Preparing for Baby: Cloth nappies and diapers

Yes, we are all for cloth nappies here at Owls Well!

The cloth nappies that I bought for J all those years ago are still going strong after being used by Little E, and now they are once again being taken out of storage for Baby #3.

Saving money and the environment = double plus win!

To be perfectly honest, my reasons for choosing cloth nappies over disposables had very little to do with being eco-friendly (although that is certainly a significant perk). I decided to go for cloth diapers because:

  1. Using cloth nappies does not seem complicated. Cloth nappies are now designed to be as simple to use as disposables – there’s no origami or pointy objects involved.
  2. Washing cloth diapers does not seem difficult. I own a washing machine, therefore, washing cloth nappies is not a problem. Just dump the whole lot in at the end of the day on a HOT wash cycle with Country Save Detergent, and everything comes up fluffy and lovely. I’d be washing lots of baby things covered in all manner of yuck anyway – baby milk vomit, for example, is extremely disgusting and smells terrible.
  3. Cloth diapers are cute. All the cloth nappies now come in all sorts of pretty colours and fun prints. And I like my babies to wear cute things and look cute all the time. They are my living dolls!!!!
  4. Sensitive skin runs in the family. Since both A Becky Lee and I have been known to be allergic to the materials used to make disposable nappies, we decided to limit contact with disposable nappies as far as possible.
  5. Cloth nappies reduce the likelihood of developing nappy rash (or diaper rash). Part of the reason for this is that cloth nappies need to be changed as soon as they become soiled. This means that I will not be tempted to allow the babies to sit in their own waste for extended periods of time, which is usually what causes the rash in the first place.

This is not to say that I did not use any disposable nappies at all. We did use disposables on occasion, such as:

  1. The first few days after birth when the newborns are still passing sticky, tarry, nasty black-and-green meconium stool and I had plenty of leftover diapers from the hospital to use anyway.
  2. If a wet nappy became the sole limiting factor for a good nights’ sleep.
  3. When we travelled to a location which has no access to laundry facilities.

In general, the cloth nappies and diapers that I currently own have been in constant use for over 6 years, going through hundreds of washes, and most of them are still in pretty good shape!

Here’s what I have in my current cloth nappy stash:

  1. 24 infant size ‘prefold’ nappies from Bumwear
  2. 4 waterproof diaper covers from Thirsties (to be paired with the ‘prefold’ nappies)
  3. 18 one-size pocket nappies from Happy Heinys which came with a variety of inserts listed below:
    • 12 large microfibre inserts
    • 12 small microfibre inserts
    • 6 hemp inserts
  4. 10 microfibre pocket nappy inserts from bumGenius and Bumwear which I can use with the Happy Heinys nappies (although the original pocket diapers have long since disintegrated. The models that I purchased were the first versions available, which fell apart after a few months of use. I have been told that the latest versions available from bumGenius and Bumwear are now much better quality!)
Little E and J in cloth nappies and diapers

Little E and J are happy and comfortable in their cloth nappies and diapers!

In the picture above, you can see both J and Little E wearing Happy Heiny pocket nappies in a cow print, and blue Thirsties diaper covers (paired with Bumwear flat ‘prefolds’ inside).

I used the prefolds with diaper covers more when they were very tiny newborns taking 2-3 hourly feeds, as it gave me the freedom to change their nappies with a higher frequency during the daytime without worrying about running out of them (since they wash and dry really fast). Prefolds also make great burp cloths and are generally great for cleaning up baby messes, so I always had a stack of them on hand when I was feeding or changing!

As they began to stretch their feeds to 3-4 hourly intervals and started to take longer naps during the day, I used the pocket nappies much more in the daytime as they were more absorbent than the prefolds and could manage a heavier wetting.

From then on, I put them pocket nappies all the time, until they became fully potty trained at around 3 years old! Imagine how much money I must have saved on nappies!!!