorbent and prone to leaking for many people so are replaced by bamboo fleece in the premium brands that you'll find in hire packages. When you use a Cloth Nappy Laundry Service, you try only one type of nappies rather than a variety.
Cost of Service
A Cloth Nappy Hire Service costs less than a Cloth Nappy Laundry Service. Most hire services charge around $25-30 per week, while you can add an extra $15-20 per week for the laundry service.
Duration of Service
You can generally access either service for as long as you require. Here at Clean Cloth Nappy Hire, most of our customers hire for 8 weeks, so we've made that our standard hire duration. By 8 weeks of age, many babies are beginning to be ready for OSFM nappies, and those that aren't are welcome to extend their hire by the fortnight.
We hope that this explanation has helped you to get started in cloth by explaining the key differences between these types of services. Yours in cloth, whichever way you go about it!
Over the years I've tried and tested many plant based detergents on my children's nappies, including the whole Earth Choice line (blue liquid, cream bottle liquid, powder). I was hopeful that this recently-released product, with the addition of enzymes to break down stains and soiling, would have a little more oomph than its predecessors. The other Earth Choice products left my cloth nappies smelling like wet dog and/or poo regardless of dose, with little stain removal power, which is not at all what I'm seeking when it comes to having beautifully clean nappies.
Although I ended up having to do a few tweaks to my usual routine to get great results, I did achieve great results and am really happy to recommend this to customers and other cloth-nappy using parents.
Rather than the Quick 30 minute cycle I'd usually use for prewash if using a conventional mainstream detergent, I used a longer prewash cycle (1 hour) @ 40 deg. I used 1 cap of Earth Choice and a heavy dose of Vanish-type laundry soaker (a top loader dose- a good lid full, not the half lid suggested on the package) in the prewash. I used White King soaker initially and when that ran out I used Woolworths brand. I noticed a difference between the two- the first wash with the Woolworths brand left a few nappies that didn't smell perfect- and added more Woolworths brand to achieve the same results as the White King.
In main wash I used the suggested 1.5 caps which is 75mL and no soaker.
Although I think the fragrance of Earth Choice liquids is pretty awful, it does dissipate off the line and the dried nappies didn't smell much like the fragrance which was great. The nappies came out mostly stain free, a few re-treats of blueberry stains, but had no issue with smell which was excellent.
I had a little trouble with the thick consistency of the product and mixed it with a water in a jug before adding to the machine. It was hard to get it out of the cap otherwise. I found the suds level really acceptable, it didn't oversud which is a nice change for my machine which is prone to making ridiculous amounts of bubbles when I put the nappy load in.
After going through a 2L bottle I'd quite happily buy Earth Choice Bio Plus Liquid again if I was searching for a good plant-based liquid. I didn't try it on clothes as I used it exlusively on nappies, but suggest that if you're washing dirty kids stuff, add a dose of stain remover powder for a little extra oomph. Here's a recap of how I got it to work effectively:
Machine: 8.5kg Fisher Paykel Front Loader
Water: Brisbane (moderately hard)
Cycles I Used: Everyday Cycle @ 40 deg (1 hour) for prewash. Cottons Cycle + Heavy function @ 60 deg (2hr37min)for main wash.
Frequency of Wash: About every 3-4 days or whenever the basket is full, no daily prewash (laundry confessions!!)
Detergent Prewash: 50mL + heavy dose of Vanish/White King/Sard etc powder
Detergent Main Wash: 75mL
It can be tricky to get a good leg seal and excellent fit when you first try terry towelling flats (sometimes known as old fashioned cloth nappies or terry towelling cloth nappies). In this video, you'll learn how to get an excellent trim fit and leg seal using the "10 and 2 Leg Seal Hack". The 10 and 2 refer to the positions on a clock face- baby is positioned from 12 to 6 o clock, 2 o clock is the right hip and 10 o clock the left.
Terry flats are an excellent, economical way to cloth nappy a newborn and are also great for older babies who don't crocodile roll on the change table (you'll know whether this applies to you!). To use terry towelling flats, you fold the nappy, fit it to your bub, secure with a Snappi/pins/Boingo and then use a PUL/wool cover over the top to keep bub dry.
Try an origami fold for younger babies and a kite fold once the origami fold is too small. If you require greater absorbency, you can boost your kite fold by folding a modern cloth nappy insert or even a folded tea towel or washcloth into the wet zone of the terry.
Hi everyone, it's Amy from Clean Cloth Nappy Hire and I'm making this video today to show you how to get a really nice leg seal when you use terry towelling flats for your baby.
Terry towelling flats are the wonderful old fashioned squares of terry towelling that you fold and then pop a cover over the top. I was cloth nappied in these as a baby and used them on my first born, and although I haven't used them much on my second born I'm still using the first lot of flats around the house and for cleaning up milk spills- they're a wonderful and multipurpose item.
When you're fitting your terry towelling flats there are a few tricks that you can do to get a really nice fit with your flats and get a good leg seal.
We're going to demonstrate on Ted today because my kids are far too wriggly to sit still during this demonstration and will probably roll over to go and look at something else so I'll pop the phone down on the table and we'll demonstrate the leg seal hack with Ted.
I have my flat in a kite fold, which is a nice fold for slightly bigger babies as it's very adjustable. You might look into an origami fold if you have a newborn baby. I'll pop Ted onto the fold and show you first what can happen without the hack and then I'll show you with the hack and how that's going to work to improve the leg seal.
When you're fitting your terry, people will just pull up the centre and pull the legs around and put a Snappi on. What you can see is that you end up with a nappy that sits quite low on the legs and when you put this on your baby you'll find that it will sit right down on their thighs and then you can't put a cover over the top. You can try to tuck this up and try to fit it under the cover but it's not great and it's also pretty gappy so you can see that you're likely to get poo leaks out of the legs if you have a new baby with runny poops.
I call this the 10 and 2 o clock Leg Seal Hack. If you imagine a clock face, Ted is 12 and 6 on the clock, you're going to fold the nappy up to 2 o clock on the right and 10 o clock on the left. When you're doing your kite fold, you can fold the sides between the legs into the centre as well to give you double the layers and a trimmer fit. What we're going to do for the leg seal hack is hold the leg up and fold, and as we fold we pull it tight against the bum cheek. We fold, fold, fold until there's no more bits to fold and then we pull across to the waist, then repeat for the other side.
I'll fasten with a Snappi and show you what it looks like. There is a much higher fit over the hips and Ted's legs are free to move and your baby's legs will be free to move and it's easy to fit a cover over. When we have a look at the leg seal, you can see that this is really tight against Ted's bum and because you've got that folding over, you've a really nice gusset which is going to prevent any poo exposions.
So that's the 10 and 2 Leg Seal Hack, a great trick for when you're using Terry Towelling Flats on your baby. See you next time!
Here in South-East Queensland the wet weather is brewing, which is wonderful for the garden but a bit tricky on the nappy drying front! If you have a smaller stash of nappies or you have nappies such as All-In-Ones that are slow to dry, then you may run into issues when the rain sets in. A clothes dryer is an obvious solution, but not everybody owns or uses a dryer and for many families, keeping their electricity usage low is part of the waste-minimisation ethos that they apply to their lives.
In this blog I bring you a little science so that you can apply the principles of evaporation (aka drying) to your laundry during wet weather.
Evaporation is driven by
1. Solar Radiation/Heat Source
2. Vapour Pressure Deficit
3. Wind Speed
Solar Radiation is energy provided by the sun. Higher Solar Radiation = more energy for drying = faster drying. You would have already observed this when your clothes dry quickly in summer compared to winter. When you use a clothes dryer, or your hair dryer, the heater element provides the Radiation (heat). Higher temp = faster drying, just like on a hot day.
Vapour Pressure Deficit is the difference between the humidity of the air and the amount of moisture that the air can hold when it is saturated. This is similar to "relative humidity" but is not dependent on temperature. A larger value of Vapor Pressure Deficit (corresponding to lower humidity) will facilitate higher drying speed. A nice example of this is hanging out your laundry on a really dry day- it dries really quickly! When you hang out your nappies on a humid day, they dry more slowly, as the Vapour Pressure Deficit is low. Higher Vapour Pressure Deficit = Low Humidity = Faster Drying. When it's raining, the humidity of the air is 100%, so there is no Vapour Pressure Deficit to drive evaporation and dry your laundry. You can dry your laundry faster by putting it somewhere that the air has lower humidity than out in the rain. Air conditioned spaces are one example, or even just indoors if your house isn't as drafty as my timber abode.
Wind Speed is the third factor that influences evaporation rate. As the wind blows, it blows away tiny water particles that are on the surface of whatever item is wet eg. your nappies, meaning that the humidity is reduced, Vapour Pressure Deficit is increased and faster drying occurs. You can generate faster Wind Speed by drying your laundry on a clothes airer in front of a pedestal fan or under a ceiling fan.
So there you have it! High incoming Radiation, high Vapour Pressure Deficit and High Wind Speed combine to dry your laundry super quickly. When it's raining and you need to dry your laundry, your best bet is to dry it somewhere warm and dry in front of a fan. It may not dry as quickly as on that hot summer day but it will be much faster than not drying at all!
Buckets of bleach begone! Did you know that Modern Cloth Nappies don't need soaking? In this wonderful age of excellent washing machines, you can let your machine do the grunt work.
A modern cloth nappy pail system is called a "Dry Pail" and the practice of putting your nappies into the Dry Pail is called "Dry Pailing". It is "dry" because there is no soaking in buckets of water. The perfect modern pail system is airy, for reasons we will explain in this post. We think that the perfect airy dry pail is a regular plastic laundry hamper- it has handles so it's easy to carry to the machine, it has holes in the sides for lots of air flow, and it's easy to give it a spray & wipe/hose down after tipping the nappies into the machine to clean it, it will last you many years and once your kids have finished in nappies you can continue to use it for regular laundry.
We keep our Dry Pail next to the toilet in our bathroom. We use a nappy sprayer (a bidet-style hose attached to the toilet tap) to clean any dirty nappies before pailing (we'll make another post about this in the future!) and put them into the pail once the solids have been removed. Wet nappies go directly into the pail, there's no need to prerinse as the washing machine does that for you.
On wash day, you just tip the hamper into your washing machine. You can buy a "pail liner" which is like a big plastic-laminated bag to line your pail and this makes transferring much easier and it gets washed with the nappies. Some people suggest not using a pail liner but they are made from breathable plastic laminated fabric (PUL), the same PUL that is used in your modern cloth nappies. Less work = great in our view, so if you like pail liners, we suggest don't hesitate when it comes to using it.
Not convinced? Here are five great reasons to avoid soaking and dry pail your modern cloth nappies :)
#1. Eliminates drowning hazard
Any water laying around the house is a drowning hazard- it only takes a few centimetres of water in a vessel for a child to drown and nappy buckets are no exception. A Dry Pail eliminates drowning hazards.
#2. Preserves the life of your nappies
Extended soaking is not recommended for PUL (waterproof) fabrics- this is because the plastic is stuck to the fabric outer with tiny dots of glue. If you soak glue, eventually it will become soggy and useless- think about what happens when you get your shoes wet, for example. The glue used in PUL can withstand regular periods of being exposed to wet nappies as that it what it's designed for, but it's not designed to be submerged for hours in soaking solutions.
Dry pailing also prevents break down of absorbent fabrics. When you put a nappy into a bucket of water, it is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Some of the bacteria found in poops are "cellulolytic" which means they break down cellulose aka natural fibre fabrics. By Dry Pailing rather than soaking in water, you minimise exposure to cellulolytic bacteria to keep your fabrics in mint condition.
#3. Does not smell!
Air flow is key here. If you keep dirty nappies in a closed, lidded bucket, any odour from the waste will be concentrated in the bucket and will smell awful when you open the bucket. When you use a Dry Pail, any odour from the waste (typically ammonia gas) is dispersed in the air. There is a very small number of ammonia molecules produced from a dry pail compared to the number of other gases making up the air, meaning you don't notice a thing. Magic!
#4. Prevents mould
A Dry Pail permits the nappies to dry out a little after wear. This means the environment in the Dry Pail is less hospitable to mould species that love to inhabit wet laundry.
No heavy buckets, no soaking in chemical solutions, no smells, no drowning hazard, no degradation of fabrics. The Dry Pail offers so many benefits compared to the soaking methods of days gone by. Let your washing machine do the work!!
If you'd like more help with your nappy laundry, we'd love to assist you- simply ask on our Facebook group #getintocloth Queensland. Chat with you soon!
For some people the decision to use cloth nappies is easy while for others it requires more consideration and a little encouragement. Getting started can be daunting- there's a whole new language to learn and wading through the product maze is confusing to say the least. It is really with time and experience with your children that you'll master cloth nappies but there is plenty you can do to be well prepared when you're starting out. We've made this list of our Top 5 tips to help those of you who are getting started!
Tip #1: Choose Nappies Sized To Fit Your Baby
A newborn baby needs newborn sized nappies. Newborn size cloth nappies will fit babies from a teeny 2.5kg through to around 6kg, which for average-sized babies is around 3 months of age. Newborns can wear Modern Cloth Nappies which are the cloth equivalent of disposables, or they can wear a traditional nappy such as terry towelling flats or prefolds under a waterproof (PUL) cover.
Modern Cloth Nappies (MCNs) are great as they are easy to use and a trim fit compared to traditional terry flats, however they are considerably more expensive and take longer to dry. Many newborn styles are All-In-One nappies, meaning there's no stuffing pockets or folding inserts, you just fit the nappy to bub and do up the velcro or snaps. Our All-In-One Package features this style exclusively. Traditional nappies such as terry flats or prefolds under PUL covers are comparatively inexpensive to get started with and are faster to dry, but require folding and Snappi-ing (that's modern day pinning!) so are more labour intensive at change time and there's a little bit of finesse required when it comes to getting a great fit. Many parents choose to try both and a hire package such as our Variety Package accommodates this desire.
Once your baby is around 5-6kg they'll begin to fit one-size-fits-most (OSFM) nappies. OSFM nappies come in number of different styles, all variations on a theme- a waterproof outer and some kind of absorbent inner known as "inserts". The inserts can be sewn in (All-In-One nappy), snap in (All-In-Two nappy) or stuff in (Pocket nappy) among others. You can find a huge amount of information on Youtube and via your favourite cloth nappy manufacturers and retailers. Each style and brand will fit your child/ren differently so it can be worthwhile trying a number of different nappies rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket when you're starting out.
Tip #2: Begin Your Stash with 24-30 Nappies
You'll need a nappy for about every 2 hours during the day, plus whatever you want to do for night time (with a brand new baby you usually change them at each feed). Let's say 8 daytime nappies per day as an example. Multiply the number of nappies you expect to use per day by the number of days you're going to go between washes. If you wash after the 2nd day, 8 x 2 = 16. If you're line drying you'll need a good day of drying time in nice weather so add another 8 nappies (16 + 8 = 24). If you're line drying in bad weather... let's not even go there! If you're tumble drying your nappies you'll need enough to cover the time it takes to wash and dry and fold/stuff/prepare them. You'll want a few extra for emergencies/unexpected poos/stashed in the car etc.
24-30 nappies is generally reported as a reasonable amount of nappies to get you started and as you can see, this estimate is quite reasonable but doesn't give you much wiggle room and for this reason, you'll find many people have more (well that plus they are cute, and addictive, and so on!).
Tip #3: Cloth Wipes Are Easy When You're Already Using Cloth Nappies
You can buy cloth wipes (many nappy manufacturers sell them- we stock Grovia Cloth Wipes as an add-on to our nappy hire packages), sew your own (two layers of flannelette is popular) or use what you already have (such as cotton washcloths). Store them dry and wet as you go, they easily become smelly if you keep them wet in a container. As for wetting them as you go, we like to use a 1 litre squeezy sauce bottle such as a Decor Sauce Bottle, it's super easy and you just refill the bottle when it runs out. No need for any special solutions, just water is fine for newborn bums! Pop used wipes into your nappy pail and wash with your nappies.
Tip #4: Prepare For The Poo
Before you have your bub it's worthwhile thinking about how you might deal with poo clean up. You'll be doing clean up no matter which nappies you choose (disposables often leak newborn poo badly and then you have to change your bub's outfit and clean their clothes too!). Newborn poo is the least offensive poo you'll ever have to deal with which is definitely nature's way of easing you gently into parenting. You can rinse and pretreat the poopy newborn nappies in your laundry sink (just don your gloves and a bar of Sard Wonder Soap) or you can invest for the future and buy a nappy sprayer. We've had our Little Squirt nappy sprayer around four years at the time of writing and it's brilliant! You can buy a Little Squirt from many online nappy businesses. There are other nappy sprayers too, this is a helpful write up courtesy of the Australian Nappy Association.
Tip #5: Ask for Help!
The online cloth nappy community is a wonderful thing to be a part of- it's amazingly active and helpful. If you've any questions that your retailer can't help with then online is the place to ask. You can join any number of groups on Facebook, each with their own variation on the cloth nappy theme, and start chatting. You'll quickly find your new online home to discuss all things cloth! We have a little group called #getintocloth Queensland where are are always welcome :)
We're so excited to share this news with you. We've just added Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream to our hire shop. We use this cream at home on our nappy-wearing bub and have been so impressed by it that we wanted to share it with our customers. Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream won the Australian Nappy Association's "Best Skincare Product" award in 2017.
Calendula (the botanical name for Marigold) has a long history of use as a healing ingredient in skincare products. The flowers used in Weleda creams are grown at their 135 hectares of biodynamic gardens in Germany. The flowers are steeped in water/alcohol solution to produce a tincture and this tincture is used in their skincare products.
Weleda Calendula Nappy Change cream has an oil-in-water base. It's formulated from plant oils such as sweet almond & sesame seed oil plus beeswax and lanolin for consistency and skin protection. The cream also contains zinc oxide, providing its characteristic white colour and a great moisture barrier between baby and nappy.
The cream is easy to wash out of cloth nappies with no special treatment required. The secret formula is sufficient good detergent + a long warm/hot wash = beautifully clean nappies. The heat from the water will melt the oily components and the detergent will wash it away, along with any other soiling present. The personalised wash routines that we provide to each nappy hire customer will make light work of cleaning off any cream residue.
Weleda Calendula Nappy Change cream comes in a tube which is important to prevent contamination. Most nappy creams in the natural/eco sphere are unpreserved meaning they are prone to being contaminated. Most are packaged in tubs and are therefore easily contaminated by dipping and double dipping. A tube minimises this risk. The cream has a long shelf life which is great as you only need a little bit!
You can add a tube (or two!) of Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream to your cart at our checkout. We hope you love it as much as we do!
We first published this on the #getintocloth Queensland Facebook group. We’ve tried & tested pretty much everything on our own cloth nappy journey and we are really happy to share this experience with you! When it comes to nappies, it's all about the clean. There is nothing more satisfying than beautiful, white, stain-free, smell-free cloth nappies to use on your kids. With a little know how you too can be Queen of the Laundry!
#1: Omo Ultimate powder
This has always given me the most beautiful clean and I find the smell to be much milder than regular Omo powder. This year it became quite bubbly which caused some issues for people with front loaders and hopefully they will make it less sudsy again someday, but dropping the dose back half a scoop to 1.5 main wash seemed to work in any case. Also comes in a bulk cardboard box which I really like. It works well with warm or hot water. (For those who prefer liquid, Omo Ultimate liquid is also great!)
#2: Radiant liquid
This gives a beautiful clean and is my favourite laundry fragrance, to me it smells the best! It is also really economical to buy. It’s low foaming so very front loader friendly. It works well with warm or hot water. It’s palm oil free and not tested on animals. Great on regular laundry too.
#3: Biozet powder
Comes in at #3 as it’s produced in Japan and shipped over and I’m not sure that all of those miles are terribly environmentally friendly. It works really nicely, has a lovely fresh non-floral fragrance (I think it’s lemony), you can now buy it in bulk cardboard boxes and as with #1 and #2 it’s great on regular laundry as well as your nappies. Use with warm or hot water.
#4: Ecostore powder (Plant Based)
Although I need 3x the dose on the box to get a good clean, and need to use hot water, it does give a good clean and has very little residual fragrance. It is, thus far, the only plant based product that I’ve ever been able to wash my nappies with and have consistently great results. Winner!
#5: Coles $1.50 Laundry Liquid (Extreme Budget)
To be fair it has no stain removal power so you will need to pretreat anything dirty, but it gets smell out like a dream with a hot wash. I didn’t expect it to work at all so I was really really impressed. If you’re on a super low budget grab some of this, a box of Sunlight soap (for nappies) or some laundry soaker (for kids clothes/food etc) and you’re away.
Happy washing! :)
If the idea of using cloth nappies away from the security of home seems daunting, read on! Using modern or traditional cloth nappies out of the house is really quite easy. Here are our top 5 tips to get you on your way.
Tip #1: Choose A Great Nappy Bag
A big nappy bag is useful. A big nappy bag can also be heavy, so it helps to choose a nappy bag that you can attach to your stroller or carry on your back. I've had two nappy bags over the course of my parenting journey: A Skip Hop Duo bag, which was nice and wide and fit well on the stroller but I found it difficult to fit all of my things (I carry my wallet, phone, keys, lip balm and a drink bottle) into the front pocket. Ultimately the zip broke and that was the end of that. I replaced it with a Skip Hop Forma backpack, which has been much better on the space front, but the stroller clips aren't quite long enough and so it gets stretched a lot to clip onto the stroller and as a result the strap is starting to fall off. It was also too heavy when my second was a newborn and would cause the stroller to tip backward so I had to store it in the basket underneath. Thankfully, that's no longer an issue. My hot tip if you're going for backpack style is test it out first to see if it fits!
Many nappies come with a change mat inside. This is really helpful if you're out at the park or in the car or somewhere without a change table setup. If yours doesn't, you might like to purchase a washable change mat to take with you. Many nappy manufacturers sell them so choose your favourite brand and go shopping.
Tip #2: Pack Enough Nappies
I like to pack a nappy for every two hours out of the house and another two as spares. My husband walks on the wild side and packs one spare. Pack your best, most absorbent nappies- you don't want wet clothes, a wet carrier or a poo explosion when you're away from home. You might even like to try fitted nappies and covers as they'll hold more than any modern cloth nappy. Better safe than sorry is my motto here!
Tip #3: Don't Forget the Wipes!
I know it generates waste, but I always carry a packet of wipes in my nappy bag. They are so handy for so many things. If you prefer to take cloth wipes, it's absolutely possible, you can pack them dry and run them under a tap or use your water bottle to wet them, or you can pack them wet into a well sealed container before you leave home. I think I've just inspired myself to do this actually! As with the nappies, take what you think you need and then a few extra. (Edit: After writing this I started to take a few washcloths with me in my nappy bag. I love them. I use my drink bottle to wet them and they work so well!)
Tip 4: Roll & Secure Dirty Nappies in a Wet Bag
Storing wet and dirty nappies is easy. Roll the nappy up and secure it with the snaps. Then pop it into a wet bag (waterproof bag) and you can sort it out at home. It doesn't smell when it's secured in this fashion.
Tip #5: Accessorise!
I carry a little bottle of hand sanitiser and a spare outfit in our nappy bag too. I like to use the hand sanitiser after changing a poopy nappy without hand washing facilities. I wash my hands first with a baby wipe and then use the sanitiser. I'm yet to get sick (touch wood!) so I think it's working for me!
I also have a little car stash. It contains a nappy, some wipes, a wet bag and a change of clothes. I've called on this little stash more times than I care to admit in the last few years. It's priceless!
So that's my top 5 tips for leaving home with cloth. What do you consider to be essential when you're out and about with cloth nappies?
There is no doubting that some babies love their milk, and when it comes to their nappies they can outwet almost anything quite easily. This can be super frustrating, but is easy to fix with some absorbency tweaks.
To use cloth leak-free, just remember this formula: absorbency requirements are proportional to output (whoops, giving away my day job here!). Mathematics aside, what does this mean for us in reality? It means that we need to change frequently (2 hours is normal for cloth) and if outwetting by 2 hours we need to add more absorbency to the nappies. This is known as "boosting".
Boosting newborn nappies can be a little bit tricky as they are so tiny compared to one-size-fits-most cloth. Regular one-size inserts (known as "boosters", because you are adding them to existing absorbency to boost the absorbency) don't usually fit in them and even most newborn boosters are too long to fit into an all-in-one. So we have put together these nifty ideas to help you boost your newborn nappies using things that you may even already have at home! Let's get started...
Hack #1: A regular cotton washcloth
Everybody has these, and if you've had a baby shower you probably have even more than ever before. They are soft and thirsty and excellent on so many levels; not just for bath time but for hands, faces, popping into your bra when you breastfeed, as washable baby wipes and most importantly, for boosting your cloth nappies. Just fold them to fit. You need to make sure that the leg elastics can still make good contact with bub so folding lengthwise into 4 is a good starting point. You may be able to fold them into thirds to fit nappies that are slightly wider through the crotch area. Just pop into the nappy and fit to your bub. You can pop a fleece liner over the top of the face washer if you love fluffy stay dry layers. Sorted!
Hack #2: A soft, floppy one-size-fits-most nappy insert
Bamboo terry is your friend here! It's soft and floppy and lovely and stays soft even after line drying it in the hot summer sun. If you're after something economical then check out Alva 3-layer bamboo inserts. They are made from 3 layers of 330gsm bamboo terry and they fold up so easily. You can fold them to fit into your newborn-sized nappies and then when your hire has finished and you've moved onto one-size-fits-most you can use them to boost your OSFM. Magic!
Hack #3: Sew your own
This hack requires a little time, and as a parent time is not always on your side, but it is a really great option if you want a booster that's going to fit perfectly into your nappies. You use 2 layers of ~400gsm bamboo fleece (Bamboo Fabric Store sell it, among others), just draw inserts of the right size & shape and overlock together. You can lay them in flat or fold to suit, and if you want to preserve an existing stay dry layer such as in the Grovia AIO pictured below, just pop your booster underneath.
We hope that these ideas have been helpful for you. We'd love to hear of any others that you have tried and tested- share your cloth love in the comments!