5 things I wish I’d known when I started using cloth nappies
By Innes Vautier @aboderie.
Getting started with cloth nappies can seem very overwhelming! There are loads of different kinds, a lot of jargon, and a new world of washing to get your head around. That’s certainly how I felt at first.
But it really quickly becomes second nature, and in my role helping parents getting started with reusable nappies, one of the things I hear over and over again is how simple cloth nappies are to use.
So how can you set yourself up for success right from the start? Well, when I think about my own experience with cloth, there are a few things that I wish someone had told me at the beginning. So I’d love to pass that advice on to you, to give you the best possible start to your cloth journey.
Looking back, it’s amazing how quickly we got used to using cloth nappies. For the first couple of weeks there was a bit of trouble shooting. We had to work out how to fit the nappies, how often to change them, and how to wash them. But before long we felt like pros! Reusable nappies are definitely one of those things which seem much harder than they actually are.
To help you push through the first couple of weeks, keep remembering the reason why you decided to make the switch. For lots of people, it’s environmental factors, particularly a desire to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic that’s going into landfill. Others like having natural fibres against baby’s bottom. And for some (me included!) it’s how pretty they are! Whatever your reason is, keep remembering it. Cloth nappies have a learning curve, but it will always seem worth it when you remember why you made the choice.
Getting advice and support when you’re starting with cloth nappies is key. The first few weeks in particular will feel much more bearable if you have a place to turn when you hit snags. Whether it’s a local mum friend, a nappy library, the Peachi Baby Community Facebook Group or a blog (like mine!), a support network can give you advice on the styles of nappy that are most likely to work for you, and help work through any issues you have. And make sure you keep your cloth buddy on hand after you’ve got started too. It’s amazing how many more questions come up once you actually start using your nappies.
When I get an idea in my head, I often want to dive right in. But with cloth nappies it’s sensible to go slow, starting with a few nappies and gradually building up. Finding the nappies that work for you can take a bit of time, as you try out different styles, brands and fabrics. But that time will be well spent - it’s much better to take the time to figure out what’s right for you than to buy all of one kind of nappy and end up regretting it.
Using cloth part time is also an option for the long term. It’s much better to cut out one or two disposables a day for a couple of years than to force yourself to go full-time straight away and then give up after a month. Lots of parents choose to use disposables at night, when they’re out of the house or when they’re on holiday. That’s totally allowed! Do what works for you.
Nobody gets excited about disposable nappies, but pretty much every cloth nappy user loves their nappies. Enjoy the process - seeing clean nappies on the washing line, choosing which one you’re going to put on next, and having the cutest baby butt around! Being a parent is hard, so enjoying this small aspect of life with littles makes all the difference.
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