Our latest story in the Cloth Nappy Super Hero series comes from Rachel Scobie. Enjoy…
I am the mum to two boys, aged 4 1/2 and 2 1/2, with baby number 3 due any day now.
I love using cloth nappies.
- I love that I save money, even if I use just one a day.
- I love not having a bin full of smelly nappies (especially in summer) that will end up in landfill to hang around for another 400 or so years.
- I love that I have such a big choice in sizes, styles, fabrics, colours and patterns.
- I love that in summer a cute cloth nappy can also double as pants.
- I love that cloth nappies that I was gifted 5 years ago for my oldest child are still going strong and will soon be used on baby number 3.
I have three younger siblings and my mum used cloth with all of us.
My youngest sibling is 12 years younger than me so I had some experience changing cloth nappies. It seemed like a natural progression for me to use cloth too, plus being a single income family I liked the idea of saving some money. The cloth nappies available now were also totally different to the terry squares and nappy pins my mum used and looked and sounded easy to use.
As a gift, when I was pregnant with my first child, my mum bought us a dozen one size fits most Baby BeeHinds and I haven’t looked back. We started by using cloth part time, sometimes only one a day but I worked out that we still saved at least $10 a month. With my second child we started off part time but quickly graduated to full time use. Nappies day and night!
Making the transition to full time saw a few issues. Firstly, smelly nappies. After much research and troubleshooting I discovered that I was not washing them for long enough. In trying to limit how much we used the washing machine I was skipping a rinse load and only doing a short wash. We overcame this by rinsing overnight and then doing a long wash when my partner got up to go to work. This works well as not only do we use the washing machine in off peak electricity times (keeping our bill low) but the nappies are also ready for me to hang out first thing in the morning. We now not only do this with nappies, but clothes as well.
Another issue was having enough nappies to use full time but only having to wash every 2-3 days. Even though using cloth nappies is cheaper in the long run the initial outlay can be a little expensive. I ended up buying pre-loved through a cloth nappy buy, swap, sell page. This not only saved money but meant that I was able to buy a number of different styles and sizes and helped me figure out what worked best for us.
Each lot of nappies was obviously lovingly looked after and the mums that I bought off enthusiastically gave me tips and tricks for what worked for them. Through talking to other mums, I also discovered wool covers for overnight use. Another benefit of buying pre-loved is that it also reduces our impact on the environment.
I think the best approach for us with using cloth is accepting that it does not have to be all or nothing.
We keep a small pack of disposables in the house for times when it has been raining a lot, illness or if we just want a break. I always remind myself that using just one a day saves us money and also means one less disposable nappy in landfill.
For our family, using cloth has meant extra money in our budget every week and a growing awareness and interest in how we, as a family, can reduce our impact on the environment.
It also means very cute cloth bums!