I’ve started a few discussions over on Instagram (@emmasteendam) about this subject, and have been meaning to write a more comprehensive blog post on it for some time… cloth nappies. Thrilling stuff for those who aren’t pregnant, parents or at all interested, but it’s what’s bouncing around my head at the moment, so here it is…
We would like to use cloth nappies, or rather ‘modern cloth nappies’ (MCN’s) for our baby, for a few reasons: one being environmental impact and another being cost effectiveness. I have several friends (and Matt’s sister) who have used cloth for their babes, all with varied experiences. I definitely don’t want to lock ourselves in to any particular mindset or ‘rules’ – I say we ‘would like to use cloth nappies’, not ‘we will be using cloth nappies’. Honestly, if it doesn’t work for us, our baby or our lifestyle we will look at alternatives. That said, most people using cloth have all told me that there is a cloth nappy solution to suit every baby and parent, it’s just a matter of wading through the minefield that has become MCN’s.
Oh the minefield! The information! The giant ocean of blogs, forums, Facebook groups…it’s overwhelming to say the least. So many different types, brands, fibres, acronyms – to begin with it is like learning a different language, and I’m only semi-coherent in it all as yet, and the thing is it’s constantly changing. Some of my friends who used MCN’s a mere year ago are out of the loop by now. Who knew?!
So far, I’ve been looking mainly at pocket styles of MCN’s, or with snap in inserts. I went to my handful of friends who have used cloth, and came back with just as many varied opinions as the blogs and forums! Some used AIO (all-in-one) systems, some pockets, some pre-folds from birth, some sized, some OSFM (one size fits most). Bewildering.
Here’s the general low-down so far on the very genesis of our cloth nappying journey…
– We probably will use disposable nappies for newborn until the baby fits into some MCN’s, depending on baby’s weight and build.
– I would prefer to use a pocket system or snap inserts as I’ve been lead to believe the AIO’s take a long time to dry and can be harsher on wear and tear. Correct me if I’m wrong. I also like the idea of being able to remove separate parts of the nappy, but this obviously means more time involved folding/stuffing nappies, again correct me if I’m talking crazy-talk.
– Although snaps might be more fiddly than Velcro on a wiggly baby, in the long run they will last the distance of multiple children whereas Velcro will wear out.
– I would like to use OSFM as it seems the easiest and most cost effective option, but realise this is totally dependent on our baby’s build/length/weight and what does/doesn’t work for us. Some friends only used OSFM, others only used sized especially for that weight/age baby.
– Must resist urge to buy pretty pink or funky boy colours and prints once baby gender is determined! Unless I want our future son in pink butterflies cloth nappies…unisex is aim of game (especially for re-sale too.)
– Open to the fact that we may have a heavy night wetter in which case a lot of people in that boat use disposables at night – although have also been researching some great and highly recommended nighttime MCN’s. The whole boys versus girls issue also dependent on how we use cloth/how many inserts or boosters we may need.
– Definitely want to get a sprayer attachment for our toilet, which Matt has assured me is super easy for him to just do himself. A lot of people have told me this has been the make or break as to whether they used cloth or not.
As for brands…so far I’ve bought a handful of Issy Bear AI2 nappies in both a newborn size and OSFM – purely because they had a sale on and I thought I’d begin my stash with some bargains. I also got some Pikapu’s on Catch of the Day last week. Other brands which I have been researching and keen to try due to recommendations: Baby Beehinds, Itti Bitti Tutto, Rumparooz, BumGenius, Grovia and Greenkids. All of which I’ve had varied opinions on, so I really do think it depends on your baby (obviously). Some swear by Baby Beehinds, another friend said they never fit her girls properly. Trial and error, error and trial.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a handful of each of these brands in my shopping cart and then not checked out! Basically, the one common thread through all of the advice being thrown my way is that you need to find exactly what suits your baby and his/her needs, which is obviously something you can’t do for awhile! You also hear horror stories of people spending ridiculous amounts of money on MCN’s and then it being a total disaster. No thanks. The best solution I think will be for us to use something like the Apikali Library system which gives you a range of different brands and styles of MCN’s to use for a few weeks, in order to determine what does and doesn’t work for you. Then I can go forth and check out of my shopping cart on all those websites. In the meantime I might just build up a stash of one brand/style here, another there, if they are on sale I think.
Now – people of the Internet, tell me…
Did you cloth nappy?
What do you know now that you wish someone had told you at the start?
Tell me if all the above thoughts are utter hogwash or point me in a direction of enlightenment!