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!