Cloth Nappies: Frequently Asked Questions
Embarking on the journey of using reusable cloth nappies may seem daunting at first, but rest assured, it's not as challenging as it may appear. We understand that starting out can be overwhelming, especially considering how the world of cloth nappies has evolved and differs from what you or your parents may remember. To help you navigate this new territory, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions for your convenience. Take a moment to read through them, and they will provide valuable insights into the world of reusable cloth nappies. Let us guide you on this exciting and eco-friendly path!
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There are many benefits to using cloth nappies and there are various motivations that lead people to choose cloth nappies over disposables.
Environment - Reusable cloth nappies are better for the environment. It is estimated that disposable nappies will take 500 years to totally decompose. This means that every disposable nappy ever made is still in existence today.
Better for baby - By using cloth nappies, there are no harsh chemicals or plastics on baby's skin. This can also help in avoiding nappy rash.
Cost - While the upfront cost of cloth nappies might seem expensive, it definitely pays itself off, especially if you go on to use the same nappies for siblings in the future. The average child will go through around 6000 nappies from birth to the time they are fully toilet trained. This equates to an average of $3000 per child on disposables as compared with around $1000 on cloth nappies. That's a huge saving!
Cute prints - who doesn't love all the beautiful prints you can choose from? Much nicer than looking at a disposable.
Community - there's a whole other world out there of cloth parents alike creating a great additional support network to help on your journey.
No need for any extra effort here! Simply run them through a cycle before using your cloth nappies to eliminate any manufacturing residue. While the absorbency of the inserts will improve after approximately 6 to 8 washes, there is no requirement for multiple washes or soaking prior to use. Rest assured that even though they may not reach their maximum absorbency right away, they are still ready for use.
During the day it is recommended to change every 2-3 hours or sooner if the nappy is soiled (same as disposables).
The number of nappies you'll need depends on various factors, including your intended usage (casual, part-time or full-time). Below are our recommended quantities as a general guideline. However, keep in mind that your requirements may vary based on your baby's age, desired washing frequency and the need for extra backups. You can gradually build your stash to suit your individual needs.
Part time (6m+) - 12 nappies
Part time (newborn) - 18 nappies
Full time (6m+) - 24 nappies
Full time (newborn) - 36 nappies
I have always found it handy to have an extra days worth of nappies as a backup to allow for times when you fall behind for one reason or another. Just helps take the pressure off (and in my opinion can have you on your way to a more successful cloth journey).
It's easy. You simply 'plop' any solids you can into the toilet, then give a light rinse in the laundry sink if required before popping it in the dry pail.
*Did you know, before binning disposables, you're actually meant to remove solid waste from them too?
There's just 5 simple steps to keep your nappies clean and fresh.
- Remove any solid waste and give a light rinse if required (not necessary for EBF bubs)
- Store your nappies in a dry pail for up to 48 hours
- Pre wash (quick wash to get rid of most waste)
- Main wash (long wash in clean water) within 24 hours of the pre wash being completed
- Dry however you choose (just note that PUL covers aren't recommended for the dryer)
It may seem daunting, but please be assured, like anything, it just becomes part of your routine, and we're always here to give guidance and advice.
For more information, visit our washing guidelines page.
You may find it hard to believe, but no it doesn't! If you do encounter any unpleasant smells, it may indicate an issue with your washing routine so please feel free to contact us for assistance in reviewing it if this occurs.
Bacteria buildup, which can lead to odours, occurs when there is insufficient airflow. By using an open and airy basket, you stop the buildup of bacteria ensuring a fresh and odour-free cloth nappy experience.
The pre wash stage plays a crucial role by effectively removing the majority of soiling from the nappies, ensuring they are prepared and mostly clean for the main wash cycle. By incorporating this separate pre-wash step, you can optimize the cleanliness and effectiveness of the subsequent main wash, resulting in fresh and thoroughly cleaned cloth nappies for your little one.
The "pre-wash" is not a dedicated cycle on your washing machine but rather a regular shorter cycle that precedes the main wash, which is a longer and more thorough cleaning cycle.
Soaking nappies is no longer necessary and can actually create an environment conducive to bacterial growth. This practice also poses risks to the PUL (polyurethane laminate) of the outer nappy and the elastics that are enclosed within the shell. Soaking can compromise the integrity and lifespan of these components, leading to potential issues with leakage and durability. It is recommended to avoid soaking nappies to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of the outer shell and elastics.
Absolutely! With a good washing routine, any residue from creams should wash straight out. You can visit our washing guidelines page to see our recommendations for washing your cloth nappies.