I have been using cloth nappies for nearly five years now. I have had two kids in cloth nappies. Twice. Adding up to 1.5 years of coping with two in cloth.
I use cloth nappies for a number of reasons. First off they are cheaper, I have saved literally hundreds of pounds using cloth. This is money I have been able to spend on cake, gin, and prawn cocktail flavour crisps, so totally worth the hassle just there.
Secondly they do not end up in landfill. Yes yes I know the arguments re whether they are actually better for the environment due to the carbon footprint of washing them yada yada. Obviously I wash them in my pedal power washing machine with soap nuts and air dry them, so there!
Thirdly I much prefer cotton or bamboo next to my baby’s peachy bum than the chemicals in disposables.
Fourthly (hmmm) and finally, I love the waddle of a big cloth baby bottom, it’s extremely cute.
So here are the tips I wish I had found when I started out.
1. So basically there are loads of styles and makes of nappy available now. Do not buy a huge amount of the same nappy until you have an actual baby to put them on and have tested them. Different babies have different shapes legs, bottoms etc. Therefore what works on one will not necessarily be leak free on another. Buy a few kinds (or even better borrow) and try them out to see what suits your family.
2. Have a plastic bin (preferably outside) with a cloth nappy net inside. Bung the nappies in and when you are ready to wash put the whole bag in the wash. That way no pooh handling is involved (apart from, when your actually changing the stinky bottomed one obviously)
3. Wash at 60 (I’ve tried a few temperatures and this in my experience is the lowest temp that gives you stink free nappies) without fabric softener (yes I made that mistake)and an additional rinse (don’t know why, but this helps with aforementioned stink).
4. When you can, get the stained nappies outside to dry. The sun gets rid of the stains in a surprisingly short amount of time.
5. Avoid change bags with lots of small pockets. Cloth nappies take up a lot of space in a change bag. I have tried many kinds of change bag and have found one with less pockets and more space works best. Also a large wet bag is an essential for in the change bag.
So these are my tips hope they prove helpful.
For what it’s worth I use Mother Ease one size nappies and Mother Ease wraps (waterproof outers).